A Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Cannabis Growing – Part 1 we looked at how you can start your own indoor grow. In Part 2 we spoke about some important factors.
Now things are now getting very exciting. Our grow is making progress. You will soon have all the tools in your arsenal to grow quality cannabis from home. The last two posts have covered everything from finding a suitable space and grow lights to choosing a grow medium. In this final guide, we will cover what to grow our cannabis in and some guidelines to watering our plants. We are sure that after this you will have all the knowledge you need to grow the highest quality bud.
What to Grow Your Cannabis In?
What type of container you use will depend on the medium, the system, and the size of your plants. A flood-and-drain, a tray-style hydroponic system may use small net pots filled with clay pebbles or just a big slab of rockwool to grow many little plants. While a “super-soil” grow may use 10-gallon nursery pots to grow a few large plants.
Inexpensive options include disposable perforated plastic bags or cloth bags. Some choose to spend more on “smart pots,” containers that are designed to enhance airflow to the plant’s root zone. Many people grow their first cannabis plants in five-gallon buckets. Drainage is key, as cannabis plants are very sensitive to water-logged conditions. If you repurpose other containers, be sure to drill holes in the bottoms and set them in trays.
Feeding Your Cannabis Plants Nutrients
Growing high-quality flowers requires more fertilizer, or nutrients, than most common crops. Your plant needs the following primary nutrients (collectively known as macronutrients):
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
These micronutrients are needed as well, albeit in much smaller quantities:
If you aren’t using a pre-fertilized organic soil mix, you will need to feed your plants at least once a week. Use an appropriate nutrient solution. These nutrients are sold in concentrated liquid or powder form meant to be mixed with water. Generally formulated for either vegetative or flower growth. This is because cannabis has to change macronutrient requirements during its lifecycle. They need more nitrogen during vegetative growth and more phosphorus and potassium during bud production.
Most macronutrients are sold in a two-part liquid to prevent certain elements from precipitating. Meaning you’ll need to purchase two bottles (part A and part B) for the veg stage, and two bottles for growing, as well as a bottle of micronutrients. Other than these basics, the only other nutrient product you may need to purchase is Calcium and Magnesium. Some strains require more calcium and magnesium than others.
Once you’ve purchased the necessary nutrient products, simply mix them with water as directed by the label and water your plants with this solution. You should always start at half-strength because cannabis plants are easily burned. It’s almost always worse to overfeed your plants than to underfeed them, and over time you will learn to “read” your plants for signs of deficiencies or excesses.
Watering Your Cannabis Plants
Most people won’t think twice about the water they use on their plants. If you can drink it, it must be fine, right? Well, it may not be an issue, depending on your location. Some water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals that can build up in the root zone and affect nutrient uptake. Some may contain fungus or other pathogens that aren’t harmful to people but can lead to root disease.
Additionally, some places may have high levels of chlorine in the water supply, which can be harmful to beneficial soil microbes. For these reasons, many people choose to filter the water they use in their gardens.
The most important thing to remember during this phase is to not overwater. Cannabis plants are very susceptible to fungal root diseases when conditions are too wet. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by the new grower. How often you water your plants will depend on the medium used, size of the plants, and ambient temperature. Some people will wait until the lower leaves of the plant start to droop slightly before watering.
As you gain experience and knowledge, you will alter your grow room and equipment to better fit your particular environment. Hopefully, this set of article’s will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge to get started on the right foot. Remember, growing cannabis is a labor of love. Spend a lot of time with your plants and have fun!
Written, November 2018
~ Medical Cannabis Seed Bank