All grows follow a method, a way of doing things in order to obtain the desired results. The yield is very important for the grower as it defines months of hard work. However, it makes sense for mistakes to arise often due to inexperience or lack of control. Mistakes when growing cannabis are part of growers’ learning process and finding them to avoid them is very important. This post is going to address the most common errors when growing cannabis.

To start with, a lot of factors intervene in the process of cultivating marijuana: cannabis seeds, the area, indoors or outdoors, cultivation method, fertilizers, etc. Each of them is vital to obtain decent results. However, some of them can be a red line between an easy to solve problem and a completely or partially ruined crop. For this reason, here we are going to explain the 10 most common mistakes when growing cannabis, whether indoors or outdoors. 

10 Common Mistakes when Growing Cannabis

1. Bad organisation of the grow

Getting this right is essential to grow marijuana seeds as it avoids other types of errors. Still, plenty of people germinate the seeds without knowing exactly where they are going to grow them. For example, if the intention is to grow them indoors, it’s very important to have the right lamps for every phase and have other key factors under control. Planning the cultivation process ahead and step by step is crucial to obtain the expected results.

2. The beloved seed

The seed is the most important part of the crop. If it’s not stored and cared for properly, we won’t even see the results. Everyone has a friend that has a seed stuck in a drawer, obviously that would be a terrible choice. 

Knowing the origin, sex and cultivation preferences of the seeds will surely set the grow in the right path. Otherwise, a male could come out and ruin the rest, or perhaps, a plant too big to fit inside the grow tent. Multiple factors should be taken into account for the grow to develop correctly.

mistakes when growing cannabis

3. Everybody to the ground!

This sentence should be the growers motto. The ground complies with different functions: it’s the home for roots, it feeds the plants and it accumulates nutrients for them to be absorbed through the follicles. Still, some growers rather spend little on a low quality substrate and instead invest in good quality lamps or better seeds. Big mistake, poor substrates could be contaminated or not have the proper quality to retain or drain water correctly. 

The best solution is for each grower to make their own substrate mixture with peats, coco coir, humus, perlite, expanded clay and some guano. However, for those short for time, plenty of ready made substrates successfully cover plants needs.

4. Hungry plant, dead plant

At this point, even inexperienced growers are aware that cannabis plants require a lot of caring for. One of the most important ones is providing good nutrients through fertilizers and additives. Fertilizer types and doses have to be chosen depending on the type of seed and cultivation method. For this reason, it is best to follow the previous steps and also, apply a very basic rule: not too much and not too little.

When growing cannabis, some people believe that plants require large doses of nutrients. This could result in overly fertilized plants, a serious problem where the plant is incapable of absorbing all the minerals and nutrients, staying in the substrate and blocking the roots. The right amount can be found in the nutrient charts provided by the manufacturers.

mistakes when growing cannabis

5. Water, water, and more water

Plants receive the essential nutrients from water and the substrate. Plenty of growers either don’t water enough or water too much, causing either root flooding and poor root aeration or root blockage and poor nutrient absorption, which results in deficiencies. 

Too much water rots the roots and ruins the crop. On the contrary, when water is scarce, nutrients don’t reach the plant properly, it gets weak and starts showing signs of sickness. The roots could die due to dryness and the heat of the substrate.

6. Distance between the lamp and the plants

In indoor grows, lamps act like the sun would out in the open air. They mimic a lighting spectrum that allows plants to do photosynthesis and develop properly. Placing the lamps at the correct distance could make a big difference between the grow advancing or not. Excessive closure burns and damages the top leaves, making them die and stopping growth. If, on the contrary, the lamps are too far, the plants won’t absorb enough light. Our recommendation is to have a thermometer at hand and adjust the distance to the tips of the plants, making sure that the temperature doesn’t surpass 28º C.

cannabis plant lamp

7. Knowing pH and EC levels to perfection

Another common mistake when growing cannabis is not controlling water values. Acidity and electric conductivity are key factors for proper crop development. Quite often, we use tap water as it is a comfortable option, convenient and cheap. However, depending on the location, water can be more acidic (low pH) or more alkaline (high pH). Recommended pH values vary for each phase: during growth, they should range between 5.2 and 5.8, and during the flowering period they should be at 6.2 -6.8. On the other hand, EC levels should range between 0.8 – 1 during growth and 1.2 – 2 during flowering. 

Not monitoring these values properly could result in root blockage and multiple nutritional deficiencies. To prevent this from happening, you should use specific pH and EC meters and opt for distilled or osmotic water, which has very low values and it can be easily treated.

8. The importance of rooting

Roots are hiding under the soil, carrying out the “simple” task of feeding every bit of the plant and bringing beautiful flowers to life. For this reason, it’s very important to make sure that their habitat and development is perfect. If the grow starts growing and as months go by, you realize that it is running on the small side, this is probably because roots haven’t developed properly. Nutrients absorption, which should increase as the plant grows, decreases, and so does the possibility to grow dense buds.

In order to avoid such a thing from happening, the best solution is to use root stimulators throughout the entire grow to promote proper root development. Especially organic ones, which are rich in bacteria and beneficial fungi. This way, roots stay strong and healthy.

mistakes when growing cannabis

9. Impatient grower, poor weed

The flowering period reaches its end after months of hard work, fertilizers, time and spoiling. You can now see how plants are growing their buds, with that characteristic scent and the peculiarities of each grow. A big mistake when growing marijuana is to think that when buds are very big, it’s time to trim. This is the moment to stick your hands in your pocket and wait. The maturity process is important to remove chlorophyll and turn acidic cannabinoids into CBD or THC.

Harvesting before time can provide undesired results: hard to smoke and mediocre flavor, chlorophyll excess or unsatisfactory effects. It is best to wait until trichomes are half white, half brown before proceeding with the drying process. 

10. Damned plagues

Whether grown indoors, outdoors, in cold or hot climates, plants can’t escape plagues or fungi. This is a problem that any grower is going to have to deal with at some point, regardless of their level of experience. Insect and fungi can ruin a crop in no time if preventive measures aren’t taken.

The main thing is to have a clean room with proper temperature and appropriate humidity levels for plants to grow healthy. Using some natural and preventive insecticides such as Neem or propolis are a great defense against infestations. It’s important to check the plants daily looking for signs of invasion. 

Prevention and proper care for a successful grow

The most common mistakes when growing marijuana are easy to sort out, all you need is patience and control. The plant itself is going to try hard to get through the tough patch. Crops need precise watering with all the necessary nutrients, the best lighting and ventilation, a proper substrate and correct temperature and humidity levels. At the end of the day, all your grow needs is time and determination to get the best out of it. 

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