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10 Timesaving Tips For Busy Cannabis Growers

Created by
JoshuaHolt JoshuaHolt
Added 7 January 2021

Timesaving Tips For Busy Cannabis Growers

Not all of us have as many hours as we would like to put into growing our favourite cannabis. Cultivating weed requires hard work and unfortunately many people don't have the time to give their cannabis plants the attention they deserve. With just a few adjustments to the way we handle our grow, we can become timesaving experts and still yield large harvests at the end of a busy day.

There are many ways to speed up the process, both in the sense of how we manage the plants and the space they are grown in. This article teaches you how to set up a routine so you can have peace of mind that your green girls are OK when you can't be there to look after them.

Time Requirements of Growing Cannabis

Cannabis Is An Annual Plant

In nature, a cannabis plant gets to live one annual cycle. When you think about it, that's rather a long time to achieve just one harvest per year. Growing weed doesn't need to take up as much time as many first time growers initially give it. Both indoor and outdoor growing has its benefits for a cannabis cultivator looking to save time. 

The question is, are you trying to save time in terms of the amount of hours you spend working on your plants, or are you trying to shorten the grow cycles and yield as much as possible?

There are two main aspects to consider here:

  • Your time requirements
  • Your cannabis plant's time requirements

As a minimum, it is best if you are able to spend at least some time each day checking your cannabis plants. Whether they need feeding, a pest check, or nothing at all, giving your plants daily attention means you can keep track of their progress or spot any problems quickly if they do occur.

Bear in mind that your schedule is also dependant on the life cycle of the strains you choose. Knowing that can help you plan around the stages of growth so you can be sure you're there providing assistance exactly when your plants need it.

10 Timesaving Tips

Soil Generally Requires Less Maintenance Than Hydroponics

So, here are 10 quick timesaving tips to help minimise the hours you have to spend taking care of your cannabis plants:

Choose the Right System

Both soil and hydroponics come with their advantages and can save you time in different ways.

SoilA soil plant tends to need less feeding and doesn't demand such high maintenance. Depending on the soil mixture, you may only need to water every few days. Soil is forgiving and pH or nutrients imbalances do not happen as easily. For minimal maintenance soil, try organic super soils.
HydroponicsPlants grow faster and larger but the system requires regular checks to avoid sudden failure. Hydroponics systems need monitoring daily to maintain pH and nutrient levels. There are plenty of aspects to take care of, such as pumps, blockages, empty reservoirs, spillages, etc.

Growing Indoors Vs Outdoors

Growing Outdoors For Saving Time

Similar to the comparison we just made about soil and hydroponics, growing indoors or outdoors has different demands. An outdoor plant generally requires less maintenance than an indoor plant and in the right climate with a high quality soil mixture, it should only need attention every few days. We say grow outdoors if you are really trying to save time and aren't worried about harvesting multiple times per year.

Indoor plants are reliant on a lot of equipment and although having full control over the whole environment can be ideal, it does mean there is more that can go wrong. On the other hand, indoor plants allow a grower to save time in relation to how much cannabis he/she can produce in a year. Also, a lot of the work can be automated.

Use Automation

Using Automation In The Grow Room Saves Time

Indoor growers, as well as greenhouse growers, have the advantage of introducing automation into their setup. Lighting, irrigation and ventilation can all be connected to timers meaning you can focus on other aspects of the grow such as keeping the right pH, maintaining the nutrients, or pruning and cleaning up the garden.

Indoor soil grow by GlazedGrow from GrowDiaries.

Greenhouses can even have automated blinds installed to allow outdoor growers to manipulate the amount of light their plants receive. This practice is called light deprivation, or light dep and means greenhouse growers can get more harvests each year. Dealing with light coverings every morning and evening can be very time consuming.

Opt For Larger Containers

Large Containers With Small Plants Need Less Watering

Plants in bigger pots do not need watering as often because they can hold more water. However, cannabis plants benefit from a dry/wet cycle so you need to be careful with overwatering in large pots as the soil could stay wet for too long, causing root and mold problems.

For hydroponics, a larger reservoir could store enough nutrient solution for up to a week (best to change at least once per week). Instead of having to refill the res everyday or two with a fresh solution, you could be checking the pH and making quick nutrient adjustments. 

Strains With Short Cycles

Autoflowers are a great choice for those looking to get fast turnovers. Autoflowering strains tend to be fairly pest and mold resistant, require minimal maintenance and nutrients, and flower extremely quickly.

Be Methodical About Your Workflow

Keeping An Organised Space

Have everything accessible in the grow room and give yourself enough space to work in. Planning in this respect goes a long way. You can even draw up a plan when building your grow room so you can have all your equipment and nutrients within easy reach.

Think ahead and make notes so you already know what you might need to do next time you go in the grow room. It helps to make a grow schedule to work out how many times per week you need to be spending time working on your garden.

Tip: Try not to overstretch and grow more plants than you can handle the work for.

Optimise The Grow Environment

Optimise The Grow Environment

Optimising your grow environment means making sure all equipment is functioning at its most efficient. You want peace of mind that nothing is going to stop working while you are away, which could be devastating for your cannabis plants.

  • Keep the grow room clean, sterilise equipment between grows and be hygienic
  • Regularly check pumps and timers for blockages or malfunction
  • Invest in a high quality ventilation system that can regulate/control airflow
  • Choose lights from a reputable source

For outdoor plants, adjusting the environment is trickier and may mean having to move plants around or provide shade. Protecting outdoor plants can save time in the long run by avoiding more serious issues from not dedicating enough time to making the environment comfortable.

Prevent Pests and Mold

Prevent Pests and Mold

It might sound like you are putting in more effort than you need to when preventing a problem that hasn't manifested itself yet. But believe us, preventing pests and mold is one of the best timesaving tips to have clear. Once a pest or mold establishes itself in your grow room it can be very time consuming to get rid of.

Prevent pests or mold by optimising your grow environment in a way that does not give them an opportunity. We recommend using sticky traps and routine foliar sprays during vegetation with products such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. They won't harm your vegging plants if used in small quantities and can save you a big headache later on.

However, first and foremost is getting the conditions stable so you have that out of the way. Once your grow system is running and you're familiar with it, your experience will grow, which mean you'll eventually be quicker at getting everything done.

Find a Partner To Help

Finding A Cannabis Growing Partner Makes The Work Easier

This should only be someone you fully trust and know is reliable. Sharing the workload, especially for large grows, might be necessary for you in order to be able to manage it efficiently and still have time for other aspects of your life. More hands makes light work, right?

DYOR (Do Your Own Research)

Finally, always spend some time researching before diving into any project. Understanding how the life cycle of a cannabis plant works means you can avoid running into all sorts of problems along the way.

Once the project has started, continue to inform yourself about new techniques so you can know the grow room and your plants like the back of your hand.

Conclusion

It can be easy to give a cannabis plant too much TLC in the beginning when we feel we the need to constantly monitor what's going on. It's normal to expect results quickly or over-encourage the plants but as we get familiar with the grow cycles, it becomes clear that cannabis plants can do extremely well with minimal help. We just need to make sure we give them the right help. 

If you found this article useful or have any comments regarding timesaving in the grow environment, please feel free to share your thoughts down below!

External References

A Belated Green Revolution for Cannabis: Virtual Genetic Resources to Fast-Track Cultivar Development. - Welling, M. T., Shapter, T., Rose, T. J., Liu, L., Stanger, R., & King, G. J. (2016).

The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use. Green Candy Press. - Greg Green (2003). 

Cannabis pests. J. Int. Hemp Assoc.. - McPartland, John. (1996).

This article was updated January 2021. 






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