How to Grow Marijuana Indoors at Home - Part II - GROWING YOUR FIRST CROP OF MARIJUANA
GROWING MARIJUANA AT HOME
Part one of this two part series discusses the important issues involved in getting started. Grower's philosophy, seed selection, environmental requirements and issues, primer on need-to-know agricultural sciences.
In Part II we move onto the real deal, growing a fine, lush crop of superior Medical Weed. Or at least that's the end game. For now, we want to grow a health plant that supplies a reasonable quantity of decent bud. After we can do that, then let's shoot for the stars.
Start your Engine - Get your Pots
Fill several small pots halfway to the top with your chosen organic potting soil. Plant your seeds by making a ½-inch hole in the soil with your pinky and drop a seed in. Don't add fertilizer to the seed. Don't add fertilizer to the seed. Did we say don't add fertilizer to the seed? We emphasize this point because this is the most common way to destroy your seed.
Fertilizer will burn the seed and if you plant grows at all, it will probably be mutated. Cover the seed in it's hole by burying it gently with soil. Don't pack the soil tightly. Just put it to bed, like putting a blanket on a baby. In a week, the sprout will continue germinating and pop it's stem out of the soil while growing several root offshoots. Your baby is born.
You want to keep the soil moist early on. But don't drown the plant, don't make a mud bath. Use a plant spray bottle to moisten the soil daily. A plant without water is like a bodybuilder without food. It is good to avoid placing infant plants directly in front of a fan or beside a heater. This will cause rapid dehydration, which is bad, bad, bad.. Again, too much water causes the roots to drown and fail to absorb oxygen and carbon dioxide, the other plant foods. Too much water also is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and fungus. So if you figure out the difference between moist and wet, then you're in business.
AND THEN THERE WAS LIGHT AND IT WAS GOOD
Without a good source of light, it is impossible in theory and in practice to grow a good crop of marijuana. In so called "vegetative" stage, the first eight weeks of growth, plants need 18 to 24 hours light.
The formula for nature's wonder that is fundamental to the existence of life on the surface of this planet; photosynthesis. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand you need supply water, air and sun to a plant and it will produce sugar. The sugar is then synthesized into cellulose or fiber that makes up most of the plant material. From there the plant makes other substances like terpenes, oils, sterols, cannabinoids, THC, CBD and the rest.
To understand exactly how it all works in detail, you actually, really need to be a rocket scientist. Functionally, all the grower really needs to know is that the plant requires the right nutrition to grow well, not too much and not too little.... and how to adjust the growing conditions - like an alchemist - to produce fat buds, potent in herbal medicine.
Photosynthesis - God's Equation
Water + Carbon Dioxide + Light = Sugar --- Sugar + Sugar = Cellulose
A good light source is essential. We recommend LED lighting for indoor growing. Each plant can have its own white 5 watt LED bulb placed a few inches above the seedling. These lamps are very energy efficient and don't give off much heat so dehydration is not an issue - as is the case with other lighting. So do not use bulbs that get hot. The ambient temperature should be about 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't go hotter or cooler. Don'[t feed the seedlings (add nutrients) until about a week after the seedlings have popped. (broken soil)
"Recent advances in light-emitting diode or LED technology have caught the attention of leading cannabis cultivators. The lights create energy savings while producing better cannabis, making them ideal for large scale grows or smaller home grows." - www.herb.co
When the seedling pops, check that the lighting is a few inches above the plants and see that the soil is moist. Spraying water on once a day is fine, but twice a day is even better. 7 days after the seeds have popped, and the leaves have just begun to form, you can add nutrients to the soil. Use one quarter of the recommended dose prescribed on the label for a houseplant. Move up to a half dose when the leaves are fully formed.
"The only one (nutrient) that adequately fed my marijuana plants, was easy to use, and didn’t smell like an outhouse…was Iguana Juice." - bigbudsmag.com
Having a good start is the key to growing great Pot. Healthy infants become disease resistant - well bud endowed adults. If you have good soil, seed and the right conditions, it is very likely your Weed will be very health after 3 weeks of life. Now it's time to watch it grow baby.
When the leaves start to form
Your plants will start to grow rapidly, from 3 to 6 inches per week. If the leaves look burned, then you've probably applied too much nutrient. In this case, stop adding nutrients completely.
You can transplant your plants into bigger pots when the roots start to grow out the bottom pot-hole. Rookies however, are advised to plant in a large pot 15 gallon and avoid transplanting, initially. If the pot is not big enough for the root system, the marijuana will stop growing. If you are comfortable transplanting, a 1 gallon clay pot is idea for raising the seedling.
Triggering the Flowering Cycle
After the "vegetation stage" a plant is usually ready to be triggered (flower, grow buds, then harvest) after 2 months plus or minus a week or two. The seed supplier can usually provide information regarding expected plant size and keys to harvest optimally.
Once your decide your Herb has developed enough where she can produce ample flowers, it is time to change the lighting schedule from 18-24 hours (on) down to 12 hours on and 12 hours off. You can get a timer you plug into the wall socket that sets to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
During this phase, you want to double up the lighting intensity during the half day on phase, but make sure you have complete darkness in the following 12 hours of night. This scheme is found to produce maxim fruit/bud for most varieties. Remember to use all LED lighting or you'll dehydrate and overheat the plants. Not good.
Doubling up on this important growing instruction:
"During the dark cycle, it is extremely important that no light enters the plant space. Any light leaks can disrupt the plant’s flowering and cause stress or confuse the plant, forcing her to hermaphrodite (creating seeded flowers) or severely weaken yield and quality."
When to Harvest
The hardest part of growing weed is knowing the right time to harvest. There is a strong tendency for new growers to harvest too early due to excitement. Premature harvest results in lower yields and potency. If you're getting too impatient, just pull off a bud that looks "done" and test the potency yourself. Then wait a few more days and retest. Observe and take your own notes. In fact, this is probably the best exercise a novice grower can do. You'll be in touch, up close and personal, with all the growth phases of the plant.
"The beginning of the harvest window opens when your plant has mostly stopped growing new white "hairs" or pistils and at least 40% of the white hairs have darkened and curled in. Harvest when 50-70% of hairs have darkened for highest levels of THC. Harvest when 70-90% of hairs have darkened for a more calming, anti-anxiety effect as some THC turns to the more relaxing CBN. " -.growweedeasy.com
In closing, of course, there are volumes more to learn about growing weed, but you know what? If you hone and master these simple, time proven techniques presented here, you will grow one hell of a crop of medicinal weed. Believe it, 100%
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The point of this article is to supply a novice with only the essential information needed to grow a decent crop of weed. We strongly suggest you follow our guide and produce your first couple of crops before engaging in more "advanced" techniques. So, grasshopper, having grown some bud, you're real, and can move onto bigger and better things, such as reading the Marijuana Grow Bible. (see further reading below).
FURTHER READING - HOW TO GROW MEDICAL MARIJUANA AT HOME