6 Tips For New Marijuana Growers
There is a science to growing any plant. Whether it is root vegetables, a berry bush, or a house plant, every species has its own light, soil, and watering requirements. Marijuana is no different, but often, first-time growers become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information out there about how to grow the biggest and best crops. Instead of just watering, there are entire water systems and hydroponic grows.
Should you put your nutrients directly in the water? Speaking of nutrients, which type and how much? This enormous amount of information is further complicated by the fact that everyone has their own opinion and best practices. And truthfully, what works best for someone else may not work best for you.
There is a lot of trial and error that goes into perfecting your buds. However, there are some pretty universal truths to growing quality marijuana that most, if not all, cultivators agree upon, and those are a great jumping-off point.
1) Know Your Grow
Before you ever purchase seeds or clones, you need to decide what type of growing medium you will use.It is essential to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of soil, hydroponic and soil-less mediums such as coco-coir or perlite.
Each option comes with its own perks and drawbacks and requires different routines for feeding and watering your plants. Be realistic about your budget and spatial limitations.
Hydroponic grows are great, and many cultivators swear by them as they give you a tremendous amount of control over watering and nutrients. However, they often require more space and a more considerable initial investment than traditional soil grows. Whichever medium you pick, do the research. It will save you time and stress later on.
2) Choose Your Strain Wisely
After you’ve decided on your grow set-up, you have to make probably the most critical choice for any gardener; which strain to use. Indica plants originated in the Kush Mountains of the Middle East and are the dark green, bushy plants that come to mind when many people think of marijuana.
They have a shorter growing cycle and are easy to cultivate indoors. However, they are also more susceptible to pests and fungus than Sativa plants. Sativa strains originated in the deserts of Central America and Asia and require less water and nutrients than Indicas. And while they may be less likely to fall victim to mold, Sativas require more space to grow and take longer to mature.
This is another area where you need to be honest about your space and how much time you have to dedicate to plant care. Lower maintenance strains are much better for your first couple of crops or until you have your routine down pat.
3) Take a Crash Course in Chemistry
Now that you know the what and where of your marijuana grow, it’s time to figure out the how. Proper nutrition and pH are essential to healthy plants, and healthy plants are crucial for a good product. Marijuana requires three primary nutrients, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), which will be listed in that order on any cannabis-specific plant food you purchase.
The amount you will need will vary from grow to bloom, and you will want a different food for each phase. Nutrient deficiencies can cause several issues.
However, over-feeding can burn your roots or leaves, which is just as detrimental. In addition to proper food, you will want to keep the pH in your soil or water, between 5.5 and 7, depending on your strain. Balancing pH is one of the easiest parts of growing, especially if you are going hydro or soil-less, but being easy doesn’t mean it’s something you can slack on.
4) Get Your Lighting Right
Plant strain and nutrients don’t matter if you don’t have a proper lighting system/routine. Whether your plants are in the vegetative state or the budding cycle, lighting is critical to your success.
Different lights can stimulate growth in different parts of your marijuana plants, with blue lights causing plants to remain shorter and bushier, whereas red or green lights encourage lanky plants. Likewise, the use of red or blue light during bloom has been shown to increase THC yield. In addition, your plants must be receiving the appropriate amount of light.
During growth, you want to keep your plants on a schedule of roughly 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness, which switches to a 12 and 12 schedule when you change over to bud. The easiest way to maintain this is to set your lights on a timer, this way, you don’t have to try and remember to turn them on and off every day.
5) Find Yourself a Guru
Often the best source of information a gardener can find is a more experienced grower. Issues such as yellowing leaves can occur for several reasons, and it is much more efficient to have someone nearby with the knowledge to help you track down the root of the problem than to google it. Most experienced growers are more than happy to advise folks just starting out.
Plus having someone local comes with the added benefit of them knowing what works best in your climate. Use these veteran growers as another tool in your arsenal, but do not be afraid to make adjustments where you find them necessary.
6) Have Patience Grasshopper
Once you get set up, the largest part of marijuana growing is a waiting game. First, you have to wait until your plants have reached a great enough height to begin pruning them.
Then you have to wait for them to be large enough to switch to the bloom cycle. After that, you must wait for your buds to get big and dense. While this usually takes 6-8 weeks, depending on the plants, the best indication is always red hairs and golden trichomes.
Finally, even after you harvest, you have to wait for the drying and curing process to finish. Rushing any of these steps can seriously compromise your final product. So take a deep breath, enjoy the process, and know that it will be worth it when you have a product you can be proud of.
Now that you’ve been armed with some great tips for beginning growers. It’s time to start your Oklahoma grow with our premium Oklahoma marijuana clones and produce your first jaw dropping crop!