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10 Common mistakes growers make

Published Jun 23, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Mintra Kwthijak

The idea of growing cannabis may seem a little bit overwhelming, especially if you aren't sure about how to start a garden. For many, that fear alone is enough to keep them from trying, but even those with experience face daunting challenges along the way, and sometimes, the most successful cultivators make mistakes. With that in mind, we'd like to introduce you to ten of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. High hopes

Far too many inexperienced growers start out with big, bold dreams of bountiful crops to last the whole year long but going too big can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, while you're learning the ins and outs of starting and maintaining a cannabis garden, it's best to keep the project small and limited to 1 or 2 plants. That way, if you make a mistake, it doesn't cost you so much to replace them.

2. Not companion planting

Companion planting is a practice that's been implemented in agriculture for hundreds of years, and there's a reason so many farmers continue even today. Growing companion plant species and interplanting can offer a layer of protection for your cannabis garden, keeping away pests that might cause damage to them. In some cases, they might even make the experience of gardening more comfortable by warding off annoying insects like mosquitoes.

3. Overcrowding

One of the biggest mistakes made by inexperienced cultivators is overcrowding because when these plants are small, it seems like it's easy to fit several into a small place. However, cannabis plants grow significantly throughout the season, and if they're placed too close together, they're forced to compete for the same resources, often resulting in dying or, at the very least, a crop that's starved for essential nutrients.

4. Planting too many different types of plants

Whether your garden contains only different cannabis cultivars or also includes companion plants, having too many different types can prove to be problematic, especially if they all have unique needs. In close quarters, it's impossible to give one plant more water than the others or higher concentrations of nutrients. For this reason, it's best to limit your cannabis plot to only 1 or 2 different types of plants, as it keeps things so much easier.

5. Lacking knowledge of plant growth cycles

To get the most out of growing any type of plant, it is important to understand the various growth cycles so that you can adjust day-to-day care and maintenance habits in a way that maximizes growth. At certain times in the year, your growing cannabis will benefit from different amounts of nutrients, exposure to light, and watering schedules, so without this vital information, many cultivators will ultimately fail.

6. Improper watering

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CANNABIS WIKI CONFERENCE & EXPO
CANNABIS WIKI CONFERENCE & EXPO
CANNABIS WIKI CONFERENCE & EXPO

Yes, cannabis plants need a whole lot of water, but few growers realize how important the time of day is. Watering early in the morning and late at night will help you to avoid die-off and burning from the harshness of the sun. It is also essential to note that overwatering can be devastating to cannabis, leading to root rot and other potential illnesses or diseases that may be hard to treat, and that is why having a well thought out and times regimen should always be a top priority.

7. Not keeping a journal

It might seem silly at first, especially before there's a whole lot of action going on in the garden in terms of growth, but keeping a log can do a world of good when things go wrong and you're looking for solutions or ways to avoid running into the same problem in the future. Keeping track of things like soil prep, watering schedules, and added nutrients could make it easier to determine when you might have made a mistake, saving you the heartache and stress of dealing with the same outcome again in the future.

8. Ignoring the importance of soil quality

Many beginner growers go to work digging up a garden just to plant some seeds and hope for the best, and very few consider the quality of the soil, which is so incredibly important if you want to establish a healthy crop. In some cases, adding a small amount of natural fertilizer might be enough, but in others, it might take some work, compost, and more to create a nutrient-dense bed where your cannabis plants will be able to thrive.

9. Letting fear get in the way

Growing cannabis can be a little bit scary, especially once you've put a bunch of money into securing the best seeds possible, but it's important not to let that fear get in the way of making changes that could mean the difference between surviving and thriving for your plants. It's easy to stick to what you know. However, skilled cultivators are always adapting and trying new things to find what works. It might help or it could result in a less than desirable outcome, but you won't know or garner that experience until you try, so go for it!

10. Missing the ideal time to harvest

After an entire season worth of hard work, financial investment, and emotional rollercoasters, it's time to harvest, but too few beginners know how to do this in the most effective way possible. Too early, and you'll sacrifice yield, terpene and cannabinoid concentration, and more. Too late, and you could end up with a bounty that isn't as effective or makes those who consume it sleepy. Harvest at the ideal time, and you'll have some power over the effects, and that's the best-case scenario for every grower.

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CANNABIS WIKI CONFERENCE & EXPO
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