[If you’re keen to grow your favorite marijuana strain, we advise you to check out our large number of grow guides, which provide you with important steps and tips to help you achieve a rich, bountiful harvest].
Today’s growing guide is for Bubba Kush, a strong indica-dominant (90%) hybrid with a THC content of up to 22%.
This is no doubt one of the world’s most popular strains of marijuana, and the descendant of OG Kush has a long and illustrious history. Whenever the term ‘Kush’ is used to describe a strain, we are transported to the remote Hindu Kush mountain range, which extends from Afghanistan to Pakistan. According to the breeder who claims responsibility for introducing Kush to the U.S., no one had a clue what they were planting!
As for the Bubba Kush strain itself, its origins can be traced to Denver in the early 1990’s. According to legend, a grower called Bubba and his friend Learch germinated some cannabis seeds that they had ‘gotten from a friend,’ even they didn’t know the name or origins of the seeds. They called the strain ‘Kush,’ apparently without knowing anything of the existence of the Hindu Kush mountains.
Next, Bubba and a few other growers crossed Skunk varieties with their version of Kush to create strains called KX, KY and KZ, with KY being the pick of the litter. Bubba was so happy with the KY strain that he named it after himself. In 1996, he moved to LA with a college buddy and set aside the KY strain in favor of creating Kush and Bubba plants.
Bubba and his friends had a major problem while in LA, though; the Kush grew too tall! What they failed to realize was that their hermaphrodite Kush strain had pollinated the newly-minted ‘Bubba’ strain, and the ensuing strain became known as Bubba Kush. (It is also claimed that a member of Cypress Hill got hold of the seeds and was responsible for making it famous).
Regardless of how Bubba Kush came into being, it is a strain known for providing an extremely relaxing effect.
You can expect your muscles to lose their tension before a period of heavy euphoria envelops you. It provides you with a hazy head high, which means it is best used in the evenings or before you go to sleep. If you want to grow Bubba Kush – and benefit from its famous relaxing properties – read these eight tips for the achieving the best, most potent yields.
1 – Should you grow Bubba Kush indoors or outdoors?
If you want to enjoy this potent strain with its chocolate and coffee flavors, is it best to grow it inside or outside? In truth, you can grow Bubba Kush either indoors or outdoors with great results – this hardy variety is not known to be extraordinarily difficult to cultivate, barring the usual differences between the two growing methods.
If you elect to grow outdoors, you can do so in a dry, springtime location, although this plant is tough enough to survive slightly lower temperatures. It is normally ready to be harvested at the end of October, and is capable of yielding as much as 20 ounces per plant.
An increasing number of growers prefer to grow Bubba Kush indoors because of its large, dense buds. If you attempt to grow it outdoors in a moist climate, there is an increased risk of disease (such as bud rot) which thrives in wet conditions. Its flowering time is 8-9 weeks indoors, and you can expect medium buds with a yield of 15 ounces per square meter planted.
We spoke to indoor growers who placed feminized Bubba Kush seeds in Jiffy Pots, and the seeds germinated within three days and became dark green plants after remaining in the vegetative stage for a month. After nine weeks, the plants produced their indica-dominant fat buds, which were laden with resin glands.
2 – Growing Bubba Kush with hydroponics
The use of non-soil growing mediums, also known as hydroponics, has become extremely popular in the world of marijuana. Although you should definitely try to use soil for outdoor growing, it doesn’t always make sense indoors for the following reasons:
- Increased susceptibility to pest problems. Once a disease or pest gets into your indoor grow room, it can spread very quickly and devastate your crop.
- You need to purchase excellent soil because its quality has a huge influence on the quality of your harvest.
- It isn’t always possible to recycle soil.
- Monitoring soil pH is essential, and difficult to do (as you’ll find out in section #6).
- Determining the right amount of nutrients also requires a lot of work (as you’ll see in section #3!)
In contrast, a hydroponic system enables you to control nutrient and pH levels more precisely. Once you understand how it works, you enjoy total command which boosts the quality and quantity of your harvest.
