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Cultivation, Grow Help




Growing cannabis is an artful science. The math of growing fruitful and healthy cannabis buds is just as important as the tender, love and care growers put into their efforts and harvest. An important corne rstone of maintaining a vigorous and bountiful plant and yield is lighting.

Growers from novice to veteran understand the importance of lighting for their cannabis plants. This article will assist you in understanding the fundamentals of the lighting spectrum. 

What is the Lighting Spectrum?

Since the 80’s, government agencies such as NASA have been trialing the effects that LEDs have on plants. We have learned that different ranges of light have many different effects on plants, especially cannabis.



To the naked eye, light only appears white. However, the reality is that light comes in a range of recognizable colors. If you have ever witnessed a rainbow after a storm, then you have an understanding of the spectrum.

The complete spectrum of light (pictured below) is an electromagnetic spectrum that ranges from infrared lights to ultraviolet (UV) light. The light spectrum is also measured in nanometers (nm).

Visible light can range anywhere from 380 nanometers to approximately 750 nanometers. Every organic being on this planet is dependent on light to thrive and survive.

Although sunlight allows a complete spectrum in the form of wavelengths to organic life, it can be quite inefficient for indoor growers. Below, we have provided a fundamental guide to understanding which level of lighting is most effective:

Lighting and the Vegetative Stage

Most studies have shown that lights in the Ultraviolet range are extremely beneficial for the overall body of the plant. Ultraviolet lights, or simply ‘blue light’ is essential in promoting and maintaining healthy and hearty leaves during the vegetative stage.

This is achieved indoors by using lights such as compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs or metal halide light bulbs. The lights aforementioned are capable of producing 400 to 500 nanometers of lights, or the latter end of the UV light spectrum.



These lights mimic the Sun’s ability to give off the appropriate amount of blue light during the Summer and Spring seasons. 460 nanometers are often regarded as the model number of nanometers of light for cannabis during the vegetative stage.

Green light (495-570 nanometers) has been proven to be the benefactor in yielding lettuce, however, this is not the case when cultivating cannabis.

Lighting and the Flowering Period


When your cannabis plants have become ready to enter the flowering period, the most effective light is infrared or red light. Infrared lighting falls in the range from 620 nanometers to about 780 nanometers.


The goal of the flowering period is to yield the most buds your cannabis plants can physiologically produce.


Scientists have shown that infrared lighting brings the rate of photosynthesis to its apex versus any other light on the spectrum. Some cases note that 660 is an exceptional number of nanometers to produce those big buds.


Infrared lighting imitates the red wavelengths showcased by our Sun during the dog days of Summer and Fall. There is also little evidence that yellow light (570-590 nanometers) is useful for cannabis in its flowering period.


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Cultivation

As the old Scottish proverb states, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” This is none all too true than in the case of the cannabis industry. As the demands for better products grow larger, more and more technology & innovation is starting to emerge. Therefore, small to mid-sized growers now have many options at their disposal when it comes to choosing their path to a great harvest.


WeGrow is here to help you stay informed on the similarities and differences, features, advantages & drawbacks of both indoor and outdoor cultivation.

Outdoor Growing


The History:

Outdoor cannabis is one of the most ancient plants that have been studied and identified as having psychoactive compounds. It evolved from the steppes of Central Asia. The cannabis plant’s 12,000+ year history is full of references to spirituality, nobility, and stature.

It has been used as an anesthetic in ancient medicine dating as far back as 4000 BC. The dump sites of the hunters and gatherers were rich in nutrients. Thus, unsurprisingly they served as great breeding grounds for the marijuana plant. From there, the “holy herb” traveled through the early world. Cannabis finally landed in the United States by way of Mexico in the early 20th century.  

The Logistics:

First, it is important to understand that cultivating cannabis outdoors is a highly unstable venture. Growers who grow outdoors are subject to many factors. These factors can alter the trajectory of their plants in many negative ways. From the unintended cross pollination of the plants due to pollen in the air from male plants, to adverse and unpredictable weather conditions, outdoor grows are certainly stressful.

