Hydro vs. Soil

Discussion in 'Basic Growing' started by Mick177, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Mick177

    Mick177 Registered

    I'm just wondering if you can grow the same quality pot in soil as you can hydroponically, or is the hydro is always gonna come out better?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2005
  2. Torog

    Torog Registered+

    Howdy Mick177,

    I always thought that it was the other way around..can you grow as good weed in hydro,as ya can in soil..hydro is less forgiving,when it comes to newbe mistakes..I believe. I hope to git into hydro growing,with the dwc method,a bit later in the year and I'm hoping that it will turn out as good as my soil grows.

    Have a good one :)
  3. sawleaf

    sawleaf Registered+

    Hydroponic grown cannabis being better than soil grow is one of the biggest myths. You will be able to pull faster crops, but by no means better. Most connoisseurs prefer soil grown outdoor bud to hydroponic. The complexity of soil medium does seem to give cannabis a bit more earth and natural flavors. But growing hydroponically does not give you any more potency than soil growing. That is much more a matter of genetics and the grower's technique. :)
  4. KanMan

    KanMan Registered+

    Hydro grows faster, bigger and more potent when done properly.

    Good Kannabis Growing!
  5. Funken Monken

    Funken Monken Registered+

    Ditto that really.

    With hydro, you have to control the varialbes a lot more, but you get quicker results, and most would argue a biger yeild. Soil is more forgiving and needs less attention.

    I've completed a soil crop a few months back and just sent my next lot on a manual hydro set up. I'll let you know how it turns out if you like
  6. sawleaf

    sawleaf Registered+

    Potency is more about genetics. You can grow just as potent bud from soil as you can from hydro. Hydro just has a faster turn-around time which makes it great for commercial growing. But nothing beats organic outdoor buds for taste! :)
  7. Zandor

    Zandor Registered+

    sawleaf is 99% correct....The only thing I disagree with is "nothing beats organic outdoor buds for taste” When I flush, dry, and cure NO one has been able to tell the difference. Organic is still a chemical to the plant. Not as much as the hydro chemicals (being man made) Organic growers don't flush as a rule but some do.

    With Organics you are still putting things into the soil and feeding the plant with nutrient matter that is foreign to the soil in the first place. (Fish emulsions comes to mind first, that stinky shit) It may be Organic by definition but it’s still just as foreign to the soil and plant as the nutrients I use. In nature you will not find the levels we use all the time whether you use Organic or chemicals you are still injecting foreign matter into the soil in amounts that is not natural to the graphical area.

    When you add nutrients above and beyond what’s in the natural soil (and you need to so you can grow quality and make up for the plant being outside of it’s natural place to grow) is still putting chemicals of some type (either man made synthetic or a blender with a dead fish) into the plant and soil.

    I’m just saying Organics are not the chemical free ride most think it is when they think of the term of Organic. It’s slower to grow. The yield is not as high as you get with the proper Hydro setup and nutrients and the quality is equal so I say go for the yield. More is always better in this regard.

    Potency is as much genetics and predetermined as the environmental conditions you grow it in. You can grow the best strain in the world but if you do not have the right environment the plant will not develop to it’s full potential.

    “Better living through chemistry is what I always say.”
  8. Garden Knowm

    Garden Knowm Registered+

    Hydro and Aeroponic growing are easy.. don't beleive the hype when peole say it is hard..

    A resivoir can be set up with the a simple propoer fert regiment and be left alone for a long time.. or you can tinker with it everday

    With just a bit of research and some genuine interest in growing HYDRO can not get any easier..

    "forgiving"... well, if you make a mistake in HYDRO, your plants will react right away...... and hopefully if you are attentive to your plants, you will probably notice it right away.. but also remember these mistakes happen in soil also and the plants take far far longer to recover from soil mistakes as opposed to hydro or aero

    don't get me wrong I am not knocking soil.... soil is great.. and nothing beats outdoor soil...

    but hydro indoor is INCREDIBLY fun and easy to work with....

  9. llamaman666

    llamaman666 Registered+

    Hydro is faster than soil. but the potency is the same. I find with good soil you can get a nice earthy taste hydro cannot do. If you get exotic soils from Africa, some plants will get that real nice nice earthy smell and taste. It talks about it with this strain by femaleseeds
  10. sawleaf

    sawleaf Registered+

    Wow you just gave me the greatest tip ever! I can't believe I'd never though of that before. Ordering exotic soil!!! Gotta do some research on it now. Thanks. :)
  11. jolly green giant

    jolly green giant Registered+

    ive always found chemicaley fed hydro plants taste chemically. not nice....give me soil any day
  12. jolly green giant

    jolly green giant Registered+

    ke-mik-e-lee is a real hard word to spell anyone know the real spelling...
    as in chemical..
  13. mellow mood

    mellow mood Banned

  14. sawleaf

    sawleaf Registered+

    Great article, but I wish they would've put down the smoke and taste results. :)
  15. KanMan

    KanMan Registered+

    Agreed that is all that is missing.

    Personally i get more thrichomes with hydro grows then with soil grows, equals more potency for me at least. I think it only stands to reason plants will grow better and faster in hydro.

