I have been researching hempy buckets and like the idea. Does anyone have experience with this? Likes, dislikes? Any help is greatly appreciated.
I did them years ago
I used 50/50 perlite/vermiculite
I love the plant and root growth it was explosive
very easy to do and work with (take care of)
only problem for me was I let my plants get a bit too big
and had a problem with them falling over, also I thought the bud
tasted different then my soilless grows of the same plants
but the method will grow big buds, when I was done and pulled the plants
out of the buckets I have to tell you I have never seen a rootball like it in soil/soilless
all the best
I’ve done hempys a few times too.
Small plants in big buckets can be a pain in the arse.
They can take too long to use up the nutrient mix in the res so you might be tempted to just leave them alone for days on end. The roots then stand in stagnating water/nutrient mix with no oxygen content so you get root rot. You can avoid this by feeding them tiny amounts of nutrient mix each day (maybe only 50ml at first) until they have filled the bucket with roots.
Hempys are basic hydro and in hydroponics plants need feeding at least once a day so they get a fresh load of oxygen enriched nutrients which is kind of at odds with the whole hempy bucket theory. This is the main reason why some get good results and some get bad ones.
The medium is important because you want it to drain well but still support the plant. I’ve tried perlite mixes but i hate working with the stuff and as already pointed out it doesn’t support a plant very well. I also tried coco but that’s a balancing act too. Over saturate it for too long you get root rot, bugs, bud rot etc. Run it too dry and you get huge EC and ph swings, symptoms of over AND underfeeding can appear on the same plant because of this. Despite all this it can work well if you pay attention but it’s not as low maintenance or foolproof as some seem to think.
I have tried most methods over the years but i like an easy life and have settled on straight pre-buffered coco in airpots hand fed daily at the correct EC/ppm and ph. Just enough to keep that coco damp but not over saturated. Ideally you should just replace what’s been used in 24hrs. Most will tell you to feed coco to runoff every day. This is not necessary and very wasteful, if you don’t actually overfeed them.
Hempys with hydroton in the bottom to just above the drain hole then filled up with coco can work very well if you are careful (especially when the plants are small) not to over saturate the coco. You do still need to feed them nutrient mix every day though for best results. You can leave them saturated for a couple of days between feeding but growth rate will slow right down on the second day. Go beyond 3 days and you are in root rot territory.
Straight coco hempys (if you have a hunt i have more pics on here)
second time I did it I used gravel just like that
worked OK but I am a soilless grower inside in the end
some day would like to try NFT or a flood and drain setup of some kind
all the best
Pumped hydro is great if you don’t have the grow op in your home. Leaks happen and having your Mrs go ape while water is pouring through a ceiling isn’t a nice experience. Hand watered hydro is very good if your able to be there every day. Pumped systems feed the same to every plant so you can sometimes get better results by paying attention and hand feeding individual plants just the right amount. Nowadays i wouldn’t use a pump fed hydro system for less than 20 plants anyway. You think your saving yourself work but it often turns out to be more hassle than it’s worth
That was the first issue I experienced too.
The original Lucas formula or the GH MaxiBloom (7g/gal)
Might halve that formula for tiny plants.
Tried the Kratky method too.
It normally calls for a single res filled enough for the whole plant’s cycle (33-40 gal res)
But I was able to use smaller containers and a float to maintain an optimum level.
It may be just me but the bud flavor, quality and overall robustness can’t be beat by using a total organic system, like True Living Organic that the Rev promotes.
that is how it works for me and I just keep watering by hand
if not it is too easy for me to not take the care of the plants need
all the best and enjoy the day
lol you should know by now there are no hard and fast rules to any of this. I have smoked bud grown in organic soil that tasted crap cos he went mad with organic nutrients. I have also smoked bud i could have sworn was organic but turned out to be hydro, fed a low dose of mineral nutes and some sugars then flushed for the last week.
It comes down to the grower and the strain at the end of the day.
I do 2 gallon hempies with hydroton and coco. They work great for me and I find them very easy to work with. I’d really prefer to go up to 3 gallon buckets but they’re seemingly impossible to find in Canada for less than like $30 a pop. If I had more space I’d do 5 galls for sure.
Thanks everyone for the input. This is going to be my first grow, but it doesn’t sound like hempy buckets are quite as easy as some of my research had led me to believe. I was trying to avoid first time mistakes, mainly overwatering. @Albannach what would you recommend for someone just starting out? Guess I am leaning toward a simple soil mix now and will just have to be really careful with watering.
What I noticed late in flower with either hempy or Kratky was the tendency for the medium to get acidic or just plain funky.
Flushes help but the funk and acidity come roaring back.
Also floats + nutrient mixes = gummed up float mechanisms.
Algae growth is another problem and the res should be as dark as possible.
that is why when I started growing again I made it a point to build a grow room
separate from my life
my life/home always ended up trumping my grows
now I grow in one place and live in another (of sort)
be safe and stay free
Soil mixes mean you can go maybe up to a few days between watering but that’s about the only real advantage. You will still need to monitor the ph of you water unless you are lucky to already be in range. They say don’t bother adjusting ph with live organic soil but if you try repeated watering at 8+ you will have issues. When your plants have used up all the nutrients in the soil you will have to add nutrients to the water and feed/water/feed/water etc but you have no accurate way of knowing how much nutrient is building up in that soil if your even slightly overfeeding. Experienced growers will usually tell by looking at the plants but that’s hard for beginners until they gain experience of how a strain behaves in their own grow they have no base knowledge to fall back on.
Hydro is more controllable, you just need a ph test kit or a decent quality ph pen like a bluelab etc. EC/ppm also has to be monitored closely but a cheap EC pen will often do fine cos they are pretty basic devices.
I hate working with a res tbh. If it’s too small you can get huge ph swings in 24hrs. Also controlling the temperature can be a real pain, especially in loft grows. Running and controlling nutrient heaters and chillers along with pumps, circulation fans, extraction fans, room heaters, dealing with leaks etc it all becomes so much more than i can be arsed with
Don’t be afraid! it is easy, especially if you pay attention to what @Albannach said. it is paramount to water to 20% runoff to avoid bad roots. l did/do it in 2gal garbage cans with 100% perlite little cal/mag issues this time. I have gone away with the bucket in a Tupperware container for four days in mid flower and could have gone 2 or 3 more days before they were dry. Start by watering every day until the roots reach the rez then every 2-3 days till 20% run off ph to 6.0 …
take a toke and pass it on
You have to somehow make it fit into your life without it compromising other vital aspects like relationships etc. I like to keep complications to a minimum so things like DWC are off the cards forever
I will have to monitor my ph closely no matter how I grow. Run off of a well and with an aquarium test kit my ph is 8.2. Have a ph pen on order now. Maybe an RO system in the future, but I will be tapped out right now setting this all up. Hand watering every day will not be a problem with any grow medium.
Watch out for those cheap Chinese ph pens, i’ve seen them drift by 100ppm each day, miles off by the end of the week. They are usually worse than total guesswork so if that’s all you can afford i’d use a narrow spectrum fluid test kit until you can get a good ph pen. Cheap EC/ppm pens are often good enough though.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do
It is a HM Digital PH-200 and I ordered calibration and storing solution. Hope it is a decent one.