Chip Baker is one of the nation’s premier cannabis technology and application experts. Over the past 30 years, he has watched his friends and colleagues succeed, fail and struggle to grow quality cannabis. After all of his experience, he firmly believes these are the top ten lessons to live by if you want to grow the best weed.
1. Focus on the plant, not the profit
Anyone can grow weed. After all, it is a weed. However, not everyone is growing great weed. Growers are frequently in the business for the money. If that’s the case, then congrats, you’re a great capitalist. Unfortunately, if the paper green is your main motive, then the quality of your crop will suffer. If you are focused on growing premium ganja, then this is what you must know.
2. Check your ego
Ego is the number one killer of potentially good weed. To have truly fine cannabis you must check your ego. Checking your ego as a grower, is an introspective process that starts with having an open mind. You might think you know a lot about growing cannabis, but I encourage you to pretend like you are a first-timer with every crop you yield. Observe how this crop is different from the last and apply a scientific method of constantly acquiring new knowledge, and continue correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
3. Evaluate your technique
There is an excessive amount of “broscience” in the cannabis cultivation industry. Just because your buddy told you of a “magic” formula or technique for growing, doesn’t mean it’s the best method for you. In fact, it might not even be accurate at all. Evaluate what techniques have worked for you and forget the other bullshit.
4. Consider quality
Even the shittiest weed will get you high. But this is not a good baseline. Remember that the highest quality flower will garner the highest prices in the market. Every flower has the potential to be great, but it will also most likely be flawed in some way. Identify the quality flaw in your flower and consider how you can correct it in the next crop.
5. Weigh your feedback carefully
Everyone wants to be friends with the guy that grows weed (and who gives it out for free). Just because something is free, doesn’t mean it is quality (like the flu). Most of your friends will praise your ganja (most likely because of it is free), however, some friends will give you less positive feedback. I would strongly encourage you to take note and deeply consider the constructive criticisms more than basking in the praise. The positive feedback will only serve your ego, the negative will help you improve your craft.
6. Create a healthy perspective
Perspective is everything. If you’re growing weed in a place where the bar is low, then mediocrity will do just fine. If you’re growing weed in a place like Humboldt, CA, where only the dankest ganja sells, then you’re going to have to step your game up a lot. If you want to grow the absolute cream of the crop ganja, then you must admit that someone is doing it better than you. Find that someone and humbly ask them about their methods and practices. You might also consider grading your weed. Have a little integrity and separate your nuggets into batches based on their quality. The best growers and sellers know that every nugget should look very similar. Separate the little nuggets from the big nuggets and the medium sized nuggets. They both have different values and should be categorized as such.
7. Don’t worry about genetics
There is a lot of dumb chatter about genetics and breeding when it comes to cannabis. There is super techy weed that is based on origins, race, exoticism, etc. But these are not the things that make weed dank. In fact, don’t get caught up in this bullshit. Genetics and cross breeding frequently get fucked up by even the most established and well known breeders. If you are focused only on creating your own strain, then your entire cultivation practice is most likely ego-driven (see number 1). If you are focused on growing the absolute best weed, then your cultivation is heart-driven. The latter of these drives is the one that will be the most sustainable and the most profitable.
8. Stop trimming your weed
The number two killer of potentially dank weed? Green trimming or fresh trimming. You have to stop green trimming your weed. Green trimming is less expensive than dry trimming, however, the terpene complex is preserved through the slower drying technique So, tell your trimmers to chill the fuck out. Trim it dry, don’t trim it wet (green).
9. Flush your crop
One of the most common mistakes growers make is not flushing their crop. Always flush. If you are growing properly, then you will be able to flush at 2 to 3 weeks in the cycle and it will not negatively affect your yield. However, it will totally improve the quality of your cannabis. You’ll know this because the ash will be white and the herb will have a nice, smooth taste.
10. Stop spraying your flower
If you have a proper integrated pest management program and proper nutrition plan, then you shouldn’t need to spray your flowers. There is a time and place for everything, especially when it comes to your cannabis plant cycle. Spraying compost tea on your buds when they are heavy in the flower stage is just as bad as spraying a heavy fungicide on your weed in its flower stage.