The increasing use of hydroponics systems has been revolutionary for the cannabis-growing industry. Instead of using soil, hydroponic operations have found a more efficient way for plants to consume their necessities by suspending each plant’s roots in a nutrient-rich water solution. This method allows for greater efficiency of nutrient absorption, better nutrient supply, healthier plant growth, and superior plant quality.
Of course, even within this novel growth method, new and innovative techniques can always become relevant for different types of growing operations. One particular technique that has shown a great deal of promise for hydroponic cannabis growth is known as “fertigation.” Read on to learn more about fertigation and the advantages it can have for your cannabis crop. Then, learn about Hydra Unlimited’s unique HydraMax hydroponic system and how it can help you take your cannabis crop to the next level.
The Advantages of Fertigation Technology
The name “fertigation” comes from a combination of the words “fertilizer” and “irrigation.” As you may have guessed, fertigation combines the irrigation and fertilization processes for a particular cannabis crop. In this method, you would add a fertilizing solution to your crop’s pre-existing irrigation system. This will deliver the necessary nutrients to your crop with greater efficiency and a lower loss of nutrients.
Fertigation technology has numerous advantages for cannabis growing operations, both large and small. When fertilizer gets to the plants via the irrigation system, each plant in the crop has a better opportunity to receive and absorb essential nutrients instead of actively drawing them from the surrounding soil. This will likely reduce nutrient deficiencies among all your crop plants and ensure healthier growth and crop quality. Additionally, fertigation systems give you greater control over your crop’s nutrient levels, the timing of fertilization, and the rate of fertilizer released within each irrigation cycle. Finally, fertigation is more ecologically sustainable, as it reduces water and fertilizer consumption.
Fertigation Techniques for Hydroponic Plants
If you would like to integrate a fertigation system in your preexisting cannabis growing operation, there are a few steps you will need to take to ensure that the system ultimately works effectively based on the needs of your specific crop.
Have an existing irrigation system in place
Since fertigation involves the addition of fertilizer to a crop via the crop’s irrigation system, you will, of course, need to already have an irrigation system in place. The exact type of fertigation will depend on the irrigation you use for your crop. For example, if you use a drip irrigation system, you will end up fertilizing your plants through drip fertilization. Likewise, if you are using a hydroponic system for your cannabis crops, you will need to integrate the fertilizer into the hydroponic solution used to irrigate your crops.
Proper integration of your fertigation system into your irrigation system will have numerous benefits for your crop. You will, for example, be able to control the levels of water consumption and fertilizer consumption at the same time. This will provide you with better uniformity of overall crop quality. You will also have a much more precise application of fertilizer to each of your plants via the system of hydroponic irrigation that you have already set up. The precision that fertigation allows will complement your hydroponic growing system’s advantages and increase the probability of a high-quality cannabis yield.
Calculate nutrient concentrations of the fertilizer solution
Once you have properly integrated your fertigation equipment into your crop’s hydroponic irrigation, the next step is to consult your nutrient feed chart, which will contain injector rates/ ratios to follow along with for the best results.
With fertigation systems, you will add fertilizer into your crop’s hydroponic system directly rather than keeping it in large batch tanks. Still, the exact nutrient concentrations remain essential for ensuring that your plants get the proper nutrient supply in the right proportion. The increased nutrient efficiency that comes with fertigation can mitigate some of the effects of imprecise nutrient concentrations. However, it is still essential to know what concentrations you are feeding your plants if you want to be on top of their growth and quality when you begin your growing operation.
Decide on a fertilization schedule
Finally, once you have integrated your fertigation equipment into your irrigation system and determined the necessary concentration of your nutrients, for your crop. In cannabis when using the Nuravine system, we suggest fertigation events at 35-50ppm activation. This allows for the tracking of consumption/water additions to gauge the appropriate responses while navigating the cultivation cycle.
Is a Fertigation System Suitable for Your Crops?
If fertigation sounds like the best solution for your cannabis crop, Hydra Unlimited’s HydraMax system provides the best of both worlds when it comes to hydroponic fertilization and irrigation. Using innovative deep water culture, the HydraMax system features fully customizable and scalable configurations for any kind of cannabis growing need. What’s more, the HydraMax system does not have an epicenter, which allows you to use direct inject dosing systems in your crop’s hydroponic fertigation system. We recommend Nuravine Aurora with our Professional and Commercial systems. So, if fertigation sounds like just the thing your hydroponic cannabis crop needs, get in touch with Hydra Unlimited to take the first step towards bigger, healthier, and higher-quality cannabis crops today!