Home Grow chronicles Dianna’s personal journey as a medical cannabis patient who registered and was approved by the Canadian government to grow cannabis in her home. Dianna’s experience is one grower’s point of view. Her ideas are neither the best nor the only proven methods for growing medicinal grade cannabis.
3 THINGS TO WATCH FOR AS CANNABIS GOES TO FLOWER. Learn how height, humidity and under shade can affect the health of a home grow’s yield from indoor cultivator/Boveda blogger Dianna Donnelly.
BONUS: Di’s home grow comes out of the closet and into a grow tent!
We made it—the cannabis bloom. It’s the growing stage that I (and every other cannabis grower) worked hard for.
However, now that the girls and I are here, I can tell you, I prefer the vegging stage. Felt less risky. During this essential blooming stage, there were three big issues that stressed out this cannabis helicopter mama more than during any other stage of growth.
1. BEWARE A HOME GROW’S EVER-GROWING HEIGHT
Heed the warnings—bigger plants, bigger problems.
Daily, I’ve rotated the girls at least once for their entire lives. Why? Ensures more complete light exposure.
Much of the weighty bud grows on those upper apical branches closest to the light. So at about four weeks into flowering, my girls grew increasingly top-heavy. (Like green Icaruses (Icarusi?) flying too close to their sun!)
All of my forum and gardening friends assured me this growth would stop after about four weeks in bloom, but yet, I worried.
TIPS TO EVEN OUT HEIGHT OF YOUR HOME GROWN CANNABIS PLANTS
Even though my girls were different varietals, I was lucky all my girls grew to about the same height.
Pictured is a friend’s garden. She grows in a tent. Despite the creative measures she took to adapt to the crazy vertical growth seen here, just look at the results. Yet, if this home grower hadn’t tied down her OG Kush, it would have stood at least a foot taller than the others! A foot! (Is this strain secretly crossed with Jack’s beanstock genetics?!)
All of these tent-grown cannabis plants were:
- Germinated on the same day
- Fed and watered the same way
- Topped one right after the other
So, if you’re cultivating your home grow in a tent like this:
- Research the growth patterns of the cultivars you choose
- Try to match height and speed of growth among your cannabis plants
- Lightly tie down branches that grow too tall (In the picture, you can see she used soft pipe-cleaners to pull one branch down in a soft bend. Then she used a soft drawstring from a shirt to hold it away from the light. Cannabis home growers are a creative bunch!)
2. BEWARE TOO MUCH HUMIDITY
Extra bulk + lack of airflow
= increased heat and humidity
= greater potential for mold and powdery mildew
As my cannabis plants grew, I was concerned about humidity control. During the vegging stage, a fan could push air right through my plants’ branches. Now flowers and their precious sugar leaves bloomed in the crux of each branch and on the apically dominant stems, which added bulk and weight to my cannabis plants.
During the blooming phase, my fans couldn’t push enough air through all that bushy growth. (The woes, eh?)
Nothing says “come grow on me” to pests and microorganisms like warm, humid areas where the wind doesn’t blow.
Microscopic nasties are reproducing powerhouses. Before you will see microorganisms, those little organisms exist as no-see-’ems for a long time. So by the time you actually see powdery mildew forming on your cannabis leaves, it’s already built a strong army.
Better to keep the environment inhospitable to them from day one to keep microorganisms from invading your cannabis.
TIPS TO INCREASE AIRFLOW TO PREVENT MOLD AND POWDERY MILDEW IN YOUR INDOOR GROW
- Gently defoliate often to make room for airflow
Some growers do one major shed of leaves. But this late in flower, I didn’t want to risk shocking and stressing my cannabis plants. So I snipped a few leaves every few days or even weeks to avoid shocking my plants at full bloom. (This is the privilege of only having a few plants.)
- Keep fans on constant air flow
DEFOLIATING FOR AIRFLOW: BEFORE AND AFTER: Here’s a full grown male I heavily defoliated over several days to avoid shocking the poor guy. Defoliation made room for air flow.
3. BEWARE OVERLY SHADED UNDERGROWTH
Defoliating a cannabis plant also lets light reach growth further down its branches. More light on these lower branches encourages more flowering. Otherwise, you get lots of bud on the outskirts but not much down below.
Ah, those great photosynthesizing fan leaves can cast a great shadow. My girls have grown bushy—especially at mid-plant. From the soil to half way up, leaves that used to see the light during veg but rarely feel lumens now. So strategically—and sparingly—snip off some of those fan leaves. AND LET THERE BE LIGHT TO ALL!
But what’s the potential loss of energy from those fan leaves? Trust me, the risk of too much humidity and mold growth is worth losing a few leaves.
DEFOLIATE FOR LIGHT: BEFORE AND AFTER: Careful defoliation means more light penetration.
BONUS: COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET TO HOME GROW IN A TENT
As a fiscally responsible new home grower, I don’t let the cost of my growing my own medicine exceed my means. I research, research, research before I buy. I waited until I could afford an actual grow tent. Now I can pull my great green goddesses out of their cannabis closet and into their new home, a Mammoth Pro 100 grow tent.
CANNABIS GIRLS CAMP OUT IN A TENT. I swear they almost look like they’re giggling don’t they? After the move into the grow tent, my girls continued blooming for a few more weeks.
BENEFITS OF GROWING CANNABIS IN A TENT VERSUS IN THE CLOSET:
- Frees up storage space
- Contains the grow
- Provides complete reflection on all sides and ceiling
- Blocks light with secure light-proof zippers
- Retards fire
- Comes with vents that mitigate odors at all stages of growth
- Eliminates the need for black-out curtains (No more climbing up on a chair to hang the heavy black curtains over my closet each night!)
DOES A HOME GROW SMELL?
Now the tent didn’t entirely eliminate the smell of the grow. (By now my apartment has a certain green aroma.) During this full bloom phase, two of my building’s maintenance workers came in to do some repairs. Neither mentioned the tell-tale fragrance.
However, some friends, who are also home growers, burst out laughing the minute they closed my apartment door behind them. The odor of cultivating flower might only be noticeable for those in the grow know. Or maybe I’m already nose blind.
Even if I’m nose blind to my home grow, I’m having a blast and preparing for the final stage of growing my own medicine. Catch up with you soon! Harvest time is almost here.
Dianna Donnelly is a cannabis educator, blogger, and freelance writer living in Kingston, Ontario. She counsels new patients on the safe and effective use of medicinal cannabis and believes that with enough time, cannabis, and coconut oil she can heal the world.
Dianna Donnelly’s posts are being provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Boveda or any of the products, services or opinions of Dianna Donnelly. Boveda bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of this post or links to the posts. Contact Dianna Donnelly for answers to questions regarding her content.