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Offlinefromeast
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Registered: 07/02/11
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pros and cons
    #593520 - 10/22/11 07:40 PM (5 years, 1 month ago)

what are the pros and cons of:
hydroponics
and
large and few vs small and many plants


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Re: pros and cons [Re: fromeast]
    #593525 - 10/22/11 08:22 PM (5 years, 1 month ago)

Hydroponic vs Soilless or vs Soil?

Soil attributes include:

More forgiving, plants don't suffer as much when over fertilized due to slower delivery of nutrients. When growing in traditional soil with no nutrient solution and just water this attribute is very useful to amateur growers or growers who don't want to mix their own nutrient solution every week. However this is also a con because if you have a slow release fertilizer such as Alfalfa meal in excess it will remain in excess and there isn't much you can do about it other than cut your soil composition down with something like peat or coco coir or a non fortified soil.

Soil is just generally user friendly.

Soil has more chance of pest problems than soilless or hydroponics but at the same time has it's own defenses against pests. (Beneficial fungi, bacteria, and insects)

Soil is also more dense, holds a lot of water, but at the same time doesn't have the ideal air space soilless or hydro has. For this reason growth rate at least in establishing roots is slower.

Soil can also be reused easily by refortifying the soil with amendments and letting it sit for a while to get the nutrients broken down and the bacteria, fungi, etc to flourish.

Soilless attributes include:


Cleaner than soil (less pests)

Doesn't contain significant amounts of nutrients so they must be provided via nutrient solution.

Each soilless medium has different characteristics. Coco coir is inert and has a high lignin and cellulose making it resistant to decomposition so it can be reused for years. Peat moss is slowly decomposed plant matter that once exposed to a moist oxygen rich environment decomposes rather quickly (within the course of your grow) you will notice that after ~3months peat becomes more dense losing about 30% of it's volume due to decomposition.

Both peat and coco are user friendly. Coco is general treated like hydro I'm a coco grower who waters 3-5 times a day with a nutrient solution tweaked for coco coir growing. I've used peat in the past and think it may in fact be easier to grow with than coco just because a lot of amateur growers don't really know how to feed their plants properly and when peat decomposes it releases some amount of nutrients which can help the grower avoid deficiencies. However peat is harder to flush than coco and also a bit harder to water since it becomes water logged when saturated. When coco is saturated it still has plenty of air space providing your roots with the ideal environment for rapid growth.

Hydroponic attributes include:


There's many ways to grow in hydro. Ebb&Flow, DWC, Rockwool, Drip, etc. So each of them has it's pros and cons vs other methods.

Generally speaking growing in hydro is the cleanest most pest free way to grow.

You need to calculate your nutrient solution to provide everything your plant needs in terms of nutrition. This is a blessing if you do it correctly since your plants will receive optimal nutrition, if you don't know how to provide a good balanced diet to your plants this is probably not going to be a benefit to you as a grower.

Hydro is the least forgiving way to grow in some circumstances because unlike watering soilless and the medium containing your oxygen you rely on pumps to add dissolved oxygen to your nutrient solution and other pumps to deliver that solution to your plants. Temperature of your reservoir is also vital  especially in systems where your roots are constantly bathed in nutrient solution, if the temperatures are too high you will have problems with root rot if they're too low your growth will be stunted.

Hydro especially active hydro delivers oxygen, water, and nutrients to your plants at an optimal rate which is excellent for rapid growth but at the same time is the absolute worse when there's a lack of oxygen, nutrients are too strong, or your pH is too high or low. Plants in hydroponics will suffer the most and quickest from any of those problems however they will also recover the quickest too so long as corrections are made to your reservoir.


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Offlinefromeast
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Registered: 07/02/11
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Re: pros and cons [Re: maryanne3087]
    #593558 - 10/23/11 12:58 AM (5 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

maryanne3087 said:
Hydroponic vs Soilless or vs Soil?

Soil attributes include:

More forgiving, plants don't suffer as much when over fertilized due to slower delivery of nutrients. When growing in traditional soil with no nutrient solution and just water this attribute is very useful to amateur growers or growers who don't want to mix their own nutrient solution every week. However this is also a con because if you have a slow release fertilizer such as Alfalfa meal in excess it will remain in excess and there isn't much you can do about it other than cut your soil composition down with something like peat or coco coir or a non fortified soil.

Soil is just generally user friendly.

Soil has more chance of pest problems than soilless or hydroponics but at the same time has it's own defenses against pests. (Beneficial fungi, bacteria, and insects)

Soil is also more dense, holds a lot of water, but at the same time doesn't have the ideal air space soilless or hydro has. For this reason growth rate at least in establishing roots is slower.

Soil can also be reused easily by refortifying the soil with amendments and letting it sit for a while to get the nutrients broken down and the bacteria, fungi, etc to flourish.

Soilless attributes include:


Cleaner than soil (less pests)

Doesn't contain significant amounts of nutrients so they must be provided via nutrient solution.

