Article by Carlie Beblin, Cannabis Life Network
If you are new to marijuana cultivation, we would like to present you with these 7 at-home marijuana cultivation tips and tricks.
Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain
Things to consider during marijuana cultivation – What kind of weed would you like… perhaps a mellow Indica, a lively Sativa, or maybe even a Hybrid? Make sure that you choose a strain you enjoy before you start your marijuana cultivation because it takes a lot of time and effort to grow weed from seeds.
As a tip, aside from the type of weed produced, each strain varies in plant size and more specifically, height. If you are trying to grow the Monster Strain, for instance, you need to know that it is known to grow up to 4 meters high… not something you can manage to grow indoors.
Another key consideration when choosing the right strain is to pay attention to the yield. The yield of a particular seed is the rough estimate of how much weed it will produce.
For more information on how to choose the right seeds, click here for some tips.
LED lights, High-pressure sodium, fluorescent, or incandescent lights?
Incandescent bulbs – the cheapest option. Usually used in combination with natural light in a sunny room. These lights generate a fair amount of heat and should be kept at least 2ft away from plants.
Florescent – one of the most popular options due to its versatility and relatively low cost. Offer a wider light spectrum than incandescent bulbs and produces less heat, making them a safer option for marijuana cultivation.
High-intensity discharge – typically refers to high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) sources of light. These types of bulbs generate the greatest amount of light energy. MH light contains more blue spectrum light and is best suited to the vegetative stages of plant growth. HPS lights contain more red to orange spectrum light and are the most effective option for the flowering stage. Produce significant heat,
LED – a new form of grow light technology, LED lights to produce very little heat and require the least amount of power input to operate. LED lights can produce both blue and red spectrums of light, and can be switched to accommodate vegetation and flowering stages of plant development. These types of lights are expensive but generate savings through low power consumption and versatility.
Once you have your lights picked out, be sure to position the lights carefully and have a timer to cycle light times depending on plant stage and needs.
Tips for Using Nutrients
Cannabis plants need various minerals and nutrients to thrive at different stages of development. In order to get the most out of your plants, it is important to pay attention to their nutritional needs. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the three key nutrients required a.k.a. macronutrients.
Before the flowering stage, plants require slightly higher levels of nitrogen and potassium. Then when plants are in bloom, they require higher levels of phosphorus with lower levels of nitrogen to produce the best buds. Aside from the macronutrients, plants also require other nutrients in smaller amounts a.k.a. micronutrients. These may include magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, sulfur, and more.
Some municipal water supplies contain chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride which can impede the growth of your plants. For best results, ensure the water quality is pure prior to the addition of nutrients or additives.
To accomplish this, use a pH kit to test the acidity of your water. Some people go to the grocery stores to fill up the 5 Gallon jugs, which costs on average $6. A weed plant will go through a lot of water. A tip we have for you is to consider installing a water filter in your home. Reverse osmosis water filters are a great option! They can be purchased and installed for a reasonable price providing a continuous supply of clean water.
Strategic Trimming Tricks
Super Cropping a.k.a. High-Stress Training is where the plant is slightly compromised on purpose in order to produce a better yield. As a defence mechanism, when a cannabis plant is threatened it grows bigger and more potent to protect itself. THC is produced by the plant for protection in the wild. The goal is to cause stress by slightly damaging the inner tissue of the plant without causing damage to the outside. Essentially, you are trying to manipulate the branches without snapping them to ensure all branches are able to have room to grow.
Super-cropping is best done during the vegetative stage, once the plant has grown many healthy branches and is growing vigorously, but before it is full into the flowering stage.
– Grow Weed Easy
Click here for more information and a step-by-step procedure.
Lolipopping is a strategy where you trim away all parts of the bush that do not see the light. Essentially, you are creating a “lollipop” shape as all of the bottom bush is trimmed away with only a bush left on top. The reason behind this is to ensure all of the energy and nutrients go into the top buds.
If you want a tutorial for how to do this technique properly, click here.
Topping is another popular trimming strategy where you cut off the top main stem. In doing so, there will be more colas/buds created that helps the plant spread out. Once the branches are spread out there is more light and thus more growth and you will achieve a higher yield (more weed)!
Here is a guide on how to top your plants.
Tips for When to Harvest
Knowing when to harvest your buds is easier than you think! Just pay close attention to the trichomes. Invest in a magnifier so that you are able to get a good look.
If the trichomes are clear and glossy (as shown on the left), it is too soon to harvest. Trichomes start out this way and have not yet developed potency.
As they mature, you will notice the trichomes are white and almost look like plastic (middle image). This is the stage where there is the highest level of THC & CBD. It is time to harvest if you want to produce a strong strain with more of a psychoactive effect.