Keeping a dairy. It may sound like some outdated school pastime of previous generations. Still diaries are more than old-school tools to voice your inner feelings; they can also be logs used to record processes and improve them through learning. Keeping a cannabis grow diary gives growers insight into how they can keep improving their harvests. Care to know how? Allow us to explain.
Why Keep A Cannabis Grow Diary?
Anyone who’s ever grown cannabis knows that things can get tricky along the way. Mold, predation, too much (or too little) water: growing cannabis can be hugely rewarding, but it takes a fair bit of TLC in return. That is why some choose to record and track their entire process, from seed to harvest. Doing so grants insight into the particular needs of specific strains, room for improving techniques, and a clear view of what went well. Ultimately, keeping a diary can turn every next grow into the next step towards perfecting those cannabis harvests and tweaking time-tested techniques.
The second advantage of a grow diary is its usefulness as a cannabis calendar. You can use it to note down when the next round of water or nutrition is due, plan your lighting schedules, and record individual phenotype needs. By tracking the process and writing down successes and failures, the work you’ve done and your grow planning merge into a detailed guide for your next run.
What To Track In A Cannabis Grow Diary
We made a list of suggestions to illustrate what a cannabis grower could track and record in their grow diary.
- As we always say, great grows start with great genetics. Any log should start with a description of the exact strains it tracks. This makes it easy to retrace your steps and see which techniques and nutrition regime work for specific genetics. This is also where you should note down clone or seed origins, the seeds supplier, and germination and planting methods.
- Climate conditions of the grow room. For indoor grows, we recommend starting a grow diary with a summary of cannabis living conditions. This should include the type of lighting used and its initial settings. Log the fans used for ventilation, temperatures, air humidity, and CO2 levels if possible. This is all highly useful information that can be tweaked for your next cannabis grow based on actual diary evidence.
- For outdoor grows, try to map the grow location characteristics, soil type (including acidity if possible), pot or open soil, transplanting moments, hours of sunshine and overall weather conditions. Pay attention to companion plants, presence of predatory slugs and bugs, watering times and amounts, and any nutrition you add to your outdoor grow medium.
During The Grow
- Record how much nutrition and water plants receive. Note down watering frequency, the amount of water each plant receives, and any additional nutrients you add. Make sure to record the brand, quantity, and ingredients of any nutrition used, to find out what works for your strains and grow setup. It pays off to track how plants react to watering and feeding schedules, keeping a close eye on any changes you notice;
- The flowering process. How soon after switching to 12/12 lighting did the first preflower signs appear? When did the early flowers start to turn into large buds with visible trichomes and resin? Maybe you never noticed how you allowed your plants to flower for too long, causing white pistil hairs to turn brown and shrivel. This will all be interesting data for use in that next grow.
- Any grow can be interrupted by unexpected events. Plants can drown in an unexpected deluge, wither in unnoticed power blackouts, or be ruined by insect predation. A cannabis diary that includes descriptions of problems and the solutions that worked or did not is a step towards a more successful future grow!
A Cannabis Diary As A Grow Calendar
As mentioned earlier, a grow diary can also serve as a handy cannabis calendar. This grants access to al sorts of useful information.
- Grow times are strain-dependent: indica-heavy plants tend to grow way faster than sativa-dominant hybrids, for instance. A calendar also indicates the best planting times for different strains, which is particularly useful for outdoor growers.
- A calendar can include nutrition and watering schedules. These can be useful checklists to make sure no plant misses out, or serve as weekly schedules to help you plan ahead.
- The grow process. When babies are born, doctors use grow diagrams to check whether their growth is on track. So why not apply the same principle to plants? You can record when the vegetation phase ends, how fast buds begin to develop, and when they should be ready to harvest. If, for example, your calendar tells you the buds should be about ready, but growth seems to stagnate, you’ll know you need to make adjustments.
An Online Cannabis Grow Diary
Of course, it’s perfectly possible to buy a neat little notebook and use it as your grow diary. We suggest looking at online alternatives, too. Digital logs save you the trouble of leafing through page after page of notes and data, making for fast and easy reference. They also make it easy to add photos of your grow, which can be a crucial part of tracking signs of good or bad practices.
We personally prefer using the GrowDiaries website to log and track our cannabis grows. It’s a large online grower community with a huge database of first-hand tips and information. Best of all, the platform is completely anonymous, which is a good thing when working with potentially sensitive information on grows. GrowDiaries has convenient templates ready for all the relevant processes, which saves a lot of valuable time on a daily basis. We can definitely recommend these guys for your online cannabis diary efforts!
If you prefer to keep things offline just to be sure, which we fully understand, you can still use all the above tips to keep things manageable. Just try to come up with some sort of reference system to match your photos with your diary entries once you’re done.
With that out of the way, it’s high time to pick the best seeds for your grow and your diary!
Sharing Your Process
Growers who are proud of their diaries and want to share their findings and photos are always welcome on our Instagram page Amsterdamgeneticsseeds. We love to receive DMs to see how our seeds turned out. Of course, we only do so by the grower’s permission. If you have any further questions, our team is here to help – we just love to nudge those grows in the right direction!
Good luck on that cannabis grow diary, and don’t forget to enjoy watching those plants develop!