The best grow room, quality grow lights and skilled grower will still struggle to grow great cannabis from poor genetics.
There have never been as many people growing their own cannabis as there are today. Even in areas of the world where you can buy cannabis legally, many still prefer to grow their own. It gives the advantage of knowing exactly how your cannabis was grown and growing your own is a satisfying and rewarding hobby. Many growers, however, would like to upgrade from good home grown to outstanding home grown cannabis. Fortunately, there are some easy ways for the average grower to produce even better quality cannabis with a few simple grow room upgrades.
UVA/UVB light supplementation
UVA and UVB light supplementation to improve overall cannabinoid content is now becoming popular amongst many North American legal commercial growers. Outdoor cannabis growers, especially in high altitude regions such as the Himalayas, already benefit from naturally high levels of UVA and UVB light. Indoor growers lack such light unless they supplement with special grow lights designed to have high UV output. This can boost THC levels, along with CBD and other cannabinoids. Legal commercial growers can charge a higher price for their buds – that’s the simple reason why they supplement with UV lights. For home growers UV lights mean better quality stash. The SolarSystem UV light is built in the USA and available in Europe through Crazy LEDs & More. Use one for every square meter of your grow, switch it on for 2-3 hours per day in the middle of your normal light cycle for the last 2-3 weeks of the grow. NEVER go in the room or even look in the room when the UV light is on, the light may be good for your buds but it is dangerous to look at and it burns your skin. Lights are around €119/£100 each. Whether you are growing with HPS, CMH or LED, a UV light is a good way to boost your crop potency and supplement your light spectrum.
If you still haven’t tried growing cannabis in an Air-Pot then it’s definitely worth trying. Whether you grow in soil, coco or any other medium you may notice a slight increase in growth rates, size and vigor with an Air-Pot. The numerous side holes allow extra oxygenation of the root mass, reducing the consequences of over-watering (a common grower mistake). Don’t expect a revolution in harvests, but you can expect to make a small but noticeable improvement in your ongoing results.
LED – the emerging choice of the professionals
LED is now more popular than ever with cannabis cultivators. We often look to the legal USA grow industry to see the future technology trends that will impact the home/hobby grower. And LED is definitely one of those technologies that offer too much to ignore. The main reason people upgrade to LED is for the quality improvements. THC, other cannabinoids and terpenes are all increased in the presence of an optimized light spectrum and reduced heat stress. LED has other benefits too, you will never need to replace your bulbs (as you do with HPS), you will reduce energy consumption and run a cooler grow temperature. And if you choose your LED wisely you will be able to adjust spectrum and power to further fine tune conditions. Dutch Passion’s sister company, Crazy LEDs & More, offer a range of cannabis-tested grow lights.
Simplification or complication: Choosing the grow method for you
Some hydroponic growers operating complexed systems such as DWC (deep water culture) often find the technology quite challenging. Many such growers have found that they can improve results by switching to a less technically demanding grow system such as growing in soil or coco fiber. Knowing your own strengths and limits is important as a cannabis grower. The opposite can also be true – experienced soil growers with a good understanding and experience of cultivation can also excel when they make the move up to coco or a hydroponics systems. Knowing your own time constraints, technical adaptability and knowledge levels can help point you towards a growing style that suits you best.
Autoflowers – cannabis with a wide growing latitude
Since their introduction, autoflowering cannabis varieties have improved in both popularity and performance. Dutch Passion has seen many first time growers and less experienced growers achieve amazingly good results with autoflower seeds. They are simple and convenient to grow as they have an inherently wide growing latitude which means you can get great results under a wide range of conditions. They can bloom under 20 hours of daily light, or just 12 hours a day, and still produce top grade results. Many growers have found that growing autoflower seeds has allowed them to improve their yields and quality. If you haven’t tried them yet, it could be worth giving autoflower seeds a try and see what all the fuss is about.
Switching from soil to coco fiber
Many growers start growing in soil and stay with it, enjoying the great taste and aroma which many soil growers claim is hard to match in other grow systems. After a few grows you will have increased in knowledge and understanding regarding cannabis growth, nutrition and general plant health. If you are looking to try to grow plants larger and faster, you may want to consider growing in coco. Lots of amateur and professional growers choose coco for good reasons, it’s one of the most popular ways to grow cannabis these days. We recommend that you get to know how to use pH and EC meters before you switch to coco fiber in order to get the best precision with nutrients. Accurate nutrient control, whatever your grow system, is an important aspect of growing better quality cannabis.
Keeping temperatures around 25ºC, and avoiding extreme fluctuations helps the cannabis plants settle into a consistent growth pattern. Some growers find temperature control easier with auto flowers, which thrive under 20 (or even 24) hours of daily light. For those growing in cold climates or in winter, the ability to run with lights on for extended periods allows inherently warmer grow rooms and consistent temperatures.
The best grow room, quality grow lights and skilled grower will still struggle to grow great cannabis from poor genetics. Only choose a variety that you have researched well from a solid source.
By Tony, Dutch Passion Seed Company
Images courtesy of Green Candy Press
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 137