Cannabis can be cultivated in two ways: growing organically and using hydroponic systems. Organic cannabis is grown in soil while hydroponic cannabis grows indoors using technology that provides nutrients to the plant. We are going to address the difference between these two methods of cannabis cultivation.
This is the traditional method of cannabis cultivation. The good thing about this method is that the plant gets nutrients from rich and well-drained soil. The plants have access to essential nutrients, and all you need to do is irrigate them with water. You should irrigate your plants with water that has the correct Ph. Cannabis plants averagely prefer a neutral Ph (5.5 to 6.5). Remember to measure the water ph using a pH pen since too high ph makes it hard for the plant to absorb the necessary trace elements.
The soil contains Mycelium and beneficial bacteria that form a mutual relationship with the root structure. The role of these microbes is to build a network in the organic substrate. Majority of nutrients in the market today are blackstrap molasses which is a great source of liquid sugars. It contains carbon that feeds the beneficial bacteria.
An organic substrate is brewed into water through a process called Organic compost tea. This is to ensure that the soil favors maximum absorption of nutrients. Ensure that you use aerated water so as to multiply bacteria in the water
Organic cannabis doesn’t need a lot of skills since it involves the use of hard food and water. You only need to know when to feed your plants. Ensure that you feel the weight of the dry plant pot so as to determine the time that you will feed the plant again. Flooding the medium will minimize the drip through rate. Applying nutrients should not be a problem since many nutrient companies provide simple feeding guide.
This method is cheap since water, soil blends, worm castings, compost blends, and other nutrients are not expensive. Try to employ compositing culture since it costs nothing to reuse the growing medium or source nutrients from the compost pile or worm bin.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage of this method is that it is simple and does not require extensive skills. The initial set up cost is also low since the materials required are inexpensive. The taste of organic cannabis is amazing.
The disadvantage of growing organic cannabis is that the yields are normally low.
This is whereby the plant is grown in water without any solid foods. There are different hydroponic systems such as top feed dripper, deep water culture, drain and flood tables, aeroponics, aquaponics among others.
A growing medium such as rockwool, coco, and perlite is submerged into a reservoir containing aerated nutrients. The nutrients are directly supplied into the reservoir. It is important to note that the nutrients used in hydroponic systems are different from organic nutrients. There smaller structure allows effective digestion.
The ph and E.c should be regularly checked since plants in hydroponic systems can shift in ph. The ph ranges from 5.5 to 6.5. You can use a pen to determine the exact E.C and Ph.
Learn how to grow in hydroponics by watching Youtube tutorials and by reading different books. Follow all the rules since any mistake can kill the whole garden. The most important thing in this method is cleanliness. The environment should be sparkling clean and pathogen free.
Frankly, start-up cost for hydroponics can be expensive. The systems and nutrients can be quite costly. Since this system does not use hard water,you will be forced to buy bottled water.
Types of Hydroponic Systems
• Dripper systems: This is whereby pumps are used to transfer the nutrient solution to the top part of the plant. Coco and rock wool are the commonly used substrate.These substrates can be recycled.
• Nutrient Film Technique: Nutrients are constantly supplied to the plants from the drip tray by using Rockwool cubes.
• Flood and Drain: In this system, the growing system is flooded and drained repetitively.
• Aeroponics: Roots are suspended in the air and a spray is used to supply air and nutrients to the roots.
• Deep Water Culture: Roots are submerged into a reservoir containing nutrients and oxygen.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage is that yields from hydroponic systems are always high.
Hydroponic systems have several disadvantages. Firstly, this method is expensive and requires skills. Also, the quality of cannabis grown in a hydroponic system is low as compared to organically grown cannabis.