The different methods and techniques for growing cannabis can be just as versatile as the genetics themselves. There are some aspects of growing, however, that are consistent across the board. This cannabis growing tips guide is meant to shed some light on the secrets to successful cannabis cultivation from some of the top growers in the industry. We will focus on the main factors that remain consistent for all growers (whether it be indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse) and tap into the tips, tricks, and practices that supplement cannabis cultivators with a little less risk and a little more reward. Now let’s talk about cannabis cultivation because some secrets don’t stay secret for long.
Main Topics We Will Cover (and uncover):
• Nutrients and Supplements
• Watering the Right Way
• Lighting + Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC)
Marijuana Growing Tips: Nutrients and Supplements
There is such a thing as too much a good thing and this rings true for growing cannabis. Some novice growers forget that it’s called “weed” for a reason. When you are manipulating light cycles, adding nutrients, and creating environments for cannabis sometimes it is best to use the KIS method. ( Keep it simple.) Let us focus on some secrets pertaining to nutrients and supplements that help ease the cultivation process.
As many novice and avid growers know with the growing stages of marijuana comes a range in variation in the nutrients the plant needs (NPK levels), the amount at which it needs these nutrients (ppm levels) as well as the ph level best suited for each stage of the lifecycle that plant is in. Outside these factors, there is some area to play and learn as a cultivator to increase yields, potency, efficiency in your grow, etc.
Overdoing your nutrients and supplements can cause nutrient lock or nutrient burn to your plants. Both of which will reduce overall yield or put your plants in other words a “Not So, Bueno” situation. Learning and building knowledge on how to feed your plants through different methods is a secret language most great cultivators capitalize on.
Three Top Tips For Nutrients and Supplements:
1. Foliar feeding is a great way to give your plants nutrients when they haven’t yet uptaken the moisture in the soil. This could be due to the cooler temperature outdoors, shorter days of sunlight, or let’s be honest that casual “Sh** I forgot to shut off the irrigation system” circumstance. Foliar feeding is a simple solution to nourishing your plants while the roots are still saturated. Pro-tip: Don’t foliar feed three weeks before harvest, but do try to get extra feeds in per week and reduce the likelihood of root rot. Using Silica will help the plant grow and increase yield, while also making the outer plant cell walls stronger to fight off powdery mildew and pests.
2. Soil Amendments are also an amazing way to get nutrients to your plants without overdoing it. Many larger scale grows are constantly feeding through drip lines and running into clogging issues. This could be due to nutrient build-up in the lines, thicker feeds, or improperly using/ mixing some nutrients that simply don’t dissolve. A certain amount of chemistry does go into growing cannabis and many farmers don’t have time to “troubleshoot” issues when it comes to their million-dollar crop and short-season timeline. Adding organic nutrients to your soil (pre-planting) will help you keep future issues with feeding and irrigation at bay.
Pro-tip: Magnesium, zinc, organic phosphorus, and molybdenum are a few trace minerals that are better off going straight into the soil. Agriculture and farming is one of the oldest industries to date and the knowledge farmers have retained over their decades of experience has led to many now known secrets within the soil. Buying certain nutrients in bulk will save you thousands in the long run! For example, purchasing oyster shell in bulk can increase levels of calcium for your plants, raise ph in soil, and also increase the uptake of your plant’s macronutrients. That’s a triple threat!
3. Circling back to the tips on growing cannabis above: Don’t overdo it! If you are in week five of the flower cycle and your buds aren’t as big as another genetic or simply as big as you’d like, this doesn’t mean “add MORE nutrients”. A key thing to remember is though nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) are important in the growth of your cannabis flower they are not the ONLY factor that your plants need to thrive. Growing marijuana in natural light (or artificial) and CO2 are very necessary for the growth and overall yield of your plants. First, ensure these factors are optimal before you increase ppm levels and alter feeding schedules.
