How to Grow Better Indoor Cannabis and Increase Your Yields
5 Ways to Improve Your Grow
Most people invest in the hobby of cultivating their own cannabis either to have a regular supply available to them or, to enjoy a better-quality product. When you first start out growing cannabis at home for personal use it is easy to make beginner mistakes. That is normal, every grower has done it!
Growing cannabis is unlike most other typical garden plants, which means it takes a certain experience to be able to learn, adapt, and improve your skills. If your goal is better quality or quantity of product, slowly making improvements over time is the best way to achieve that. In this post, we have outlined 5 areas that affect most new growers, and how you can improve them!
Start with the right strain
Investing in good quality genetics is a tip that is often overlooked, but it’s so important because you can’t grow good cannabis without good genetics! Whether you want to grow from a seed or a clone you need to make sure that it comes from a reputable source. Quality breeding will ensure the lineage of your strain, so you know exactly what you are growing. Even the most experienced grower will not be able to get a good yield out of an inferior product!
If a sizeable yield is a top priority for you, make sure that you are choosing a high-producing strain. You will also want to make sure your strain of choice is conducive to the environment you plan to grow in. Some strains need a hot, protected environment which, if you’re growing cannabis in Canada means they might do better indoors. Some strains need ample room in order to grow, which might mean they’re better off outside if you’re limited on indoor space. Read more about growing outdoors in this blog post. Plants that aren’t able to grow their best, won’t yield the best results.
You’ll also want to consider your skill level when it comes to choosing a strain. If you’re an inexperienced gardener, starting with a strain that can be difficult to manage or needs advanced maintenance is not a good idea. It’s better to air on the side of caution and find something you’re comfortable with than to end up with a dissatisfying harvest.
Optimize the Grow Environment
Increasing your light intensity is one of the most effective ways to improve the size and quality of your cannabis plants. Light turns into energy, which allows the plant to grow and produce bigger buds. More access to light equals increased ability to grow. You can easily increase the light intensity in two ways; by upgrading the strength of your main light source or adding additional lights throughout your grow space. The Equinox 1000 Led Panel is a great choice for those looking to upgrade, as it utilizes the latest LED technology for powerful energy-efficient light output. As an alternative, you can also add Grow Light Strips throughout your garden to increase light throughout. One of the benefits of this method is that they are linkable so you can add more as you grow!
As you increase the availability of light you might also want to increase the CO2 levels. Introducing Co2 canisters to your grow room will allow your plants to take in more light, and therefore produce more energy for bigger buds. Amplifying the Co2 ppm in your grow space is a small but crucial improvement that can increase your yields by a significant amount (varying sources say up to 40 or even 50%). Do exercise caution though, it is possible to have too much of a good thing!
Lastly, after improving access to light and CO2, you’ll want to ensure that the climate in your grow room is perfect. Having the right temperature and humidity levels can be a key factor in growing good quality bud. Ideal temperature will vary on your setup, strain, and the stage of growth but overall, 20-25 degrees celsius is optimal for “daylight” vegetative growth, with a few extra degrees allowance for the flowering stage. If temperatures get too hot in your grow room, which can easily happen if growing in a tent or a small enclosed space, you can slow down the growth of the plant and risk losing potency. Avoid this by ensuring good airflow to the space, or installing additional Fans. Aim to keep humidity levels between 40-50% by monitoring the RH with a Digital Hygrometer. If it gets too humid the extra moisture makes your plants much more susceptible to fungus, root rot, or mold. Keep things in check by adding a dehumidifier if your grow room gets notoriously humid.
Master Techniques for Maximum Potential
Growing indoors can limit you on the space needed for a big yield, but if you maximize the space you have available you can greatly improve the quality and quantity of your harvest. Utilizing more advanced techniques such as the Scrog (or screen of green) method will ensure a more even canopy layer that will allow buds to receive equal amounts of light throughout. All you need is some Trellis Netting and some patience to pull branches through and prune what grows below it. As you get more experience you can even consider methods such as low-stress training, or topping. Read more about these techniques in this article.
Whether you implement a training method or just go with what you know, being diligent about pruning your plants is essential to the quality of your yield. Cutting away unnecessary leaves and branches that are blocking light will ensure that it penetrates more evenly all the way down and no energy is wasted. Focus on low branches that don’t receive light, leaves that are dying off, and bud sites that are hidden by the canopy.
Finally, make it a priority to ensure roots are healthy and cared for. They are the key to taking in nutrients, and a great indicator of your plant’s health. Invest in a quality soil or alternative medium that offers good water drainage and supports a healthy root environment. Additionally, the use of soil amendments can help condition the soil and add extra nutrients.
Feed Your Plants What They Need
Investing in a comprehensive nutrient solution is another really good way to improve the quality of your buds. Cannabis plants need a combination of Nitrogen + Phosphorus + Potassium to grow, but the quantity varies depending on the stage of growth. Most liquid nutrient brands offer a multi-part series that addresses the unique needs of cannabis plants by stage, such as Green Planet’s 3-Part Kit or Remo Nutrients’ Supercharged Kit. The quality of ingredients is important when choosing a nutrient solution, as well as simplicity of use. Read more about liquid nutrients in this blog post.
Most growers find that the key to success is sticking to a simple feeding schedule. Be aware of how any nutrient combinations you mix together may react and affect your plants. You really don’t want to go overboard, as overfeeding can have negative effects such as nutrient burn. Underfeeding isn’t ideal either and can cause nutrient deficiencies, so the key is to develop a sweet spot somewhere right in the middle.
Another important thing to remember is to always flush your plants at least one to two weeks before harvesting! This will ensure that all stored nutrients get used and do not remain in the buds after harvest and affect the taste or quality.
Harvest At The Right Time
Bud quality can be affected not only in how you grow but also in how (and when!) you harvest. If you crop too early, you will end up with a weak, ineffective product, and if you crop too late you can end up with a bad-tasting product. Timing can also affect the quantity you harvest! Buds can swell a significant amount in the last week to few days of growth, so if you end up taking them down too early you can lose a portion of your yield. Watch your trichomes closely and when over 50% turn cloudy you should be good to go!
Finally, try to be as careful as possible when trimming and storing your cannabis. You don’t want to come all this way and compromise your quality now! Be sure to properly dry and cure your cannabis to avoid mold and harsh tastes. Devices such as MyHerbsNow dryer or Integra humidity packs can help make sure your post-harvest steps just as successful. We have more in-depth harvest tips in this blog post.
Cultivating a great finished product is something that comes only with time and experience! It’s always helpful to find a community of growers where you can exchange tips or finding a mentor who can help you out. We hope you find some of these tips helpful and easy to implement in your own garden. If we can be of assistance with any of the products mentioned above please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by to see us in our retail location at 376 Kingston Rd in Pickering, ON.