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marijuana growing tips

But the benefits are great: LEDs last much longer, use far less electricity, create less heat, and the best designs generate a fuller spectrum of light, which can get bigger yields and better quality.

The two factors you need to control to dial in the environment are temperature and humidity.

LED grow lights

Weed plants need different amounts of light during their vegetative and flowering stages. You don’t have to worry about this in an outdoor setting—the sun and the season dictate this—but when growing indoors, you will be controlling it.

Regulating temperature

As much fun as growing marijuana indoors is, having a home that perpetually smells like fresh weed can be a serious inconvenience, if not to you than possibly your neighbors. Although weed odor from a small indoor grow in a closet is much easier to manage than a large grow with several flowering plants, both can produce pesky odors that will permeate an entire home if left unattended.

Marijuana growing tips

According to Caplan, it's critical to have good soil drainage for the flowering stage.

In preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana possession in Canada on Oct. 17, Caplan hopes to share his knowledge of bringing science and cultivation together.

"If the plant has more than 12 hours of daylight it will remain in a vegetative state," Caplan explained.

Tip #2: Too much fertilizer makes for feeble flowers

According to Caplan, cannabis plants in nature respond strongly to light. But more light isn't necessarily better, particularly when you want to maximize the production of the flowers that contain active chemical ingredients like THC, cannabidiol and other cannabinoids.

"When that lighting period is adjusted to 12 or fewer hours, then the plant starts to flower," said Caplan.

Canada’s first PhD in cannabis horticulture gives growing tips for better bud

For more potent buds, cut back on the fertilizer once your plants start to flower.

Illegal producers' homegrown wisdom doesn't always stand up to scientific scrutiny, Caplan told Quirks & Quarks.

Marijuana growing tips

Relative humidity: 30 to 45 percent. “If you live somewhere humid, you’re probably going to want to buy a dehumidifier,” said Lipton. “In Boulder, we sometimes have to add humidity.” At home, that can be done with a reliable humidifier.

Light: 2,200k. “For a closet set up, I would recommend a 175-watt HPS light,” Lipton said. “Some people try to use fluorescent lighting, but I wouldn’t recommend that. You’re just not going to get a very good outcome. Nowadays, HPS lights can just go right into your home outlet, and you’d just need a timer [to set the intervals]. Position the light directly overhead. They can be pretty powerful, so you’re going to want it at least two feet from the top of the canopy [to prevent the plant from overheating].”

Find a healthy clone.

After 55 to 60 days, growers begin paying close attention to their plants’ trichomes — the small, bulbous fibers that develop around the flower of the female plant. “Those trichomes will turn from clear to amber,” Lipton said. “They kind of look like red hairs. You know it’s time to harvest when about 10 to 15 percent of the trichomes turn that color.” On average, cannabis plants have a five- to seven-day window of peak harvest time.

Temperature: 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. “A tool you should always have is a little temperature gauge,” Lipton said. “They call them hygrometers. They’re cheap and tell you both the temperature and the humidity.”

Plant and maintain the vegetative cycle until the plant is mature.

Even with a healthy clone, however, cultivating cannabis can be a long and arduous process — especially in tight indoor spaces. “A lot of people think growing is easy, but it’s not,” Lipton said. “You have to be really on it. Not everyone has success, obviously.”