Growing Marijuana is not simple. Growers are faced with managing a multitude of factors to ensure the growth of their crops into healthy mature plants, reflected by the final quality of the buds. This article is part of a series addressing some of the challenges growers face in cultivating high-quality Cannabis. In the concluding article of the series, we will address some of the solutions Tantalus Labs is implementing to ensure an environment supporting the plant’s ability to thrive in an ideal way.
A grower has two options when deciding how Cannabis will receive the light it needs to grow: natural sunlight or synthetic lamp light. When growing indoors, using HID lamps comes with inherent compromise when compared to the power of the Sun - the source of all life on this planet.
the Sun - the source of all life on this planet
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps are a Cannabis industry standard, and have been used extensively indoors for their stealth and relative cost. HPS or a mix of HPS and Metal Halide (MH) has afforded indoor growers the ability to grow year-round regardless of weather and geography. There are consequences to this including the huge energy burden of indoor Cannabis production.
Another issue caused by HID lighting is thermal stress. High intensity discharge lamps are just that, high intensity. They have a very high radiant heat output. If this radiation is too close to the plant, it will create hot spots, causing stress and eventually burning foliage. This light stress has a negative impact on growth and plant structure. The improper spacing of HID lamps has also been known to cause an uneven intensity across the plant canopy. Unless a sophisticated computer model is used to develop a layout geometry that optimizes lamp placement, uneven plant growth is likely.
underlying factors are still undeniable when using artificial lighting as your sole source of energy
Light penetration is also an issue while growing indoor Cannabis. HID lighting performs poorly when penetrating the canopy and getting light to the lower sections of the plant. Typically only the top third of the plant receives ideal light. Growers have tried many methods to mitigate this including side lighting and low stress training (LST). LST is a way of bending a plant laterally to greater expose it to more light. If a grower is able to spread the plant out horizontally by using this technique, they can attempt to combat the problem of uneven penetration. No matter what cultivation hacks a grower implements, these underlying factors are still undeniable when using artificial lighting as your sole source of energy.