If you want to grow potent buds with high yields, you need the best indoor setup possible!
While it can be difficult to replicate outdoor growing, with a bit of experience and high-quality nutrients, you can get some impressive performance from great hydroponic setups.
If you want to grow from home or learn more about hydroponics, this article is for you.
Because there are so many different Hydroponic systems, we are going to focus on what we believe is the simplest one to set up and has proven to be very effective at growing both potent and high yielding plants. The system is called Deep Water Culture.
A Deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic system can easily be built and maintained at home. In this system, roots are directly submerged in nutrient-rich water.
A DWC system does not have any moving parts or recirculating water, which makes the setup relatively inexpensive and straightforward to build. The approximate cost of setting up for one plant is $300.00 and $600.00 for the maximum of four plants. Since the water in the DWC system does not recirculate, it remains in the reservoir for the entire duration of the plant’s life. However, it is important to replace the oxygen used by the roots which is done by aerating the water through the use of a pump with an attached airstone. The airstone creates bubbles which ensures that the water remains oxygenated.
The Best strains for a DWC system
Whether you’re looking to share your spoils with nearby community members or it’s information you seek, Grow and Share is for you Below are some of the bst cannabis strains for deep water culture hydroponics.
With vibrant purple leaves and an incredible sense of relaxation, the Purple Queen plant is stunning. It takes her eight weeks to complete a growing cycle, and she does not grow taller than one metre. Indoors or outdoors, this strain is resilient to pH fluctuations.
Named after the sensation you experience after ingesting it, it provides a relaxed high that can make you feel stuck to the couch. This strain is excellent to grow if you’re searching for something with an earthy, sour flavour.
This Sativa strain is known for its earthy, citrus flavours and its ability to boost your energy, making it perfect when it’s time to focus on a task. The high it produces helps you socialize and has a calming effect on your mood. Cannabis Cup has also crowned it several times. Because of its medium size and ease of cultivation, it is a good choice for deepwater systems.
With a height of one meter, the Skunk XL is easy to maintain and takes little care, but it produces a high yield per plant, making it popular among commercial growers.
DWC hydroponic system Materials
- Storage container or bucket
- Net pots
- Airpump with air stone
- Hard Water Liquid Nutrients
- pH meter
- Pipettes (To transport a measured quantity of liquid)
- Hole saw with arbor
- pH Down
- Measuring Beaker
Next you have the steps to set up the DWC system:
1. Ensure the system has an appropriately sized container
Many find that buckets or containers with deeper reservoirs perform well for these systems because a deeper water reservoir will keep nutrient solutions more stable and help with the depletion of oxygen. Smaller reservoirs will also require more frequent top-ups so nutrient concentration and PH fluctuations will have to be adjusted more often. It is very important that your container is covered with a lid. The container must not allow light to penetrate it to avoid algae growth.
2. Drill holes in the lid of your container for the net pots
a) The first step is to drill holes in the container’s lid just wide enough to hold the net pots. The bottom of the net pots will hang slightly below the lid and the plant will be suspended over the top of the reservoir. If you use a large container, you can drill a number of holes but it is essential to keep the holes 15cm apart to ensure that the plant will grow to the correct size.
b) The plants will be grown in net pots which have small slits both on the sides and bottom to allow for air circulation and drainage. Net pots hold the plants and the growing medium in hydroponic systems.
3. Setting up the pump
a) The air pump is to be kept outside of the reservoir. It should have a check valve which prevents the backflow of water when you turn off the pump. If the pump does not have a check valve, then the pump must be kept above the water level.
b) Run a piece of tubing between the air stone and the check valve so that the arrow points toward the stone. Connect the check valve to the air pump after putting the tubing between the air stone and the check valve.
4. Balance the nutrients and PH level
(a) Fill your container leaving 1 to 2 cm of space to prevent rot from occurring.
(b) Follow the instructions on the hydroponic nutrient bottle and add the prescribed amount of nutrients to your water.
(c) Using a pH meter, measure the pH of the water; tap water will be between 6.5-7.5 pH and you should aim for 5.8 but definitely keep you pH between 5.5-6.5.
5. Building the system
a) Connect the air pump and secure the reservoirs lid after placing the air stone in the reservoir
b) Seedlings can be planted in Rockwool plugs or hydroton clay pellets inside your net pots.
a) Maintaining adequate water contact with the roots is crucial when the plants are young. If the water level is too low, the plants will have difficulty growing.
b) Check the pH scale every time you to off the water
c) Not required but we suggest that you add 4ml of nutrients to every 2L of water you add to the reservoir
d) As a rule of thumb, it is suggested that you replace the water and nutrients in the reservoir every three weeks.
Flushing your Hydroponic plants
Flushing removes leftover nutrients from the roots of your plants and is a vital step whether growing in soil or using a hydroponic system. Flushing cannabis plants that have been grown hydroponically is much easier and faster than removing the nutrients from plants that have been grown in soil. Growers simply drain the water and replace it with water that has been pH balanced. The process takes a couple of days for cannabis grown in a hydroponic system and is usually done 2 weeks before your plant is ready to harvest.
Starting with a Deep water culture (DWC) set up is the best way to gain experience with hydroponics. It is a low-maintenance option that can be placed anywhere, indoors or outdoors as long as there is enough light.