Nutrient Mistakes to Avoid When Growing Cannabis
Growing cannabis at home can save a regular smoker a lot of money. Cultivating the plants can also be a rewarding experience. Cannabis seeds are generally easy to grow, but there are some things new growers should watch out for to avoid wasting time and money. Fortunately, others have made these mistakes and new growers can learn from them.
Overall, it’s essential to put some effort in research prior to investing any money into a cannabis growing operation. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to nutrients and mistakes can be expensive. Failing to provide the right nutrients at the right stages can lead to smaller buds or even to loss of the whole plant. To make the most of the investment in seeds, time and money, growers should pay special attention to these mistakes that have cost others in the past.
Not Using the Right Soil
The perfect soil for growing cannabis is going to be light, contain nutrients and be free of contaminants. Dense soils prevent roots from growing. Instead, new growers should choose an airy soil that drains properly. Light soil allows roots to flourish so they can grow quickly. Growers who choose the right soil should be prepared to transplant their seedlings into a larger pot after about four weeks.
Most growers start with soil that has already been fertilized. By choosing a pre-fertilized soil, the grower doesn’t have to add nutrients until the plants start to grow. This saves time and ensures the plants have the best start. It’s very important for new growers who choose this type of soil to check the pH regularly and make adjustments if necessary.
Cannabis is not a plant that should be grown with backyard soil. It’s also important to avoid reusing soil from previously grown cannabis plants. Using fresh soil instead prevents contaminants from entering the plant and affecting the quality of the buds. This doesn’t mean cannabis can’t be grown outdoors. In fact, this plant does very well in an outdoor environment where it can get plenty of sun as well as some shade during the hottest part of the day.
Ignoring the pH Levels
The pH levels in a cannabis plant determine whether it will be able to absorb the nutrients from the soil. Choosing the ideal soil can make a difference in the pH levels, but new growers should pay attention to the numbers to avoid deficiencies and produce higher yields.
Although it isn’t necessary or even advisable to keep the pH at a specific level, it’s important to ensure it is always within the appropriate range. The ideal range for soil for growing cannabis is between 6.0 and 7.0. Experienced growers monitor the pH daily and adjust as needed to prevent nutrient absorption problems.
Monitoring pH levels requires special tools. There are different testing tools available, and growers typically choose one based on personal preference and ease of use. The available choices include droppers, strips and electronic testers. Droppers are generally the preferred choice among new growers because they are easy to use and priced affordably. It’s important to research the brand before making an investment. Accurate readings are critical for ensuring the plants absorb nutrients properly.
Failing to Research the Water Source
Water is made up of more than hydrogen and oxygen. The minerals and bacteria in the water supply can have a significant effect on how well a cannabis plant grows. New growers often make the mistake of watering their plants with their municipal water supply. While this water may be good for humans to drink, it may not be beneficial to the plants.
Knowing the pH levels of the different available water sources can help ensure the plants receive all the nutrients. For example, purified water has a neutral pH of 7. If the soil’s pH goes below 6, tap water may be able to bring it back in line. Most tap water has an alkaline pH of 8. High pH might be resolved with rain, pond or lake water, since water from those sources tends to be in the 5-6 range.
The pH balance is just one factor to look for when it comes to a water source. Growers with hard water flowing through their taps should look for an alternative source. The calcium and other minerals in their water supply can be detrimental to plant growth.
Overfeeding or Overwatering the Plants
More is not better when it comes to feeding cannabis plants. Like most plants, cannabis does not respond well to overfeeding. Overfeeding can cause nutrient lockout. This is a common mistake among new growers and a lesson they don’t have to be taught again.
Nutrient lockout happens when the soil is oversaturated with nutrients. This prevents the nutrients in the soil from actually getting to the roots to nourish the plant. Plants in this situation become weak, as if there aren’t enough nutrients in the soil. New growers that mistake this condition for underfeeding might add nutrients and make the problem worse.
The solution to nutrient lockout is to flush the plants with fresh, pH balanced water. Growers should allow the soil to dry before adding additional water. It’s important to wait an addition two or three more watering cycles before adding more nutrients to the soil.
Overwatering is worse for cannabis plants than underwatering. Adding too much water to the Chocolope plant’s soil deprives them of the oxygen they need to grow. Fungus and root rot are common when cannabis plants get too much water. Most plants can recover from underwatering but giving them too much water could result in lost plants.
Assuming the Answer
There are a lot of things that can go wrong while growing cannabis. Many times, new growers try to treat symptoms without properly diagnosing the problem. It takes time and patience to grow cannabis, but the investment will pay off in the end. Those who research proper growing methods and learn how to diagnose and treat their plants’ problems grow healthier buds.
