The journey from amateur cannabis cultivator to pro-grower isn’t something that happens overnight. In fact, it’s a transition that takes many years. On the plus side, step into pro-growing territory and you’ll never look at a baggie of store-bought weed again.

As with all things in life, trial and error holds the key to successful cannabis cultivation. Nevertheless, nobody ever said you need to learn from your own trials and errors. It’s far better to learn lessons from your fellow growers.

So with this in mind, here are eight lessons every pro-grower learns along the way:

The best way to learn how to grow is to just start growing
Right off the bat, the best way to learn how to cultivate cannabis is to just go ahead and do it. All the books, guides and tutorials in the world cannot make up for hands-on experience. In addition, the sooner you get started, the quicker you’ll learn the ropes and climb the ranks to pro-grower territory. Long story short - procrastination is not your friend.

Take pictures and keep detailed notes along the way
At some point or another, you are guaranteed to encounter a variety of issues.When this happens, the notes you’ve written and photographs you’ve taken along the way will prove invaluable. Don’t simply expect to accurately remember when you used nutrients and in what kinds of quantities, temperatures and humidity levels from one day to the next and so on. Make a note of everything, which will ultimately create a go-to resource for identifying issues at a later date.

Timeliness matters
Particularly if you intend to cultivate cannabis outdoors, you need to be extremely mindful of when to get started. If growing indoors, it’s important to think about exactly how long you need to grow, harvest, dry and cure your buds. Running out of daylight prematurely outdoors is problematic, but so too is attempting to rush things indoors.

Learn about grow lights
There’s much to the science of lighting that most amateurs don’t understand.You don’t necessarily need to get bogged down with the finest details, but building at least a basic understanding of the different types of grow lights is important. HID grow lights, fluorescent grow lights, LED grow lights - all bringing their own advantages and disadvantages to the table.

pH levels matter
If the pH level of the growing medium and/or the water you use is off, it could have a catastrophic impact on your plants’ growth and development. Turning a blind eye to pH levels is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, unnecessary - adjusting pH levels doesn’t have to be difficult.

With nutrients, more isn’t always better
Most amateurs make the mistake of thinking they can force bigger and faster results by using more nutrients. In reality, overuse of nutrients can make cannabis plants sick, or even kill them. Nutrients should be measured and administered with care, using the exact dosage required and nothing more.

Seed quality is everything
If the seeds you start out with aren’t of the highest quality, everything else that follows is inconsequential. There is nothing you can do to improve upon the genetics of a cannabis seed, once it has been purchased and germinated. Unless you’re happy wasting your time, effort and money, stick exclusively with the highest quality cannabis seeds money can buy.

Learn how to time your harvests appropriately
Last but not least, harvesting too early or too late can dramatically affect the quality of the final result. Knowing exactly when to harvest takes a combination of patience and careful observation. Likewise, invest as much time and effort as necessary in the subsequent drying and curing process, rather than attempting to rush things to completion.

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