Using simple cannabis growing tips can help increase yield and reduce potential growing problems. Honestly, I know there is lots of good growers with good advice out but its very hard to find and its even harder to find non repetitive information.
I have lots of tried and proven cannabis grow tips to share as they will be organized into ‘categories’ for easy reading. Most advice you read online is primitive, basic and geared towards the first time grower ex) cannabis plants require 12/12 light pattern. Well this advice is true ,its repetitive advice and generally from people with no growing experiences. You read these sort of articles from Maximum Yield authors that are in their early 20’s with no cannabis growing experience but writing advice on how to growing cannabis. Reading most of there articles is garbage and a waste of time; that’s not my goal.
Do not put your cannabis plants on nutrients ‘stacks’
A simple cannabis growing tips is to always remember less is more with regards to your feed program. I use to put my plants on ‘stacks’ of nutrient products and thought that would guarantee my success. I was getting my minimal 1LB per 1000Watt HPS, that’s .05grams/per watt. But most seasoned growers can can hit .05g/watt with a simply 3 part feed program of Micro, Grow and Bloom along with a booster and ripener/finisher. I currently have my grow room dialed in at 1lb per 600HPS with a simple, yet complete feed program! No crazy steroid nutrient stacks required!
Do not mix true organics with synthetics
I have seen growers use organic soil amendments than use synthetic time release frets or synthetic liquid nutrients. Simple cannabis growing tip: the salt from the synthetics nutrients dehydrates your bacteria and fungi; therefore, killing your organic microbes. If your going to use organics, make sure your organics is a manure for soil amending but only secondary to your feed program. It is better to not use any organics as soil amendments when using synthetic hydroponic feeds; you should stick with your Sunshine Pro Mix #4
Beware of marketing tactics!
Do not feel forced to buy the whole product line. Again, simple cannabis growing tip to remember is the more products you add to your nutrient tank or buckets, the more difficult to balance pH. Below is an image of my favorite feed program; I do use all the ingredients except Gold Storm. Notice how the feeding program contains all the basics without relying largely on a ridiculous products like Rhino Skin from Advance Nutrients and fruitless sale pitches; such as, I make your stems and leafs stronger so buy me now for only $60 CAD.
The big issues when Nutrient stacking your plants are:
- Can be extremely expensive. A simple 1L bottle of B-52 by Advance Nutrients is $49.95 and a 23L bottle is $685.00 CAD. Pretty ridiculous.
- Complicates the pH chemistry of the water. When you add to much of one type of nutrient, the wrong ratios between phosphorus and calcium ratios you can easily lock out your nutrients. A cloudy substance will appear within your nutrient tank or buckets. This will not allow you to properly adjust your pH and lock out your growing medium. The bottom line is to be careful adding to much NPK from various bottles. Some nutrients bottles are designed for only specific uses and time frames.
- Buying a processional series does not guarantee success! Your results will be the exact opposite. Just start with a basic 2 or 3 part feed program and add 1 product at a time.
- Remember nutrient companies are in the business of money, they are not your best friends.
When growing cannabis you must weed past all the marketing bullshit, listen for good growing tips and seriously understand that the basics 3 part feed program covers the general basics, everything else is extra and only beneficial if used correctly. Take a movement to compare the product line from Innovation Plant Product to Advance Nutrients Feed Products.
Organic Vs Synthetics
Nutrients and feed programs can be broken down into synthetic and organics and I am not going to say one is better than the other. Generally, you get a better yield off synthetics but some say the quality is better with organics frets. I think it is a matter of opinion as most veterans I know believe if you flush your product properly than your smoke should burn clean. If you dry your product properly than you should see positive attributes of taste and smell that reflect the strain. I think it honestly depends on your growing style and its best to be polite about peoples personal growing choices.
Correct Nutrient Ratios
There are lots of cannabis growing tips out there but this one is very important: one must make sure all nutrients are given to the plant, in the correct balance, at the correct time and to never throw nutrients at the plant in hopes to simply not run into problems. New grower will over feed out of fear and has poor self confidence simply because they do not have the growing experience. Stick with you 2 or 3 part feed program and make sure you are not adding nitrogen, phosphors or potassium from 3-4 different products. You will get a nutrient lock out. A simple cannabis grow tip is to apply a variety forms of potassium if your plant is requiring extra potassium. The same will go for nitrogen and so on.