The most successful growers prepare In advance. They study prior to planting the first seed so they know what to expect when their plant starts to grow. Regardless of the amount of research a prospective cannabis grower does before planting, there are bound to be issues that come up along the way. The difference between those who are prepared and those who plan to learn as they go is the amount of time it takes to grow a successful crop.
It’s important to have different sized containers, light sources, pH testing supplies and nutrients on hand prior to planting the first seed. Being prepared with all the necessary equipment will make it easier to make adjustments, if necessary, to ensure the plants grow successfully.
Using Seeds with Poor Genetics
High-quality seeds produce high-quality plants. Seeds are not an area where a new grower should try to save money. Unfortunately, many new growers start with cheap seeds because they aren’t yet committed, and they produce a poor result. Some even try to grow seeds they found in marijuana they purchased for personal use. No matter where they purchased the cheap seeds, the result is going to be similar.
Investing in good seeds from i49 seed bank to start will make it easier to grow a healthy plant. Growers have fewer problems with high-quality seeds so they don’t have to invest as much money later in the process. Those who try to save money by purchasing discount seeds suffer because they don’t have enough information about the seeds to make the right decisions regarding nutrients. These seeds may be cheap because they are a mix of different strains and that won’t be apparent until the plants start growing.
Improper Use of Containers
Container growing is how a lot of people get started. It’s an effective way to start but there are some things a new grower should be aware of before they plant their first seed. One of the most common mistakes people make with containers is allowing the plant to become root bound. The roots of young plants grow very quickly. The plants need to be moved into larger pots before their roots attach to the edges.
It’s also vital to ensure container plants have appropriate runoff. This means there needs to be holes in the bottom of the container to allow excess water to escape. The plant should be elevated above the drip tray to avoid the moisture getting reabsorbed into the soil. Inappropriate runoff can cause a cannabis plant to exhibit the same symptoms as overwatering.
Not Providing the Right Nutrients for the Plant’s Life Stage
First, a new grower must be able to recognize when their Five Alive or Do Si Dos plants are transitioning from one life stage to the next. Cannabis plants need different nutrients depending on whether they are in the germination, seedling, vegetative or flowering stage. For example, regular feminized seeds typically need 18 hours of light before they reach the flowering stage. Once they start flowering, they only need light 12 hours a day.
New growers often purchase their nutrients a store and try to follow the directions as closely as possible. Unfortunately, the directions on most of these products instruct growers to use more than twice as much as their plants actually need. In fact, starting with just a quarter of the recommended dosage and monitoring the pH levels may produce better results. Adding more nutrients is easier than correcting the problems caused when the soil gets nutrient locked.
Learning how to recognize and correct nutrient deficiencies can help a new grower avoid losing their plants. For example, phosphorus deficiency can produce several different symptoms. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient, so when the plant lacks it, it’s going to be apparent. The lower leaves might turn yellow or blue and shiny. A grower might also notice dark splotches on the leaves or purplish stems. The easiest way to correct this problem is to feed the plant more phosphorus and monitor its progress.
Nitrogen deficiencies are most common during the flowering stage. It’s important to check the plants often for any yellowing in the leaves nearest the bottom of the plant. Left unchecked, the yellowing will affect the top leaves as well. As long as a sufficient amount of nitrogen is added to the soil before all the leaves turn yellow, there’s a good chance the plant will recover. The yellow leaves will fall off and be replaced by healthy green leaves.
Fertilizers often don’t contain enough potassium to grow healthy cannabis plants so deficiencies in this nutrient are common among new growers. Although less potassium is needed compared to the other nutrients, it is very important because it plays a role in water respiration and circulation. Some signs of potassium deficiency include leaves appearing as if they are burnt on the tips, slow-growing leaves, plants that are easily bent and a delayed flowering stage.
Magnesium is essential to photosynthesis and is something that all plants, including cannabis, need to grow. Since magnesium helps the plant achieve the bright green color, fading is an obvious sign. A magnesium deficiency is apparent when the leaves turn yellow but the veins remain green. The solution is to increase magnesium in the soil. Epsom salt, dolomite lime and worm castings are all high in magnesium and can be used to cure this problem.
By avoiding common mistakes, new growers can start yielding high amounts of quality buds right away. While taking the time to study the process might not be as exciting as watching the White Widow or Granddaddy Purple plants grow, this investment is just as important as purchasing the right containers, pH testing supplies and soil. Knowing which nutrients the plant needs most at what stages of the growth cycle and keeping the pH within the normal range helps ensure cannabis plants produce large, potent buds. There’s a lot to learn but once a new grower knows the basics, they can start their journey to a successful life as a home cannabis seed grower.