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Grow Q&A: Soil Vs. Hydro

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Dear Dan, 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 5-gallon pots and a lighting system. I want to know if this is possible and can I use hydro 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.

Dear CD,
You can indeed grow indoors with soil, or more likely a typical light soil-less 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 5-gallon containers, I recommend growing your plants in their vegetative stage for 3 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 nutrients made for hydroponic growing in soil, 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.

Have a grow question? Ask away at deardanko@hightimes.com

(photo by @dannydanko)

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