Modified on: 20/09/2022
What is meant by aeroponic cultivation, and what is the main useful information
Not very well known and still too little used, the aeroponic cultivation technique offers several advantages in cannabis cultivation, naturally in countries where it is permitted.
Let’s try to understand better what it is, how it works and why you should or should not consider it if you are thinking of (and your country permits) growing your cannabis seedlings.
What is aeroponic cultivation? And how does it work?
The aeroponic system is a unique cultivation method that does not use soil but uses air and water to make marijuana plants grow strong and lush.
But how is this possible? First, the plants are arranged so that their roots are free and hanging downwards. The nutrients are then sprayed directly onto the roots, which can absorb the necessary amount quickly and let the excess runoff.
This allows much faster development of the root system, taking advantage of the increased oxygen supply.
With this method, the development of the cuttings will take much less time than with traditional methods.
But let’s see what these systems look like in more detail.
This technique is undoubtedly one of the most advanced in cultivation. On a practical level, we can describe the aeroponic system as follows. The central part consists of a tank containing a solution of water and specific nutrients for the plants, in this case, cannabis.
Above the reservoir is a sort of perforated panel, inserted mesh baskets to hold the plants into the holes.
Through sprayers, the solution is spread over the exposed roots, which absorb the amount they need and let the excess drip off.
It is the mechanism behind aeroponic systems, which facilitate nutrient uptake and expose the roots to significantly more oxygen. This results in enhanced plant growth and faster, more abundant flowering.
When choosing this cannabis cultivation technique, it is necessary to find a germination method that does not involve the use of soil. Removing the fragile bud from the soil would almost certainly result in its death. And that would certainly not be ideal after setting everything up correctly!
Let’s now look at the advantages and disadvantages of this cultivation technique.
What are the advantages of aeroponic cultivation?
The first advantage of aeroponic cultivation for cannabis, but more generally for all plants, is the absence of parasites and other pathogens that can normally nestle in the soil and compromise the health of the root system.
This greater control of harmful micro-organisms is essential for the quality of the plant in question, which will then be free to grow strong and healthy.
Another plus point is the yield of cannabis plants grown using the aeroponic technique. This method guarantees attention to detail that is difficult to achieve with traditional methods and results in much faster and more luxuriant plant growth.
Through this cultivation method, it is also possible to enjoy substantial water savings. The sprayed nutrient solution is only absorbed if needed, while the excess returns immediately to the reservoir, dripping from the roots.
A further positive aspect is a possibility of operating continuous cycle crops. The lack of soil automatically implies the absence of rest periods, useful for the recovery of nutrients. In addition, the aeroponic system makes it possible to grow at any time, regardless of external environmental conditions or the seasons.
Finally, this cultivation method occupies relatively little space and can also be organised vertically, thus making the best use of all available space.
Unfortunately, aeroponic systems also have some disadvantages.
Let’s see them together.
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Not only positive aspects: disadvantages of aeroponic systems
Let’s start by saying, to be fair, that the disadvantages are really small compared to all the benefits you have just read about. However, they do exist, and you should take them into account.
The first aspect to examine concerns the space the systems need. While it is true that they also allow for vertical cultivation, making the most of available areas, it is also true that they require pretty large spaces to accommodate all the necessary equipment.
Secondly, these systems require a relatively significant initial investment. Therefore, this is not cheap equipment, which can be very advantageous on a large scale, but much less so on small quantities and at an amateur level.
In addition, there is a risk of burning the plants. Spraying directly on the roots can be lethal for cannabis plants. If you make a mistake in the composition of the nutrient solution, you will not be able to count on the cushioning action of the soil.
In conclusion, are aeroponic systems effective in cannabis cultivation?
The technique of growing using aeroponic systems is recently starting to receive the attention it deserves.
It is often overlooked, perhaps because it is little known that it is a valid method of growing cannabis with several advantages.
First of all, it reduces to zero the risk of marijuana plants being attacked by parasites and other pathogens that are dangerous to the proper development of the root system.
Secondly, it saves a lot of water and nutrients, as the excess is not lost in the soil but immediately returns to the reservoir through the roots.
The direct spraying method also allows the roots to absorb nutrients very easily. Beware, however, that this can be a double-edged sword. If the sprayed composition is not adequate, it will still be absorbed by the roots at a fast rate, which can lead to death.
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