Growing: Controllability – Cornerstone of Quality Part 2: Environment Optimization

As discussed in Part 1, removing easily identifiable factors impeding plant growth, or the “low hanging fruit”, will help improve quality and quantity of a harvest. Other, not as apparent, factors however are where true savings and increased harvests are found. As said in Part 1, one of the most effective and most overlooked portion of any garden is the controllability of the environment. It is difficult to control the growing environment; under normal circumstances true control is nearly impossible. What is true control? Read on.

In the market today, there is a growing group of experts trying to determine what is the best environment for cannabis. And while there are as many opinions as experts, the factor all can agree on is the environment will affect the outcome. When an organism is in less than ideal conditions, energy must be utilized for functions other than growth. In other words, eliminating less than ideal environmental issues will allow the plant to reach its full potential, which will undoubtedly increase yield per plant, and harvest as a whole.

The question then becomes: “What is the best environment for success?” While the answer is not exact, there needs to be a balance to the environment. Too much, or not enough of one of the main components will hinder growth. Too much CO2 in the environment can create airy, less potent crops. Not enough CO2 can starve the plants. Temps too high, too low, or simply too erratic will decrease the harvest, or destroy it all together. Relative Humidity, and Humid environments can cause the plant to weigh down and wilt. Not enough will stump growth, as the plant is needing to draw all of their energy through the roots. These are serious concerns for serious growers, and lighting and watering aren’t even part of the equation yet. Precision Cooling Units, instead of standard HVAC, are the best way to ensure total control of the environment, as these units actively measure all environmental conditions and make any correction needed autonomously.

So, how does a grower ensure that their environment is optimized? The key to an optimal environment is Controllability (Part 1), with a healthy dose of data collection and analyzation. Why, you might ask, would I need to write down what the temperature was, how much air is moving, how much CO2 is in the air, and the relative humidity? When you utilize clean rooms, with high level of control (such as TWK), determining the optimum levels can only be done through investigation. Slight variations at specific intervals have shown to affect growth tremendously. Unfortunately, if your room has saturation or permeation issues or there is no controlled access, the ability to effectively control your environment are nearly impossible. Only with tight, measurable parameters can plants reach their full potential. Only in completely controlled environments can these parameters be, not only measured, but also repeated and ultimately predicted. It is at this time, that true optimization can be realized.

Manipulating the environment under strict control will remove all stress from the plant. When the plant is not expending energy to battle the environment, that energy is redirected to growth and prosperity. Determining the parameters takes time and effort, and will be slightly different for each grower, strain and room. However, removing the variables related to the environment will allow the grower to focus their energy on their crop, not the environment.

Peace, Steve

Next: Part 3 – Determining Parameters