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Hydro Vs Soil Growing: No Clear Winner?

Hydro Vs Soil Growing: No Clear Winner?

By Grow How

Everyone has their own preferred cannabis cultivation method. For some, it’s all about the most advanced hydroponics weed systems on the market. For others, growing weed in a cup with a traditional medium is the way to go. Hence, the debate as to which grow method is ‘best’ rages on.

Even today, hydro and soil cultivation methods divide growers right down the middle.

But what does science say about the whole thing? Is there really any clear winner between the two? Or is it simply a case of personal opinion, with no real distinction in terms of results?

For anyone getting started for the first time, soil cultivation is probably the way to go. Growing cannabis in small pots using a traditional medium is just about the easiest way to get things off the ground. Further down the line, it’s a case of weighing up the pros and cons of both hydro and soil cultivation techniques.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to see which suits your preferences and requirements best.

Soil Growing

Provided with rich soil and plenty of drainage, cannabis plants can thrive in traditional soil. Not only this, but some growers insist that soil produces cannabis flowers with a richer and more complex final flavour. Coupled with the fact that soil growing is accessible for just about anyone, it all adds up to an appealing grow method. Nevertheless, there are downsides to take into account – a few of which are outlined below:

Pros of Soil Growing

  • Inexpensive and easy to get started with
  • A forgiving grow method for the inexperienced
  • Potential to produce outstanding cannabis
  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor grows
  • Can be used in small pots and tiny spaces

Cons of Soil Growing

  • Soil makes for messy indoor growing conditions
  • Comparatively slow plant growth
  • Yields not always generous
  • Pest and disease problems associated with soil
  • Difficulties balancing water and nutrient delivery


On the hydro side of the equation, we’re talking about advanced systems that eliminate soil from the equation. Instead, the roots of the cannabis plants are submerged directly in the nutrient solution itself. This ensures optimum delivery of all required nutrients on a consistent basis. Advocates insist that this targeted provision of nutrients can only ever add up to stronger plants and better final results. But at the same time, there are also inherent disadvantages to hydro cultivation:

Pros of Hydro Growing

  • Hydroponics can deliver bigger and more consistent yields
  • Elimination of soil-borne diseases and pests
  • Plants tend to grow faster and stronger than with soil
  • Compact hydro systems are good for small spaces
  • Near-total automation for maximum convenience
  • Total control of nutrient delivery during each life-cycle stage

Cons of Hydro Growing

  • Advanced hydroponics systems require a lot of space
  • The learning curve with hydroponics is quite steep
  • Quality hydroponics weed systems are expensive
  • Hydroponics is 100% dependent on electrical power

And the winner is…

As touched upon previously, it’s hard to pick a clear winner. If you have plenty of available space, a decent amount of money and don’t mind doing your homework, you’ll be in your element with hydro. Once things are set up and running, hydro grow systems effectively take care of themselves. All while producing top-shelf bud in the shortest possible time.

By contrast, if you’re looking to spend as little as possible and have no prior experience, soil growing is the way to go. This is perhaps the easiest, cheapest and arguably best way to explore cannabis cultivation for the first time. If things go well and you want to take things to the next level, maybe check out hydro at a later date.

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