Growing is a journey that can take us anywhere. It can test our patience, and it can provide a series of small victories along the way to the ultimate goal of a healthy, bountiful harvest. We spoke to three different growers who use Advanced Nutrients products about the ins and outs of their process and what they’ve learned in their growing journeys. We will publish a new interview each day through Saturday. We first spoke with Dane Oaks from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who is relatively new to growing. This is what he told us.
Big Buds: What compelled you to start growing?
Oaks: I am a passionate medicinal and recreational user. The thought of being able to consume my own homegrown product and know that I am completely responsible for the outcome — and know exactly what went into it — was very exciting to me. That and the challenges that I have had to outsmart to overcome, and that have been time-consuming, enjoyable and rewarding — three things I needed in my life that have made growing that much more worth it along the way.
Big Buds: What was the learning curve like when you started growing?
Oaks: I’ll admit that I’ve spent a lot of time staring at my plants, scratching my head. I mean, there are a lot of facts, fiction and old wives’ tales out there — some good, some bad. Sometimes it gets hard to tell them apart. But once I realized that I really needed to start learning from the basics, everything became easier and plant growth accelerated.
Big Buds: Where did you learn the foundations of growing? What were your resources or go-to materials?
Oaks: Fortunately for me, I started growing when there were plenty of YouTube growers online, so I learned a lot there. I swear, you can learn anything on there. Other than that, I have read good chunks of The Cannabis Encyclopedia by Jorge Cervantes. That is one of the best things I could advise buying for research. It covers so many aspects of growing and the plant itself.
Big Buds: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
Oaks: Definitely to invest time in learning how the plants grow, and what encourages them to grow through each stage of life. Also, learning why it needs varying amounts of different nutrients, light, humidity, etc., takes away a lot of the guessing game. I feel more in control as a grower, and that makes my experience much more fun and therapeutic.
Big Buds: Can you share some pointers or tips you’ve learned over the years?
Oaks: The first thing is to be patient. Most of the time you can’t fix issues overnight, and being impatient may lead to overdoing something. Second: Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Do a lot of your own research. Finally, the answers you find to the previous tip is key. Learn how and why the plant grows.
Big Buds: What’s the most important thing to consider when growing?
Oaks: Hands down, what your desired outcome is. If you want to grow a pound or more versus an ounce of weed per plant, that is going to dictate cost, the time commitment and growing space needed.
Big Buds: How did you start using Advanced Nutrients products?
Oaks: I came across them when I was looking for a good nutrient line to use in my Deep Water Culture systems. I was really attracted to the pH Perfect technology in the Grow Micro Bloom series, so I gave them a try and am happy to report good findings. Not having to worry about pH is a huge relief.
Big Buds: How do Advanced Nutrients products differ from other products?
Oaks: They are user-friendly and provide results. They’re simple to measure and mix, and the pH Perfect technology works well and ensures constant nutrient uptake, which means constant growth. That’s something to celebrate right there.
Big Buds: What else are you trying to learn or figure out with growing?
Oaks: I love learning different plant training techniques — they’re so useful in their own setting. Training is a great way to maximize your yield, depending on your grow space or environment. I’m also trying to figure out how I can legally grow on a larger scale.
Big Buds: What do you do when you’re faced with a growing challenge or problem?
Oaks: I reach out to people in the community, read or watch videos. I completely obsess over it until I have a solution. But I have come out on top every time so far, so I’ll call that a win.