Growing cannabis can be difficult, and there are many ways we can damage our chances of success. Here are some of the most common mistakes growers make.
The wrong manure
Although this is commonly believed to be the main issue, in reality: all manure that can be bought from professional grow shops has enough nutrients to work well, even if used sparingly. Most problems are caused by the growers themselves and if you followed directions when applying fertilizer, usually the problem is with something else. The correct climate is essential for a grower to ensure that nutrients are transported correctly. If the leaves do not receive the right amount of water and/or manure, then the plant will not be supplied sufficiently. The transport problem can have many causes, but using too much or too little of either element is often to blame.
Here are some tips to prevent issues with transporting manure: using an EC device; calculating the pH value; fitting a watering system with precise dosage amounts; and using a tensiometer. The medium should be damp but not soggy. You can find more information on using manure here.
Identifying pests and mould too late
Growers often only realize their plants are infested with pests or mould when the damage is already done. By this point, thunderbug, spider mite, soft-bodied mite, powdery mildew and downy mildew have reproduced to such an extent that it becomes impossible to fight them without resorting to chemical insecticides or fungicides. Unfortunately, these chemicals come with health risks–growers should not have access to them at all. If you detect pests or diseases early enough, they usually aren’t a problem. Treatment with neem oil at an early stage usually does away with these predators. Neem oil spraying mix must, however, be diluted with castor oil (one fifth) as an emulsifier to prevent the spray from dropping off the leaves right away. One week after the treatment with neem oil, you can deploy beneficial organisms for almost any type of pest. Oftentimes, newbie gardeners only realize they have a problem with pests when it’s already too late. And by too late, I mean when the population of thunderbugs, spider mites, white threads and red brown dots is visible to the naked eye.
Brown rot and downy mildew are symptoms of an overly humid and warm climate. Brown rot’s destruction usually goes unnoticed by the naked eye until it’s too late; the flowers will have already turned a greyish green. Once you notice brown rot, most of the time it’s because nearly all the flowers have been affected – common telltale signs being lacklustre coloring and firmness. In order to salvage the plant, cut out the affected areas and isolate it from the rest. This will prevent further spread and you’ll at least be able to enjoy the unaffected parts of the plant.
If you mildew early enough, it’s not too difficult to take care of. Check the bottoms of branches for white mold frequently, as that is often where mildew starts before moving to stems and leaves. If it’s downy mildew, try spraying with a water and milk mixture at an early stage–or another strongly alkaline mix. Also make sure to clean the grow box thoroughly. However, if it’s powdery mildew, sadly the plant won’t be able shake it off itself–that’s a virus.
To prevent pests and fungi, keep the air humidity at a comfortable level. Check your plants for colour changes in leaves, eggs of pests on stems and in the growing medium every day. Fungi usually starts to grow where stems meet the medium or near the bottom of stems. Also, make sure your growing room is always clean! You can find more information about pests and pest control here.
Wrong position of the lamps
Sodium vapour lamps are less effective at greater depths, and this is even more true for LED lamps.
Because optimal placement in terms of distance varies depending on a multitude of factors–such as the lamp, reflector, size of room, and size of patch–it would be unhelpful to establish general guidelines for lamp distance. You will get the most use out every centimetre expense when your light source is placed at an ideal distance from whatever it is you’re trying to illuminate. If you position the lamps too close to the plants’ tops, they will most likely damage the plants because of the intense heat. The top leaves will dry out and die.
Measures: Take the temperature of your plants using a thermometer at their tallest point. To avoid exposing flowers to temperatures over 28-29°C, use a flexible hanging device to place lamps as close to plants as possible. You can find more information on lighting equipment and reflectors here.
A little more is all right
Minimize any external interference as much as possible. This includes watering, changing pots, picking leaves, changing the position of the pot, or even touching the leaves. These are all stress factors which will beginner gardeners must pay special attention to. Pampering your plants too much will actuallydo more harm than good in regards to their development. Of course proper care is necessary for a successful venture, but examining seedlings several times a day or watering them three time sday can impede growth instead of promoting root development. Too much inexperience can lead to people being scatter-brained and overreacting to what they see. For example, when somebody who has never gardened before sees leaves turning yellow and dying at the lower parts of their grow box, instead of calmly investigating the problem, they will often panic and take drastic measures that aren’t needed.
The size of your plant doesn’t matter when you first start the flowering cycle. Instead, having a large and healthy root ball during the vegetative period is key for optimal development. In the first few weeks of flowering, plants will grow rapidly without displaying any noticeable defects—even if root development has been poor. However, as soon as flowers are supposed to get heavier after week four, their need for phosphorus and potassium increases significantly.
Once your hemp plant starts flowering, you will only be able to tell if the roots have developed properly 3 or 4 weeks later. If they haven’t been and cannot transport all of the vital nutrients the now much larger need, it will result in deficiencies showing up regardless of how well you’ve fertilized. Here is more information about developing healthy hemp roots.
Cold feet, overly low night temperatures and overly damp flowering room
The three factors are linked and can ruin your whole harvest. If the humidity is too high – at 60% or above – then flowers will hardly grow during the last weeks of flowering season.