However, there are of course several key advantages to cultivating marijuana outdoors. The natural sunlight, ample space, & healthy soil all work together to stretch your outdoor plants to their highest potential. What your plants will lack in stability, if all goes well, they’ll make up in quantity of harvest.

Indoor Growing


The History:

Of course, indoor grows are a much more recent development. Forced underground due to the unfair characterization of the drug as dangerous, growers who knew better started to develop techniques that would mimic the natural environment suitable for cannabis cultivation.

Necessity certainly bred innovation, and now the indoor cannabis boom is in full swing. From lighting tech such as VividGro products, to grow help & information, modern growers are in luck. Channels now exist for individuals in legal states to cultivate their own quality bud. This is certainly great news for growers that may not necessarily have the space to grow outdoors, or may not want the hassle of adverse conditions potentially ruining their crop.

The Logistics:

For growers in states where it is legal to cultivate, the indoor option is the more optimal choice simply because of the level of ultimate control they are able to exert. By following proper water management, using the appropriate tools, and knowing the ins and outs of the process (flower cycle, veg cycle) growers will surely come away with a great harvest and less stress.

While you may not get the biggest harvests from your indoor garden, dialing in the factors above will create potent, pungent, sticky buds that are less prone to developing seeds or deficiencies.

In a head-to-head showdown, we’d have to give it to Indoor grows over outdoors grows, mostly due to the stability of the growing environment.

Classic Strains (Outdoor)

Classic Strains (Indoor)

Keep following WeGrow for more exclusive tips, tricks & hacks to get your grow into top form! Happy Growing!


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Legalization

Certainly, the “Green Wave” is continuing its way through the nation. Because of this, more and more states are beginning to consider legalizing marijuana. Consequently, cannabis and cannabis-related products now seem to be moving to the center of the pain-management discussion.

Finally, the negative stigma that has been associated with the drug is beginning to fade. And therefore, discerning cannabis enthusiasts in each state should surely be aware of the legal aspects of handling the substance.

Another piece of good news comes from assessing and implementing the legislature of already established cannabis-legal states; due to these trailblazers, researchers and growers alike can now take an unbiased look at what worked for those states and use that as a template throughout the country.

Keep reading for an exclusive WeGrow breakdown of some major players in the medicinal/recreational cannabis spectrum. If you live in any one of these states, or just plan to visit for some cannabis tourism, be sure to pay close attention to the following do’s and don’ts:


California

First, we come to the “Golden State”, thusly named due to its role in the gold rush of the late 19th century. It is also one of the first states to recently experience the ‘green rush’. California’s cannabis boom stems from the measurable success of its medicinal marijuana legalization which happened in 1996 and covers patients with various illnesses. Exactly 10 years later, Proposition 64 (which allowed recreational use) passed by a considerable margin.


Certainly, California’s climate is almost a completely natural fit for the cannabis plant. Because there is so much ample sunshine and warmth, the conditions in this state are ideal. Consequently, those growers lucky enough to have outdoor farms will tell you just how big, bountiful and therefore worthwhile their annual grows end up. Due to all this, a visit to the local dispensary throughout the state will reveal an environment bursting with California flavor, with such staples as OG Kush, Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, & Jack Herer dominating most of the prime counter space.

The Breakdown:

Personal Use: Adults over 21 able to possess up to 1 oz.

Sale/Delivery: Gifts of 28.5 grams or less allowed

Cultivation: Adults over 21 able to cultivate up to 6 plants

Popular Strains

Be sure to follow WeGrow for indoor growing tips, and Ace The Grow for product information & reviews.


Oregon

Secondly in our State-By-State Cannabis Law guide, we have Oregon. Unofficially nicknamed “The Beaver State”, similarly to California, Oregon is one of several western American states to legally embrace cannabis in the last quarter century. “The Oregon Trail” has been revived in a cannabis-centered way: it is a trail being blazed by entrepreneurs and enthusiasts alike in a new frontier of wellness.


Certainly, perhaps one of the most important facts about Oregon and cannabis is that in 1973 the state became the first in the nation to decriminalize personal use. Medicinal legalization measures were enacted in 1998, and full recreational legalization occurred in 2015.