    Flushing and/or water cure makes it taste and burn really good.

    Good Kannabis Growing!
  16. phillykid420

    phillykid420 Registered+

    I've seen side by side grows, what matters most is the grower. That person in the OG article said off the bat they are used to hydro....hmmm I wonder why the hydro came out so much better. I've seen side by side with a soil grower, his soil came out much better than the dro (even though I would've expected the yield on the hydro to outdo the soil).

    Hydro is faster and will yield more. Potency should be mainly genetically determined trait.

    I think with these liquid organic ferts people should still flush because it almost defeats the purpose of organic (using soluble fert). In nature organic material is decomposed in the soil, there are bacteria that fix the nitrogen into a source that can be taken up by the plant and other minerals and elements are available from the decaying matter. This is a process and takes a long time so the plant takes what it needs gradually. You can overfert, overfeed and make a plant taste gross by pumping up the fert levels. I believe that growing should be about nurturing a plant rather than trying to kick it's ass into growing by pumping water and ferts (chem or organic).

    I think hydro is harder to deal with since small problems can kill everything so fast. Some root rot (which isn't hard to get at all) is devestating. I was trying a DWC but it caught the root rot (I think my water quality is horrible here) and within 3days from being completely healthy (after H2O2 treatment about 6 days before) it was completely dead. The soil ones looked 100% healthy. Plants grown in soil have at least some buffering capability due to soil, they tend to be able to take more abuse. Plus I live in an apartment and the bubbling noise was making me paranoid, and if a pump goes out while you're at work or out for the weekend...they will die.

    I do think that sometimes hydro just doesn't seem as tasty, then again, I don't know what kind of nutes the person who grew it was using.

    The science of modern day hydro came about in a minimalistic manner. This was when they were determining what the different elements a plant needed. They would give a plant no N....and it'd die, so they knew N was essential, then they gave it everything but P, it'd die, so P is essential. If you take a plant in nature and have it studied they will find thousands of stuff in the plant, they just take up whatever is in the environ. Plants found near gold mines actually have Au mineral within them because they just take it up from the ground. So it's not hard for me to imagine that there are things available in organic matter that make a difference in the terpene chemistry of the plant which would be lacking in hydroponics due to the method in which hydroponic nutrient solutions came about (through minimalistic science).

    An example would be, we've known for years that veggies and fruits were good for us because of vitamins that they had. But more recently (not that recent anymore) they've studied phytochemicals and have found that these help a person to avoid cancer and they have synergistic health benefits. To this day, a vitamin still isn't as good as mother natures fruits and vegetables, I have no reason to believe it isn't the same as with cannabis. Sure a scientist can grow a whopping tomato bigger than what mother nature can, but I'll give quality to mother nature.

    But it's american philosophy, bigger is better. Bigger, faster, cheaper, richer, less effort, instant gratification.....it's the cause of all our health problems and probably a fair portion of our other problems. I'm actually more a science guy than a hippie but I will give 2 opposable thumbs up to mother nature...now I just need to find somewhere to grow outside lol.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2005
  17. sawleaf

    sawleaf Registered+

    Wow PhillyKid, great post. I have nothing against hydro at all, but I will always be a soil grower. I believe there is much more to growing than modern science. Growing to me is about nurturing your plants into healthy beings. I believe sounds, atmosphere, and a good vibe are just as important to plant health as nutrients. There is a certain spiritual aspect to growing that is often overlooked. I am not the only one who shares this belief. If you read DJ Short's book Cultivating Exceptional Cannabis, he discusses how plant growth and smoke can be effected by the growers vibe as well. Why is it that the same strain grown under the same conditions by different growers can have such different characteristics to the high? Characteristics that match the growers personality!?? :)
  18. Zandor

    Zandor Registered+

    I hear you on the flushing…I flush more then most do, I run a flush with just about every water change now and it makes my like easer. Hydroponics done right is not for the faint of heart, you’re right there. I don’t think the trial and error of what to feed and when to feed was an accident. A Good Refractometer or (Brix meter) will tell you how your nutrients are being absorbed and used by the plant. I have one but I only use it when there is a problem and my experience does not tell me what it is.

    Taste is personal and I respect personal opinion. I can only give creed to what I grow and cure and mine is better then soil but again it’s my biased opinion. As an American I guess growing more pot in the same amount of time. Using the same space and growing with fewer plants is a good thing. The yield can be much higher then the same time, same space, same light, and same environment as soil. To grow 1.5 pounds from one plant will take what 6-8 months. With hydro you get that with ½ the time. You just need to grow in near perfect conditions and regulate everything to grow stress free KBS style.

    Growing outside is not an option for a lot of people in the US. Growing over 99 plants moves you into the federal jurisdiction in the USA and that is just out of the question.

    It’s just nice to get 10 pounds of dried bud with 10 plants inside every 80-90 day’s is all….I guess that does make me a typical American….hehe I never thought of it that way.

