Photo by Gracie Malley/staff
All humans use tools. The task at hand decides which tools are to be used. When growing cannabis, there are a multitude of essential tools that will be used to end up with a crop of killer buds. From the most simple tools like a trowel to more complex tools like a digital parts per million (PPM) meter, tools make growing a healthy crop possible.
The first tools that are used depend on the cultivation method. There are a few different ways to successfully grow cannabis and all of them have their own pros and cons. Some people may just shove a seed in some healthy and nutritious soil, while some will go to greater lengths, such as in a more complicated, purely hydroponic grow operation.
The first tool we’ll discuss is the aforementioned PPM meter. It’s a device that tells you what concentration of nutrient solution has been mixed into the pure water. Some would say that the correct method to ascertain the amount of actual nutrient solution in the liquid must be measured as pure water first. That value is used as a baseline in order to know how much nutrient should be added, which makes sense. A PPM Meter is an invaluable tool for anyone’s grow kit.
Next comes a pH meter. pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity of any given liquid, in this case the water for your nutrient solution. The scale is from 1 to 15, with 7 being neutral. Any value below 7 is acidic and any value above 7 is alkaline. Marijuana requires a slightly acidic solution of 5.2 to 5.9 pH. There are a number of different ways to ascertain a liquid’s pH. There are some kits that can be bought that have a liquid that you add to a vile of nutrient solution. Next, drop in some litmus paper and compare the color of the paper within the vile according to a color chart. This is the most economical choice and is recommended for a grow operation with only a few plants.
The best way to measure pH is with a digital pH meter. They are relatively cheap and are a must for a hydro grow operation with many plants and lots of nutrient solution. Simply dip the business end of the meter in the solution and the meter will return the pH level of the solution.
Another tool critical to any grow operation is trace elements. Any given marijuana plant will have enough trace elements in it to last to the midpoint in the plant’s growing cycle. After that the plant will struggle to grow. This is where the trace element tool comes into play. Adding trace elements to the nutrient solution will ensure that the plant has all of the nutrients it will need for the rest of its life.
A light meter is another very useful tool. It calculates the intensity of light, measured in lumens, that the plants are receiving. This is handy as the light source should be held at the optimum length away from the tips of the plants. If the light source is too far away, the plants will become long and spindly, known as phototropic. If the light source is too close, the lamp will actually burn the plant.
These simple additions to anyone’s toolbox will help ensure a healthy and robust crop. Just imagine all of those juicy buds that will be had via these simple tools of the trade. Think ahead and purchase these invaluable tools for the benefit of the crop. You won’t be disappointed.
What are some tools you use to help with cultivating your cannabis plants? Share your tips with us below.