By: Mikel Weisser
The staff of the Cannabis Business Times compiled a massive list of 46 cultivation tips for top quality cannabis by interviewing a panel of expert commercial-scale growers from across the continent. The panel included such far-flung rockstars as Ontario, Canada’s Scott Lowry, California’s Kenneth Morrow, Brett Eaton from CO, Alaska’s Leif Abel and several others. The majority of the tips revolve around the simple premise of professionalism, remembering that the techniques used in basement grows won’t necessarily work on a commercial scale. Almost every expert interviewed has some version of “focus on quality instead of quantity,” but there are numerous new insights. Trimming the tops of growing plants during the vegetative state or simply bending them will increase yields, as will scrogging, or using mesh or wire to position branches for maximum light exposure and grow space. Trim bottom buds first to maximize the yield of the top buds.
Lighting and room layout were common concerns. Due to light distribution, many of the experts discourage creating vertically aligned grow space with shelves of plants, though in the veg room shelving could work. Among other suggestions: use supplemental LED light displays and site layouts that incorporate natural light. Remember increased lighting increases heat and drying of the plants, lowering quality. Recycle nutrient rich watering spills. Design to prevent pests. Avoid trying to build a system that combined hydroponics and soil based cultivation. Keep CO2 levels high. Another common piece of advice is to pick a strain and stick with it, via cloning, to fully learn the intricacies of a first strain, before attempting to master a variety of plant types.
SOURCE: 46 tips for better cultivation by Alison McConnell, Noelle Skodzinski and Kyle Brown, Cannabis Business Times
“Low stress training, or LST, is probably the safest, most risk-averse method to increasing top colas, the part of the plant on which buds grow together tightly. It involves bending unruly branches and using gardening wire or soft ties to hold the branches where you want them. A combination of topping, super-cropping, pruning and bending can achieve the goal of having several top colas to maximize yield”—Scott Lowry, Global Organix.
“Every square inch in the greenhouse has a cost value to it, so we didn’t overbuild the veg house or underbuild the flower house. We used the newest aisle-eliminating rolling benches to cover the entire growing area and gained an extra 1,200 square feet of growing space per phase. We also planted a perpetual garden consisting of two veg, two flower and one clone room in order to maximize growing time and minimize down time. This leads to a harvest every four to six weeks”—Brett & Keith Sprau, Colorado Leaf LLC.