‘Stay Open at the Top’ When It Comes to Growing First-Rate Cannabis

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The beauty of growing any plant is there are a thousand ways to proceed and obtain exceptional results. Although genetics are the single most important component to growing superior cannabis—a plant cannot outgrow its genes—everything else may be manipulated until the perfect combination is found for the crop’s unique requirements.

So, stay open to experimentation—or, as a mentor once told me, “stay open at the top.” Growing first-rate cannabis takes years of consistently doing the same thing every time while keeping detailed notes. The practice allows growers to troubleshoot and learn from their crop when problems arise and provides a blueprint for replicating successful runs. After many trials and tribulations, much hard work, and rigorous attention to detail, a grower will have built a successful recipe to produce consistently exceptional results.


When they reach that point, some growers feel they have “earned” the right to stop learning. Their product sells and fetches top dollar, so they feel no need to change what they are doing. They stop exploring the new cultivation methods, market trends, and technologies developed every year, forgetting experimentation and exploration led them to their cultivation successes.

Feeding the ill-conceived notion “I have mastered this plant” inevitably turns exceptional product into mediocre product. For example, a movement toward cleaner cannabis is underway. Information about the topic continually is passed along to consumers, most of whom are remarkably committed to using only products that won’t harm their health. They may consider plants that haven’t been grown using the most up-to-date best practices unappealing. Potentially worse, when regulations for growing safe-to-consume plants inevitably change, cultivators who continue to use fertilizers and plant growth regulators in the same way they have for decades may see their “exceptional” cannabis become banned cannabis.

A good cultivator can grow exceptional cannabis in any medium, indoors or outside, with minimal inputs. The best cultivators are those who “stay open at the top” and continue to adapt and grow as the industry unfolds around this wonderful plant.

Cody Yeager manages the nutrients division for URB Sciences Inc. The company’s first product, URB Natural, is an organic, zero NPK, microbial formulation of bacteria and fungi suspended in an OMRI-certified, humalite-derived humic acid carrier.