1. We are currently experiencing issues with viewing and uploading images, our team is working on the issue.
    Dismiss Notice

An Idiot's Guide to Hempy

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Japanfreak, Nov 19, 2010.


    Japanfreak New Member

    Hempy Style

    Hempy buckets are by far the easiest, cheapest and most cost effective way to grow hydroponically. In my 7 years of growing I’ve done aeroponics, dwc, bio-buckets and Hempy and there is no comparing the simplicity.
    • No pH testing needed
    • No ppm meters
    • No stress about root rot

    Hempy is a run to waste, hand water style of growing. “Oh no run to waste! I hate to waste nutrients,” you say? No worries, compared to dwc you actually use up to 8 times less water and nutrients. “But I can’t be bothered with hand watering,” you say? No worries, you’ll actually spend a lot less time tending to your garden.

    Hempy buckets can be made out of any plastic container such as trash cans, coke bottles, coolers and so on. You can make a hempy bucket out of anything that will hold water. You probably have something in your home right now that can be converted to a Hempy bucket.

    How to make a Hempy Bucket.

    Take your container and measure 2 inches up from the bottom and make a hole in the side. The hole doesn’t have to be too big, about the circumference of a pencil. This is where the excess water will drain out. You’ll need to put your bucket in a small dish or something to collect the run-off water. Any gardening store will have those things for planters and that’s what most people use.

    My twist on the design is that instead of just a drain hole I’ve added tubes (hose connecters) to allow the water to drain out into a container so I can collect the run off easily and measure it if I have to. If you are planning a lot of buckets I’d just do a traditional style one but for a few buckets my style really practical.

    So why do you make the hole 2 inches from the bottom? The basic idea is that you are replicating a water shelf like in Nature. If you dig down far enough in your back yard you’ll hit water right? Well that’s what we are doing on a very small scale.

    What medium to use

    The traditional medium for Hempy is a vermiculite and perlite mix but people also use coco and even hydro balls. Personally I’d recommend that you just try 100% perlite because it’s easy, clean and reusable.

    Watering and Feeding
    To feed your plants you just hand water them like you would any houseplant. If you’ve never grown anything it might take a while to get used to, but believe me it’s as easy as pie. During the first week or so of veg you’ll probably have to water them every few days just a little because the roots haven’t reached the bottom of the bucket where all the water is, once they do you’ll only have to water about once a week. I’ve gone 14 days between watering before. The important thing is that whenever you feed them you want to add enough so that roughly 30% of what you put in comes out the holes. This helps flush out built up salts and keeps the bucket fresh. Personally I feed my plants with every watering with good results.
    Here is a pic of one of my hempy buckets, which is filled with perlite. You’ll have to wash the perlite before you use it and it’s a somewhat messy job so you should do it in the bath. Big strainers work best for the job. Just run water through the perlite to wash away the dust and dirt that will be in the bag with it. Some perlite is almost pure white and other times it’s tinted grey which is natural. Just keep an eye on the water and when it starts to filter through clear your perlite is ready to use.
    Here is the same bucket with 6 freshly transplanted clones. I have just watered them and you can see the water coming out the drain holes into my collection pot. I water them every few days during the first week. I just pour a little at the base of each plant. Eventually your roots will fill the whole bucket so you should water/feed the whole surface area.
    Two weeks later after a trim I’m ready to flip these to flower. That’s all there is to it. I’ll feed them about once a week for the duration of the flower cycle. Other than that I’ll only have to check on my garden to raise the lights.

