Let's be honest: making mistakes, especially when cultivating cannabis, is easy. This particular plant is delicate, and numerous factors can go wrong from germination to harvest. Our goal is to assist you in avoiding as many mistakes as possible so that you can have a successful growing experience.
Take a moment to review our list of common cultivation mistakes and learn how to avoid them, enabling you to maximize your harvest!
Inadequate pH Management
First and foremost, pH is something that all growers, regardless of skill level, should be aware of. Water pH levels vary, ranging from acidic to alkaline, and understanding the appropriate range for your plants can make all the difference between a thriving crop and a disappointing failure. pH levels directly affect your plants' ability to absorb nutrients. Even if there are sufficient nutrients available, an imbalanced pH can make your plant appear nutrient deficient.
To avoid the pitfalls of pH imbalance, invest in a tester kit to accurately measure the pH of your water supply. For hydroponic growers, the pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5, while plants in soil prefer a range of 6 to 7.
If your pH is too high or too low, there's no need to worry. Commercial solutions are available to adjust pH levels up or down. Alternatively, natural methods include adding sulfur or phosphoric acid to lower the pH and using lime or wood ash to raise it. Remember to make gradual adjustments and retest after each modification. Over-adjusting can lead to more problems, so proceed with caution.
Another common mistake made by beginner growers is overfeeding. Traditional fertilizers can easily cause nutrient burn and even kill your cannabis plants if used excessively. Nitrogen, in particular, is a nutrient that can be overloaded, so it's crucial to start with a minimal amount and adjust the dosage based on the individual needs of your plants.
You can easily identify whether a plant is over or underfed. Overfed plants develop crispy, brown edges on their leaves, and may lose leaves and stems due to damage. Conversely, hungry plants appear pale, stunted, and droopy. Striking the right balance in feeding is essential for a thriving crop. Ensure your plants receive enough nutrients to maintain a deep green color, a perky appearance, and strong growth without burning them.
To avoid overfeeding, consider using organic fertilizers. These fertilizers break down gradually over time, reducing the risk of nutrient burn compared to traditional liquid fertilizers that are immediately available to the plant.
Overwatering is another mistake commonly made by new growers. While it may seem logical to provide a constant water supply to your plants, keeping the growing medium excessively wet can lead to serious problems, including root rot.
You can easily recognize overwatering by observing yellowing and limp plants, with the growth medium failing to dry out properly. Your soil should not be overly wet or excessively drip when squeezed. If it does, adjust your watering schedule to match your plant's needs.
Several methods can help you determine whether you're overwatering. You can wait until the leaves slightly wilt, indicating that your plant is thirsty. Alternatively, you can check the soil moisture level by inserting your finger into the growing medium. If the soil feels dry up to your first knuckle, it's time to water!
When it comes to cannabis cultivation, providing adequate light is crucial for optimal growth. Simply placing plants anywhere won't guarantee thriving results. While autoflowering plants don't require a specific light cycle to flower, other cannabis varieties rely on the right light-to-dark ratio to reach harvest, significantly impacting yields and overall plant quality.
There are telltale signs that indicate insufficient light for your plants. Non-autoflowering plants may fail to transition into the flowering phase or revert back to the vegetative stage if the lighting is inadequate. All plants can also stretch excessively, seeking more light, resulting in elongated spacing between nodes. Pale, overly tall, or spindly appearances are indications of a lighting problem.
Ensure your plants' happiness by researching the specific light cycle your strain needs for a successful harvest. When growing outdoors, choose a location that receives sufficient sunlight for the recommended duration per day and plant during the appropriate season. Don't hesitate to experiment with minor adjustments to achieve optimal results. For indoor cultivation, investing in a suitable grow light is essential. Conduct thorough research to identify the right one for your needs and crop.
Timing your cannabis harvest correctly is crucial for obtaining the highest quality product. Harvesting at the wrong moment can lead to significant differences in potency, flavor, and aroma, resulting in a disappointing crop.
To ensure a well-timed harvest, equip yourself with a magnifying loupe and examine your magnificent buds. Look for trichomes that begin to appear cloudy and amber in color, and observe the pistils transitioning from white to orange. When approximately 70% of the pistils have changed color, and all trichomes appear cloudy, your buds should be ready for harvesting.
No Room for Mistakes
While growing cannabis can be complex, we believe that this list of potential mistakes and how to avoid them will help you feel well-prepared to tackle your cultivation journey. Remember to explore our blog for more insightful growing tips!