I’ve just completed my first ever harvest!
At times, managing my cannabis garden has been quite frustrating due to having to face several setbacks. This was largely caused by me buying the wrong equipment for my set up but after a little bit of reading these problems were easily fixed. The stress of managing my garden was eventually worth it; there is nothing like vaping your own homegrown!
So you don’t have to face the same set-backs I did, here are 5 things you should consider before growing your cannabis plants!
Indoor Vs Outdoor
For most cannabis growers, the decision whether to grow their harvest indoor or outdoor is a decision made for them by their own personal circumstance.
Growing outdoors can be a great decision if you have access to good pastures, no security threats and live in a temperate climate.
However, if like me, you live in the northern hemisphere then more than likely you’ll be growing your crop indoors. An indoor set up can be quite expensive, However, indoor grows do have their own benefits. You’ll have full control to create your own indoor climate so you’re not restricted by the seasons to one grow a year. A seasoned indoor grower should be able to pull 3-5 crops per year.
What is the best Lighting Set-Up for my grow
Commercial LED grow lights are a key pillar for a successful cannabis garden. Plants convert light into energy that they use to grow. without a good source of light, your cannabis seedlings will never grow into strong and healthy cannabis plants.
Due to Innovations in light technology, the yields possible from a single harvest have grown exponentially. No matter where we grow we can now have full control of the intensity and spectrum of light available to ensure our plant’s et exactly what they require for a successful harvest.
In the past, I have used two kinds of light set-ups, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
HIDs (High-Intensity Discharge) emits light very similar to that of the sun which of course is perfect for your plants. However, similar to the sun they are very hot which means if you don’t control the temperature in your set up, your plants my quickly dry up.
LED Grow Lights: Indoor full spectrum led grow lightsuse ultra-violet and infrared wavelengths which are great for plant health and strength. However, this set up requires a lot of room because they need to be hung quite high. As a result, this is only an option for growers with a lot of space.
Starting off with the wrong set of lights can be detrimental to your growing efforts, so making an educated purchase is a must. I would advise buying from a retailer who can assist you in making the right decision.
Grow light experts such as California Light Works not only have the best LED grow lights in 2019, but they also lead the industry in research, design, development and manufacturing of state-of-the-art commercial indoor full spectrum LED grow lights.
Ensuring your plants have a good airflow
Just like us, plants breathe and your garden will require a constant flow of fresh air to help :
- Plants grow: Without fresh CO2, a cannabis plant’s growth will be stunted
- Strengthen stems and branches: A constant breeze will encourage your plants to grow healthy, strong limbs which they will later need to hold big heavy buds!
- Prevent mould and pests: Mould and pests are the scourge of every cannabis grow. Both of these enjoy warm, humid atmospheres. A constant stream of cool air will reduce the chances of an infestation.
Controlling the smell
No one likes nosy neighbours. Quite often the first sign that someone is growing cannabis is the smell a set-up can emit. The good news is well can inhibit this!
The most efficient way to control the smell of growing cannabis plants is to use a carbon filter. They literally work to completely scrub smells from the air so they never escape the grow area, either inside or outside the home.
Pro Tip: Setting up an exhaust is important. You should control the airflow of your set up so air from your plants pass over the carbon filter and then are taken straight outside.
Many cannabis growers set up their carbon filter this way:
Carbon Filter > Grow Light > Exhaust Fan > Outside
What are the best nutrients for my plant
Nutrients are chemicals and compounds that your plants will use as building blocks to grow.
There are a group of compounds that are quite often referred to as macronutrients as they are the main nutrients that every plant will need. They include:
There are literally dozens of different nutrients available to growers which can make it quite difficult to choose the best one for your set up. However, with just a little bit of research into how plants use nutrients and the job each compound performs you should be able to select the right products for your plant fairly quickly and easily.
- Nitrogen – an essential part of chlorophyll and without it, a plant can’t turn sunlight into energy and it won’t be able to grow.
- Phospurs- The key role of this element is to help make nutrients available for the plant to create healthy big buds. Early signs of phosphorus deficiency show up as a purple hue in the veins of leaves.
- Potassium – this compound manages the water and salt concentrations in the plant. Potassium accomplishes this by controlling the opening and closing of the stomata which is how a plant exchanges CO2, H2O, and oxygen.
- Calcium – Without Calcium, new growth will be stunted, leaves will curl, and rusty spots will show up on the plant.
- Magnesium – generate glucose from photosynthesis. Without magnesium, no energy can be converted from sunlight.
The exact nutrients your plant will need will largely depend on how you’re growing your cannabis crops.
Hydroponic grow to require specially made nutrients. Typically they are made of concentrated mineral salts, usually in liquid form but sometimes as powders, that are to be diluted in water to a level that is suitable for the plant.
Hydroponic gardens are at a high risk of overfeeding which can kill your plants. I recommend always starting at 25% of the recommended dose and slowly working up to full strength. If you think you may have overfed your plant you can flush it with water.
Gowing in the soil can be simpler than hydroponic because high-quality soil is already packed full of nutrients in the form of non-inert organic matter like humus, compost, manure, and worm castings that contain many macro and micronutrients. Much of the nutritional value in these substances are locked up in non-soluble form, however, and must be processed by soil-dwelling microbes and fungi in order to be of use to the plant.
You can also purchase pre-mixed organic nutrient solutions you can buy that take the guesswork out of feeding your plants.