The ways and techniques in which you can improve your cannabis gardens will never fail to surprise you. Just as you think that you have learned all there is to know about marijuana and weed growing. You suddenly run into an entirely different topic! One of the lesser-known things that have to do with cannabis is undoubtedly the use of cover crops for marijuana. When you ask growers about this, chances are a lot of them wouldn’t know what it is!
Using cover crops for marijuana gardens should not be something to brush off so quickly. If you are searching for even more ways to improve the performance and development of your weed gardens, then this is a technique that you should definitely look into! But, before getting into all of this, let us first understand what cover crops for marijuana are!
What are Cover Crops for Marijuana Gardens?
Cover crops, which are sometimes also referred to as companion plants, is simply a farming technique that involves keeping a number of different agricultural plants alongside your marijuana plants. The plants that you use for this growing method will generally have no limitations. It will look to promote a more interdependent relationship among the plants. Furthermore, mutually provide benefits among themselves. Using cover crops has been steadily growing in terms of frequency and usage!
Like we always say, cannabis plants conveniently grow in the forests and agriculture-abundant areas of the wild nature of our Earth. Rarely will you see a cannabis growing spot that will contain only weed plants in their areas! More often than not, these patches of dirt will also seem to grow other plants. Of course, while this is a natural occurrence in nature, people who domesticate cannabis plants will also look to emulate a comfortable environment for their weed babies!
Using cover crops is a luxury that is given more to plants residing in outdoor setups. As an indoor setup will look to provide a more secluded and exclusive environment for your weed, other plants won’t usually be planted in there. On the other hand, growers can expect a lot more kinds of plants in their outdoor areas without even looking much! But take note, there are specific crops that will be a lot more beneficial as cover crops than others. For example, buckwheat improves the immune systems of the entire crop and keeps away molds and exposure to various diseases.
Benefits of Having Cover Crops for Marijuana Plants:
It sounds as though the use of cover crops is something that is really simple to achieve! However, believe me when I say that cover crops for marijuana bring the performance and overall ability of your cannabis gardens to new heights! It should not be underestimated as the use of super crops can literally bring things to your garden that you won’t be able to get anywhere else!
Perhaps its most widely recognized benefit is the way that it gives a sense of natural diversity to the cannabis plants in your setup. Like we said, marijuana plants will be a lot more comfortable if they have companions to help them simulate the growing medium and develop the microbes in the soils. As your plants will be a lot more exposed to the cover plants just as they would in their habitats, you will need to familiarize yourself with the properties and traits that they will give your plants!
Here is why you should take into consideration the cover plants that you have present in your areas:
- Cover crops in marijuana gardens can help circulate nutrients in your crop. The presence of other plants in the area will significantly boost the levels of nitrogen found in the vicinity. These nitrogen levels come in forms that cannabis plants can actually absorb much easier than the nitrogen found in the air. Not only that, but other plants will also promote the development of bacteria and fungi communities in the soil. These healthy microbes keep the soil alive and fresh.
- It loosen the soil and improve drainage. With all other sorts of rooting systems inside the growing medium, the soils will be a lot looser which can improve the air and water circulation going on in the gardens. As something that will be a lot less compact and dense, the rooting systems of your soils will be able to breathe much easier.
More Reasons Why
- Companion plants add natural and organic minerals and fertilizers to the soil. Honestly, who would say no to free fertilizers? Using cover crops for marijuana gardens is another great measure to take when you are aiming for a more organic growing operation. This means that you will be relying a lot less on chemicals and hazardous products while still being able to give your weed babies all the nutrients that they will be demanding!
- They keep harmful weeds out of your gardens. The presence of a wide diversity of crops reduces any growth room for harmful weeds that can hinder the growth of your plants. You see, these stray weeds can suck out and steal the nutrients that you give your cannabis plants.
- Cover crops can be used to balance out the conditions of the plant. Cover crops can help cool down the temperatures a little more when marijuana plants get too much heat exposure. If the soils and growing medium are overwatered, then the rooting systems of the cover crops will aid in absorbing these moisture levels! They are practically placed there to help maintain a healthier environment and help cut down on the possibility of having your plants be exposed to uncomfortable conditions!
Are there any disadvantages with using cover crops for marijuana gardens?
If the presence of cover crops is something that you did not plan out, this might bring some harmful effects to your cannabis growing operations. This holds especially true for those extra plants which you are not familiar with! For all you know, they may be giving your plants things that they won’t require!
In many cases, the unplanned presence of cover crops can disrupt the way you want your plants to grow. If left to grow unchecked, they may continue to steal the nutrients that you provide! Remember, the spotlight is on the cannabis plants and not on the cover crops!
Understanding Cover Crops
Additionally, the benefits of cover crops are not something that you will be able to obtain until a pretty long time has passed! For example, the nitrogen levels of cover crops that your marijuana plants will be able to absorb won’t reach peak heights until these cover crops actually start breaking down and degrading.
Moreover, it will be a lot harder to start a whole new growing operation after harvests with the presence of cover crops. Seedlings and marijuana plants in their vegetative stages are quite sensitive in development. They tend to have their growth restricted if there are too many cover crops are in the garden.
Best Cover Crops for Marijuana Plants:
If you want to try using cover crops to improve your marijuana gardens, then here are your best options! These different types of cover crops will bring different things to your gardens. So make sure to only use those that your plants will appreciate! Keep in mind that you don’t have to go crazy with them!
- Kale – A plant that you can use as food and as a cover crop? Grab some seeds of these and stick ‘em right into your soils now! Kale can pretty much boost the protection of your rooting systems. It also preserves the integrity of the soils in your gardens. What’s great about this is that it is a very, very durable plant. Keeping them in your soils and leaving them there will give you little to no issues at all.
- Oats – Using oats as your cover crops will be great for providing some fall cover and grazing to your gardens that can keep them active and healthy. It is often known as an annual cereal, which means that it can be used at pretty much any time of the year.
- Wheat and Rye – These are probably one of the most common forms of cover crops that are used by commercial growers in vast areas for the mass production of cannabis. They help keep the runoff of soils and nutrients well-balanced, most especially during the cold seasons of the year. It lessens the cases of erosion, which keeps the growing medium nice and viable for continuous production of marijuana.
And Here’s More:
- Mustard plants – Mustard plants are the perfect companion to have if your marijuana crops are frequently exposed to mold and disease-promoting conditions. These cover crops for marijuana plants will help improve the performance of your crops through biofumigation, which spreads out essential nutrients to your whole garden.
- Garlic – Garlic will bring a heightened sense of immunity and protection to your plants. With the strong and pungent smell that it releases. Garlic works in keeping pests, rodents, and infestations away from your marijuana gardens.
The use of cover crops for marijuana growing operations is generally a hit or miss for many growers out there. You may seem bothered by the idea of having other plants in the garden. On the contrary, it might seem like a very appealing idea. To boost the growth of marijuana in a more natural environment!
Take the time to decide whether or not the use of cover crops for marijuana is something for you. As it won’t need much effort to actually place them there. Outdoor growers will be able to have easy access to cover crops for marijuana plants any time of the year!