Rooted in Research - Aeroponics Update
Earlier this year we introduced you to an exciting R&D aeroponics project we’re currently working on. Recently, we had a chance to sit down with our Director of Research and Development, Katya Boudko, to get an update on the pilot.
What’s Going on Behind The Curtain
The strain our team decided to grow for this pilot is Princeton (Ghost Train Haze), a favourite of the Research and Development team due to its large trichome covered buds and pleasant aroma.
We are using a prototype modular high-pressure aeroponics system designed by Texas-based Indoor Harvest, Corp. This system allows us to have complete control over the root zone environment, including nutrient additions and watering frequency. The closed, automated system allows for a very clean growing environment with little to no contamination from organic substrates and rigorous control of the growing environment.
In addition to the aeroponics system from Indoor Harvest, we are also comparing two types of lighting – high pressure sodium and LEDs from Illumitex. To compare the aeroponics system to Tweed’s current production methods, we are also growing Princeton in a traditional soilless medium under the Illumitex LED lights.
We are almost through our flowering cycle, and the plants are approximately one meter tall and are covered in trichomes and smell of citrus and diesel.
How the Pilot Is Progressing
We are almost through our flowering cycle, and the plants are approximately one meter tall and densely intertwined through our SCROG* nets and the plants are covered in trichomes and smell of citrus and diesel. We are seeing savings in water and nutrient consumption and are pleased with the results. The roots in each chamber are fluffy and white, covered in root hairs, and they have formed a dense mat across the chamber floor.
Though the root balls are quite large, we are not growing at maximum density in the chamber and are interested to see how root morphology will change with updated designs that will alter plant spacing and chamber size and shape. We expect that future tests will allow us to further refine our technique, resulting in even lower water usage.
Our initial data suggest that the use of aeroponics chambers results in faster vegetative growth when compared to traditional soilless methods. As for the lights' performance, well, we can’t tell you everything!
As you can see, this has been a very successful pilot and we look forward to sharing more of the results with you soon.
Here’s to future growth.
*SCROG refers to the ‘Screen of Green’ growing method. Learn more here.
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