The temperature at the top of the plant box might be a comfortable 25 to 28°C, however it can easily drop to 12°C or less at ground level. Inboxes where plants’ feet are cold, climate will always be an issue since their metabolic process in the root area slows down. If Fewer nutrients get processed because of this slow-down, then soil moisture increases and humidity rises. Additionally, if you place plants in a box in an unheated room, the plants will be cold and darkness will come quicker. If the temperature difference between light and dark phases is more than 12 to 14°C, then the metabolic process will significantly slow down.
Countermeasures: Outfit your grow room with Styrofoam for the walls and black pots. If necessary, use a heater to maintain temperature during the dark phase. You can find more detailed instructions on how to climate-control your grow room here.
Too early, too mean, too impatient
Indoor: Many growers lack the patience to wait for their plants to mature, and as a result, the cannabis exhibits poor quality. If harvested before they are ready, even perfectly grown cannabis will produce sub-par results. Making sure your cannabis is properly dried is crucial to ensuring its quality. If you dry it for too short a time, or in the wrong way, it will be unusable. artificially accelerating the drying process by heating it up – as is done with commercially-grown cannabis – will result in poor-quality herbe that contains a lot of chlorophyll. Wrapping buds that have not been properly dried in plastic is particularly fatal; they need to be dried out until they reach 20% humidity or less. For more information on proper drying techniques, click here.
Outdoor: these outdoor problems can all be avoided by taking a little extra care when planting. Make sure not to plant seedlings that haven’t been pre-grown, and use varieties that won’t flower for too long. If plants are too weak or small, they can easily be eaten by animals in spring, or overgrown by the surrounding vegetation. Varieties that flower for a long period often don’t do well in the short summers of northern Europe, and are more likely to succumb to brown rot or early frost.
Countermeasures: Before planting your crops, ensure that you have pre-grown them properly. Understand the flowering time of your chosen plants and whether they are meant for outdoors or not. By taking these precautions, you will be more successful in your gardening endeavors.
Higher, quicker, further
In gardening, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. The most expensive grow box and the best equipment will not necessarily guarantee success. In fact, if misused, this technology can damage your plants and be a waste of money. People who water their plants obsessively are not going to become better gardeners by simply buying more expensive watering gear–if anything, they’re more likely to cause water damage through incorrect assembly of these items. Although it is tempting to go big from the start, often times deploying a 600w bulb with high-end reflector does not automatically result in higher yields. In fact, more often than not, this set up leads to temperature problems. When hobbyists see that their initial investment didn’t lead to the expected outcome, they frequently lose interest and don’t want to continue. Then, when trying to sell their equipment later on down the road, they’re met with complaints such as: ‘Grow shop X doesn’t buy used equipment,’ or ‘Shop Y doesn’t pay enough.’ To avoid this situation altogether, make sure that your setup is expandable from the very beginning. This way you can grow along with it instead of starting on an unnecessarily high note only be disappointed later on.
After you purchase the necessary materials from the grow shop and put together your boxes and equipment, you have to correctly assemble two more boxes with around 200 parts. The staff of the grow shop can’t give advice on how to grow cannabis as they are not allowed to mention the word publicly, which some customers see as unfriendliness, arrogance, and close-mindedness.
In other words, the helpful person behind the counter has sold you everything you need for horticultural success with a guarantee. How does a pH meter work? What exactly is an Ec meter? Are these things explained in the book that came with your purchase? When growing indoors, many details must be considered even when cultivating a very uncomplicated plant variety. In this context, “uncomplicated” refers to growing in soil, using a basic but efficient manure program, and avoiding gadgets. People who are new to gardening or those who have expanded their initial setup will eventually buy more professional equipment and try other methods as time goes on. If you’re not sure whether you’ll want to stick with gardening long-term or the thought of watering your plants makes you break into a sweat, it’s probably best to give up now.
If you want to get good advice on what to buy for your garden, it’s best to know in advance exactly what will be going into your planting area. That way, you can take the necessary growing conditions into account. Different plants require different care, and the number of plants and their size will also affect how much watering and sunlight they’ll need. So if you have a specific variety and quantity in mind (and whether you’ll be starting from seeds or seedlings), your shopping trip will be a lot easier.
Measures: The more you know, the more equipped you’ll be to handle conversations and avoid scams. This research will also save you money in the long run.
Resistance to advice
In contrast to the previous point, sometimes fake news does spread among growers, despite there being good professional information available. Some of it is quickly debunked, but other times false information surprisingly persists. The reason for this is that while scientific data regarding cannabis growth is lacking, individual experiences abound.
Noise pollution, unpaid bills, electricity theft or unnecessary arguments with the neighbours often result in an unwanted knock on the door. However, this can be easily avoided by adhering to a few simple rules.
The term “special soil” isn’t used lightly. In order to have healthy plants, you need to use the correct flower soil; otherwise, your plants will suffer. Furthermore, you can’t cut corners by using a 125w bulb for an entire square metre; it’s best to invest in LED bulbs instead. Finally, don’t listen to people who claim that it’s okay to light mother plants for only 16 hours just because it saves electricity – this will result in stunted plant growth.
The cannabis you grow is for your own personal use and no one else’s. You don’t need to produce a huge amount of it or post pictures online to get validation from others. Your plants will die quickly if you don’t have an exhaust system in place, which sucks because then your whole house smells like weed.
Though cannabis growth is regulated and often prohibited, the techniques described in this text are based on information gathered from professional magazines, blogs, and online portals. They should only be used for legal purposes. The goal of this piece is to educate, not inflame.