Because of how cannabis plant cultivation has been increasing as the number of marijuana users has been growing, different techniques, technology, and methods have also been developed to keep up with the demand. One such method is aeroponics.
This method for growing high-quality cannabis is basically a simple and easy-to-use technique that does not require a soil and a lot of space. It might sound too technologically advanced but the mechanics aren’t really that complicated to understand. Here are the things you might to know about aeroponics and how it is used to grow cannabis.
Aeroponics as a growing method of plants that was in its infancy and primitive stages in the 1920s when it was first used. The reason for developing this method was for the purpose of growing plants in areas with no soil or earth and with little water. One such reason for developing the technique back in the 1920s was so that botanists could study the roots that were exposed due to the absence of soil.
However, it was only in the 1970s when aeroponics was used for recreational purposes rather than for academic ones. It was then and there when hydroponics was developed. This technique involved using water rich in nutrients to take the place of soil. During that time, hydroponics took over aeroponics as the more popular method.
But, behind the scenes, aeroponics kept on improving and developing until the more modern version of the method came into prominence during the 80s. Then, when NASA became more interested in aeroponics, it became far more technologically advanced. Since then, this method has become a popular choice for a lot of plant growers, particularly in the cannabis community.
How it works
Basically, aeroponics works by suspending the roots in the air as the plants are grown in a closed environment. Meanwhile, the roots dangle below a barrier that separates it from the rest of the plant as nutrient-rich water is sprayed at them to provide everything they need to grow properly. As long as the roots continue to receive the water-dissolved nutrients they need, the cannabis will thrive well as a healthy plant.
There are basically two main components in this setup: the planter bed and the water reservoir. The bed is where the plants are rested and grown. This comes with features that include a drainage system, a misting system, and a barrier that separates the roots from the rest of the cannabis plant’s body. Meanwhile, the reservoir stores the water and the nutrients needed by the plant. A pump connects this to the plant bed to continuously supply the plants with nutrient-rich water.
Cannabis basically acts like any other plant in this regard. The cannabis seedling is placed in a net cup pot. A collar is then placed around the stalk of the seedling to prevent it from any damage that may be caused during the growing process. And, as it grows, the plant will grow upwards while the roots go through the bottom of the net cup.
Why is it being used to grow cannabis plants
These are the many benefits and reasons why aeroponics is being used to grow cannabis plants:
- It is extremely easy to use once it has already been set up and is used by a grower with a good amount of experience and knowledge in growing cannabis and other kinds of plants.
- Using aeroponics tends to result in higher cannabis yields perhaps due to how it is continuously given a lot of nutrients by the misting system. The roots of the plants are always in contact with oxygen and the nutrients are directly applied to them instead of having the roots go and look for nutrients in the soil.
- It requires a really small amount of space. This is because of the absence of soil, which requires a plant to have its own space to absorb nutrients. Aeroponics won’t have the plants fighting over nutrients in the soil because the nutrients are applied to them directly.
- Aeroponics helps growers and cultivators who don’t have the necessary type of soil to properly cultivate cannabis. This is due to the fact that this method does not require any soil at all and can help growers cultivate cannabis plants in indoor environments.
- This method also saves a lot of water. Aeroponics does not really require a ton of water because the method makes it a point to recycle any unused water in the mist.
- Growers won’t need to use a lot of pesticides primarily because soil-based pests and contaminants are eliminated with the absence of soil.
- Aeroponics is rumored to reduce flowering cycles by as much as 33% in some cases. This means that a normal 90-day flowering period will be reduced to about 60 days to make the entire operation much more efficient.
Nevertheless, like any other method, aeroponics does have a few drawbacks:
- Beginners won’t find it an easy method to use because it requires a lot of cannabis and plant knowledge.
- It may be too expensive for ordinary growers. It certainly isn’t the most affordable method of growing not only because the system will cost quite a lot of money but also because of the amount of power needed to keep it running.
- Speaking of power, aeroponics requires the system to be active because of how the nutrients are continuously applied to the plants 24/7. If ever there are power outages or any malfunction in the system, everything might go down the drain.
- Because of the humidity in the air, molds will be a common problem for any grower.
Aeroponics certainly isn’t made for every cannabis grower outdoor especially because it can get particularly expensive to purchase and maintain. However, the plants that grow in such a method are known to produce healthy buds and higher yields. That, on top of all of its other benefits, more than make up for the expenses one needs to shell out to use the aeroponics method.