Smokey’s 420 House Garden City, Colorado
Inside a concrete and corrugated metal building in Garden City, Colo., are three rooms where Smokey’s 420 House grows 18 strains of cannabis for two medical dispensaries and a retail store. The former artist’s studio was modified extensively to meet state regulations for cultivation.
Shown here is the Sea Of Green (SOG) growing method in one of three grow rooms at Smokey’s 420 House, which was modified from an artist’s studio to meet compliance standards. The SOG method encourages plants to mature more quickly, which means smaller individual yield, but a larger overall crop and more harvests per year. Photo: Mo Zerrad
“Since I came on board 18 months ago, our No. 1 mandate has been preventing contamination,” says master grower and grow operations manager Scott Brady. To keep things contaminant-free, Smokey’s eliminated products with paper backing, wood products or drywall, and replaced them with more washable surfaces. Smokey’s also adopted SOG growing methods. Everything is moved and cleaned at once to maintain an immaculate growing environment.
In an industry ripe with regulatory changes, Smokey’s experience with construction, process documentation and quality improvements has provided a good foundation for their expanding business. Here, Brady shares a few hints for getting the most out of a harvest.
8. Have standard operating procedures (SOPs). One careless person can carry powdery mildew on his shoes and jeopardize an entire harvest. Smokey’s addresses this by using SOPs designed to keep workspaces and floors clean. That’s why Brady emphasizes the importance of hiring people with strong work ethics and perfectionist tendencies. When employees are properly trained to develop and observe SOPs on everything from spraying to cleaning, they can have a positive effect on quality and yield. At Smokey’s, written SOPs ensure that everyone follows the same practices every time, Brady says.
9. There are no shortcuts to better yields. “I wish there was a magic bullet that would give us another 5 to 20 percent yield ...,” he says. Being ready to respond to all the variables is perhaps the only universal cultivation rule, in Brady’s opinion. He is an advocate for tending every plant to evaluate its needs.
10. Identify strains with common growing schedules. Smokey’s cultivates plants with three distinct gestations: eight weeks, nine weeks and 10 weeks. Brady and his team are always looking for new strains and have discovered many nine-week strains with similar needs, which could result in healthier plants and better yields. “I’m considering growing all nine-week plants, so we can lose a week of gestation and gain an extra harvest at the end of the year,” he says.
11. Keep fastidious records. Smokey’s tracks temperature, humidity, CO2 and other factors three times a day. Those records help them understand how small changes affect the grow. Example: Smokey’s experimented with lighting and found a Gavita bulb that offered a slightly bigger lighting footprint than a typical 1,000-watt high pressure sodium bulb without harming yield. “We’re using that data to find the sweet spot for lighting in each room,” Brady says.
View the full article here: https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/31-ways-to-grow-smarter-and-maximize-yield/
Hammon, Crystal. “31 Ways to Grow Smarter and Maximize Yield: Updated.” Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Business Times, 16 Dec. 2019, https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/31-ways-to-grow-smarter-and-maximize-yield/.