    Some thoughts and pointers

    I had never hand-watered plants before I tried this style and it was hard to get my head around it before I tried it. I’ve noticed that when hydro growers try hempy they tend to water too much at first as I myself did. My first run I was watering 2~3 times a week and I didn’t have the best harvest. Plants actually do the most growing and look the best just before they need watering so don’t panic and start over watering them. How do you know when it’s time to water again? If your plants start to look wilted or if they look hungry (paling of the leafs) it’s time to feed. Once the roots reach the bottom of your bucket (about a week) you’ll see the plants really start to take off and I suggest you try to wait as long as you can before you feed them, get to know your plants and keep records and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

    If you decide to use perlite you should plan on recycling it. Recycled perlite is actually better than new perlite. You can remove the roots by shifting through a metal net. Once you get as many out as you can you need to boil the perlite in water for about 5 minutes.

    With most hydro growing styles water temp is a huge concern but not with Hempy. As long as you’re not growing in 100 degrees I wouldn’t even worry about it.

    Don’t use Lucas

    I had used the Lucas formula with my other systems for so long that I didn’t even think about using a different recipe and I’ve noticed other growers doing the same thing. Bottom line is Lucas is meant for DWC and the ppms are too low for Hempy. Once I started using the recipe on the back of the GH bottles and the grow nutrients with some Epsom I got much better results. You can use any nutrients you wish and many people go organic but trust me, you don’t want to waste your time using Lucas formula in Hempy.

    Bud Porn
    These are examples of plants that I grew under a 250 watt hps light in Hempy. I hit 0.6gpw on my 3rd Hempy grow and I think I might hit closer to 0.8gpw on my latest round with a 2 week veg/55 day strain.
    Kjudah420, PoTSD, nicougrik and 14 others like this.

    DSB65 Well-Known Member

    I was just asking a new member about this thread....thanks plus rep.........WILL HAVE QUESTIONS IN THE NEAR FUTURE....

    moash New Member

    rep to u sir or mam

    Japanfreak New Member

    Thanks all, this is just a copy of a thread I had at another site. This style has been around a long time in different countries with different names. Here is a "hempy" bucket pre-made and sold here in Japan for a few bucks. I think they call it the easy grow bucket.

    Attached Files:


    Spoc Active Member

    Thanks for the info on this style of growing. Always heard of the term...looks super simple!
    OB 1

    OB 1 Active Member

    Pretty work JapanFreak - well done intro to Hempy. I used all perlite with my current grow, but I'm going to add a bunch of Coco Coir next time to help retain more of the CRF I've been using - have you seen the grows using Osmocote + temp release nutes or DM red time release nutes? Pretty amazing stuff once you dial it in.

    It's so easy, a stoner could do it... :)
    Joegrowsalot likes this.

    Japanfreak New Member

    Yeah I have seen some of those. I forget the guy's name at the other site who was doing it but he was rocking it. Even though I don't pay much attention I've been around long enough that some of it sticks in. From what I've gathered most nutes are based off the same 50+ old year formula or something, any of them should work fine so may as well find the cheapest you can. I would be totally down with the osmocote if it was aviable here.

    For those who don't know, they are time released ferts than only work when they are wet, so imagine just mixing in little balls with your medium and all you have to do is water from there on out. Hempy + Osmocote seems like super idiot proof to me. Worth doing some research for anybody who is looking for super simple growing.
    OB 1

    OB 1 Active Member

    DocBud was the guy who introduced it to me... and he's got some amazing buds out of it. Irishboy and Setting Sun are both doing grows with Controlled Release (CRF) OC+ and Time Release (TRF) DM Red and Purple in hempy buckets, and both are rocking it - Sun's plants look perfect, and while Irishboy got some deficiencies, his buds are HUGE - he hides a two liter bottle behind the top colas... my favorite comment was "looks like a guy in a weed suit" lol...

    The Osmocote has been around forever, and it's used everywhere in professional gardening. You can get 50lb bags of it for like a hundred bucks, and it'd last your entire life since you only use 3-5 tablespoons per plant per grow.

    There are some tricks to it though - the osmosis rate is controlled by the temperature of the medium, so you can get problems with too high or too low temps - from what I've seen, it's best to mix the time release ferts with it to avoid deficiencies. Also, I think perlite doesn't hold or buffer the nutes from the CRFs as well as coco or peat with this type of grow - both Sun and Irish added coco with good results.

