Growing Cannabis Essentials
Sep 6th 2022
With marijuana becoming legal in numerous states, there are now many people who grow their own and have done so successfully. From our experience with irrigation systems and visiting many of these legally licensed grows from setup to harvest, it’s the quality of products and the grower’s daily attention to detail that makes a big difference. Here are some basics to consider before you choose the best irrigation products.
Site Selection: Carefully selecting your site is the key to outdoor cannabis growing. Consider the hours of sunlight (needs 8-12) and possibly if you are a backyard grower what plants (corn, sunflowers, or tomatoes, bamboo) can conceal it. Most municipalities require a 6-foot-high solid fence around the area to keep it from becoming a public nuisance.
Soil: A well balanced amended soil grows healthy plants but keep in mind that cannabis plants love nitrogen in their growth stage. Cannabis thrives with an aged compost that has all the essential nutrients plus blood meal, bone meal, kelp, and some coco or vermiculite to allow the roots to penetrate the soil and get plenty of oxygen easily. The addition of a microbial amendment will help roots absorb all the nutrients in the soil. Regular feedings of a water-soluble fertilizer thru a drip system or top dressing your plants with a dry fertilizer will ensure vigorous vegetative growth and prolific flowering. Aim to achieve a PH of 5.5 -6.5 to allow the plants to thrive.
Water: Cannabis loves a slow delivery of water throughout its growth cycle. When it comes to even water distribution, long product life, and near-zero maintenance, a drip system is best.
1/2″ Emitter Tubing
This tubing has pre-installed pressure compensating emitters inside of the tubing spaced 9″, 12″, 18″, 24″ and 36″apart, your choice. Many growers run their ¾” mainline tubing by each plant or Smart Pot and then “T” off the mainline to circle every single plant a few times with this 1/2″ Emitter Tubing. Other growers run straight lines of 1/2″ Emitter Tubing on either side of their row of plants to get an even flow of water to each plant even if the rows are hundreds of feet long. Here are some facts about ½” Emitter Tubing:
- Greatly reduces installation time as emitters are factory installed
- Perfect for hilly terrain or long rows
- Choice of ½ gallon or 1 GPH pressure compensating emitters
- This tubing is the same size diameter as our ½” mainline
- Pressure range 10-50 PSI
Aqua-Traxx Drip Tape is the economically perfect tape for long rows of plants either grown outdoors, in a greenhouse/high tunnel or raised beds. It offers uniform distribution of water over very long distances and is exceptionally clog-resistant. A filter is recommended to eliminate debris and sediment large enough to affect the performance of a drip system. We have even seen CO2 injected through drip tape in enclosed high tunnels for bigger plants.
- Low cost and effective watering product for long rows
- Superb watering efficiency and uniformity
- Ideal for above ground, mulched, or buried applications
- Great for low-pressure systems down to 4 PSI
- Typically lasts up to 7 years if mulched or buried, 2-5 years above
¼” Soaker Dripline
This product is very versatile use it anywhere. It is ideal for small and medium garden beds or containers and individual plants. 1/4″ Soaker Dripline works at pressures as low as 2 PSI, ideal for gravity-fed systems.
- Flexible, easy to use
- Emitters pre-installed every 6″, 9″, or 12″
- Great for low-pressure gravity systems raised beds, containers
- Works down to 2 PSI
- Maximum operating pressure 30 PSI
A top selling product and a great choice, I can easily see the advantage of using the Down-Spray Sprinkler. Our customers use this sprinkler assembly to give a full circle diameter spray pattern that will water in the nutrients and allow for top dressing during the growing season. Here are some of the main advantages.
- 20″-24″ diameter circular spray pattern
- Choose either low flow or a high flow model
- Wets evenly with minimal surface disturbance
- Comes with a shutoff clip to stop the flow
- UV stabilized for long life
- No moving parts which means less maintenance
We have seen 100′ long garden beds with auto flower (7 to 9 weeks to maturity) Ruderalis cannabis plants planted every 4′ running down both sides of the bed with a Down-Spray Sprinkler Full Circle staked into the soil between each plant. In Northern California, they are planted around May 1st and harvested by the middle of July. For full season plants, we recommend three or four Down Spray Sprinklers around the plant.
The 1/8″ Spot Spitters (which are smaller sprayers) are used in gardens and containers. Used with 1/8″ tubing that comes off the mainline, these stake sprayers put out a 160 degree 10″-24″ cone-shaped spray pattern. 1/8” Spot Spitters are great for low-pressure situations and work well with 15-25 PSI, but at a higher pressure, they will work well too. I’ve seen two or three sprayers used around a plant in a container or 4-6 of them when planting directly in a garden bed.
- uniform spray pattern
- come in three flow rates
- Works with 1/8″ tubing
MixRite Fertilizer Injector
Powered entirely by the water flowing through it the MixRite Injector delivers accurate dispensing across varying water pressures and flows. Various models are available in a number of injection rates from 0.1% to 10%. Choose the MixRite Injector according to the fertilizer concentration you want to add.
- Simple to install, operate, and clean
- Pressure loss at max flow: 14.5 PSI
- Shutoffs on all models except IMR1
- UV-resistant plastic body
Call the knowledgeable people at Dripworks or check out www.dripworks.com for any further information or come by our store to see the products in action.