You can increase your yield with some cannabis growing tips relating to lighting. Please people, just use a damn 600-1000watt high pressure sodium bulb and get the job done! Do not flower under florescence, MH or LED lighting. I’m a big fan of vegging under 600HPS as the plants grow strong and fast. If your grow room allows, the best vegging practice is staggering a MH and HPS bulbs; using that configuration will give you the best vegging results. Example: 600HPS than 600 MH conversion bulb than 600 HPS; than when in flower switch out the conversion bulbs with your choice of HPS bulbs. Works perfect!
Use 2 600HPS for 1 1000HPS
For growing cannabis I use to be a fan of 1000Watt HPS bulbs only, but that has changed. Now I run 600HPS only much like they do in Europe. I was very skeptical about loosing my flower power until I visited a commercial grow house that used open-shade’s (bat wings). The light pattern was simple, they accounted for 2x600hps for each 1000HPS bulb and use the technique of overlapping energetic photons. The benefits of running 2x600HPS vs 1000HPS bulb is obvious. You get a larger growing foot print. The lighting over lap can be used to increase intensity that replicates a 1000HPS output. It becomes much easier to achieve a higher gram/watt ratio.
The major draw back is that you must pay for 2 lighting systems compared to 1 investment only. The other draw back is that normally 600hps ballast are more expensive to purchase. The cost only increases if you purchase a quality reflector on-top of the over priced ballast.
Converting your 1000HPS garden to a 600HPS garden can take time and the investment should be a process. Take your time and replace 1 1000HPS at a time, not only will you notice your yields will increase but your over all heat output will decrease. Just remember, you now have two bulbs acting as a strong source of light rather than 1 bulb.
600HPS do not belong in air cooled shades
A solid cannabis grow tip is not to put 600HPS inside a air cool shade. This is a big NO, as you will decrease your lighting foot print and light intensity. The argument about putting your lights in air-cooled shades allows lights to be placed closer to the plant- this is true but to close will burn them by light intensity. The 600HPS stand alone is perfect between light distance and light intensity. Air cooled shades does reduce light intensity and lighting foot print- do not let any magazine or manufacture bullshit you otherwise! I personally have many hydro-farm air-cool grow shades sitting in storage collecting webs! Ill never go back to air cool again.
Using a cool-tube air cooled grow shade should be considered for two reasons: 1) if your already using air cooled grow shades and 2) if your linking more than 4 grow lights together on the same fan to remove air. I have been successfully in looking 6 x1000HPS in a row on the same 8inch vortex fan with no heat issues.
Major facts to consider with air-cool grow shades
If your pulling fresh air from the outside during winter months than the air will be very cold. The cold air will condense along the duct work resulting in areas with ice and water. Water droplets will drip everywhere and become a major mess on your floor and over your plant canopy. You must use insulated ducting with R6 value minimal when pulling cold air during winter months.
Secondly, your grow shades will fog over and reduce the light intensity. This will happen every winter when you suck cold winter air through your hot grow shades. You have two options for mitigation. Option 1) you pull from inside your grow room through a carbon filter. Option 2) you put a wye on your duct work to mix indoor and outdoor air together before it enters the air cooled grow shade. This is a simple ducting branch such as a 8x8x8 wye.
I have worked at a cannabis grow house that used air-cooled-tubes which are much better for cooling the bulbs but again limit that light intensity because the cool tubes distribute the light in all the directions. Cool tubes do come with bat wing shades mounted above the tubes to help reflect light downward; this is not effect and only should be considered if you have many bulbs in one grow room. Always the best option is using high quality adjustable-bat-wing-reflectors.
Aspiring LED Growers
For you LED growers, ill be gently with you, but only if you use LED’s during veg. Do not flower with them. There is so much miss leading marketing on LED by manufacturing companies. There is a lot of variables to consider when purchasing LED lights and that is reserved for a future topic! For a final note, please do not waste your money on any Amazon grow LED or UFO LED grow lights; they have the worse efficacy rating and misleading graphs. If you buy a the SpydrX brand or some other brand $2000 dollars plus with a high efficiency conversion rate, than you have a over priced great VEG light running you 500+watts per unit and minimal flower power!
