Marijuana Cultivation for Beginners
Marijuana cultivation can seem like a huge task. If you’re considering growing your own marijuana, especially medical marijuana, the first choice you need to make is indoor vs. outdoor growing. The legality of marijuana is disputed in many countries, which makes outdoor growing more of a challenge for most growers.
Like many people you may be inclined to grow indoors, but both options can be viable. When deciding whether to grow inside or outside, you need to keep in mind the conditions that your plants will need in order to grow and thrive.
First and foremost are light and temperature.
Marijuana thrives in warm to tropical climates, and during its vegetative stage of growth it needs 16 – 24 hours of sunlight each day. Quality of light is important as well, and the proper grow lights for indoor use can be somewhat expensive.
The best grow lights are High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) grow lights. Compact fluorescent tubes can be useful in combination with HPS & MH lights, but fluorescent tubes yield poor results on their own. There are also newer LED units that are being marketed, but to get an LED setup with the proper lumen output is, on average, prohibitively expensive.
Basic Cultivation: Temperature
Marijuana is a hardy plant, but temperatures too low will result in poor growth and temperatures too high will result in burning the plant.
Ideal temperatures vary based on strain, but most marijuana thrives between a low of 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and a high of 85 degrees F. in the day. If you grow indoors and you use the proper lights, you’ll need some way to cool your grow-room, and therefore some way to remove the smell from the hot air that you expel.
Filtration systems are a necessity for most indoor grow setups. At a minimum, most growers will use activated charcoal filters to filter the air being expelled from the grow-room. These filters need to be changed regularly, and more serious growers or those who are operating on a larger scale generally add an ozone filtration system to their air system.
Ozone filtration is far more effective at removing the distinctive scent of marijuana, especially during the 2 – 3 month flowering period when it gives off a very potent smell.
Nutrients and water requirements are the next most important factor. All plants need an array of micro and macro nutrients in order to flourish. When nutrient levels are too high or too low, your plants will suffer from deficiencies or from burn and can even die in extreme cases.
Marijuana loves humidity, especially during its vegetative stage. Be sure to keep the humidity somewhere between 40 – 70%, and watch your plants for any signs of under or over-watering. If you over-water your plants, you run the risk of developing root rot and other mealy grubs. When your plants are dehydrated, they will appear wilted and weak, their leaves and branches floppy.
Written by G