Weed Growing Tips: Watering the Right Way
Watering a plant seems simple enough, but as far as cannabis is concerned water and nutrient uptake can make or break your seasonal profits and final yield every time if you don’t get it right. There are so many reasons why water can make all the difference in your grow from efficiency, to yield, to budget. That said, check out these three top tips for growing weed from the ones that have mastered watering the right way.
Three Top Tips For Watering the Right Way
1. Watch Your Well Water – Though a great water source, many land parcels have well water or “hard water” which contains a lot of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and so on. This factor can alter nutrient levels with feeds and produce inconsistent crop growth and final results. Pro-tip: Add a reverse osmosis filtering system to remove particles within your well water and build a feed and nutrient solution using that newly filtered RO water. Purchase an electrical conductivity meter (EC) to make sure your nutrient levels remain steady and adjusted appropriately as your plants mature. This will give you more control over your ppm levels and keep your growing methods consistent.
2. It might seem obvious, but it must be said. Don’t overwater your plants! This is a common issue with new growers in the game, overwatering your plants can actually make your cannabis look “ droopy or thirsty” when in actuality they are the opposite. Giving your plants proper time to dry will increase nutrient uptake, reduce the likelihood of root rot and help your plant’s root system stretch and strengthen.
3. A lot of growers blow through their budget their first time around because they don’t realize how much work and manpower goes into growing weed on a larger scale. The number of hours and labor can add up rather quickly, so efficiency is everything. Invest in a pump and set up an irrigation system. This way you are not paying employees for ten hours a day to hold a hose. Feeding and watering can be made much more efficient using a sump pump, drip lines, and a 330-gallon reservoir tank. This is a small investment that will save you a lot of money, time, and labor in a short period of time.
Marijuana Tips: Lighting, Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC)
This subject can be somewhat scary to novice growers. One because every grow space is different and two because you need to always expect the unexpected when relying on sources regarding lighting and HVAC systems. Controlling and stabilizing these factors while having a backup plan is an important strategy for all cultivation facilities. Though circumstances will vary, controlling your space and creating the plants’ optimal environment is important no matter how you grow.
Three Top Tips for Lighting and HVAC
1. First, have a backup plan, this means don’t just rely on one cooling or heating source. Systems fail, breakers blow, and some growers aren’t always so fortunate to have a 24-hour team on the scene. That said, have multiple cooling or heating units in each space. This will increase consistent circulation and decrease the risk of losing your crop to mold, heat, you name it. Protect your investment and don’t make a million-dollar mistake.
2. There are many ways to stabilize your environment to the ideal humidity for cannabis, all of which are different if you are let’s say drying weed using a dehumidifier or storing cannabis using humidity packs for weed. For those cultivators growing in a greenhouse using a light deprivation system, an amazing way to adjust humidity is investing in light deprivation curtains. Tarps can be heavy and hard to work with and not every cultivation facility has room in their budget for every aspect of their growing process to be electronic. Light deprivation curtains are an easy and affordable installation solution to keep air flowing freely, keeping weed fresh, and reducing the risk of the humidity getting too high too often.
3. Work with what you’ve got! We have all heard the expression work smarter not harder, but sometimes those lessons don’t come so easy. This brings us to our final growing tip as far as lighting and HVAC is concerned. Where you build your structure and how you decide to grow should be preplanned taking your natural resources into consideration. For example, you want to grow your plants where they will receive optimal natural light throughout the whole season. Another huge example is paying attention to your wind source. What wind direction and currents are most common where you are growing? Build your greenhouses to work with those wind patterns creating a tunnel-like means of air circulation. Work with nature not against it, this will save you money on fans, dehumidifiers, electricity bills, and the list goes on….
Every cannabis grower knows that the job is never finished and there is always more to be done. Cannabis cultivation is truly more a lifestyle than it is a full-time job, but there are secrets and tricks to the trade that can make a grower’s life easier. Continuing to learn more tips on how to grow weed and becoming more knowledgeable as the industry continues to flourish and grow can only build a cultivator’s chance to succeed when it counts.