For pollination to occur, the cannabis plant must have entered into the flowering phase. When a farmer wants to introduce his crop to flowering, it is imperative to alter the light schedule so that the plants perceive that it is time to enter the flowering phase. With this knowledge, farmers must also understand the anatomy of the flowers of the cannabis plant. The plant has a structure known as a cola, and which is further divided into sub units to create what is commonly referred to as a cannabis bud. The flowers in a female cannabis plant assemble together to create these buds.
Female flowers on the cannabis plant are collectively referred to as pistils, and they contain parts known as stigmas. Stigmas are the site of pollination in the plants. Prior to maturation of the cannabis plants, the cola consists of sub units that undergo preparation to be filled. This period of time is characterized by the development of the bud sites. The rate of this development is really dependent on the type of cannabis strain that a farmer has. Some strains may even start this step mid way during flowering.
The flowering period is characterized by tiny stigmas located on the pistils as they form. If you are keen, you will also notice the presence of tiny hairs that originate from the pistil. This is actually one of the signs that flowering has just begun. As far as pollination is concerned, this is the process by which pollen grains from the male cannabis plant interact with the stigma on the female plant and reach the egg cell located within the pistil. Following successful pollination and a myriad of procedures, seeds will be produced within the female cannabis plant. One of the most interesting aspects in recent times has got to be the way in which some cannabis farmers prefer sinsemilla cannabis.
By definition, sinsemilla refers to cannabis plants which have not undergone pollination and therefore lack seeds. Some cite better yields with such plants, but this is subject to further research before it can be verified. If you are keen on the structure of the cannabis flowers, you will notice the presence of a sticky substance on the trichomes. This substance is known as resin and helps protect the buds. The amounts of resin produced will differ from one strain to the other, and will often be used to characterize the transition from one stage of growth to another.
Important things to note as far as pollination in cannabis plants is concerned:
- Older pistils on the female cannabis plant tend to be bigger in size than smaller ones. Even with their sizes, the stigmas located on them can still receive pollen from the male cannabis plant.
- There is a tiny leaf, almost unrecognizable by a number of farmers. This tiny leaf is found beneath the pistil and is known as a stipule. Stipules are more pronounced in pre-flowers so you should be able to spot them prior a few days after the plants have entered the flowering phase.
It is a well known fact that fertilizers play an integral role in the proper development of cannabis plants. The reason for this is that the fertilizers contain nutrients which are required by the plants. In many of the products available in the market, these nutrients will be abbreviated as NPK, meaning that the fertilizer contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium, all of which are macro elements. For farmers who are not too keen on manufactured products, there is the option of choosing cost effective options that will serve the same purpose. Of course the greatest advantage of using the branded fertilizers is that a farmer is sure of the exact amount of nutrients that they are adding to the plant.
If this does not sound like good news, how about reading through the cost-effective options indicated below to give you ideas of what you can use?
i) The use of human urine as cannabis fertilizer. Many farmers are not usually comfortable with such a decision owing to the issue of hygiene, but for those who would go to any extent, this is preferred owing to its high concentration of nitrogen. Nitrogen, an element that is required in high amounts by the cannabis plant is important in ensuring that the leaves and stems develop normally.
Now, having mentioned that human urine may be used to provide fertilizer for cannabis plants, it is important to make mention that this is not a license for peeing on the plants directly. This is because this could easily cause damage at the point of contact with the plant tissue. The very high concentration of Nitrogen is responsible for this. Consequently, prior to use on the plants, the urine must be diluted with water and then used IMMEDIATELY. A delay in the use of the urine creates the risk of producing ammonia which is known to infect and destroy the cannabis plants.
ii) The second affordable option for fertilizer use involves the use of compost. This is a natural process and for environmental conscious cannabis farmers, presents the perfect option. Any organic material that you have in your garden is adequate for the process of composting. Whether it is chicken poop or those avocado peels in the garbage pit, you have numerous options at hand.
If you want to, you could even create different combinations to [come up with a natural option for fertilizer application. It certainly does sound eeeww, but is a great option to get flourishing cannabis plants. So the next time you want to discard those orange peels, remember that you could make compost with them.
What are some of the materials that you could use to make compost in place of commercial fertilizer?
There are many materials that you could use to create compost as listed below:
- Kitchen scraps
- Crushed eggshells
- Grinds obtained from coffee beans
- Garden scraps
- Manure obtained from animals. The most common animals are horses and chicken.
There are numerous products in the market that are targeted for use by cannabis farmers who are keen on improving their yields. One of the most important products is the fertilizer. Cannabis fertilizers are available in a wide array, and many of these are used to produce cannabis crops with great yields. These fertilizers range from the common products available at your store to the rather costly ones with a target market in the high-end range of agricultural products. Whichever option you eventually settle for, it is extremely important to understand the key role that fertilizers play and the value they add to cannabis plants.
