How Much Water Does It Take to Grow Cannabis?

How much water do your cannabis plants need?

One of the challenges of growing cannabis indoors is knowing how much water to feed your plants. In nature, plants have the advantage of natural rainfall and drainage and only need to be watered during drought conditions.

Watering your indoor plants too little or too much will stunt production, and water waste can drastically increase your overhead. So how do you get it right?

How Much Water Should You Add to Cannabis Plants?

A good standard to work with is one gallon of water per day for each pound of processed flower you expect to harvest from each plant. The finished weight will obviously change according to how long you allow your plants to veg before forcing flower, so adjust your water per plant accordingly.

This ratio was determined by the Emerald Growers Association and the Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council after polling numerous cannabis farmers about their water usage.

How Much Water Does It Take To Produce a Standard Eighth Of Cannabis?

1.875 total gallons per 1/8th of usable cannabis.

Use this figure when calculating your overhead costs if you’re adhering to the 1:1 ratio of one gallon per day per pound of processed flower.

 

How Often Should You Water Your Cannabis Plants?

Your watering schedule will vary according to the temperature of your grow area as well as the strain, health, and size of your plants. When determining a watering schedule, observe your plants every day.

Do the stalks look rigid or weak?

Do the leaves look colorful and vibrnt or do they look droopy and pale?

Also, consider utilizing gravity-fed watering systems that allow plants to take water in from the bottom u, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

 

How Do I Water Cannabis More Efficiently?

By following the below points, you’ll increase your chances of having success with growing cannabis:

• Use SoHum Living Soils® for best moisture retention and drainage
• Install a drip line system for maximum water control
• If you find yourself using more than the 1:1 ratio, consider moving your plants to larger pots to retain water longer
• Monitor your plants daily; as cannabis plants are living beings and can be unpredictable
• Utilize gravity fed watering systems or bottom watering containers
It is imperative to calculate water costs when growing cannabis. If a grower is not careful, the financial and environmental impacts of using too much water can be extreme.

At SoHum Living Soils®, our team consists of experts on growing cannabis, and our website features many articles on best practices.

For a more personal experience, contact us with questions or visit our store in Denver to speak with our knowledgeable team about your cultivation questions.

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Quality super soil that yields high results with minimal effort.

What Is Super Soil? The Growing Game-changer

What Is Super Soil and What Are Its Benefits

Super soil has gained created popularity among growers, with the boom of the legal cannabis industry, a peaceful arms race of sorts has emerged and growers are under pressure to create bigger, better buds that are first to market. With this pressure came high-tech treatments and techniques that have become an industry standard. Most of these techniques come with a downside at the expense of rapid turnover, often sacrificing potency or flavor, and few can be called “green” due to the harsh chemicals used in the cultivation process.

More conscientious growers have gone back to the basics, realizing that the best product isn’t one created by impatient humans over the course of a few decades; it is the one that nature has perfected over millions of years. Soil is a key component of Mother Nature, and the best growers are following suit.

What Is Super Soil?

“Super soil,” is a growing medium that utilizes nature’s processes to cultivate healthier cannabis plants without using artificial ingredients. This soil uses the same microorganisms found in nature to break down organic material and convert it to a full spectrum of micro and macronutrients. Super soils, such as SoHum Living Soils®, are also developed to perfectly maintain moisture, aeration and acidity levels in your cannabis plant’s root system throughout its natural life cycle.

Benefits of Super Soil

The primary benefit of using a living soil like the one formulated by SoHum Living Soils® is that of superior quality! Super Soil yields tastier, ecologically derived, more potent and larger buds than an artificial soil or a hydroponic growing. If growing the best cannabis available isn’t enough for you, super soil is also safer for the environment. You can lower your carbon footprint overnight by switching to super soil as your growing medium, whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors. And you just can’t beat super soil when it comes to ease of use. No fertilizer, no more pH adjustment, flushing, or changing soil between vegging and flowering. Just water, prune, and harvest amazing cannabis!

Tips for Using Super Soil

Through research and good old-fashioned trial and error, we’ve compiled this list of best practices that can help you get premium cannabis flower with less effort using SoHum Living Soils®. The following list contains just a few points, so be sure to follow our blog to learn more cannabis growing tips and keep up to date with the latest trends.

