Thinking about setting up a grow operation? Have a cannabis business plan and looking to take the next step? You’re in the right place. Here are the top 7 things that we think every grower needs to know now in this ever-changing, increasingly competitive industry.
1. Think Inside the Box
In our opinion, getting the best plants and maximizing your yield calls for an inside job.
Growing outdoors is totally dependent on weather and climate. Cannabis plants can be picky about their environment and prefer dry autumn-like temperatures. Few areas of the country can deliver that year-round…although we all would probably like it as much as our plants do.
Indoor growing helps you maintain complete control over your environment. The ability to monitor and adjust the amount of moisture and light exposure will help you achieve quality, high-yield crops.
Chip Seidel, Director of Operations for Anden, says you’ll get the best return from a tightly controlled indoor environment.
“The main driver is an increase in yield that results from a tighter control of the indoor environment,” says Seidel. “Indoor yields can be up to four times that of outdoor yields.”
Your ultimate goal? Creating the ideal environment for every stage of the growth process.
2. Size Matters
Next, you need to choose what kind of space you’ll have for growing. If you’re just starting out, prefabricated grow tents are a great option. They provide a clean, reflective growing space, without having to invest in a building or renovating an entirely new room.
The next thing to consider is size, to identify specifications like room dimensions, lighting, temperature, and humidity. Use Anden’s sizing form to help you determine the equipment needed for your space.
3. Dig The Dirt. Or Not.
Indoor growers have the choice between soil and hydroponic mediums. Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to both.
Soil setup is easy, especially for experienced gardeners. Soil often needs to be amended with compost specifically developed for cannabis plants. Since it’s an organic material, pesky bugs can also be an issue. And lastly, soil offers a slower growth rate than a hydroponic setup.
Hydroponics offers both a faster growth rate and bigger yields, with less risk of pests. On the downside, hydroponics is usually a more expensive setup, and getting the nutrient mix just right can be tricky. Root problems can also be an issue, especially for novice growers. Learn more about hydroponic gardening systems for growing cannabis.
4. Give Your Plants a Happy Home
Here’s the thing about cannabis. The better the growing environment, the happier your plants will be, and the better your yield. So, creating the right environment and keeping it consistent is key. Monitoring your Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) will help you assess your plant’s ability to absorb and let out moisture. When there’s too much moisture in the air, you’ll be fighting mold and mildew. When there’s too little, your plants will be fighting for nutrients.
You’ll need equipment that’s proven to perform in extreme conditions. Dedicated cooling and dehumidification systems will give you optimal control over temperature and humidity levels. Many cultivators opt for a combination of both, as redundancy is important to reduce risk in the event of equipment failure.
5. Master the Basics
In addition to equipment needs, there are a few other basic factors that can help ensure your grow operation’s success.
You’ll need to determine the water acidity level and general mineral content prior to planting, which is easy to do with a handheld water quality meter. Checking the pH level and total mineral content will help you determine the correct amount of nutrients to feed your plants.
Indoor cannabis plants require large amounts of fertilizer or nutrients throughout their lifespans, and needs will change throughout their different growth phases. Most nutrient lines come with recommended feeding charts to guide you in choosing formulas and ratios.
Most local jurisdictions require you to mitigate the odor from your plants to avoid disturbing your neighbors. Adding a charcoal filter to your HVAC system or placing one within your grow space can drastically reduce odor.
6. Tech Up to Keep Up
Like we said earlier, the industry is changing rapidly and so is cultivation technology. Anden’s latest innovation is the A710 High Capacity, Grow-Optimized Dehumidifier with patented Variable-Speed, Low Grain Refrigerant (VLGR) Technology, designed to deliver maximum performance and efficiency throughout the grow cycle.
Check out how the A710 allows you to maximize your moisture removal capacity and maintain tight control over Vapor Pressure Deficit during late flower cultivation by modulating the refrigeration system to match the load.
7. Grow Like a Local
As legalization continues, new regions are opening up, each with their own requirements. Growers must work within local legislation and regulations, and their cannabis business plan needs to allow for application and licensing fees. Visit Cannabis Business Times for up-to-date information on your state’s legal cultivation specs.
Know more. Grow more.
Have a question? Need help getting started? Give us a call at 1-800-972-3710 or drop us a line.