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Growing Tips 

Is Growing Cannabis Right for You?

Ever think you may like to try to learn how to grow cannabis clones? If you’re a cannabis enthusiast with a green thumb, growing your own clone feels like the next natural step. Before you get started, you’re probably going to have a few questions: how do you choose a clone, what tools do you need, should it be indoor or outdoor? Ultimately, how do you grow a healthy plant? Let’s dive right in.

Preparing Space for Your Clone

A great place to start is to prep a suitable area for growing the plants and the arrival of your clone. Once you’ve purchased your clone, you’re going to want to plant immediately, this means you need to have a space ready to go. The ideal environment to house your clone is in a temperature-controlled room free of drafts.

Though clones are sensitive to too much light, which can cause burning and damage, they need about 18 hours of light a day. Too much darkness during their vegetative cycle can cause them to produce seeds and go into pre-flowering, which hinders its development into a healthy, mature flowering plant.

Setting Up the Ideal Growing Conditions for Growing Clones

Getting soil conditions right is important when you’re learning how to grow cannabis clones so when you’re ready to plant, you want to allow a couple of inches from the top of the soil to the top of the pot. This allows room to water and ensures that the pot will not overflow. Your soil should not be above or below the media; either can cause potential damage to the plant. Make sure to tamp soil before potting so all air pockets are removed, ensuring it will be watered evenly.

Whatever media you’re planning on transferring your new clone to, research ahead of time as some soils need soaking or pre-treatment before transferring the clone, while others are ready to use.

Be aware that right after trans-planting, your plant is in a very sensitive state and could potentially go into shock. This issue might display itself as yellowing, curling leaves (it might resemble other issues such as overwatering, but this will happen right after transferring). This is due to the roots being disturbed, not a watering or nutrient issue. The best action for this is just to wait a few days; sometimes it just takes a little patience for the plant to get acclimated to its new setting. If it seems like your plant is not snapping back, you can try watering a little more than usual.

Schedule Consistent and Regular Watering for Your Clones

Once your clone is looking happy in its new pot, now the work begins. Watering every day is unnecessary at the start. In fact, in an ideal situation, you should only be watering your plants once every two to three days. This will inevitably change as the plants grow; more plant equals more water. Your plants need some darkness to develop healthy root growth. Too much direct light will result in burnt leaves.

Consider Artificial Lighting for Creating Optimal Growing Conditions

Lighting can be tricky when you’re learning to grow cannabis clones. There are many artificial lighting kits on the market so if you’re looking to incorporate a lighting system into your home grow, keep in mind T8 and T12 florescent are highly recommended. The room where your cannabis clones are growing will be best if it’s not too drafty, and keep the temperature from becoming stifling hot. These plants are in a delicate stage and need a temperate space so they don’t dry out or make them susceptible to bacteria.

Pests and Ailments to Watch for When Growing Cannabis Plants

Once your plant begins to get established in its new home, you’ll need to be aware of signs that could indicate potential ailments. Remember, the key to keeping a healthy plant means keeping the soil moist not wet. When you water your plants, avoid spraying them from the top or using a hose that will create too much pressure. This can cause too much water to seep into the soil and affect plant roots.

When you’re learning how to grow cannabis clones, getting the water and soil conditions consistent is important. When you are watering your plants, use a spray bottle or take care with how much water you use so that you do not overwater. You can also setup a sprinkler system, to time when and how much water your plant is getting.

Overwatering is the culprit behind root rot, a problem that will heavily effect, if not kill, your plant. Some signs to look for wilting and discolored leaves, though the rot can also give off a bad and slightly sulphuric odor as well. To avoid overwatering, make sure that you have a proper drainage system for your plant and that you only water when the soil is dry.

Adjust to Changes Quickly and Keep Going

Another important condition to be aware of when learning how to grow cannabis clones is the potential for heat stress. This occurs as you might expect, when the plant becomes too hot and doesn’t receive enough water to combat this heat.

Most frequently, heat stress shows up in the early stages of growth, before flowering begins, and usually displays itself with wilting yellowing or browning leaves. If left too long, the leaves will shrivel up and become crunchy before the plant completely dies. Your plant may also start to drop leaves, to conserve water. To relieve your plant, make sure you’re watering it an appropriate amount.

Going back to overwatering, when you’re learning how to grow cannabis clones’ soil should be dry, but never too dry; it’s a very delicate balance, but once you are on a watering schedule and know how to read your plants, it should be clear. You can also give your plant a little rest from the heat and transfer it to a shaded place.

Harvest Signs to Watch for as the Cannabis Plant Matures

Once your plant is transferred, you’re ready to start growing a mature plant. This can take between eight and twelve weeks. All strains vary and there are some, that are known for the faster yield time. There are many variables that contribute to the rate that plants develop, but as they get closer to their potential harvesting time, you’ll want to monitor these developments: trichome color, buds, pistils, and leaves.

