Usually, you can find cannabis growing in soil or water. However, there is an unconventional method of growing it wherein the marijuana plant roots are suspended in the air in a way that the nutrients are directly delivered to the roots when sprayed on. This way, by growing marijuana in such aeroponic systems can help produce healthier and solid plants. Much similar to hydro systems, aeroponic systmes are based on mediums which are soilless. In this case, the roots of the marijuana plants tend to receive the water through tiny droplets or vapor rather than being entirely immersed in it. The whole root system gets its nutrients when they are spread on them. The whole process is quite complicated and goes without saying that it requires utmost care and attention. Also, those trying to grow marijuana for the first time should not try this.
There are 2 types of aeroponics. Let’s take a look:
- High quality aeroponics: Here, there are two reservoirs. The first one is to spray the water, rich in nutrients, on the roots. The other one is for the extra water. Its function is to allow fresher water for spraying on roots. Special kinds of spray nozzles and high pressure pumps are included here. Together, these two will form a fog with such droplets which will not be visible to naked human eye. These droplets are smaller than or as small as 50 microns. Hence, there is a much wider area for the microbes for receiving their necessities, and hence there is a higher yield. Moreover, the materials used and the overall design in here is pretty solid, which makes sure that the roots get the exact amount of water required and that the additional water does not escape through the sides.
- Low quality aeroponics: They are commonly referred as DIY (do-it-yourself) aeroponics. Here, comparatively larger droplets are sprayed on the roots. Moreover, there is no proper separation between the two reservoirs. Generally, water is obtained from one reservoir and it might come along with some problems like not having balanced pH levels or not having a control on what goes on to the roots. When there is no proper separation between the water area and the roots area, those roots may end up growing into aeroponics system’s mechanics and thereby its functioning will be disabled.
Aeroponics – The Functioning:
Net pots are used for aeroponic systems which basically act like a support system for holding the marijuana plants which are suspended in air. Below, in the chamber, where the roots are exposed, the entire environment is kept enclosed as well as carefully managed. In the other chamber, there is a water system (high pressure) which is responsible for spraying the water rich in nutrients on the marijuana roots. Apart from that, some other factors such as light and CO2 are also used for the assistance in the growth of the plants. The chamber wherein the roots of the plant are suspended is indeed a close environment which facilitates the roots to grow in an environment rich in oxygen. This helps them have a better growth of both the plants and the roots. On the roots, a mist rich in nutrients is sprayed which in turn encourages the growth of microorganisms which are responsible for contributing to the chamber’s environment promoting the root growth. Utmost care needs to be taken so that the roots don’t dry out, for which the frequency of the sprays need to be timed.
Pros and Cons of Aeroponic Systems
While the list of advantages for growing marijuana with aeropnics systems is long, there are some limitations to this as well. For the starters, it is not easy for a beginner to learn this method. One has to have a proper understanding about cannabis and should also have enough funds to support the growth using aeroponics. Needless to say, a close attention to every detail is a must. The system is based on the mechanism of a continuous mist application to roots, which means that it must stay active 24 X 7. The most common things that easily mess up the system include:
- Clogged nuzzles
- Power outages
- Empty reservoirs
- Broken pumps
If the roots end up without moisture, they can die in an hour. One person always needs to be around to be alerted of any kind of shortcomings and to be repaired them. This increases the cost factor to a great extent.
Speaking of the countless benefits, the first one is that since the roots of the plant are in direct contact with the oxygen, they thrive on it. The nutrients in water which are directly applied on the roots make it easy for the plant to uptake. Moreover, the aeroponics system lets the plants to be placed in close vicinities without them fighting for the soil because there is none. Since there is no soil, the harvest process is quicker and easier. Also, there is no threat from the pests which is generally the case when there is soil involved. Lastly, a very small amount of water is used because whatever amount of water which is not being taken is recycled.
Points to be noted for aeroponics system
Only people with experience should consider for this method because things might go real wrong, real quick. In case of a power outage where the roots will not receive water, they will dry out. It is just a matter of one night where they can die. It only makes sense hence to have stored power and it running 24*7. One should also have a proper wiring and a timer system for the spray timing to be synchronized properly so as to avoid any kind of irregularities. Even for the vapor, it does not have to be sprayed continuously. A timer needs to be set which allows it to spray every few seconds. By doing so, the roots will get ample amount of oxygen. About the reservoirs, it has to be taken care that they should not be see-through. If there is a scope of any light penetration through the basin, algae formation will take place which will block spray nozzles.
The root temperature also needs to be taken in account – it cannot go beyond 23°C. The ideal temperature is 18-20°C. Even the appropriate temperature of water needs to be maintained. One can go for purchasing a water cooler, but that will increase the expenditure. It can work if you are into massive produces. The ultimate room temperature also needs to be maintained. CFL and LED lights are highly recommended. If you can control the heat, even HPS lights can work just fine. One can go for white colored basins as white color can reflect the outside light, thereby keeping the water comparatively cooler. This is of utmost importance – the plants grown in such systems can become gargantuan. Because the roots in this case do not have any mediums to stabilize them, having a great cannabis support system is a must. ScrOG method is one of the best ones out there. Moreover, cannabis grown this way is extremely sensitive to the pH levels. This is the reason why one must have professional pH meters to take a note of what exactly is sprayed on the cannabis roots.
The quality of cannabis with Aeroponics:
People go through so much trouble to grow cannabis with aeroponics because of the quality. The unusual combination of applying nutrients on the roots directly and growing inside leads to the formation of healthier, larger buds. Flowers of plants grown this way will blossom ripe trichomes in great yields, all of this in turn leads to getting a desirable, lucrative product.