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The Best Growing Mediums for Cannabis
The grow medium is the soil or solution in which the roots grow, expand and absorb nutrients from, there are many different types.
Growing in soil dug up from the ground or bought from the store isn’t always easy, but it’s usually the simplest. It’s far more gentle than hydroponics, and you already have experience planting seeds in dirt and growing things!
Unlike hydro, where you must constantly monitor pH and PPM levels, soil requires only periodic monitoring. You only need to check the nutrient-rich water levels before feeding. However, overfeeding your plants is where people go wrong.
Because soil doesn’t flush or re-use nutrients like hydro, overfeeding plants can cause root nutrient deficiencies. If that happens, either the soil becomes compacted, preventing water from reaching the roots, or the roots become mouldy, causing root rot or serious harm.
Pest control in soil takes a little longer. Pests prefer dirt, so soil gardens have more bugs than hydroponic gardens. Neither are yields as quick as hydroponics, taking a month or more to achieve the same goals. Despite its downsides, soil cultivation is the most simple and natural method if you have the time.
The use of coco coir in cannabis cultivation can be tricky due to its newness. There isn’t extensive information on coco coir and it’s usage, but growers have found it to be as good as soil, if not better!
Coir is great because it could be used as a stand-alone medium or mixed with soil to help oxygenate it. On its own, you’d use it like soil: mix in some perlite, add nutrients, pH the medium and add water, sow your seeds, and water accordingly. The advantage of coco coir over soil is that it can hold more oxygen, preventing over- or under-feeding your plants.
Coco Coir For Cannabis
Having it all – The best part of using coco coir, according to growers, is that you can get hydroponic perks in a soil setting. Water travels quickly through coco coir, so it falls on the roots rather than the roots seeking it (like in soil). That means faster harvests.
But it has its own set of issues. You’ll need to soak coir bricks to break them down, so you’ll be doing more than just adding perlite.
For some reason, coir grows need a Cal-Mag supplement to ensure your plants receive adequate calcium. Because coir has no nutritional value, you should begin your fertiliser as soon as your plant has used up all it’s nutrients from the seed (wait for 3-4 sets of true leaves to grow). Three weeks from seed is a good time to feed coco coir grown cannabis plants.
Clay Pellets and Pebbles
Clay pellets are a must-have in any hydroponic grow. If a garden is hydroponically grown, the plants will be enveloped by clay pellets. This is a popular way for transplanting rockwool clones because the roots are accustomed to abundant water.
Clay pellets allow nutrient-rich liquid to seep directly to your plants’ roots, eliminating the need for soil-based watering. Clay pellets also provide better root coverage because water rolls around and walls down on the roots instead of simply disappearing into soil to be absorbed before spreading out.
The one and only recyclable grow medium – Pebbles are reusable, unlike soil or even coco coir (which must be thrown out). Simply wash the pebbles before using again in a new grow.
Clay pebbles may contain bad bacteria and nutrient flaws that can harm your plant’s growth.
It’s important to avoid overfeeding your plants when using pebbles or pellets. Overfeeding soil causes nutrient lockout, but watering hydroponic plants can quickly kill them. If you’re using pellets, consider getting some hydroponics experience first.