Want to look at your grow op with an expert eye so you see ways to make it safer, more efficient, and produce bigger yields of the most potent buds? Of course you do! Now…kindly allow me to share with you what I do when I visit marijuana gardens to help you maximize plant health and harvest yield, the first thing I do is a safety check, looking for defective grow op equipment, hazardous chemicals, security risks, and conditions that create risk of electrocution or fire.

I first look at electrical wiring, outlets, and circuit breakers to make sure the electrical supply is adequate for indoor lights, air conditioning and other hydroponics cannabis growing equipment. Electrical overload and inferior electrical infrastructure are common, and can lead to fires and other disasters.

Then, I turn my attention to grow room efficiency, productivity, and profits. It’s good to examine garden humidity, temperature, light intensity, light on-off cycles, C02 levels, distance from lights to top of plant canopy and other factors to ensure your marijuana plants are in the best situation possible.

One important goal: decrease electricity consumption while increasing grams per watt. Something as simple as making sure the grow room has adequate air exchange can make a big difference. You want fresh air in that room, unless you’re running added carbon dioxide (C02) and/or running a sealed grow room.

You want the grow room air moving around, so you use oscillating fans that create a gentle breeze can be felt in all areas of the plant canopy at all times. I specify at least one powerful 12-inch or larger oscillating fan per 1000 watts of grow lights.

Adequate air movement helps marijuana plants “breathe” in CO2 and dispense oxygen. It also decreases the ability of airborne molds, fungi and other predators to land on and establish residence on your crops.

Be aware that molds, mildews, diseases, fungi and pests vector into your marijuana grow op through air exchange, as well as through garden visitors and on tools, soil, clones and equipment. That’s why some growers run a sealed grow room that retains its native air in a perfectly balanced environment. This requires high-tech gear and skills, and most growers don’t use a sealed room because it’s like running a grow op in a bank vault.

No matter whether you run an open or closed grow room, at least twice a year remove all cannabis plants and equipment from your hydroponics marijuana grow space. During that time, disinfect the walls, ceilings, ducts, and floors, and also disinfect anything that touches marijuana plants (pots, etc.) or touches the water your cannabis plants are fed with. There are fancy disinfectants, fungicides, and other compounds you can buy, but I prefer to make a spray consisting of a diluted bleach solution.

If you’ve had problems with pests such as aphids, thrips, spider mites and scale, it’s a good idea to buy a pyrethrum fogger or two and blast the room while it’s empty of plants and totally closed off. If you’ve had powdery mildew, get a sulfur burner and blast the room with sulfur.

I take a look at people’s water supply and test their water with an expensive and very sensitive total dissolved solids, chlorine, and pH meter.  Most municipal water supplies contain chlorine, chloramine, toxins, heavy metals, salts, microbes and other impurities that harm or even kill plants. Reverse osmosis water is so much better than any other water, but it costs money to purchase and run an RO system. The investment is worth it, as RO water is clean and pure, and will eliminate problems that can harm your plants and harvest value.

Many growers assume that nutrients and fertilizers are all alike, and some even look at fertilizer expenses as a place to cheap out in their grow op. That’s a big mistake. Your valuable marijuana plants need the highest quality food and supplements possible, especially during bloom phase.

If a grower has dried and cured buds for me to examine, I do a variety of tests to see how clean and properly processed they are. Growers who fail to flush their crops in the week before harvest inevitably end up with polluted buds that are hard to combust, taste like chems, and won’t burn to a white ash.

Many marijuana growers do everything right during their grow and bloom phases, but then degrade the value of their marijuana harvest by rushing the drying and curing process, or by drying buds in areas with high humidity, temperatures below 64 F or above 80 F, or where pollutants, molds, and fungi can settle on the buds as they dry and cure. I dry and cure my crops at 53-55% humidity, unless gray mold has been present indoors or outdoors, in which case I reduce humidity to 48%.

Now here’s a concise list of the common problems and mistakes marijuana growers should recognize or remediate:

  • Improper nutrients water and root zone pH and PPM (remediated by using pH Perfect hydroponics base nutrients).
  • Grow room temperature or nutrients solution temperature too hot or too cold.
  • Lights too close to cannabis plant canopy, made worse by an uneven-height plant canopy.
  • Using defective soil, coco coir, soiless mix and other materials in the root zone.
  • Hydroponics marijuana plants crowded together and/or inadequate lighting so light penetration and intensity aren’t adequate for max growth.
  • Crowded cannabis plants that don’t get enough ventilation.
  • Cold floors that harm roots.
  • Failure to monitor hydroponics marijuana plants and grow systems at least once a day.
  • Growers not familiar with how nutrient problems and pests and diseases affect plants and/or not doing enough to stop problems as soon as they can be detected.
  • Poor air movement, room ventilation and air filtration.
  • Poor security systems; security risks caused by letting other people know you grow cannabis.
  • Letting pets in grow rooms/smoking cigarettes in grow rooms (these are vectors for disease and contaminants that end up on buds)
  • Not putting reflecting material on walls and ceiling.
  • Not covering marijuana grow room floor with waterproof material such as a tarp.
  • Use of inferior fertilizers, especially those that create unstable pH.
  • Using high intensity discharge bulbs that are worn out.
  • Overwatering/Underwatering/Overfertilizing/Underfertilizing.
  • Poor marijuana garden hygiene and maintenance, especially as regards cleaning hydroponics reservoir and keeping drip emitters and other equipment unclogged and clean.
  • Use of poorly-made organic nutrients that create disease and yucky smell.
  • Augmented C02 removed from room due to ventilation.

Now you’ve got the information you need to do an optimizing deep dive into your marijuana grow op. Check out the embedded YouTube growing marijuana videos for even more useful information. The more things you improve and fix in your grow op, the easier and more profitable your cannabis growing will be!