The 10 Biggest Mistakes Growers Make

13 10 2009

Just thought we’d share some helpful tips on what NOT to do when growing cannabis:

culture cannabis, marijuana, how to grow

  • 1. Don´t Over water – Over watering kills weed plants. Water once the top few inches of the soil dry out.  Hydroponics is harder to over water because rockwool has such excellent drainage properties. As long as the rockwool cubes are not sitting in liquid it is virtually impossible to over water a hydroponic setup. A hydroponic setup could either be watered constantly as the drip method, or once to three times a day as in the flood and drain method.
  • 2. Don´t Tell People – Why? They will only be jealous. People love to feel important and that is why they will tell other people; because others will listen to them. – Keep it to yourself.
  • 3. Touch/kill Germinating Seeds – Please have some patience. It sometimes takes 10 days for a seed to sprout. The paper towel method is recommended but be careful  because you must handle the seeds when transferring them from the paper towel to your growing medium. This must be done with extreme care!
  • 4. Grow seeds from seeded weed – One of the greatest disappointments known to the growing man.

90% of what the final product will be is in the seed´s genetics and has little to do with the environment the plant is grown in.

Many get their hands on the seed and think they have a gold mine. They will probably grow something like this: hermaphrodites, tall late flowering females coupled with early flowering males. This is because the only pollen that could have produced the seed was from a hermaphrodite or a very stunted and late flowering male the grower did not notice. Unless you are prepared for possible disappointment don´t use “unknown”  cannabis seeds. This is why people buy seeds from seedbanks such as Sensi Seeds, White Label Seeds, Weed Seed Shop or Flying Dutchmen.

  • 5. Don´t Over fertilize -Fertilize after first 2 spiked leaves appear follow the label. DON´T FERTILIZE EVERY TIME YOU WATER!!! Start with 25% and work your way up!  Leach the plants with lots of pure water every 2-4 weeks.  If the leaves suddenly twist or fold under, Leach and Spray with pure water for several days!
  • 6. Don´t Under fertilize – Under fertilizing is less common but it happens. If you are one of those people that likes to give the plant just enough nutrients make sure you use a organic soil mixture with blood meal and bone meal or some slow release fertilizer with micro nutrients.
  • 7. Don´t Start Too Early Outdoors – For several reasons! If you are starting outdoors June 1 is perfect. But if I start earlier I will get bigger buds right? Probably Wrong! Its strange but usually true: Plants started in early spring will get big but they will take significantly longer to start flowering. This is because at the peak vegetative period they sense the light cycles getting longer and longer, until June 21. But they don´t realize that its time to flower yet. Finally in the middle of August the plant says “HEY” “time to flower already” and it produces buds in August and September or later they will be tall as trees but thinner buds due to the fact that the sun is not as strong in September. Now if the ganja plants were put out later, as soon as they get a foot off the ground they say “what´s going on” I am just in early veggie and the light hours aren´t getting longer in fact SHORTER” Then the plants go crazy and since the sun is so bright in July and August you get amazing 6 foot trees that are heavier than the plants started in April!!! in addition to finishing earlier the late started plants are not nearly as noticeable.

Indoors is the same for different reasons. The light cannot penetrate more than a foot or two. So flower when plants are a foot tall. If you wait longer because you want bigger yields, you will get smaller yields and wait longer for them.

  • 8. Don´t Start too Late Outdoors – Plants need atleast a few weeks growing time before flowering starts as the summer days get shorter.  Starting too late in the summer will lead to small and/or immature plants by the time the season ends (harvest time)
  • 9. Don´t Provide A Bad Environment – Always provide air circulation and fresh air even during the night cycle is fine. All the air indoors should be replaced every 5-10 minutes.  Humidity between 30-70% temp aim for around 75-85´ Even seedlings need a gentle fan to strengthen the stems.
  • 10. Don´t Harvest Too Early – We know its hard. You see the buds and resin forming at a rapid rate. The buds are potent and you feel tempted to chop em down! The only problem is that another 25% of the weight will form in 2 more weeks. Wait until the plants have totally stopped growing and the white pistils are at least 50-75% brown.

*NOTE: Outdoors if security is a factor make your own call on when to sacrifice the fields. Also take buds continuously in case of thieves.*


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10 responses

14 10 2009
kushboldt

1. Don´t Over water – Over watering kills weed plants. Water once the top few inches of the soil dry out. Hydroponics is harder to over water because rockwool has such excellent drainage properties. As long as the rockwool cubes are not sitting in liquid it is virtually impossible to over water a hydroponic setup. A hydroponic setup could either be watered constantly as the drip method, or once to three times a day as in the flood and drain method.

The advice is correct, but the reasoning is not quite accurate.

Different consistencies of soil have different watering requirements. Lighter soil with more air pockets can be watered quite often. Some brands of soil are designed for 24/7 drip irrigation.

The reason why roots can be exposed to water up to 24/7 in hydroponic culture is due to aeration. This is accomplished by an air pump, surface aeration as in NFT, or gravity aeration as in flood and drain. The only reason why over-watering harms plants is a plants’ tolerance to low root zone oxygen content. In the case of large, drought-tolerant angiosperms such as cannabis, there is a relatively low threshold at which waterlogged media will “suffocate” the roots. As it is not practical to use an air pump in soil, soil must be allowed to dry out in order to aerate the roots.

7. Don´t Start Too Early Outdoors – For several reasons! If you are starting outdoors June 1 is perfect.

People should not consider advice like “x day in y month is perfect” for planting anything unless they are getting advice from their next door neighbor for a seed that their next door neighbor grew last year. At your latitude, June 1 is possibly optimal. At someone else’s latitude, probably not. With some other strain, probably not.

