Every grower wants to get the most out of their crops! Do you want a bigger yield and bigger buds? You are not alone. You have to realize there is nothing that will be the magical home run to a bountiful harvest. It is a combination of factors that define it. People, friends, and new faces always ask me, â€œWhat can I do to increase my yields? How can I make my buds bigger?â€ Usually my answer is something like, â€œBuy a fan and create a proper environment first!â€ They usually might respond with, â€œWhat do you mean? I meant what nutrient or additive to use or add to my mix to make it bigger?â€
Experienced growers realize itâ€™s not a single nutrient or any single thing that makes a plant explode into a huge harvest; instead, it is a combination of things. And the single most important factor in ANY grow room is ENVIRONMENT! Any old school grower will tell you that the nutrients are only a small part of the equation. You can have the best nutrients in the world and still produce shit, if you have a bad environment. But the success of any grow room is a combination of understanding the plants, creating a proper environment, and using proper nutrition.
The key is to create a healthy, clean, and fresh environment for your plants. If you treat them like shit by putting them in a closet with no air circulation, they will give you a bad harvest. But give them a proper growing environment and they will thrive, producing much more of what you love. Itâ€™s that simple.
They also need the right temperatures to properly grow and produce flowers. If the temp is too cold, it may stunt their growth or cause them to go dormant. If it is too hot, they will be very uncomfortable, it will attract bugs, and the plants will start to stretch or get leafy to cool off and protect themselves. A plant with a PAR value of over 82Â°F (the temperature of the leaf itself) will actually stop photosynthesis and go dormant, a form of protection to the plant until it cools off. And having clean, fresh, NON-STAGNET AIR is also important. Having a good flow rate of air exchange and exhausting the room at least every 2-3 minutes is recommended, or exchanging the air every minute in an open loop room is even better. But in a closed loop room, â€œscrubbingâ€ the air with a charcoal filter (It is known as scrubbing because itâ€™s a sealed room with no exhaust, so it recycles the air.) every 1-2 minutes ensures the quality of the air is clean, free of molds, funguses and diseases, and keeps the air from becoming stale and stagnant.
Most people donâ€™t pay enough attention to humidity levels, but itâ€™s very important! If they are too high, molds and funguses can develop and destroy your crop. If they are too low, the plants will transpire or sweat too rapidly, which causes the nutrients to be too concentrated within the plants vascular system. Bad humidity levels cause nutrient lockouts, false signs of nutrient deficiencies, and many problems within the plant. So keep your humidity levels between 55%-65% during vegetative stages, and 50%-60% during flowering stages. Starting at 60% in flowering and gradually coming down to 50% by the end of it will ensure no flower rot. And if you canâ€™t control the humidity levels properly with good airflow, purchase a dehumidifier or humidifier for your garden.
CO2 is another very important factor of the equation. Plants need proper CO2 levels for the right gas exchanges in order to breathe, just like we need enough oxygen in the air to breathe. In an open loop room you are pretty much limited to the levels in the air, which run at about 450 PPM of CO2. Proper airflow is a must, but in a sealed room you can kick that level up to about 1500 PPM, which increases a plants metabolism. This produces a healthier plant, a better immune system to defend against bugs, bigger buds, and a better harvest.
Growers also need to remember the temperature of the water they use to feed their plants. Water temp should be between 68Â°-70Â°F year round. If the water gets too warm, many diseases and pathogens can rapidly develop and cause root rot and a number of other serious problems that will destroy your crop. If it gets too cool, below 67Â°F, it will shock the plants. This shock can affect the plants by making them dormant for up to 6 hours or so. This means they will not produce or work as they should, which will greatly affect your growth and harvest. So in the summer, make sure to use a water chiller or some type of chilling method to keep your water at the proper temp. And in the winter, which is fast approaching this year, especially here in San Diego, you will need to get reservoir heaters for your tanks and keep the water temp from getting too cool. Keep the heater set at about 70Â° and that should keep the plants happy.
A good grower uses organic pest controls from the beginning to prevent pests, funguses, molds, and diseases. Using products like SNS 217, Azatrol, Azamax, high-grade seaweed extract like Nitrozime, or even using a freshly brewed organic tea like Vermicrop are all great ways to prevent pests when starting your grow. Also, using Silica in your nutrient solution not only builds up the stem walls, but makes the plant more pest resistant by creating a tough shell-type barrier on the plant that bugs donâ€™t like. Many of these products also help fight molds and mildews. And of course, make sure to keep a clean environment, filtering all incoming air, exhausted, or even recycled air such as â€œscrubbingâ€ in sealed rooms. Cleanliness is godliness in a grow room, and by all means, make sure you are clean as well. Showering and putting on clean clothes is always a good idea before entering any grow room.
As far as nutrients go, there are a lot of good ones to choose from. Make sure to choose a reputable high quality nutrient. If you donâ€™t know what nutrient to get or use, make sure you go down to your local garden shop that has knowledgeable staff and ask them for advice on which nutrient to use. A good nutrient will deliver everything you need for a healthy harvest and bigger buds. And donâ€™t get caught up in adding 20 different flower enhancers to your solution because in most cases, it will only hurt you.
The final step, which is actually the first step, is building and creating the proper grow room in the first place. If you build it properly with the right equipment and operate it correctly, the plants will grow and perform better than you ever dreamed possible. Most growers need to concentrate on their environment rather than looking for that secret nutrient or additive to make a huge harvest. Most of the time, I end up telling friends their problem has nothing to do with the nutrient, and the solution usually involves what I mentioned earlier in this article. Whether you need to get a fan, CO2, an air conditioner, a filter, heater, or chiller for the nutrient tanks, it almost always has to do with the environment!
If you follow these guidelines and keep a proper grow room environment, you can have healthier plants, bigger buds, and a bountiful harvest. Build a proper grow room from the beginning and it is much easier to do the rest and to have huge yields!