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A Guide to Growing Hydroponic Weed

Hydroponic weed is typically viewed as a higher quality product, as the environment and conditions that this method provides can significantly improve the health of a marijuana plant. The trickle-down effect of a healthy environment means bigger, more potent buds, and generally, a much more enjoyable experience, but is it one that is worth the investment?

Here, we will cover the hydroponics basics in an easy to read and follow step by step style that is perfect for both experienced cultivators and beginners. Those with years of exposure to growing in soil might think that they know all that there is, but if you haven’t tried to set up your own hydroponic garden, you will quickly learn that the process is not only complicated but also well worth the risk if you are dedicated to the project.

What is hydroponic weed?

Hydroponics uses a water base with some methods requiring various organic materials that are different than soil. This way always requires various liquid nutrients and fertilizers that are entirely safe for the average user as long as the plants are put through a cleansing, which is essentially one to two weeks that nutrients are not added right before harvest.

Hydro grow operations have much higher production rates that average almost double that of their organically grown counterparts. They are much more demanding and allow for the ideal environment to be created, which results in a larger and often more potent bud.

How much does it cost to set up a hydroponics grow box?

To set up a hydroponic grow box will depend on where you will get all your supplies from, as much of what is needed can be salvaged from off-cut bins at lumber mills for a reduced cost. If you don’t have the patience for that, then you will probably head to your nearest Home Hardware or Home Depot. Below, you will find a breakdown of the cost that should be expected to complete your outdoor grow box.

  • 1 8ft long x 2ft wide x 1inch thick wood plank = $20
  • 2 PVC caps = $3
  • 1 8ft long x 1inch thick PVC pipe = $20
  • 5 cement blocks = $20
  • 1 Rubbermaid container (reservoir) = $10
  • 1 Rubbermaid container (dry tote) = $10
  • 4 3gallon plant pots = $8
  • 1 water filter = $50
  • 1 hose adapter (1inch-1inch) = $1
  • 1 piece of 1inch rubber tubing (that will reach the grow box from the water barrel) = $5
  • 1 water barrel (with tap) = $50
  • 1 small water pump = $20

Total estimated cost: $222

How to start a hydroponic garden

  • All the items mentioned above
  • 1 drill
  • 1 cutting tool
  • Seedling (or cannabis seeds)
  • Cannabis growing medium (coco coir)

Spread the cement blocks out evenly across an area that is 8 feet long and place the large wood plank on top of them.

Place the rain barrel somewhere out of the sun if possible, as colder temperatures will help to keep the ph. levels in the water, down.

Use a cutting tool to remove the bottom corner from each pot that measures 2 inches x 2 inches.

Set the pots on the wooden plank evenly spaced.

Put one end cap onto one end of the PVC pipe, then place it against the containers to measure where the holes will need to be in the next step.

Take a drill and make 3-4 small holes located where the pots rest in the PVC pipe to spray water onto the roots of the cannabis plants.

Now you can set up the filtration system by plugging in the filter and placing it into one of the totes that will act as the reservoir for clean water.

The next step is to connect the rain barrel, filtration chamber and PVC pipe together using the black rubber tubing and adapter.

Once the watering system is in place, it’s time to prepare the pots by filling them with a growing medium and seedlings, clones or seeds.

You may have to fill the rain barrel the first time, but nature will help to replenish the system on its own for most of the growing season.

Turn the tap, filter and pumps on, and you now have fully functional hydroponics grow box that is ready to use.

Finally, you will want to use the last remaining tote to house all your electric components, including the timer for your pump, which should be set to an hourly schedule.

How long does it take to grow hydroponic weed?

Hydroponics allows for one of the most effective methods of growing, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks, and one of them is that the process takes time to complete. A hydroponic garden will provide your plants with the best care possible in the right hands, but it will not speed up the growing cycle, so you can expect to see the average of 90-120 day turn around that would be seen from other methods.

How to make homemade nutrients for hydroponics

This homemade nutrient solution makes a 250 concentrate mixture, that can be used to feed 250 gallons of water. Once you mix a shot of the solution with water, it makes enough nutrients to last most small-scale growers an entire season.

  • 1 gallon of distilled water (room temperature)
  • 600g master blend 51838 tomato special water-soluble fertilizer
  • 300g Epsom salt
  • 1.5g sodium benzoate
  • Protective gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Large bucket with lid
  • Paint stick

If the water isn’t room temperature, the powder will not mix nearly as well, so it’s always best to take a moment to heat it up if necessary. Once you have warm water, you can now pour it into the bucket.

Now add in the other listed ingredients and stir everything together until the powder is completely dissolved.