The Breakdown:

Personal Use: Adults over 21 able to possess 1 oz. or less in public, 8 oz. or less at home

Delivery: 1 oz. or less homegrown without compensation is legal

Cultivation: 4 plants per household

Popular Strains

Be sure to follow WeGrow for indoor growing tips, and Ace The Grow for product information & reviews.


Washington State

Next, we continue north to Oregon’s neighbor, “The Evergreen State” as it is unofficially known. The moniker not only reflects its sprawling forests of green, but also Washington State’s attitude towards cannabis. It decriminalized medicinal use in 1997, and followed with legalization of personal use in 2012.

The fundamental difference between Washington State and other legal states is that you are unable to legally grow your own cannabis. Perhaps in the coming years by observing the actions and data of other nearby states, Washington will begin to allow its citizens to cultivate.

The Breakdown:

Personal Use: Adults over 21 able to possess up to 1 oz

Sale/Distribution: Illegal

Cultivation: Illegal

Popular Strains


Colorado

Lastly, we come to our weed-friendly-western-states’ neighbor to the east: “The Centennial State”. Colorado’s monumental groundbreaking 100 years after the inception of the United States, and because of this it has engendered the pioneer spirit within its citizens. Hence, this is decidedly reflected in the state’s favorable cannabis policy.

With some gold rush involvement also in its history, Colorado has since taken its part in the green rush as well, and for good reason!

Colorado voted to legalize medicinal marijuana use for patients in 2000, and full recreational legalization for adults came in 2012. The natural springs cascading down from the Rocky Mountains provide the freshest water source for fortunate outdoor growers. However, with adverse winter conditions there is therefore also a burgeoning indoor cultivation scene.

The Breakdown:

Personal Use: Adults over 21 able to possess up to 1 oz.

Sale/Distribution: up to 4 oz. is a Misdemeanor

Cultivation: 6 plants per adult, 12 plants max per household

Popular Strains


Be sure to follow WeGrow for indoor growing tips, and Ace The Grow for product information & reviews! Happy Growing!



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Grow Help


Finally, you’ve gotten through ‘The Veg Cycle’ ! (Whew) Congrats! It is now time for the most arduous but rewarding part of the journey to great looking and great tasting buds.

WeGrow is here to help guide you through the essentials of proper flowering. From start to finish, if done the right way, the benefits of your time and attention will come back to you for months and perhaps even years to come.

Hopefully through timely plant management you’ve been able to get your garden looking green, strong, and ready for flowering. And now, let’s kick things into ‘High’ gear. Ready… Set… Grow!

How/When do I start the Flowering Cycle?


Many first-time growers think that the bigger they make their plants during the few months of vegging the better. Although this isn’t necessarily the case, there are certain basic conditions that need to be met so that you make the best out of your plants.

Traditionally, 2 months of vegging and 2 months of flowering is the standard for most growers. Whether you have 6 plants or 60, the key to knowing when to induce flowering lies within the plants themselves. Pay attention to them and they’ll give you the signal.

By this we mean that you should be able to tell that the main branches are strong, flexible and putting out shoots of new and developing branches. No matter the height of the plant, once the branches turn harder and less freshly green they are now ready to handle the weight of the incoming buds.

Consequently, as your plants get to the point of flower they will begin to produce an unmistakable scent dependant on their strain. It’s almost as if they’re enticing you to let their full beauty show by beginning the flowering cycle. If you begin to see, feel and smell these things — it’s time!

First, make sure your flowering environment is entirely free of light exposure. For the first 36 hours of flowering, be sure to keep the lights completely off. After the 36 hours, you are now able to start the 12hr on/12 hr off cycle. Within the first week, you’ll start to see elongated hairs protruding from the branches, and by the 3rd week you’ll start to see your first young buds.  

Essential Nutrients for Flowering

With so many different nutrient products on the market these days it’s important to know which ones are really needed. As your plants move into their first week, you’ll see the start of some growth, and by the third week they’ll have buds developing.

Therefore, during the 2nd week it is important to introduce measured amounts of PK (Phosphate & Potassium) solution. This will boost initial growth for the young plants. If deficiencies appear, be sure to implement some CalMag (Calcium Magnesium) supplements into your regimen with each feeding.

