The roots of a plant play a huge role in its overall health. It is where plants literally “feed” as the roots suck in nutrients and water from the soil. Natural forces move these nutrients to the different parts of the plant where different reactions happen as the plant makes its own food. Cannabis plants are no exception. These plants need to grow a healthy root mass to be able to supply the plant with nutrients so that it could grow and produce more yields.
Yes, you need a healthy, thick root mass to get bigger yields and this is possible with a few cannabis growing strategies. Take note that a particular technique may not work for your particular situation. For instance, a deep water culture or DWC may not be appropriate to anyone who grows from a pot with soil medium. Tips to grow healthy roots may not work for people who are using DWC as their growing technique.
Deep water culture or DWC
DWC is a grow system that can guarantee bigger plants with larger yields. In this setting, plants are grown in baskets or netted pots that are placed in larger buckets. The plants’ roots dangle down into these buckets which are periodically flooded or exposed with nutrient-rich water. Roots grow and develop thick bodies to suck up more water and nutrients which are of course important in growing healthy plants. When the buckets are not exposed to water, roots are damp and hang in the air to breathe in oxygen. This is a good thing for roots because they can take in oxygen effortlessly as compared to being buried deep in soil.
There are many kinds of DWC setup but the most common one is a system where nutrient water flows in and out of the chamber almost automatically. A pump is used to feed the system with water and nutrients and the chamber could be angled in such a way that water flows out easily. New nutrient-rich water is added to this system regularly and plants may be rotated to allow roots to maximize its size and health since it is more likely that plants found at the bottom part of the chamber can grow longer roots because this plant is more submerged in the nutrient water. All-in-all, DWC setting can help you yield more because the system concentrates on supplying nutrients via the plant’s root system.
Aerating your nutrient solution
One way to make your DWC system more efficient is by improving oxygen delivery to the roots with the use of air stones, bubble wands and water diffusers. An air stone is attached to plastic tubing which is attached to an air pump similar to an aquarium pump. When this is powered on, fresh oxygen is delivered to the water and to the roots. Bubble wands and diffusers also work this way and you need to use this constantly so that your DWC plants get fresh oxygen.
Adding beneficial bacteria
Another way to improve root mass and improve your plants overall is to add microbial agents or beneficial bacterial and fungi to the water. These microbes are found naturally in soils and can help roots absorb nutrients better and to transport minerals as well. There are actually available products for plants that contain beneficial microbes made by companies like Botanicare and DutchMaster. And although these products can do wonders for any marijuana DWC growth, these have to be utilized very carefully initially determining what kind of nutritional program should plants use.
The most recommended nutritional program for cannabis plants is the use of organic or veganic nutrients because some synthetic nutrients could be too damaging to natural microbes. You can try milder synthetic products in moderation but make sure that you check these products out before you give them to your plants.
If you are not growing via DWC
Most growers use traditional methods to grow plants such as growing it in soil. Whether you are growing plants outdoors or indoors, you must remember to do your research well and determine the ideal growing environment that your particular plant strain needs. There are hundreds upon hundreds of strains; each one has its own growing preference so take your time to learn about your plants so you won’t waste time growing healthy cannabis plants for a bigger yield.
A few tips for better root mass
Never grow your plants in a small cup
Please do not start growing seeds or clones in small party cups. These won’t just cause root lock but will also stunt the plants growth because of stress. It’s best to start growing in a large pot where your plants will stay from seed/clone to a mature plant to prevent transplanting your young cannabis plants. Transplanting from a small cup to a large pot can stress your plants and could delay harvest time by a week! But if you must transplant, do it soon to avoid the dreaded root lock.
Test soil and water pH first
Before transplanting or planting seeds and clones it’s a given that you test soil and water pH first. There are many pH testing kits online which allow you to test readily and easily at home. More so, there are also products that can reduce pH and increase pH and these are used when you need to improve soil ph. You can get these products from your local garden supplies shop.
Adequate ventilation and optimal temperature
Roots breathe in oxygen from the soil and this is taken together with nutrients and water so that plants can make food. But poor ventilation and temperature extremes can hinder roots intake of healthy oxygen from soil and this could yield to poor plant health and poor yields. Using a ventilation system like a fan could help improve ventilation and temperature inside a grow room or tent. You can also use more efficient lighting that gives off less heat like LED lamps.