  • Though SoHum Living Soils® can cultivate from seed, it is formulated to best nurture seedlings and clones with developed root systems
  • Keep cannabis transplants in a humid environment (70-80% RH) until they develop new vegetative growth
    When possible, use dechlorinated or reverse osmosis water
  • Don’t skimp on the pot size for your cannabis plant! More soil means more room for root growth and stronger, larger, and healthier plants. SoHum Living Soils® is designed to maintain proper internal humidity content, regardless of the depth of your soil.

Recommended Organic Super Soil

SoHum Living Soils® has been scientifically designed to provide all nutritional requirements of the cannabis plant for its entire life cycle. Our super soil recipe uses absolutely no synthetic chemicals or materials in our living soil and we never will. This soil will initiate and maintain the natural processes that your cannabis plants will require in order to grow big, strong, and healthy. Start growing with a cannabis super soil that brings results, and stop wasting your time with other products.

Start growing cannabis the easy way

Quality super soil that yields high results with minimal effort.

Differences in Growing Sativa, Indica and Hybrid Cannabis

Growing Indica Sativa and Hybrid Cannabis

When growing cannabis strains, it is important to know exactly how to care for the specific types you grow. Different strains have different needs, and meeting them appropriately can help you get a better yield of potent buds. Read on to learn some key differences in growing indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains.

Key Differences between Growing Sativa, Indica and Hybrid Cannabis

The first thing to understand is that it is almost always easier to grow an indica strain. Indicas are popular with people who want to grow at home because they offer some benefits for growing both inside and outside. If you are growing inside, you may appreciate how indicas do not get too tall. Theyy normally fit easily beneath your ceiling and light setup. If you grow them outside, your short, bushy plants may not be as obvious to anyone who quickly glances across your property.

Indicas are also normally more forgiving. They offer a shorter time to flower, and naturally larger yields, so even inexperienced growers can get them to flower and produce a decent amount of bud. The generally short flowering time makes them nice for climates that only have a short outdoor growing season.

Since sativas originally come from near the equator, they are better equipped to handle hot, humid environments. If you happen to live in one of those environments, sativas are probably a good bet. They are also your best option if you like using a grow house where you have a hard time keeping the temperature low enough for indicas.

They also need less frequent feeding and fertilizing, which helps reduce the work some.  Sativas can be worth the effort because of the cerebral, energetic effects they offer. Their more demanding needs for specific light is partially offset by their ability to resist mold better than indicas.

As is the case for cannabis consumers, hybrids can offer the best of both worlds for growers. The trick here is in knowing if a hybrid is more like an indica or sativa. For example, the flowering time and shape of the plant can differ widely. Many produce big yields, but not all do.

You can often find information about a specific hybrid, like which strains it contains, to help you get a better idea. Consult with an experienced budtender or grower to brush up about a specific hybrid.

growing sativa indica hybrid

Similarities Between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid

There is definitely much that different strains have in common when it comes to a good growing experience. Attention to detail is a must. Plants produce bigger, more potent buds when you treat them right. Be sure to:

  • Stay on a great schedule for watering.
  • Trim and train the plants if necessary
  • Adjust the amount of light they get over time.
  • Do your research

The main similarity between indicas, sativas and hybrids is that they all require great cannabis soil. If you know that your soil has all the nutrients your plants need, you do not have to worry as much about feeding and fertilizing your plant.

SoHum Living Soils®

SoHum Living Soils® offers premium gardening supplies for those who are growing any type of cannabis strain. Home growers have had high levels of success growing all different kinds of cannabis with our products.

Contact us to learn more about what makes our living soil so special, and how it can help your plant reach its potential.

Start growing cannabis the easy way

Quality super soil that yields high results with minimal effort.

Growing Cannabis: 10 Tips for Success with Growing Your Own Weed

growing cannabis

Growing Cannabis & Where to Start

Ever thought about growing your own cannabis? It’s a great hobby akin to gardening. But, instead of being left with a bunch of tomatoes, you’ll yield a crop that’s a lot more fun.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a green thumb.

Once you learn the proper steps, you’ll realize it’s easier to do than you think. With some patience and THC–sorry, TLC–your pot plants will be thriving in no time.

You’ll find a sense of pride in growing your own pot. Plus, you can cut out the middle man and get high on your own supply.

If any of this piques your interest that you must read these ten tips for growing cannabis. You’ll be sprouting buds in no time.

