You are here7 Tips to Growing Top-Shelf Buds
7 Tips to Growing Top-Shelf Buds
by Nebula Haze
Have you ever smoked weed that knocks your socks off? The kind of buds that people brag/warn their friends about?
Yeah, the really really good stuff.
The truth is, you can successfully grow weed with very little effort, make a ton of mistakes, and still harvest weed that does the job.
But have you ever wondered how people grow truly top-shelf buds?
If so, you're in luck, because today I'm going to teach you 7 secrets to consistently producing star quality buds that your friends will talk about for years to come.
1.) Master the basics of growing
A lot of mistakes that won't kill your plant (like nutrient burn, nutrient deficiencies, and heat stress) will often still damage the overall appearance of your buds, especially big problems that happen after the beginning of the flowering stage
So in order to get the best yields along with beautiful buds that sparkle in the light, you need to gain a complete understanding of the basics of growing.
It used to be that you needed to know an experienced grower to learn how to grow. These days, anyone with the will and an internet connection can find everything they need within minutes, so no excuses!
There's lots of books and guides out there to help you out here, or check out the free basics guide on GrowWeedEasy.com.
2.) Start with top-shelf genetics:
You'll never be able to get truly top-shelf buds if you start with mid-grade seeds or clones.
When I first started growing, I would grow any seeds I could find. These would usually grow all right but my crops would never end up being as good as the buds I found them in.
I then tried buying marijuana clones from the local dispensary with crazy strain names like "Super Grand Daddy Purple" and "Grapefruit Bubblegum Kush."
Yet, my yields and results still left a lot to be desired. I don't have anything against clones, but I have a feeling these plants weren't really the strains they claimed to be.
I didn't have any grower friends at the time, and honestly thought bag seed and local clones were my only two choices.
Until I discovered seed banks.
Ever since I started buying seeds from a reputable cannabis seed bank and getting my chosen seeds shipped to me, I have been able to consistently product star-quality buds.
Just switching to better seed stock caused a dramatic increase in my yields, but most importantly the quality of my harvests skyrocketed.
If you want to take your quality to the next level, don't start with just any clones or seeds. Search for the right, true quality genetics and don't be afraid to pay good money for those genetics! The money you pay for quality is worth it, especially if you truly want to grow Top Shelf buds.
3.) Get Your Humidity Right
Humidity stumps a lot of new growers and causes several unexpected problems.
Keeping a higher humidity during the vegetative stage will reduce salt levels within the plant while encouraging healthy and lush growth.
During the vegetative stage, if humidity drops below 40%, especially anywhere below 25%, it can cause serious problems that look like nutrient deficiencies light/heat stress!
But in these cases, just adding a little moisture to the air does wonders, even if you don't change anything else.
During the flowering stage, your cannabis plant actually prefers less humidity!
Drier air during the flowering stage helps prevent mold and actually increase trichome production on your buds! For best results, keep humidity below 45% during the flowering stage.
But I've never worried about humidity and my plants are fine...
The truth is, you can successfully grow your marijuana plants in a variety of humidities, even if growth isn't perfect, which is why many growers, especially new ones, forget about humidity altogether.
They may spend money on CO2 or bigger lights, when controlling the humidity would make a much bigger difference in their final product.
So, if you grow marijuana and would like to make a simple, relatively cheap change and dramatically improve the vibrancy of your plants, buy a humidifier/dehumidifier and make sure to always provide the optimum level.
And there's one more insider trick you need to know about humidity: So you know you need to keep humidity in 50-60% range for the vegetative stage, and under 45% for the flowering stage, but there is one extra trick... Use a dehumidifier to drop the humidity down as low as you possibly can for the last 2-3 weeks of flowering (I've gotten the humidity as low as 34%).
This extreme dryness will encourage the buds to seal and protect themselves with additional resin (in other words, a sparkling outer layer of THC-heavy trichromes).
After I first tried this trick, I was pretty amazed at the frostiness of my buds.
Added bonus: This gets your buds prepped for a successful, mold-free drying process because your buds have already given up some of their moisture.
4.) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - Is It Worth It?
A lot of people write to me and ask if adding CO2 to their grow area will increase the quality of your buds.
And so today I want to clear things up. CO2 is something you can add to the air of your grow room to increase yields, not quality.
You see, adding more and more lights will increase your yields up to a certain point, but then your plant just stops responding to more light. At this point, no matter how much light you add, your yields stay the same or get worse.
Because of a unique plant process, adding CO2 to the air makes it so that your plants can use more of the light, which can increase your overall yields.
Another advantage is that marijuana plants will thrive at higher temps when there's lots of CO2 in the air.
In my experience, buying CO2 is not the cheapest way to increase your yields, unless you have a blinding, monster light system. That's why for many small-scale growers, adding CO2 is a waste of money that could be better used in other ways.
My advice: Upgrade your lights to at least a 600W HPS (probably a 1000W HPS) and get a real exhaust system to pull away heat before you think about adding CO2.
5.) Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
However, even if you're using CO2, most growers recommend you back off and bring the temps down to 70-80 degrees F for the last two weeks before harvest.
Night temperatures should be kept around 60 degrees for most strains.
Towards the end of the flowering stage, some people recommend dropping the temperature at night to 50 degrees to further simulate the coming of "winter".
Note: Some purple strains will only show their color when exposed to colder temps at nights during the flowering stage.
6.) Make sure the grow room has strong air flow & good ventilation
This is yet another factor having to do with air quality (we already listed temperature and humidity).
You see, a smart grower realizes that great air quality is one of the biggest contributors to star quality buds.
Air flow and ventilation are essential if you want to create perfect air quality.
For 1-3 plants, you'll probably be fine with an oscillating fan or two. With a big grow and hot lights, you'll need a better exhaust system than that, but it can be easy to set up!
Learn how to set up a profession exhaust system (it may cost less than you think!)
7) Keep educating yourself
Never accept that you already know it all.
To the grower, knowledge and information are priceless. Being open to learn will make you an expert grower much quicker than figuring everything out yourself by trial and error.
Luckily, these days, anyone can use the internet to learn everything they need to know to start growing top-quality buds.
Sites like GrowWeedEasy.com make it easy for anyone to learn how to grow.
But top shelf growers continue to educate themselves about horticulture, proper environment, and what makes marijuana plants happy.
You never know when you'll hear a tip that completely makes your life a million times easier, or which helps you take your quality to the next level.
And don't forget to sign up for our weekly growing email newsletter (on the right-hand side of the page) to get tips and growing information delivered to your email inbox every Sunday morning!
To Sum it Up:
Start with good genetics and create the perfect growing environment to produce the best buds!
About Nebula Haze
Nebula Haze founded GrowWeedEasy.com in 2010 after growing her own medical marijuana for several years in the California Bay Area. She has published dozens of growing articles in print and online and is dedicated to showing others how easy it is to grow cannabis indoors.
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