Choosing The Right Cannabis Grow MediumChoosing The Right Cannabis Grow Medium

Using an appropriately textured grow medium is important so that cannabis roots can grow fast and strong. Roots need access to plenty of water, but grow mixes that retain water for too long may lock out air. Air is also important for roots.

Using a light, fluffy grow mix, which can hold water well, but quickly drains excess water, is best. Use either store bought potting soil, or better yet, store bought soilless mixes. Soilless mixes are made up of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, and they are among the most ideal mixes. All three ingredients are common in all garden stores. They are also inexpensive.

Peat moss holds water well, but may become too dense and acidic after repeated watering if used on its own. Perlite and Vermiculite help lighten dense peat moss, providing pockets for air and water. Store bought soilless mixes are usually PH balanced with lime.

These mixtures are perfect for cannabis seeds and are usually fluffier than potting soils. Light fluffy mixes are better than heavy mixes, but will need to be watered more often. If you need to mix your own, use one part peat moss, and one part perlite, or else mix equal parts of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.

Such homemade mixes will require a small amount of fine dolomite lime to moderate PH levels. Potting soil mixes that are available in garden stores often contain fertilizer. Such fertilizer will be consumed by fast-growing marijuana within a few weeks. Also, these mixtures are not optimized for marijuana growth.

For these reasons, grow mixes with no nutritional content are preferred. This removes any unnecessary guesswork. Most soilless mixes contain no fertilizer. All is applied after by the grower. This method is easy and often cheaper than buying soils fortified with fertilizer.

Some growers are tempted to mix potting soil from their garden patches in their backyard, or dirt from underneath their lawn. Note that this is a bad idea. Pathogens, disease and other health risks are introduced this way. Store bought soilless mixes are sterilized before packaging for this reason.

Also, once grow medium has been used, it is crucial to discard it. Never use recycled potting soil or soilless mix to germinate cannabis seeds in an indoor garden.

Cannabis grown under high intensity discharge bulbs with proper nutrition tends to grow faster. They also need lots of water. As plants grow older, their need for water increases. Most growers will water their plants every two to three days. The rule of thumb for watering plants is to fully saturate the entire grow medium, and water again only after the grow medium has dried out substantially.

Grow medium, which does not dry out enough may lock out oxygen. This hampers root performance and slows plant growth. Grow mediums that remain too dry for too long can cause plants to dehydrate. Dehydrated plants are easy to spot: leaf and branches tend to become limp and hang straight down.

Dehydrated plants will quickly recover if you start providing them with enough water soon enough. However, such stress may hamper a plant's overall growth and CBD oil production, and therefore should be prevented. If plants show any signs of dehydration, then provide them with just the right amount of water. The grower must also make sure that the entire grow medium is watered evenly.

Plants need to be misted, as well. Misting water onto leaves simulates rain and helps clean leaf surfaces of dirt and dust. You can do this once every few days, or at the grower's leisure. However, it is best to do this shortly before or after the lights go off, so that excess moisture will dry up in the warmth.

Be careful not to spray water onto a hot High-Intensity Discharge bulb, as this may cause it to crack. Generally, most tap water is fine for Cannabis. Make sure the water is not extremely cold or extremely hot. The chlorine present in most drinking water does not seem to have any adverse effects on Marijuana growth, though some growers leave tap water in an open container for a day so that the chlorine may evaporate.

Some water, like those that come from a well, are softened with saline additives. Salt treated water is bad for plants and should not be used. Some tap water will have inappropriate PH levels as well. Check the PH of your water and make sure it's between six and eight. Commercially available PH adjuster can be added to it to adjust its PH.

Water is also used to flush the soil of any salt build-up periodically. Salt build-up is usually caused by chemical fertilizers that are left over in the soil, or from water, which is softened using salt. Using non-saline water and not overfeeding are the best ways to avoid salt build-up.

Flushing more often won't hurt. Flushing, or leeching, is really just an extreme form of watering. Use about two to three times as much water as the grow medium and slowly pour it over the pot. The drainage will contain most of the unused salt residues from the grow medium.

by Toby Bluntt
References and Bibliography
Tony has been a cannabis writer for past 5 years, having fallen in love with the Cannabis culture whilst backpacking through Morocco. He has since written for websites like Cannabis Plants and Medical Cannabis
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