For most growers, cultivation often starts in soil and they often refine by looking for the right soil and the right nutrition in combination with the soil they use. Growing in soil is a nice stepping stone, but did you actually know that there is a system in which weed plants perform even better? And then of course with the ease that you are used to growing in soil. What’s more, the results are amazing. Below you can read more about ebb and flow irrigation.
What is an ebb and flow system?
An ebb and flow system falls under the hydro systems and is certainly not new. For years now, beautiful results have been achieved in ebb and flow systems. A big advantage is the ultimate ease of this way of growing, because the watering of your weed plants is automatic and it gives your plants the opportunity to grow explosively. But how does this work in practice?
You have to see it as follows: you still grow your cannabis plants in a pot. This can be preferable on any medium, such as coconut, rock wool or completely hydro. Your pots are placed in a large container in which nutrient water is pumped several times a day. How often and how much water is pumped into the container will largely depend on the stage your plants are at and the medium you grow on.
Which pots to use?
You can use traditional plant pots, but make sure there are holes in the bottom. The more, the better! Nowadays there are also so-called air-pots and smart-pots. An air-pot has many small holes and this generally ensures stronger root growth. In combination with an ebb and flow system this is great, because the roots will be flooded to the maximum and all the roots that need it will be able to absorb the maximum amount of water and nutrition.
The smart-pot is a pot that ‘breathes’ and therefore can easily absorb water and nutrition from the ebb and flow system. It makes no sense to use pots that are closed at the bottom, as they cannot absorb water from the system. Most ebb and flow systems are also equipped with a simple switch, so that you can decide for yourself how often and how much water is pumped into the system.
Great advantages of ebb and flow watering
In addition to the convenience, there are also some major advantages to growing in an ebb and flow system. We will list the most important advantages for you and explain them to you once more!
- Enough absorbable oxygen at the roots
- You know exactly how much food they use
- Watering is fully automatic
- Growth is faster and yields are higher
The operation of the system is the biggest advantage. The ebb and flow principle pushes the oxygen out of the medium and when the water drains out of your container, your plants are again exposed to a large portion of fresh air rich in oxygen!
Another big advantage of an ebb and flow system is that it is extremely flexible. After all, you can set exactly how or what and keep an eye on how your plants react to it. As your marijuana plants grow and flower, you increase the number of times a day that they are under water, or always increase it for minutes at a time.
Do you have a medium that is good at retaining water? Then you should leave them under water for a shorter period of time, while you can put hydro grains under water a little more often. The flexibility of the system is ideal, as it takes a little extra effort to set the switch a little higher.
Exactly enough power
Because it is a closed system, the water you put in the reservoir is used to submerge and the water flows back into the reservoir. This allows you to reliably measure the EC value on a daily basis and how this relates to the amount of water absorbed by your medium.
By monitoring this daily you know exactly which EC value is optimal for your plants in each growing period, for each type of weed.
The right dosage of water
It depends on several things, as mentioned above, for example the growing medium and the phase in which the plants are in. Young plants that you grow on hydro grains or an airy medium such as rock wool can be submerged for about ten to fifteen minutes twice a day. Coconut retains more water and needs one rinse a day for 10 to 15 minutes in the beginning. As the growth progresses, you will also increase the number of rinses, the number of times your container is flooded. On rock wool you gradually increase the cultivation to a maximum of six rinses and perhaps one at night to prevent your medium from drying out completely. On hydro grains and coconut, one rinse or four a day is maximum and you don’t necessarily have to rinse at night.