The goal of every cannabis grower is to ensure optimal growth of the buds and achieve maximum yield. Therefore, they try various methods, tips & tricks, and tactics to get the best results, but mostly, they experience failure, especially if they are new to indoor growing.
In this article, we will share three key steps to get maximum yield. We will also discuss how you can do it by using LED lights for growing cannabis in optimal environmental conditions. You will also discover many things that you can try to improve the growth and yield of cannabis on your personal indoor farm.
Step 1: How to Choose Grow Tent
The struggle starts with selecting the right grow tent for cannabis. Many beginners would ignore this stage, but the right tent plays an important role in the growth and yield of your cannabis.
You can select the size of the grow tent according to the space you have at your home or the number of plants you would like to grow. But keep in mind that there should be enough space to hang LED cannabis grow lights.
Plus, the structure of the tent should be strong enough to hold the weight of the LED lights for growing cannabis and other equipment you are going to put in. There is a weight rating mentioned on the tent specification, so you need to check that as well.
1) The Right Grow Light
For the optimal yield of cannabis, you need to get the best grow lights that can provide enough light that the plants need.
There are different types of grow lights available, such as LED grow lights, HID lights, fluorescent lights, and incandescent bulbs. But the best one for a grow tent is LED lights to grow cannabis and other plants. These are highly efficient, compact, and adjustable so that you can set optimal environmental conditions.
The space inside a grow tent is very limited, so you cannot place your light far away to reduce the intensity. But LED grow lights can be controlled as most of them have a brightness control knob. With that being said, you can change the brightness or intensity without changing the height of the fixture.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked by beginners is the spectrum of the light. Cannabis, as well as other plants, require a full spectrum of light to grow well. If certain radiation, such as blue or red, is eliminated or reduced, the yield and growth will be greatly affected.
Make sure you check the specifications of the LED lights for growing cannabis to know whether it offers a full spectrum or not. It is necessary for your cannabis plants.
2) Control of the Growing Environment
The next important thing in a grow tent is the control of the environment. For optimal growth, you need to ensure the temperature and humidity inside the tent.
Most of the time, the temperature inside the tent increases drastically, so it affects the plants badly. Due to high temperature, the leaf might start to burn, and there could be water scarcity.
Humidity should also be kept in control because it offers a favorable environment for the growth of pests. If you want to keep your cannabis plants healthy, maintaining humidity is essential.
For temperature regulation and humidity control, there are various accessories used. Firstly, you need to use a thermo-hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity in real time.
Secondly, you need a ventilation system. Grow tents usually have dedicated openings to place the intake and exhaust fans and install other accessories. You can also install a carbon filter to eliminate the smell in the grow tent.
The ventilation system helps in taking in the fresh air that contains CO2. It expels the air inside the tent, and this process helps in reducing the temperature and humidity of the area.
You also need an air conditioning system in the room where you have placed the tent. It helps in regulating the temperature inside the grow tent.
Step 2: How to Improve Feeding and Watering for Cannabis
The next important thing for the optimal growth of cannabis is feeding and watering. Your plants need some macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). These are generally called NPK, and the ratio in which they are in the soil or fertilizer is called the NPK ratio.
Other than these macronutrients, there are some essential micronutrients. Your plants do not need a larger quantity of these, but they are still essential for growth and optimal yield.
While buying fertilizers or nutrients, you need to check the nutrients’ ratio. There are many fertilizer brands in the market, and their products differ in ratio. You need to check what they offer before you use them for your plants.
You need to check the fertilizer’s ratio as cannabis needs a different ratio of macronutrients in different stages. For instance, in the seedlings, the preferred NPK ratio is 2:1:2. In the vegetative phase, the ratio is changed; it is 10:5:7. At the end of this phase, all the macronutrients are preferred to be equal.
Similarly, the NPK ratio also differs in the flowering plants as well. Thus, the grower needs to give the nutrients according to the needs of the plant. Usually, cannabis plants are fed once a week, so you can prepare the feed in water according to the required nutrients.
Water is an important ingredient or reactant for photosynthesis. Without it, the process is not possible. Thus, you also need to give enough water to the plants. There should neither be scarcity nor excess water.
If the water is short, the plant won’t be able to produce enough food. If there is too much water, there will be various issues, such as root rot and yellow leaves. Thus, the right quantity of water is needed.
Moreover, you also need to check the pH level of the soil regularly. If the pH level is not up to the mark, you either need to flush the plant or use pH-down water. While feeding your plants, the pH level of the feed should also be checked.
Step 3: How to Use Your LED for Growing Cannabis
Even if you have bought excellent LED lights for growing cannabis in a tent, it is not over yet. You also need to use the lights the right way so that plants can have the right amount and spectrum of light that they need.
Using LED grow lights is also a skill. Beginners understand how to tweak the light settings as they gain experience in indoor growing. For growing cannabis, you need to know the optimal PPFD that the buds need in different growing stages.
PPFD standards for Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density. It indicates the amount of flux per unit area. It is an important metric because it gives you an idea of whether the light of the LED is sufficient, low, or excessive.
When you just sow the cannabis seeds in the soil, the required PPFD is 100-300 µmol/m2/s. During the vegetation stage, it should be 300-600 µmol/m2/s, and in the reproduction stage, the required PPFD is over 600 µmol/m2/s. These are the optimal values of PPFD required by a cannabis plant.
With that being said, cannabis needs different PPFD levels in different stages. Thus, you need to control the PPFD accordingly. There are two ways to control the PPFD level in your grow tent. One is increasing the changing the distance between the light and the plant, and the second is adjusting the brightness of the LED using its knob.
In a grow tent, you cannot change the height much, so the second option is better. You can adjust the PPFD level using the knob, but keep in mind that not all LED lights for growing cannabis have this incredible feature.
Another problem is that you need to control the PPFD level such that it should be more than 1000 µmol/m2/s. If PPFD exceeds that limit, you need to provide additional CO2 in the grow tent. Let’s understand this concept in detail.
Photosynthesis requires CO2 and water as ingredients. It also needs light that makes the reaction faster by acting as a catalyst. All these three things are required in an adequate proportion. If anything is less, the excess of the other two will be useless.
For instance, you have installed powerful LED grow lights for your cannabis grow tent. The PPFD of the lights is magnificent, but CO2 is not enough to carry out photosynthesis. It means that the excess light will be useless.
Therefore, if you want to increase PPFD, you also need to increase the CO2 and water so that photosynthesis can go on. Undoubtedly, if you increase all these things, the yield will definitely increase.
If the PPFD is under 1000 µmol/m2/s, there is no need for supplemental CO2. The naturally available CO2 in the air is enough, given that you have a good ventilation system. But if the PPFD increases above 1000 µmol/m2/s, you need to add CO2 to the tent to utilize the excess PPFD in photosynthesis.
Depending on the size of the tent, you can get LED lights for growing cannabis. We recommend Medic Grow Smart-8 LED grow light for indoor grow tents. It is an all-in-one two-segment light that has all features you need. It offers a timer to set the time of light and a dimmer to adjust the intensity as needed. It is enough for a 5’x5’ grow tent, but you can also use it in a 4’x4’ grow tent with additional CO2.
Smart-8 has an excellent PPFD value of just under 1000 µmol/m2/s if you use it in a 5’x5’ grow tent at 100%, given a height of 23 inches. You can use it without any hassle. The best part is that it offers an adjustable spectrum that can help you select the best spectrum according to the stage of the plant. Moreover, you also adjust the PPFD through its dimmer knob. It is one of the best LED grow lights for cannabis.