The development of state-of-the-art hydroponics has been a revolution for the cannabis-growing industry. Both large-scale operations and smaller personal crops have found extensive benefits from this innovative process.
Of course, for all of its benefits, a hydroponic growing operation is ultimately only as good as the nutrients that it provides to each plant. If you are thinking of starting your own hydroponics-based growing operation, or if you already have an operation in place to which you would like to introduce hydroponics, it’s a good idea to think about how to choose the right type of hydroponic plant nutrients.
Read on to learn the best ways to find the right hydroponic solubility level or nutrient mix for your crops. Then, learn how Hydra Unlimited’s HydraMax system can provide you with the best hydroponic solutions for any cannabis-growing operation.
Essential Nutrients in Hydroponic Systems
Hydroponic plants are grown with a unique system of nutrient-rich water rather than traditional soil. A good hydroponic system has numerous benefits. For your cannabis crop, hydroponics can mean better nutrient levels for each individual plant and more efficient and uniform growth. Hydroponic systems also benefit the environment. Because hydroponic operations use less water and soil, these systems employ fewer resources and are, therefore, more sustainable.
For hydroponic solutions to work, of course, you will need a sufficient amount of nutrients for your plants. Hydroponic solutions often require nutrients and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, carbon, and so on. To run an effective hydroponic operation, you will need to know the different types of hydroponic solutions available to you. You will also need to understand how to choose the right hydroponic solution for your particular cannabis operation.
How to Choose a Hydroponic Nutrient Solution
Determine the correct concentration of nutrients
Once you have determined the best solubility level for your hydroponic solution, you must determine the correct concentration of nutrients for cannabis cultivation. RDWC involves continuously circulating a nutrient solution through the plant’s root system, providing them with essential elements for growth. Achieving the right nutrient concentration ensures that plants receive an appropriate amount of nutrients without risking nutrient deficiencies or toxicities.
To determine the correct concentration of nutrients in RDWC, it is common to measure the electrical conductivity (EC) or total dissolved solids (TDS) of the nutrient solution. EC or TDS meters are used to measure the concentration of dissolved salts in the solution, which indicates the nutrient strength. Cannabis plants have different nutrient requirements during various growth stages, and maintaining the appropriate nutrient concentration is crucial for optimal development. It is recommended to refer to a nutrient feeding schedule specific to cannabis cultivation and adjust the nutrient concentration based on the plant’s growth stage, environmental conditions, and the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific nutrient formulation being used. Regular monitoring and adjustment of the nutrient concentration will help ensure healthy plant growth and maximize yields.
Ensure the Bio-Availability of the hydroponic solution
Another important factor to consider in your hydroponic system is the bio-availability of your nutrient solution. Although no hydroponic solution will ever be 100% pure, the bio-availability level can affect the quality of your cannabis crops.
Too much contamination of certain chemical elements can affect the levels of micronutrients and macronutrients available to your crops. This can, in turn, affect things like water quality, nutrient availability, and the size and health of your cannabis plants at each stage of growth. In general, you will want to opt for the highest purity percentage you have at your disposal.
Measure the solution’s pH level
Finally, measuring the pH of water is an important task in a Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC) system for cannabis cultivation. pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of a solution and plays a crucial role in nutrient availability and plant health. To measure the pH of water in an RDWC system, a pH meter or test kit specifically designed for hydroponic applications should be used.
First, ensure that the pH meter or test kit is calibrated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, collect a small sample of the nutrient solution from the system, making sure to avoid any debris or floating plant matter. Immerse the pH meter electrode or dip the test kit strip into the sample, and wait for the designated time for the reading to stabilize. The pH reading will indicate whether the water is acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
For cannabis cultivation in an RDWC system, maintaining a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5 is generally recommended, as this range allows for optimal nutrient uptake. If the pH deviates from the desired range, pH adjustment products such as pH-up or pH-down solutions can be used to bring the pH level back into the appropriate range. Regular monitoring of pH and timely adjustments are essential for ensuring that cannabis plants receive the correct pH levels for healthy growth and nutrient absorption.
Experience an Even and Efficient Distribution of Nutrients
Of course, you should always make sure that you have the best equipment for the job. Thanks to Hydra Unlimited’s innovative HydraMax hydroponic growing system, you can experience all of the benefits of a top-notch hydroponic system regardless of the size or sophistication of your operation.
The HydraMax system comes in arrangements of one, two, three, and four rows to fit many different spaces and needs. You will also get state-of-the-art equipment such as meters, pumps, and other tools to control the water level and the ratio of nutrients to water. A key feature of the system is the patented plumbing system that distributes nutrients almost instantly to all buckets. So if you would like to take advantage of all that hydroponics has to offer your cannabis-growing operation, get in touch with Hydra Unlimited and take your growth to the next level!