Growing cannabis is not complicated.
There is no shortage of online culture guides, and in just one click you will find everything the farmer needs. Nevertheless, there are some basic questions that are repeated several times. We have included six questions that beginners most often ask themselves.
Cannabis cultivation shooting is certainly a fun, rewarding and highly satisfying pastime: in less than 16 weeks, the plant's life cycle unfolds in four stages - germination, growth, flowering and harvest. the first time they embark on a process involving growing plants. In this case, there are often several fundamental questions, but we will deal with the most important and relevant here. We've picked the six most common questions for new growers.
1.When, how and how much water to irrigate our plants?
Proper watering is the most important part of the growing process. Cannabis maintains its growth through alternating cycles of drought and soil moisture. In most cases, the substrate (potting soil, coconut, fiberglass, water, etc.) is watered every two to three days, but it is advisable to monitor and examine the situation regularly as it also depends on factors such as as the age of the plant, changes in temperature, humidity in the room, etc. You can check the humidity level of the substrate by inserting a finger on the top layer of the earth (about 1 to 2 cm), if you feel a slight humidity, watering is not necessary. If it's completely dry, you will need to water.
Regarding the manner and quantity of water, if they have been irrigated by hand, preferred watering in several times and gently with water over the entire surface of the earth, waiting a few seconds for the earth soak up the water before continuing. A good sign is that the irrigation water has stopped seeping through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. The recommended amount would be about 20% of the runoff (of the water that flowed from the bottom) for each watering, which means that for every 5 liters of irrigation will go at least one liter. It is really necessary to take measurements in each irrigation. Ensuring a constant flow of water is also sufficient drainage holes.
Compared to container watering, the watering system hydroponics (Hydro cultivation) is a process which depends on the system and the type of substrate used. In any case, it is recommended that beginner growers start learning in pots with potting soil for at least a few cycles of experiments beforehand before switching to hydroponics.
2.What is the recommended volume for Cannabis Cannabis cultivation?
The growth phase is very important. On the one hand, outdoors ( outdoor ) good exposure during the day to the sun, a root system and sufficient living space will ensure efficient growth and later intense flowering. On the other hand, indoor crops are often potted in a limited space, and you have to be content with a smaller volume of plants, smaller as well as the pots.
The general recommendation for the volume of the pot at the beginning of growth is at least 3 liters / month, in the case of lack of space, or about 5 to 6 liters / month for a culture when there is no space. of space limit. For example, growth is supposed to last around 4 months, cannabis will need a flowerpot with a minimum volume of 11-12 liters when ideally 24 liters (more if possible).
The ideal is in flower pots of 80 liters. Of course, when it comes to Hydro cultivation, the situation is different and depends on factors such as the nature of the system and the breeding. Basically it can be said that in the vast majority of cases, plants grown in the hydroponic system will need a small pot for the entire life of the plant (special pot for hydroponics, different from growing in soil ) unlike cultivation in soil which requires several pots and several repots (1 pot of 2 liters and 11 liters required at least / plant)
3.When and how should I use the fertilizer and potting mix, how often, what dosage?
When growing cannabis in potting soil, growers in many cases tend not to add fertilizer for the first few weeks after germination. The concept is to water the plant with clean water. After two or three weeks of growth, the fertilizer irrigation program can be started.
The reason you have to wait before a fertilization phase is that when the plant is in its early stages of development ( germination ) the seedling needs only a minimal amount of nutrients for first growth. Most types of nursery soil contain building blocks for the first few weeks of growing cannabis, so there's no real need to intervene by adding even more fertilizer, at the risk of causing damage or even death. of the plant by too rich soil. However, a controlled and measured diet causes no harm, or minimal.
When the plant is already several weeks old, you can start using the appropriate fertilizers (Grow fertilizer = growth). In most types of fertilizer, it is advisable to start fertilizing by dividing the fertilizer dosages by 2 (dosage explained on fertilizers by the manufacturers) and gradually increasing the amount over time and depending on the plant development and its responses. However please note the dosage recommended by the manufacturer and always consider how the plant responds each time the irrigating amount of fertilizer increases. Unlike the soil, hydro crops must be fertilized from the first day and are very very sensitive to the slightest difference in dosage, pH or water temperature with fertilizer ..!
