Top tips for beginners to grow sensitive plants indoors
New to growing cannabis indoors? Learning how to grow a sensitive plant like cannabis for the first time can be daunting.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the info out there – especially as everyone is portraying a ‘perfect' result.
Trying too many things in the beginning and not focussing on the basics can cause a lot of disappointment.
We’ve put together the most important do’s and don’ts to help you get started and keep going with sustainable results.
Don’t try to grow like a pro – manage your own expectations
You don’t chef like a pro, bench press like a pro, or grow cannabis like a pro from day one. When starting something new, remember – it takes time. It’s very easy to expect your first grow to look exactly like the photos you see on the internet. Those pics are from growers with a lot of experience and it’s very likely that their first grows didn’t look like that.
Don’t overdo it at the beginning
It is easy to overdo it at the beginning, then lose your plants – before they’ve reached the final states or before you’ve experienced the plant’s full cycles. Aim to keep your plants happy throughout all of their phases so that you can learn. The experience gained of seeing the plant go successfully through all its phases is much more valuable than the weight in product.
Do grow during the correct time of year
Temperature control, especially cooling a grow tent when it is very hot, can become very expensive.
Therefore, choose the correct time of year to do your first grow. Using average local temperatures,
decide when it will be the easiest time of year for you to grow.
Remember to not just look at the local temperature right now but also in three to four months’ time. A typical grow takes 3-4 months and the plant is at its most sensitive for the last month or two during its flowering phase. Find the ideal temperature, work backwards and choose your timing carefully.
Don’t overdo it with your first equipment
Since you won’t know if cannabis growing will work for you long term, don’t go overboard when buying your first equipment. You’ll always find a function for your initial equipment – many growers use their first simple set-up as a cloning or seeding room. There’s always time and space to upgrade later when you are sure.
Don’t over-nutrient – rather too little, than too much
Perfecting a nutrient schedule comes with experience. Even the suggested feeding schedules on products can easily be overdone and cause problems. For your first grow, rather spend time and money on choosing a good growing medium (soil). Pre-formulated grow mediums are specifically mixed to give you the best possible chance to succeed without needing to provide additional nutrients when you’re not sure what to do anyway. Less is more.
Do learn to tell male from female
Wasting time on accidentally growing a male plant can be so disappointing and, quite frankly, off putting. Learn to detect if your plant is male or female early on – don’t be shy, ask a friend! Wait till you see male or female genitals before you make that critical decision.
Don’t rush drying and curing
New growers lose a lot of product quality by not drying and curing correctly. If you’ve spent that much time and effort to get your plant fully developed and ready to harvest, but you don’t focus on the drying and curing process, you rob yourself of a good first effort.
Get your area ready before you start harvesting, giving you time to monitor these conditions. It should be:
Good air circulation
Fans must NOT point directly at heads
Try to keep the room at +-20 degrees Celsius and 50% humidity for the first 3 days.
After that, try to decrease the temperature and increase the humidity slightly (over 3 days). Test the branches to see how fast moisture is leaving the plant. When the smaller branches snap and don’t bend easily, it is ready for curing. Have your containers ready by then. Store these containers in a dark place and open the lids for about 15 minutes every day to ‘burp’ out the captured moisture for a week.
Do consider doing your first grow outside
Want a cheap and easy way to dip your toe into the water? Do your first grow outside during your local summer. This will show you all the phases of the plant and give you time to learn as you see the plant develop – without having to invest a lot of money.
Do keep a grow journal to keep track of what is happening
We all think we’ll remember what happened in the past, but we’re only human! Life happens and learnings vanish from your mind.
With a grow journal, you can capture as much information as possible to identify what situation caused what behaviour in your plants.
It’s a handy reference when researching more advanced techniques and causes for problems.
With a free online grow journal like SASH, you can capture your information for your first grow and use it for reference.
But the more detail you can capture, the better your understanding will be. Better knowing what happened, will help you better understand what is happening.
With a SASH Controller, your devices are controlled automatically based on YOUR rules and detailed temperate and humidity readings are saved in your journal for you to consider and learn from.
Ready to start growing cannabis for the first time? Shop SASH products now or watch this video on how SASH controllers works.
Each controller comes with a Bosch temperature and humidity sensor – taking accurate readings for climate control – and an auto-focusing camera that can be scheduled to take high-quality images of your plants. Each controller runs a profile of rules to follow (e.g. switching plug on/off and taking pictures automatically) – even when you’re at work or away on holiday.
More information about SASH (main page)
Shop your SASH products here