Watering cannabis plants with Drip Irrigation

In our previous article we briefly described the Aeroponic systems. Working with a dropper is one of the most versatile hydro systems. They are so versatile because almost every growing medium is suitable for a drip system. Whether you grow with or without a pot, and that is what makes it so unique!

Whether you ask a novice hydro grower with a drip system or an experienced grower with a drip system, in general growers are very satisfied with drip systems. Even with a ‘regular’ cultivation in soil, drip systems are popular and that has little more to do with hydro, but simply because it provides automatic irrigation. Moreover, weed plants perform better when they get drips of water, and not a watering can in one go.

Anyway, drip systems always work best with inert growing media, such as rock wool, coconut or clay granules.

Great benefits for drip systems

A drip system is not very much in itself. It is not much more than a pump that pumps water through thin tubes. The water then drips out of the drippers, in fact these are small holes in the tubes from which the water drips onto the med├Čum.

However, a dripper for marijuana plants has great advantages over regular growing and watering with a watering can. Think about it:

  • Faster growth and better flowering: weed plants grow faster when they get small sips of water. Not only will your cannabis plants grow faster, but they will also flower more vigorously.
  • Exactly the right amount of water: Once set correctly, you don’t have to worry about too much or too little water, your plants will get just enough water.
  • Watering from above will keep as much oxygen in your growing medium as possible.
  • Easy growing, you don’t have to water your plants anymore if your drip system is adjusted correctly. Especially when you may have more than five weed plants, that’s ideal.
  • In addition, it is nice that drip systems come in all shapes and sizes. Usually these are simple systems where small tubes can be connected to a main tube. These small tubes run to the different pots and provide your plants with water. In this way, a drip system can often be easily extended without having to invest hundreds of euros in a new system. A (water) pump then pumps the water through the tubes and the cycle is complete.

Recirculating water or not?

Basically, the principle of a drip system is therefore fairly easy to understand and it is not a big deal. A second point you can think about is whether you go for a recirculating system or a so-called drain to waste system. Drain to waste systems are the systems that are easy to expand and are often used in larger nurseries. Especially because they guarantee that the supply of feed water remains of a constant quality. Within a recirculating system, the water comes back into your water/feeding vessel. The advantage for the small grower of a recirculating system is that you can always measure how much nutrients your weed plants consume by monitoring the EC content of your water/feed tank. This only applies when only the same water actually enters the recirculating system via the drippers at the bottom of the pots. Because then you only work with the same water and the concentration of nutrients is lower, because a part will be absorbed by your plants.

Different growing media

Before you spontaneously buy a dropper it is good to realize how you grow and especially with which medium you are currently growing and if you want to continue to do so. On any medium, even on earth, you can grow with a drip system. Every medium has a different need for water and that is what you should pay attention to when working with a drip system. For example, rock wool needs more water than coconut, but hydro grains can be dripped all day long.

Make sure your nutrition and resources are suitable for your drip system. For example, do not use acidic household products to lower the pH, such as vinegar or lime/citric acid. This can damage your hoses and completely destroy your system. Mineral plant nutrition is usually suitable for drip systems, but always check with your drip system to be sure.

As far as watering is concerned, it will strongly depend on your medium. Often you start with half a litre of water per day in your system and gradually build up the growth and flowering to a few litres per day. Follow the instructions of the supplier of the drip system and of course your weed plants themselves!

Drip System Maintenance

A drip system requires a little more maintenance than if you would water with the watering can. So you often have to flush the system once a month to keep it clean. The feed water needs to be changed every 1-2 weeks at the latest and to do it right you could clean all the tubes between the cultures.

It takes a little more time and effort in terms of maintenance, but that’s a lot of convenience in return!

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