In terms of the types of Fertilizer, the manure can be purchased. This fertilizer will generally provide all nutritional elements necessary for the entire life cycle of the hemp plant. Many growers prefer to choose "designated" fertilizer soils that can be obtained mainly in shops, stores, growshop, hydroponics shops. They will of course be much more expensive and offer additional nutrients with various enzymes and additives as part of the overall envelope.
The best beginner producers recommend not to make the cost soar with purchases of potting soil or fertilizers from brands and big name products, but advice of enriched potting soil composed of composts, earth, perlite, vermiculite etc and a small dose of mostly soluble fertilizer for the growing period, sometimes a base fertilizer for the flowering period, and perhaps another PK extension (phosphorus and potassium) for the peak flowering stages.
These basic fertilizers contain all the elements needed for cannabis and should cost no more than around 6 Euros per 20 liters. After having experienced a cycle or two with a basic fertilizer, the grower will be able to get a better indication of the need, or not, to add other additives (root stimulator, speed booster, etc.)
4.What kind of lamp is needed for some indoor plants?
Sometimes novice growers make a big mistake in thinking that the intensity and power of the light bulb alone is used for the growth of cultivated plants. Some use small LEDs or halogen lamps while the light spectrum (in Kelvins) does not correspond at all to good plant growth! But when it comes to indoor growing with artificial lighting, the main parameter, which is really needed, is to look at the existing usable indoor space that we have. For example, an area of 1 m² can be used to make a single large plant or to make a dozen small plants with the same lighting.
Here is a general assessment of compatible growth areas:
The 150W bulb adapts to an area of approximately 50cm2
250w bulb adapts to an area of about 65 cm2
Bulb of 400W it, adapts to a surface 80 cm2
The 600W bulb adapts to an area of approximately 1 m².
This calculation applies to "high pressure discharge" (HID) lamps. These growth bulbs are considered the most common. They contain gases and potentially produce an extremely high light itself. There are two types of HID lamps that are widely used by cannabis producers: the MH and HPS. The essential difference between the two bulbs is the color (or spectrum) scattered.
For Metal Halide (MH): it will produce a light blue halo of white color, used for the growth phase of cannabis.
Hight Pressure Sodium (HPS): it produces an orange-yellow light to better match the flowering stage of cannabis.
The downside of these bulbs is their very high energy consumption and the intense heat they emit. However, there are alternative bulbs on the market today that fill these gaps:
Fluorescent lights: growing cannabis using fluorescent lights is recommended primarily for use for cuttings and seedlings in the first growth period - this blue bulb produces minimal heat emitted, which allows installation very close to plants and works well in small growing spaces. The use of Fluorescent for flowering (yellow / orange light) is not recommended, the low light intensity is its handicap.
LED Bulbs: LED lighting gives off virtually no heat and allows you to choose between blue spectrum light for growing and red spectrum light for flowering. This allows the needs of the plant to be properly and accurately planned and there is no need to replace bulbs or lamps. During the growth and flowering stages, one can run an entire growth cycle with the same lamp - blue light will be used to combine the growth and flowering stage with red light.
Despite all the important advantages associated with LED bulbs, they also have some negative points which are important to take into account. First the cost of these fluorescent bulbs are significantly higher to purchase compared to HID lights. The second downside is the fact that the market is flooded with models from different countries and different production companies, making it difficult for cannabis growers to choose the right LED. At the same time, in the crop reports and pictures of awesome crop parts under LED, you can find a good number of bad crop stories. If you decide to choose LED bulbs and they do not want to work or do not work well then it is because the model purchased is too bad, although much cheaper than the others, but at the end of the day it does not work all. simply more!
Regarding the coverage area of HID bulbs, there is a general rule recommended: between 0.5 and 1Watt / cm2 to develop well in growth. The rule roughly matches the coverage area lighting rating (above) and can also be used to select bulb type, fluorescent, economy or LED. In all cases, it is recommended to refer to the manufacturer's recommendations.
5.When the cannabis plant is ready for harvest?
