What Are the Different Types Of Grow Lighting?
Fluorescent – The most cost-effective option, fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are an excellent solution for the beginning cannabis grower.
Metal Halide – These lights emit mostly on the blue spectrum and are ideal for the vegetative stages of growing, though they can be used through flowering. MH lights emit a lot of heat, so ventilation is necessary to keep the heat down.
High-Pressure Sodium – HPS lights put out almost as much light as MH, but with less heat. These lights emit mostly on the red and orange end of the spectrum making them ideal for flowering, though they can be used for vegetative growth as well.
LED – Light Emitting Diodes are incredibly efficient, producing light at high lumens with a minimum of heat and meager operating costs. Some growers swear by LED’s; others believe they are unable to produce the right spectrum of light for a full grow.
What Are the Different Types Of Soil Needed For a Successful Cannabis Grow?
For hydroponic growing, there are many soil-less mediums available. Rockwool, perlite, coco coir, and expanded clay pellets are all sufficient, and all have their advantages.
When growing in soil, it’s best to use a rich soil that has a loose texture and drains well. After a few harvests, you’ll find a soil recipe that works best for your growing conditions. Some common organic additives to cannabis soil are:
- Peat moss
- Coco Coir
- Earthworm castings
- Bat Guano
- Bone meal
- Blood meal
- Fish meal
When creating your soil, be sure to balance the necessary nutrients with ample aeration additives.
What Nutrients Are Needed For a Successful Grow?
The essential mineral nutrients for cannabis to grow are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Great soil will also contain adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
The most successful growers recognize that there are different ratios of macronutrients necessary for each of the growing stages of cannabis. During vegetative growth, Nitrogen and potassium are essential. The flowering stage requires less nitrogen and more phosphorous.
Other micronutrients aren’t as abundant in cannabis soil, but still essential to the overall health of the plant. These include:
What Can I Use To Kill Predatory Insects For My Grow?
There are as many different types of pesticides available as there are insects in an indoor grow room. For those interested in keeping their grow organic, things get a little trickier. Some common pest solutions include:
- Sterilizing soil before planting
- Spraying highly diluted soap directly onto the leaves during vegetative stage
- Spraying diluted essential oils around the grow room
- Spread diatomaceous earth over soil to dehydrate and kill small insects
- Planting companion plants around the grow area to deter or attract pests. For example, basil, rosemary, lavender, and sage have all been shown to drive away aphids and beetles. Marigolds can be used to attract insects away from your precious cannabis plants.
- Sticky traps for small, flying insects
- Garlic Cloves
- Chile pepper spray
- Careful, regular monitoring of all plants
What Tools Should I Have Available To Start My Grow?
Here is a list of tools that are handy to have throughout your grow. It’s far better to have these available when you begin you grow than to wait until they are needed to acquire them. Some items have very specific applications, while others are good to have for emergencies and quick DIY fixes.
- Grow Medium
- Buckets with adequate drainage
- Ventilation equipment
- Carbon filter
- Grow Tent
- Small pots for seedlings and cuttings
- Small scissors (“pruning snips”)
- Duct tape
- Zip Ties
- Spray Bottles
- Magnifying tool
- PH Tester
- Moisture sensor meter
- Nutrient tester
- Spare light bulbs
- Spare nutrients
- PH up and down
- Cloning hormone
What HVAC Solutions Do I Need To Keep My Grow Healthy?
Carefully controlled temperature, humidity, and ventilation are essential for a healthy grow room. The more lights, pumps and miscellaneous equipment that are running, the more important it will be to control temperature and vent heat away from your plants. Excess humidity will invite mold and insects to your grow room. And, of course, once your crops begin to flower the aroma will become extremely pungent.
The complexity of your air control system will depend on the size and complexity of your growing area. At the bare minimum, you need to keep air circulating throughout the plants in your space to ensure even distribution of carbon dioxide and venting of oxygen. This can be accomplished with a series of fans, or a heavy-duty HVAC ducting system. Your budget and anticipated yield will determine which solution will work best for you.
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