Far red spectrum
Bad practices with lighting is more about poor growing practices; HPS bulbs to far from plants which messes with the ‘far red spectrum’ causing the plants to bolt. Adjusting your grow lights over the plant canopy at uneven increments is usually the main issue for bolting; bulbs should be moved as required but few inches at a time for even intranode spacing.
Cheap grow light reflectors
Using a cheap $30 dollar bat wing my be your only choice, as it is VERY expensive to get into growing. A $30 dollar bat wing is a poor choice but sometimes out of your control. Just remember that a HPS bulbs arcs at 8 points throughout the bulb; therefore, light being emitted 360 degrees, thus requiring a good reflector. You don’t want a reflector to reflect heat but light energy! Upgrading your grow reflector is one of the easier grow tips you can do to increase yield. Sometimes it just take a person to say ‘buying a good reflectors does make a big difference’.
To Many Plants
A good cannabis growing tip is not to over crowed your plants. People tend to think more is better; that is simply not true. A grower should acknowledge a plants genetic potential is much greater with the sun than what indoor lights can achieve; therefore, the same plant grown outside may produce 1+lbs under natural sunlight. So maybe give your plants some room to express their genetic potential indoors!
Some growers over crowed by planting multiple clones in the same pot. I cannot understand that logic. The clones will compete against each other, resulting in tall, weak plants with no ability to fill out for greater yields. Tree orchards and reforestation apply the same principles about plant spacing, its very poor logic to over crowed because the forest sector does not want thin long-pole pine.
Generally, over crowding is common with closet or tent growers who tend to be more relaxed and less focused on being serious. I’m a serious grower as its about product quality and customer satisfaction-even tho I don’t like people to much. I don’t like fuck arounds and it makes ZERO sense to waste power.
Short History lesson
Back in the day, old school growers use to give plants lots of space to minimize powdery mildew and the spread of spider mites. Plant spacing was a major tactic against infiltration of pest and disease. Try to keep your plant numbers low for the most part. I understand methods such as Sea Of Green are opposite of this advice but that is for its own topic and growing practices.
True story: Plant Crowding
A short story: A guy from the ‘hood’ asked for clones, He had built a mini closet in the middle of his townhouse basement, in which, housed a raise, home made flower box. He had hung a 1000HPS light above the flower box. He would plant his clones into the flower box, eliminating the ability to move his plants as required.He firmly would argue he new best because of more root growth.
So what did his shit garden look like? Well he had clones in the corner and tall 4 foot plants in the middle. His garden was staggered in all different heights. I highly encourage you not to be like this guy and listen to advice! You can use garden beds to grow outside.
How much to prune?
When growing cannabis pruning has lots of cannabis grow tips available. Pruning can really increase yield, increase airflow and decrease pest infiltration. There is lots of pruning styles with several names covering the same technique. Pruning must be done but how much attention does the plant need? Well general rule is do not rape the plant more than 20% otherwise you may shock it. I believe the 20% ratio is correct because I make approx 3000 clones a year and see minimal negative effects with the 20% ratio.
When should I prune?
There are lots of tips for pruning and growing cannabis. General when not SOG is to prune your plants early in flower; a lot of commercial growers cant’ and don’t simply because it can be an overwhelming task. Some commercial gardens cannot access all the plants as they are grown on flood tables with no room to enter a room.
At around 10-14 days info flower you should have a good idea about what lower laterals are worth keeping and which ones to discard. As the plants mature and buds start to develop, some people practice removing large fan leaves to open the canopy up. I generally hate removing large fan leaves but it can really beneficial; of course, this will depend on the strain grown and plant crowding. Sadly, I have seen growers still not understanding what they can prune and what they cant. Even worse, they apply wrong tactics such as topping and lollipoping at the wrong time.
If your going to top your plants, you do it during the veg stage! Topping is done usually around the 3rd inter-node space and can be done again on the following new growth. Remember, the more you top, the smaller the bud structure will be.
