Designing an indoor garden can be complicated. Cannabis is a new industry and though growers can pull best practices from similar industries, the fact remains that setting up a commercial cultivation facility is complicated and hard to navigate for new entrants. From navigating regulatory requirements to finding an appropriately zoned facility to choosing the right equipment, nothing about this process is simple. As soon as one task is completed, another task needs attention.
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In a commercial cultivation facility, the ultimate goal is to produce the most of the best quality crop possible for the lowest cost. There are numerous elements that factor into each part of this goal and when trying to improve yield or reduce costs, it can be necessary to take a second look at every element of the facility. Including the growing medium.
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While every cultivation center has its own quirks and way of doing things, we have found these 7 rules to be universal to successful cannabis cultivation
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Many Cannabis genetics naturally grow tall, with a similar appearance to pine trees, with one large bud on top and a smaller cola on the end of each branch. This growing method is successful outdoors because the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, allowing each branch (and bud) to receive light. However, when growing indoors, and to a lesser extent in greenhouses, this does not happen because the lights are stationary above the plants, never fully lighting the sides. Additionally, when growing indoors, it is important to keep the plant canopy as even as possible due to diminishing light intensity as the flowers get further from the light source (see: Inverse Square Law); this is not a problem with sun-grown cannabis as the sun is so far away that a few extra feet doesn’t make as much of a difference.
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As with all plants, cannabis plants benefit from occasional pruning. If done properly, it is possible to double yield through pruning alone. Pruning can lead to short, wide plants with lots of bud sites instead of tall, skinny plants with only a few large buds if desired by the gardener.
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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.
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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.
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