Five common mistakes home growers make and how to remedy them

By Leaf Barret  

There are a lot of mistakes that growers make. Some are as simple as forgetting to water, but most that seem like common sense actually can kill your plants.

  1. Overfeeding

Overfeeding plants is a common mistake by novice gardeners. You see your plants growing every day, but you’re concerned the buds might not be developing quickly enough. As animals, we intuitively think food equals growth, but overeating doesn’t do you or your plant any good. Food does not always promote growth. In fact, it can mean the exact opposite: Overfeeding plants can kill a garden.

Nutrients come in two forms: organic and inorganic. Organic nutrients come from compost, manure and other refined minerals in the ground. They release slowly into the soil when applied and are not readily available for the plant to take up in excess. That means organic nutrients are the safest bet for avoiding overfeeding.

  1. Overwatering

When caring for a cannabis garden, growers are quick to worry over whether their plants are getting all the water they need. But like overfeeding, giving plants too much water can harm or even kill them.

Overwatering will cause roots to suffocate and die. Once root rot sets in, it’s nearly impossible to reverse, and you will have to start over. To avoid this setback, make sure the top inch of the soil is bone-dry, or even lift pots to get a feel for their weight. If you’re truly unsure, waiting to see a little wilting in plants ensures they are ready for water.

  1. Using water with the wrong pH

If water for a cannabis garden is too acidic or basic, you can run into some real problems. Ideally, use water between pH 6.0 and 7.0. This pH level allows plants to absorb the full range of nutrients. Outside of this range, nutrient deficiencies will start to become evident because the water is lacking acidity or is too acidic for specific nutrients to become available.

Routinely check the pH level of water. Consider buying filters to maintain a specific pH and/or put additives in water to raise or lower acidity.

  1. Poor climate

You may be growing inside, outside or in a greenhouse; regardless of which, you need to be fully aware of your climate. Temperature and humidity are crucial to the development of quality cannabis.

Temperature is key. If a garden is too cold or too hot, you will see side effects. Cold temperatures can stunt plants’ growth, and even colder temperatures will kill them. On the contrary, if plants are too hot, they will develop heat stress. The leaves curl in as if hiding from the light or sun, and the plants become weak and tired. If the hot climate continues, heat stress becomes a constant battle, and the plant will eventually die or produce very unhealthy buds.

  1. Poor lighting

Lights and the timing of lighting are crucial from growth to the absence of growth. Accidently scaring plants with poorly timed lighting cycles can kill all of a grower’s efforts in that single mistake. Make sure lights are properly hung and spaced to produce accurate temperature and reach. Using a light meter is key. Fans help!