This article is presented by GoldLeaf
If you are a cannabis grower, keeping a journal is incredibly important. The only way to repeat your successes, and truly learn a particular strain or grow style, is to write down daily or weekly results and build off of your progress. Much like the human body, every cannabis strain is unique and requires special attention during its growing term. Understanding these trends, so you can tweak your regime before problems arise, is vital in your journey towards harvesting quality buds. Below, we've compiled six reasons why you should keep a physical grow journal.
Journals Are Easier to Use in the Garden
There are a lot of great grower apps out there, but the garden isn't always the best place for tech. Digital screens are difficult to see under HID lighting (especially if you are wearing protective lenses) and if you are working in your grow, you probably have sticky hands (or gloves). All this makes it more difficult to engage with a touchscreen. If you wait to enter readings later, you risk forgetting or jumbling certain data points. Analog tools like pen and paper are a far better bet. They're easy to see under any light, quicker when it comes to entering your data, and writing in the moment will allow you to be more observant and granular with your entries.
Writing Boosts Memory and Comprehension
The hand and the brain have a unique relationship. When you write letters and words, you are communicating ideas and causing the mind to re-compose thoughts. This process will actually improve your memory and comprehension of the content that you write. This is helpful for anyone hoping to better understand and improve their growing operation. Not only are you keeping valuable notes, but you are helping your mind memorize the data.
Certainly worth mentioning is the need for privacy. Regardless of the legality of where you set up your grow operation, you'll likely want to keep your records private. With all of the new tech available to security agencies, hackers, and just about anyone else, storing your data in an app or online (even cloud drives) is a slippery slope, and a data breach could happen at any point without your knowledge. A physical journal is the best way to protect yourself and your intellectual property — though consider keeping a backup journal in case your master copy goes missing.
Photo credit: Goldleaf
Journals Give You the Complete Picture
In addition to the obvious entry points (nutrient recipe, strain details, feeding plan), a journal is open ended and will let you document other important factors in the growing process, such as the subtleties of deficiency problems, short-term anomalies, and equipment failures that may affect your results. Keeping detailed notes on the seemingly normal parts of your grow are very important, since these aspects can impact your final yield and the overall quality of your flower. Finding a journal that offers a templated approach will help you fill in the gaps you might otherwise sleep on.
You're Creating Your Own Database
The utter variety of seeds and genetics available to growers is astounding, making it difficult to compare one cannabis grow to another, even if the same process is followed. Keeping thorough notes on both environment and strain-specific details — factors like grow speed, leaf colors, and vigor — will help you grow that same strain again. Whether you're noting the need for higher concentrations of a particular nute, or marking down the crops' sensitivity to pH levels at a certain phase of the grow cycle, a journal will help you get in front of any hurdle before it becomes a problem.
Journals Offer a Portable Reference for the Future
The ability to look back at past grows and see feeding schedules, environmental conditions, and strain trends is very important when attempting to repeat successes. Having this information documented in a physical journal ensures it is always available and cannot be deleted or inaccessible due to intermittent technology (like cloud drives or computer files).
There are plenty of quality blank journals out there. But, if you are looking for a more sophisticated solution, consider a journal by Goldleaf. The company's first-of-its-kind series of journals is specifically designed for cannabis cultivators. Not only will it take a lot of the guesswork out of entering the vital data, it will make referencing past journals a breeze. Now grab a pen and your journal and start scribbling! Your brain and your high-quality herb will thank you in the long run.
Charles McElroy is the founder of Goldleaf, a science-forward printing company for cannabis growers, patients and enthusiasts. A former volunteer with Marijuana Policy Project, a history supporting veteran’s education and access to medical marijuana, and several years studying permaculture and organic farming in Ohio and Colorado, McElroy created Goldleaf to benefit the evolving recreational and medical cannabis communities.
Goldleaf products are available worldwide and the company also provides custom design services, now adorning select dispensaries and white-label products across the US. Visit the company's website for more.