There are different types of algae that can affect cannabis plants, and knowing how to deal with algae will go a long way in ensuring that the plants grow well. An Alga causes stunted growth in cannabis plants because they cause the plants to be deprived of oxygen when they attach to the root system of the host plant. In addition to creating a shortage of oxygen, the algae also competes for nutrients with the plant. What are some of the ways in which a cannabis farmer can deal with algae? Below are tips to make sure that you can manage algae in your plants.
- Know the kind of growth medium that you use. This is because algae is more likely to occur when a farmer uses hydroponics or aeroponics to grow their crop. It is less likely to occur when soil is used as a growth medium because algae prefers a setup with adequate lighting, something that you will not find in soil because soil is opaque.
- Ensure that you prevent the spread of algae in your cannabis plants by depriving the microorganisms of the much-needed light. Take note that this does not mean completely getting rid of the light as it is still a major requirement for the proper development of your plants. Instead, use dark equipment for your hydroponics system or aeroponics system in the indoor cannabis garden.
- Rock wool is a type of substrate that is available with the hydroponics, and on which algae grows quite easily. To prevent this from happening, cover the rock wool with fabric, specifically that which is intended for landscaping. Doing so means that the light does not get through to feed the algae, yet allows the plant to breath adequately.
- Replace the use of transparent growth medium components with opaque ones. If it is not possible to have a complete overhaul of the components, you could always improvise and make use of a dark material to cover the components.
- Clean the nutrient reservoir of your cannabis plants as this also creates the ideal surface for algae development. To do this effectively, use water mixed with hydrogen peroxide in the ratio of 10:1 respectively. The addition of small amounts to the reservoir not only ensures a clean system, it also increases the concentration of oxygen thus slowing the rate of algae development.
- Make use of UVC light in the cannabis grow room. This is important because it works complimentary to the air filtration system and the two can effectively get rid of microorganisms before they can access the cannabis plants. Traditionally, this has been used in aquariums, and its inclusion in a cannabis garden is an ideal way of dealing with algae.
- Use grapefruit seed extract, a method that has been conventionally used to manage algae in ponds, lakes and aquariums.
The last option in the management of algae in your cannabis grow room involves the use of straw mats made from barley. This is an effective organic method of control, and works well in hydroponic setups.
It is common for cannabis farmers to experience challenges when it comes to managing their crops. One of the most common occurrences in the typical cannabis farm is the presence of plants that have been knocked down, and which need some sort of ‘fixing’. To do this effectively and to be able to support the plants, one needs to make ready all the requirements. This will not only save you time, it will also help ensure that you give the right attention to your plants. You will need support sticks, a rope and a tape at hand. All these are readily available from the local shop and should not be an inconvenience.
Lift the plant carefully to make sure that you do not cause additional damage to the plant tissue. Once this is done, hold the plant in place to facilitate proper tying. Ideally, a couple of sticks strategically placed next to the plant will give far much better support than just a single stick. This is because the latter introduces additional stress to the plant and often causes breakage of the damaged plant, leading to significant loss for the farmer. In line with this, you must also consider the cause of damage to the plant. In case the plant was destroyed as a result of dry weather, it will be imperative for you to ensure that the plants are watered on a regular basis.
Take a closer look at the plant’s root system and see whether there is anything that looks out of the ordinary. If the roots were torn from the growth medium make sure that you add more of the growth medium and carefully pat it so that it sets into place. Of course this is dependent on the type of growth medium seeing as it may not be practical with liquid based growth mediums such as hydroponics. All of the roots of the cannabis plants ought to be covered with the growth medium to avoid exposure to the air. In some cases, it is imperative to avoid raising the plant above the ground. This is because there are instances where the plant has suffered too much damage so that it is not possible to do this effectively. Even then, the branches should be lifted above the ground.
You could use pallets to effectively do this. Alternatively, use a plastic netting to lift the branches as it should work just as well. Once the plant has stabilized, usually after a couple of days, you could use water to get rid of the dirt and soil. It is preferable if you can do the cleaning on a warm day as you will get ample time to dry the plants prior to nightfall. What’s more, cold days make it easy for the plant to develop gross moldy patches, something that will undoubtedly reduce the quality of the cannabis buds on maturation. As you clean the plant, place a rug at the bottom to collect the dirt.
The cannabis plant will go through different stages of growth and development, and one of the key stages is flowering. For many farmers, this stage presents the chance to modify the yields obtained from the crop. Here are guidelines to help you during the flowering stage of the plant.
- If you have planted your cannabis crop in the outdoors, you will need to know that temperature changes due to different seasons have an effect on the flowering cannabis plant. What’s more, due to the seasonal changes, flowering in the outdoors does not start until mid August, it is possible to determine when the best time for the cannabis plants to undergo flowering is.
- Science classifies days differently: there are short day plants and long day plants. Cannabis is classified in the former and what this means is that the plant undergoes flowering when it is exposed to long continuous periods of darkness.
