Critical Kush is regarded as a ‘top shelf’ strain for a very good reason. It carries excellent genetics and hits about as hard as a prime Thomas Hearns. It is a massively indica-dominant (90%) hybrid marijuana strain that is a cross of OG Kush and Critical Mass. Barney’s Farm is responsible for breeding this beauty, which is also known for producing an exceedingly high yield. When you follow the steps and tips in this growing guide, you can get the maximum from your Critical Kush seeds.
When you have this strain in your hands, we recommend taking it easy at first, even if you’re an experienced user. Remember, it is primarily an indica strain which hits you hard and fast; as a result, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, and have no further plans for the evening! The relaxing effect comes on you much faster than you expect, and couch-lock is an inevitability.
Aside from enjoying intense relaxation, you’ll also feel a wave of happiness and positivity. If you suffer from insomnia, Critical Kush is ideal because it sends you to sleep when used in high doses. In the medical marijuana community, it is also used to treat stress, depression, chronic pain, and migraines. If you’re interested in growing a cannabis strain to keep you calm and relaxed, read our guide to growing Critical Kush marijuana.
1 – Should I grow CK indoors or outdoors?
This depends on where you live and the kind of access you have to an outdoor growing site. Remember, even in states where marijuana is legal to cultivate, it needs to be out of sight of the general public. Therefore, you need to find a suitable plot of land and invest in equipment such as a tent or an enclosure to ensure no one can see what you’re growing.
If you choose to grow outside, consider growing in a greenhouse because you can manage humidity levels effectively. Critical Kush is a resilient plant, but it prefers a warm and temperate climate. However, it is worth the hassle because, when grown outdoors, Critical Kush can produce up to 23 ounces of premium quality weed per plant! Your crop should be ready for harvest by the end of September or early October.
For most growers, indoor cultivation is the only realistic option. Critical Kush’s flowering time is normally set at 9-10 weeks, but don’t be surprised if your crop is ready after 8 weeks. You can expect a whopping 21 ounces of bud per square meter planted. We recommend keeping your plants in a room with a daytime temperature of between 70- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. Reduce by around 10 degrees at night.
2 – What’s the right humidity level?
It is important to realize that when we speak about humidity levels for marijuana plants, we’re referring to Relative Humidity (RH). Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The amount of water held by the air depends on temperature. Hot air holds more moisture than cold air, which means you can keep humidity levels down by ensuring your grow room’s temperature is high.
RH relates to the amount of water that air can hold at a specific temperature. Once RH levels exceed 100%, the excess water is no longer held by the air and condensates into water droplets such as dew or fog. Let’s say that your grow room’s temperature is 86 degrees and the RH is 33%. If you wanted to reduce the temperature to 51 degrees (we would never actually recommend such a rapid drop), the RH in the room would hit the 100% mark.
Although different plants perform best according to a specific RH level, there are a few general rules. Seedlings and clones thrive with an RH of between 65% and 80%. This is because the young plants still have fragile root systems and need to take in more water from the environment. You should keep the temperature at 77 degrees during the day and 70 degrees at night.
Once your Critical Kush plants reach the vegetative state, drop the RH to between 55% and 70%. As it is heavily indica, err on the lower side of this range. Keep the grow room’s temperature between 71 and 80 degrees during the day, and between 64 and 75 degrees at night. By now, your plants should have strong root systems which means they absorb more water from the soil.
In the early flowering stage, lower the RH to around 40%. Keep temperatures in the 68 to 77-degree range. Finally, you can nudge the RH level down as the flowering stage progresses. Once you are close to harvest time, reduce RH to 30%, with temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees during the day and 10 degrees lower at night.
Please remember that because Critical Kush is mainly indica, it can develop bud rot if the conditions are excessively humid. We recommend purchasing an all-in-one thermohygrometer which measures temperature and humidity.
3 – My Critical Kush has bud rot! Help!
It is an awful feeling when you see mold developing on your plants. However, as long as you spot it quickly enough, you can eliminate the problem and preserve your crop. Bud rot is one of the most common forms of mold, and it develops in the dense cannabis bud cores. It begins on the interior stem of the bud and spreads out. As a result, it is tough to spot it quickly.
Bud rot breaks down the buds and spreads out to the point where it produces spores all over your garden! If you see white and wispy mold, you have caught bud rot early. If the mold is grey and black, it means the rot is well developed and has probably already spread. Once you see mold, you must immediately remove the infected area from the plant. If the infection has spread too far, you’ll sadly have to destroy your plant; make sure you take it out of the garden ASAP or else it will infect your entire harvest.
Bud rot thrives in mild temperatures, high humidity, dense buds, dense foliage, and poor ventilation. Critical Kush is an indica, so it is more susceptible to bud rot than its sativa counterparts. Pruning and training your plants is a must. We recommend using Low-Stress Training (LST) techniques, which involve bending but not breaking your plants. Pruning improves airflow and reduces moisture collection. It is also a good idea to water in the morning rather than in the evening.
4 – Seven fast tips when growing hydroponically
‘Hydroponic marijuana’ is grown using an inert growing medium such as Rockwool or Coco Noir rather than soil. It has become a popular method of growing weed indoors because using soil is not always the most efficient idea. When growing hydroponically, you have total control over your crop’s nutrient intake.