    Soil is more forgiving for 90% of the people growing today.
    Soil is slower to recover and slower to show signs of problems.
    Soil does not require as much work as Hydro
    Soil will not return the same yield as hydro grown for the same time period, amount of lights, and environment.
    Soil cannot feed the plants fast enough is why it would lag behind hydro.

    I have been growing in hydro for so long now I guess I’m not the person to judge either. All I know is with lots of money and time you can grow 10 pounds or more with 10 plants. The caregivers I grow for all love it. I love it, and grow nowhere near the limit of plants California law allows for me and 6 other people. It does require cycle growing and is not for the faint of heart only because the cost is so much to get started in KBS most people stay away and I don’t blame them. I have noticed that different strains do not grow as well in hydro so I just stay away from them but that still leaves me about 100 that do. Pure sativa does not grow as well in hydro for example but a 40/60 cross will do just fine.

    The potency if the THC is determined by the genetics.
    The grower and environment determines the amount of THC the plant produces.
    The more THC produced does make the plant more potent thus requiring less of the product to achieve the same desired effect. Hydro growing faster is why they say it’s more potent because the same time spent with soil and harvested will not have as many trichomes available to contain THC.

    Soil is for I would say over 75% of the growers because they only need a few ounces from one plant and have other lives to live. Soil requires less money to setup and less work to keep going. After all this is a weed.

    The taste I guess remains a personal choice but as long as it is flushed properly and cured correctly I don’t believe there is enough difference to tell. Most people who sell hydro do it for profit and they rush the drying and curing process like they rush the grow process. I still believe that the taste is determined by more of the variety of the strain and the curing process then anything else.

    I will not waist time dignify the comment that hydro is “minimalist science” that is plain bull shit and un-informed.
  19. Garden Knowm

    Garden Knowm Registered+

  20. phillykid420

    phillykid420 Registered+

    Zandor, I agree with just about everything you said, but why do you think that what I said about hydro coming about from minimalist science is bullshit? I'm not offended that you think that, I was just wondering what you thought of it, cause it's obvious that you know your shit.

    I didn't mean it as a real knock against hydro. Some of the first folks to use hydro indoors (what I term modern hydro, since hydro has been used for thousands of years) were scientists. My only point was that when they first started to determine what a plant needs they used hydroponic growing. They would analyze a plant to see what was in it, then they would make a solution and leave out one component, like Nitrogen. Well the plant would turn yellow and die, so they analyzed the plant to figure out what Nitrogen was used for. Then they would leave out something else. That was how they figured out what were essential macros and what were micro nutes. At least according to the Cambell biology book (probably used by most universities).

    What I mean by minimalist science is that anything that didn't make the plant get really deficient was seen as unessential and not needed. Who knows perhaps some of the things they nixed have a synergistic function with other things (as in my vitamin example) because it wasn't seen as essential to a plant.

    I have seen man outdo nature very rarely. If you look at a kidney machine, sure it's about the size of a small fridge (much bigger than a human kidney) but it performs only one of the functions that our kidney's do. All the vitamins and supplements we have on the market, sure they can pump you up but it's a poor substitute for real nutritious food. The power of mother nature (well really evolution) is incredible. A human heart beats on average for over 70 years at about 50-60 beats/minute, it creates very high pressures and yet it doesn't break down anywhere near as often as a man made pump. Think of the very best proofreading machine ever. Now consider that every single one of your cells has to copy just about every single base pair on each of the 46 chromosomes correctly or else you could be in serious trouble. One deletion mutation shifts the reading frame of the DNA thus making every single gene that is coded for on that chromosome garbage. Your cells do this from the time you're born till you die. For 70 + years it copies all these strands of DNA with no errors. You have on the order of 10^ 13 or 10 ^14 number of cells, that's

    1,000,000,000,000,000 cells each with 46 chromosomes. There are about 3 billion base pairs in those 46 chromosomes, 5% of which codes for things. A cell cycle takes about 24 hours so it does this in a paltry 24 hours. No need to go looking for miracles, the fact we aren't all cancer ridden and dying is a miracle in itself. Imagine copying every line of every book ever written in 24 hours with no mistakes.

    My take on things is toward a more eastern philosophy. Everything must have a balance.

    One thing I do like about hydro is that you can measure your ppm one day and then again the next and it's so much easier to find the right balance point than with soil. The problem is that a lot of people don't do this right. They see a bottle say 2000ppm and they give that to the plant whether the plant is in balance or not. They like to pump up the nute concentration to the outer limits of what a plant can tolerate, all the while not aware that just cause you don't see damage doesn't mean things are all good. A person will live years with cancer before it gets so bad they show outward symptoms and a burned plant has suffered damage before it's been burned.

    Done properly hydroponics is a very useful method depending on your circumstances. You can take a ppm reading and if it drops the next day you know the plant is taking in more nutes than water, if it rises it's vice versa. It lets you achieve an accurate and precise measure of water vs nute intake so you can tailor your nutrients.

    It's also the method I would use if I were to grow commercially or for several people. But if it's just for me then I don't need such great yields.

    there is no best method, just what works for the individual and serves their needs. I'm not arguing for or against hydro, I don't think you are either.

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