1. The Better the Cannabis Soil, the Better the Cannabis

It’s no accident we listed this tip at the top of our list. Nothing will affect the quality of your cannabis more than the quality of the soil you choose to grow it in.

You feed children nutritious food to help them grow, right? Well, your cannabis child needs nutritious food too.

The best thing for your plant is living soil.

This specialty soil contains all the nutrients, good bacterias, and friendly fungus your cannabis needs. Growing in living soil ensures that your plant meets its full genetic potential.

2. Say No to Clones

Once you’ve chosen your soil, you need to figure out what to put in it. You have two options: clone plants or seeds.

A clone is cut from a previously grown plant. It would seem like starting with an already developed plant would be a nice head start.

In fact, a clone can actually set you back.

Not only are they difficult to transplant, but they also come with a lot of baggage. Clones carry weaknesses and diseases from their mother plants. You could be setting yourself up for failure.

Growing from seeds may seem intimidating. But you’ll get a stronger, more fertile plant in the long run.

4. It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Soil? Check. Seeds? Check. Now, it’s time to pick an area to put them all.

Cannabis is a very picky plant. Its growing location is paramount to its success. Ideally, you live in a location with eighteen hours of light, slight humidity, and gentle breezes.

If you don’t live in one of those idyllic climates, don’t fret! You can replicate it inside.

The advantage to indoor growing is that you will have complete control of your environment. You’ll need lights, humidifiers, fans, and a closed-off spot in your home.

You can never fully replicate the value of the sun. But, this small, controlled set up is ideal for first-time growers.

5. Be Afraid of the Dark

Like all plants, cannabis needs light to survive. Do you remember Photosynthesis from high school bio? This process gives plants the energy it needs to grow by absorbing energy from the sun.

Your indoor grow lamps will be the sun providing energy for your starving cannabis. The best bulbs are high output fluorescents. They should be positioned no more than four inches away from the sprouting plant.

You also need to replicate nighttime by shutting the lamps off for approximately six hours a day. This will give your plants the rest they need to grow big and strong.

6. Don’t Over-Water When Growing Cannabis!

After nutrients and light, water completes a plant’s healthy diet. But like all things, moderation is key.

Your plant will tell you if it’s being overwatered. Its leaves curl up away from the pot when they’ve had enough.

Too much water will drown your roots and your plant will stop growing. Since there’s no way to give roots CPR, it’s best to under-water rather than over.

8. If You’re Comfortable, Your Cannabis is Comfortable

Your plant is just like you. It prefers a nice temperature of around 74 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re too hot or too cold, then you can be certain your plant is too.

This is very important to be aware of. While you might just feel uncomfortable, your plant could be at risk of death.

To avoid this, place a thermometer in your growing space and checking it regularly.

7. Don’t Be Your Plant’s Only Fan

Cannabis plants need airflow to prosper. If you’re growing indoors, you most likely don’t have a moderate breeze flowing through your home.

That’s why you need fans. Stagnant air can cause unwanted mold and bacteria to grow on your cannabis. Fans, used together with exhaust systems, can ensure quality flow.

Both you and your plant will breath better with adequate air circulation.

9. Be Prudent With Your Pruning

If all the above conditions are met, your cannabis will be prospering in no time. But, there’s still much work to be done.

To get the biggest growth possible, you need to diligently prune your plant. That means cutting off the plant’s lower nodes. Lower nodes won’t receive enough light. By removing them, you’re saving energy for the rest of your plant.

10. Dry and Cure the Buds

Drying and curing your buds is probably the most important part of this whole process. Any moisture left on your buds could result in mold destroying your harvest.

To dry them, you need to place your buds on a rack in a temperature-controlled space with good airflow. Curing is done by storing the dried buds in mason jars.

The more diligent you are with your drying and curing, the better results you’ll have with your cannabis.

Growing Cannabis is Easy with These 10 Tips

Growing cannabis takes commitment and patience. But, if you’re willing to learn and put in the effort, anyone can do it.

Interested in trying this hobby out yourself? Then get started on the right foot by providing your plants with the best soil possible. Check out our living soil now and get on your way to growing!

Start growing cannabis the easy way

Quality super soil that yields high results with minimal effort.

The BEST Soil for A Vegetable Garden

What is the best soil for a vegetable garden?

