When you’re starting out growing cannabis indoors, the first big hurdle is setting up your grow room. You have to make the initial investment for everything your plants are going to need, install it in your space, and actually acquire seeds.
Once those seeds have germinated, you’ll begin the bulk of the work, which is caring for your plants over the next few weeks and months as they grow and then flower. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your plants healthy.
Once at the start of your grow, you should:
- Clean and wash all of your equipment. Even if you’re pretty sure everything is clean, it’s a good idea to give it all another wash just in case just to make totally sure that there isn’t anything in your plants’ environment that could make them sick.
- Calibrate your pH pen. pH pens can become less accurate in between calibrations, so you should check and make sure it’s reading accurately at the beginning of your grow.
- Feed and water your plants. Usually, you’ll only need to water your plants once a week, and you’ll give them a weekly dose of fertilizer at the same time. However, bigger plants in warmer environments may need to be watered more frequently. If you notice that your plants are drying out frequently, split your Reefertilizer dose in half and feed your plants twice a week.
- If you are growing in autopots, DWC, or hydroponics, you should check the nutrient levels in your reservoir every week.
- Prune your plants. Look over your plants once a week and trim off any branches or leaves that are dead or dying. You may also want to take note of any branches that are “doomed” due to their location and are likely to be shaded out by other branches – go ahead and trim those off too, so that more of the plant’s energy can go toward healthier buds.
- Adjust your LST. Low-Stress Training (LST) is the term for using small, steady amounts of force to hold a plant’s branches out of position to make them grow in specific directions. Usually, this is used to help cannabis plants spread out so that each branch can get as much sunlight as possible. As the plants grow, your LST may not keep doing what you want it to without weekly adjustments.
- Make an entry in your grow journal. You should make weekly entries in a grow journal. Take note of what you’ve been doing with your plants, if there are any issues, any unusual circumstances, how much you’ve fed them, etc. It could be useful to have the data later.
- Check your plants’ environmental conditions. Measure the temperature and humidity and make sure they’re within the ideal range. Remember that the ideal environment for cannabis changes from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, so be sure to adjust accordingly.
- Check airflow. Your plants need fresh air to fuel the photosynthesis process, and if air cannot escape from your grow room, the humidity that your plants create will build up and potentially cause problems. As long as there is good airflow, there won’t be any problems. You can usually tell this visually – if each of your plants is swaying in a slight breeze, the room is perfect.
- Check the position of your lights. Plants can sometimes grow several inches in a single day, and if you don’t pay attention they could get close enough to your grow lights to get burned. If you see that your plants are getting too close, just move your lights back a few inches.
- Visually inspect plants for any problems. Regardless of what issues your plants may develop, they’ll be easiest to deal with if you can catch them early. Give your plants a good once-over once a day and keep an eye out for powdery mildew, molds, lesions, pests, or anything else that shouldn’t be there.
Cannabis can be a demanding plant, but if you stay organized, it’s a very manageable amount of work. The weekly and daily tasks that are necessary to keep your plants as healthy as possible can even become a pleasant routine – and, even if they still feel more like chores than a hobby sometimes, it’ll all pay off when you get to harvest. Happy growing!
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