What are the roots?
The roots are the first organ of the plant to come into direct contact with the surrounding growing medium after germination. Most plants have three types of roots: the main tap root and the fibrous roots, which grow into the ground, and are often invisible to the naked eye; and adventitious roots, which can sprout from the aerial parts of the plant, such as the stem, and grow towards the substrate.
The cannabis plant has all three types, but the adventitious roots are less common and only grow in environments with high and steady humidity levels. The ability to produce adventitious roots is what makes cannabis so suitable for propagation via cloning.
Healthy roots mean healthy plants
When we talk about photoperiod, we mean the daily hours of light and darkness that any given living organism receives, while photoperiodism refers to the physiological reaction provoked by the length of day or night, and the way it affects the behaviour and development of these plants and animals.
In botany, each subspecies has its own specific photoperiod, but plants can be classified into three groups: short-day plants, long-day plants and day-neutral plants. Cannabis is a short-day plant (with the exception of Cannabis Ruderalis autoflowering varieties), which means that it needs long nights with over 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness to trigger flowering.
In the plant world, both the light intensity as well as the daily hours of light/darkness determine the biological functions of organisms, such as seed germination, growth, flowering and maturing processes. In this way, the development of plants can be activated or suppressed depending on lighting conditions, meaning that, for example, most plant species are unable to flourish unless they receive a certain number of hours of darkness.
The length of day and night determines many biological processes
Logically, in nature, the photoperiod is determined by the season of the year and the solar cycle. But what happens with indoor crops under artificial lighting? The answer, also very logical, is that the grower sets the photoperiod of indoor gardens, and in this way, they are able to control whether the plants remain in the vegetative growth phase or if they begin their flowering process.
A common mistake among many beginner indoor cannabis growers is that of not changing lightbulbs often enough, so while the first few crops are a roaring success, later grows, despite having all the same parameters, don’t produce anywhere near the same quantity of buds. Why might this be? On many occasions it’s because you are using a grow lamp with far too many hours of use behind it.
High intensity discharge bulbs, such as HPS, HM or CMH/LEC are, with use, gradually diminishing the amount of light emitted, so (although at first glance we may not realise it) after several crops we can find bulbs that are delivering half the lumens than when we first fitted them. In addition, at each phase of its development, the plant will require a maximum and a minimum of lumens to grow and flourish in a normal way.
In this article we will see how to use a light meter to measure how much light is emitted by our lighting systems, as well as the ideal range of light intensity for each phase of our plants development.
Good light distribution helps to give homogenous harvests
Growing cannabis with automatic irrigation
Cultivating cannabis is an art in which each grower uses their best techniques and their own knowledge, as well as different growing apparatus that can help to manage the growing environment or as in this case, the automatic irrigation of cannabis plants.
Automatic irrigation in cannabis cultivation
The duration of a cannabis crop is around 3 months, with the first month for the plants vegetative growth and at least the next 2 months for flowering. During this time plants require water and fertilisers every few days, so irrigation will become a repetitive task that can end up tiring all but the most dedicated grower, especially when time is at a premium.
How do we light our cannabis growing space?
When we decide to set up an indoor cannabis grow for personal use at home, there are many factors to take into account if we want to get the best results, but one of the most important to consider is the type of light and its power consumption.
When deciding on the type of light to use, we must keep in mind that each technology has its different advantages and disadvantages with respect to growing cannabis. Certain types of bulbs will offer the best yield (lumen per watt) but at the same time they are a considerable heat source that can cause problems to many growers, especially those that live in particularly warm climates or are only able to grow cannabis in small spaces.
On the contrary, other types of illumination emit almost no heat at all, although often the high price of this kind of lighting, combined with its lower effectiveness when compared to other systems, combine to make them less popular. They are, however, indispensable to the many indoor growers that can only cultivate cannabis successfully thanks to the low heat emission of these lights.
This lighting kit with air-cooled reflector includes all you need for plentiful flowering
Causes of death in cannabis plants during the growth period
The vegetative growth of cannabis plants can be one of the longest periods of cultivation when growing outdoors – or indoors – where in, for example the countries of southern Europe they enjoy a lengthy spring and summer. During the course of this growth phase, problems can arise that may lead to the death of the plant even before the flowering stage begins.
Let’s see what are the most frequent causes of death during the plants’ growth period and what we can do to avoid a premature, unhappy ending.
Cannabis plants in vegetative growth
Carbohydrates or sugars in the cultivation of cannabis
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are a group of compounds that include sugars, starches and cellulose among many other substances. These are formed by carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
They are vitally important compounds for both plant and animal life. They perform vital functions so that plants can develop healthily and problem-free in all stages of their life and also serve as a source of food for the animals that feed on plants.
Bubble Kush, 44 days, fed with aminoacids
The use of humic and fulvic acids is becoming increasingly popular among all types of cannabis farmers, who can now take advantage of a healthy, rich and living soil that produces happy plants and therefore abundant harvests. Thanks to this substances, nutrient uptake and management are much more efficient, and root growth is simply spectacular.
Either if you’re using organic soil or hydroponic systems, using humic and fulvic acids is a very easy way to ensure the best possible conditions for the roots of your plants. Indeed, it is especially recommended in hydroponic cultivation since these types of growing media do not contain nutrients nor microbial life. In this way, you get the most out of the nutrient solution that you’ve carefully prepared for your plants.
Quality soil produces quality flowers
In this series of posts we’re taking a comprehensive look at a range of techniques used by growers to shape cannabis plants and facilitate cultivation. Pruning and training are essential tools to control the way our plants grow, whether to restrict height, maximise yields or as a management tool for the indoor cultivator trying to control multiple varieties in one grow space.
Pruning plants is a great way to maximise flower sites
When discussing these techniques, we can essentially split them into two basic types of method:
- Destructive pruning methods that effect some kind of damage on the plant, like pinching out, FIM, super-cropping etc.
- Non-destructive training techniques designed to minimise damage, such as LST (Low Stress Training), SCROG, etc.
EC meters are a very useful tool when growing cannabis since they allow growers to have full control over the nutrition of their plants. Today, with tens of nutrient brands offering their own formulations, it may be difficult to find the correct dosage for your plants, especially when nutrients or additives of different brands are mixed. Well, with the help of an EC meter you can easily check the exact amount of nutrients contained in your nutrient solution, which, as you’ll see in this article, makes things a lot easier.
Using pH and EC meters is recommended to achieve best results