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There are numerous ways to grow cannabis, and this article reviews seven hydroponic grow systems. Hydroponics is a method of growing using nutrient solutions in water, without the use of soil.
Many cannabis growers choose hydroponic systems as their way to grow cannabis indoors. Here we give you a look at seven hydroponic grow systems that will help you maximize yield:
1. Ebb & Flow
Also referred to as flood and drain, ebb and flow is a popular form of hydroponics because it is easy to use, reliable and forgiving. Ebb and flow systems use an inert medium to anchor the roots and support the plants.
The plants receive water and required nutrients from an aerated hydroponic solution, which alternately floods then drains from the plants.
There are two types of ebb and flow hydroponic systems:
- Flood to waste
- Closed loop recirculating
Ebb and flow systems are very flexible, generally low-cost and have few practical drawbacks.
Three recommended ebb and flow systems:
- Active Aqua’s Grow Flow Ebb & Flow System
- Sentinel MEF-EXP Modular Ebb & Flow System 6 Site Expansion
- Flo-n-Gro Tsunami 5 Gallon Ebb & Flow 6 Site System
Aeroponic systems rely on an air or mist environment without the use of soil or a medium. This type of grow system is not very forgiving and must be monitored closely.
Normally closed cell foam or similar product is compressed around the lower stem to support the plant during growth, additional support such as a trellis may also be used to support the growing plants.
Because of the sensitivity of plant root systems, aeroponics is often combined with conventional hydroponics as an emergency backup nutrition and water supply for if the aeroponics system fails.
Two recommended aeroponic systems for cannabis growing are:
- Aeroflo Unit Aeroponics System (18, 20, 30, 36, 60)
- C.A.P. Aeroponic Eight System
3. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
This method of cannabis production provides a continuous flow of nutrient solution over the plants roots. When most people hear the word hydroponics they envision an NFT system.
4. Gravity System
This is a very simple hydroponic growing system where the nutrient enriched water system is placed higher than the plants and the water is allowed to flow to the plants by gravity alone and drains to waste or to a catch system for reuse.
This type of hydroponic irrigation system does not need electrical power or pumps, but relies on rather manually or naturally placing the nutrient enriched water reservoir higher than the plants.
5. Capillary Mats
This type of hydroponic system most often uses a fibrous mat suspended over a nutrient rich reservoir with a strip of the mat or a wick extending down into the water to draw nutrient-rich water up into the plants. The plants can also sit on top of the mat or use a wick system to draw the nutrient water up into the plants root system.
This too is a very simple manual system that needs no external power sources, so it's great for beginners to hydroponics.
6. Deep Water Culture (DWC)
In this type of hydroponic system the plants are suspended over an aerated nutrient rich reservoir with the roots hanging down into the water to draw up needed nutrients.
DWC systems are ideal for beginners in hydroponics.
For water culture systems we recommend looking into products from Current Culture H2O.
7. Drip Irrigation
This is a hydroponic system where the aerated nutrient rich water solution is regulated by a timer, fed from a reservoir to the plants and emitted thru drip irrigators.
Learn to Setup a Hydroponic System
We recommend you look into hydroponic gardening if you are interested in growing weed and want to know how to get the best yields from your plants.
Although most beginning marijuana growers choose soil for its ease of use and low entry cost, they usually switch to some type of hydroponic method as they get more comfortable with the process of growing marijuana indoors.
CTU has used all types of methods for growing cannabis and over the years has found the greatest results as far as yield and quick harvest times with hydroponics instead of soil.
Although some people who grow marijuana prefer soil because it produces a better tasting bud and a better smoke, we advise anyone looking for large yields and quick turnarounds to consider growing hydroponically.
For more information on these types of hydroponic systems and to learn insider secrets from industry-recognized growers, enroll in CTU today, the leader in marijuana growing classes.