We field many questions here at the Cannabis Cultivation Department of High Times. This one comes from Georgia and is about whether pot plants can be grown indoors with soil using hydroponic nutrients.
The Question: Soil Or Hydroponic Nutrients?
Greetings once again from the Peach State!
I can’t really set up a hydro system due to noise and space restrictions. What I want to do is basically set my outdoor situation up indoors, using five-gallon pots and a lighting system.
I want to know if this is possible and can I use hydroponic nutrients on the girls, even though they’re going to be in soil? Is there a different mix ratio for soil as opposed to hydro? Thanks again!
— Copter Dr.
The Answer: How Use Hydroponic Nutrients With Soil
You can indeed grow indoors with soil, or more likely a typical light soil-less medium composed of peat moss, coco coir and compost, as well as some inorganic materials that improve aeration and drainage such as vermiculite, perlite and sand.
Most mixes contain some or all of these ingredients and only require plain water for the first few weeks of growth.
With five-gallon containers, I recommend growing your plants in their vegetative stage for three weeks to a month, at least, in order to build a suitable root system that takes advantage of all that space and grow some big bushes with many branches and a worthwhile yield.
Root size directly corresponds with the size of the plant above, so always make full use of the container. Root-bound plants should be transplanted into larger containers.
As for feeding, when using hydroponic nutrients in soil applications, be sure to err on the side of caution and use a well-diluted solution.
Keep in mind that the mix will hold much of the food close to roots, while hydroponic growers typically flush their mediums often. You should flush your plants as well, giving them plain water if you suspect overfeeding and also the last two weeks of flowering, to leach out any remaining salts and minerals in your mix.