Avoid These Common Mistakes When Growing Marijuana

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Growing MarijuanaWhen you’re just starting out to grow your own marijuana, there are a lot of pitfalls along the path which might prevent you from achieving the kind of success you’ve been dreaming about.

While marijuana cultivation is something that practically anyone can do successfully, there are also some very common beginner mistakes that most people are unprepared for, and which cause them to mishandle the first few attempts at home growing.

Here are some of the most common rookie mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Keep it to yourself

While more and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s still illegal to grow your own cannabis throughout the majority of states in this country.

The more people you talk to about your cannabis-growing enterprise, the more likely someone will blow the whistle on you. Even if the days are over where you might get hauled into jail, when the authorities come down on you, your stash will be confiscated at the very least, and they’ll be keeping an eye on you after.

2. Window-growing doesn’t work

By far the best source of light for plants is the sun, but placing your plants by a window to catch the sunlight simply doesn’t work in the vast majority of cases.

Cannabis plants need more light than the daylight hours provide, and to even catch all that sunlight you’d have to be moving your plants from window to window to follow the path of the sun.

If you’re growing your own marijuana plants indoors, it will be well worth your while to invest in a lighting system that’s consistent and controllable.

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3. Use the right fertilizer and soil

It’s not a good idea to just grab any fertilizer and any kind of soil from your garden store, and assume that it will grow healthy marijuana plants for you.

Choose a fertilizer that’s higher in nitrogen than in phosphorus or potassium, and don’t just use ordinary outdoor soil for your plants – make sure that the soil in your pots has ample fertilizer, and test the pH balance to make sure that it’s close to the middle, at around 7.0.

4. Don’t let plant roots become smothered

Cannabis plants grow very quickly, and they shoot roots down the sides of your pot and to the bottom, a lot faster than you might think.

Once your plants have become established, they should quickly be transferred to larger pots, to give those roots room to grow and spread, otherwise the plants might die.

5. Educate yourself

One of the best things you can do to avoid beginner mistakes is to educate yourself about the cultivation of marijuana.

There’s a vast amount of literature available on the subject, and by absorbing some of this great information, you’ll be much less likely to be surprised by developments with your plants, and you’ll be much better prepared for eventualities.

The more you know about cannabis growing, the more successful you’ll be, and the greater the likelihood that you have strong, healthy cannabis plants, time after time.

Techniques for Growing Hydroponic Cannabis

Techniques for Growing Hydroponic CannabisHydroponic cannabis are plants grown in something besides soil, with nutrient-rich solutions that provide what the plant needs to grow.

The reason marijuana plants, or any other plants, are grown hydroponically is that growth can be sped up and yields can be increased by directly controlling the volume of nutrients received by the plants.

Small-scale hydroponic operations can be as simple as hand-watering plants which grow in pots containing any inert medium. Much larger operations might have more sophisticated systems, automated to manage irrigation and the flow of nutrition.

Hydroponic marijuana media

Strictly speaking, no medium is really necessary for growing hydroponic cannabis, as long as the plants receive the nutrients they need. Since growing mediums are easily obtained and support root development, most hydroponic operations make use of one or more of the following:

  • Rockwool – probably the most commonly used medium and is made by spinning molten rock into single-filament fibers that hold water well
  • Growstones – a recycled glass product which has tremendous properties for retaining air and water
  • Perlite/vermiculite/pumice – all three of these contain a great deal of air space, and they have the added appeal of being re-usable
  • Coco peat – a by-product of coco husks, which holds 1,000 times more air than natural soil
  • Expanded clay pebbles – super-heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, these tiny clay bits retain their heated size and hold air extremely well

Hydroponic growing methods

Having settled on the right medium for your hydroponic growing operation, you then need to select the actual growing method to be used.

  • Aeroponics – this method does not require any growing medium, but instead works by spraying or misting the roots of plants to provide them with needed nutrients
  • Continuous flow solution – by constantly irrigating plants with nutrients, the continuous flow method ensures that individual plants receive nourishment through some kind of setup where roots are supplied with water containing vital ingredients
  • Run-to-waste – a simple hydroponic system has the grower watering a medium either by hand or automated until waste is created in individual pots or containers, then discarded
  • Deep water culture – roots of the cannabis plants are suspended over nutrient-rich water some are even completely out of the water. The very high levels of oxygen in the area directly above the water triggers rapid growth among the plants
  • Flood and drain – a simple cultivation method where trays are used to provide water to plants from below, with plants, either grown in media or not, and wastewater drains away to a main tank for recycling

Best Hydroponic Equipment to Grow Marijuana

Cannabis Manufacturing Equipment to grow Medical MarijuanaIf you’re planning on growing marijuana indoors, you’ll need hydroponic equipment, as well as grow lights and boxes, closets, watering systems, indoor lights, fans, drainage systems, tools and more. What does hydroponics mean in terms of growing weed? It basically involves growing your plants in a sterile, inert growth medium instead of soil, according to High Times. When you mix the water with the solution of nutrients, your plants get all their daily requirements through that. To achieve just the right balance, you’ll need to invest in the best hydroponic equipment available.

Types of hydroponic systems

There are three different kinds of hydroponic systems: ebb and flow, top-feed systems and vertical top-feed systems. The ebb and flow is the most popular but the one you choose depends on your unique situation and preference. If you’re a beginner, try a hydro kit, which can run you upwards of $100. In terms of exhaust fans, you’ll need a high-quality product to regulate the temperature, quality and circulation of the room. For a typical 10-inch High-Output In-Line Duct Fan, you’re looking at about $170.

However, you can get smaller or bigger than that and the price will fluctuate accordingly. You’ll also need the right lighting, but the amount you use depends directly on the size of your crop. For example, the Sun System Digital 250/400 is a small to medium size light system that will run you about $230. Lighting is an important component of your system, so don’t skimp on this part if you can afford a good model. Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a full lighting system with ballast, hood and bulb.

Hardware is necessary to hold up all your lighting and other equipment, so this varies quite a bit from system to system. Grow boxes will represent a big part of your budget if you choose to use them. For instance, Grandma’s Secret Garden Nine-Plant Grow Box costs nearly $700. You can buy much smaller ones for a couple hundred and spend upwards of $1000 for much bigger ones. Handle odor control with charcoal carbon filters, which cost between $100 and $300. You’ll need plenty of nutrients on hand, which can run you about $60 for one gallon or $250 for five gallons. When all is said and done, your most costly expense by far will be the electricity to power your operation. For example, to power your lighting and other equipment for 90 days within a 5×5 foot area, you will spend about $200, according to Cost Helper Health.