If you are a relatively new grower, it is best to choose a readymade system that comes with everything you need. Although there are several hydroponics methods, a Drip System is one of the most popular. This enables you to choose between a variety of growing media and is also an excellent option if you are growing on a large scale.
It involves the use of individual drippers that are added to the growing medium of each plant. These drippers deliver equal amounts of oxygenated water nutrient solution to each plant. Any solution that doesn’t get absorbed by the plants gets drained into the reservoir and is pumped back through the dripper system.
One of the big advantages of a Drip System is that you can enjoy several harvests per year when you grow your Bubba Kush indoors.
You also have full mastery over the amount of nutrient solution received by each plant. Finally, you maintain control of the watering schedule, which means you can water your plants according to their specific needs.
3 – Feeding your Bubba Kush plants
The Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) rule applies to all plants, and Bubba Kush is no different. This particular plant also needs Calcium and Magnesium during the vegetative stage to ensure it develops properly before flowering. Aside from the above, and non-mineral elements such as carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, you also need to provide adequate amounts of Sulfur, Manganese, Silicon, Chlorine, Molybdenum, Copper, Boron, and Cobalt.
This is more of a consideration when you grow indoors using a hydroponic system. If you grow outdoors, you can avail of the ‘super soil’ mixtures we discuss in #4. Once you use such soils, there is little need to add nutrients; all you need to do is check for signs of nutrient burn or a deficiency now and then, and also ensure the plants are watered properly.
With hydroponics systems, you can also purchase a pre-mixed powder or liquid solution. However, you have to take more care when adding the nutrients and pay close attention to the pH and Electrical Conductivity (EC) readings. We discuss pH a little later, so let’s briefly talk about EC.
The EC reading tells you how strong your solution is, along with the amount of nutrients in the water. Ideally, you need the EC reading to be between 0.8 and 2.0. You also must decide whether you want to use the 500 or 700 scale when determining the parts per million (ppm) reading of your solution.
Once you have the EC reading, multiply it by 500 or 700 to get your ppm level. For example, an EC reading of 1.4 would mean 700 ppm using the 500 scale and 980 ppm using the 700 scale. It is best to err on the side of caution and use a lower amount of nutrients at first. The ppm of your nutrient solution should increase as the plant grows. While it should be around 300 ppm during the early part of the vegetative stage, it should rise to over 1,000 ppm close to harvest time.
4 – Creating a super soil for your Bubba Kush
Although you can purchase premixed soil, it is fun to try and create your own organic super soil. The key is to understand the types of soil amendments you can add and how they impact your soil. For example, bat guano is high in Nitrogen, bone meal is high in Phosphorus, and wood ash is high in Potassium.
In fact, with nothing more than an organic base material such as peat moss, compost, and an aerating agent like vermiculite, you can ‘amend’ the organic soil your Bubba Kush is growing in.
Simply create a base mix by combining equal parts of your compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. The base should make up around 20% of your total mix.
Next, add kelp meal, mycorrhizal inoculant, and humic acid to establish a population of fungi. Fungi develop crucial mycorrhizal relationships with the plants’ root systems. You also need to establish a bacterial population to break down complex sugars and convert them into micro and macronutrients for your weed. Adding bacteria also helps boost your plant’s immune system and increases its ability to fight off disease. Add bat guano and worm castings for this purpose.
The final step is to add extra-macro and micronutrient sources such as Epsom salts, dolomite lime, azomite, bone meal, and rock phosphate. These additions bring magnesium, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and other nutrients to the table.
5 – Climate considerations for Bubba Kush marijuana
Although the ideal temperatures vary slightly depending on the strain, most marijuana plants prefer relatively warm temperatures close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and some strains can thrive in the high 80s.
As for Bubba Kush, it grows best in a temperature range between 68 and 80 degrees.
You can bump this up towards 82 degrees during flowering. When the lights are off, make sure the temperature doesn’t fall below 60 degrees.
