Tips for growing cannabis in drought conditions


Anyone with even a little experience in cannabis growing will know that getting a good yield depends on nurturing your plants with care and attention. The light, temperature and humidity need to be just right, soil or growing medium are critical and providing the right amount of water and nutrition is crucial. 

The severe drought hitting the cannabis-friendly states in the western USA is creating problems for everyone, and that includes those trying to raise a good cannabis crop. Yet growing weed successfully under these extreme heat conditions is not the impossible task that it might seem.  

Choose the right seeds 

Of all the measures you can take, this is the most important. Different cannabis strains originate from different regions, and there are some that positively thrive in hot, arid conditions.

When you want to grow cannabis is a warm and dry climate, you are best focusing  on sativa-dominant strains with a shorter flowering phase.

Examples include Power Plant XL from Zambeza Seeds or the ever popular hybrid from Pyramid Seeds, Tutankhamon, which loves both high temperatures and low humidity. The latter’s high THC content means it also packs a real punch! For something a little more mellow, Bubble Kush has legendary resilience and will thrive in difficult growing conditions. 

High and Dry: Can Cannabis Solve the Omnivore's Dilemma in Times of Drought, Source: http://www.thisisamericafoundation.org/data/photos/120_1r800_3636.jpg
California got some clouds this past two winters, just not enough rain.

Location, location 

If you are growing indoors, you have optimum control over the environmental conditions. Keeping your plants behind closed doors also means they are safe from prying eyes. However, it requires you to invest significant money and to set aside a room of your house.

Cannabis plants love direct sunshine during the day and warm nighttime temperatures, so it seems a shame not to take advantage of the natural climate out there. Of course, watering is the biggest challenge, so provide your plants with a little artificial shade to reduce evaporation.  

Growing medium 

The other vital factor in retaining that precious moisture is the medium in which you grow. Even when you are growing outside, you can influence this with a little preparation prior to planting. Mixing coco coir into the soil works wonders, as it soothes roots and staves off heat stress. 

Adding some artificial polymers into the mix is also highly effective, as these are highly absorbent and almost act like an underground reservoir that the roots can tap into whenever needed, regardless of how arid the conditions might be above ground. The problem with this approach is … plastic.

Using compost tea or worm castings is an organic way to add mycorrhizae to the soil and boost plant health by helping the roots interact with the soil.

Feed them well 

Even the hardiest strain of cannabis is going to feel the heat, quite literally, when growing in the sort of conditions being experienced in the west coast states at present. A little like an elite athlete trying to run a marathon in a difficult environment, the right nutrition is vital for success. Feed them well and also treat them to supplements like humic acid, kelp and silica, all of which can help protect the roots and cells from stress and maintain healthy growth.  

Any kind of cultivation is challenging in the current conditions. But follow the above tips, and there’s no reason you won’t be enjoying a bumper crop to enjoy on these warm summer nights. 



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