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expert cannabis growing tips

Expert cannabis growing tips

“It’s extremely important to pay attention to watering frequency. It’s a grower’s best tool for maximizing yield and potency while minimizing stress factors—particularly if you’re growing in soil or soilless mediums. Having confidence as to the plants’ watering needs takes a little experience. It’s a big reason why many choose hydroponic formats. But, again, patience and good observational skills are all that’s required to hone in on the perfect wet-to-dry cycle for individual environments.”

Supercropping, for those not familiar with the term, is a technique in which a three- to four-week-old plant is deliberately subjected to stress. Every few inches, from the bottom of the plant to the top, the grower carefully twists each branch in opposite directions until he (or she) hears the inner hurds snap. If the branch is released correctly, there will be no visible damage to the plant; the branch itself may (or may not) droop. This affords growers the chance to reduce the height of the taller branches and even the canopy. Branches will return to their vertical position within hours, and the plant will now behave as though it doesn’t have a top, thereby increasing growth on the lower branches.

“After 25 years of being in the public eye,” Kyle says, “I’ve probably taught thousands of growers. Everyone is different and learns in a slightly different way. A good teacher is a good listener: You need to be able to identify their needs and make adjustments to enhance the learning experience. Robert and Janelle were both excellent students. They asked a lot of questions and were diligent in the application of the methods and techniques they were taught. The finished product lived up to our toughest standards and was very well received by the patients at Buds & Roses.

With no legally safe growing possibilities available in the “Land of Lincoln,” Robert left Illinois and headed west, where opportunity was knocking — hard. Kyle, whom he’d met at the 2013 Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, had offered to take him on as a student in what academia calls a “practical curriculum.” Robert was going to get his hands dirty and, in time, become certified as an expert marijuana grower. Even better, Aaron promised to buy his crop if it was up to Buds & Roses’ standards.

Kyle, the Coach

So many in our community have watched the scourge of cancer ravage loved ones. For many, it’s when their under- standing of cannabis first took root, motivating them to activism, cultivation or both.

Robert’s grandfather suffered from terminal esophageal cancer. He was diagnosed in October, and the doctors said he might not make it to Christmas. However, by using cannabis, Robert says, his grandfather “was able to maintain his appetite and survived over two years before finally losing his battle. But watching him go through pain was unexplainably hard.”

Luckily, Robert had a strong family connection: His cousin is married to Aaron Justis, the president of the Buds & Roses dispensary in Los Angeles — one of the nation’s premier medical marijuana outlets, which has garnered 19 Cannabis Cup awards ranging from flowers to edibles. And Buds & Roses’ resident grow guru is none other than Kyle Kushman, the personable, highly approachable cultivation expert (and former HT staffer) who is the creator of Vegamatrix, a line of vegan and organic nutrients.

Robert, the Rookie

“Robert’s Veganic Blue Dream was very popular,” Aaron notes. “The majority of our patients love a good sativa — and they prefer the flowers we produce. Of course, it didn’t hurt that we also produced Veg- anic Omrita, a high-CBD strain, which is very popular these days. But the Veganic Platinum Cookies flew off the shelf! Since winning the High Times US Cannabis Cup, anytime it’s in stock, our patients will pour in for it. It’s a good problem, I admit.

“Robert is now one of our ‘patient cultivators.’ But more specifically, he’s in the process of becoming a master cultivator, fully qualified to be a staff grower for Kushman Veganics,” Aaron adds. “Kushman Veganics is a new line of finished products that we’re launching; it features the products we create using all of our in-house best practices. Kushman Genetics is also starting to release products, including Joey’s Strain, which has been a success as a medicinal strain for children with special needs. It’s mostly effective with autistic patients.

Expert cannabis growing tips

Cannabis is a relatively easy plant to propagate. After all, the species has managed to thrive in most of the world’s continents without human intervention. However, there are several pitfalls experienced by many novice cultivators when attempting to create ideal growing conditions for cannabis. These issues usually relate to light, water, airflow, temperature, humidity, nutrients, and pH. Indoor and greenhouse growers run into a clear majority of potential problems with environmental controls, and variances in troubleshooting techniques arise between indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor cultivation operations. Obvious portions of this brief article, such as water and nutrients, apply to all forms of cannabis cultivation, while certain concepts are only applicable to indoor and greenhouse growing.

Light and Cannabis Plants

For indoor marijuana gardening, the design of a successful lighting schematic can be a challenge for the inexperienced grower. To illustrate, different types of lighting, such as high-pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), light emitting diode (LED), and fluorescents, all present unique variances in their applications. For example, an HPS light covers a different square footage of canopy and utilizes different levels of wattage than an LED light. One thing rookies need to be aware of is not positioning their chosen grow lights either too close or too far from the garden canopy. Hanging lights too close to foliage can easily burn leaves while placing them too far from the canopy will cause plants to stretch. Overly stretched cannabis plants wreak havoc on the small confines of indoor grows. A careful study of the proper use of a chosen grow light can help alleviate most of these issues. A majority of this information is available online and on product packaging.

Water For Cannabis

Proper fertilization and water pH techniques are vital to pushing cannabis plants to their full genetic potential. However, new growers do not need to be overly concerned with the ins and outs of N-P-K ratios, micronutrients, and living soil. For novice gardeners, an obvious first step in understanding fertigation is simply following the directions and schedules of a chosen nutrient line.