6 Ways to Improve Bud Quality
Don't assume that only beginner growers research how to improve the quality of their buds. Knowledgeable growers may have the skillset to produce large amounts of cannabis and still struggle with quality.
Instead of focusing on the size of a plant or its growth rate turn your attention to the buds, after all, they are the most important part, but before we get that far let's start with:
It's difficult to get top-shelf buds by using mid-grade seeds, clones, or bagseed. You can be the best grower but if you're dealing with seed that has bad genes you won't get the effects or appearance you're looking for.
It's recommended to use a seed bank or reputable strain breeder (http://www.growweedeasy.com/trusted-breeders) where you can choose the exact strain you want allowing you to consistently produce high-quality buds.
Buying seed through a bank will cost more than bagseed but the results are worth it.
Don't be afraid to do your research
2. Nutrients and Supplements
Before adding any nutrients or supplements you must ensure you're giving your plant the correct base nutrients in the flowering stage. Overwatering and overfeeding are two of the most common mistakes.
Low Nitrogen is needed more in the vegetative stage for growth but needs to be reduced to rather low levels in the flowering stage, especially in the second half when the buds are bulking up and there's not as much foliage from vegetation. If you give your plant too much nitrogen at this stage of maturity it can actually decrease bud production.
- A good deal of Phosphorus is important in the flowering stage to increase the number of flowers your plant produces. Phosphorous is known as a bud enhancer but that doesn't mean you should overlook Potassium.
- A satisfying source of Potassium will increase the size and density of each individual flower.
- When you're in the second half of your flowering stage it's important to not overfeed plants as it will affect the taste of your final buds.
- Sugar/carbohydrates will improve the taste and smell while increasing bulk. The formula you use may also include terpenes and esters that give bud unique subtle flavors like berry or grape. You can also use blackstrap molasses which is not actually made for plants but you can find it in a grocery store and by giving it to plants in the last few weeks it can help them get bigger and smell and taste better.
- Bloom enhancers provide plants with a variety of non-nutrient ingredients to aid in the growth of a plant by improving processes or giving it amino and humic acids so that the plant doesn't have to rely on itself to make everything
- PK boosters should be used sparingly as they make it very easy to go overboard with phosphorus and potassium. With these supplements, it's recommended to go with a brand that only adds a tiny amount of base nutrients.
3. A lot of Light
Strong light is crucial for the highest bud density, potency, and yields, think of it as food for your plants. LED lights can help grow better weed but make sure you do your research.
4. Proper Temperature and Humidity
Seedling: Temperature of 65-75 ºF with 60% humidity until the plant is 2-3 weeks old
Flowering: Temperature between 65-80 °F unless you're using CO2 which works best at around 80-90 °F. Even with the use of CO2, it's suggested to bring temps to 65-80 °F for the last 2 weeks before harvest. During the flowering period, plants prefer humidity levels of 40-50%
Adult, lights on: Temperature no higher than 80 ºF. Work humidity down by 5% each week after the seedling stage until you get to 40%
Adult, lights off: Temperature between 62-72 ºF, it's important to avoid major swings in temp. from the daytime to night
Nighttime temperatures should be around 68-75 °F, if the temperature is too cold it can damage plants and will increase the chance of bud rot. If you're growing a strain that changes colors, some will only show their color when the night temp is a few degrees cooler than the day in the flowering stage.
Lower humidity accounts for the sparkle you see on buds.
Humidity will not stop you from successfully growing cannabis and a lot of growers forget it about it altogether. However, if after reading this you've realized that your humidity levels are too high or too low you can make a simple and cheap change to drastically improve the colorfulness of your plants.
You can also use a dehumidifier to drop the humidity down to as low as you can possibly go for the last 2-3 weeks of flowering. This amount of dryness inspired buds to seal and protect themselves using additional resin and since they have released some of their moisture, they are less likely to get mold in the drying process.
5. Airflow and Spacing
Substantial spacing is required around the buds to ensure they reach their full potential without being constrained.
Implement low-stress training by bending branches or leaves that may be preventing buds from receiving fresh air or light.
Great air quality is a huge contributor to quality buds. Grow Room Air filtration and ventilation are fundamental to create ideal airflow and quality.
6. Pay Attention to Drying and Curing
It happens too often that growers stop paying attention to what happens after harvest but with detailed drying and curing practices, you can increase the smell and potency of your bud.
Fun fact: drying and curing make up almost 50% of the final appearance of your buds.
Dry buds slowly and cure them in mason jars for 1 to 3 weeks. Don't pack the jars tightly and make sure you open them briefly on a daily basis to release gas buildup and introduce fresh air. Curing allows buds to tighten so that they become denser.