When designing a commercial cannabis cultivation facility, many people think in terms of square footage in order to determine how many plants they are able to grow. But, if your rooms are tall enough, why limit yourself to one level? Instead of thinking in terms of square feet, it is time to start thinking in terms of cubic feet.
As your cannabis plants grow, they will frequently need to be moved into larger containers as available root space becomes limited. While it may be tempting to simply start plants in a 10-gallon pot and skip up-potting altogether, this will lead to water waste issues, smaller plants, and lower yields. Instead, plants should be started in a container that holds ¼ gallon to 1 gallon of growth substrate and gradually moved up to a larger volume flowering container.
While starting a new commercial cannabis cultivation operation may seem daunting at first, there are a few simple actions that you can take to make everything go as smoothly as possible. Ideally, all of these things should be planned out before starting to build the grow, but some aspects can be added in phases if start-up finances are limited.
In order to get a commercial grow up and running, you are going to need man power. While there are many jobs within a grow, there are three key positions that every good cultivation site needs to get started: a knowledgeable grow room designer, an experienced facility/maintenance manager and a master grower.
As the holiday season kicks into high gear, we’d like to remind all of the growers out there to keep a mindful eye on your plants as personnel availability waivers to accommodate vacation schedules. Depending on the grow medium being used, plants can become stressed in a matter of hours if mistakes are made in the feeding schedule or if the electrical breaker controlling lighting or other vital equipment is tripped. This stressing can have dire consequences when growing for a large scale production facility, including: stunted and/or delayed plant growth, disease/pest infestation, and killing the plants entirely.
This concept is going to sound backwards to many of you, but our years of cannabis growing experience have shown that the best way to produce the highest quality product is to cull plants at each stage of growth. Professional gardeners know this rule well, but most cannabis growers do not. In fact, it seems backwards to many cannabis gardeners to throw out plants as they are transitioned through the different stages of the plants life-cycle (i.e. clone/seedling, vegetative, flowering) as they have put effort in keeping these plants alive and as healthy as possible. However, culling plants at each stage will produce a more robust and higher yielding crop through the selection of the strongest individuals and the discarding of weak plants.
While everyone has slightly different ideas on the exact details when it comes to growing marijuana, most industry growers don’t vary too far from one another when it comes to the ideal cannabis growing environment. These are the desired ranges we hear most often when talking to commercial growers (and we talk to a lot of them).
While most people have heard of air conditioning, few have heard of water-chilled cooling. This makes it sound scary and new. But in reality, water-chilled cooling and heating have been around since the 70s and can regularly be found in hotels, hospitals and universities, as well as high-heat environments like server farms.