It’s not up for debate, growing can be difficult, just like everything in life. There are many things a new grower has to learn but whilst reading and researching can be a great preparation for growing, many people become stumped when they actually begin. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes that new growers make so you can learn from them and make your first grow as successful as possible!
1.Overwatering your plants
Anyone with basic high school education can tell you that plants need water, and whilst this is true, people become obsessed with adding more and more to try and make sure the plant remains hydrated. The problem lies within the overwatering of the plants.
Of course, plants need water. But root systems also rely on oxygen, something they are not getting if they are drowned with too much water. If there is insufficient oxygen in the root zone, they will fail to deliver water and nutrients to the plant. Oxygen in the root zone also avoids potential root rot, something that will instantly murder your plants.
2. Putting your grow lights too high or low
While it’s true that plants require lots of light to complete their growth, its absolutely crucial to understand the lights that you are using and what height they need to be to provide the perfect amount of light without being too close and overpowering. Most growers prefer a metal halide bulb for growth due to their high intensity on the blue side of the light spectrum. Due to their high heat intensity it’s recommended that your bulb remains 2ft above your plant canopy.
For flowering or fruiting, a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulb is recommended, as it is more on the red side of the light spectrum, perfect for flower!
There are dual versions of HPS bulbs available that will serve you well through both stages, but the most important thing to remember with any type of light is how you manage the heat it gives off. A tip to tell if your light is too close is put your hand above the plants canopy, if the heat from the light is uncomfortable for you, it is also uncomfortable for your plants.
It’s not necessary if you’d like to understand more on how the height of your light affects growth research the PAR Rating of your specific bulb to gain a more in depth knowledge of how your light works.
3. Too much feed
Having all your high end nutrient bottles lined up in front of you can be very exciting, but you must remember not to get ahead of yourself and overdo it on the nutrients.
Plants do need plant food! But overfeeding will do more harm than good, your plants will undergo a nutrient lockout where they are completely unable to intake anything, which can lead to death!
Any good nutrient line will supply a feeding schedule to ensure that you give your plants the correct nutrients at all times. Following this will give you excellent results. Although if you are nervous about giving your plants a full strength feed, many growers recommend halving whatever it says on the schedule and building up the concentration from there. It all depends on what you are most comfortable with and what works with your setup.
4. Air temperature is too cold or too hot
Generally, temperatures of around 20-25 degrees Celsius are recommended for your plants and anything below this will stunt growth. If the temperature is too high, female plants can turn male, not what growers want!
5. Incorrect extraction
Often, growers will skimp out on proper extraction. Fans and ventilation can look like an unnecessary expense to the grower looking to save money, but it is more essential than most people realize.
Plants use up CO2 in the air to photosynthesize and without proper ventilation and airflow, they will be unable to do this as the CO2 within a tent will deplete quickly. This is why a system to take out and bring in air is needed.
Extraction also aids in the previous point of temperature maintenance by removing the warm air and bringing in cool air.
6. Incorrect humidity
For growth your plants should start at 65% Relative Humidity for early stages, slowly throughout growth this should be reduced to 50-55%, then during flower, 50% relative humidity should be maintained. If not maintained, the plant’s important stomata will be unable to intake CO2 and release water vapor and oxygen. Plants need to breathe too!
7. pH problems
pH is the most unpredictable of things to maintain for any grower, and many new growers don’t even know that it’s something you can encounter. For reference, when growing in coco coir, your pH should be 5.0-5.5 and soil should be 6.5 to 6.8. Maintaining pH is something all growers struggle with, but there are nutrient lines available that are pH perfect, such as Advanced Nutrients Sensi, you will not encounter pH issues with nutrients lines like these due to them being formulated specifically. If you are not using a pH perfect line, be sure to pick up a pH Up and Down and a pH meter!