For the outdoor weed grower the past two months of summer (in northern latitudes) should have been a fairly straight forward management task. This is because the plant is doing what it loves best – filling up its grow space with lots of lovely new growth foliage and soaking up the sunshine. At the end of this month, or the beginning of September, the next phase begins and some basic preparations for the outdoor cannabis flowering stage will pay dividends with a healthy harvest a couple of months down the line.
Outdoor photoperiod cannabis plants – ie all non-autoflower strains in the feminized cannabis seeds category – will begin to flower (bud) when the hours of daylight change. This will vary very slightly depending on which part of the northern hemisphere you are in, but by the end of August daylight hours hit the magic number of less than 14 which is the natural trigger for cannabis plants to bud.
So what can the outdoor weed grower do to make sure their plants reach the flowering stage in the best of health? Here are a few tips for the month of August:
Resist the Urge to Defoliate
It’s about this time of year that many growers start to get itchy fingers and worry that there is too much foliage to their plants, depriving those bud sites of sunshine exposure. Also as the season progresses outdoor cannabis plants can lose a bit of that early season aura of vitality, with some leaves becoming discolored as they start to die off.
While removing discolored and damaged leaves can be beneficial, some growers get carried away and remove too many and the result is a plant which looks as if it has had a lockdown haircut! Never forget that leaves are an essential part of the plant, supplying it with the necessary nourishment for healthy growth in the form of photosynthesis. So if you are doing a bit of pruning – keep it light – and avoid pruning at least 2 – 3 weeks before flowering begins to reduce stress.
Organic Boost Your Cannabis Plants
If we are talking about the cannabis grower, then a relaxing session at a spa is just the ticket revitalize the body ahead of a party session. However for weed plants you can’t beat some good organic nourishment in the form of a nettle or compost tea for a bit of revitalization. These organic mixes are free to make, and easy too, and provide essential nutrients to the plant in preparation for its flowering stage. A ¼ of a teaspoon of a good compost tea can contain more than a billion bacteria and 15 feet of fungi strands – now that’s the kind of party mix we’re talking about!
Don’t Stress the Plants
While cannabis plants are hardy by nature and thrive in most outdoor environments, fluctuations in temperature can affect health and stability. Heat stress during the high summer is a common issue which can disrupt the healthy growth process and even lead to into hermaphroditism in female cannabis plants so make sure those plants are kept well-watered! Interestingly, research has shown that stressed plants often produce more resin, but the flipside to this is that they will yield far less.
Keep an Eye out for Weed Plant Pests
How has your season been so far? Have your cannabis plants been pest and disease free? The chances are you will have had a few scares but hopefully nothing too serious. Let’s keep it that way! The heat of August can be a boom time for pests such as the red spider mite which love dry and hot conditions. Be vigilant because you don’t want your weed plants entering the flowering phase with a nasty dose of cannabis pests.
Not long to go until the main show! Keep up the good work, anticipate and deal with issues before they become major problems and good luck for the next phase of your cannabis grow!