Hydroponic based mediums are popular amongst the more advanced and experienced cultivators. Hydroponic grows are soil-less, they usually involve the use of growth mediums that are flooded with a nutritional solution at regular intervals. These mediums do not possess any nutritional value themselves. Also, they do not buffer the nutritional content passed through them, meaning the roots of your cannabis can get all of the nutrients they need fast and efficiently. However, this also means extra care is needed as it is easy to cause root burn through overfeeding.
Hydroponic setups tend to produce much better results than their soil based counterparts, but cost a lot more money and require a greater amount of maintenance and expertise. It is usually not recommended for the novice cultivator. However, if you have the money, time and expertise, then we would highly recommend pursuing this method for your grow.
See our article on hydroponics for a detailed explanation on exactly how hydroponic grows are set up and used.
So why are hydroponic setups so popular? Well, the advanced controls they offer allow experienced cultivators to get bigger buds in about three quarters the time it takes using a soil based grow. When hydroponics setups are used correctly you get bigger buds faster.
Types of hydroponic based mediums
Rockwool is a synthetic substance that resembles the modern form of loft insulation. It can be flooded easily during the feeding process and is pliable enough to let roots grow whilst supporting the plant. Prior to its use, rockwool should be soaked in water with a pH level of 5.6 for 24 hours. This is because a lot of rockwool has a high natural pH level and it needs to be reduced. Rockwool can also be baked in the oven for a couple of hours to sterilize it. Its use can yield some excellent results, making it a popular choice.
OASIS CUBES :
Oasis cubes are very similar to rockwool in use and features, but are made of a different substance. Before use, oasis cubes should be completely soaked in water and never allowed to fully dry out throughout the entire grow. They are very easy to obtain, and much the same as rockwool, oasis cubes can achieve very good results.
EXPANDING CLAY PELLETS :
Often referred to as “grow rocks”, this cannabis growing medium is often the most favoured. It is an ecological sustainable medium compromising of small clay pellets that have been cooked in a kiln. You may be thinking “but I just read your article on soil based mediums, isn’t clay a terrible medium to use?” Well, when clay is baked at high temperatures in a kiln it changes. It becomes more porous in nature, making it a good absorbent artificial grow medium for use in hydroponics. The pellets ability to retain moisture will make sure that your cannabis roots stay moist in between watering phases. They are also, pH neutral and are great for supporting the stems of your marijuana plants.
Expanding clay pellets are reusable, which is a great advantage if you do not want to be constantly buying new supplies. In order to prepare them for your next crop, simply soak the pellets for a few minutes in a gallon of water mixed with 10ml of hydrogen peroxide. Then dry them out.
Expanding clay pellets can be quite expensive when compared to other hydroponic growth mediums, but are a wise investment in the long run due to their reusability
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