Earth, Air, Fire, Water
Starting out your crop, you’re going to need to pay special attention to both growing space and soil quality. If you’re looking at creating a good quality plant with a decent output of buds, you’ll have to consider the root space that any given plant will need. Cannabis plant come in roughly two main varieties: Indica and Sativa. Sativa plants are notorious for growing tall, leggy output, while Indica’s tend to produce a smaller, bushier plant. Indica’s work really well for small space growing. They’re also a bit heartier, so they’re a great first choice of crop to get your green thumb confidence up.
Published : 06/4/2019 09:12:41
Categories : Marijuana and cannabis Blog
As above, so below: Plants have a tendency to produce roots in roughly the same proportion that they produce plant- so if you have a large, bushy, green thing poking out of your soil- it’s going to need a bunch of root space. Rule of thumb for plant size to pot volume is:
- Fluorescent tubes/CFL
- Fluorescent tubes and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) are fantastic and relatively cheap options when using a micro-grow setup. They don’t produce much heat, and they offer an excellent light output. But these lamps aren’t generally broad spectrum, so you’ll need to have a variety to suit your plants growth cycle. Vegetative plants require more blue light, while flowering plants need the red.
- High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and High Wattage Metal Halide (HPI) are great for bigger growing ops, because they’re lightweight, inexpensive, and let off a load of light. However, they also let off a ton of heat, so they’re not ideal for micro-growing operations as they tend to dangerously dry out plants.
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps are superb for micro growing conditions because they are compact, let of virtually no heat, and they offer plants a wide light spectrum- suitable for your plant throughout it’s growth cycle. The main setback for micro growers when considering LED lamps is their price tag. LED grow lamp set ups are incredibly expensive, but some argue very worth the price.
No, this isn’t a line from The Craft, these are legitimately all of the things you’ll have to take into consideration when growing your own bud. Tiny crop or full sized, you’ll have to consider each and every one of these elements and tailor them to your plant. Don’t worry- it’s not witchcraft, just good gardening guidelines.
Start your plant off right by planting it in good quality soil with a mix of perlite, vermiculite, compost, and coconut shavings. The perlite and vermiculite will help to keep your soil “friable” or crumbly, and stop it from becoming a brick if it dries out. They both help to absorb water which is great, as cannabis plants need a ton of it. Compost gets the the soil filled with nutrients early. If you don’t have your own compost, commercial options are available. You can also use cow, sheep, or even bat poop for fertilizer. Worm castings, fish meal, wood ash, and even human urine are all ways that more experienced gardeners use to fertilize their plants. These are great if you want to get into the more technical side of growing, but if you don’t want to have to concern yourself with specific nutrients and pH balance of your soil, commercial liquid fertilizers are the way to go. Coconut shavings give the soil good drainage and add to friability. Keeping your roots from becoming waterlogged.
While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, putting your large plant into a small pot can cause the roots to overgrow their space and become “root bound”, or create too many roots and not leave enough space for soil, nutrients, and water. In a micro-grow setting, the plant will need a higher amount of both fertilizer and food. Knowing what kind of fertilizer, and how much you apply, depends greatly on the specific strain of plant you’re using.
All Method, No Madness
Micro growing is essentially growing your own weed without the hassle and expense of having a giant crop. Here’s everything you need to know to produce your own!
Read more about some different lighting options in a grow room.
In micro growing spaces, you should ideally opt for an Indica-dominant strain, such as our Northern Lights or Hindu Kush. Indicas remain smaller compared to Sativas. The length of an Indica also increases by 50 to 100% during the flowering phase, while Sativas undergo a 200 to 300% increase in height. So if the flowering of an Indica is activated once it has reached the middle of the growing space, it is likely that it will finish just below the ceiling.
Super cropping resembles topping. But instead of removing a shoot, the main stem is double-folded at the top until the interior of the stem snaps. The plant ‘thinks’ that the main stem is gone, whereupon it focuses completely on the underlying branches. The broken main stem will eventually recover, but will not grow very high.
In terms of wattage, 400 to 450 Watts are required per square metre. So in a micro growing room of, for example, 60 x 40 cm (0.25 square metres) with 18 Watt fluorescent lamps, 6 lamps are needed. For additional illumination, it’s a good idea to make the ceiling reflective so that the light output fully benefits the plants. Place the VSAs outside the cabinet so that it does not overheat.
Energy-saving lamps are almost the same as fluorescent lamps. There are a few major differences. The VSAs are built in and the glass of the lamp is folded. The range of light colours is also limited.
With topping, you cut or trim the highest shoot off the main stem. This stimulates the plant to create two new shoots. Instead of a single shoot growing vertically, there are now two growing horizontally. Extra buds also grow on the second shoot, which means more yield.
HPI- and HPS lamps have been favoured by indoor growers for years. That’s because they have a high light output. You can use these conventional grow lights in micro growing spaces as well, but it is not ideal. The lower wattages are harder to find and they tend to become very hot. As a result, the plants can’t be placed too close to the lamps. This requires space, which is precisely what you don’t have with micro growing.
In order to grow, a cannabis plant needs light, air and water. So however small the cabinet, a lamp must be present for light and heat. A lamp timer is also essential to activate the flowering phase, by switching from 18 to 12 hours of light per day (does not apply to autoflowers). The light source can’t be too large or have too much wattage. A high wattage creates too much heat in a small grow room. Be sure to hang a thermostat in the grow room. Fluorescent, CFL (energy saving lamps), HPI and HPS lamps with a very low wattage and LED bulbs are particularly popular with micro growers.
The only way to be 100% sure about the origin and quality of cannabis is to grow it yourself. But not everyone has enough space or budget to set up a good grow room. And if growing outside is not an option due to an unfavourable climate, because your neighbours won’t tolerate it or because the law doesn’t allow it, you are totally dependent on others. Fortunately, the cannabis plant provides you with more options than you think. What about micro growing?
Achieving the biggest possible harvest in the smallest possible grow room; that's essentially what micro growing is about. Read all about micro growing.