If you are wondering how to grow autoflowering seeds hydroponically then you came to the right place. Currently growing in soil still prevails as the best and the most efficient way to grow cannabis but now, there are people looking for a better alternative, something that will make easier for nutrients to reach the roots. A technique similar to hydroponics growing.
Soil contains all the necessary nutrients to support plant growth. It is also able to absorb more water and take in oxygen compared to other types of growing. However, some regions have soils that are not good for cannabis cultivation.
These soils may have high or low pH, excess or minimal minerals which cannabis plants need for optimum growth and development. Another thing to consider is the possibility of mold attacks and root rot which can strike a blow to the growth and development of plants.
Because of all these factors, growers decide to use hydroponics to grow weed instead.
How do you describe hydroponics growing?
Hydroponics is described as growing plants in a soilless environment. So instead of cultivating plants in soil, the roots are submerged in water. And this is unlike any water but is enriched with nutrients.
The plant roots are in contact with the nutrient-rich water. This solution is not stagnant in a container but rather it flows continuously through a large container using a water pump system. If you were to check and Google hydroponics, you will be surprised at the number of types and designs of hydroponics growing especially when it comes to cannabis grown in hydroponics.
What are the benefits of hydroponics growing?
There are good reasons why hydroponics will work for your autoflowering plants at home.
- Traditional soil growing requires plant roots to absorb nutrients in a manner that requires more work and more energy spent. It’s better, therefore, to work with autoflowering
- Hydroponics growing delivers nutrients and water straight to the roots, therefore, nutrients are delivered quickly.
- You will also be able to easily check your plants’ roots for health and growth.
- Cannabis plants grown in a hydroponic setup directly take nutrients from water; all the parts of the plant grow faster as well.
- Because roots in water, oxygen may be delivered to the roots more efficiently using an air stone oxygen.
Are there any disadvantages of growing using hydroponics?
- Hydroponics setups need time to construct and money to purchase all the necessary equipment and materials.
- You must provide ample space for the setup especially if you are growing cannabis indoors.
- If you plan to use hydroponics long term, consider building a well-organized, automated setup with the latest and most efficient equipment and materials.
- Hydroponic systems need regular maintenance.
- Any section that is not working properly can lead to serious consequences on your plants.
What you’ll need for a basic hydroponics setup
- Autoflowering cannabis plant
- A water tank or reservoir
- Water pump
- Water bed
- Water lines
- Plant beds
- Air pump and air stone
- Peat pellets or cubes
- Clean pH-neutral water (6.6 pH)
- Cannabis hydroponics nutrients
- Grow lights
Building a basic hydroponics setup
- Get your plants ready for hydroponics
If you prefer to start from seeds, germinate your seeds using a Jiffy pellet or peat pellet. These pellets work well for hydroponics growing.
Simply soak a pellet in water for a few hours and when it has grown bigger, squeeze a small amount of water and place the seed in.
It would take around 5 days for seeds to sprout and once these have germinated wait for these to grow thicker roots and more leaves. When the roots and leaves have developed, you may now transfer these in the hydroponics system.
If you are growing clones, just slide the cutting in after the pellet has increased in size.
- Construct and install the plant beds
The plant beds should be adequate enough to catch plants and deep enough to allow roots to remain submerged freely in the water. The best choice is a movable plant bed that may be easily lifted or adjusted.
Install this on top of the water bed. Make sure that this section is safe and even. Utilize posts to hold the bed safely.
- Add the water tank or reservoir
The water tank will sit higher than the hydroponic set up because you need gravity to pull water into the hose and drain it to the water bed. At the bottom section of the tank, a hole should be present and this is where a hose is attached and this hose connects to the water tank.
- Install the water reservoir to the pump
Attach the end of the hose to the bottom part of the reservoir using glue or strong adhesive. Let the glue or adhesive dry before you fill this with water.
To create a hole use a hot iron or a drill. Connect the water line to the reservoir and check for any leaks.
- Connect the air stone
Take the air pump and attach a plastic tube to the opening. Attach the air stone at the other tip. The air stone usually has an opening at the top where you can simply attach the tip of the hose.
- Prepare the nutrients to be placed in water
Most nutrient supplements are diluted in water and then fed to plants. But for a hydroponic setting, use especially-made nutrients. Read the product instructions of the product carefully. As much as possible, use only commercially-prepared nutrients and supplements and avoid homemade supplements to prevent costly mistakes.
When your hydroponics setup is up and running, monitor water pH regularly to maintain your system.
- It’s time to test your hydro system
Now that your hydroponic system is set, it’s time to test your water system out. Take note of the following: water movement, leaks, pump efficiency and other factors which can affect your system.
- Install your grow lights/lamps
There are a number of grow lamp designs but the most efficient are LED lamps. Latest LED lamp products available online has impressive features to assist you in growing healthy and high-yielding autoflowering cannabis plants.
Select a system with its own fan to keep the lights cool. This will also prevent your growing area from becoming too hot. The latest LED lamp models come with a flowering stage switch which changes the light color so you can move from the vegetative to the flowering phase of your plants. Look for lamps that are easy to install and should be fully adjustable.
- Time to place your plants
You may now add your plants. Transfer your plants inside peat pellets by holding the plant on its branch and placing the peat cube inside the bed. Never touch the roots because this may only add stress to your plant.
Just a few things that will improve your hydroponics growing
- Hydroponics exposes your roots to potential microorganisms that can cause illness to your plants. As much as possible, clean and sterilize everything that you will use and especially all the equipment that will touch the roots of your plants.
- Eradicate bacteria and mold from your system by using only new or sterilized equipment.
- Make it a habit to clean and disinfect everything, from the water tank, plant beds, hoses, pipes, and filters. These should be scrubbed and disinfected before use.
- There are microorganisms that can affect the health of your plants in hydroponics. You must never overlook all these when planning your hydroponics system.
- To measure and correct humidity more efficiently, use a humidifier and a dehumidifier to fine tune the humidity levels.
- Have good ventilation to reduce temperature and humidity inside your growing area. Mount your fans properly so that these can efficiently work. You must use intake and an uptake fan to improve air circulation.
- Always monitor your growing environment and make sure that these function properly.
- You need clean, pH neutral water so that roots absorb nutrients better. You must test the pH of your water on a regular basis.
- Monitor your hydroponic system’s temperature. The ideal temperature of a hydroponic system is at 65 degrees Fahrenheit; this improves nutrient absorption and reduces the occurrence of algae as well as mold in water.
- You must check humidity levels inside the growing area. Your autoflowering cannabis plants need 60% to 70% humidity during the growing stage and around 40% during the flowering stage.
- Use only viable seeds coming from reputable seedbanks. Get cuttings only from healthy adult plants if you prefer to use cuttings or clones in your hydroponic setup.
Exercise patience. Good results are achieved in a few attempts. Once you have managed to grow one strain, try growing other autoflowering strains. It’s a guarantee that once you get a hand of this method, you will forget growing anything in the soil again.
If you are still asking how to grow autoflowering seeds hydroponically then this detailed guide should cover all the important points about this growing method. Have fun growing your favorite autoflowering strains using hydro!