One of the most important decisions you have to make when setting up a commercial cannabis grow operation is choosing an irrigation system to use. When you are using living soil, it simplifies the process since all the nutrients you need are present in the soil (more on this later). That being said, how you water super soil will have a significant impact on the quality of your cannabis plants.
Different Solutions Used to Water Cannabis Plants
There are three main ways to irrigate cannabis plants:
- Top-down watering – This method uses gravity as a watering process – whether via a bucket, hose, emitter or some other item – to drip water into the living soil. This is the most traditional way to water super soil containing cannabis plants.
- Foliar spraying – This method involves spraying a light mist onto the leaves of your cannabis plant. This allows the plants to absorb water through small openings in the leaves, called stomata. In many instances, this method must be used in conjunction with a more traditional irrigation approach to ensure your cannabis plants receive a sufficient amount of water. In addition, this method requires more sophisticated knowledge regarding how and when to mist the leaves in order to ensure effective results.
- Capillary irrigation – This is a bottom-up watering process which uses the capillary action of the super soil to deliver water to a plant from a capillary mat (a water source at or below the plant bed). This ensures all plants receive equal levels of irrigation.
Capillary Irrigation: SoHum’s Preferred Method to Water Cannabis Plants
At SoHum Living Soils, we recommend capillary irrigation as the best method to water your cannabis plants. There are several reasons why this is our preferred approach:
- Most efficient and effective irrigation method
- Eliminates human error
- In the event that you want to add nutrients, you can insert water-soluble nutrients directly into the water reservoir during irrigation
Keep in mind that if you choose to add nutrients to facilitate the grow process, you’ll be able to maintain the organic nature of your growing process as long as you use OMRI-listed additives. That being said, using SoHum’s living soil products eliminates the need to add nutrients because it is a water-only, no-flush product.
Best Ways to Use Capillary Irrigation with Your Commercial Cannabis Grow Operation
At SoHum, we recommend two applications for capillary irrigation:
- Drip lines for raised beds – This system uses long tubes with emitters at the end. The tubes are connected to a main water line to deliver the hydration your plants need. This method allows your plants to receive more uniform watering. This will help with water retention and limit evaporation issues, which reduces the costs associated with outdoor irrigation.
- AutoPot systems – This system uses gravity pressure to fill tubs with water. As the plants absorb the water and the tubs go dry, a special float valve will refill the tubs to provide the plants with additional water. This is essentially a “set it and forget it” type of irrigation system.
AutoPot systems are our preferred method for capillary irrigation because they eliminate human error, particularly associated with overwatering, which is the single most common problem we see with commercial cannabis grow operations. Cannabis is much more of a drought tolerant plant than a moisture tolerant plant. In the early stages of a cannabis plant, it’s important to regularly cycle from a wet stage to a dry stage in order to ensure proper root development throughout the entire container. If a cannabis plant sits in a really moist bed and never gets dry, the roots never have a reason to look for water, and the root bulbs never fully develop.
If you’re not developing the root system to get to the nutrients in the small pot, the plants won’t grow properly. This system ensures the plant drinks what it wants, when it wants, but no more. You completely eliminate overwatering as an issue. This process helps you develop proper root mass. If you develop your roots, you’ll significantly improve the quality of the plants you grow.
In addition, using the AutoPot system will save you time because it automates the watering process.
SoHum Living Soils: The Right Choice to Pair with Your Irrigation System
Regardless of the irrigation system you choose, SoHum Living Soils will set your grow operation up for success. All of our living soil products are designed to be a super soil – the soil contains all the nutrients necessary for the cannabis plant’s entire vegetation and bloom lifecycle. All you need to do is add water and your plants will grow properly. No chemicals are added.
This “no-flush” process delivers several important benefits:
- It saves you time and money – You don’t need to buy, mix, apply and remove chemicals as part of your grow process.
- It eliminates the need to flush the plants to remove harmful chemicals – When chemical nutrients are added as a supplement to the water in your irrigation system, the plants will absorb the chemicals. Therefore, it’s crucial to flush these harmful chemicals from the plants to ensure consumers don’t ingest them.
The flush process typically takes 7-10 days prior to harvesting. This is time consuming, inefficient and a non-scientific way to mitigate a problem that doesn’t exist if you’re using a water-only super soil such as SoHum.
In addition, SoHum Living Soils products all have a dual OMRI and Clean Green certification, ensuring our soil maintains the high standards necessary for organic, clean green and sustainable growing practices. This is essential if you’re trying to grow Clean Green Certified plants. Maximize your plant’s genetic potential with one of the most complete living soil products available.
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