Negating Stress In Your Medical Marijuana Garden
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | September 13 2011 | 7519 views
By Lee G. Leissett
Protecting your crop from stress is a marijuana grower's top job.
(Click to enlarge)
Medical marijuana plants cultivated by even the most knowledgeable growers experience stress from time to time. Heat, cold, drought, transplanting, nutrient overdose and pH fluctuation are all possible triggers of stress in your plants. Although the best defense for stress is prevention, it is impossible to have a perfect garden all the time. When your plants do become stressed there are ways to alleviate the strain to help your plants return to their productive selves.
There are numerous scenarios that can produce stress in an indoor marijuana garden. Many times the signs that plants display mimic one another and stress caused by one source may look exactly the same as stress caused by another. Sometimes the problem is completely obvious and other times it requires some inquisitive investigation to determine the culprit.
To determine the cause of stress, start with the most simple explanation and expand the search from there. Check all hardware to make sure it is functioning properly. A lot of environmental stresses can be corrected by using environmental controllers. Because we cannot be inside our grow rooms at all times, it is best to rely on automated devices to control heaters, air conditioners and fans, all of which can malfunction.
Go through a checklist of items to determine if the stress you are experiencing is environmental or physical. Sometimes the exact reason will never be determined and this is most frustrating because preventing the unknown is impossible.
Plants healing from stress are similar to humans healing from sickness or injury. We need to take things slowly in order to feel better and rushing recovery will only prolong the ailment. Plants are also similar in that if the grower attempts to put a stressed plant back into high production mode they will most likely get worse instead of better.
If stress is caused by nutrient overdose, the nutrient regiment should be cut back to half strength and incrementally increased as the plant heals. If a plant is stressed due to radiant heat from HID lights, the lights should be lifted and lowered incrementally as the plant recovers. Basically, stressed plants need to be “babied” until they show signs of recovery.
There are certain aspects of gardening we know produce stress. Transplanting and transitioning are probably the most obvious. When plants are transplanted it is the equivalent of surgery on humans. A plant’s delicate roots are sensitive to heat, cold and nutrient concentration. I always use a B vitamin and beneficial microbial formula to ease transplant shock. For years B vitamins have been used for negating stress during transplanting and seem to be the most effective defense. I prefer Thrive Alive B-1 or Advanced Nutrients’ Organic-B for my B vitamin.
I have also found that by using beneficial microbes, my plants grow right through transplanting without missing a beat. I prefer a good worm casting tea or a combination of Tarantula and Piranha. Transitioning into a new room, from vegetative to blooming for example, is another known cause of stress in medical marijuana plants. Many times this is due to the sheer increase in light output. When transitioning, I like to start my lights far from the plant canopy for the first few days. As the plants become acclimated, I slowly move the lights down into the desired range.
Medical marijuana plants are most sensitive to drastic changes in climate, diet and light intensity. When changes occur in your garden, remember to do it as slowly as possible. Incremental changes can help reduce stress in your plants and allow them to be ultra productive.
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Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Sep. 13th 2011