Use LST to Grow a Short Sativa
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View im4potato’s photo albums featuring pictures from all his grows: http://im4potato.imgur.com/
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Check out WasabiMayo’s amazing (budget) CFL microgrow with pictures and read his write-up.
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Used with permission. View original article right here.
Growing weed can be easy. Come learn how…
What Is Micro Growing Cannabis?
Growing your own cannabis has been gaining a lot of popularity, people who can’t find good quality flowers or don’t want to deal with dealers are starting to grow their own. Even though it may seem super hard and expensive, having your own growing space doesn’t need to be hard at all, you can grow like a pro indoor, even in smaller spaces.
A micro cannabis grow consists of scaling down a grow tent, the only difference being the amount of space available. This results in a fully functioning indoor growing space that can fit in a small closet, a homemade grow box or even smaller spaces like a computer case or a cupboard.
1. Cannabis growing conditions
Just like in all other growing setups, you will have to provide a good environment for your plants to grow, this can be a bit hard when dealing with small spaces but it’s not impossible.
For your plants to grow properly, you will need to provide and maintain a relative humidity in between 60-50%, a temperature ranging from 18-25°C and 18hs of light for autos and photos in the vegetative stage, and 12/12 for photoperiodic strains in the flowering stage.
Despite being smaller, the growing space needs to have everything a normal-sized growing space has, so you won’t need to spend too much but you will need the basics.
There isn’t a big difference when growing in a small space, obviously you’re limited by the space you have available so you’ll have to choose the genetics wisely and perform plant training but other than that, it’s basically the same.
The challenge when micro growing cannabis is to be able to provide and maintain a good growing environment for your plants, this can be difficult when growing in small spaces but it’s not impossible, you most likely won’t get it right the first time but after making minor adjustments it will work like a charm.
3. Main requirements
Providing the needed amount of all these elements is crucial if you want to have a successful harvest, you will not need to spend too much or buy super expensive equipment but remember that when growing indoors you are responsible for controlling the environment your plant grows in so these things are obligatory.
Micro growing setups are usually homemade, it doesn’t really matter the material or size of the grow box as long as you provide everything your plant needs and that is:
Light is a key element in plant growth, obviously you won’t need a high-intensity light fixture but you will need to provide the appropriate amount of light for your plants to develop.
You cannot grow cannabis without light, that’s a fact. It doesn’t matter what kind of light you use either an LED or light bulb, now, light bulbs emit heat but can be near the plants while LEDs don’t emit much heat but can bleach your plants if they’re too close to the plants so depending on the growing space you will have to choose one or another.
Because of the limited space, you won’t have a lot of plants so you can also use fluorescent tubes and CFLs but remember to provide at least 400w per m 2 and have in mind that when using light bulbs you have to use white lights in the vegetative stage and yellow lights, almost all LEDs are full-spectrum so you won’t need to worry about this if using LED fixtures.
It’s essential you provide a wide light spectrum if you want to get dense buds so make sure you take extra caution before buying the lights.
Ventilation and Air exchange
Like said above, plants need CO2 to perform photosynthesis. There are around 400PPM of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe so there’s no need to provide more than what’s already available but you will need a way to exchange air.
Because the space is limited and you don’t need and can’t fit an exhaust fan, you can achieve this just by having the door open or a couple of holes for the air to naturally circulate, this way you avoid having problems.
If you don’t make sure the air is exchanged several times a day, your plants will not be able to grow properly because they need CO2 to perform photosynthesis.
You will also need a small fan to help the air circulate, this will not only help exchange air but will also prevent bugs and make your plant’s branches and stem stronger.
Plants need macro and micronutrients to grow properly, if the medium is sterile and you don’t feed your plants, they will start to show nutrient deficiencies and can stop growing at all.
Because the pots are usually smaller and contain a smaller amount of soil (or the medium of your choice) you will have to water more often and maybe divide the nutrient dose you would give once in two or three, this will help your plant absorb it easier because the medium can only hold a limited amount of water.
Have in mind that you can grow photoperiodic strains but you can have trouble controlling their height so if you’re a beginner grower it’s better to start with autoflowering plants so you don’t risk ending up without a harvest.
Appropriate pot size
As you may know, the size of a plant is a reflection of the size of the roots so using smaller pots is necessary in smaller growing spaces, because the pot is smaller and will have less medium, you will have to water and feed more frequently.
Even though the size can vary from strain to strain, here’s a chart to help you have an idea of the approximate plant size for smaller pots:
|Pot size||Plant height|
This will also keep the branches shorter but depending on the strain, your plant can develop a lot of branches that you will have to control with plant training techniques if needed.
4. Choosing the strain
Because of the limited space, you will have to choose the right genetics so you don’t have a problem further into your plants growth cycle.
In this type of setup autoflowering strains are ideal, although some strains grow taller than others, so you have to be careful and pay attention to the information the breeders give.
For example, if your growing space is tall and narrow you’ll be better with Sativa-dominant strains, Sativas grow tall and skinny and are better for this kind of grow space whereas Indica-dominant plants grow short and bushy and are better suited for shorter and relatively wide.
5. Plant training
When growing cannabis in a limited space, plant training is essential. There are a lot of plant training techniques that not only allow you to control the size your plant will have and even out the canopy but also help improve yields.
In small growing spaces there are a couple of growing techniques that are recommended:
Tying down branches
The tie-down method is fairly easy but you won’t be able to grow more than 2-3 plants in a limited space, this is because tying down the branches allows you to control the height by training your plant to grow to the sides.
You can also use high stress training techniques like topping or fimming but to effectively perform these techniques you need a bit of experience, HST techniques are not recommended with autoflowering strains but can be used with photoperiodic cannabis so you have to know what you’re doing so you don’t risk your harvest.
By choosing the better-suited strain for the space you have available you won’t have a problem, and if it grows a little bit more than what you expected, you can use any plan training technique you find appropriate.
Screen of green (aka Scrog ) consists of having a trellis net on top of your plants, this will not only allow you to control height but will also open up the branches so your plants have more airflow in the buds and also allows the light to reach deeper.
A sea of green (aka Sog ) is the most appropriate technique for this type of cannabis grow, it consists of having a lot of plants, growing small and not producing too much individually but will add up to a lot after harvesting all of them.
The plant training method you use will depend on the space you have, remember you don’t have to use just one, you can combine (for example) the Scrog method with the tie-down method to reach the desired height and structure.
6. In conclusion
You can grow cannabis in any space as long as you provide the basic elements a plant needs, it doesn’t matter if it’s a huge or a tiny growing space.
If you have experience with this type of growing, please feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below!
Even in a smaller space, you can grow like a pro. Micro growing is for those who want to grow good buds stealthy and in a small discreet growing space.