- Another thing that you must recognize in cannabis plants is that unlike other plants where flowering is triggered by temperature changes, in the cannabis family a change in the light schedule will go a long way in ensuring that the cannabis flowers at a faster rate. With cannabis plants, temperature changes will either trigger or limit growth while the amount of moisture present has an effect on the quality of the cannabis buds produced by the plant.
- The first way to speed up this process is by looking for a cannabis strain that has an early maturation. Typically, indica varieties tend to do very well in this regard and will usually mature earlier than sativa varieties. For this reason, if you want to flower and to harvest early, this tip is your go-to solution.
- The second tip that you could use to make sure that you reap benefits from your early flowering strains is to carry out forced flowering. Just as the name suggests, this is a technique that subjects the plants to the flowering phase. This is achieved by increasing the period of darkness to 12 hours daily. This basically means adjusting the light schedule so that you have 12/12 schedule. In the outdoors, this can be a tad bit tricky, but is not entirely impossible, you can use tarp that has light proof characteristics to prevent light from passing through to the plants. It is very important that absolutely no light accesses the plants as this could interfere with the process of flowering.
- The third way to speed up the process of flowering is to carry out pollination on your own. This will allow you to carry out harvesting just a few weeks later as soon as the plants start to form the seed pods but just before the seeds themselves start to form. The principle here is that the moment the flowers undergo fertilization, the plants channel their energy from flower production to seed production.
Use these tips to help you get through the flowering phase with great yields.
Using cannabis clones has many benefits over conventional use of seeds to germinate one’s crops. Even with these advantages, it is imperative that the farmer puts in effort on their end. The clones will root naturally if they are provided with the optimal conditions, and provided the correct methods of preparation have been used for the clones. As you would expect, the clones do not have any roots and consequently their capacity to absorb water and nutrients necessary for germination is very limited, yet this plays a fundamental role in the growth of the cannabis plant. Here are tips to make sure that your clones root, not just faster, but that the resulting plants also grow to be sturdy plants.
- When preparing the cuttings, make sure that the cuttings are between 3 and 5 inches tall. You must also make sure that you eliminate all the leaves with the exception of those found at the very top of the plant, what is also referred to as the crown set of leaves. You also want to take note of the fact that the leaves must be trimmed to 1 inch.
- It is very crucial to maintain the correct temperature range of the clones is to remain viable for cultivation. The ideal temperature for both the roots and the leaves ranges between 72 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature must also be mentioned in line with the aspect of humidity. High humidity is helpful in making sure that the clones develop roots at a faster rate. Add to this light intensity and the use of proper rooting medium.
- Trim the cuttings to ensure that you get even clones. Contrary to popular belief, you could use a pair of scissors, though it is very important to make sure that you do not subject the clones to additional trauma. To do this effectively, you could arrange the cuttings in order so that you get exact measurements.
- Place the cuttings in the ideal rooting solution before transferring them to growth medium which has already been sterilized. This is key to prevent introduction of the plants to infections at such an early and crucial stage of growth and development.
- Make sure that the cannabis cuttings remain in the containers and that there is just enough moisture; not too much and not too little. In case the container proves to be a little too cold, you could always add a layer of insulation so that the temperature levels do not plummet and harm the cuttings.
- After a couple of days have elapsed, get rid of the top covering the container and water the plants using a watering jug. The first round of watering could make use of plain water, but for subsequent watering, make sure that the water is nutrient-enriched.
- Make sure that the garden has adequate light for the plants to grow and develop normally. After about a week or so, the roots on the cuttings should be visible.
We all know the tiny insects that are said to be the world’s most hardworking creatures, but is there a possibility that this could wreck havoc on a cannabis garden? Well, this article seeks to explain in great detail what some of the effects of ants on the cannabis plants are, and how to deal with them in order to make sure that your garden is free from insects that cause damage to your plants. There are several ways in which ants will affect your cannabis plants, and they are listed as indicated below.
i) Ants will work by building nests within the growth medium of choice, making it a tad bit difficult to notice at the onset. These nests are often the beginning of a farmer’s woes when the garden gets infested by tiny little ants. The nests are the first step towards the destruction of the cannabis roots since they give leeway to aphids. Aphids on the other hand, are a category of insects that feed on the sap of the cannabis plants.
When they do this, they create a compound that is known as honeydew as it resembles droplets of honey. Once this happens, the ants then draw the honeydew out of the aphids, but this is a protective mechanism for the aphids. Basically, for as long as the ants are present, the aphids will continue to sap the cannabis juice causing weakening of the plants.
ii) If you want to identify the presence of either of the insects, be on the look out for the honey dew on the stem of the cannabis plant. You could also check out for the presence of aphids, insects that tend to stay underneath the leaves of the cannabis plant. The fact that aphids lay eggs that hatch up to 12 of their little ones is enough to cause farmers of this amazing plant to take measures to prevent ant infestation.
iii) As mentioned above, aphids will fee on the sap of the cannabis plants, resulting in inadequate nutrients for the plants. Consequently, the leaves start to turn yellow in color and eventually wilt.
iv) In addition to causing deprivation of nutrients for the plant, the aphids also have the capacity to transmit viruses form one infected plant to another. This has the effect of slowing down the growth of the plant as well as causing a significant delay in the formation of the cannabis flowers during the flowering phase. For this reason, you certainly do not want any of the ants protecting such destructive insects as aphids are.