Vegetable Garden Soil 101:

So, you’re looking for the best vegetable garden soil for your new garden – where to even start, with so many choices? In this article, we look to outline a few different considerations, to guide you in the right direction, and ensure your garden’s success! By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to choose the best soil type for vegetables and for your garden. Let’s get started.

Why Choose a Container Garden?

A container garden is the best way to grow vegetables in soil for those with limited outdoor space. They offer maximum control, allowing you to move plants as necessary according to your vegetable needs.

They can be held indoors or outdoors depending on the season. Essentially, a vegetable garden in a planter can be put just about anywhere, as long as your plants are receiving adequate light.

What Containers Should I Use?

It’s a matter of personal preference as long as you keep a few guidelines in mind.

  • Try to avoid dark-colored containers if your garden will be outdoors. They may be attractive, but they absorb a lot of heat from the sun and can dry out your soil and destroy beneficial microorganisms.
  • Terracotta, ceramic or cloth-based planters are excellent for root aeration. When you are using a high-quality soil, oxygen will also keep helpful microbes thriving and healthy.
  • Select planter(s) as large as your space will allow. More space means more substantial root growth and more vigorous plants.
  • Choose planters that allow for adequate drainage, or modify your pots or planters for this purpose.

What is the Best Soil for a Vegetable Garden?

The best soil for vegetables grown in containers, especially for those who wish to grow them by organic standards, is a living soil like SoHum Living Soils®. Our organic soil was explicitly designed for this type of gardening and contains all requirements for vegetables including micronutrients, macronutrients, natural organic material, beneficial microorganisms and natural pH buffers.

No artificial additives are ever needed with our gardening soil, simply water your plants, give them adequate light and watch them grow.

How To Maintain an Attractive Container Garden

  • Do not overwater! The beneficial microbes in your living soil and your root systems need plenty of oxygen. Water your vegetables when the top inch of your planter is dry.
  • Be on the lookout for pests. If your area is heavily trafficked with deer, rabbits and other rodents, consider elevating your planters or moving it indoors to grow under artificial light
  • Be patient. It can be tempting to harvest as soon as you recognize a vegetable, but waiting a week or two may make a tremendous difference in your yield.

Be Creative with Your Garden

A garden can be a beautiful work of art. Since using our soil means you won’t be spending your time mixing it, fertilizing or maintaining acidity, so you can spend more time making an attractive vegetable garden that reflects your style. Choose a planter or a pot you find attractive and spend time organizing and decorating them to your liking.

Also, experiment with maximizing your available garden space: Cherry tomatoes and herbs grow well in hanging pots, which are more attractive at eye level and can double your grow area. A window box full of snap peas, lettuce or herbs would be lovely outside of a kitchen window

This type of garden can be practical, beautiful and a fun way to grow vegetables indoors or with limited outdoor space. So long as you are patient, attentive and use SoHum Living Soils® as your growing medium, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Start growing cannabis the easy way

Quality super soil that yields high results with minimal effort.

Home Growing 101

Growing at home for the first time can be an exhilarating experience, especially when your state says it’s okay for you to do so. The legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis in certain states allows residents to exercise their right to grow cannabis in their own closets, basements, spare bedrooms, and creative spaces. Before you head over to purchase your dream grow kit, be aware there are many variables that can make or break a successful grow cycle.

Landlords

The State of Oklahoma allows you to cultivate cannabis at home with just a few important rules. Be sure to follow them! You must ask permission from your landlord before you starting your grow. If you rent or lease, your landlord can deny you the right to grow on their property. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a cultivation setup only to find out you don’t have permission. You might be surprised to know that many landlords openly rent to growers—but they expect and deserve full disclosure.

HVAC and Ventilation

Now that your landlord has agreed to let you start your personal home grow, you’ll want to research the best temperature and humidity that your plants will need through each phase of their grow cycle. Cannabis loves high-intensity light, heat, and water, but you’ll want to ventilate the air to control the temperature and humidity. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing on your plants and mildew contamination inside your home. The correct environmental controls will prevent you from costly repairs or heated discussions with your landlord. Consult your local grow shop for assistance, read books and magazines, and search YouTube for great instructional videos.

Cultivating cannabis will ‘stink out’ the entire neighborhood. Trust me. I know. Don’t be that grower. Use charcoal filters, PCO technology (Photo Catalytic Oxidation), ozone generators, or a combination of processes to eliminate or mask the smell. If neighbors become upset with the odor, local authorities will be called, and harassment will ensue even though you are legally exercising your rights. It’s better not to invite trouble. Be a good neighbor and don’t draw attention to yourself.

