Overwatering hemp plants
Water is vital for all living things, including hemp. Without a steady supply of good quality water, a crop can never truly thrive and reach its full potential. Too much of a good thing can be bad! However, and this certainly applies to the volume of water supplied to the plants. Overwatering is one of the biggest mistakes new growers make, and too much water can be as damaging to a crop as too little.
Particularly in the early stages of growth, a seedling plant appreciates good amounts of water and this need continues throughout its life, although the demand varies during different stages of the life cycle. The soil should be moist but never saturated and flooded, with pools of standing water. If excessive watering persists, the plants will stunt, fail to develop, and never give a satisfactory yield.
Adequate watering of essentials
Implementing a good watering program requires evaluating some important considerations in addition to the frequency and amount of water supplied to plants on a regular basis. Let's take a look at some essential cannabis horticultural considerations that are essential for success.
Good water quality should be one of the first considerations for any successful cannabis grower. As most growers use hard tap water, the water will need to be analyzed for its pH and may require treatment or an appropriate filtration system to ensure it is suitable for an optimal grow. Buy a pH meter and adjust the pH of your water as needed.
To grow properly, you need appropriately sized containers with excellent drainage. Depending on the size of your plants, the pots should be large enough to accommodate the root system. Air Pots® and smart pots are a great way to aerate the soil and provide drainage. For full pots, make sure there are several drainage holes at the bottom to allow complete drainage.
Always use soil that promotes root development and easy drainage. Mixing soil with perlite and small amounts of sand, compost, and other materials will help both. Coconut coir is a good alternative to soil and works well for cannabis plants. Avoid dense soils and anything that contains clay, as this will prevent drainage.
Adequate ventilation of the soil
The soil should be loose and not dense, so that the roots can grow easily and spread out to absorb essential nutrients. Restricted roots or pots that are too small and too tight are very undesirable for good root development and healthy plants. To promote aeration, you can drill several holes in the ground using chopsticks to obtain an adequate depth.
Healthy nutrition plan
Since the vast majority of soil additives and plant nutrients are mixed with water, you want to create a feeding schedule that alternates between nutrient / water and clean, fresh water. The alternation of nutrient-enriched water and clean, untreated water will provide your plants with a solid nutrient plan without overdoing it.
Tell-tale signs of overwatering
If your plants are getting too much water, they will give you clear signs to confirm this fact. Heed these warnings your plants are giving you. If you act in a timely manner, you will likely be able to improve your cultivation practices and get your crop back on track. If you don't do the right thing, your crop will not thrive and eventually perish or, at best, result in an unsatisfactory harvest.
A healthy, unstressed cannabis plant does not have drooping leaves. Falling leaves can be a sign that the plants have received too much or not enough water. The leaves of overwatered plants curl and sag, while plants underwater only sag. Plants that have received too little water will have dry soil on the surface as well as 2-3 inches below the surface. If the plants have not been deprived of water for too long, they will recover within two hours of receiving the water. The affliction of overwatering is a more sinister affliction.
In addition to dropping, overwatered plants develop yellow leaves, which is a classic sign of an unhealthy or overwatered plant. If the overwatering or drainage problem is not corrected quickly, the plants will not thrive. Yellow leaves usually appear after they start to fall. The yellow color is a sign that plants are not getting enough oxygen from the root system. The plants literally drown, and the roots need to dry out enough to start functioning properly again.
The solution to overwatering is simple and obvious: stop providing so much water! This means watering less often or providing less water when you water, or both.
Allow the plant's soil to dry out, and in extreme cases where adequate drainage can also be a problem, transplant it to a suitable new pot with cool, moist, not wet soil. If you tend to overwater, smart (cloth) pots are a great alternative to conventional pots and almost eliminate the possibility of overwatering - although you do need to water more often since the soil in smart pots dries out faster. Allow the plant's root system to dry out in the pot for a few days before giving it water. Watch the plants carefully and provide the correct amount of water once the plants begin to grow normally and healthily and have a firm, green leaf structure.
Correct procedure for watering cannabis
Sometimes young shoots and seedlings need more water than usual. Since they begin to grow with a single root that soon begins to branch, it is imperative that the early, delicate root does not dry out. Young seedlings are vulnerable to overly dry conditions, so make sure the soil is very moist, but never too wet.
Once the seedlings are over the size of the young seedlings and are a few inches tall, watering should occur every other day or when the pots appear dry. As the humidity varies from place to place, plants will dry out faster in some areas.
Water your plants when the soil surface seems dry. Check the dryness of the surface with the index finger. It should be a little damp about an inch below the surface. Add water until it comes out of the drainage holes and collect it on the ground or in the drip tray, if you use them. No more than 25% of the water you supply should drain. If too much water comes out or if the soil surface remains wet for more than two or three days, provide less water.
Another way to check for dryness in the soil - but it can be difficult to do once the plants get tall and develop large flowers - is to lift the pots to check their weight. If the plants need water, the pots will be much lighter than after watering. This method is a quick and easy way to determine if watering is necessary.
Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes cannabis growers make, especially novices. Fortunately, overwatering is also one of the easiest problems to solve, as long as the plants haven't been seriously damaged. When watered with the right amount of water, plants will wake up, show vibrant green colors, and grow faster. Once you get used to a proper water schedule and regimen, chances are you'll never have too much water again.