Climate change includes drought, water shortages, extreme heat, extreme weather events, wildfires, and general climate chaos. All these affect marijuana growers, sometimes catastrophically. Today, we’ll examine these problems and what you can do to keep growing marijuana perfectly…
Outdoor Marijuana Growing = Big Challenges
Outdoor marijuana growers in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and most other western states already know about climate change because fires, extreme heat, low humidity and other disastrous conditions have killed tens of thousands of cannabis plants.
Problem is, those conditions are spreading across the country. As this article is being written, growers in New Jersey are telling us about massive wildfires and heat never before seen.
Marijuana growers in Florida report 93-101°F temperatures, humidity below 35%, and no rain–conditions usually seen only in deserts, not in formerly tropical places like Florida.
Until climate change, Florida summers typically had very high humidity and it rained an inch or more several times per week.
Cannabis growers in the famed Emerald Triangle region of northern California report moderate to severe drought, excessive heat, dry soil.
Outdoor growers across the country and world report that climate change is causing cannabis pest insects to migrate and become problems where they never were before.
Obviously, outdoor marijuana growers can’t control climate change, put out fires, or otherwise alter the grim environment we’re experiencing.
Some strategies for growing marijuana outdoors include:
- Bringing in water instead of relying on rainfall.
- Adding water-holding material to root zone during planting prep.
- Planting strains with genetics naturally suited to heat and drought.
- Using mist systems and foliar spraying for foliage and drip irrigation for root zone.
- Growing in cooler, wetter months, perhaps moving plants back and forth from greenhouses or other controlled environments to outdoors.
- Armoring plants with silicon via root and foliar feeding. Note that our grow op research shows that one brand of horticultural silicon is much better than the other brands.
- Growing fast-finishing strains.
You might notice we haven’t mentioned sucking water from aquifers, lakes, or rivers. That’s because outdoor marijuana growing, like most other types of commercial agriculture, is already extremely environmentally harmful when growers take water from natural systems, alter natural ecology, displace or kill native flora and fauna, clear land, lay traps and/or use poisons against “pests.”
The so-called “sungrown” marijuana industry, which smugly looks down on indoor marijuana growing as “ecologically harmful,” should acknowledge that outdoor marijuana growing also harms the environment.
Climate Change Makes Indoor Marijuana Growing Harder & Costlier
One of our team members is growing indoor cannabis in southern California. He reports the cost of water and electricity has risen 75% in the past ten years.
Scientists and government officials are warning that the region may run out of water completely. He had to purchase a water cistern.
Electricity blackouts are increasingly common–a disaster for deep water culture growers and other pure hydroponic marijuana growers who need a constant reliable electricity supply.
The cost of purchasing and operating backup generators with enough capacity to run grow ops is very high.
Hotter temperatures create more air conditioning load, leading to increased energy costs, accelerated breakdown of air conditioning equipment, and the need for grow op humidifiers.
Even in sealed grow rooms, when outdoor humidity is extremely low and temperatures extremely high, it influences grow room climate. Growers struggle to keep vapor pressure deficit within range. Humidifiers are energy hogs and blow through a lot of reverse osmosis water.
Indoor marijuana growers use some of the same mitigation tactics as outdoor cannabis growers, such as growing fast-finishing strains and genetics that can handle a lot of heat during bloom phase.
They also use other tactics to deal with climate change, including:
- Time-shifting so grow lights are on during the coolest parts of the day.
- Using professional LED grow lights instead of inefficient amateur LED grow lights or heat-monster high intensity discharge (HID) grow lights.
- Growing underground such as in a basement.
- Installing solar, enhanced insulation, attic fans to make the grow building as energy efficient as possible.
- Installing the highest-efficiency air conditioning units, including high-tech split units. Get the highest SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) unit possible. It’s worth the investment.
Please take a look at this article that contains a deeper dive into hot weather cannabis growing.
The bottom line is that climate change is not a “commie-liberal” fiction.
We’ve pumped billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to use of fossil fuels and our burning of forests such as the Amazon rainforest, which is quickly being turned into an ash heap.
We’ve also replaced massive areas of green, cooling, oxygen-producing natural ecology with paved-over urbanized hell zones.
As scientists warn of a gargantuan “heat dome” and nationwide drought effects as this article is being written, I have no tolerance or respect for climate change denialists.
They’re like those deluded people on the Titanic who refused to believe the ship was sinking…even as the deck was tilting and water was lapping at their feet.