by Chet Tucker
We’ve covered genetics (seed), soil, and now we’ll cover the basics of the critical necessity of water (good water), along with touching on growing hydroponically. Nature provides the needed nutrients of water via rain and dew, however many cannabis growers use controlled environments to maximize the strength and quality of their cannabis crops. With these alternative growing environments, greenhouses, indoor facilities, and hydroponic grows allow the controls needed to avoid the collapse of a crop due to flooding or drought (and other natural disasters). However, it’s not as simple as just turning on the water hose to feed your plants.
Cultivators are very in tune with the necessity of “clean” or balanced water. A vast majority of city and county water supplies are filled with chemical treatments that can negatively affect plants (and humans for that matter). So, it’s important to understand what’s in your water and to counteract any negative impurities with treatments to neutralize, especially those that are harmful and that can show up in the final lab testing needed for sales. And though well water seems to be far superior to other forms of water, it’s not always the case and it’s just as critical to measure the pH along with other elements to ensure quality water. Rainwater and osmosis water are obviously great but just as mentioned before, treating them to include what’s needed to fulfill the plant is crucial.
Hydroponic cultivation is growing without the use of soil and is an extremely efficient and popular way to cultivate. Cannabis is typically supplied a nutrient-rich array of oxygen, nutrients, and water. The cannabis roots expend less energy acquiring food from soil and redirected energy allows the plant to acquire “food” easier. You use less water than soil grown cannabis along with needing less space. However, the negative side is that hydroponic grows can stunt the root structure vs soil which allows an extensive root structure to form.
Now, back to water in soil. Cannabis doesn’t like continuous irrigation, it originates from a dryer climate so the plant should be watered well but then the soil is allowed to dry before watering. Many use an every other day watering system, watering slowly and uniformly, to balance the irrigation and avoid over-watering. A good balance of absorption and drainage is critical to the plant’s success which means quality substrate is equally important. Just like so many pieces of the growing process, balance is key and it’s no different when it comes to the quality and amount of water used in cannabis. There are far greater details to explore but the basics are outlined here as we move into the light for next month’s edition of Sowing the Seed.
7680 Nugget Hill St.
Edmond, OK 73025