Water – we all need it, even our little babies. Well, especially our little babies. Watering properly is the single most effective thing you can do to ensure the health and yield of your crop. We’ve noticed out mingling that many many casual and personal farmers just water away, without really knowing what’s is going into their plants. Let’s discuss the three main aspects of your water; temperature, PH, and quantity, and why each are important to check and maintain.
#1 – Temperature
Why it’s important: Ganja can grow in almost all climates, but it thrives in a warm (70-85 degree) environment. Ideally, you keep the temperature in your grow environment relatively stable and within this range. When your plants are thriving and going through osmosis and photosynthesis in an optimum balance, cold water (< 60 degrees, roughly) disrupts this process by hardening the cell structures and hence slowing osmosis and then photosynthesis. Cold enough water will bring this process to a crawl, turning your beautiful dark green babies into lime green sicklings.
What to Watch For: A light green color indicates thatphotosynthesis and nutrient uptake (osmosis) are not happening. A saggy or raisiny look indicates too much water.
How to Keep it Right: Use a heater in your water resevoir and fish-tank thermometer to watch the temperature. Many water heaters have an automatic setting that will bring the water to that temperature and hold it there. We recommened 70-80 degrees… nice and warm, a little above room temperature. Do not water plants with water above 80 degrees in temperature.
#2 – PH, or Acidity/Alkalinity
Why it’s important: PH is the acidity/alkalinity level of your water. If you water is too acidic, it will disrupt the plant growth processes much the same way that cold water does… it damages the cell structure, slowing or halting osmosis and photosynthesis. If your water is too alkaline, the same will occur… This is because important chemical processes that guide osmosis and photosynthesis rely on a certain balance of molecules in the water, and PH determines this balance. Some PH imbalances can cause severe physical symptoms to the plants, others can be deceiving and will stunt your growth without giving you a visual clue that something is wrong. Ideally, your PH is in the low 5′s for flowering. This will encourage the uptake of Potassium and Phosphorus. Something in the range of 5.2 to 5.5 is ideal. While you are still vegging, shoot for something higher like 5.8 – 6.5 to encourage nitrogen uptake. Constantly check and adjust because ph goes up overnight as the water absorbs the nutrients.
What to Watch For: Indications that cell growth has been disrupted. Stunted growth, leaves that wilt even though you are watering, indications of cell damage (shriveling, wilting) even though the water temperature and volume of application is correct. Basically, if you are confident that you are’t over watering and you know your water is the right temperature, check your PH.
How to Keep it Right: Fore about $15 from your local grow store, you can get a kit that provides the tester, the “up” chemical, and the “down” chemical. Some folks we know get perfect PH’d water out their well or city tap, others have to adjust it for it to be ganja-healthy. Before you water in a new location, test the PH of the water and follow the instructions on your PH adjusting product. After mixing into your resevoir, test the PH again and verify the proper adjustment. Then you are good to go. Repeat with each fill of your resevoir. Takes about 3 minutes.
#4 – Quantity
Why it’s important: Fundamental physics. A plant has x amount of cells. X amount of water will fill those cells. Too much water will overfill them, causing them to burst. When you way over-water, this happens on a massive scale, effective drowning the plant. Too little water will cause the plant to wilt, because not enough cells are being filled with water to provide a turgid and solid plant structure, which is necessary for effective osmosis and photosynthesis.
What to Watch For: Wilting is the obvious sign of under-watering. Raisining, bending over at the stalk, and a yellow color are signs of over-watering.
How to Keep it Right: Check the weights of your buckets! Each bucket should be heavy too lift… i.e., when you pick it up, it should not be really light and just “come off” the bed like a piece of paper… if it does, then it’s too light and needs water. If the bucket is heavy to lift and there is no visible water gathered on the surface of the soil, then it’s just right. If there is water on the surface, resting there, and the bucket is heavy, it’s over watered.
So that’s the water rundown! Keep these four things in mind and your plants will love your water!