Posted on

nft cannabis grow

How should plants be spaced?
NFT Gro-Tanks allow growers to space plants however they desire; they can simply cut spacings in the top plate that is provided. As a general rule, try one plant per square foot. This can be increased or decreased depending upon plant variety or technique. Sea-of-green (SOG) works very well in NFT, just space your plants closer together and switch to twelve/twelve as soon as your plants are established in the system (usually within a week).

This constant access to water and nutrients, combined with an abundant supply of oxygen to the roots, means that plants grown in NFT develop very rapidly and produce significantly larger yields than soil-grown plants. This is why it is a preferred method in commercial horticulture.

While the idea of growing pot hydroponically is intimidating for some, an NFT setup can actually save you time, effort and money.

Many growers disregard active hydroponics as too complicated and difficult, preferring to hand-water pots or use passive hydroponic pot systems that require a capillary medium, such as compost or cocos. In reality, active hydroponics can be as straightforward and simple as you make it. When you are about to embark on your next grow and are eying up the options in your local hydroponic shop, ask yourself a few important questions.

Three Steps To NFT Heaven:

How high should EC be set?
As very little medium is used with NFT, there is no buffer between the roots and nutrient solution. Water and nutrients are available to the plants at all times. Therefore growers are advised to set EC a little lower than they would with other hydro techniques, such as flood-and-drain, or when growing in soil. When transplanting young plants into a Gro-Tank, add nutrients at half the manufacturer's recommended dosage and gradually increase to full strength as plants mature.

There are plenty of active hydroponic systems out on the market, using many different hydroponic techniques: drip irrigation, flood-and-drain and aeroponics are just a few. However, for simple and effective 'pure' hydroponics – where a minimal amount of growing media is used – take a look at NFT.

The NFT Gro-Tank was the first hydro system developed specifically for the needs of the home grower. Coming out of the UK in the late 1970s, it has been trusted by growers for decades. It is simple to assemble and operate and stands less than one foot off of the ground, leaving you plenty of room to grow under lights. All of the workings sit above the reservoir, so it will not leak – perfect for the attic, bedroom or growing in an apartment where water dripping through your downstairs neighbor's ceiling is not an option!

Why NFT Over Pots?

Now, if we are talking NFT about for the home grower, one system stands proudly above the rest. the NFT Gro-Tank.

Many home growers love growing with compost and pots and it is easy to see why – pots are simple to use and cheap to set up. Compost is also very forgiving and will buffer against pH fluctuations and overfeeding. Best of all, you can achieve some damn fine yields with compost and pots – plus, sometimes it just feels good to get your hands dirty!

Nft cannabis grow

As the name suggests, NFT is a system of solution culture where a thin film (two to three millimeters depth) continually flows along the base of small channels in which the root systems sit. Channels are often constructed of rigid materials such as high-density polyethylene, specifically designed and manufactured for hydroponic crop production, or formed from thick plastic film which is folded up to form a triangular shaped channel. With NFT, the objective is that part of the developing root mat is in the nutrient flow, but many of the other roots are sitting up above this in the moist air, accessing oxygen without being submerged. Seedlings or young plants in NFT are typically supported by either propagation cubes of stonewool, oasis or coconut fiber, or in small lattice pots which slot into the top surface of the growing channels. A central nutrient reservoir holds the nutrient solution and from there it is pumped up into the growing channels, flows past the root systems, and is piped back to the reservoir for monitoring and adjustment either manually or automatically via electronic doser units.

The Principals of NFT

The main disadvantage of NFT is that power outages, which halt the continual flow of nutrient, can quickly result in crop death, particularly under warm growing conditions.

Flexibility of NFT systems

One of the main advantages of NFT, apart from the cost and labor savings of not requiring large volumes of a growing substrate, is it allows production of salad greens, lettuce, and herbs without the risk of grit contamination which can occur in soilless substrate systems. NFT systems may incorporate heating or cooling of the nutrient solution as is required for year-round cropping and allow a very ‘clean’ system to be run, with sterilization of equipment between crops if necessary.