If you've ever picked up a juicy bud and wondered, "What gives weed its flavour…
Preparing your grow space is important. There are a lot of factors to consider. But before we discuss anything else about positioning of the plant, let’s talk about whether you want to grow indoors or outdoors first!
Indoor or Outdoor
It’s a question for the cannabis ages, whether to grow in- or outdoors! And there are pros and cons to both, namely cost. When venturing into the indoor world, you will need:
- A grow tent;
- Oscillating fan;
- Air flow ducting;
- And a humidify monitor.
Generally speaking, growing indoors is more expensive and the plant is usually a bit smaller, but the buds are better as you’re able to manipulate the environment perfectly, ensuring you get the most out of your plant. Not to mention that while you’re watching your favourite plant grow from seed, you want it to be cosy. In terms of positioning, the factors you’ll be worried about are burning the tops of the plants in your tent as well as running out of physical space. These aren’t a problem when growing outdoors as the sky is the limit. But you will be reliant on mother nature, who at the moment is going through a bit of a stressful time. So, ensuring you prepare the grow area is key for a great crop. If you were looking for a definite answer to which is better, it really depends on many variables. And these elements include.
Wind or air circulation
As a rule of thumb if you’re planting your seeds outside you don’t want to place them in an area that has massive gusts of wind. If your area is prone to strong winds your plant could suffer from root rock if the buds are heavy. This happens when your plants that are top heavy catch the wind and rock the entire plant to its roots loosening it’s grip on the soil via the roots. If your plant isn’t that top heavy, there is also the issue of wind scorch, where the movement and high rate of evaporation will wick water away from the leaves, drying them out. Wind can also dry out the soil faster.
So what can you do to start preparing for strong winds?
The first step is to ensure you prune the lower branches and thin out the top area of the cannabis flower. This isn’t prep work just an FYI. Also, as you can guess, will help prevent serious root rocking.
Make sure that you have more mulch around the base of the marijuana plant to prevent excessive evaporation.
If you need more protection move your pot to a more sheltered position against a wall. But, be careful not to place it into a wind tunnel.
Also make sure that the area has easy access to water, as during the drier months the soil can dry out due to the wind.
Finally, you can support your plant by inserting a support splint.
For those planning an entire garden, vines and small bushes can also act as wonderful wind buffers. What else is there to remember when preparing your spot?
As with any plant, cannabis needs a certain amount of light. Rule of thumb is your plant will require 12 hours of direct sunlight and darkness for the next 12 hours. You can allow for longer exposure to the sun, which will result in a healthier outdoor grow. If you’re planning on taking the plant indoors, you will need to ensure that your lights are automated, as well as shining a full-colour spectrum. Controlling these spectrums also allow growers to speed up development. Also, hours of the day can change when you you’re growing indoors. A seedlings needs a blue light, 24 hours a day for 1-2 weeks. During the veg state the main colour spectrum should be blue and on for 18 hours (and 6 hours off). Finally, during the flowering stage your plant needs 12 hours on and off. Also, distance from your light to the top of the plant is important as too close and you risk burning the top leaves and too far away and the light becomes ineffective. If you are growing in South Africa, having lights on for this length of time can be costly. So, investing in cheaper-to-run lights is a must. And finally, a reflective tent surface is a must, as well as good light repelling zips.
Now, let’s talk about temperature and humidity!
Preparing for temperature and humidity
When growing indoors you will need to maintain the heat in the tent between 20-30°C during the vegetative stages. And once your plant hits flowering you can bring it down to around 18-26°C. The plant will like the extra heat when growing. During the flowering stage you want to keep conditions cooler to ensure the bud develops at it’s optimum level, which means better colour, trichome production, density, and smell. As previously mentioned, you will need a fan and venting. Your cannabis plant will tell you when it is too hot or cold. Too hot will mean slow growth and cupping leaves. And a plant struggling with the cold will result in the leaves turning a purple colour. Frost will automatically shock your plant. Your plant will like humidity ranging between 40-70%. If you’re edging towards the top end of that range you will risk mould. It’s also worth mentioning that this will range depending on the conditions of your grow space, such as watering and wind. And for flowering, your cannabis plant will be best at 40-50%. So, to conclude, start off high and bring down the humidity to 40%. You can adjust the temperature and humidity by introducing a:
- Dehumidifier (which will raise temperatures a little and lower humidity);
- Space heater (which will raise temperatures a little and lower humidity);
- Air conditioner (which lowers temperatures a little and lower humidity);
- Evaporative cooler (which lowers temperatures and ups humidity);
- Humidifier (which will raise temperatures a little and ups humidity)
Make sure to keep a constant eye on both temperature and humidity. And if you follow these instructions, your cannabis grow area should be perfect.