I’m not sure why people struggle with watering and why the internet consist of such stupid advice on ‘how to and when to water’. I read online about sticking your finger in the soil to the depth of 3 inches and if its dry, you water. Really? That is a extremely stupid way to measure; you should at least pick up the growing container. The top few inches of your container consist of air roots from your cannabis plant.
You have to understand how much water your plants require by the amount they consume with relationship to potting size. Factors such as the plants over all health and grow room temperatures also affect how much you can give and how frequently. It is best to get your plants on the same water cycle and be consistent with watering. I measure my water out per plant by using a 1L watering device.
Do not believe everything you read
On the internet, you read advice you water your cannabis plants until water comes out the bottom. Really, what bullshit advice is that? You do not want your pots to be over saturated as to when the grow medium cannot hold any more water. Therefore, the excess water runs out the bottom any collect in the saucers. Consequently, the collection of water really is a concentration of salts resulting in a spike in PPM, hence massive root burns. Who the fuck follows that advice? Your not trying to flush your plants every water.
People who preach such advice have minimal on hand growing experience and generally published a trusted magazine just looking for content to write about. Do not listen to the advice also given from self administered grand master guru closet growers or someone from chat forum with no rep to talk about whats right and wrong. I’m sick of these bitches chiming in on conversation with bullshit advice, just to feel important.
Do you want to make money growing cannabis? You want to be successful each harvest and not waste your time? You must weed through all the noise and take everything with a grain of salt. Even the shit I say, simply take it into consideration and hopefully draw from it when you encounter a problem or a decision. Simply put do not over water!
Use just enough water
Water only to the point before excessive water runs out the bottom. If the pots are to dry and the soil medium was pulled away from the growing container than obviously some water will run out the bottom. Simply collect the water and discard, do not keep that water or reuse. You want to water every 2-3 days, otherwise your over watering. If you water every 4-5 days your limiting the opportunities you get to feed your plant! You want to create the highest performing cannabis plant each time; therefor, you must follow this basic cannabis growing tip: use just enough water!
Feed, Feed, Water
On various forms I have talked with people who have not heard about the concept feed, feed, water and I do not know why. Feed, feed, water is a common cannabis growing practice and is recommend by manufactures as well to follow the feed, feed, water pattern. The reply I get is always some hippy saying “I read my plants and know exactly what they want”. Well, you try but you do not know what they really want.
Understand what your plant wants is also genetic based. Some strains have high nutrient tolerance and some have specific tolerance to nitrogen or phosphorous and potassium. Kush plants tend to be sensitive to nitrogen in vegetation stage and very hungry for high phosphorus and potassium during flower. I apologies for generalizing the word ‘Kush’ as kush represent many strains and crosses; but it is the best example.
It is common practice to feed, feed, water and if your plants need more micro/macro nutrients you would increase your total dissolved salts. You do not feed again for the third time in a row; you will create a nutrient lock out by salt accumulation within your soil. When it is time to water you will increase the amount of water vs the feed amount to help flush any residuals within your soil. Following this simple cannabis growing tip will help you avoid problems during flowering stage! Its a golden rule to grow by!
Simply put, you must weight the full length to get the full reward. Do not cut early as roughly 30% of your yield is within the last week of flower. So do not harvest early! Remember when you purchased your seeds online the information disclosed the strain is 8, 9, or even 10 weeks flower times. These flower times is only a recommendation and harvest times vary fully on your grow room environment; thus how fast your plant will mature.
Ideally, you observe the trichomes and determine when the thrichome heads are at the most ripe; this will tell you when to harvest and removes the guess work. The concept about harvest weight for best yield is not a plants concern. The flower is designed to be the nest for seeds and stickiness to attach male pollen. If you want to an excellent yield and ripe THC than you should invest in a 25x zoom hand held micro scope.
Hydro Theft/Missing Payments
Your electrical bill and information regarding the perspective of the utility company is a hard topic to find information about. Lucky, I happen to know people who work for the electrical utility companies and operate large cannabis grow operations.
First off, this may not be considered a cannabis growing tip because it does not help you grow cannabis but helps you make cannabis related decisions. The news media and utility companies proclaim cannabis growers steal hydro, in turn, is why they justify increasing hydro rates.I have never seen or heard of growers stealing hydro, stealing is found upon by most growers. Generally, growers have integrity and self respect; stealing is fucking pathetic and a piss poor approach by hydro companies to blame shift increasing hydro rates.
