High Five: 5 Cultivation Styles



Using aeroponics, cannabis roots are suspended in the air and are fed water and nutrients via a fine mist. Aeroponics doesn’t require any type of medium or substrate, and the growing style is commonly used to develop clones. This is done through the use of cloners, or mini aeroponic systems that blow a mist over clones to allow growth. The lack of a medium usually ends up meaning less space per plant, and the roots don’t have to fight for space. One of the cons to aeroponic growing is that when the pumps break down, the roots die quickly without an alarm and a fast response. Since growers are dependent on timers, valves, and pumps working properly, there are plenty of ways to mess up the system if you don’t know what you’re doing.



This relatively rare method combines aquaculture—small fish, crayfish, prawns, or snails—with hydroponics, feeding the plants with natural nutrients produced by aquatic animals instead of synthetic nutrients. The main reason growers experiment with aquaponics is for sustainability and eco-friendly purposes. It abandons any reliance on fertilizers that are mined and manufactured, so you can be sure no synthetic fertilizers end up in the final, chemical-free product. Online, some people say aquaponics is a complicated, overhyped process with few rewards, while others praise the benefits.



Hydroponic cultivation is the process of growing plants in a water-based nutrient solution that doesn’t use soil. Roots are grown in substrates like vermiculite or perlite (porous minerals), as well as coco coir (coconut husk fiber). They absorb water and nutrients like a sponge and roots grow around them. Hydroponics ideally provides a more controlled grow site, promoting faster growth, potentially higher yields, and higher nutrient uptake. Growers often take drastic measures to ensure their hydro setup is sterile, and they have to deal with pesticides less often. 

Sea of Green


The Sea of Green (SOG) growing technique is designed to maximize the yield per square foot of a grow operation by growing lots of small cannabis plants rather than fewer larger ones. It creates a dense canopy that can be harvested earlier with the plants growing a single large bud instead of branching out. A variation, the Screen of Green (SCROG) method, utilizes horizontal netting to create uniformity. SOG and SCROG setups are typically created by commercial operations that deal with larger-scale grows. These ways can be maximized through super cropping and other pruning and suspension techniques.



Keep it natural, the way nature intended, by growing plants in soil. Generally speaking, it’s easier to maintain a plant grown in soil than in most growing methods and it’s a great medium for beginners. Soil is also an abundant source found everywhere, while quality varies. Living soil, a variation of this technique, is when the soil contains organic matter, minerals, water, air, and microorganisms that work together synergistically. Cultivating in living soil is believed to maximize the terpene and flavor profiles of plants.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of High Times Magazine.

The post High Five: 5 Cultivation Styles first appeared on High Times.


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