Cannabis cultivation is continuing to evolve. Hydroponic growing is a part of that. Aeroponics, technically, is a kind of hydroponic gardening. However, in this variant, the plants are actually suspended in the air. Water and nutrients are delivered via a continual mist of the roots.

If it sounds a bit scientifically advanced, it is. This kind of growing was actually first “discovered” during the last half of the 20th century. Its original purpose was as a method to study plant root systems. These days, however, with indoor growing becoming a major industry, that is changing. Controlled grow environments are becoming an industry standard if not a requirement. In many places where cannabis is grown, water is also a highly expensive commodity. This form of growing uses the least possible water and nutrients necessary for a healthy plant. In an industry that is becoming more energy and water efficient by the moment, this in and of itself is noteworthy. If not worthy of adoption.

Hydroponics hydroponics vs aeroponics

Aeroponicshydroponics vs aeroponics

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Aeroponic systems are, almost by definition, planned grow areas. Systems consist of two main items: a reservoir and the raised planter bed. The reservoir contains water and nutrients. The planter bed is where the plants can be grown. The plants grow above the “bed” and the roots dangle down into the reservoir. The two beds are then connected by pumps which continually exchange water between the two grow levels.

Seedlings are first grown in a grow medium (commonly rock wool). They are then placed in net cup pots. A collar is placed around the base of the stalk. This helps prevent evaporation and contamination. It also protects the roots from damage and disease. At this point, the roots grow downwards through the grow platform over the reservoir. The plant grows upward from the raised bed.

Water to feed the plants is delivered through water lines from the reservoir below via a pump. Spray nozzle attachments insert directly into the planter bed. The mist blankets the root systems with a continual supply of water and nutrients. Excess water collects on the bottom of the planter bed and then drains back into the reservoir.

PLUSES AND MINUSES

There are many benefits to growing this way. That said, this is (obviously) not a grow method for beginners. Growers need to be experienced horticulturists and cannabis experts.

It is also not cheap. Growers need enough money to create the highly calibrated grow environment. It is also an agricultural method that is highly calibrated. Close attention to detail is the first requirement.

The grow site also needs to be constantly monitored. Aeroponic systems only work when the system stays active around the clock. Power outages, broken pumps and empty reservoirs all can destroy your grow. Roots without moisture begin dying within the hour.

The other large issue that growers need to be alert to is contamination. Mould is a constant threat. Feeding is also a process that requires experience and know-how.

Despite the downers, there are multiple advantages. Roots thrive on oxygen – and this is the best way to maximize exposure to the same. Nutrients are also being directly applied to the roots this way.

Aeroponics also allows for tighter grow spaces as plants are not competing for soil space. The lack of soil also makes harvesting easier. It also prevents soil-based pests from ever entering the grow space.

The biggest reason aeroponics is beginning to get serious interest from commercial growers is easy to understand. The amount of water used to produce crops is kept to a minimum and continually recycled during the grow process.

Growth in deserts and tundrasGrowth in deserts, tundra, etc.

No pestsNo Pests

Water savingWater Saving

Fast GrowthFast Growth

No pesticidesNo pesticides

 

HOW GOOD ARE AEROPONIC CROPS?

The last and perhaps best reason for harvesting your cannabis this way is the quality. Aeroponic systems have a reputation for producing quality product with high resin, potency and yield. It tends to produce large and healthy buds. Flowers grown this way blossom with high yields and abundant trichomes.

That said, some connoisseurs still prefer soil-based cannabis. The reason? Hydroponic growing does not create the more complex flavors found in soil-based cannabis.

 

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