A Few Basic Growing Tips; Trimming, Watering, and Roots.
by Gray Cobarti
Since 2008 I have been blessed with the opportunity to be involved with a number of different patient
to patient cultivation farms and have been able to cultivate and harvest plants myself legally in the state
The last few years I have developed different tricks and tips that I have implemented on my own
gardens that have helped me out in numerous ways.
In this article I will provide a few tips that I have developed and also learned from other growers, such
as trimming, watering, and roots.
The plants and grow cycles I discuss below were all cultivated outside in Southern California.
- Cutting is IRREVERSIBLE.
- Veteran grower Jorge Cervantes constantly reminds cultivators that it's better to start by making small multiple trims than one large cut, especially if you’re new to the growing game. You can always go back and cut more, but it’s a lot tougher (nearly impossible) to reattach broken stems or branches.
- I prefer to go in with my hands before I implement the scissors. I give suspicious leaves a very tender tug and twist and most times the culprits pull right off.
I stick to 3 basic trimming methods that can be performed before the flowering stage, while the plants are still in constant light or in 18 hour light and 6 hour of darkness light cycle.
- Topping- The process where a cut is made at the utmost top part of the plant just above the second highest leaf nodes. By doing this the plant now divides its energy to creating multiple “tops” of base of the cut. Topping can be done several times at several different stages of the grow process.
- Cut High, Sprout Low- This method pilots the plant to grow more like a bush, and is also the preferredmethod of outdoor growers.
- Cut Low, Sprout High- This steers the plant to grow taller and produce bigger buds towards the upper half of the plant. This is probably the most uncommon method of trimming, since most growers prefer a bush type plant to a palm tree type plant.
Low Stress Treatment.
- This is the process where a plant can be gently bent to different directions at different points in the stock to promote light exposure. This can be a very tricky and it's best to start slow AND BE PATIENT.
Check everyday for discoloration in the leaves.
- Expert growers who even use hydroponic watering systems (scientific term for a selfwatering system) check their plants daily to ensure they are healthy. Take action immediately if you notice anything suspicious.
- Nutrient deficiency: buy some nutrients. Do a Google search on the color of your leaves and pattern of the discoloration. Be specific.
- Disease: remove all of the infected and surrounding areas. Fungus can can wilt and kill plants within days.
- Dead leaves: It's a natural part of the plant's life cycle. The big prehistoric looking leaves on your plants, or the “water” leaves, will constantly turn yellow and begin to die. This is normal.
- Note: Anytime you introduce a new nutrient or product to your plant, its best to ease into it rather than give it a full dose of juices first day.
Never over trim.
- Plant's absorb energy from light. The more plant there is, the more light is absorbed, which means more bud is yielded.
- Be mindful that every time you make a trim, the plant must heal itself.
Prune in the evenings.
- This allows your plant to nurse it's wounds while it sleeps.
Plants normally don't need water every day.
- Try and have your plants be slightly droopy upon feeding time. Don't starve your girls, but you definitely want them to be craving water so that the roots will absorb the most water come breakfast.
Water your plants in the morning.
- Plants tend to consume more water in the morning and I noticed that they consistently produced larger yields. This could be due to a number of things but breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?
- Plants like their water served room temperature, around 6.0-6.5 pH level. When the pH level is above or below this range, you risk depriving your plants of the proper nutrients and/or burning the roots of a plant.
- Check pH everyt time you add a new nutrients or change the water source.
Tap Water is OK.
- There is nothing wrong with tap water (most of the time), but you should check the source of your tap water and always be wary of unwanted elements like chromium and flouride.
ROOM FOR ROOTS
Always plan on your plants roots' to fill the pot.
- You should always allow your plant's roots ample room for expansion. Every plants roots' I've grown always reach the side and bottom of the pot.
- Marijuana is diverse and it will interweeve its own roots within the pot for maximum water absorbtion.
Overcompensate on Growing Pots.
- When I first began growing I used 2 and 4 gallon pots to flower my plants. What a mistake. The plants never exceeded three feet in height. The next grow cycle I used 20 gallon pots to flower my plants, which doubled in size and tripled in yield.
- Plastic pots are the cheapest but tend to break very easily.
- I have doubled up on pots by stacking two pots within each other. This trick works great but you must be sure that the pot provides proper drainage for the water and nutrients.
- Cracks and holes leave your roots exposed to bugs and vermin.
Insects and small rodents will dig up your plants to eat the soft roots.
- Chicken wire or other thin cages to surround the plants and to not block sunlight are ideal.
- Spiders and Lady Bugs are good! They will eat bugs and protect your plant. Leave spidey alone!
The roots of your plant will tailor to the plant's environment, just like a goldfish.
- Except most people would argue that you can't smoke a goldfish.
Remember, a healthy plant is a happy plant, and a happy plant is a happy grower.