Fertilizers are added to cannabis plants to help ensure that the plants get sufficient nutrients for proper growth and development. In the absence of these nutrients, there is a great possibility that the plant will wither away resulting in very poor yields. In addition to light and water, fertilizers are a fundamental aspect for any cannabis plant. Many farmers understand this, but are usually a tad bit overwhelmed when it comes to making a choice out of the numerous brands that are readily available in the market. For novice farmers, this is further amplified by the lack of experience in the field. Is there cause for worry however? There ought to be none for the simple reason that there are tips you could use to ensure that you get the best fertilizers.
As a general rule, it is wise to choose fertilizer products whose success has been proven over the years. Some refer to this as the practice of going with a proven formula. Numerous garden centers have invested in providing packaged fertilizers for cannabis plants at a very affordable cost. Apart from the affordability, the other advantage of using such products is that they have been proven to work for different farmers in different locations and with a wide range of cannabis strains. Additionally, the fertilizers will provide you with convenience of indicating the number and corresponding amount of nutrients that you have just added to your growth medium.
This information eliminates the need to make a guess as to whether you have added the correct amount of nutrients to the plants. To put this in perspective, many fertilizer brands will often work with a standard ratio that includes the following elements: Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium, abbreviated N,P and K respectively. This is why you will often come across the NPK ratio when talking about cannabis fertilizers. This ratio is quite helpful because it gives you the answer as to how much nutrients you giving the plants. Getting the ratio right is a little tricky when a farmer opts to make their own fertilizer since the materials used are not standardized.
Fertilizers play a key role in the life of a cannabis plant, so it is important for farmers to know the precise role that these additions play. Purchase your fertilizer well in advance to allow you to learn the application procedure.
Pruning is a process that is carried out by a number of farmers with the intention of increasing yields. It involves the removal of the tiny shoots that show up between the branches and the trunk with the aim of channeling all of the plant’s energies to the process of fruit production. In cannabis plants, this energy will be directed to the formation if huge buds that are certainly more marketable and have make for better yields. This technique is very crucial for all those who would like to steer clear of tiny buds.
It is interesting to note that pruning is usually done by professional cannabis farmers to maximize on the yields obtained for each square meter. The logic behind getting rid of the shoots aforementioned is that no energy is wasted on creating tiny buds. The result is that the huge buds that are found at the top of the plant are huge and tend to be heavy. They also receive more sunlight than the average bud since they are all located at the same height.
What are some of the tips that you must follow during pruning of cannabis plants?
- Pruning must only be done during the vegetative stage. This is crucial because it will allow the plant ample time to rejuvenate and promote the growth of big leaves.
- Timing is very critical, and for this reason, you need to allow three days after pruning before you can subject the cannabis plants to flowering. This is to ensure that growth of the plants is continuous as well as to maximize on the yields to be obtained.
- All through this pruning period, cannabis farmers are advised to make sure that the plants get adequate amounts of water. At the same time, one must go slow with the use of fertilizers during this period to facilitate for recovery.
- When you have mastered this technique, you are better placed to ensure that you get maximum yields, the reward for such an integral technique of cannabis farming.
- If you have grown your plants using the Screen of green method, there are a number of tips to follow through. For instance, you must place the screen at least half a meter above the cannabis plants. You will then take the top parts of each plant when it is just about 10cms away from the screen. Wait it out until you notice that the emerging tops have gone through the screen. Once the emerging tops have grown for 10cm through the screen, tilt them and link them to the screen. This is when pruning ought to be done. As with pruning in cannabis plants gown in different media, it is vital to wait for a couple of days before introducing flowering.
- Regardless of the growth medium used, the plants will continue to grow in the first fortnight of the flowering stage.
- Pruning is not a technique to be used in place of the right and optimal conditions for the proper growth of cannabis plants.
As a cannabis farmer, there are many things that you will have to be on the lookout for if you have to make sure that your plants develop as normally as possible. One of the conditions that your plants may start to exhibit, and which poses a risk to the kind of yield that you will get is copper deficiency. While this type of deficiency is relatively rare, it can still lead to severe problems in your plants. Below are some of the symptoms that characterize copper deficiency in cannabis plants.
- Copper deficiency will initially be characterized by dying of the young leaves, a condition that is referred to as necrosis. The tips of such leaves will start to show a blue coloration that is a marked deviation from the usual green color of the leaves. Some will show a copper grayish hue. If you look closely, you will notice that the leaves have a yellow coloration within its veins.
- In some cannabis plants, the leaves start to undergo wilting and curling particularly at the edges of the plant. The end result for such is the death of the leaves. In extreme cases, the entire cannabis plant may undergo wilting and it will be difficult for such a plant to feature new growth.
- The flowers of male cannabis plants with copper deficiency will not develop normally, while the female flower parts of such plants will often exhibit non development of the stigma. Ideally, copper as a salt does not move fast, and for this reason, does not stay in one spot.
- It is also important to note that copper deficiency is not the only thing that can affect your cannabis plants. Copper excesses, while still very rare, can be deadly for the cannabis plant. The reason for this is that when in high concentration, the copper salts prevent the cannabis plant from effectively using Iron. The result is severe yellowing of the leaves. What’s more, the development of the root systems is affected so that they acquire extremely abnormal sizes, leading to the rotting of the same and eventually the death of the plant.