Each soilless medium has different characteristics. Coco coir is inert and has a high lignin and cellulose making it resistant to decomposition so it can be reused for years. Peat moss is slowly decomposed plant matter that once exposed to a moist oxygen rich environment decomposes rather quickly (within the course of your grow) you will notice that after ~3months peat becomes more dense losing about 30% of it's volume due to decomposition.

Both peat and coco are user friendly. Coco is general treated like hydro I'm a coco grower who waters 3-5 times a day with a nutrient solution tweaked for coco coir growing. I've used peat in the past and think it may in fact be easier to grow with than coco just because a lot of amateur growers don't really know how to feed their plants properly and when peat decomposes it releases some amount of nutrients which can help the grower avoid deficiencies. However peat is harder to flush than coco and also a bit harder to water since it becomes water logged when saturated. When coco is saturated it still has plenty of air space providing your roots with the ideal environment for rapid growth.

Hydroponic attributes include:


There's many ways to grow in hydro. Ebb&Flow, DWC, Rockwool, Drip, etc. So each of them has it's pros and cons vs other methods.

Generally speaking growing in hydro is the cleanest most pest free way to grow.

You need to calculate your nutrient solution to provide everything your plant needs in terms of nutrition. This is a blessing if you do it correctly since your plants will receive optimal nutrition, if you don't know how to provide a good balanced diet to your plants this is probably not going to be a benefit to you as a grower.

Hydro is the least forgiving way to grow in some circumstances because unlike watering soilless and the medium containing your oxygen you rely on pumps to add dissolved oxygen to your nutrient solution and other pumps to deliver that solution to your plants. Temperature of your reservoir is also vital  especially in systems where your roots are constantly bathed in nutrient solution, if the temperatures are too high you will have problems with root rot if they're too low your growth will be stunted.

Hydro especially active hydro delivers oxygen, water, and nutrients to your plants at an optimal rate which is excellent for rapid growth but at the same time is the absolute worse when there's a lack of oxygen, nutrients are too strong, or your pH is too high or low. Plants in hydroponics will suffer the most and quickest from any of those problems however they will also recover the quickest too so long as corrections are made to your reservoir.





hey man thanks for your time into this reponse! My understanding of plants in general is very weak and i will not be home 24/7 to watch or water or w/e the attention the plants need in order to grow. It cant be that hard to controll the temp in a 4x7 tent/plastic house would it? where is a good start guide for a better understanding of what conditions these plants thrive best in? I'm looking for a guide that tells me the basics. I will definately read on as many posts as possible!
Thanks again for your response maryanne, I really do appreciate it! my dealer is getting mad shiesty and throwin me garbge weed so i want to grow my own in a small section of my room maybe 7 ft long by 5 ft highand 3-4 ft wide. While I have clones in the closet in a storage bin possibly (hydroponic)


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 1,111
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Re: pros and cons [Re: fromeast]
    #593588 - 10/23/11 05:36 AM (5 years, 1 month ago)

You don't necessarily have to watch hydroponics closely you just need to know how to avoid or when to expect pH drifts. Which requires a good understanding of water chemistry.

I highly recommend soil or coco for a first time grower. Perhaps coco is better for the grower wanting to switch over to hydroponic since they use similar methods.

In my opinion, controlling the environment in a grow tent is fairly easy probably easier than in a larger environment like a basement but at the same time you don't have as much room for dehumidifiers, acs, as many fans, etc. You may need to control the air in the room your tents intake comes from to get your temp and humidity to the ideal levels.


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Offlinewire5
Awesome Possum


Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 307
Loc: "The sticks"
Last seen: 3 years, 9 months
Re: pros and cons [Re: maryanne3087]
    #593637 - 10/23/11 12:47 PM (5 years, 1 month ago)

I was going to go hydro for the reason you stated. I work a lot so I can only check my babes 2 times a day. I must say however having started with soil is probably a good idea. Its giving me a thorough understanding of the plants needs wants and symtpoms.


--------------------
In order to grow good weed you need to be part carpenter, electrician, plumber, biologist, geneticist, chemist, and very willing to get dirty.

I've been working with power tools since I was 8, my dad is an electrical engineer who owned a 280 gal fish tank, and I studied biology with a specialty in genetics. Getting dirty comes naturally. I think my parents inadvertently trained me to be a weed grower.

See what you think on my first try.


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Offlinefromeast
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Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 24
Last seen: 4 years, 8 months
Re: pros and cons [Re: maryanne3087]
    #593761 - 10/24/11 12:28 AM (5 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

maryanne3087 said:
You don't necessarily have to watch hydroponics closely you just need to know how to avoid or when to expect pH drifts. Which requires a good understanding of water chemistry.

I highly recommend soil or coco for a first time grower. Perhaps coco is better for the grower wanting to switch over to hydroponic since they use similar methods.

In my opinion, controlling the environment in a grow tent is fairly easy probably easier than in a larger environment like a basement but at the same time you don't have as much room for dehumidifiers, acs, as many fans, etc. You may need to control the air in the room your tents intake comes from to get your temp and humidity to the ideal levels.





thanks again man, soil it is!