Photographer: Jake Baum Grower: Kris “Sparky” Molskness

Growing Styles

Hydroponics, aeroponics, geoponics? Where do you start? Shopping at your local grow shop can be overwhelming for the budding cultivator. Aisle after aisle of colorful bottles of nutrients line the shelves and choosing from the hundreds of products can be daunting. If you find yourself just this shade of confused, I’d advise you to K.I.S.S, Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the different products available but start with a simple growing style with easy recipes and nutrients that fit your budget. Each season, you’ll become more familiar with your equipment and can begin to branch out into new techiques and equipment. Growing can be expensive and understanding all of the input costs is crucial.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

BUGS, MOLD, and MILDEW! Everyone gets them so be aware. By the time you visually see you have an issue or outbreak the problem is already bad. Visit your local grow store or use Google to search the web and diagnose your problem. Once you have identified the issue, you can set a plan of attack in place to correct it. After you have the pest or pathogen under control, maintain a consistent schedule of treating your plants. Keeping your approach proactive versus reactive will serve your crop much better and your rate of success will be much improved. A reminder that poor environmental control can be the root cause of molds and mildews, so pay attention and manage temperature and humidity as an IPM protocol will only get you so far.

Genetics

When Colorado legalized medical cannabis, you could purchase clones from dispensaries. In those early days, I remember the feeding frenzy of strain collection. The grower community was eager to which varieties we could obtain and what their properties were. The quality of your genetics will dictate the quality of the end product. If you start with inferior genetics, you will end up with an inferior crop. So, do the research and find a reliable resource for your starting material whether it’s seeds or propagated clones.
As a side note, be very careful to vet your source plants. Many diseases and pests are passed along to growers when genetic exchanges occur. When receiving clones/plants be sure to inspect for pests and disease while following a strict IPM intake protocol for all new plants, utilizing a heavy dose of organic pesticides and fungicides.

Lighting

Lighting is a wormhole that you can get lost in while researching. Back in those early days of legalization, we only had access to metal halides and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting technology. Now there are hundreds of LED companies and products, not to mention many other types of lighting. Most lights will grow plants but finding the right light for your personal grow has many variables to take into consideration. First up, budget. HPS cost $300 to $500 a unit while some LED equivalents can cost up to $2000. Second is understanding your work space. One type of light may work better than another when considering low ceilings or lack of ventilation options.

Photographer: Jake Baum Grower: Kris “Sparky” Molskness

 

Resources

There is no better teacher than getting some dirt under your fingernails. Don’t be afraid to learn as you go in your garden. Successes may taste sweet, but failure brings the opportunity for deeper learning. Be sure to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. From print publications to online cannabis community forums, you’ll find a plethora of information—and opinions. Get to know the players and read some of the classics of modern cannabis cultivation like ‘Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower’s Handbook.’

There are thousands of YouTube videos discussing every topic you will ever need for growing. Some may be useful while others not so much. The more you learn from trusted resources, the more you’ll be able to see through flawed advice. YouTube is a great resource for sharing information, but it helps to know if the author is better at social media videos than they are growing cannabis.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellis Smith is co-founder and Chief Development Officer of American Cannabis Company (ACC). He has more than 20 years of horticulture experience in the specialty cut flower market, operating indoor gardens which helped him understand complex growing systems. As a cannabis grower, he developed an all natural soil medium known as SoHum Living Soil® which is used by hundreds of commercial cannabis operations. As CDO of ACC, Mr. Smith is also responsible for the design and construction of more than 1 million square feet of cannabis grow space in the U.S. and Canada.

Cloning 101

Cloning, also known as propagation, is not as hard as some folks make it out to be. With healthy plants, good techniques and environmental controls you can easily create many clones with ease. There are many things that can cause clones not to root and by having a clear checklist you can prevent clone loss and improve your technique for your business success. The information discussed below is not the actual steps to physically cutting a clone but things to think about when completing the task.