If the temperature is too low, evaporation through the leaves is reduced. The suction force, which absorbs nutrients via the roots, becomes smaller, and necessary nutrients that aren’t absorbed stay in the growing medium and disintegrate in the root environment. If the growing medium’s acidity level is high, the roots don’t function as well which causes a reduction in absorption. The result is slower growth.
As for humidity, try and keep it in the 60-70% range during the vegetative stage. Too many new growers maintain a humidity level of over 80%, which is simply too high – excess moisture increases the chances of disease. Reduce the humidity weekly, and by the middle of the flowering stage, it should be close to 40%.
6 – The importance of pH
Also known as Potential Hydrogen, pH levels measure the acid-alkaline balance in soil and water. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; 0 is the most acidic substance, while 14 is the most alkaline. 7.0 is a ‘neutral’ reading and is given to pure water. Marijuana plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic. Ideally, growers who use soil as a medium should keep pH levels between 6 and 6.8. If you have a hydroponics system, it should be in the 5.5 to 6.5 range.
The pH range of your growing medium dictates how well your cannabis plants absorb nutrients. For instance, an acidic medium enables better absorption of Manganese. Also, the nutrients you add or subtract have an impact on pH levels. You should invest in a pH meter to measure the levels of collected runoff water.
Once you know the pH, you can take action as necessary. For example, if the medium is too acidic, use lime to balance things out. If it is too alkaline, use soil sulfur to make it more acidic. Commercial potting soils and topsoil are already pH balanced which takes a lot of guesswork out of things. If you purchase a hydroponics medium such as Rockwool, you have to soak it in a solution with a pH of 5.5 for several hours.
7 – How do I know when my Bubba Kush is ready for harvest?
Knowledge of when to harvest marijuana at the right time is something you only gain with experience. You may have read the phrase ‘trichome-covered buds’ multiple times for example, but what does it mean? Sure, you can use flowering time as a guide, and get ready to harvest your Bubba Kush some eight weeks after it flowers, but that’s no guarantee of an accurate result because plants mature at different rates, even those in the same crop.
The pistil method involves waiting for at least half of the plant’s white hairs to darken and curl in. They should attain a reddish/brown color. At this stage, you could try and harvest, but it is too early if you’re seeking a truly potent crop of Bubba Kush.
Instead, wait until around 70% of the pistils have turned brown for premium THC levels. If you wait until the 80% mark, you enhance the sedative and calming effect of the strain. Once you go beyond this point, you have missed your opportunity as the resulting weed will be weaker.
The trichome method requires a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe; you are looking for the little mushroom-style trichomes that grow on the buds.
When the trichomes on your Bubba Kush are clear, your weed is NOT ready for harvest. If you see a majority of cloudy trichomes with mushroom heads, it is time to cut down your crop!
8 – Choosing between wet & dry trimming
When harvest day comes, you have come a long way, but there is still lots to be done before you can enjoy a potent and satisfying smoke. One of the most important tasks that lie ahead involves trimming the plants. You need to get rid of as many leaves as possible or else you will suffer from a harsh and less powerful smoke. You must choose whether you want to attempt ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ trimming.
Wet trimming involves getting the job done soon after cutting down the weed, and before it has the chance to dry. It is a better method for novices because it is easier and more practical; it is a simpler task to reach in and remove a full leaf stem when the plant is wet. There is a danger of mold appearing if you wait too long, but because it tends to appear between the stalk and bud at this point, wet trimming eliminates the problem.
Those who practice dry trimming do so to prevent the nugs on their Bubba Kush from drying out too quickly.
When you take your time drying, you end up with a smoother and more pleasant smoke, assuming that you have removed all the leaves! For many growers, wet trimming is not an option, so they have to remain patient and wait.
Ideally, you will use both methods and derive their full benefit. After harvesting your Bubba Kush crop, trim away big sugar and fan leaves. If you keep the smaller sugar leaves, you protect the buds and their trichomes, while also reducing the risk of mold. Once the branches are fully dried, begin trimming the rest. We recommend keeping these particular leaves because they make excellent additions to edibles and tinctures. The Bubba Kush plant is too valuable to waste!