hempy bucket grow

An Idiot’s Guide to Hempy

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.

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.

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…


Thought I’d share my current style of grow with the community. My style uses Hempy buckets. Ironically the dude who invented this system was named Hempy. It’s a very easy and straight forward system of drain to waste passive hydroponics. I’ve used both 3 and 5 gallon buckets. You simply take your standard black bucket and drill one 7/16” diameter hole in the side of bucket 2” from the bottom. You then fill the bottom of the bucket with pearlite up to the 7/16” hole or 2” deep. I fill the rest of bucket with coco coir and pearlite mix. I water these buckets (by hand) once a day with about a half gallon each of water and nutes and vacuum the catch tray. The bottom layer of pearlite acts like a mini reservoir which changes out each day when you fertigate from the top. It’s impossible to over water,hard to make a mistake and if you do it can be corrected in short order. So I’ve had nothing but success with this system but here are the down sides. 1). It requires daily watering. I used bottled organics GO line and they won’t work in an automated drip system. This means I mix and water in nutes daily. 2.) you have to get rid of the run off . I use a home depot “Bucket Head” vac on 5 gallon pail which I use everyday . It requires emptying the pail once or twice a week. So there are ways to minimize or eliminate these 2 negatives but I’m happy with it for now. I like to be busy with and around my plants everyday.

Thought I'd share my current style of grow with the community. My style uses Hempy buckets. Ironically the dude who invented this system was named Hem…