One of the biggest debates in the growing world is over hydroponic vs soil cannabis cultivation. There will never be a comprehensive answer as it really depends on what suits you as a grower, and the environment you live in. Here we run through some of the pros and cons of both mediums so that you can make the decision for yourself.
Soil is better for:
- Ease – it is more straightforward than hydroponic growing
- Price – it is cheaper to grow outdoor in soil as you need less equipment
- Bigger yields as your plants have space to grow as big as they like
Hydroponics is better for:
- Control – in a hydroponic set up you can control the temperature, lighting and humidity
- Flavor – thanks to the controlled environment hydroponically grown cannabis is likely to be tastier
- Speed – cannabis plants grow faster when grown hydroponically
Table of Contents
- What is the difference between hydroponic and soil cannabis cultivation?
- What are the Pros and Cons of Soil Cultivation?
- What are the Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Cultivation?
- What equipment do I need for Cannabis Cultivation?
- #1 Best Potting Soil for Cannabis: FoxFarm Happy Frog
- #2 Best Organic Potting Soil for Cannabis: Roots Organic ROD75
- #3 Best Nutrients for Hydroponic Cannabis: Advanced Nutrients
- #4 Best Nutrient Set for Hydroponic Cannabis: General Hydroponics
What is the difference between hydroponic and soil cannabis cultivation?
In general, cannabis that is grown hydroponically is grown inside and plants grown in soil are grown outside. There may be some growers that use soil indoors but this will usually be mixed with coco coir or other similar substance.
Growing cannabis in soil is a pretty similar experience to any other gardening you might do and is the most traditional and natural method of growing. Hydroponic is a term that is frequently used to describe any other medium used for growing cannabis that is not soil, but is most often referring to cannabis that is grown within a water solution that has nutrients added to it.
What are the Pros and Cons of Soil Cultivation?
As it is likely that you will have used soil in some regard before to grow plants in, this medium is the recommended method for beginners to the growing world. It is generally the easier and cheapest medium for growing and purely requires you to have an outdoor patch in which you can plant your seeds. With soil cultivation you can expect bigger yields than with hydroponics because you are not restricted by space – your plants can, therefore, grow as big as they like.
However, growing in soil does have its drawbacks. With this medium, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to control the quality and taste of your harvest. While you can add nutrients to your soil, you have to leave the temperature, rainfall, humidity and sun exposure to mother nature and hope that it works in your favor.
What are the Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Cultivation?
In comparison to soil cultivation, when growing hydroponically you can have much more control of the environment that your cannabis grows in – which is one of the real pros of growing hydroponically. Through your hydroponic set up you can make sure your plants receive the perfect balance of nutrients, the optimum lighting it needs and that the temperature and humidity levels are conducive to healthy plants. This control goes a long way in creating plants that give a very tasty harvest.
There are some cons of growing hydroponically, however. As you are growing indoors it is likely that your plants are restricted by space and therefore won’t grow as abundantly as outdoor grown cannabis. It is also more expensive to grow using this medium as you need to buy all of the equipment to create the perfect environment for your plants. Finally, creating the optimum environment doesn’t come easily and will require close attention and maintenance to ensure your plant stay healthy.
What equipment do I need for Cannabis Cultivation?
With soil cultivation, there isn’t much you need in terms of equipment. You will need some containers and some good quality soil. Fortunately, there are plenty of soil mixes on the market that are specifically designed for cannabis cultivation – see our reviews below for some of the best. It is also a good idea to invest in some fertilizer for your plants to keep those pests away.
When it comes to hydroponic cultivation the set up is a little more complex and will depend on which hydroponic system you choose to go for. For all systems, you will need to invest in some good quality nutrients, grow light/s, and products that are able to control the temperature and humidity of your growing environment. In the next section, we review some of the best nutrients that you can use in your hydroponic system.
#1 Best Potting Soil for Cannabis: FoxFarm Happy Frog
If you are going to be growing your cannabis outdoors in pots or raised beds then this Happy Frog Potting Soil from Fox Farm is a superb choice. It contains a mixture of good bacteria and fungi which is there specifically to assist the development of your plant’s roots and to ensure that they are able to have maximum nutrient uptake.
This soil is ready to use as soon as you get it and its ingredients – including earthworm castings and bat guano – make it a nutrient-rich soil mix that not only helps initial vegetative growth but also flower development. It is also pH adjusted to keep your plants at the right pH level. This soil is a great all-rounder and has been designed with the cannabis grower in mind.
#Potting_soil #Nutrients #Bat_guano #Earthworm_castings #pH_adjusted
#2 Best Organic Potting Soil for Cannabis: Roots Organic ROD75
You might be more of an organic gardener and prefer to go with an organic soil. This one from Roots Organic is just the ticket and, what’s more, it comes in a ready-to-grow bag so that you don’t even need to worry about buying containers. With the addition of perlite and pumice, the roots of your plants will go strong and sturdy in this magic grow bag.
Added to the soil is a mix of organic ingredients which your plants will love and will give them a rich variety of nutrients to help them prosper. These ingredients include fish bone meal, feather meal, bat guano and earthworm castings to name but a few. Roots Organic have done the hard work so you don’t have to and, as a result, you are sure to enjoy healthy plants and big yields.
#Organic #Potting_Soil #Fish_bone_meal #Bat_Guano #Earthworm_castings
#3 Best Nutrients for Hydroponic Cannabis: Advanced Nutrients
If it is hydroponic growing that appeals to you then you are guaranteed to need some specifically designed nutrients for your set up. Thanks to Advanced Nutrients you’ve got this covered with this 3 part set of nutrients – Bloom, Micro and Grow. Containing a mix of non-ionic surfactant, fulvic acid, and amino acids, your plants are going to love this nutrient cocktail.
The Bloom, Micro and Grow fertilizers can all be used at the same time but you will need more of each of the three during particular growing periods (make sure you check the instructions). This is the perfect mix to ensure a strong vegetative growth stage all the way through to flowering and harvest. What’s more, these nutrients also help to balance the pH in your hydroponic solution so you don’t need to worry about painstakingly having to adjust this. For healthy plants, you can trust Advanced Nutrients all the way.
#Hydroponics #Nutrients #Big_yields #Big_buds #Bloom
#4 Best Nutrient Set for Hydroponic Cannabis: General Hydroponics
General Hydroponics are leaders in their field, so for a top quality nutrient giving set then this will be a great choice for your plants. With this 3 part set, you can give your plants a flying start from the off, and continue to nourish and assist them throughout their growing cycle. It also helps to balance the pH levels of your plants, which will save you time and a lot of worry.
Included in the set is the Flora Grow which provides your plants with the necessary nutrients in the early stages so that they grow strong roots and have successful vegetative growth. Second up is the Flora Bloom, this assists with the development of your flowers and buds – making them more abundant and also enhancing the flavor of your harvest. Last but not least is the Flora Micro – this makes sure your plant is getting all of the essential nutrients it needs – Nitrogen, Potassium, and Calcium. You can’t go wrong with this nutrient set for your hydroponic system.
#Hydroponics #Nutrients #Big_yields #Big_buds #Bloom
Deciding between growing your cannabis plants in soil or hydroponically is an important decision and not one to be taken lightly. There are pros and cons of each medium and a lot of it comes down to the space you have to cultivate, the amount of time you have to tend your plants and your budget.
Growing in soil is undoubtedly the easier and cheaper option, however, with hydroponics, you have much greater control over the success of your plants. Ultimately, the choice is up to you but whatever you decide we will be here to advise you along the way!