Year-Round Cannabis Cultivation: How to Grow Marijuana in Tunnels for South African GrowersMarijuanaSA
Play the audio, read along or watch the full video on YouTube
Winters here in South Africa. So a lot of our topics now are going to be related to how you can continue growing through this period. Obviously with stage six load shading in South Africa, indoor isn’t an option for everyone. But that doesn’t mean that you need to wait till next summer. Today we are going to be introducing the topic of tunnel growing.
It’s gonna be something we are gonna be actively exploring during the winter period, leading into the new summer within South Africa. And I’m joined once again by Luke who’s gonna be spilling some of his knowledge beans for us all to all to enjoy. I’m gonna be hopping in the conversation a little bit as well.
So, Luke, tell me a little bit about tunnels and why tunnels over maybe other growing methods. So, growing cannabis and tunnels has sort of a multitude of, of benefits. One of them being is that it can help you protect your plants from. Elements and certain elements, and there are various methods that you can use to accomplish with accomplish this.
You know, from temperature controlling methods to airflow management it also then obviously helps you increase your yields and healthier, happier plants. Yeah, at the end of the day, again, increases your yields. So you know, that’s definitely the benefit of it. There’s multitudes of different styles that you can implement into your total tunnel growing.
As well, sort of if you want to do seeds to seeds to harvest or clone to harvest you know, it can be quite quite beneficial to, to make use of a tunnel system. So, yeah. Moving on to, to sort of. Benefits of it. And I mentioned briefly sort of ventilation and control from the elements. You know, how important do you think ventilation is when growing in a tunnel?
And what are some of the ways that you think you can ensure that you properly do it? Yeah, so as Luke was saying, we now obviously Protected from the elements. But what’s gonna be protecting us from the ELE elements is a, is a closed environment so you’ve got a more hot and obviously with that heat comes a and it being sealed comes a higher humidity.
So, you know, the tunnel does give us that protection, but it also creates an environment where your carbon dioxides and your stagnant airs can, can get, get quite rampant. You know, you may. You sort of overuse or, or, or underuse your carbon dioxide. And you, you also might you know, run into heavy sort of stagnant patches.
So ventilation and air movement. You need to now consider yourself that you’re growing essentially in an indoor environment. So some technology does need to come and, and, and play. You, you, your lighting is now coming from the sun. You know, mostly, so, so that’s a point we’re gonna touch on a bit more, but getting that air, fresh air in and old air out is highly important.
So I would consider it the exact same way that you’re gonna be considering your, considering your grow tent. I definitely look at an active intake and an active exit. And I would also definitely look at some kind of Oscillating oscillating air movement. And also on top of that, you know, depending on what tunnel you, you’re going for, the most common one being sort of that you know, the, the, the four by the four by three or, or the six by the six by three.
You’re gonna need to put maybe sort of a, I would recommend like an h i t series, probably with the carbon filter, just to try and limit sound a little bit because obviously once again, This is gonna be outside in your garden. And some nice fancy equipment is a target as well as your, as well as your plants.
So you do have that privacy factor, but you, you know, noise is going to attract attract towards it. But on the ventilation front, yeah, just Feeding it similar to how you’re gonna cheat a go a grow tent, making sure you are in the mornings when checking your tunnel, maybe opening up the windows, maybe opening up the door to allow some better air exchange.
And then at night you’re know, all on windy days, sealing everything up to protect the the ladies inside. That’s kind of what I would do with my, with my ventilation. But ventilation’s not the only technology we’re gonna have in there. We also going to recommend some lighting. So Luka, am I gonna be pumping down, you know 880 watts or 2000 watts onto these plants?
Or what kind of or am I gonna be supplementing? What’s the lighting strategy? That, that we would recommend with with the tunnel. I think for, for us as you know, your, your home growers and growing at home in your, your greenhouse there supplementary lighting is the way to go. And obviously because you are controlling the elements, there are also gonna be elements inside there that your lighting needs to be sufficient for.
So IP 65. Rated lighting is good, whether it’s l e d spotlights or a good top l e d grow light. That you, that you can source from us. You know, it’s it’s definitely something that is, that is necessary and you’re not gonna be keeping these lights on to, you know, have massive photosynthesis.
It’s more to keep them awake and supplement for Or controlling flowering times. And I think that’s, that’s kind of the benefit that you got here. Whether you are using hpss there, you’re obviously adding more heat. With more heat, you’re going to need higher humidity. It’s the same with the metal or highlights.
