Genetica

Grow smarter not harder (and maximize yield)

Published Feb 15, 2023 02:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Shane Rounce

Calling all growers! Though we do not doubt your ability to crank out thousands of beautiful specimens to behold, these tips and tricks could improve the output and quality of your crop, in the least complicated way possible.

1. Design a growing strategy to match your goals

For some cannabis producers, it makes sense to use a particular method of cultivation. Like, for instance, CannaMan Farms uses the Sea of Green method (SOG) to produce the biggest densest buds possible, which reduces the amount of unusable plant matter significantly. Each cultivator should develop a growing strategy that will help them to achieve their dreams with this year's crop.

2. Don’t overlook the small things

A disappointing yield is very rarely caused by a large mistake or event. Instead, it’s often the result of many little things adding up over time to an unhealthy situation that can end up costing cultivators millions in revenue. For that reason, it’s incredibly important to pay close attention throughout every step of the process, as missing even the smallest details could have devastating results.

3. Choose strains that thrive in similar environments

Maintaining a diverse selection of cannabis strains is essential for producers that want to meet the unique needs of all consumers, but it’s also an incredibly difficult challenge to manage in a single grow house so it’s important to choose cultivars that are all compatible with a similar environment. Otherwise, you’ll have a harder time maintaining various temperatures and humidity needs.

4. Make only incremental changes

It’s always a good idea for growers to make small incremental changes rather than bigger more abrupt shifts, as it allows for a slower smoother transition that’s easier to come back from if the adjustment doesn’t produce the desired results. Whether it’s a change in temperature, automation, humidity, genetics, or pest control it’s best to start slow and proceed with caution.

5. Rely on automation while understanding its limits

Automation is a wonderful thing that can make the lives of growers so much easier, but it should never replace knowledgeable skilled experts in the field who should always be keeping a close eye on the grow to ensure everything is working smoothly as it should. It’s also essential to remember that automation can’t fix all issues in a grow room, like communication which must be addressed the old-fashioned way, with both respect and patience.

6. Strive to build and maintain the perfect growing environment

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Many growers fail to see the benefit of setting up the perfect grow environment long before the first cannabis plant ever enters the room, but once the wheels are in motion, it’s a whole lot harder to go back and make changes without risking the health of the crop. Instead, go over every aspect of the setup before turning anything on, and then follow up by checking to ensure it all works as intended before getting started on filling the area with cannabis plants.

7. Record everything

Maintaining a journal can help growers to better understand the effects of changes both big and small, and it can offer a unique learning experience to anyone who is looking for assistance with setting up a grow.

8. Implement SOPs

SOPs can help to keep everyone on their toes which is essential when one small error like walking into an active grow with contaminants on your shoes can cause serious damage to a crop. When employees are trained from the beginning to observe and use SOPs it can have a significant impact on the quality of product and yield.

9. Tend to every plant’s individual needs

As much as most parameters will be laid out to accommodate the needs of a whole crop typically based on genetics and history, it is just as important to pay close attention to each individual plant’s progress, because even with the same genetics, it’s entirely possible for some plants to just need more of something or another to reach peak height and production.

10. Select strains with similar growing schedules

Identify cultivars that will grow on similar schedules, and it will be so much easier to pull great yields, as the cannabis plants will be healthier and happier with less strain and stress to deal with. It’s also simpler to predictably rotate crops to guarantee a consistent supply of fresh herb. Whether it’s nine weeks ten weeks or longer, it’s important to keep this in mind while selecting genetics for your grow.

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