As you hopefully know by now, this series of articles is dedicated to helping you grow your favorite strain. Today, we provide a growing guide for Grape Ape which includes eight steps and tips to boost yield and increase the likelihood of a successful harvest.
Grape Ape is a strongly indica dominant (90%) strain with a THC content that varies between 15% and 23%. It was developed by Apothecary Genetics and is a cross of Afghani, Skunk, and Mendocino Purps strains. It gets the name because it smells and tastes like grape. Remember, depending on how you follow these tips, you could grow a different Grape Ape strain from one harvest to the next.
Tip #1 – Strain Review: Grape Ape’s Likely Effects
Grape Ape has been hailed as the perfect night time strain because it helps you relax but also carries a belated KO punch. Remember, Grape Ape is almost a pure indica, so it is NOT for use during the day when you still have tasks to complete. Instead, use it late in the evening around an hour before bedtime to benefit from the effects.
The high comes on you fairly quickly and induces couch lock if you consume too much. It is the ideal sedative after a stressful day, but it also gives you the munchies. We recommend ensuring your snacks are nearby, because you won’t be in much of a condition to go fridge raiding!
Tip #2 – Difficulty Growing Grape Ape
Grape Ape strain’s grow difficulty is widely considered as ‘moderate.’ In other words, a bit of skill is required, but novices will be able to get away with a mistake or two. One of the primary issues to watch out for is bud rot. This is a type of mold that develops in the core of marijuana buds.
The disease begins on the stem inside the bud and spreads out. As a result, it is hard to spot in its early stages. By the time the rot is gray, it is already too late; you need to remove the bud and possibly destroy the plant if it is badly infected.
As far as Grape Ape is concerned, excess humidity and poor ventilation are the main causes of bud rot. Once your plants start growing in earnest, you will notice how dense the foliage is. At this point, it is necessary to trim the lower canopy to promote good circulation throughout the plant. Do this, and follow tip #8 which discusses humidity, and you will significantly reduce the risk of bud rot.
Tip #3 – Grape Ape Growing Techniques
If you have some experience growing marijuana, it is perhaps worth trying to grow Grape Ape hydroponically. This method involves using a nutrient-water solution and an ‘inert’ growing medium such as Rockwool instead of soil. You can begin with a basic setup that enables you to hand-water the pots. If you have a large marijuana garden, a more complex system with timers, pumps, and reservoirs is a better option.
‘Soil has been used for thousands of years; why change it?’ That’s an excellent question. Although soil is weed’s natural growing medium, there are some problems associated with it when growing marijuana indoors. The risk of pest problems, a potential inability to recycle the soil, the need to monitor pH closely, and trying to determine how many nutrients are in the soil are all possible issues.
When you grow hydroponically, you can use small amounts of the growing media. Options such as coco coir can be recycled. You also have total control of nutrient intake and pH level. When you have enough experience, having this control will enable you to produce larger, more potent yields. Moreover, you can use hydroponics in a grow room of any size.
Tip #4 – How to Boost Your Grape Ape Yield
With a moderate to high yield, Grape Ape has some room for improvement. If you are a novice grower, it is easy to underestimate the importance of watering. After all, you just add water to soil or water and nutrients to your inert growing medium, right? In fact, watering technique is one of the biggest issues facing neophyte growers.
Although different environmental considerations alter a watering schedule between an indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse grow, the basic irrigation rules apply to all three. Novices, in particular, are often guilty of overwatering their plants. Overwatering causes numerous problems with crucial plant functions such as a reduction in nutrient uptake and root rot. Needless to say, this plays havoc with your crop and damages yield.
When growing Grape Ape, make sure the root zones of the plants dry out between watering sessions. A tried and trusted way to find out if you are properly watering your plants is by picking up the pot and feeling its weight. Soon enough, you will understand how heavy the pot ‘should’ feel when your crop needs water.
You can also invest in a moisture meter which provides an accurate method of the root zone’s water retention levels. There are even individualized soil sensors that offer real-time digital readings of the root zone’s water levels.
Tip #5 – Feeding for Grape Ape
Grape Ape is a marijuana strain that can handle heavier feeding. One tip is to feed compost tea to your crop; it is laden with beneficial nutrients and microorganisms. These microorganisms can help boost your crop’s immune system and make it less susceptible to diseases such as bud rot and powdery mildew.
Good compost tea will include compost, fish hydrolysate, worm castings, bat guano, molasses, and kelp. You can play around with the ingredients a bit, but compost is an essential addition. There are readymade compost tea brewers available online, although you can create your own with a mesh bag, 5-gallon bucket, and an air pump which must be connected to an aerator device.
Although it varies, a compost tea takes between 24 and 36 hours to brew. If you allow it to brew for too long, the precious microorganism populations could die. Once you have brewed the tea, make sure you apply it to your growing medium as soon as possible. Make sure it is applied within 36 hours of being brewed.
Tip #6 – Should You Grow Grape Ape Outdoors or Indoors?
Grape Ape is a versatile strain capable of thriving inside or out. If you grow outdoors, consider investing in a greenhouse if it is an economically viable option. A greenhouse provides all of the advantages of outdoor growing but without the problems associated with high winds and heavy rainfall.
It is best if you use a covered space outdoors to reduce the risk of bud rot mentioned above. If you go ahead and grow Grape Ape outside, it can yield up to 28 ounces of bud per plant; a huge amount! It is typically ready for harvest in late September or early October.
Although the yield is lower, Grape Ape is much easier to grow indoors.Due to its dense bud structure and short stature, you can benefit from a decent Grape Ape yield in a small space. Hydroponic growing works well with this marijuana strain because it grows strong and healthy without the need for soil.
If you go down the hydroponics route, however, remember that you are solely responsible for the crop’s nutrient intake. As such, hydroponic growing is best utilized by cultivators with a little experience. Overall, Grape Ape grown indoors can provide up to 16 ounces per square meter planted.
Tip #7 – Grape Ape Flowering Time
In general, Grape Ape’s flowering time is set at 7 to 8 weeks. There are some types of marijuana that provide extra yield if you hold off on harvesting for an extra week. That isn’t the case with this strain. However, if you decide to stretch the flowering time to 9 weeks, we recommend reducing the temperature because this practice could improve the flavor.
Grape Ape is a smooth strain with a sweet berry, cherry, and grape flavor. With an extra week of flowering, you can enhance the fruity flavor for a gorgeous tasting marijuana strain. However, make sure that less than 80% of the pistils have changed color, or else check to see that the trichomes have not yet turned amber. If you wait too long, your Grape Ape harvest will provide an extra ‘stony’ high.
Tip #8 – Best Climate for Growing Grape Ape
Grape Ape plants grow best in daytime temperatures of between 68- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. As it is a marijuana strain that grows dense and thick, it is imperative that you keep the relative humidity (RH) levels in the grow room on the low side. It grows well in a warm climate with the humidity set at 50% during the vegetative stage.
By the time it reaches the flowering stage, reduce the humidity level so that it is between 30% and 40%. Once your Grape Ape crop is ready for harvest, the RH should be down at around 30%. Excess RH does little for this strain’s yield and only increases the risk of mold.