Cannabis Cultivation 101
Cannabis Indoor Growing Techniques
Cannabis Indoor Growing Techniques
Growing cannabis can be an enjoyable hobby and a great business opportunity. There are many methods of growing that can be done, but if you want a rewarding grow, you need to do more than just plant it and water it.
These are some techniques you can use for an indoor grow to help you get started and get a rewarding harvest.
When you think about growing anything, you likely think of soil first as the method to grow the plants. You can use any potting soil of high quality, so long as it does not have any artificial extended-release fertilizer because that is not sustainable for growing quality cannabis.
Pre-fertilized soil is a good choice for beginners because if it used correctly, it can grow cannabis without requiring you to add extra nutrients to the soil. You can either make your own fertilized soil or purchase it.
The plants need a robust population of mycorrhizae and soil bacteria to help the organic matter convert to nutrients to feed the plants. You can also use liquid nutrients and regular soil.
What to Grow
When growing cannabis, you can choose to grow from seeds, or you can grow from clones using a mother plant. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks.
As the clones grow, take detailed notes on their growth patterns, yield, and bud structure. Once they have been harvested, take notes about their aroma, flavor, and the effects it can have on the person smoking it. Once you determine which clones you liked the most, you take that original plant as your mother, taking it away from the rest of your plants to keep it protected. You can set up a small grow cupboard for your mother plant, or a separate grow room for them, but it is important to keep them apart in case anything happens to your other plants.
The mother needs to come from seeds, not other clones. Plants grown from seeds have stronger, deeper roots and better immune systems than their clones. There are nutrients specifically designed to keep a mother plant healthy. Mother plants will eventually begin to diminish over time and their clones will not grow as strong as they did before; this can take one or two years, depending on your care for the plant. Save seeds from the plants you are growing so you can start over with that strain when the time comes.
A clone is a stem or cutting from a mature, healthy plant that has been in the vegetative phase for at least two months. Make the cut at a height of four to five inches. Dip the end of the cutting in a growth hormone to promote root growth. Then place it in a medium, like rapid rooters or Rockwool. After that, you place the clone in a dome that will give it high humidity levels and temperatures of 75-80°. This can take between five and 14 days. During the process, keep your clones away from your other plants in case something happens to your other crops, so it does not contaminate the clones.
Caring for Your Plants as They Grow
There is a lot that goes into caring for your plants while they are growing, to ensure you get a nice, healthy grow from them that has a large number of large buds.
Encourage Buds to Grow
You can also remove the biggest fan leaves from the plant when the plant first begins flowering. This can help encourage other buds to grow. Defoliating the plant at this stage gives all of the newly forming buds better access to enough light and air at the plants’ most crucial stage of development. This should only be done on an indoor grow, and only if the plant is completely healthy.
Pests are the bane of any cannabis grower, they can easily destroy an entire grow if they find their way into your building. It is not recommended to use pesticides on cannabis, but there are plenty of other solutions that cannabis growers can use to protect their plants.
The idea with companion planting is that you plant a certain combination of plants to get pests to back off. Using lavender, rosemary, basil, and sage can help keep thrips, aphids, and beetles away because of the smell. While this is more common in an outdoor grow, you can still do this in an indoor grow. You can plant these independently in your grow room to keep them at bay. Marigolds are another example, they can deter multiple types of beetles, nematodes, and beet leafhoppers. You can surround your crops with marigolds to give them a protective, beautiful sheet of protection.
You can also get extracts of these plants to spray on your cannabis, without having to plant them.
Release the Ladybugs
Ladybugs are the solution to spider mites, which can completely destroy your crops. Ladybugs can take care of that problem for you, and they can also take out over a dozen other pests, including aphids and beetles. A single ladybug can eat up to 100 mites in a day. You can buy ladybugs at many garden stores.
There are a few natural insecticides that can take care of your pest problems. Pyrethrins are a derivative of chrysanthemums that are toxic to insects while being safe for humans and animals. Azadirachtin is a compound from neem oil that is often used in organic insecticides. It can compromise an insect’s ability to molt and lay eggs.
Castile soap is another safe treatment for pest control.
Your Plants Are All Grown Up
Once the plants are finished growing, it is time to harvest and dry them, then cure them before they can be enjoyed.
The standard practice for drying the plants is to hang them upside down and keep them on the branches. They can be strung up on clothing lines or attached to hangers, depending on how much space you need. A freestanding wardrobe or clothing rack also works for this.
You can also use a flat rack for drying the buds without the branches. These racks are circular with a mesh lining for airflow.
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