Too many fertiliser salts can obstruct nutrient uptake and cause wilting. Use the DiST 4 Pocket Conductivity Tester for accurate readings.
Recirculating DWC systems make use of one large tank that is connected to a number of individual smaller reservoirs for each plant. The feeding solution is fed from the large tank to each of the plants, and is recirculated back into the tank. Some systems may just have one air pump and an air stone in the large tank, while others may have an air stone in each container for each plant. Air stones create bubbles to ensure proper gas exchange.
However, if one is still new to growing cannabis, it can be recommended to first grow hydroponically using a substrate like coco. This is because coco can be more forgiving, which allows the grower more room for error. That being said, there are plenty of cultivators who started out with a DWC setup and found success right away.
Fill your net pots with an inert growing medium with low-water retention such as perlite, clay pellets (hydroton), or lava rocks. For germination, it’s best when to start out your seeds in Rockwool and transfer them over to your DWC after a couple of days.
For this reason, one of the most important tools in your DWC will be a good ppm/EC meter. With this meter, you can keep track of any fluctuations. With some experience, and by monitoring your plants’ nutrient intake, it might be possible to get through an entire grow without having to exchange your reservoir until your final flush. You may just be able to top-off your tank with nutrients to maintain your desired ppm value.
- Water/nutrient reservoir (shared or individually for each plant)
- DWC net pots to hold your plants
- Hydroponic nutrients
- Air pump (and air stones) for the aeration of your nutrient water
While some cannabis cultivators simply grow plants in soil, others look into more elaborate growing techniques, such as hydroponics. Deep Water Culture (DWC) is one method of growing cannabis hydroponically that can have many advantages. Find out what makes a DWC grow so rewarding, and how you can set up one of your very own!
An absolute classic, Skunk XL is Royal Queen Seeds’ modern version of the legendary Skunk #1. This 50% sativa/indica hybrid has a well-balanced effect that mixes an uplifting head high with a relaxing body stone. She does well in many conditions including hydro, and takes a particular liking to DWC.
When selecting strains to choose for your DWC grow, you may want to opt for plants that have tried and tested success in hydroponic grows.
Deep Water Culture is a great method of growing cannabis hydroponically. Learn all about DWC and be rewarded with fast growth and extraordinary yields.
Maintenance Effort – Your first grow will likely take a lot of maintenance as you get a feel for how everything works together. As long as you do your research beforehand, you will avoid common growing hydro problems like root rot and figuring out your hydroponic nutrient schedule. The amount of long-term maintenance depends quite a bit on which hydro setup you choose. A dialed-in DWC setup with a relatively large reservoir can take as little as a half hour each week to maintain the reservoir. Most hydro setups are relatively low maintenance as long as the grower has grown in the setup before. Some hydroponic setups take inherently more maintenance, for example aquaponics (growing with fish) and aeroponics (growing in misted air – take a bit of maintenance to make sure spray nozzles are always working properly).
Growing Hydro Outdoors Can Be Difficult – While hydroponic growing can be accomplished outdoors, many people find it difficult to control all the essential variables outdoors (sterile environment, controlling heat/cold, powering pumps, etc).
Simple – hand-water your plants in containers
Pros vs Cons
Easy – Hand-water your plants in containers, just like soil. Many growers believe that growing in a soilless medium requires about the same effort as growing in soil. If your soil setup involves feeding nutrients in the water, growing in a soilless medium will be nearly the same experience.
NOT Good For Growing Cannabis
How long can grower be away? Depends on the setups. It’s important for a grower to always remain close by for their first grow, especially for inexperienced growers with DIY setups. You need to be there if there’s a leak, or something stops working properly. With safe & professional setups, experienced growers can safely spend more time away from the garden. Bigger water reservoirs (or bigger pots for soilless mediums – anything that holds more water at a time) give growers more time away, since constantly adding water isn’t needed. Highly tuned setups like aeroponics tend to need more constant checking in, while simple and direct setups like DWC can be left alone for quite a few days. In the best case scenario it is always best to check on your plants at least once a day. You never know when a bulb will go out, a plant will fall over, or some other unexpected event will happen.
Pests – Soil is organic material, and there are many types of bugs that can live in soil. Often, soil-growers seem to suffer more often from pests attacking their plants than hydroponic growers.
Option 2: Compost or Purchase “Super Soil” – For those who don’t want to worry about soil pH or adding nutrients throughout the grow, there is the option of amending and composting your own super soil (or buying it already composted) specifically made for cannabis plants. While this option takes more time before you start growing, it can be somewhat simpler especially for those who have composted soil in the past. Note: Some growers believe growing in organic composted super soil with a rich microbial life actually improves the taste and smell of cannabis by causing plant to produce higher levels of terpenes and terpenoids.
Learn about soil, hydro & soil-hydro fusion. Which cannabis growing medium is right for you?