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Nico’s Nuggets: Beginner Grow Systems

Nico Escondido

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Question from danroyals0311
Hey Nico! Quick question, I have never grown before, but I am looking into a hydro self-contained system… would that be too complicated for a novice grower?

Hey there, danroyals0311m and thanks for writing in!

Last week, I answered a similar question regarding hydro systems for new growers that revolved around DWC (deep-water culture) systems and the newer Current Culture system. You can check that out as well, but my answer to that was that DWC hydro systems are easier to use than some other hydro systems on the market that have more moving parts, less automation, and smaller components.

However, in general, for a first-time grower with little to no experience with growing cannabis, I always recommend a soil-based garden to start. There are several reason for this. For starters, this type of garden eliminates the heavy costs sometimes associated with buying a store-bought hydro system, thereby saving new growers money. Second, soils and soilless mixtures (which are generally peat- or sphagnum-based) are much more forgiving than traditional hydroponic mediums when mistakes are made, particularly with feeding programs.

Perhaps the best reason for new growers to start with soil, however, is the education this platform provides by forcing growers to be in their gardens on a daily basis. Because soil systems are less automated and usually do not incorporate irrigation systems, growers must be in the garden more often to hand-water plants, thus forging a more intimate relationship between grower and garden. This relationship will benefit both plant and grower as you learn about the nuances of your strains, medium, nutrient program and so on. Looking closely at each plant and learning to identify deficiencies in nutrition, phases of development, best practice pruning techniques and support functions are some of the valuable insights to be gained from starting simple and spending more time with your plants.

As a side note, most indoor growers today use soilless mixtures, which are not the same as regular earth topsoil. Though these mediums do look, feel and act nearly the same as outdoor soils, they are often sterile, have neutral pH, and provide excellent buffering for your root zone and nutrient uptake. Popular brands include Pro-Mix, Sunshine and Fox Farms and are widely recommended for first-time growers.

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

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