Yes, producing thick, resin-covered cannabis buds is the dream of every cannabis cultivator. Time to stop fantasizing – below is all you need to know to grow your own denser buds.
Cannabis is a hardy plant (it’s a weed after all) which is able to survive extreme conditions. However, this in no way implies that high density yields are to be guaranteed without continuous attention on the part of the grower. Keeping the right conditions for an optimum growth should be the number-one consideration for any cultivator, particularly if he is looking to have densely packed buds.
The primary reasons for a poor yield are bad illumination, insufficient nourishment or excessive temperatures. Allowing one of these conditions to become out of control – particularly towards the end of a plant’s life cycle – can significantly impact the well-being of the heads. We will take a look at each of these areas in turn and look at the ways in to control it in order to produce the best returns possible.
1) Light Strength
It is essential to maintain an optimal light intensity. The more light the buds receive, the larger they grow. NEVER let the lights be too close or distant from to the top of your plants – to close and the plants are likely to be scorched by the heat, too far and the lighting won’t be intense enough. The lights should ideally be positioned so that the whole of the canopy of the crop is illuminated, but near enough so that they can benefit from an increased level of light intensity without being burnt. A useful test is to position your hand near the top of your crops. If the warmth produced by the lights is not very pleasant for you, it is also uncomfortable for your plants.
2) Light Colour
Cannabis is able to utilize some light frequencies more efficiently than other frequencies at some stages of its life-cycle. Check the color emission of your flower bulbs; most of the manufacturers put details on their bulb packaging. Cannabis during flowering will use the red frequencies of the light spectrum more efficiently, so the use of a high-performance bulb (660nm is perfect) when in bloom will help to both increase the volume and the density of the buds. Notably, however, it is worth noting that marijuana is a full spectrum light plant to some degree, so bulbs used should be full spectrum and with improved red, not just red. We wrote an article outlining all you need to know about the light spectrum and marijuana, if you want to learn more.
3) Optimal Heat for Cannabis
The temperature must be in the right range. Average and maximum temperatures should not be set too low at night and, in particular, should never rise above 30°C during daylight hours. The optimal temperature is somewhere between 18°C and 26°C. Overly hot temperatures, stunted flowering and can cause serious bud damage. In outdoor growing, elevated temperatures can be a concern if flowering was forced at the onset of the season. Screening and atomizing water assists plants to withstand the elevated temperatures of July and August.
Closely related to temperature, the humidity must also remain within an acceptable range. During the flowering phase, never exceed 60% and try to gradually decrease it to 45% during the final 2-3 weeks before harvesting. The plants will overload themselves by trying to shield their flowers, responding by generating denser buds and a higher resin content on them. A reduced humidity rate will also help to prevent the development of moulds.
5) Cannabis Feeding
As each strain has differing nutritional needs, it is therefore not possible to know exactly how much food a plant needs, and when to change the amounts, with time and experience you’ll gain a better understanding. However, in the vegetative stage, cannabis typically uses higher levels of nitrogen to maximize growth, while in the flowering phase, higher levels of potassium are required to provide for bud production. It is recommended to keep an eye on the pH of your crop as this may affect the absorption of nutrients.
6) Excessive Watering
The roots need both oxygen and water. Over-watering will fill all small pockets of air in the earth, wiping out any trace of oxygen for hours or sometimes days. This dramatically affects your plants. They will begin to exhibit droopy, curly leaves, and bud integrity will be jeopardized if the problem is not addressed. Be cautious when watering and make absolutely sure that your containers drain off any excess water. As a rule, choose a light soil blend and add extra perlite. Underwater watering also causes damage to plants, but this is a more unusual occurrence and is far easier to correct.
7) Other Factors To Be Taken Into Account
Plants growing in a container, the size will impact on root expansion and, as a result, also on the growth and development of a plant’s buds – so ensure that cannabis has as much space as it requires to expand its roots base.
Organic supplementation such as flowering boosters can improve bud weight by increasing the amount of sugars, amino acids, trace elements, phosphorus and potassium in the crop. This can be a very helpful aid for an already strong growth.
Cannabis genetics have the potential to influence bud densities, and sativa-dominant strains are inherently less dense than indicas. Slow and appropriate drying and maturation are mandatory for all strains to ensure product quality. The final common mistake we are discussing here is premature harvesting. In the last few weeks and days, plants are producing a lot of trichomes and resin – so you want to make sure you let them finish their job.
Cultivating cannabis as a maestro is, understandably, a challenging job. You should be learning and gaining personal experience. Nevertheless, if you take the aforementioned into consideration and learn from your errors, you will soon be on the right track towards producing a yield of dense, sticky buds!