Growing your own herbal oasis is an exciting adventure, but it also requires specific knowledge of cannabis science. Between choosing the right grow lights and recognizing signs of nutrient deficiency, cultivating a successful crop is no walk in the park.
Luckily, the world of cannabis gardening has come a long way in the past few decades, and the growing community is eager to share its top tips and tricks. Consider these seven essential things every grower should know before starting their crop.
Understand the Life Cycle
Like any plant, Mary Jane goes through distinct phases in which it requires certain nutrients and care. The first stage is germination, which is when you’ll plant seeds in a seedling starter mix. Next is the seedling stage, in which the juvenile plant begins to grow roots. In this delicate phase, it’s vital to avoid overfeeding and overwatering.
The third phase, the vegetative stage, is when plants start to grow rapidly and need more nutrients. Lastly is the flowering stage, which lasts six to ten weeks. During this phase, the plants produce dense buds that are ready for harvest.
Purchase the Necessary Garden Supplies
Essential growing tools vary between indoor and outdoor crops, although both require essential garden supplies. For outdoor cultivation, consider planting seeds in raised beds or containers filled with nutrient-rich soil. If you live in a warm climate, consider using shade cloth to keep plants at a comfortable temperature.
If you’re growing indoor crops, essential tools include a humidifier, thermometer, grow lights, fans, and pots. It’s important to note that both types of crops will benefit from an all-natural nutrient additive to enhance the flavor, aroma, and potency of the final cannabis product.
Determine How Much Power You’ll Need
Growing healthy cannabis plants requires a significant amount of light, especially for indoor growers. Maturing plants need up to 18 hours of light a day, and most experienced growers use 400-600W lights. You’ll also use electricity to power fans, humidifiers, and extractors.
Recognize Signs of Distress
Like any other plant, herb is susceptible to pests and deficiencies, especially during its seedling stage. If you notice red stems, curling, spotted leaves, or stunted growth, your plant needs an extra dose of nutrients. Common signs of pests include twisted leaves, brown spots, black buds, and a white powder on soil.
Know Your Nutrients
To promote growth and boost the quality of buds, you’ll need to use three essential nutrients. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are vital for your plants to survive and can be found in most grow products. Other nutrients used in cannabis cultivation include Iron, Boron, Sulphur, and Zinc. Each compound has its effect on the plant and interacts differently with other nutrients. Experiment with different doses of each to see what works best for your crop.
Understand Grow Light Basics
For indoor crops, knowing the difference between grow lights is essential. LED lights, Metal Halide, and Compact fluorescent lights are some of the most popular models. To find the right light for you, consider your electricity budget, light intensity needs, and installation requirements. Most first-time growers opt for compact fluorescent lights that are suited for smaller harvests.
Keep Track of Performance
If you are new to the green gardening industry, it’s all about trial and error. Keep a detailed grow journal on light schedule, nutrient levels, and pest infestations. You should also take pictures of plants throughout their cycle and compare them to other strains in your crop.