A To The Point* Cannabis Growing Guide
First off, Know your environment! Grab a humidity and temperature measuring device for what ever grow area is being planned out.
Now Lights are the most important factor when growing. During the vegetation stage while on a 8/16 hour time schedule. It is best to use lights in the upper kelvin, 6900k will do nicely! But when it comes to flowering you want it lower, 2400k is ideal but going a bit higher works just fine. Most will agree that for the following situations so much light is required:
2’x2’x5′ 200watts to 300watts is enough to flower a great mini crop.
4’x4’x5′ – 5’x5’x5′ 600watts to 1000watts is ideal. Though 400 watts will still grow alright buds though.
Now the thing to remember is the heat output on an HPS or MH setup. With a cool tube around the bulb you can get the lamp pretty close to the tops, say 2 – 3 feet away. But in either situation there must be a ventilation fan moving air away from the bulb and hood. An additional fan is needed to blow the tops of the plants. A setup like so:
Now if you are using tap water be sure to let it sit over night before use! This will evaporate a great deal of the chlorine, If possible and patient enough DO use a brita filter and keep the water clean!
Though it’s not really needed, we are talking the best pot we can do on a one off grow setting. So grabbing a glossy white poly-film to line at least the bottom of your grow area if not all (up the sides.) Humidity can and does become an issue so keep an eye out for anything over 60% with the lights on, when letting it remain above 60-70% at night always make sure the grow area is well cleaned. Sanitizing before the grow begins!
Nutrients are a toss up but the main goal is this:
During the vegetation stage we need extra nitrogen, meaning anything with a high starting number on the x-x-x scale will be best. Using micro and a grow stage nutrient combo is ideal. As the micro-nutrients are not in high enough concentration from the soil alone. Anything 5+-3-0 or 5+-3-2 will do great. If you find a phosphorus deficiency during vegging then do use maybe 1/4 the dose of bloom nutrients to perk the colors back to ideal (dark to medium green, lush.)
Foliar is a great method for saving a plant or adjusting it to the perfect point but isn’t advised while in the budding stage or before the budding stage begins. This is due to the evaporation rate inside of dense nuggets. It’s very easy for the room humidity to be perfect but the inner bud’s humidity to reach 80-90% if you’re foliar feeding during budding. A simple light misting will do, wait an hour if the plant is sick and you will notice improvement. I elect to use an age old kelp for foliar feeding and also like to use it for watering periods where ferts have already been taken care of. Read the label for amounts as it can vary. How often is up to the grower but 2 times a week isn’t going to harm anything while in the vegetation stage.
Blooming (Budding Stage!)
There are 4 stages to blooming but overall keeping to a 2 stage methodology will be great.
First stage. A week before going into budding (12-12 light cycle,) load up your plant with a 1/2 dose of bloom nutrients. Bloom nutrients are usually going to have a high ending number like so: 2-4-8+ There is also a benefit to starting with molasses at this stage, 5-6 drops in a mug with hot water will do. At every feeding add this to the water and mix with the usual nutrient solution. In my personal experience it prolongs the first budding stage making for larger colas in the end. I continue this all the way to the end of budding and even elect to use it during the flush. Feeding cycles can be every week to once every three weeks depending on the way your nutrients are meant to be used. When in doubt load 1/2 solution until you notice yellowing and then back off. You’ll have an idea from there on.
Stage two is about 3 weeks – 4 weeks in where real density begins to show and trichomes begin to form. You will note that the regular feeding routine might need to be made a tad strong or just that the plant will be happy with a heavy load weather needed or not. It is important to keep and eye out from specific nutrient deficiency: Low Boron, Nitrogen, Copper, ect. Chart: Cannabis is at its peak when the top round of the trichomes are 60%-70% cloudy. When you get here it’s time to give one last watering with no fertilizers! Just clean water and let the soil dry. With the top of the soil dry it’s time to give the plant a 16 hour nap in total darkness, this starts to break down the chloroform and aids in making a nice grayed-green sparkly product. You should notice light spots on the leaves after 16 hours in darkness. Don’t go any farther with the plants in the pots, it’s time to cut some branches off and trim the large fan leaves off and buds up. The less fan leaf popping out of the bud the better tasting and smelling the dry buds become. A lot of people forget this.
Immediately put your buds in a monitored environment. Ideal humidity will be 35%-40% humidity and at most 65f no higher or you risk molds. In this kind of drying area be sure to have a fan blowing air down and as to avoid bringing dusts up and onto your fresh buds. Never let the humidity raise above 50%, ever. Even if you have to crack a door open or open a flap. A tiny bit of indirect light is better then too much humidity. In a setting like this it can take anywhere from 2-5 days to get the buds down to a point where the nuggets are sticky and firm but not damp and stems to a easy but firm bend, you don’t need them to break cause we are going to use the jarring method to cure. Meaning we want about 50% moisture in the buds total.
Jarring up moderately wet buds can sound scary but just be sure to use very clean jars, steam sterilizing is a great method. Keep the jars in a dry, dark, 60-70f area. Just covering them with a clean sheet will do but keep an eye on high temps! In the first hour your jars inside moisture content should be around 70% humidity. But this is too high for curing. We are looking for a stable 60% – 55%. Once you hit this mark having opened your buds to breath every hour. You will then wait 2-3 hours and make sure they stay at that level. If they pass 5 hours and are still at 60-55% then start to breathe them once or twice every 12 hours until we hit 30%-20%. You can then leave the cannabis in those jars and continue to “breathe” them every time you smoke. 🙂 From here on out the level is up to you. Taking the humidity down to 15% and below is best for storing long term, the lower the better but it’s a matter of preference. Dry is great for a joint, where slightly higher moisture content is nice for a roasting bowl.
The goal is to have clean burning cannabis, it shouldn’t turn black at all. And ashes turn straight or almost straight to gray/white. Please do share your newly curated cannabis with friends and family!