Move Their Air So They Move Your Head With More THC
Your medical marijuana plants breathe through their leaves, and if you give them higher than ambient amounts (900-1200 ppm C02 during lights-on) they’ll give you bigger yields and faster growth.
The key to getting the most from your C02 augmentation, and to keeping your medical marijuana plants healthy regardless of whether you give them extra C02 or not, is grow room air movement, and lots of it.
Specifically, air movement distributes C02 to the leaf zone so C02 can be better absorbed during your lights-on cycle. Air movement also pushes plant exhalations away from the leaf zone so your hydroponics plants breathe better. Stagnant leaf zones slow the growth of your plants, and create an environment in which pests or plant surface diseases can take hold.
Fans and venting are usual methods for achieving air movement, but you can’t just throw a fan in your grow room and turn it on and that’s that…
You want oscillating fans that are large enough, and numerous enough, so you see your plants’ leaves lightly fluttering in the breeze from top to bottom of your plants. Create air movement across the height and width of every medical marijuana plant.
Not a gale force wind, but gentle air movement, that’s what you’re looking for.
Adjusting fan heights, using multiple fans of various sizes and settings and having adequate venting gives you the power to help plants breathe and also helps prevent molds, mildews and pests from settling so easily on your plants.
If you’re running a sealed grow room, venting is not in your game plan. If you’re running a vented room, the act of venting your air is not the same as creating internal air movement that provides the gentle breeze I talked about earlier.
If you’re into venting, one way to do it is to use an in-line fan to suck the heat off your HID hydroponics lighting before it escapes into your room. When you’re using C02 augmentation, using tube venting of HID’s is great, because you aren’t sucking your C02 out of the room along with your heat.
You want medical marijuana plants with sturdy stalks, leaves that are bathed in fresh air, and a healthy overall atmospheric environment, and that means you want grow room air movement.
Give Your Marijuana Plants Enough Space So They Give You the Big Buds
To economize on electricity and square feet, many growers crowd their plants together so their leaves are touching with very little space between plants.
This creates a stagnant tangle with poor air movement and poor light penetration. It makes it easier for pests and pathogens to travel from plant to plant. It makes it harder for you to tend your plants, inspect them and maximize their potential. The end result is that some of each plant doesn’t get enough space, light and aeration to maximize the budding potential of each plant.
There are general rules for how many plants to put under a specific wattage of HID bulb, but those general rules have to be tempered by your evaluation of how light penetrates your plant zone. And this penetration partially depends on the size and shape of each plant you’re growing.
Of course you want as many plants per light as possible, but not so that any part of one plant touches another. Nor do you want plant density that impedes the penetration of air movement and light into and through your plant canopy. My general rule is I want at least 4 inches of clear space around the circumference of each of my plants from top of stem to bottom and for the entire diameter of the plant. And that’s a minimum.
I realize that some of you are growing in aeroponics, DWC and ebb and flow units, perhaps using Sea of Green or other densely-packed spacing. In some cases, the system you are using dictates how much space you have per plant.
I love the efficiency, automation and growing power of these units, but I wish aeroponics and other hydroponics system designers would open the spacing up at least a little bit. I see dozens of small, single-stalk plants (almost always clones) each yielding 20-40 grams, and that’s nice enough.
But I think about larger plants with more room for root mass, branched diameter and bud potential, and it translates into fewer plants, and bigger yields.
However, I realize that some of us don’t have the space for that kind of gardening. When you’re growing single-stalk clones or auto-flowering plants, you can get by with super-tight spacing…as long as light penetration is strong and even- up and down and all around into your total canopy.
Again, spacing is not considered in isolation. It’s all about how much light, aeration, and C02 is able to penetrate the inner canopy of each plant.
Practical considerations include plant spacing that allows you to move easily in your garden. As regards vertical rather than horizontal spacing, if your canopy gets too tall and too close to an HID bulb (you might see burn if you get closer than 24 inches), you get burned plants. Or at the very least you get airy, thin buds. Or both. Heat does that.
If you don’t have enough head room, bend and prune your plants, use low-stress training, grow shorter varieties, grow autoflowering varieties, get a taller light stand, and/or consider growing your medical marijuana in a room with a higher ceiling.
Your hydroponics indoor garden plants need adequate horizontal and vertical space to give you big yields. The more space you can give them, the more buds they can give you.
A Clean Hydroponics Indoor Marijuana Garden is a Happy Garden
I’ve sometimes visited a medical hydroponics marijuana garden and found the grower smoking cigarettes as they tend their plants.
Or they’re eating Doritos, with crunchy pieces of junk food sprinkling down onto their plants and grow room floor.
How about that dog jostling around inside the grow room? This is especially unwise during peak bloom phase when your buds are magnets for pet hair that sticks to them and can’t be removed.
Fact is, cigarette smoke, food, any kind of debris, pets, furniture, carpet, and other miscellaneous items should not be in your medical marijuana garden. They’re vectors and/or hiding places for disease, pests and pathogens. can They lower the quality and value of your buds. They take up valuable space that could be converted to growing space.
As a general preventive, it’s a good idea to at least partially disassemble your hydroponics indoor system every 3-5 cycles, and give your marijuana grow room and hydroponics infrastructure a thorough cleansing. If you’ve had problems with molds, fungi, mites or other specific marijuana destroyers, consult your hydroponics retailer to find out what products you should use to eliminate the problems. I recommend ONA cleaners and odor control formulas for general cleaning. Clean = green!
Now you know how to avoid three common medical hydroponics marijuana gardening mistakes. When you provide adequate air movement, a clean grow room, and space for each plant to branch out and mature, you get more and better medical marijuana. Our comments section is a perfect place for you to anonymously tell us about any hydroponics grow room mistakes you’ve made, what they did to your plants, and how you corrected them.