Hydroponics is a great way to grow weed because your plants grow faster, you have less problems with disease and you get bigger yields. But how does hydroponics work? There are several different common hydroponic techniques and in this article we’ll use infographics to explain each one and highlight their advantages for growing weed.
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What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics refers to growing plants in anything other than soil. This means you are responsible for giving your plants 100% of the nutrients they need via the water supply. In addition to the water bath systems discussed here, hydroponics also refers to growing and hand watering plants in pots containing an inert (soil-less) growth medium such as coco-coir.
Read our article on the best hydroponic nutrients for weed to learn more about nutrition for hydro plants.
We’ve also reviewed the best hydroponic systems that include everything you need to get started quickly. Many of the hydro methods discussed here are featured on our list.
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
How does DWC hydroponics work?
Deep water culture works by suspending the roots of your plants in a nutrient rich water bath. An aquarium aerator (air stone) oxygenates the water so that the roots don’t drown.
What are the benefits of DWC hydroponics?
DWC systems are relatively cheap, low maintenance and easy to maintain. Because the roots are permanently suspended in the water bath, there’s no chance your plants will ever dry out and less nutrients need to be used.
Bubbleponics (top-fed DWC)
How does bubbleponics work?
Bubbleponics is a slightly more advanced version of deep water culture hydroponics. In addition to submerging the roots in oxygenated nutrient rich water, the water is fed directly to the root system via a top-fed water pump system.
Ebb & Flow (Flood & Drain)
How does an ebb & flow system work?
Ebb & flow hydroponic systems are sometimes called flood & drain. Your plants sit on a tray and a water pump on a timer periodically floods the tray with nutrient rich water from the water bath. A drain slowly releases the water back into the water bath (or discards it in some systems).
What are the advantages of an ebb & flow system?
Ebb & flow systems are pretty simple to set up and maintain, especially if you buy a kit. The flood and drain system mimics the natural environment where plants often experience periods of wet and dry. The flooding ensures your plants get fresh, nutrient and oxygen rich water and the draining removes the stale water.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
How does NFT hydroponics work?
NFT works by securing your plants to a sloping ramp. PVC piping with holes cut in the top for the plants is often used. Nutrient rich water is then pumped up from the water bath, flows down the ramp (or tube) over the roots and drains back into the water bath.
What are the benefits of NFT systems?
Because of the continuous flow of water over the roots, NFT systems provide the perfect blend of oxygen, water and nutrients at all times. In other hydroponic systems, these elements are more difficult to keep correctly in balance.
How does drip hydroponics work?
Drip systems are basically like an automated hand water system for your plants. Nutrient rich water is pumped up from the water bath, along tubes and constantly drips onto your plants. The excess water is drained back into the water bath.
What are the advantages of drip system hydroponics?
Drip systems allow you to control the speed of the dripping water which gives you a lot of control over how much water and nutrients your plants receive.
How does aeroponics work?
Aeroponics works by spraying the roots of your plants with an oxygen and nutrient rich mist drawn directly from a water bath.
What are the advantages of aeroponics?
The fine mist uses less water and is highly oxygenated.
How does aquaponics work?
In aquaponic systems, fish provide the nutrients for the plants so additional nutrients often don’t need to be added at all. When your fish take a dump, their waste is converted by bacteria from ammonia into the nutrients your plants need to grow. In turn, the fish are kept healthy because the plants roots help purify the water. Weed plants require a lot of nutrients so aquaponics systems for growing weed require a lot of fish.
What are the advantages of aquaponics?
Aquaponics systems require very little maintenance because the fish poop provides the nutrients for the plants and the plants purify the water to keep the fish healthy.
Hand watered hydroponics
How does hand watered hydro work?
Hand watered hydroponics is very similar to growing in soil, except the soil is replaced with an inert hydroponic growing medium. All the nutrients your plants need to grow are added to the water supply when you water your plants.
What are the advantages of hand watered hydroponics?
Hand watered hydro systems are the simplest form of hydroponics. All you need are the correct hydroponic nutrients, a hydroponic medium and a watering can!