    I'm hoping to do a journal here, but I've not even looked around at who's doing what yet - are there any good hempy grows going on I should check out?

    420God Well-Known Member

    I haven't come across any and I cover a lot of ground on this site. It would be nice to see a good one as I'm new to growing.:-P
    OB 1

    OB 1 Active Member

    Cool - hopefully JapanFreak will get one going... I guess I could post the one I've almost finished... but with the warning that I've been trying out the "stoner proof" theory... the plants look ragged, but the buds are sweeeet.

    420God Well-Known Member

    That's pretty cool. I like to see all the different ways of growing and learn from them what I can do to make my grow as good as possible.:blsmoke:

    upthearsenal Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad I found this! +rep Japanfreak

    This is most definitely something I'm getting ready to try really soon.
    OB 1

    OB 1 Active Member

    Here's my setup:


    Turned my old lightrail into a vertical mover for my 400 watt Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) bulb hung bare.

    The plants are all LST'd into a vertical scrog basically... I'm using sign holders in the hempy buckets to keep the plants stable and hold back the branches from the light.

    I have it on an auto watering system too so I can leave town for a few weeks if need be...


    I've definitely tortured the plants, and you can see some of the damage... still, the great thing about hempy is that it's easy to recover from mistakes... or just laziness in my case, as I've pretty much ignored this grow.

    This is the Blue Widow:


    Plus, I'm trying out Osmocote + as the only nutes, and I've figured out you have to add cal-mag to R/O water since they are designed for regular tap.

    Next time I'm going to add some coco coir to help retain a bit more water and nutes than plain perlite.
    420God likes this.

    420God Well-Known Member

    Nice, looks well put together.:clap:

    Japanfreak New Member

    OB 1

    OB 1 Active Member

    Thank you! It works... which is all that matters... ;)

    Sweet! I've put the Hempy guide in my signature, hopefully we can turn a few dirty growers on to the cleanest, easiest way to grow cannabis I know of... Nice work JapanFreak.

    shnkrmn Well-Known Member

    I quit hempy when I was faced with disposing of 100 gallons of rotting rootballs and perlite. It's great for a plant or four though.


    tsboss1 Well-Known Member

    Hello and thank you for this excellent post. I have been putting a plan together on what I need to do to get started and thinking heavily on which method I would like to use for my first grow and this seems perfect for me since im a complete noob. My questions to you are:

    What type of bucket did you use and how much does it cost?

    When you said "if you are planning a lot of buckets I’d just do a traditional style one but for a few buckets my style really practical." what exactly did you mean? I am trying to grow roughly 12-24 plants so can you explain this is a little better for me?

    When you add the nutrients do you have to add it around each plant or do you just pour the rec. amount anywhere on top of the perlite? also how often do you add the espson salt and how much do you add?

    Thanks in advace!

    Japanfreak New Member

    One of the reasons I choose hempy was because I knew I wanted a system where I could recycle the medium. I just replaced my perlite after more than 2 years of constant use. it's such an easy process. You just need a big piece of wire mesh that is a bit bendable, the holes should be just big enough for the perlite to fall through, put the mesh over a big wastebasket and push it in to make a shape. This is called a hopper and it's used to remove roots. You just dump your medium on top and shake it bucket, the perlite falls through and the roots are caught on the net. You'd be surprised how easy it is to remove like 99% of the roots.

    Next you have to disinfect the medium. I know in the states that they sell something for this, you just add a cap full to your medium and soak, here we don't have that so I boil it 5 liters at a time on my stove. For me to process 40 liters like this usually takes me about 2 1/2 hours but it's better than throwing the stuff out. Obviously it would take a lot less time if I had that stuff you add instead of boiling.

    And perlite is actually better to use after it's been processed the way I do it (as noted by professional tomato farmers where I got the idea)

    Japanfreak New Member


Share This Page