So I always recommend, you know, going for l e d options. But yeah there you’re not your, you are the end of the goal here for, for us, I think as, as. Small tunnel grows is not to have photosynthesis, essentially, it’s just to keep the girls awake and so that we can control our flowering times. But I think another important thing factor to, to consider here is containing maintaining and controlling the, the optimal temperature and humidity levels within tables, within channels.
You know, what methods are those And what do you think the common challenges That you face while doing that. So yeah, I think it’s gonna depend quite a bit where you are. As with any kind of sort of outdoor cultivation here in the Cape, we’re gonna be getting rainy winters. There’s no frost, but it’s super, super high humidity, lots of rain, but sort of up in Johannesburg you’re gonna be getting these sort of dry frosts.
So the temperature is gonna be more of an issue like that sort of suburb, you know, that close to. Zero degrees. So I think down by the coast we’re gonna be looking at humidity as a big issue. Lots of rain being close to the ocean, you know that humidity is gonna spike heavily. So humidity wise, you are going to need to be running some kind of active dehumidification.
You know you’re gonna be pulling lots of moisture out of the air in your space especially sort of in the thick of the, of the mid winter. Temperature wise, you can get away with get away with keeping everything sealed up quite nicely. You know, you might wanna supplement some heating, but heating can also sometimes be super expensive.
So that’s a decision you’d have to make for yourself. But then where you’re going to places in South Africa, that it’s gonna be far, far cooler. You are going to be needing to put in some kind of heating. I’ve seen guys do it with oil heaters. I’ve seen guys do it with sort of active you know, more, more panel styled heaters.
It’s not be being down from the coast, it’s not really something I have the most experience with personally. But you know, those are the kinds of options and, and thought patterns you’re gonna have to make. But ideally, you would probably be running. Dehumidification heating, ventilation, air movement, and probably some supplementary lighting well, some supplementary lighting.
And then all of that together should help gain control. And I mean, it is starting to sound more and more and more expensive now, but you know, you like, like I said earlier on, you, you’re basically considering this a grow tent. Or, or a gro tent that has some its own lighting, you know, so what the, where the main, main photosynthesis is gonna take place from the, from the sun.
So once all of those are in place, it’s pretty, it’s pretty pain free. But once again, you know, a a as growing is a journey. If you don’t have access to all of that immediately you can start with a little bit less and then work towards it. We’re just kind of trying to point to sort of the maximum direction where you’d, where you’d want to go.
Finally. And the, the final point which we are gonna make that I want Luke to, to, to tell us a little bit more about is our, is our I P M. You know, if you have a really, really good I P M strategy, you could potentially get through, grows with very little of the above. Maybe just the, a bit of movement and a bit of supplementary lighting.
So Luca, tell me. Are we gonna have quite a hectic i P M strategy during the, during the winter period or during the sort of tunnel growing winter period or, or any tunnel growing for, for that matter. And maybe mention one or two products we could, we could be looking at as well. Yeah, sure. Look, best practice is always have an ip IPM regimen in place.
So a strategy that you’re gonna be using from veg all the way through. So, you know, my normal thing would be to have a bio sulfur before you are switching into salt into, into flour. Especially for those that are having a very wet Sort of winter, winter periods, that’s gonna definitely help with the powdery mildew.
And then keeping up also with your biologicals as well. So making sure that you’ve got living bacteria to fight sort of molds and even pests as well, even though it’s always is quite cold. The pests are still at play here, so, Good. I p m regiments Margaret Roberts range is really good. The Kaya Farms range is, is amazing as well.
That wedging agent you know, we, we love that stuff. It’s a religious use in the garden. And I would just say also, again, it comes down to genetics. You know, us as grows also need to understand that sometimes. Gen, some genetics are just more prone to powder mildew than than others. So then again, it hits the nail on the head.
Have an I p M regiment that you’re sticking to and stick to it religiously. And ensure that you’re giving your girls the best nutrition and healthcare that you can to make sure that they fight it off themselves. You know, good immune system of the plant means they, they’re doing their job to, to fight it off as well, so, I think that’s a, that’s an essential part of it as well.
Sweet. Thanks so much Luke. I think you know, tunnel growing is gonna be a big topic going forwards within South Africa, especially seeing that the sort of startup costs of getting into straight indoor cultivation these days are, are increasing due to our current climate. So guys, we’ll keep bringing you as much information related to Tunnel growing.
We’re gonna be getting loads more professionals on the show that we’ve been searching for and wide to bring you. So the content really is, is coming. But once again, to everyone who made it to the end of the show, we really appreciate you. Please remember to like and subscribe. Until next time guys, peace.