First you must start with healthy plant stock. Can I repeat, “You must start with healthy plant stock”! If you have mold or plants infested with pests then you will have a very hard time reproducing healthy roots and clones. If you have good Integrated Pest Management (IPM) protocol then you will see how much easier it is to reproduce healthy strong rooted clones. Dirty mother plants are the reason for perpetual pest problems, if you start with dirty mother plants then you can guarantee dirty infested clones. Stop the madness and don’t repeat the cycle…

Secondly, please be clean as possible. You don’t need to have vacuum hoods or take a physical shower to reduce contamination. What you do need to be cognizant of is using clean tools during the workflow process. Scissors, razor blades, or whatever you use for cutting should always be wiped down to clean the surface and disinfect. This simple task gets overlooked so many times and is usually one of the relevant issues for roots not popping on a clone. Dull scissors and razors are easy to replace also so don’t be cheap and spend the few dollars to guarantee you are working with the proper tools that are sharp.

Lastly, your environmental control settings with proper temperature and humidity needs to be precise when cloning. This is where many who attempt to clone fail. Too much humidity in your clone dome can cause water droplets to fall into the center of your clone and collect water to rot out the meristem. You will see yellowing from the center outward once this happens. In contrast, not enough humidity can reduce your success rate of root development since the plant has no other way of water uptake except through its leaves. Running higher temps in the 80 to 90s is great for root production but be cautious of cooler temps as this will slow down roots from growing.

Other cloning tricks…
-Use a heating pad for higher success rate.
-Turkey basters work great to help water your clones while in clone domes.
-Don’t be afraid to cut the leaf tips to allow for more area for water uptake while roots are forming.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellis Smith is co-founder and Chief Development Officer of American Cannabis Company (ACC). He has more than 20 years of horticulture experience in the specialty cut flower market, operating indoor gardens which helped him understand complex growing systems. As a cannabis grower, he developed an all natural soil medium known as SoHum Living Soil® which is used by hundreds of commercial cannabis operations. As CDO of ACC, Mr. Smith is also responsible for the design and construction of more than 1 million square feet of cannabis grow space in the U.S. and Canada.

Trellising and Staking Cannabis Plants for Support

Cannabis plants can grow very tall and most likely will require you to give them some sort of support to keep from falling over causing irreversible damage to the plant. This support is crucial to ensure the crop can be systematically grown to its’ full potential until your desired harvest date. There are several methods that can be used to ensure the safety of your plants. Depending on the plant’s growth stage will determine the best time to set up a trellis or scrog (acronym for Screen of Green), use stakes, tomato cages or whatever else you have available that can support the plant. I have even seen growers place thumbtacks in the ceiling and tie strings to buds to provide support…so don’t be afraid to get creative with your plant management tactics.

My preferred method of growing requires that I set up trellising during the 2nd week of the flower stage. Due to the size plants, I am growing I will not need to support them until this stage. I usually see extreme growth early in flowering and wait until that growth slows before setting up the trellis/scrog. I personally prefer using trellising versus other methods of support as it is easier to install and work within indoor settings. Trellising provides more flexibility when rearranging the plant canopy, allowing more freedom when spreading out the canopy in ways that other support systems limit you. I also like how easily I can super crop tall stems under the trellis to ensure they hold in place due to the trellis to provide a higher flower count. See Pruning & Training Cannabis Plants for Maximum Production for details on this yield enhancement method.

Stakes are effective and can serve a great role in supporting plants however there are a few drawbacks when using them to scale into large facilities. The first concern is contamination as they must be cleaned and sterilized after each use to prevent any kind of cross-contamination on the next plants that will use them. The second concern in using stakes is a safety issue as stakes can puncture an eye very easily. In smaller grows and home grows I have learned over many times into the canopy only to catch a stake in the cheek or face narrowly missing my eye.

Tomato cages are a great support system as well and can be highly effective when used properly for plants grown outdoors. Once again, your plant’s size will determine when to start supporting. My preferred method for indoor grows start during the flower phase but when growing larger plants outdoors I start using tomato cages earlier in the vegetative stage, so I can support them plant against wind damage.

Supporting plants with trellis, tomato cages, stakes or whatever you use can bring great improvement in yields when applied properly. I have seen yield increases by up to 30% simply by just rearranging the canopy to maximize light exposure to the plant’s grow points. This is one of many methods you can use to increase productivity from your crop. Treat your plants like a bonsai tree and learn what it requires when trellising, staking or caging for maximum production.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellis Smith is co-founder and Chief Development Officer of American Cannabis Company (ACC). He has more than 20 years of horticulture experience in the specialty cut flower market, operating indoor gardens which helped him understand complex growing systems. As a cannabis grower, he developed an all natural soil medium known as SoHum Living Soil® which is used by hundreds of commercial cannabis operations. As CDO of ACC, Mr. Smith is also responsible for the design and construction of more than 1 million square feet of cannabis grow space in the U.S. and Canada.

