Growing Cannabis at home
Table of contents
There are few things in life as good as your own cannabis, grown by yourself
at home out in the garden and indoors in pots... Oregano, Dill, Basil, Sage and
other herbs are all easy to grow. Mint will take over the whole yard if you let
it. Fresh mint and celantro are incredible in salads and oriental dishes. But it
all comes down to a truly motivational cannabis that is your friend and mine, a
great healer and teacher to those that know it well.
Most people think of gardens as a seasonal, yearly project, but it's actually
less time consuming and more rewarding to keep the garden going year round. If
one were to attempt to grow year round, indoor gardening techniques will be
needed at least during winter to keep the garden producing. You will have cannabisfresh at all times, there is no worry of mass storage thru the winter and
spring, it requires less space, and once established, requires only minimal
attention every week to keep it producing at optimal levels.
The best part of being a gardener is it connects you to the earth. It
connects you with nature, and is spiritually enriching. Try giving your plants
energy by beaming good thoughts and energy at them every time you visit them. I
find this helps me as much as it helps them; my plants seem to respond to it
It's very important to start with good genetics. You should attempt to find
seeds from local gardeners that are acclimated and bred for local climate and
best floral characteristics. Potency, aroma, fast growth, early maturation,
resistance to fungus and pests. All of these factors are considered by the
seasoned gardener and you will benefit enormously by finding a friend to get you
started on the journey that never ends...
Attempt to find an Indica/Sativa hybrid if possible, as this will have the
best high and good characteristics for indoor growth as well. Indica plants have
a heavy, stony high that is tiresome, and sativas' are hard to grow indoors due
to high light requirements, and late flowering traits, so a hybrid can be bread
that will have the energetic, cerebral high of the sativa and the early
maturation tendencies of the Indica plant.
The Indica plant is easily recognized by its extremely broad leaves that are
very rounded on the sides. The Sativa has very narrow, finger-like leaves. A
hybrid will have qualities of both and have leaves that are a cross of these two
types, thinner than an Indica, but much broader than a Sativa. It is possible to
recognize a good hybrid by the leaves once you know what to look for.
Look for seeds that are dark brown or light grey. Some may have dark lines
inset into these colors, like tiger stripes. White, small seeds are immature and
should not be planted.
One of the best solutions to energy verses output for most home gardeners is
to use outdoor light for flowering and use continuous light indoors for
germination and vegetative growth. This will take advantage of the natural
light/dark cycle and cut your energy use in half compared to the same operation
indoors. A small greenhouse can be built of Filon fiberglass or PVC sheets that
is innocuous and looks much like a storage shed or tool shed so it's not likely
to raise suspicions.
In fact, a large shed of metal or plywood can be modified with a luminous
roof of PVC, glass, fiberglass or plastic sheet, and some strains that do not
require a great deal of light will grow well. Such a shed will discourage fly-by
sightings and keep your business your own! It also allows you to keep out rats
and gophers, keeps out the neighbor kids, and can be easily locked up. It will
also give you an opportunity to actually plant in the ground if you desire, and
this is the best way to avoid root-bound plants (if your not using hydroponics),
and get bigger harvests.
In winter, indoor space is used to start new seedlings or cuttings to be
placed outside in the spring, using natural sunlight to ripen the plants. This
routine will provide at least 3 outdoor/greenhouse harvests per year. If more
space is available to constantly be starting indoors and flowering 2nd harvest
plants outdoors, harvests are possible every 60 days in many areas, with a small
indoor harvest in the winter as a possibility as well.
The basic strategy of year round production is to understand the plant has
two growth cycles. At germination the plant enters into a vegetative state and
will be able to use all the continuous light you can give it. This means there
is no dark cycle required. The plant will photosynthesis constantly and grow
faster than it would outdoors with long evenings. Photosynthesis stops during
dark periods and the plant uses sugars produced to build during the evening.
This is not a requirement and the plant will grow faster at this stage with
continuous photosynthesis (constant light).
Once the plant is 12-18" tall, weather permitting, it can be forced to
start flowering by placing it outside in the Spring or Fall. (For Summer outdoor
flowering, the night must be artificially lengthened in the greenhouse to
"force" the plants to flower. See FLOWERING chapter.)
Moving the plants to 10-13 hour light periods (moving it outside) with
uninterrupted darkness (no bright lights nearby) will force the plant to flower.
It will ripen and be 2-3' when ready to harvest. When a plant is moved from
continuous indoor light to a 10-13 hour day outside, it will start to flower in
anticipation of oncoming winter. Vegetative starts moved outside March 1st, will
be ripe by May 1. Vegetative starts moved outside on May 1 will be ripe by July
1. Starts moved outside Sept 1 are picked by Nov. 1st. In Winter, operations are
moved indoors and a crop is planted for seed in anticipation of planting
outdoors the next summer, or just for some extra winter stash.
