We have compiled a list of cultivation and maintenance tips for cannabis for the novice grower. These tips when properly implemented should help the rookie start from scratch and develop a canopy that thy will be proud to talk about in a couple of months. The tips are basic, but make all the difference when it comes to growing cannabis successfully.
Growing cannabis is both fun and rewarding but that doesn’t take away from the hard work that you need to put in. Like everything else that is grown, the basic process involves throwing some seeds into soil and waiting for a harvest. But as you may already know, such a basic approach is a sure fire recipe for failure. As they say, the devil is in the details. In the next few minutes I will be giving you the exact details of how to get a good cannabis harvest, regardless of whether you are a novice or veteran grower.
1. Start with genetics
You have the liberty to choose whichever strain that you want to grow. However, you need to understand the genetics of that particular strain and what this means. Genetics will determine the resilience of that particular cannabis strain. It will also dictate the growing conditions required as well as the yields that you should expect.
Before settling on any strain study the genetics and find out if the strain will do well in your geographical location and what set of conditions it will require to grow successfully.
2. Find the correct growing medium
Other than soil, you can also grow cannabis in a hydroponic system. You can use different growing mediums such as coco coir or clay pebbles. You should consider a hydroponic system if you leave in an area where good quality soil is not readily available. Also, you should find out in advance if a particular strain of cannabis will do well in a hydroponic system.
However, soil is usually the most favorable growth medium for most cannabis strains. Soil of good quality should have the following characteristics:
- Light and airy texture
- Good drainage
- Optimal pH of 6.0-6.3
- Optimal nutrient level
If you are not sure about the quality of your soil you can invite a local soil expert to come and assess the nature of your soil and advise accordingly. Another option is to buy ready- made cannabis substrate from a reputable brand and use this to enrich your soil.
3. Ensure sufficient nutrients
Most people mistake sufficient nutrients for over-feeding which is just as bad as under feeding cannabis plants. Seedlings as well as young cannabis plant do not require any nutrients. Autoflowering plants will require minimal nutrients as well.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) are required in different ratios during the vegetative and flowering phases.
During the vegetative phase the recommended ratio for N: P: K is 3:1:2
Cannabis plants require a lot of nitrogen when they are in the vegetative phase
During the flowering phase the recommended ratio for N: P: K is 1:3:2
At this stage, the plants are spending more energy on producing buds and will require more phosphorous and potassium. In the final stage of flowering, you should cut out the nitrogen completely and modify the ratio to 0:3:3.
Other nutrients that will be required include calcium, zinc, and iron. A soil expert will be able to advise you on the quality of your soil and which nutrients need to be fortified at what stage.
4. Find the best grow lights
Cannabis plant will require light in sufficient amounts in order to thrive. If you are growing your cannabis indoors you will need to improvise lighting. Modern full-spectrum LEDs are becoming popular because they use less energy and are good for both vegging and flowering.
5. Is a fan necessary?
A simple fan will prevent mold and bud rot and may also help to deter pests. The fan should blow gently without stressing or damaging the plants. Make sure that the fan is well positioned to direct the warm air out and the cold air in.
6. Essential watering tips
Overwatering and underwatering is a common mistake when growing cannabis. Too much watering may cause molds or root rot and nutrient lockout. Under watering will cause the plant to be dehydrated and fail to thrive. To check if your plants are adequately watered, insert your finger into the soil, it should feel moist but not too wet.
7. Final tip: Training
Plant training techniques can help to optimize available space and increase yields. In an indoor setup this can be done by gently bending the plants horizontally to expose more bud sites to light.
With these tips you should be able to optimize your cannabis grow operation and maximize yields.
That wraps up our discussion on cultivation and maintenance tips for cannabis.