It’s summer and whether you’re growing marijuana indoors or outdoors, you know the blessings and the curses of growing during the hottest time of the year.
If your grow room temperatures get above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re running too hot.
Hot temperatures create problems including high water usage, stretch, airy/thin buds, root zone and reservoir water diseases, and slower growth.
For outdoor growers in the western United States, the big problem is drought.
Our team of expert cannabis growers here at BigBuds came up with our special toolkit to deal with summer marijuana growing opportunities and challengers.
Take a look at these summer marijuana growing recommendations:
Stop Spider Mites and Other Cannabis Pests: There are two spray and root drench natural formulas that we use to stop thrips, aphids, mites, caterpillars (budworms), whiteflies, nematodes, and other marijuana pests on the plants or in the cannabis root zone.
One of them is Azamax.
It’s OMRI-certified for organic production, and contains no chemicals or anything else that could be harmful to your plants.
One thing marijuana growers find out is that a fantastic anti-pest product like Azamax still might not work all the time against all pests at all stages of pest growth.
If we’ve tried Azamax and the pests still persist after a course of sprayings or root drenches several days apart, we go for a different product containing something called “spinosad.”
There are several products that contain spinosad, but we prefer the brand called Captain Jack’s DeadBug Brew.
Spinosad products are a natural, non-chemical approach to pest control and as with Azamax, its manufacturers claim no harmful effects if you ingest crops that have been sprayed or root-drenched right up until the day of harvest.
Use these when you have pests or as a preventive, but never use Avid or other chemical pesticides: they stay in your crops and harm your health.
I suggest using Azamax or a spinosad product as a preventive at least once during grow phase and during early bloom phase, whether you see pests or not.
C02: Adding C02 to grow room air during lights-on cycle gives you faster growth and bigger yields no matter what season you grow marijuana in, but during summer C02 augmentation is especially useful.
That’s because added C02 allows your cannabis plants to handle higher than average grow room temperatures. You save money because you don’t have to use your air conditioner and chiller as much and your plants grow faster and produce heavier yields.
C02 is provided using decomposition buckets (somewhat unstable and inadequate) or more professionally, using C02 tanks with regulators and monitors or using C02 generators and monitors.
To get a full package of instructions on using C02 to increase your marijuana growth rates and yields, read this article.
Chill Out: Four electronic appliances that you really need to have for summer indoor hydroponics marijuana growing: a chiller, a heat exchanger, a dehumidifier, and an air conditioner.
I like to have a portable air conditioner to augment my existing climate control so I don’t have to use the whole-house air conditioner so much.
Your marijuana grow room is the hottest room in your apartment or house and it helps to have a targeted AC unit just for that room.
An added benefit is that air conditioning functions to reduce grow room humidity.
If you don’t have air conditioning, you’ll likely need a dehumidifier.
A chiller is a somewhat complex intervention because you have to pump your reservoir water into it and out of it, so you don’t just buy a chiller, you also buy a pump.
Some growers who’re hand-watering or don’t want to buy a chiller cool their nutrients water in the refrigerator, or by placing ice in the water.
The ideal temp for nutrients water is 67-68 Fahrenheit.
In fact, cooling your nutrients water can help reduce plant stress if you’re unable to keep your marijuana grow room ambient air temperature in the proper range.
An alternative to externally vented air conditioners is a heat exchanger, which is really only useful if you’re water cooling your grow lights.
Heat exchangers are best used in-line with a water chiller.
Buying a chiller requires knowledge and data to match the right chiller and pump with your marijuana growing system. Heat exchanger set-ups require some learning too.
So go to your hydroponics retailer and get advice, before you buy or install a chiller or heat exchanger.
Stress Protection: Potassium silicate and B vitamins help cannabis plants handle stress and resist pests and diseases.
This intervention can be used whether you’re growing your marijuana plants indoors or outdoors.
Apply these two treatments in a foliar spray (pH 5.7, 130 parts per million max) just before your grow lights come on, or if outdoors, when your plants aren’t in full sun.
You can also use them as part of your hydroponics nutrients feed program.
An added benefit of potassium silicate and B vitamins is they help plants handle increased metabolism that comes from running C02 and warmer grow room temperatures.
Summer marijuana growing indoors is a challenge because of heat build-up, and pests like spider mites, thrips, and aphids.
By using the interventions in this article, you better defeat heat and pests to ensure healthy marijuana plants and a satisfying harvest. Stay cool!