The trichomes are one of the most dependable indications of when its time to harvest your cannabis plants. They should be half and half of milky white and amber. If they appear clear, the plant is not ready to harvest. Leaves will begin to yellow and curl as the plant takes in less water and loses nitrogen. Finally, pistils should turn a brown color and the buds should be looking tight and firm at prime harvesting time.

Watch for these key indicators to know when your plant is ready. Whether everything goes according to plan or your first trial learning how to grow cannabis clones isn’t a success, keep at it! Sometimes it takes experimenting to find the right approach, but once you get it the first time you can continue to build your cloning skills.

Growing Cannabis in Coco Coir: A Beginners Guide

Trying something for the first time can be daunting. Growing cannabis in coco coir is no exception. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Cannabis cultivation with coco coir isn’t as hard as you might think. 

Growing cannabis in coco coir is an excellent way to control and monitor critical variables like water, nutrients, and pH to produce a superb cannabis crop for the recreational and medicinal markets. 

And once you’ve mastered the art and science of growing with coco coir, you’ll have a much better understanding of growing with hydroponics and soil.

What is coco coir?

Manufactured mainly in Sri Lanka and India, coco coir (pronounced “koy-yer” or “kwar”) is a coconut harvest byproduct. Not only is the coconut chock full of health benefits, the husks of the coconut, when processed, produce a superior growing medium. 

You can find the valuable fibrous material between the hard internal shell and the coconut’s outer coat. 

The husk has three main parts: the coco pith, fiber, and coco chips. Most people are familiar with the coco pith – the finer, dirt-like, water-holding component. There are also long fibers within the husk extracted for various purposes, like making mats, beds, and other products in developing nations. 

Otherwise, the fiber is cut into small pieces and used with the coco pith for aeration. The coco chips are cropped sections of the husks, containing both the cockpits and fiber in a chip; this helps provide aeration and still holds some water.

Most coco coir comes in compressed bricks of straight coir that must be hydrated. It can also come moistened in a loose mix of coir, perlite, and peat moss. 

Cannabis cultivators also use coco coir in hydroponic grow systems, greenhouse/warehouse potted plant production, and in the field.

What are the benefits of coco coir?

Coir is becoming increasingly popular with cannabis growers because of its ease of use and precision in nutrient delivery and pH monitoring. Here are some additional benefits of growing with coco coir:

  • An inert substance. Coco coir is PH neutral with no additional nutrients. You’re starting with a clean slate so you can better control your fertilization program. The only nutrients in the medium will be the ones you add.

  • Retains water and drains well. Keeps water for healthy plant growth and drains well to oxygenate the root zone. 

  • Robust root development. Healthy roots grow healthy plants. Because there is good aeration at the root zone, fibrous roots love dangling in coir to get the water and nutrients they need when they need it. 

  • Renewable resource. Unlike peat-based growing mediums mined from peat bogs in Canada and Europe, coco coir comes from coconut waste processed initially for other purposes.

How can you use coconut coir to grow cannabis?

You can use coco coir alone or mixed with perlite and a peat-based growing medium for indoor cultivation. In more extensive cannabis operations, growers often use three-inch deep 6” by 6” coconut cubes to produce fully mature cannabis plants.

For field-grown crops, you can mix coco coir with soil to improve water retention and aeration. You can also use coco coir for cloning. 

It’s more affordable for the passionate hobby grower to purchase coir in compressed bricks and add perlite than it is to buy a pre-mixed medium. You can buy perlite from large wholesalers or from big box stores that sell garden products.

Growers generally use a 3:1 coir to perlite ratio, although some go higher – or lower. Just remember, the more perlite you add, the less water you’ll retain in the media. You can use this ratio in any growing setup.

How do you add nutrients to coco coir?

Because coco coir is inert, fertilization is straightforward. Unlike peat-based growing mediums, coco coir is devoid of nutrients. This makes coco coir an excellent medium for beginners as they learn what cannabis plants need to thrive. 

Regardless of your selected growing method, your plants will be happy with nutrient products specially formulated for growing with coco coir. 

Note: when growing with coir, you may need to add a supplemental dose of calcium and magnesium, which isn’t available in large enough quantities in many of the popular nutrients used for growing cannabis. 

Nutrient levels, EC, and pH can all be monitored with a reliable meter.

How do you keep the medium moist?

Coco coir offers the one-two punch of retaining water while also draining well. Since it does drain faster than other media types, it allows the grower to feed more often and grow larger plants. 

Coco coir should never be allowed to dry out, which will prohibit your plants from obtaining the nutrients they need. 

Coco coir is a versatile growing medium that can be used in virtually any growing situation. 

Beginning growers have a lot to gain by growing with coco coir, not the least being a better understanding of the nutrients and pH required to grow healthy plants. Coco coir will undoubtedly increase in popularity as growers look for a renewable resource to develop a superior crop of cannabis and other plants. 

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