Kyle Kushman

Watering 101

Published by Kyle Kushman


 Advice for the beginner

1)  Overwatering or Nutrifying:

It’s extremely hard to realize that Mother Nature can’t be rushed. You want to do something for your plants every day, and watering seems like a good idea. So does more food. But in MOST situations, less is more.

Cycling your plants from wet to dry is beneficial in several ways. Specifically during the vegetative stage, when it encourages a prolific root structure. A root zone(rhizosphere) which is constantly wet can stifle root and plant growth, while encouraging molds and pests. Fully saturate the media when you do water, just to the point of runoff. Then wait to water until nearly wilting. Watching a plant wilt just once is important for a reference point.

When using Veganic(plant-based) nutrients you should feed with every watering. Feeding the appropriate level of nutrients is important for optimal health, and is determined by the age of the plant, the growth rate, which is driven by the amount of light and co2. Finally, the strains particular genetics decides how hungry she'll be.

All other types of nutrients will require occasional watering without the addition of any nutrients to keep them healthy. This is referred to as “clean” water. Depending on the strain, the routine usually follows one of two methods.

Feed nutrients (dirty), feed nutrients, plain water (clean.) Or feed, plain water, feed, plain water. Some combination of the two methods may be required. Visual cues from the plants should help you to hybridize your routine to suit your specific garden.  Follow the application rates of the nutrient you’ve chosen. Each manufacturer produces a feeding chart, which is always the best place to start.

Your watering strategy must adapt as the plants mature. It will always be important to saturate when watering, except in the case of transplanting into large containers. Then you should water lightly several times before saturating the entire volume of the new container. Allowing time for roots to grow to the furthest parts of the container.

Once you begin flowering, and there are buds on the plant, you don’t want to come close to wilting, EVER! Think 70% dry, 30% moisture. During mid-flowering when buds get large, shoot for around 50% moisture through late flowering. When growth begins to slow, revert to the previous ratio of 70% dry and 30% moisture.  

It is for all the reasons stated above, that after 20+ years of growing, I still hand water my plants. I’ve built several different watering systems, and tried countless other out of the box systems. Plants are individuals, and to grow the highest quality takes attention to detail.

Observation skills are the key to learning the “language of the plant.” Once you’ve spent enough time with your plants you’ll begin to easily recognize if they liked what you did to them, or not. Deep green leaves raised high, and fleshy green stalks and stems without striation signifies they’re happy.

The goal is to ultimately become a confident, successful cultivator.

To Be Continued

Like This Article  

Thursday, Apr 5 2012 at 12:57a
Great article. Good to know after that long, hand watering is still the prefered method.
Thursday, Apr 5 2012 at 6:54a
What is your recommendation on watering with the Cal-mag? I am going to be going down the coco-not route with the entire Bio Canna line even the Bio rhizotonic. As far as the mineral magic goes, could I use the Canna Aktivatir granules in conjunction with this?
Tuesday, Sep 4 2012 at 4:00a
Nice article.Good to know not to rush the plant .
Pablito113  (3 posts)
Tuesday, Sep 18 2012 at 5:24a
Thank you Kyle. I have wasted many hours on many sites and now plan to lurk here exclusively. I am in the middle of grow #1 and my beginners luck is holding. The less is more idea is already written in my notes. I have my 12 plants ona 12/12 light schedule and the buds are actually starting to look promising. I started in fits and starts and my canopy is a bit uneven and I'm not ready for a High Times centerfold ic quite yet....thanks again!
hawgdawg  (81 posts)
Friday, Mar 8 2013 at 4:40p
Thank you, Kyle. I can't find a reliable and safe provider in my current state of residence so, I'm dealing with the pain until I can get myself up and running. It'll be worth the wait just to avoid any future risks to myself created by someone else. I need and want the cleanest medicine I can provide myself.
hawgdawg  (81 posts)
Saturday, Mar 9 2013 at 2:02a
I read this again, tonight. Is there a preferred water temperature which most strains like for watering as well as to better facilitate the optimum nutrient uptake? Strain specific or grow environment specific?
hawgdawg  (81 posts)
Saturday, Mar 9 2013 at 2:06a
Addendum: Also, I'm going to build 'Water Saver' reclamation systems for my rain gutters when my parts arrive. I already have the barrels. It would seem there's a high probability the plants would prefer water without the fluoride and chlorine. So, in the event rain becomes minimal for my reclamation, which would be used solely for my plants, is there a way to mitigate or eliminate the impact of fluoridated and chlorinated water? Does it just boil down to a simple water filtration? If so, what about the potential loss of essential and naturally occurring minerals which could be beneficial to the plant growth?
hawgdawg  (81 posts)
Thursday, Mar 14 2013 at 12:39a
This water filtration has been bugging the heck out of me. Our tiny little mountain town used to have the best and sweetest well water until the Washington State Department of Health mandated chlorination and fluoridation. I'm going to need to get some filters, huh?
Thursday, Mar 14 2013 at 3:01p
hi I have a question I suffer of back pain since 6 years ago I can't be standing for more than 30 min without moving or my back start hurting really bad to the point that I need to move or laid down with this conditions can I apply to grow mariguana for medical use?
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