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 1,111
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Re: pros and cons [Re: fromeast]
    #593786 - 10/24/11 02:09 AM (5 years, 1 month ago)

Now you need to decide your strategy for amending/fortifying the soil to determine how long nutrients will be provided to your plants and when/if you will be required to add more nutrients.

The hardest part of constructing soil is to fortify your soil perfectly so that your plants don't run low on nutrients until the point where you would like to flush. Ideally you want your plants starving by the time it's time to harvest. Remember it's harder to remove nutrients than it is to add them.

A lot of soil growers fortify their soil with up to 20% worm castings(*) (well some go for more but it makes for a muddy texture and root growth will be slower.), bat/sea bird(other bird manure) which is hot and can either have high N or lean more towards P-K, other manures such as sheep or cow, kelp(*), alfalfa meal, other ground plants (ugh, im thinking of cotton seed meal and similar things here, different rock powders, epsom salts, bone meal, fish bone meal, etc.

Soil is also cut with things like perlite, peat, pumice, etc to give it the desired texture and density so that your roots can grow quickly and so that the soil isn't too rich.

A lot of soil growers will add enough nutrients to bring their plants to say the 2nd or 3rd week of flowering where they then apply additional nutrients they can be organic bottled/liquid nutrients such as liquid/teas of kelp, manure/worm castings, guano, molasses etc these are fast acting and available to your plants since their nutrients are more soluble than say rock powders or alfalfa meal however those can be essential components when making aerated compost teas. You can also apply hydroponic nutrient solution if you don't care about your bud being organic however I'd avoid this since in my experience I find that hydroponic nutrients are harder to leach out of soil than hydroponic medium.

So this is how you COULD go about growing in soil. Buy some peat or basic indoor potting soil, add some kelp, dolomite lime (or some sort of liming agent to raise the pH to where you want it and keep it there), worm castings, perhaps a bit of guano/bone meal/blood meal. Apply it in a fashion where you're not expecting the nutrients to last the whole flowering period aiming for week 2-3 of flowering. Assuming your plant finishes in 8-9 weeks and you want to flush for 2 weeks you would want to provide additional nutrients once it appears your plants are becoming hungry (apparent from deficiencies, slowed growth, etc) for weeks 4,5,6 possibly 7. Then you would feed plain water or water with molasses if you like. Then voila harvest time.

Time for me to go to bed, post or pm if you have more questions.


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Re: pros and cons [Re: maryanne3087]
    #593844 - 10/24/11 08:28 AM (5 years, 1 month ago)

My suggestion(s).

If you want to use hydroponic fertilizer as your nutrient source you may as well start with peat. Using a hydroponic fertilizer is about as much work as it is adjusting the pH of water.

If you want to just water with pH adjusted water use soil but once you run out of nutrients in your soil you're going to need to add them.

Soil recommendation:

Start with peat or pro mix add 2tbsp/gal dolomite lime if using peat 1-1.5 tbsp/gal if using pro mix or other pH buffered peat based mix. Figure out how much soil you will need and make 10-20% of it's composition worm castings this is a good non burning slowly released N source it's also thriving with bacteria and fungi which will protect your plant from disease. Get either alfalfa meal, bone meal, or high N guano (or other manure) application depends on which you decide to use the alfalfa can be applied at 2-4 tbsp/gal (4 tbsp is as much as you want) alfalfa also provides P and K but is mostly an N source. Bone meal is hotter and should be applied at 1-2tbsp/gal. For your K source apply 2tbsp/gal kelp meal this also provides a lot of trace mineral elements. This soil is probably good for your entire grow if you run into nutrient deficiencies I imagine you could add MINIMAL amounts of nutrients by aerated some manure or kelp towards the end of flowering. If you would rather be sure you run out of nutrients mid way through flower reduce the amendments.

Here's where your intuition / research can be put to use. Personally I haven't hopped on the high P = large buds train. You can decide if you want to add any bone meal, soft rock phosphate, fish bone meal, etc as a P source. You could also try adding mycorrhizae fungi to supplement your P, they thrive in low P environments and help provide the plant with nutrients and water. Do some research on the addition of phosphorus and decide if you want to add a P source or not.


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Offlinefromeast
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Re: pros and cons [Re: maryanne3087]
    #593881 - 10/24/11 12:52 PM (5 years, 1 month ago)

thank you :smile: I have to go to work and wont be back for a while so ill research off what you gave me and go from there, is it better to have lots of little plans, or few big plants? Also have u tried LED grows before?


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Re: pros and cons [Re: fromeast]
    #593925 - 10/24/11 04:29 PM (5 years, 1 month ago)

Lots of small plants of the same clone is the fastest to make an even canopy.

Even and full canopy = high yield.

You can get comparable final yield (IMO less than using many since your canopy isn't as effective since the plants are taller and you don't end up with as much fluffy product) using large plants but it's less efficient since you need to veg and that takes up a lot of electricity.


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