Why Hydroponic Cultivation is Preferred for Growing Cannabis?
Hydroponic is a new method of cultivation of plants hydroponically which means growing of plants with various nutrients and minerals but not in soil.
This cultivation method doesn’t use of soil, however, grows the plant through roots. The root system is supported via a medium such as perlite, Rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite. When we grow plants through organic growing, it becomes necessary to provide them the necessary micronutrients like magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc.
- How is Hydroponic Gardening Different from Organic Gardening?
- What all you Need to Know about Hydroponic Cultivation?
- Growing Cannabis: Hydroponic VS Organic
- Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation over Organic Cultivation:
- Case study – Hydroponic Gardening vs Conventional Gardening
- Issues with Hydroponic Cannabis:
- Final call – Hydroponic or Organic
However, when it comes to growing cannabis people prefer Hydroponic gardening over organic gardening as its history tells us. We will talk about this once we study the basic difference between Hydroponic & Organic gardening.
How is Hydroponic Gardening Different from Organic Gardening?
A simple Hydroponic gardening system is as complicated and as simple as you make it. The normal Hydroponic gardening includes basic equipment like a growing tray, light (could be natural or artificial), a water-controlled pump for watering, a reservoir, and a kind of air pump which will provide the plants with natural oxygen. This way of cultivating plants only takes up the key components.
Organic gardening is a whole different process which is time-consuming but provides high nutrient value products. The person practicing this gardening technique needs to take care of all the necessary fertilizers, time to water the plants accurately as taking care of bugs and other insects that may damage it. Thus, organic gardening is time-consuming but it serves the basic purpose so well that one doesn’t need to retort to artificial mediums.
What all you Need to Know about Hydroponic Cultivation?
This kind of cultivation requires your time and commitment, you need to provide them all the necessary nutrients, ample amount of water, sunlight, and then leave it for days or maybe weeks so that they can grow. The person needs to have precise knowledge and experience to apply this cultivation.
You need to plan power backup as well as water storage.
This cultivation is expensive in comparison to organic cultivation, so the person, who is planning to begin with, needs to have a good amount for initial expenses.
Growing Cannabis: Hydroponic VS Organic
Well, both the methods are poles apart from each other and hence the cannabis grown through both the ways has its own originality. Cannabis grown in organic gardening has more terpenes and hence tastes better, has a value that is more nutrient and requires lower maintenance.
Dr. Ivan Green at Greenthevoteok says “When the cannabis grown hydroponically then the yield is more, grows faster, no herbicides and pesticides required and this method takes up to 90% less water consumption than organic gardening”
You can find the top 10 hydroponic systems to grow cannabis here.
Effects of Hydroponic Environment:
- A very controlled environment for growing
- The whole system requirements are expensive
- The cannabis strains are higher with THC percentages
Effects of Organic Environment:
- An environment with natural sunlight
- Lower operating and equipment cost
- Completely climate-dependent cultivation
- Superior flavor cannabis is produced
Benefits of Hydroponic Cultivation over Organic Cultivation:
- No need for soil in this cultivation, Hydroponics has been considered as the farming of the future to grow foods for astronauts in space (where there is no soil) by NASA.
- Better use of space, you can grow them in your house.
- It saves water; almost 90% of water is saved as compared to Organic.
- There is an effective use of nutrients in fertilizers as well as the pH level can be adjusted with requirements
- There are a better growth rate and no growth of irritating weeds, which are present in Organic growth.
- Few pests and diseases.
- Minimal use of herbicides and pesticides.
Case study – Hydroponic Gardening vs Conventional Gardening
Let’s quickly hop on to a case study where both types of plant growing systems were compared. This experiment for growing plants was carried out at the department of Industrial Engineering King Abdulaziz University at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to compare which system is better for growing plants, hydroponic or soil cultivation? It was also done to evaluate the quality and nutritional value of the vegetables, fruits and other products.
In order for this experiment to take effect, the materials used were:
- For growing hydroponically, big plastic containers were used that could hold water. A water pump is also used which will continuously pump water to the plastic containers.
- Then they used 4 carrot seedlings for the hydroponic growing.
- Whereas for normal soil growing, carrot seeds were sown inside the soil as usual.
- There is a solution that contains essential nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, and copper. This solution is mixed with water to maintain a certain pH level for growing plants.
Procedure for Hydroponic:
At first, they mixed the nutrient solution with the water in the container that contains the carrot seedlings, maintaining the pH level between 5-6. The air pump was used to supply air into the container.
Procedure for Soil Growing:
The container that contained the soil and seeds was filled with water up to 3/4th level and the same nutrient solution was mixed in it. To maintain nutrition, they watered the plants regularly for 3-4 days.
Likewise, this experiment continued for a month in their observation and they tracked both the systems in this period and came to the conclusion that the plants grow faster acquiring better height in the presence of hydroponic growing system with better nutrient value as compared to those grown in soil.
Issues with Hydroponic Cannabis:
Even though, there is a very much-controlled environment and high-tech equipment being used in this cultivation; there are some major issues still prevailing. Cannabis plants can absorb toxins, which eventually become a major portion of the final product.
There are some modern methods do not rely on soil to grow cannabis; they use the latest ways to improve the quality of cannabis:
- Aeroponics – spraying nutrient-rich mist on the plant
- Hydroponics – roots of the plant are submerged in a nutrient-rich solution
- Micro-propagation – samples of the plant are multiplied in agar gel
Final call – Hydroponic or Organic
With this, it is concluded that Hydroponic gardening is being practiced widely everywhere because of certain benefits over normal organic gardening. The on-going innovation in this field is a long process so we never know what more benefits Hydroponic gardening can bring us in the future.
However, we know that without risk, there is no possibility of growth and Hydroponic gardening is a risk that paid off.
Hydroponic gardening is the future because not only it saves water but it also minimizes the use of harmful fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals that may in turn damage the crop.