It is interesting to note that if you follow through the paths used by the ants you will notice that there are not as many colonies as it may appear. More often than not, there are just a couple of colonies, and this is where you need to channel your efforts. Some of the time-tested and effective ways to deal with such is to pour either boric acid or sugar. This action causes dehydration of the ants leading to their death, thus effectively eliminating the ants.
Verticillium wilt is a type of infection that affects cannabis plants and which is the result of soils that are poorly drained. Typically, this fungal infection has woody plants predisposed to getting affected, and especially plants which tend to have stressed roots. For this reason, it is very important that farmers keep a close eye on their plants in order to identify such problems immediately they occur. Knowing what to be on the lookout for will go a long way in pinpointing the root cause of the wilt as well as provide ways to address the same. Below is a list of symptoms that the plant will start to exhibit when attacked by Verticillium wilt:
- Leaves located on the lower branches of the cannabis plant will start to show a yellow coloration
- A closer look at the veins located within the leaves reveals a yellow coloration as well, signaling the start of Verticillium wilt.
- If left unattended to, the wilting continues until the leaves start to change coloration from yellow to grayish brown.
- The stalk of the cannabis plant will also show a brown coloration at the point where it comes into contact with the soil.
- Once the infection spreads to the roots, the xylem vessels that are tasked with the transport of nutrients to different cells within the plant become blocked. The result is that the water and nutrients required by the leaves are not available, leading to overall weakness of the plant.
What steps do you need to take to address the occurrence of Verticillium wilt in cannabis plants?
It is important for farmers to realize that the symptoms of Verticillium wilt are quite similar to Fusarium wilt, but what steps does one need to take in order to deal with this infection? As you would expect, prevention is better than cure when it comes to the infection of cannabis plants. As a result, the first step in reducing the chances of Verticillium wilt is to use hydroponics for cultivation of the plants. This is because owing to the very nature of the hydroponics, it is impossible for there to be inadequate drainage of the nutrient solution if the system is well managed. While this is a preferable approach, it may not be available for everyone.
The other alternative in such a case is the use of soil to which compost has been added. Note that you will not just add any compost as this could endanger your crops. Make sure that you add compost that has been sterilized. This will prevent the introduction of pests to your plants. What’s more, you also need to make sure that your cannabis seedling beds have proper drainage to reduce the occurrence of Verticillium wilt. The control of this infection has not been established yet, so it becomes important to put in control mechanisms. With any infected plants, the solution lies in the elimination of the plants from the garden to prevent the spread of the wilt.
As a cannabis farmer, you must be aware of some of the techniques that you can use to improve the yields from your crop. One of the techniques that you need to learn is known as the Low Stress Training technique (abbreviated as LST). Ideally, this form of training means that you do not cause stress to the plant or anything that would lead to the trauma of the plant tissue. As with many of the techniques, the purpose of LST is to allow for the cannabis plants to get as much light as possible. Light plays an integral role in the proper growth of the plant.
The inverse square law has it that the intensity of light originating from the point is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of light. For cannabis farmers who are interested in growing their plants successfully, this means placing a source of light at the top of the cannabis plants. Consequently, the branches located on the lower parts of the plant do not receive adequate light. If this is left unchecked, it creates potential problems for the plant, and which could lead to a decrease in the yields of the crops obtained.
The use of LST is double-facetted and typically consists of two stages in the cultivation of the plant. The two are:
- Pulling the plant downwards, and doing so gently to make sure that the plant does not tear at the tissue level.
- Once this is done, it will facilitate for the increase in lateral growth that result in exposure of the branches on the lower parts of the plant to increased light. The result of this technique is the increase in buds formed on the lower branches. In the end, the results are higher for the sum yield of the crop. This is, or should be the aim for every cannabis farmer.
How to use LST on your cannabis plants
Despite the fact that LST is meant to reduce the amount of stress on the cannabis plants, some farmers will use it alongside topping. To do this effectively, you would have to begin off by topping the plant. Topping the cannabis plant is essentially cutting off the tips of new growths emerging from the cannabis plant. Note that the cutting ought to be done on each plant just below the end node. Getting rid of these tips will lead to the creation of a couple of new shoots at the location of the stump. When the shoots develop, they can also be cut, and the process is repeated again and again. The effects will be seen in the improved yields.
Topping your cannabis plants is an excellent way of keeping the plant short and maintaining its density. This will also allow for the creation of colas at multiple sites instead of a single site as would be the case in the absence of topping. This technique works well for just about all strains, so do not be afraid to give it a try.