Growing isn’t easy, especially for beginners. Plants are extremely delicate beasts at the best of times. Many growers are not only dealing with the fickle nature of cannabis, but with growing spaces, lights, heating and all sorts of other variables. It can be challenging to have a mistake-free harvest, but we can try. The best way to avoid mistakes is to recognise them in time or to make sure we are set up properly before we start. Usually, our plants will let us know if something is wrong. However, it can be hard for beginners to recognise the signs the plants send out. We are going to cover a few of the most common mistakes growers make as well as a few signs your plants are unhappy and how to fix it.
Lack of Research
The most common mistake is inadequate research. Growing is complicated and we need to make sure we know everything we can before we plant. Different strains will need different environments, treatments, feedings etc. We need to make sure we purchase a strain that will thrive in the environment we have available. The style of growing will change what the plant needs as well. Especially indoor vs outdoor growing, never mind going into hydroponics. Before we even buy the seeds we should know as much as possible about what we will need and what the plants will need. It is best to over-prepare rather than under, especially if it’s the first time growing.
This is a big one and can be the cause of a lot of problems if it’s done wrong. Our plants are our babies and it can be easy to try and fix everything by giving them more food. One of the most common mistakes growers make is overfeeding and overwatering their plants. If we choose the right fertiliser and set up the environment well, we really shouldn’t need to hassle the plants too much. Excessive watering, feeding, pruning and generally over mothering our plants is the fastest way to kill them. This can also come from trying to get the plants to flower and mature faster. This isn’t how plants work, unfortunately, and trying to push plants to flower faster will only result in disaster.
If the plants begin to droop and sag it is likely they are being given too much attention. Try to scale back to the absolute minimum watering for a little while and see if the plants perk up. If the plants aren’t getting enough water or nutrients they will start to turn a light yellow colour.
As I said before the plants will send out alarms if something is wrong. Though we don’t want to hassle our plants we do want to keep a close eye on them to make sure they are happy and healthy. The plants will also tell us if they are unhappy in their environment. Say the growing space is too humid, the plants will start to show signs of mould and if we don’t catch this right away it can destroy the plants. This is the same with pests and insects, the plants will start to show reddish-brown dots. Realistically as soon as these alarms are easily visible it’s too late to do much about it. This is why we need to have a regular close examination of the plant so that we can nip any nasty issues in the bud, as it were.
Improper Growing Environment
It is vital that we give our plants the growing environment they need if they are to grow properly. Plants need water and light of course, but we also need to make sure the soil PH is right, that they are getting enough nutrients, that the temperature is perfect and the humidity levels are correct. As I mentioned earlier over and under watering are both dangerous, so watch your plant and see how it is reacting to your watering schedule. It is vital that we check the PH of our soil, too high or too low will both damage the plant. Use a PH tester to check that it sits between 6 and 7 for soil, 5.5 and 6.5 for hydroponics.
When it comes to the humidity we don’t want to drop below 30% and don’t want to go higher than 70%. Humidity is usually more of an issue in greenhouse growing, but again we should always ensure the air isn’t too dry or too humid if we want happy plants.
The ambient temperature should sit between 23 – 29 degrees C, or 75 – 85 Fahrenheit.
Finally, lighting is absolutely vital, and setting up indoor lighting incorrectly can spell disaster for a crop. This often depends on the type of lamp being used. Some will give off more heat than others so being too close is a bad idea, some will lose effectiveness if placed too far from the plants. Essentially this comes back to research, understand the lamps and whether reflective surfaces etc will be required.
It is hard to stress how big a part patience plays in cannabis growing. One of the common problems growers face is simply not being able to wait until the plants are ready for harvest. Harvesting too early doesn’t allow certain trichomes and cannabinoids to form. This means the effect and flavour of the strain will not be optimal, and then all we have done is wasted the last few months. Waiting until the trichomes turn a milky white is usually ideal. Waiting too long to harvest can also negatively affect the plants so trying to time the harvest well is definitely important.
These are just a few of the common mistakes made by growers, and hopefully, this will help those who are new to growing spot issues before it’s too late. Most of these problems can be fixed and the plants will be salvageable as long as we are quick to react when our plants signal that something is wrong.
Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.
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*Image from Unsplash