Are you thinking about growing medical cannabis? Oaksterdam University has graduated thousands of cannabis growers over the years. As we gear up for our Horticulture Seminar in Las Vegas this Friday (March 11-14), we thought it made sense to look at some specific concerns beginning marijuana growers have and which will be covered during the seminar.
Cuttings vs Seeds. Choosing to grow using seeds or clones is one of the first decisions any grower needs to consider. A clone is an exact genetic image of the mother plant it came from and can be more cost-effective in the long run. Cannabis seeds can easily be purchased in just about any strain you desire. Both methods have their pros and cons.
What to Consider: Where do you plan to get your seeds or clones? What strains do you want to grow? When are you hoping for in your first yield? What grow space and equipment do you have? What is your long-term growing plan?
Grow Space. Cannabis can be grown outdoors or indoors. Basic to the plant’s needs are light, water, carbon dioxide, nutrients, temperature and humidity. How you choose or design your grow space will depend on your ability/desire to control the plant’s basic needs and the type of cannabis strain you want to cultivate.
What to Consider: Do you want to grow indoors or outdoors? How much control do you want in the growing process? What strain do you want to grow? What are its height restrictions? If you want to grow indoors, what kind of ventilation is available? How secure does your grow space need to be?
Design Your Own Grow Room! Oaksterdam University’s Horticulture Seminar in Las Vegas March 11-14 will feature a ‘Grow Room Design’ Project!
Watering. Ask Ed Rosenthal about watering cannabis plants and he’ll say “not all water is created equal.” For successful outcomes, you’ll want to understand the composition of your water. Further, not all strains of cannabis need the same amount of water and the maturity of your plants dictate how much water they get.
What to Consider: What are the levels of alkalinity, pH and dissolved minerals in your water? What cannabis strains do you want to grow? Do you want to use hydroponic or non-hydroponic fertilizers? Or, do you want to use organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, guanos and manures? What type of nutrients will you need to feed your plants when you water? Do you want to water plants by hands or do you want to use a watering system?
Dealing With Pests. Like any other type of cultivation, cannabis plants can be attacked by bugs, mold, and viruses. Most common are aphids, fungus gnats, slugs, spider mites, thrips, mold, root rot, and tobacco mosaic virus. Further, patients and adult-use consumers don’t want pesticides in their cannabis and there’s a growing concern on the use of pesticides in cannabis cultivation.
What to Consider: How do you identify the pests attacking your cannabis plants? What are the best methods for dealing with bugs, mold and viruses? Who regulates pesticide use where you grow? What pesticides are prohibited in cannabis cultivation in your state?
When and How to Harvest. Timing is everything when it comes to harvesting cannabis. Your goal is to achieve the best resin production. Not all buds ripen at the same time. Lower buds and those hidden inside the plant’s canopy will likely ripen later. Depending on the conditions you’ve set up—rotating or multiple sources of light indoors vs sunlight outdoors, for example—will impact when buds ripen. Patience is always recommended!
What to Consider: What color changes at maturation are appropriate for the strain you’re growing? Do you expect to harvest the entire plant or each individual bud? How large is your crop? How accurate are your time records? Do you know when to begin the flushing process? Where will you set up prep equipment and rooms for drying and curing?
Granted, this blog post doesn’t begin to cover all that should be considered to start or maintain a cannabis cultivation business. That’s why Oaksterdam University offers horticulture seminars and a semester classes throughout the year.
Please join us on March 11 – 14 for our Horticulture Seminar in Las Vegas. Topics covered include:
- Introduction to cannabis, legal implications and new political developments
- Introduction to vegetative growth including starting from cuttings
- Nutrients and pH; how to mix measure and adjust
- Flowering and plant propagation
- Grow room design
- Conditions for optimal plant growth
- Indoor horticulture safety and responsibility
- Introduction to grow equipment
- Electrical safety and lighting
- Pests and pathogens
- Organic methods
In addition, this seminar will include a class project in which attendees will create their own personal grow room design! At the end of four days of intensive instruction—26 hours of grow training from OU’s expert growers—attendees have the option to become certified, which is an excellent credential to have in the expanding cannabis industry. Certification is available and requires passing an exam.