Why does the deficiency or surplus of copper have such devastating effects on the cannabis plant?
The reason for this is that copper plays a number of important roles in the cannabis plant. These roles include:
- Proper growth of the plant
- Ensuring proper developments in the reproductive process of the plant.
- Promote the maturation of the cannabis plants and enhance the yields of the same.
- Involvement in metabolic processes to ensure the use of carbohydrates.
- Involvement in processes that oversee the reactions of oxygen reduction
It is clear that copper plays a critical role in the proper development of the cannabis plants. For this reason, one should be careful that there is neither a deficiency of the copper or an excessive supply of the same. There are a number of kits available in the market to help you get through this.
Many cannabis farmers question when the best time to transplant their crops is. As a general guide, this should be when the plants have developed a solid root system. This is because at this point, the cannabis plant is set for exponential growth and increase in the foliage as well. To carry this out successfully, you will have to study the correct methods of transplantation as well as make a decision on the best and ideal location for the transplantation destination. Now, here is the thing, it does not matter where you germinate the cannabis seeds, whether in a pot or container. You will be forced to shift the plants to a location with more permanency.
This is an integral step in the life of the cannabis plant for the simple reason that if it is not well carried out, it poses the risk of causing the plants to die as a result of severe shock. Some of the evident symptoms of this shock include yellowing of the cannabis leaves, which eventually leads to the withering of the plants. If the transplant shock is too much, there are chances that the plant could succumb to the shock. If carried out correctly, however, transplantation is a step that allows farmers to get the most put of their cannabis plants. This means faster maturation, greater yields and very minimal problems.
This also presents the opportunity for cannabis farmers to select whether or not to keep the plants indoors. Of course indoor cannabis farming has its advantages since it is possible to manage the conditions provided and ensure that a safe environment with optimal growth condition is provided. Lighting, water, nutrients and fertilizers if need be, are all made available in the indoor garden. Some farmers opt to plant their cannabis in the earth in an outdoor setup. While it is more affordable than using an indoor garden, it certainly presents challenges for the farmer. This is because it is imperative to ensure that the piece of land meets set standards, to ensure that the plants are safe as well as to make sure they are accessible.
Below are some additional tips that should make this a seamless process.
i) When grown in containers, the cannabis plants will usually extend rapidly so that the roots reach the sides of the container. When this happens, the cannabis plant simply ceases to grow, leading to stunted growth, and unless something is done, it will lead to very poor yields.
ii) For this reason, transplantation ought to be done when the plant enters the seedling phase as the plants are relatively tiny during this phase. If you are keen, you will also notice a sharp increase in the number of leaves.
iii) Make sure that you have adequate growth medium for the specific location of the transplanted cannabis crop. With this, transplant the crops with the soil they have been developing in to minimize the sudden change that often leads to shock.
iv) Cover the soil surrounding the transplanted crop and continue to provide the necessary requirements.
Cannabis farmers have had to deal with the devastating effects of pests for a while now. The pests come in different forms and shapes, whether you are looking at human beings, or birds or creepy crawlies, cannabis plants seem to bear the brunt of just about any insect. Granted, human beings do not eat the cannabis in its raw form, but can bring about devastating losses in one’s garden if not well managed. There are natural and artificial ways to repel these pests, but the cons of using the latter make it trick for cannabis farmers. This is why there is available a list of natural ways in which you can get this done. Below are some of the tips to help you with this menace.
1) Make sure that you use soil and fertilizer products which have undergone sterilization. The reason for this is that it gets rid of the eggs of pests which are typically found in soil products which have not been sterilized. Should you cultivate your cannabis in such media, do not be shocked when the eggs hatch and the larvae start to feed on the cannabis plants. The condition is made worse in indoor gardens because there is no way to introduce predators as a natural method of pest eradication.
2) Grow the cannabis plants in alternation with other plants that act to repel pests naturally. It is interesting to note that while the THC produced can act as a repellent, it does not have adequate intensity to facilitate for this. Marigolds are the perfect example of such plants.
3) For bigger pests, you could go the traditional way and build a fence all round (assuming that you have an outdoor garden). While this works in the right setup, the typical cannabis farmer does not have this choice, and secondly, it is impractical for an indoor cannabis garden.
4) Make use of custom made repellents that are organic in nature. Some cannabis farmers have opted for this to keep pests at bay, both in indoor and outdoor cannabis gardens. Using mixtures that contain clove oil, cinnamon and coriander are relatively effective. The biggest advantage of such is that they do not cause any harm in the plant. As a safety measure however, farmers are advised to test the effects of these measures on a non-vital part of the plant so that if there are any adverse effects the plant remains unaffected.
5) Another method to eliminate pests from your cannabis garden involves the use of natural predators. A perfect example in which this example is manifested is the use of wasps to get rid of caterpillars. The wasps will lay their eggs on the caterpillars which provide a perfect host. The eggs will then hatch and the resulting pupa will start feeding on the caterpillars. Birds can also be used in a similar manner, but this only works for cannabis plants in an outdoor garden.
The methods listed above are very effective, and quite affordable for the average cannabis farmer.