A detail we sometimes overlook is our greatest teacher in growing cannabis is Mother Nature. Try to take into consideration a cannabis plant was introduced indoors and the parameters were altered or tweaked to enhance the plants performance. In the environment you live in our CO2 levels are about 350 ppm and the water levels register around 350 ppm.
Learning to dial in your environment is the biggest goal of producing cannabis. The ideal temperature to grow cannabis is 72 degrees to 82 degrees. In reference what’s ideal to a great harvest is dialing in the grow room. The temperature is broken into two parts. The first part is controlling the root zone temperature and keeping it between 68 degrees and 72 degrees. This range is where cannabis plants will achieve optimal growth under a variable of conditions. Making the plant thrive is dependent on the end user dialing in the key elements including temperature, humidity and light distribution to the garden canopy.
At night when the lights are off it is ideal to maintain a 10 degree differential from day to night. Don’t try and stretch this concept as it will elongate your internodes and never compact your main colas. Relative humidity is your best friend and is your worst enemy.
From the start to the end of a cannabis plant’s life cycle, the main items it acquires are plenty of water and nutrients. So for instance the cannabis roots get lazy when they sit in water and have a tendency to decrease water absorption on uptake to deliver the nutrients to the flower sites. You as the grower have disabled the plant growth by giving it an abundance of water. We have learned to feed the medium and let it dry out by 50 – 60 % before adding water or applying nutrients to the regular feeding schedule. In this case less is more because you can’t force cannabis to process a feeding regimen if the medium never gets chance to dry or in this case change colors.
Air movement plays a major role in the development of buds. When water is distributed to any garden application you must account for removing any particles that stay stagnant in the garden. In this situation fans can be applied on the top and at the bottom of the canopy. The reason for this is air travels from the bottom to the top and hot air rises. This creates air penetration in the dense areas of the canopy and helps remove any excess water trapped around the leaves. We must always remember closed stoma will never become a factory of production if there is over 65% percent humidity stationed around the plant. By removing the excess water the cannabis plant is able to control gas exchange allowing the nutrients to be absorbed via Xylem to increase flower site production.
In the act of transpiration the leaves release 10 times more water than the rest of the plant, which leaves water particles in the room. This can be harmful in many ways by creating mold or just creating an environment for a variety of species of bugs to invade and colonize the garden, especially if the conditions are hot or humid.
CO2 is an important factor in the enhancement of the cannabis fruit but keep in mind that the cannabis plant itself will dictate how much CO2 it needs. Some like 800 – 900 ppm levels and other plants do extremely well under 1200 ppm – 1500 ppm.
Light distribution is one of the most important factors that is frequently overlooked. Bending branches and placing them in a direct path to where the light is being administered will increase yield significantly. Placing flower sites are directly under the light can increase yields by as much as 15% – 30%.
Removing leaves from the canopy helps light penetrate to the bottom of the canopy. I’ve had success removing the first and largest set of fan leaves after 30 days. Then I remove more leaves two weeks before harvesting the cannabis. This allows the plant to transfer all the remaining sugars to the flower site to ensure the swelling process.
If you provide cannabis plants with constant nutrients, there is an increased chance you will lock the plant up or create rot in the root zone. When a cannabis plant absorbs nutrients it leaves behind dissolved salts and the best way to eliminate them from the growing region is to flush them away with plain R/O water. Always study your garden and pay attention to details. One way to ensure safety to your garden is to create a daily data book. By reviewing your notes and studying the garden you will be able to grow a great and healthy harvest.
Victor Krantz is a master grower for The Bucket Company. We have been involved with the agriculture industry for 30 years producing a wide variety of food crops and setting up commercial greenhouses in many different states. You can find them on Instagram @thebucketcompany or @cookiesandcreamfarm. Victor may be contacted directly at 727.424.0132.