Although there are quite a few tutorials on the subject, explaining in a straightforward way how to tell when cannabis is ready for harvest, it seems that many still struggle to raise this question and find it difficult to diagnose the harvest date. correct.
The most recognized method at harvest time is to watch the pistil color change (pistils 80% orange, not white). This is a very simple method that does not require any accompanying equipment to perform it. After the transition from the period of plant growth to the flowering period, pistils of shade white-gray color will turn orange-brown as harvest approaches.
When at least 75% -80% of the white hairs have turned orange-brown then it is usually harvest time.
A second method is a trichome analysis of the resin glands that cover cannabis. To check the trichomes, basic optical equipment is used which is basically necessary.A magnifying glass does not always allow the grower to obtain a clear enough image of the trichomes and it is therefore advisable to buy a small microscope with a magnification power of at least. at least 30 times and choose one that comes to you with a built-in flashlight. The average price is between 15 to 45 Euros and is well worth the investment.
The trichome has a unique shape. It looks like a mushroom (a long trunk with a ball at the top) and its color will change over time. At first, all the balls of the trichome are clear and transparent, but later part of these “balls” will gradually change color. At the end of the process, the trichomes will have an orange-brown tint
The time to harvest and the color of the trichomes have an impact on the psychoactive effect of the final product and it is customary to associate colors with certain effects.
When a small portion of the trichome buds turn milky, a slight 'high' effect is created, uplifting and energetic.
Harvesting when most of the trichomes are milky in complexion and the other half transparent will give less impact and help when you get some exercise.
Harvesting cannabis when almost all of the trichomes are already a brownish tint will cause an amazing end result with a heavy and sticky physical high.
6.When moving from the growing period to flowering?
Cannabis has two important periods: a growth phase and a flowering phase.
During the growth the lamps should provide a steady and continuous light for 18 max hours per day. During this period of growth, will develop an extensive root system, stem and strong branches that will help make and keep beautiful resin-covered buds.
In the second stage, flowering, the plant begins to produce flowers at each end of branches or bifurcations of branches. Cannabis is a short daylong (or rather a long night) plant, meaning that the plant begins to flower when the hours of darkness are more than 10 hours of total night (depending on the species).
Nature shows that the process of creating cannabis flowers begins to occur around the month of September, when the days start to shorten and darkness takes over more of the day. Flowering in indoor culture (indoors) is triggered at the time of the passage to 12 hours of darkness per day and the change of color of the light spectrum (change of the lamp and the lighting duration at 12h max)
There is a difference between the periods, in terms of the dietary needs of the plant: a cannabis in the growing phase needs relatively large amounts of nitrogen and during the flowering phase to a lesser extent but still necessary.
At the same time, it is necessary to increase the doses of phosphorus and potassium while reducing nitrogen for the flowering period.
In indoor cultivation, the problem arises over long periods of cultivation (long growth + flo). We would all like to have as much as possible a tall plant in our hands, as a tall late-growing plant will give a large final harvest at the end.
This is not necessarily true and therefore the question is when is the best time to move on to the flowering stage of plants?
A common mistake of beginners is not correctly calculating the size of the remaining plant in the empty space. As the flowering stage plant continues to grow in height, when the plant is too tall (tall) the heads, leaves and branches may be 'cramped' to your grow space or too close to the lights. . In such a situation, the plant slows down its growth and the humidity increases enormously! which can cause the appearance of mold , ofharmful insects and the rotting of the crop, thus rendered unfit for consumption!
There is no length or schedule for the transition to the flowering phase, and it depends on several factors: the type of strain used, the space, the age and health of the plants, system characteristics (soil / substrate) of the growing method (SOG, SCROG, etc.) and of course the amount of time used for growth.
The basic rule to keep in most cases is to start looking closely at the plants (when the plants are about half of their final size), at mid-height as well as the top of the plants and the 12 light / 12.
Note: The transition to the flowering phase is important because the plant must be healthy and healthy. If the plant is infected by parasites, suffering from a lack of nutrients or / is in a state of stress for any reason, it is advisable (if one can) to continue the growth phase, the time to resolve the problem and move on to flowering only after improvement of the health condition of the plant.