When to Harvest 101

HARVEST….It’s the time you have been waiting for! In preparation for your big day, you will want to be sure to flush your plants with water only for at least 7 days prior to harvest
to ensure the removal of any salt build up and remaining nutrients from the soil to reduce
the harsh sensation that may be experienced when smoking finished product. Ideally, by
the time of harvest, your plants will be yellowing, further aiding in the reduction of any harsh
flavor. Remember, flower will burn to white ash as an indicator that your plants have been
properly flushed. Please note that if you are using living soil as your selected medium,
you will not experience any salt build-up and therefore will have no need to flush your
plants.

Knowing when to harvest your cannabis does not need to be scary or overwhelming. As
a grower, you have just spent the last 90 to 120 days taking care of clones or seedlings
to create strong roots, vegging your plants to perfection and finally, flowering your plants
for peak performance. So, when is the right time to harvest? There is no definitive answer
as everyone has their own metrics and ideal characteristics for determining the best time
for harvesting plants. The technique that I have developed through years of experience,
is a combination of trial and error and the knowledge that has been bestowed upon me
by masters of the craft.

Please utilize the following information as a basic guideline for monitoring your plant’s
trichomes as you experiment to find what works best for your desired preference of your
end-product. Trichomes (traɪkoʊmz or trɪkoʊmz), from the Greek τρίχωμα (trichōma) meaning “hair”,
are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants, algae, lichens, and certain protists that are
of diverse structure and function. On the cannabis plant, they are the source of the
cannabinoids, the molecular chemical compounds such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBC
among others. In the final flowering stage trichomes appear clear like a
crystal.

Step 1. Examine the trichomes, using a magnifying glass or scope for an enhanced view,
to observe closely enough to allow you to see the full spectrum of color contained within.

Step 2. Through your magnified observations, trichomes should ideally appear as either
clear, milky or cloudy in color, indicating that the plant is ripe and is ready to harvest. By
contrast, clear color is a sign that trichomes are not yet ripe and are not ready for harvest.
An amber color means the trichrome is naturally converting to CBN, which provides for a
calming relaxing effect.

Step 3. Everyone has a different ideal trichome ratio, however, I look for at least 75%
milky trichomes with roughly 5% to 10% turning amber in color, and the remaining
trichomes being clear. Depending on the desired end effect when consumed, you can let
the trichome ratio go up or down on the amber scale to give you a more relaxed experience with more amber trichomes versus a less relaxed experienced with fewer
amber trichomes.

The white and/or red hairs, known as pistils, on the flowers are another vital indicator to
identify when harvesting. These hairs will appear as white throughout most of the flower
cycle, turning either yellow, orange and then finally red as the plant begins to mature.
Most experienced growers will harvest at the plants’ peak potency when the hairs have
turned 70% to 80% red. For new growers who are not sure when to harvest, wait for at
least 50% of the hairs to turn red before harvesting. This will give you enough
understanding of how to improve your process for the next harvest by adjusting the
ratios for your desired results from the effects, taste, and experience.

Harvesting plants can be the most exciting time for a grower. Ensuring you harvest plants
at their peak potency can be a calculated process with minimal trial and error. Get to know
each strain and the unique characteristics and nuances that make each one unique and
learn when the best time is to harvest for peak yield, cannabinoid profile, terpene
expression, and overall performance.

Stay tuned for “How to Harvest” and “How to Cure”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellis Smith is co-founder and Chief Development Officer of American Cannabis Company (ACC). He has more than 20 years of horticulture experience in the specialty cut flower market, operating indoor gardens which helped him understand complex growing systems. As a cannabis grower, he developed an all natural soil medium known as SoHum Living Soil® which is used by hundreds of commercial cannabis operations. As CDO of ACC, Mr. Smith is also responsible for the design and construction of more than 1 million square feet of cannabis grow space in the U.S. and Canada.