The homemade nutrients are now ready to be stored for up to 8 months in a cool dark space so that it is available as needed.

Indoors vs. outdoor

Hydroponics is often shown in the media as an indoor operation that is expensive and high tech, but the system mentioned above is a much cheaper alternative that can be placed outdoors. The main difference between the two is in how they function.

Pros and cons of Hydro vs. organic growing

Hydroponic

Pros:

  • · Space-saving
  • · Efficient nutrient delivery
  • · Optimal environment control

Cons:

  • · Expensive to start and maintain
  • · Uses vast amounts of utilities like hydro

Organic

Pros:

  • Affordable to start and maintain
  • Eco-friendly
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons:

  • Requires more space
  • Difficult to control PH
  • Open to the elements of nature

Which one is better?

The only real differences between the two are:

The method used to grow, which can slightly affect the overall product quality of the plant, however, a high THC producing strain will likely still have a high THC content when grown either way.

The total yield from a hydro grown plant is mind-blowing when compared to an organically grown plant. They produce 2-3 times more but also require additional expense and diligent work with light and nutrient schedules, whereas naturally produced pot takes the least toll on the environment, doesn’t need any cost outside of the seeds and is the safest to ingest without having to go through a well-timed cleansing period.

In the end, the most significant contributor to which you feel is better is personal preference.

Cannabis Cultivation: A Guide to Growing Marijuana

Growing marijuana is a whole lot more complicated than most people realize, but once you get down the basics, the reward will be worth the investment. .

Here, we will cover the hydroponics basics in an easy to read and follow step by step style that is perfect for both experienced cultivators and beginners.

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5 differences between hydro and bush weed

We ve put together a list of the five main differences.

Illegal Australian weed tends to be produced domestically using two main growing methods known as hydro or bush weed . You ve probably heard both of these terms before, but what exactly is the difference between the two? We ve put together a list of the five main differences.

1. Hydro is grown indoors, bush is grown outdoors

Hydro is cannabis which is grown indoors using a hydroponic system that involves round the clock electric lighting, as well as pumping water and nutrient-rich solutions into the cannabis plant. While it is typically without soil this is not always the case.

Bush weed is cannabis grown outdoors.

Despite differences in growing technique, both hydro and bush weed cost the same at around $20 per gram . Both typically use the same seed stock, with a range of pesticides, and fertilisers used to promote cannabis plant growth and prevent insect damage. Therefore, any weed sold on the street claiming to be organic bush should be met with a healthy level of scepticism.

2. Hydro is more commonly used than bush weed

In Australia, hydro is the most widely used form of cannabis. This could be for a number of reasons, for example hydroponic systems could be considered easier to hide from police as they are indoors. For more information, see our research paper: tackling cannabis markets in residential settings.

Hydro cannabis is shielded from extreme weather events throughout the seasons, and plants can be grown the whole year round, with 24-hour exposure to light. This results in a much higher yield, which could explain why there is so much more of it about.,

3. Users say hydro and bush have completely different textures

According to a study conducted by NCPIC and the Australian Institute of Criminology, people interviewed generally believe indoor hydroponic marijuana is stickier, denser, more compact and contains more crystals , than cannabis which is grown outdoors. Crystals are the resinous trichomes usually found on the flowering head and surrounding leaves of the cannabis plant, which contain high levels of cannabinoids.

In contrast, bush weed is believed to be drier and fluffier in texture than hydro. As set out below, this is not supported by potency studies of cannabis of known provenance.

4. Most people believe hydro has a more powerful smell than bush

The same NCPIC study also found 74 per cent of those interviewed believe hydro has a more distinct odour than bush. People often describe the smell as stronger, more pungent with sometimes more of a chemical smell, but this is all subjective and likely to be influenced by marketing and expectations.

5. People believe hydro gives a much stronger high than bush weed

While reports from cannabis users responding to surveys find most believe hydro is more potent that bush weed, this is not supported by scientific analysis. While it is a pretty common perception, it s at odds with a study conducted in 2013 which compared the strength of cannabis grown indoors and outdoors. The study actually couldn t find any significant difference in THC levels of 26 difference samples from crops seized by NSW police across the state.

For more information about cannabis and potency, check out our factsheet .

Cannabis is produced, distributed and consumed in many different ways around the world. As is often the case, there is a lot of room for more research around the differences between hydro and bush weed in Australia and overseas.

Both hydro and bush weed can have a negative impact on your health. Use from a young age particularly, has been linked with mental health issues, and smoking anything is bad for your lungs. So remember, just because someone says their weed is grown outdoors or under strictly controlled conditions, doesn t necessarily mean it is better for you.

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