Foglia di marijuana

Growing cannabis in aquaponics

In this article we will tell you about a cultivation technique that exploits the use of water: ponic water or hydroponics. One of the cutting-edge methods, which does not use classic earth and which has been declared as a "green" way because it is a soft way towards the surrounding environment. Specifically we will talk to you about:

  1. Aquaponic cultivation: how does it work?
  2. Soil cultivation vs aquaponics
  3. The pros and cons of potting soil
  4. The pros and cons of aquaponics
  5. What does it take to build a hydroponic system?

Cannabis light

Non-gardeners think that the only way to successfully grow a plant is to plant it in some potting soil and let nature take its course. In truth , there are many ways to make a plant thrive, and soil is not always part of the plan: it is possible to grow using coconut fiber, clay and water.

Today we will focus on cultivation that uses water and the principle of osmosis , the so-called hydroponic or aquaponic cultivation, which promises great results with the sole use of water and nutrients. Hydroponics works with many types of plants and, of course, can also be used for growing cannabis. Do you want to know how? Keep reading!

Aquaponic cultivation: how does it work?

Aquaponic or hydroponic cultivation is a very ancient cultivation technique, which uses water to grow plants, without them needing soil or anything else. Obviously, however, we need to find an alternative solution to convey food and nutrients: we need to choose an alternative substrate such as expanded clay, coconut fiber or a mix of them. Unlike soil, water is not as rich in nutrients: plants grown in aquaponics are usually fed with a solution composed of water and inorganic mineral elements, which are administered to the plants. There is a technique, called aeroponic cultivation, which involves the cultivation of plants without the use of water, clay or coconut fibre; the plants are artificially supported and their nutrition is guaranteed by water rich in mineral nutrients, which is nebulized in the cultivation space directly hitting the plant and its roots.

Cannabis light

This new cultivation method is spreading rapidly both in Italy and in the rest of the world: hydroponic cultivation has numerous advantages and can be used for different purposes, both for personal and professional uses. It is a cultivation that must necessarily be carried out indoors, which allows you to accurately control all the factors that can influence the growth of the plant and to keep the secret safe if you grow cannabis secretly from your neighbors.

One of the main advantages of hydroponic cultivation is the saving of space : the hydroponic garden, thanks to its reduced weight and the possibility of being easily moved, allows you to cultivate even in places that are normally not exploitable, such as vertical walls, which instead become real and their own vegetable gardens, or even on small home balconies. In fact, you can grow healthy greens and vegetables in a simple way without using soil. And the same goes for cannabis!

Furthermore, water expenditure is lower: the water administered with hydroponic systems is approximately one tenth compared to that needed to irrigate a field in which you have planted the same quantity of cannabis plants , thanks to the recovery and disinfection technologies of the water supplied to hydroponic systems. The hydroponic greenhouse is, therefore, a very economical cultivation system as it guarantees superior growth and production compared to traditional growth in soil and requires little water, in fact it saves up to 80% compared to open field cultivation. Last, but not least, is the hygienic aspect : a hydroponic greenhouse is cleaner than one in which crops are grown traditionally and does not carry bacteria or fungi.

Growing in soil vs hydroponics

Soil is one of the most used systems for growing Cannabis , because it is the easiest material to find and is the most natural solution available to man. The soil guarantees the protection of the roots, support and nourishment for the plant ; this applies to cannabis, but - generally speaking - it also works for all other crops. By using soil, the grower will only take care of maintenance work, such as irrigation and fertilization and will not have to worry about other factors.

The pros of potting soil:

- Simplicity and eco-sustainability

- Stronger flavor than cannabis

- Self-balancing of the ph

- Greater tolerance to fertilization errors

- Substrate very dear to organic growers

The cons of potting soil:

- Slower growth

- Drainage control

- Very complex root washing

- Potentially lower production yields

- Risk of infestations and diseases

- Slower plant response times

Cannabis cultivation

Growing Cannabis in a hydroponic system requires a little more effort, but it guarantees a lot of satisfaction even for the novice grower. The roots of the plants are suspended on special grids positioned inside pots or buckets , or they can emerge from the rock wool adapted for cultivation. Below the roots flows an aqueous solution rich in nutrients which, drop by drop, satisfy the nutritional needs of the plants , keeping them in top shape. Hydroponic systems offer many advantages, especially for those who want to maintain strict control of the cultivation.

The pros of aquaponics:

- Exact control of pH and nutrients

- Very abundant yields

- Fast growth

- Low need for synthetic fertilizers

- Low risk of diseases and parasitic infestations

- Very fast recovery times

- Cultivation system adaptable to the needs of the grower

The cons of aquaponics:

- Complex system to keep under control

- Very precise pH control

- Difficulty of organic cultivation

- High costs

- Less intense flavor than soil-grown grass

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What does it take to build a hydroponic system?

Hydroponic cultivation guarantees copious yields in exchange for a lot of attention to the conditions of the seedling, roots and pH. It also requires a little initial expense to buy a hydroponic cultivation kit or to build one at home, but it promises great satisfaction and a little more freedom than the land.

Here's what you'll need:

  • LED or sodium lamps and supports to orient them correctly, at a distance from the plants;
  • Growbox large enough to contain the plants once they have grown;
  • Tray on which to place the plants and water tank;
  • Expanded clay and coconut fiber as growing substrate;
  • Pump for drainage and water distribution: this is a tool that can be purchased from resellers of products for plants and fish, since these pumps are mainly used for changing water in goldfish and catfish aquariums;
  • Ventilation fans and water channeling pipes;
  • Carbon filter, to contain odors and clean the air inside the grow box;
  • Hydroponic nutrients;
  • pH meter, to always keep the acidity of the aqueous solution containing the nutrients under control;
  • Hygrometer, a digital instrument that measures the temperature and relative humidity of the air.

Otherwise, you can decide to leave it to the professionals and purchase a ready-made hydroponic kit . These are complete kits with lamps, fans, tubes and everything needed for cultivation; they usually do not contain those elements that rely on the discretion of the grower, such as the choice of substrate and the nutrients he knows how to administer to the plant.

They are kits that can also be easily purchased online at a price of around 200 euros ; if, however, you want to do it yourself, perhaps recycling tools that you already have at home, we advise you to invest in a good lighting and ventilation system , on which a large part of the success of the cultivation depends.

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  1. Growing cannabis on the balcony
  2. Growing Cannabis in Greenhouse
  3. Buying cannabis online: what you need to do

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