Keep in mind that the "man" is looking for plants in the
Sept./Oct./Nov. time-frame, and may never notice plants placed outside to flower
in April. Be smart, make your big harvest in May, not October!
A small indoor space should be found that can be used to germinate seeds;
these vegetative starts are placed outside to mature in the spring after last
freezes are over. The space can be a closet, a section of a bedroom, a basement
area, an attic or unused bathroom. Some people devote entire bedrooms to
The space must be light leak proofed, so that no suspicious light is seen
from outside the house. This could invite fuzz or rip-offs.
The space should be vented. Opening the door of a closet can be enough
ventilation if the space is not lit by big lights that generate a lot of heat.
Separate exhaust and incoming air vents are best. One at the top of the room to
exhaust air into the attic or out the roof, and one to bring in air from an
outside wall or under-floor crawl space. Use fans from old computer cabinets,
available from electronic liquidators for $5 each. Dimmer swithes can be used to
regulate the speed/noise of the fans. Use silicon to secure the fans to
4-6" PVC pipe pushed thru a round hole cut in the floor and ceilings. Use
lots of silicon to damp the fans vibrations, so that the walls do not resonate
to the fans' ocsilations.
Line the walls with aluminum foil, dull side out to diffuse the light and
prevent hot-spots, or paint the walls bright white to reflect light. Aluminized
mylar, 1 mil thick is best.($20 for 25 feet of a 4' wide roll.) Mirrors are not
good to use, since the glass eats light!
Line the floor with plastic in case of water spills, etc. Set up a voltage
interrupt socket and be sure the electrical wiring will handle the lamps your
going to use. Always place ballasts for HID lamps on a shelf, so they are above
floor level, in case of water spills. Spacers place on the floor under a ballast
will work too.
A shelf above the main grow area can be used to clone cuttings and germinate
seedlings. It will allow you to double the area of your grow space and is an
invaluable storage area for plant food, spray bottles and other gardening
supplies. This area stays very warm, and no germination warming pad will be
needed, so this arrangement saves you $.
Hang a light proof curtain to separate this shelf from the main area when
used for flowering. This will allow constant lights on the shelf and dark
periods in the main grow area. Velcro can be used to keep the curtain in place
and ties can be used to roll it up when tending the garden. Black vinyl with
white backing works best.
Now you need light. A couple of shop lights will be fine if you just want to
start plants inside and then take them outside to grow in a small greenhouse.
They can be purchased with bulbs for about $10 each, or without bulbs for around
$8. Try to find them on sale. Use one Cool White and one Warm Light type bulb in
each to get the best light spectrum possible for plant growth. Do not use
expensive Grow Lux type bulbs, as they do not put out as much light, and
therefor do not work as well in most situations (go figure). If Cool White is
all you can find, or afford, use them. They work fine, and are by far the
cheapest.(About $1-2 each.)
Shelf gardening with fluorescents may be the trend of the future, since the
materials are so inexpensive, and easy to obtain. Fluorescent lamps are great
for shelf gardening. In this system, many shelves can be placed, one above the
other, and fluorescent lamps are used on each shelf. Some shelves have 24 hour
lighting, some have 12 hour lighting (for flowering). Two areas are best,
perhaps with one other devoted to cloning and germination of seed.
Shelf gardening assumes your going to keep all plants 3' or shorter at
maturity, so all shelves are 3-4 feet apart. Less light is necessary when you
have plants that are this short and forced to mature early.
One drawback to a shelf garden like this is that it is very time consuming to
adjust the lamp height every day, and it is harder to take a vacation for even a
week with no tending of the garden. This applies mostly to the vegetative stage,
when plants are growing as much as an inch per day. Lamps on the flowering
shelves are not adjusted nearly as often.
Normally, the lamps should be kept within 2 inches of the tops of the plants,
with the plants arranged such that they get progressively taller as the end of
the lamps go up, so that all plants are within this 2" range. This is an
ideal however, and if you do go on vacation, adjust the lamps so that your sure
the plants will not be able to grow up to the lamps within that length of time.
If enough flourecents are used to completely saturate the shelf with light, the
spacing issue will not create spindly plants. They will mearly grow a little
slower if the lamps are not very close to them.
An alternative is to use fluorescent lamps for cloning, germination and early
seedling growth on the top shelf of a closet, then switch over to HPS for heavy
vegatative growth and/or flowering in the main closet area.
