This is the part where you’ll have to decide what to do next; which materials to buy and how much area to dedicate to your plantation. Let’s recap on what we explored above.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the highest cannabinoid presence, hydroponic will be your choice. This is where you’ll get those deliciously frosty 28% THC buds. It is also smart to choose hydroponics if you want an automated system. You won’t be able to fully automate the process, but with methods like drip irrigation, it will reduce your chores. This will be the best method to try out if you’re experienced, but have never tried it before. It’s always positive to learn how cannabis grows and behaves under different conditions. You’ll probably achieve better results growing hydroponically, assuming you know what you’re doing.
You’ll have to base your decision on finding the best combination of quantity and quality for your situation. Soil is a much more familiar medium than hydroponics and is more advisable for first time growers. There is a lot of information out there. Conduct further research to make a more informed decision.
Growing in soil will be the best choice for you if you want to keep the natural essence of the plant. You might prefer the flavour outdoor soil gives the flowers. Only consider soil if you have access to high-quality soil mediums. Soil growing is perhaps the best option if you’re not growing full-time. Soil will require much less of your attention as it will be doing the bulk of the work for you.
Whether you choose soil or hydroponics, both are capable of producing top-quality cannabis. However, if you are not sure which strain to start with, we have a beginner-friendly suggestion for both methods.
In 2017, when we talk about soil vs hydro plantations, we’re usually referring to indoor vs outdoor growing. This is because indoor mediums are rarely 100% soil. People tend to use substrates like coco coir and rockwool, which are soilless mixtures. Most fully-soil operations out there will be found in outdoor plantations. Let’s dive into what the differences between hydroponic and soil growing actually are.
Hydroponic, on the other hand, takes away all the unpredictability of soil. The term hydroponic is now very commonly used for all mediums other than soil. Water-based growing operations without a stationary medium are referred to as “solution culture.” Because of this, we’ll be defining hydroponics as methods where the roots of the plant are in constant contact with a water solution. Nutrients are then added in liquid form to the water, creating a new solution. This will consist of only the absolute essentials for the plant and will give the grower much more control over the end result.
The debate over cannabis growing mediums is not likely to end soon. With all the information available, it can be hard to make this decision regarding your own grow-op. We’re here to help you choose!
In a soil medium, manure can be added, which is a nutrient-rich material. This is something that a hydroponic solution can’t replicate. Soil is filled with microbes that help turn organic material like guano and worm castings into usable nutrients for your plant. In hydroponics, you’ll have to feed your plants the full quantity of micro and macronutrients. Independently of the quality of your soil, you’ll likely need extra supplements in order to obtain the best results. This is where the hydroponic system differentiates mostly from a soil-based medium.
Struggling to decide which grow method to go with? Here, we'll go through everything you need to know in order to make the best decision for your situation!
Don’t be surprised if, in the near future, architects include vertical rooftop systems or integrated hydroponic systems to typical building specifications. Finally, outdoor hydroponic systems are currently the best solution we have to combat many of the hunger issues facing under-developed nations.
Another disadvantage of outdoor hydroponic systems is the inability to control nature. Unlike indoor hydroponic systems, horticulturists will not be able to control temperature, humidity, rain, etc. They will also not have control over lighting, since outdoor systems rely solely on the sun. Sunlight is superior to artificial lighting in many ways, but its intensity can cause problems over time for outdoor hydroponic systems.
Over the past ten years, three types of hydroponic systems have come into the forefront of outdoor hydroponics. Those systems are vertical hydroponic systems, aquaponic systems, and simplified hydroponics.
Although indoor environments make it easier to control many of the variables that affect the way a hydroponic system performs, many growers are also taking hydroponic gardening outdoors. In fact, with a few alterations, most outdoor hydroponic systems will offer growers many of the same benefits as an indoor environment. Outdoor hydroponic systems also provide a possible solution for poverty stricken nations, where food security is scarce due to a lack of resources.
Hydroponic gardening’s role in agriculture is growing yearly. Although many outdoor agriculturists still have access to land, water, and nutrients, these resources are quickly diminishing. In terms of agriculture, outdoor hydroponic systems offer a real solution to many of the problems created by the depletion of our resources. Outdoor hydroponic systems also offer unique solutions to the problems facing urban areas and their inability to produce fruits and vegetables locally.
Outdoor hydroponics’ largest advantage over traditional agriculture is water usage. Traditional soil-based agriculture requires nearly 300,000 gallons of water per year per person supplied with food.
Sunlight can cause damage to plastics and other hydroponic components that are not properly UV protected. Some hydroponic systems are more susceptible to damage caused by temperature fluctuations. Intense sunlight on reservoirs and plant modules can cause temperatures to rise and then exceed the desired temperature range for optimal growth. Modifications may have to be made to a typical hydroponic system to make the system operate as smoothly as possible in an outdoor environment.
Takeaway: While designed for indoor growing, outdoor hydroponic systems can provide solutions to problems such as diminishing arable land, water shortages, and food security. Eric Hopper explains which hydroponic systems work best outdoors, and how they compare to traditional agriculture.
Growers will often modify these commonly used hydroponic systems when operating them outdoors. Lining the hydroponic system and reservoir with a reflective insulating material can help protect the roots from prolonged exposure to intense sunlight and/or temperature fluctuations.
Eric Hopper explains which hydroponic systems work best outdoors, and how they compare to traditional agriculture.