Here are seven quick tips to get the most out of this method of growing Critical Kush:
- Make sure all equipment is sterile: Purchasing new equipment is expensive, but it is worth the investment if you intend to grow marijuana regularly. Sanitize all filters, pipes, reservoirs, tanks, and other equipment to prevent the creation and spread of pathogens. Disinfect your equipment with hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol often.
- Use clean water: By this, we mean pH neutral water. The water that goes through your system must have a pH of 7.0. Purchase a Reverse Osmosis system if necessary.
- Temperature and humidity: Make sure the water flowing through your system is between 65 and 75 degrees. Keep the humidity level between 60% and 70% in the vegetative stage, and lower it by 5% each week. It can be as low as 30% by harvest time.
- Lighting: When growing indoors, you need to invest in high-quality grow lights because your crop needs good light exposure to thrive. CFL lights are suitable for smaller rooms, while HIDs are best for larger areas. Please ensure that the lights you choose are capable of generating between 400 and 700 nanometers of light.
- Air flow: The air in the grow room must move around to ensure good plant health. It helps keep temperature and humidity at optimum levels. Purchase fans and place them in locations where they are capable of reaching all parts of the room.
- Find a reputable breeder: No matter how much effort you put into a grow, your results are dictated by seed quality. When you purchase high-quality Critical Kush seeds, the yield will astound you.
- Keep records: If you don’t have records, how do you know what worked and what didn’t? Novices could produce a fluke yield without ever knowing what they did. As a result, they can grow another 30 crops and never get close to recreating the magic – unless they keep a record.
5 – Should I grow Critical Kush in a greenhouse?
If you want to grow your crop outdoors, a greenhouse is a great option if you can afford it. It harnesses the sun’s power, keeps prying eyes away from your weed, and enables you to grow marijuana 12 months a year! Remember, the ‘greenhouse effect’ keeps temperatures inside high even when it is freezing outside.
When you use a greenhouse, you benefit from the following advantages:
- Lighting control.
- Control over climate and weather.
- The ability to manipulate cannabis life cycles.
- Energy conservation.
6 – Add compost tea for higher yields
As you probably know, compost is laden with a variety of beneficial nutrients and microorganisms. Compost tea extracts them into a water ‘tea’ solution. As a result, you introduce an array of beneficial bacteria, nutrients, and fungal colonies to your soil. Your plants will grow faster and larger, while also being protected from disease.
You can create a ‘tea’ by combining compost, fish hydrolysate, worm castings, molasses, and kelp. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to brewing the tea.
- Build a brewer: Use a 5-gallon bucket and place an air pump connected to an aerator device outside the container at the bottom. Buy a 400-micron mesh bag as this is where you will place your ingredients. Alternatively, purchase a ready-made brewer from a garden store.
- Plan the brewing process: Most compost teas take at least 24 hours to brew, but don’t go beyond 36 hours or else your microorganism population will die. As you’ll need to use the tea immediately, plan it so that it is ready to use when you’re set to feed your plants.
- Brew the tea: If you are using tap water, we advise you to leave it to settle for a few hours to allow chlorine breakdown. Keep the tea away from direct sunlight and make sure the air pump is working.
- Add ingredients: As your tea is brewing, you can add more ingredients. For example, food for fungi and bacteria can be added after 12 hours.
- Feed your plants: You can spray the tea on the leaves or apply it directly to the roots. If using the tea as a spray, dilute with water in a 1:2 ratio (one-part tea, two parts water). If applying to the roots, dilute in a 1:20 ratio (one-part tea, 20 parts water).
7 – Feeding your Critical Kush
Aside from boosting growth with a compost tea solution, make sure you feed your Critical Kush plant heavily during the vegetative stage. Focus on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, with an emphasis on Nitrogen in the early stages. Once your plants reach the flowering stage, reduce Nitrogen intake and concentrate on providing more of the other two essential nutrients.
Other important nutrients include:
You will find most of these nutrients in soil, water, and air. If you are growing hydroponically, however, you are 100% responsible for ensuring your plants get enough food. Novices tend to overfeed their plants. In reality, marijuana plants are sturdy which means it is best to err on the side of underfeeding. Make sure you perform regular checks to ensure your plants are not wilting or conversely, showing signs of nutrient burn. Yellow leaves are a common sign of both.
8 – Keeping bud rot at bay in the drying room
You will doubtless breathe a huge sigh of relief when you reach harvest time without any major disease or pest incidents. However, bud rot can still make its presence felt when it is time to dry your Critical Kush. Make sure you thoroughly check the buds for rot before drying. If you find anything, remove the infected area. It is also wise to only harvest your crop after a dry spell because your buds will have a lower moisture content.
Before taking your plants to the drying room, remove fan leaves and trim buds to reduce moisture further. Leave plenty of space between the hanging branches when drying them. You should place fans around the room to improve airflow, and if the humidity level is still too high, invest in a dehumidifier to pull more moisture from the air.
Ideally, your drying room’s temperature will be approximately 70 degrees with a humidity level of 50%. Although a slow drying process boosts potency, you may not have this luxury if you have already found mold. In this instance, decrease humidity and increase temperature to dry your buds faster.