In general, I would say better advice would be to plant quick maturing sativa-dominant strains northern climate strains later, slow maturing sativa-dominant equatorial strains (such as Maui) earlier, and medium maturing indica strains in between.

9. Don´t Provide A Bad Environment – Always provide air circulation and fresh air even during the night cycle is fine. All the air indoors should be replaced every 5-10 minutes. Humidity between 30-70% temp aim for around 75-85´ Even seedlings need a gentle fan to strengthen the stems.

This is greatly oversimplified.

The only reason plants need fresh air is to compensate for CO2 depletion. This is easily solved with CO2 enrichment. Plants do not need fresh air at night. Circulation, filtration, and possibly low levels of ozone to kill mold spores is the optimal environment. If a person is lacking equipment, then the advice about fresh air is fine.

Your humidity figures are also greatly oversimplified. More accurate yet equally simple is to keep humidity above 50% in vegetative stage and below 50% in flowering. If this is in an unshielded indoor environment, humidity should be kept just below 65% in veg to prevent mold from growing on the walls/ceiling.

Your temperature figures are also misleading. High temperatures (up to 100F) are not only acceptable in a 1000-1500 ppm CO2 enriched environment, they are optimal. Much more important is to keep soil/water temperature at an even temperature in the 70-75F range. If root zone temperatures fluctuate too much, pythium will kill off plants very quickly. The only reasons to target a 75F room temperature would be if there is no CO2 enrichment and no root zone temperature control equipment.

10. Don´t Harvest Too Early – We know its hard. You see the buds and resin forming at a rapid rate. The buds are potent and you feel tempted to chop em down! The only problem is that another 25% of the weight will form in 2 more weeks. Wait until the plants have totally stopped growing and the white pistils are at least 50-75% brown.

Macroscopic features such as pistil color will not reveal peak ripeness. You may get a bit more raw weight from overripe product, but there will not be any more THC present. The best indicator is microscopic trichome appearance and this depends on the strain and the desired composition. Absolute peak THC content occurs when trichomes on a flower have turned milky. THC begins to degrade when trichomes have turned amber, but amber trichomes are generally associated with richer taste, especially in indica-dominant strains. Some strains, particularly Trainwreck, will appear “finished” macroscopically in as little as 6 weeks indoor. Immature trainwreck is often harvested based on amateur analysis such as “the hairs turned color.” However, closer examination of immature Trainwreck reveals crystal clear trichomes, indicating peak THC content was some 2-3 weeks away.

Nice list, but I would say the #1 mistake that growers make is following advice from another amateur.

30 12 2014
David Dunford

Well said kushboldt! I was given this page by someone who touted it like it was the god himself giving growing commandments to the world. I read it and shook my head. I haven’t been growing for decades, but over the last 3 years or so I’ve talked with plenty of growers that have, and this article shows someone who just surfed the web and wrote down what they thought was right…probably to impress their friends.

The last bit of advice Kushboldt gave is the very best. Don’t listen to ANYONE who doesn’t have many, many years of PROVABLE growing experience behind them. The last partner I had thought a 400 watt HPS would yield 4 pounds off two plants, thought pointing a fan up at a hermed and pollinated plant was helpful, triple nuted three plants because he thought it would help them grow bigger, etc…etc…and lots more etc…
Then I found out he was planning on coming in and stealing my grow to take to a friend’s place several hours away. But I caught on to that early and let the dipshit hang himself. He’s now fired and I have new locks and a camera.

This is what you get when you bring an ameture into your grow. Don’t let it happen to you.

30 12 2014
David Dunford

Amateur* (And to think, I’m kind of a grammar Nazi. lol)

30 12 2014
David Dunford

Also, when it comes to cutting the plants early…there is no “set time” for plants. Times are put up as averages from people doing a consistent grow, but there are many, many factors that determine when a plant will be ready.

Stress can add weeks to your finish date. Alternatively, you might just have a particular strain that had something happen to it before seeding that made it so the plant is ready prematurely.

It’s much like a human baby. Sometimes they come a little late, sometimes they come a little early. Genetics play a factor in this, but so does external influence. The best way to know if your plant is ready is to check the trichomes. It takes a while to really understand how to gauge a trichrome too. When they say “milky” or “amber,” this is a tint to it. I let my first couple of plants go too long because I could still see through the trichrome. The difference in color change is not the easiest to recognize, and changes from plant to plant. If you only work a few strains you can pick up on when they are ready after your first grow or two with ease. But don’t expect your trichomes to look like a glass of milk or chunk of amber. They are tints, and the lights you use to grow can misguide you, especially HPS’s.

I suggest pulling the plant out and under a normal light, just for a few minutes because it could cause it to herm if you leave it out too long, to check your trichomes, mostly because you have to check more than one bud as plants don’t mature all at once, but from top to bottom. If you have mature trichomes on the top buds, 50% or more milky and maybe 10% amber tints, but the bottom isn’t like that, you can still get away with chopping it. The plant will continue to mature for the next week or so while it hangs as the chlorophyll gets used up. By the time it is dry everything should be pretty much the same potency.

16 01 2013
Lousie Thomas

Great post Thanks for sharing , That was really helpful i have some different and interesting tips for the marijuana which can also be useful.

http://bigbudsmag.com/grow/how/article/6-great-apps-marijuana-growers-august-2011

11 06 2014
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The 10 Biggest Mistakes Growers Make | Marijuana & Cannabis Blog

15 07 2014
Paul D. Mitchell

Another good tip for new growers is to not over-water your plants. I’ve seen it again and again, but new growers get so eager to give their plants everything they can, they overdo the watering, and their plants suffer for it. If you stick your fingers 1-2 inches into the dirt, and it’s still moist, don’t water. Thanks.
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