The growers I know pay their bills on time even if it makes them broke with less food on the table. Sadly, cannabis prices are so low and are clearly explained in my ‘low-ball-pot-prices‘ blog. I encourage you to please read and work together we can raise our cannabis prices. Just remember being a grower does not make you a criminal and growing cannabis does not mean I endorse criminal behaviorism.
Missing utility payments
As for missing payments, that is a poor business practice when growing cannabis. You must pay the man to help minimize detection. A friend of mine has a 40 grow lights as well as, works for the province of BC, for BC Hydro. He informed me that hydro does not give a fuck if you consume electricity, they simply want there money on time. They have automatic bill generating and it does not hit any eyes of BC Hydro’s employees. Your unusually high hydro bill becomes hydro’s attention IF you don’t pay your bill.You will get a letter from Hydro telling you to ‘ pay your bill or you will be disconnected in the XXX number of days’.
Before legalization, BC Hydro worked with the RCMP to help secure search warrants issued by the court. BC Hydro does log your consumption as unusual and they DO monitor 12/12 light schedules. This was a common tactic used in coordination with the RCMP. The thing is, BC Hydro does not report high usage, they only monitor it and MAY inspect on the premises as concern for malfunction meter etc.
Hydro does not report to the RCMP. The RCMP must have reason to communicate with BC Hydro and therefore secure your hydro records to help secure a search warrant. These tactics are not applicable today with legalization as its common for people to grow a minimal of 4 plants per house hold in Canada thus as 12/12 light schedule. To sum it up: don’t give the RCMP reason to investigate your name our grow house!
Big mouths, pride and divorce
Perhaps the best cannabis growing tips are related to this simple concept: shut your big fat fucking mouth. Particularly, I am dedicating this growing tip to all you talkative motherfuckers. Shut your loose lips because that’s the number 1 way people get caught. Answer this: if NO one knows what your doing and if no one can see or smell your grow op, than how will you get caught? Its big egos and ex girlfriends/ ex wives; no one can debate this. Other people are variables you cannot control, so shut your mouth and act humble and do not become over prideful.
Other variables you cannot control are random DUI check points that may lead to you getting busted but if you stick to the strict code of growers-ethics you could be one of those 50 year old growers talking about the good ol’ days. The best growers practice is to shut your mouth, people only need to know, on a need to know basis. This includes your buyer and please don’t tell him your harvest dates. I learned the hard way; a little story for you as follows:
I was vouched for by this grower I hardly new. He request I watch this grow house for one cycle as he needed time off. The grow house was during the time when you could legally designate a grower for someones personal License. So there was 3 people involved, the License holder, the grower and privately the third guy who secured the funding and location.
Everyone took a even 3 way split. So, when it come down to harvest time, the guy who secured the legal License become itchy for money, went into the grow house and harvested all the best looking plants with the most yield. This guy new when the harvest day was and showed up the night before. It is important to understand that its no ones business and there is no room for egos in this field. You respect your elders, you shut your mouth and you follow the strict rule of privacy; this is what a good grower will do who plans on growing. Growing is a controversial subject and not everyone agrees with it.
Should you have your best friend as your business partner? Should you have a grow partner at all? I cannot answer these questions for you. But I can say this, less people is better. Also, there can only be one grower. You heard the saying “there can only be one cook in the kitchen”. That statement rings true with the grow room. Bad business tends to rely on other peoples money and other peoples energy and resources to get the grow operational.
I firmly believe if you cant orchestrate a grow yourself than two things should happen. One) you buy a growers book much like Jorge Cervantes Grow Bible and build your growing experience, harvest by harvest. Or two) Do not start growing at all. You do not want to play with someones money to get started. The risk is to great. You cannot guarantee anything until the cash is in your hand and the process can be long. Start small and focus on the quality of product your growing- not quantity. With not having a grow partner you also decreased your risk of being caught.
There is a lot more excellent cannabis growing tips but these make for a good read! For the ones who read all this and stuck it out, feel free to read more blog articles as I want to promote as much awareness about cannabis.