Choosing The Right Cannabis Container for Your Growing Operation
Choosing the right cannabis container is often dependent upon your chosen method of growing and whether you choose to grow vertically or outdoors.
For vertical growing with multiple layers, a high plant density is best to maximize space and yield. Using a smaller container such as a 2.5-gallon or a tall 1-gallon will allow you to create a uniform canopy. The tall 1-gallon pot can increase the plant density and the number of growing tiers in the existing space by reducing the final crop height. We recommend using a 2.5 – 4-gallon container (depending on plant density) in a single-layer for indoor or greenhouse growing method. Whichever system you decide on, creating a filled-out canopy during the flowering stage is the best approach.
For a field container, the plant will be in a container longer than those grown in a more controlled environment. We recommend a container 5-gallons or larger to prevent the roots from becoming root bound for crops with longer than six weeks of vegetative growth.
When choosing the right cannabis container, it’s important to remember that each container size has limitations based on the final size of the plant. For example, a small container will not withstand the increased size of the root system at eight weeks of growth. However, that same container is perfect for a crop only growing one to three weeks in the vegetative phase.
Injection containers are designed for strength and longevity over their blow mold and thermoform counterparts. This reality enables them to be reused multiple times and the ability to withstand the environmental elements of growing outdoors for extended periods. As a result, they’re an ideal choice for growers who cultivate plants bound in resin containers (for some duration) exclusively outdoors. Injection containers are manufactured with thick walls and heavy bottom construction, featuring large drain holes ideal for outdoor irrigation. In addition, injection containers are automation-friendly as labor shortages force growers to implement automated equipment to offset labor costs.
Bottom line – if you’re looking for a super-strong, super-durable resin container you can use outdoors, again and again, injection containers are your choice.
Blow Mold Containers
Blow mold containers are the next step down in terms of strength and durability from injection containers. Many feature ribbed sides for additional strength, sturdy corners to avoid cracking, and a wide base for additional stability when relocating plants in your operation. In addition, they feature side and bottom drainage – both high or low, depending on your irrigation practices. While blow mold containers can be reused multiple times, their side rib construction makes them unsuitable for automated equipment due to denesting issues. However, if you’re looking for a large capacity, blow mold containers often come in sizes up to 65 gallons.
Bottom line – if you need middle-of-the-road strength in a larger size and aren’t concerned about automation limitations, blow mold containers are your choice when choosing the right cannabis container.
Thermoform containers are an economical solution for those interested in many of the features and benefits of traditional injection containers. While they provide some strength and durability, including automation compatibility, they’re not manufactured for repeated use in growing operations. Thermoform containers are ideal for limited growing applications and brief cultivations where the plant is grown quickly in a temporary container and eventually extracted and transplanted directly into the ground or a larger container. Thermoform containers are a solid choice for propagation.
Bottom line – an economical and automation compatible growing solution often used as a starter pot.
HC’s fiber growing containers are produced in a closed-loop water recycling facility with recycled newsprint and corrugated fibers. They allow moisture to move freely throughout the walls of the container for optimal drainage and healthy root systems by ensuring the entire plant can breathe – maintaining necessary oxygen levels while limiting root rot caused by over-watering.
Best of all, by either removing the bottom of the fiber container or simply allowing the roots to grow through safely and naturally, you can directly plant the entire container into the ground or a larger container without causing shock to the root systems. If your cultivating method is to grow starter plants before planting them into the ground, this option is great to limit your plastic waste and avoid root shock. The container will maintain its integrity long enough to establish a healthy root system.
Bottom line – a sustainable solution that saves time and prevents root shock to the plant.
Choosing the right cannabis container can seem daunting at times. But once you understand the unique properties each offers to your growing operation, the choice will be clear.
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