Growing Cannabis Indoors: The Beginner’s Guide to Success

growing cannabis indoors

Getting Started Growing Cannabis Indoors – What You’ll Need

These are a few necessary items to get the cannabis growing process started:

  • Feminized seeds or female seedlings (clones)
  • A dedicated area to grow your plants
  • Growing containers with adequate drainage
  • Enough SoHum living soil to fill containers
  • Lights-for your first grow, any lights will work. However, you’ll have drastically better results with units specifically designed for indoor growing (HID, LED, T5, or even high-output CFL’s will increase yields and quality)
  • Timers for lighting
  • Watering cans and spray bottles
  • Ventilation – For your first grow, 2-3 fans should be enough to provide adequate air exchange

Optional Supplies

  • Odor control solutions
  • CO2 generator
  • Trimmers or scissors for cropping
  • Screens, stakes, twine, wire or netting for training your plants to grow the way you want them to
  • Pest control as needed depending on what critters (if any) show up for the party
  • Magnifying glass/jewelers loupe/digital microscope/etc. to inspect pistils (more on this later)

You Won’t Need

  • Fertilizer – SoHum Living Soil provides all the nutrients your cannabis plants need throughout its life cycle.
  • pH testers/buffers/adjusters – SoHum Living Soil is naturally pH balanced for optimum nutrient uptake.

 

Step 1: Germinate Your Seeds

Using your preferred method, provide your seeds with a humid, dark environment in which they can sprout for the first time. DO NOT use any fertilizers or chemicals. Clean, de-chlorinated water is sufficient.

If you’re using seedlings, this step isn’t necessary. Just keep your seedlings humid and well-lit while you’re preparing your grow area.

Step 2: Set Up Your Grow Area

While seeds are germinating, you’ve got a few days to get your garden in order. This should be an area that can be kept clean and undisturbed for the duration of the grow. Make sure your “grow room” (tent, closet, basement, quiet corner…etc) is shielded from the sun so you can control lighting precisely.

Clean EVERYTHING that will be in your grow area carefully, including walls, floor, lights, and containers. Set up your lights and timers for the vegetative stage – 18 hours of light is a good standard until you’ve got more experience to experiment.

Step 3: Plant Your Seedlings

Sow your rooted seedlings, along with the medium they were germinated in, at least 2-4 inches into the living soil and gently pat the area until it’s level. Do not overwater at this point. Your soil should naturally be humid enough to attract roots to grow. One to two sprays with a water bottle should be enough to help your babies acclimate to their new home.

Steps 4-6: Water, Watch and Wait

Practice patience while your cannabis plants do their thing. During your first few crops, you’ll want to visit your garden regularly to make sure your super soil is humid, and your plants are showing no signs of pests or disease. Avoid the temptation to poke, prod or play with your plants too often – they may go as long as a week without needing anything and messing with them too often can stunt or stop their growth. Once you’re a more experienced grower, you’ll find ways to automate your garden, so you don’t need to spend much time with your plants at all these first few weeks.

Once your plants have taken root and are growing steadily, you’ll be able to train your plants to grow as you want them to. Here’s where SCROG, SOG, cropping, super cropping will come into play, but for beginners none of this is mandatory. It’s perfectly acceptable just to let nature take its course.

Step 7: Flower When Ready

When your plants reach the recommended age of maturity for their strain (check with your seed/seedling supplier for a guideline,) change the lighting schedule to 12 hours on/12 hours off. Continue to water only when the soil is dry. There is absolutely no need to add nutrients or fertilizer if you’re using SoHum living soil.

Your crop will start to smell pleasant but rather robust at this stage. If the aroma becomes too overwhelming, you can use odor eliminators, carbon filters, etc. at this point to keep it controlled.

Step 8: Time To Harvest!

When your crop produces dense, healthy flower and roughly 60% or more of the pistils have changed from white to dark red/brown, your grow cycle is complete. Cut your plants at the base and immediately hang them upside down in a dark area to begin the curing process. For more info on how to process your cannabis plants after harvest as well as more advanced tips on making your future crops exceptional, read what the experts have to say on our blog.

As you can see, growing cannabis with SoHum Living Soil is almost foolproof! Remember to monitor your plants while they are growing and water them as needed. Control pests, keep the lights on and the air circulating, and you’ll grow excellent cannabis every time. Growing cannabis indoors is made easy, if you just follow these few steps, and be patient.

Stock up SoHum Living Soil today and see just how easy growing your own cannabis indoors can be!