Deep water culture, abbreviated as DWC, is a cultivation method suitable for all growers, from novice to experienced. This method is 100% hydrological, as you don’t use a growing medium like soil, coconut or rock wool. Weed plants in a DWC have their roots directly in the nutrient water. Only a few hydro grains are used to give the plants firmness.
An aquarium pump at the bottom of the barrel is usually used to provide extra oxygen.
Big differences with a regular culture are that growing with a DWC creates an explosive growth phase. The roots don’t have to orbit through the soil and they don’t have to look for water, because it is abundant. It is a system that requires very little attention and perhaps one of the most maintenance-friendly systems. After all, you don’t need much more than hydro grains, water and aquarium pump.
Oxygen in deep water culture
Air is essential when you grow in this way, as otherwise your plants will suffocate in the water/nutrient solution. Therefore, always make sure that your pump is on 24/7 and preferably provide a spare pump, should the other one stop working. Without continuously pumping oxygen into the water, your weed plants will fail quickly.
Nutrition is in the water and will therefore continuously be absorbed by your weed plants as needed. However, it is important that it is a mineral nutrient, as your weed plants can absorb it directly from the nutrient water. After all, you don’t use soil or coconut, in which you still have a reasonable buffer.
Because the water keeps moving all the time, it is advisable to wait an hour after you have put the nutrient in the water before measuring the pH/EC values of your nutrient water. This ensures more stable values, just like any other growing method you can adjust your pH between 5.5 and 6.5. In the growing phase, it is best to aim around 6.3 and reduce towards the flowering phase towards 5.8.
As with any hydro culture it is also advisable to keep a close eye on your EC value during a DWC culture. A lower value means less nutrition in the water, this ensures a higher uptake of water and faster growth. Compared to an average cultivation schedule, you will then maintain half a dose of nutrition approximately.
In order to be able to absorb all nutrients and water as well as possible, the temperature must of course also be in order. When the temperature in your growing space is between 23 and 28 degrees you don’t have to worry. If the temperature is just under 20 degrees, it is advisable to put a heating element in your reservoir. Your water should not fall below 20 degrees in order to make the best possible recording.