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9.3 - This is the underside of a hydroponics system. Notice the
root masses hanging down like fine clear strands. Root masses can
really grow long in hydroponics systems. This image is by Shipperke.
The method is called hydroponics and is a very successful
way of growing marijuana if you are looking for large bud quantities,
or bud all year long.
Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants without
soil, but rather in beds of sand, gravel, or artificial mediums that
are flooded with a nutrient solution.
Basically a simple hydroponics system consists of a pot, a
reservoir, a grow medium, a pump and a set of growth nutrients. The
system itself has a top layer and a lower layer. The top layer holds the
grow medium and the bottom layer holds the water with added
nutrients. The plant is grown in the medium where it will develop a
stem and a set of roots. The roots will grow through the medium and
down into the nutrient solution. Water and nutrients are pumped into
the lower portion of the tank through a reservoir at certain timed
intervals. The plants drink the solution down and thus expose their
roots to the air more. If this it timed correctly and the growing solution
is maintained the plants will flourish! This is because the plant can
devote more of its energy into upper-body growth rather than putting
that energy into roots searching for water and air. Now having said
this, hydroponics produce massive root clusters and I mean a big mass
of roots. One can easily pick up a 2-gallon bucket full of root growth
from a single plant! This is because roots thrive in hydroponics
Hydroponics has become a fast growing trend in cannabis
cultivation. It does require a certain degree of maintenance, but the
results are sometimes incredible. On the other hand if a hydroponics
system is not well maintained the whole unit may fail and kill your
plants very quickly. This is the biggest problem that the hydroponics
grower has to contend with.
Hydroponics, when done correctly, can produce a flowering
plant up to 3/4 the normal time that it would take with a soil grow.
That is right! Hydroponics can grow bigger and better buds in 3/4 the
time it takes to grow the same strain in soil.
There are many hydroponics systems out there but here are
ones that are most commonly used.
- Nutrient Film Technique - NFT
- Flood & Drain - Ebb & Flow
- Drip Irrigation System
- Automatic hydroponics Pots
- Manual hydroponics Pots
Figure 9.4 - This is a picture of an NFT system.
An NFT system is an all-in-one system. In other words the
reservoir which holds the pumps and nutrient solution is contained in
the same system. These systems are generally very flat and long. There
is a constant flow of nutrients to the roots and back to the reservoir.
Figure 9.5 - This is a professional reservoir unit. It is light tight and
contains perforations for pump attachments.
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An exception is
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