Growing cannabis does not differ much from growing any other plant, yet other than the commonly known legal reasons, there are some specific features of the plant itself which you should pay attention to should you decide to take up growing.
1. Not Keeping It Private
The most important thing to remember is to not tell people about your growing occupation. During the two or three months of the growing project, the best way to protect it is to just keep it as private as you possibly can – the ideal option will be for you to be the only one knowing.
With every person you tell, you increase your chances of getting robbed or worse – being legally punished. Consider this when you are picking up the growing space itself – this is your space, so pick a private one. This applies even in places where growing cannabis is legal. The fewer people know, the better.
Of course, watering plays a crucial role in growing all kinds of plants but what you’d need to be careful about is using too much water or watering them too often. Overwatering can cause plants to adopt droopy posture, or in some cases – kill them.
The way to avoid this mistake is by using hydroponic mediums such as coco coir. After using it, test the top inch of the medium with your finger. If it is dry, then it is okay to water. Good hydroponic systems are designed to provide good drainage.
Depending on the growing methods you are using, you would have to water the plants one to three times per day. Keep in mind not to exceed the limit and watering only when the top inches of soil are dry. It is a common tendency for most people to water their plants excessively and cause the above-mentioned problems when the time to harvest comes.
3. Using Too Many Nutrients
This is one of the easiest mistakes to make when growing marijuana since a lot of people worry if they are feeding the plants enough. Another drawback is that nutrient companies sometimes put recommendations on the packages that may be too high for most growing operations. Using too many nutrients can lead to nutrient burn which must be avoided.
Most probably it will not kill your plants but is something that should be improved. A suggestion is to exchange information online with other people, following your growing method. Also, pay daily attention to your plants, specifically if the leaves show any kind of malformation.
4. Not Timing the Growth Cycles
The separate growth cycles are intertwined and are very important for your plants. For example, without proper vegetation, the flowering cycle of the plant is going to suffer. Therefore, the cycles must be precisely timed in order to avoid issues.
The flowering cycle should start just before the plants have filled the space because, during this cycle, the plants stretch out a lot. Take the time to learn about and understand the insights of the growth cycles.
Pruning is also essential for boosting plant growth but, similarly to watering and feeding, overpruning is another common mistake. Pruning the plants too much can lead to weakening the plant and even kill them. You have to be careful not to prune the whole plant but to maintain the right technique and always prune less than you think you might want to.
6. Using the Wrong Fertilizer
When choosing a fertilizer, you need to pay attention to the NPK ratio in order to have a good harvest at the end. During each growth cycle, you need to use a specific fertilizer that has the right amount of nitrogen, which the plants need, especially during the flowering cycle.
7. Not Creating a Proper Environment
For proper growth, you need a proper environment. The temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees and the humidity – between 30 and 70%. Air circulation is of great importance since your plants need to breathe just as much as you do. Avoid places limited with stale air. Consider buying fans and placing them strategically to ensure freshly circulated air.
8. Harvesting Too Early
When the plants start budding, it is a common mistake to harvest them too early. Harvesting and drying is as important of a phase as the growing itself. Some signs of your plants going into a harvesting period are: tiny crystals appear around the flowers, intense smell, sticky flowers, pistils change/darken their color (from white to red/brown) and 60-70% of the white hairs curl in, a few larger leaves turn yellow.
9. Not having the right insurance (or any!)
Operating any business is risky and cultivating crop is no exception. Covering your product can help financially if there were to be a loss (due to fire, theft, wind, etc.) but can also help protect your time. This growing process requires dedication and effort, losing the work you have devoted months to can be frustrating but with the right insurance coverage the process of starting fresh will be easier.
Perhaps more importantly though is protection for yourself. Regulation is heavy in the cannabis space and with a Directors & Officers insurance policy you can protect not only your company’s assets but your own personal assets if you violate regulation and are fined/penalized. There are eyes on the cannabis industry so make sure you are not putting yourself at risk when diving into it!
About the author:
Luis has 20+ years of experience in global market expansion, business development, mergers and acquisitions, business re-engineering, finance and investor relations of software companies. He is passionate about technology, spectral science, indoor farming, food production, automation, and more.
Since 2015 he is the president of Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas. When not at work, Luis enjoys swimming, yoga, as well as growing grapes and flowers in Sonoma, California.