In a good DWC setup with the right nutrients and strain, cannabis can grow as much as 10cm in a single day! Know that the speed of growth in a DWC doesn’t affect when your plants will be ready to harvest. The fast veg growth will result in bigger plants with fatter buds, but they will still require a normal flowering time. Since a DWC setup doesn’t use any growing medium, there is little risk of bugs and other cannabis pests latching on.
The lack of growing medium in a DWC allows your plants to take advantage of all the available space and nutrients to grow as large as possible. Once a DWC system is set up and running, it requires very little everyday maintenance. A DWC system is fully automated, which means you don’t need to worry about under or overwatering your plants. Once set up properly, your DWC will always supply the right amount of nutrients and oxygen to your plants. There is still a myth going around that DWC is “difficult”, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is really no more difficult than any other growing method where each has its own quirks and inconveniences. In fact, a DWC system can ultimately be one of the easiest methods to grow cannabis since it requires very little time and maintenance. However, if one is still new to growing cannabis, it can be recommended to first grow hydroponically using a substrate like coco.
This is because coco can be more forgiving, which allows the grower more room for error. That being said, there are plenty of cultivators who started out with a DWC setup and found success right away. For growing cannabis in a DWC, you will need these things: Water/nutrient reservoir (shared or individually for each plant) DWC net pots to hold your plants Hydroponic nutrients Air pump (and air stones) for the aeration of your nutrient water. Now, let’s take a look at each of these DWC components in more detail: 1. One difference of using a DWC system as compared to growing in a medium such as soil is the reservoir. In this setup, plants themselves will be suspended above the reservoir containing the feeding solution, while the roots will stretch down where they will be fully immersed in the nutrient-rich “deep water”. Since the roots should not receive any light (to prevent issues such as the growth of algae), the reservoir is normally a light-proof container. There are different types of DWC systems: Some setups may have one large shared reservoir for a number of plants. Other setups may consist of several smaller DWC reservoirs for each plant. Separate reservoirs like this have the advantage of allowing more control over each individual plant. Otherwise, if you grow multiple plants that share one reservoir, it can become tricky when you grow different strains or when your plants flower at different rates. Therefore, you should grow only the same type of strain if you have a system that uses one large reservoir. Recirculating DWC systems make use of one large tank that is connected to a number of individual smaller reservoirs for each plant. The feeding solution is fed from the large tank to each of the plants, and is recirculated back into the tank. Some systems may just have one air pump and an air stone in the large tank, while others may have an air stone in each container for each plant. Air stones create bubbles to ensure proper gas exchange. Simpler systems for single plants may consist of one reservoir, a small pump, and an air stone for one plant. Due to the dramatic growth of a plant in a DWC, a small, single-plant DWC system could be sufficient to fill-out a small tent in just a few weeks. In well-sorted grow stores that carry products for hydroponics, you can get so-called “net pots”, which are suitable for DWC systems. As compared to normal planting pots, these pots have a wide mesh so that the roots can easily reach the water below. Alternatively, you can make your own DWC net pots out of almost anything by creating a number of large holes in containers or plastic flower pots. The difficulty here, however, is that cutting or drilling might result in sharp edges that could damage the sensitive roots. One good way to go about this is to use a soldering iron where you burn holes in the sides, rather than cutting or drilling them.
(Do this outdoors since the fumes from burning plastic can be hazardous). You can also use baskets or nets for your DWC system.
Fill your net pots with an inert growing medium with low-water retention such as perlite, clay pellets (hydroton), or lava rocks.