For small to mid-sized growers and especially for those that are just starting out, it is best to start out with a simple Bloom solution. This will kick-start your flowering cycle by providing such essential fertilizers as bat guano (don’t worry, it’s processed in the solution and doesn’t smell!), earthworm castings, rock phosphate & kelp, in addition to the PK. WeGrow recommends FoxFarm for organic gardening.

Cropping/Effective Plant Management


Growers who pay attention close attention to their plants will also do well to carefully adjust them as needed during flowering. By using a process called ‘Lollypopping’ (which we will cover more in depth in an upcoming blog), you meticulously cut the unnecessary parts of the plants that hinder the growth of the upper canopy.


If possible, be sure to change positions (without disturbing their balance) of the plants every couple of days to make sure they get uniform light coverage. By reaching and stretching in different directions to catch light your plants will challenge themselves to develop more and therefore yield a bigger and better harvest.

Notable Strains

NYC Sour Diesel


For a great 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid, look no further than this classic strain. It has a great aroma, unmistakable taste, and a high that will have you feeling great for hours. This one test higher on the yield spectrum and takes 49 days to flower properly.

Purple Headband


This aesthetically pleasing purple princess is another great 50/50 hybrid. Although not quite as big of a yield as the Sour Diesel, this strain more than makes up for it with its pungent smell & taste. – Also at least 49 days of flowering for this one.


The Flowering cycle is the most attention-demanding but also rewarding period in your growing experience. If you do it right you’ll reap the benefits for a long time. But, if you do it wrong you’ve just wasted 4 months of hard work!


Follow WeGrow to ensure that doesn’t happen. Stay tuned for more information, tips, tricks & hacks to get your garden looking grand! Happy Growing!  


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Grow Help



Small to mid-sized growers with indoor home-grows will tell you to pay close attention during your plants’ ‘Veg Cycle’. It is the time that your young seedlings or clones need the most care. Therefore, having a top notch regimen is crucial.

From the nutrients that you use, to the amount and type of light that you give, every little detail matters. Experienced growers with many harvests under their belts will agree. Yielding those sticky, smelly, & potent buds depends completely on a hearty veg cycle.

WeGrow is here to help guide you to a fruitful harvest. Keep reading for some exclusive cultivation tips, tricks and hacks!

Nutrients


Firstly, the most important nutrient tip we can give to growers is to “start small”. By this we mean that because your plants are just starting their lifespan, you always want to start with the lowest ppm (parts per million) levels of nutrients.

While your first instinct may be to jump start your plants by drenching them with food, this is wrong. Too much nutrients too soon will shock the plants and set them back greatly.

Our next tip to ensure proper ‘vegging’ is to have some supplemental nutrients to help your plants overcome deficiencies. Be sure to include low levels of CalMag (calcium-magnesium) in your regular feedings. Increase as needed.

As plants develop above their medium, their roots need to be nourished too. Use some Rapid Start with each feeding to ensure healthy root systems.

Light Ratios

Next, indoor growers need to pay special attention to their light sources during the veg cycle. We recommend the VividGro GroBar. These lights will ensure that your plants get full coverage while being extremely energy efficient.


Growers also need to be careful about how large or small they make their plants’ photoperiod. For plants to remain in the vegetative state they need at least 18 hours of light per day. 24 hours of uninterrupted light is the industry standard, but it is not necessary.

Temperature


Lastly, successful growers need to control the heat index of their gardens. Cannabis plants cannot survive extremes swings of temperature. Be sure to stay on top of this factor, especially during the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer. Indoor grows depends on electricity. And because power outages and equipment failures are common, it pays to be careful.

Keep your vegging plants at a temperature around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Dropping below 60 degrees or reaching above 84 degrees is not conducive to proper growth.

The ‘Veg Cycle’ of your cannabis plants is a crucial time. It is a period in which they grow, strengthen and develop into mature plants capable of robust flowering. Following these tips will make your harvests soar!

Follow WeGrow to stay current on news, tips, tricks and hacks to make your cultivation efforts a breeze!

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