Tens of millions of US citizens recently found themselves waking up one morning with the full legal right to grow cannabis at home. Suffice to say, for those not fortunate enough to reside in such areas, it all sounds like some kind of fantasy that’s far too good to be true. But true it very much is, as a swath of new states took recreational cannabis to the ballot box and voted in favor of legalization. For those that are able to grow, growing with hydroponics is a method you can used to grow at home.
Of course, specific policy varies from one state to the next and it’s not quite as simple as heading outdoors and setting up your own commercial cannabis farm. Quite to the contrary, things are still rather on the restrictive side and you need to know what exactly you are, and are not allowed to do. Nevertheless, few would dispute the fact that when it comes to legal cannabis cultivation, anything is better than nothing!
The thing is though, if you are out to produce the kind of premium-quality bud you’ve become accustomed to, it’s not going to be quite as easy as just throwing a bunch of seeds into a pot of soil. The plants might grow, but they won’t grow well. And as for final yields, the phrase ‘devastatingly embarrassing’ comes to mind. Instead, you’re going to need to grow cannabis how the experts grow it – albeit more likely on a much smaller scale. There are plenty of approaches to choose from, but you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t find a better approach for indoor growing than hydroponics.
What Is Hydroponics Growing?
Though generally considered to be something of a new approach to growing, hydroponics in one form or another has in fact been around for centuries. It’s just that today’s systems are infinitely more advanced, affordable and capable than ever before. They can be used to grow pretty much any crops whatsoever, though really come into their own when it comes to cannabis.
In terms of how it all works, it’s basically a case of taking the soil out of the equation and replacing it instead with high quality nutrient solution. Rather than passively allowing your plants to do their thing with soil, water, pots, food and so on, you instead play God on a much more precise and controlled level. With hydro, you get to determine pretty much everything that happens from start to finish – which also means you get to control the outcome. You also get to create 100% organic crops – even if some continue to debate whether hydro and organic can co-exist, as explained by Hydrosys.
“It’s perfectly possible for hydroponic produce to be grown 100% organically. Hydroponic farming eliminates the need for growing media. Similarly, the nutrient solution the crops are provided with is usually 100% organic, produced by the highest quality natural ingredients. So whichever way you look at it, the plants have at no time been provided with anything synthetic or chemical – hence satisfying all requirements for organic cultivation.”
And just in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes…it more than justifies the initial expense. Hydro gear can be used time and time again with the clones you take from your own prize specimens. So if you want to produce epic results time and time again, you can – largely for free!
Here’s a quick overview of ten reasons why it is definitely worth considering a hydroponics setup if you are looking to grow weed at home (legally!):
First and foremost, we’ve already mentioned how the fact that you take control over everything that happens is one of the biggest advantages of hydroponic growing. The hydro method essentially sees plants suspended in a manner where their roots are exposed to whatever you decide to expose them to. This means being able to provide them with a rich, targeted dose of the precise nutrients they need at all times, with so much greater accuracy than would be possible with soil growing. As you’re growing indoors, you also get to watch over temperatures, humidity, lighting, air quality and so on – everything a cannabis plant needs to reach its full potential.
- Faster & Bigger Yields
In terms of what you can expect to get out of the deal, the vast majority of growers choose to work with hydroponics to both speed up production rates and harvest bigger yields. Once again, this all comes down to the way in which you technically take the place of Mother Nature, who’d normally provide the plants with what they’d need in their native habitat. The only difference being that you can do a better job – offering the kind of consistency and generosity that nature never could. You can’t force-feed cannabis plants or make them do things they don’t want to, but you can certainly give them everything they need to become all they can be.
- Zero Weeding
Growing with a hydroponics setup means eliminating the soil, which in turn means eliminating something that blights millions of gardeners the world over…weeding. Unwanted weeds have a nasty habit of popping up out of nowhere and doing a number on your garden. Even if you grow indoors, you’d be surprised how problematic weeds can be, given sufficient time. Take the soil of the equation and you instantly take the weeds out of the equation too, which is nothing but a good thing.
- Pest Control
The same also goes for pests, as there are countless common pests that count on soil to do their bidding. Remove the soil, remove the threat of soil-loving pests doing a number on your plants. Of course, no type of crop cultivation offers 100% immunity to pests across the board, but growing indoors using a hydro setup is just about the best way of keeping threats to a minimum.
These days, there are epic hydro kits available that enable you to make maximum use of all the space you have available…even if you have next to none to play with. On a per-square-metre basis, it’s possible to grow so many more plants using hydroponics than it would ever be using conventional soil growing methods. Even if you only have a small cupboard or counter-top available, you might be surprised just how much pot you can produce in such a tiny area. With hydroponics, restricted space does not have to have any impact whatsoever on yield quality or quantities.
- Nutrient Delivery
The magic of hydro growing all comes down to the way in which the nutrients the plant needs are delivered directly to where they are needed in the exact doses they are needed. Not only this, but they’re also provided with the constant and generous supply of oxygen they need to produce the strongest plants and the best possible results. In essence, soil is something of a ‘middleman’ that sort-of helps you along the way, but can’t always be relied on. Deliver key nutrients directly and you’ll soon see the most incredible difference.
- Neat and Tidy
Something else to bear in mind is the way in which removing soil from the equation also removes most of the mess from the equation too. Try as you might, growing indoors with soil is inevitably messy. With hydroponics on the other hand, keeping the whole growing area immaculately clean is exponentially easier. You may also find it much easier and convenient to work with hydroponics as there’s considerably less maintenance required in general.
Another quite enormous benefit of hydro growing is the way in which as much of the cultivation process as you like can be automated. There are intelligent devices up for grabs that can keep an eye on things like temperatures, humidity, lighting and so on – all of which can be programmed to turn things on and off automatically, as and when required. Even the delivery of the nutrient solution itself it automatic, meaning you never even have to go so far as to water your plants. In terms of simplicity, there really is nothing quite like hydro growing – a setup that can pretty much take care of itself.
The pinpoint precision and intelligent design of hydro equipment can also make it uniquely efficient. When weighing up what you get out in accordance with what you put in…cash, electricity, effort etc. – hydro stands heads and shoulders above all traditional approaches to growing. In addition, the fact that any nutrient solution not absorbed by the plants is recycled and reused automatically also makes hydro growing a surprisingly eco-friendly option.
- Rinse and Repeat
Last but not least, as we touched upon a little earlier there’s also the bonus of being able to rinse down your hydro equipment and repeat the whole growing process, as many times as you like. High-end hydro hardware is built to last and can help you produce any number of incredible crops over the long-term. While a lot of generic soil growing hardware is viewed and treated as disposable, an investment in decent hydro gear is an investment that keeps on giving in return.