Conservation of energy is an often-overlooked aspect of supercharging your ganja garden. Indoor growers have a distinct advantage in controlling how plants use energy. By controlling plant development, growers can direct efficient energy usage within their plants. This in turn helps a plants use energy when and where we want them to, such as in flower and trichome development, which directly impacts both yield and potency.
Here a list of some simple, yet very effective methods for conserving your plants’ energy and strength for the long haul.
1. Keep Plants Short:
Think about it. The tall a plant must use a lot of energy when transporting water, minerals and sugars. Keeping plants squat and bushy promotes better energy efficiency.
2. Untrimmed Plants…
Speaking of bushy plants… there is a fine balance between just right and too bushy. Allowing plants to grow uninhibited will create plant structures that are not conducive to the goals of heavy yield and high potency. As the grower you need to direct your plants’ energy towards the important areas of development. Prune your plants effectively and create the proper structuring for higher yields.
3. … And Excessive Pruning:
And speaking of pruning… Don’t over do it! While it is essential to keep internode lengths short and plants squat, excessive pruning will cause the plant to use extra energy in an effort to heal itself. Still, pruning must be done especially with lower shoots and branches during vegetation and on superfluous fan leaves during flowering. Once a plant reaches a certain age, the larger, finger-like fan leaves are actually using more energy than they are creating during photosynthesis so they should be removedb but be careful to only remove a few leaves a day, otherwise your plant will expend energy trying to repair them and become stressed.
4. Poor Grow Medium
A medium that is low in mineral content causes plants to expend much of their energy expanding the root zone in search of needed nutrients for development. Equally important is the need for air to penetrate both the plant container and grow medium so that roots can find the oxygen they need to breath. For beginners, the best grow mediums are soilless mixes that offer both air and a mild dose of essential minerals for young seedlings and clones to get started properly.
5. High PPM & Salt Build-Up
Over fertilizing with nutrients during the feeding cycle will cause a build-up of salts (which are at the base of the nutrients we feed our gardens). This, combined with a lack of fresh water flushing, will cause excess salts not absorbed by the plants to build up and actually block further nutrient uptake by the roots. Advanced grow mediums such as Rockwool offer little help in this regard and require fresh water flushes every few days during the flowering weeks, as well as a two-week, fresh water-only cycle before harvest. To catch salt build-up problems early and before it is too late, check your EC/ PPM levels from your watering run-offs daily.
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!
Got questions? Email ‘em over to Nico at Edit.Grow@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!