Position the HPS such that it won't need adjustment, at the top most possible
point in the closet or room. Most HPS installations will not require lamp height
adjustment. Just attach the lamp to the underside of shelf or ceiling as high as
possible, and if you want to get a few plants closer to it, put them on a
temporary shelf, box or table to get them closer to the lamp.
A shelf is all that is necessary with this type of setup, preferably at least
18" wide, up to about 24" maximum. This area must be painted a very
bright white, or covered with aluminum foil, dull side out to reflect light back
to the plants. (Dull side out prevents hot-spots; diffuses light better.) Paint
the shelf white too. Or, use aluminized mylar, a space blanket, or any silvery
surface material. Do not use mirrors, as the glass soaks up light.
Hang shop lamps from chains and make sure you can adjust them with hooks or
some other type of mechanism so they can be kept as close to the plants as
possible at all times (1-2"). If the lamps are too far from the plants, the
plants could grow long, spindly stems trying to reach the lamp, and will not
produce as much bud at maturity. This is due to internode length being much
longer. This is the length of stem between each set of leaves. If it is shorter,
there can be more internodes, thus more branches, thus a plant that provides
more buds in less space at harvest time.
Shelf gardening is sometimes referred to as Sea of Green, because many plants
are grown close together, creating a green canopy of tops that are grown and
matured quickly, and the next crop is started and growing concurrently in a
separate area of continuous light. Clones are raised in a constant light shelf,
until they start to grow well vegetatively, then placed on a 12 hour per day
shelf to flower.
Indoors, 2000 lumens per sq. ft. is about as low as you want to go indoors.
If you get under this mark, plant growth will certainly not go as fast as
possible, and internode/stem length will increase. Also, light distance to
plants will be much more critical. Daily adjustments to the lamps will be
necessary, meaning you get no vacations.
2500 lumens psf should be a good target, and 3000 is optimal if your going to
inject or enrich CO2 levels (more on that later).
High Intensity Discharge lamps are the best solution for most indoor growers.
HID lamps come in 3 basic flavors: High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH)
and Mercury Vapor. Metal Halide is an improved spectrum, higher intensity
Mercury Vapor design. HPS is a yellowish sort of light, maybe a bit pink or
orange. Same as some street lamps.
HPS lamps can be used to grow a crop from start to finish. Tests show that
the HPS crop will mature 1 week later than a similar crop under MH, but it will
be a bigger yield, so it's better to wait the extra week.
The easiest HID to buy, and least expensive initially are the flourescent and
mercury vapor lamps. MV will put out about 8000 lumens per 175 watts, and 150
watts of HPS puts out about 15k lumens, so HPS is almost twice as efficient. But
the color spectrum from MV lamp output is not as good. HPS is high in reds,
which works well for flowering, while the Metal Halide is rich in blues, needed
for the best vegetative growth. Unfortunately, MV lamps provide the worst
spectrum for plant growth, but are very inexpensive to purchase.They are not
recommended, unless you find them free, and even then, the
electricity/efficiency issues outweigh the initial costs saved.
400 watt HPS will output around 45k lumens. For every 500 watts of continuous
use, you use about $20 a month in electricity, so it is evident that a lamp
taking half the power to output the same lumens (or twice the lumens at the same
power level) will pay for itself in a year or so, and from then on, continuous
savings will be reaped. This is a simple initial cost vs. operating costs
calculation, and does not take into account the faster growth and increased
yield the HPS lamp will give you, due to more light being available. If this is
factored into the calculation the HPS lamp will pay for itself with the first
crop, when compared to MV or fluorescent lamps, since it is easily twice as
efficient and grows flowers faster and bigger.
Lamp Type Watts Lumens per bulb Total efficiency
Fluorescent Bulb 40 3000 400 watts = 30k lumens
Mercury Vapor 175 8000 400 watts = 20k lumens
Metal Halide 400 36000 400 watts = 36k lumens
High P. Sodium 400 45000 400 watts = 45k lumens
Notice the Mercury Vapor lamps are less efficient than the fluorescent (FL),
and can not be positioned as close to the plants, so the plants will not be able
to use as much of the MV light. The light distribution is not as good either. MV
lamps simply are not suitable for indoor gardening. Use flourecent, MH, or HPS
lamps only. Halogen arc lamps generate too much heat and not very much light for
the wattage they use, and are also not recommened, even though the light
spectrum is suitable for decent growth.
There is a new type of HPS lamp called Son Agro, and it is available in a
250, 1000, and 400 watt range. The 400 is actually 430 watts; they have added 30
watts of blue to this bulb. It is a very bright lamp (53k lumens) and is made
for greenhouse use. These bulbs can be purchased to replace normal HPS bulbs, so
they are an option if you already own a HPS lamp. The beauty of this bulb is
that you do not give up most of the advantages of MH lamps, such as minimal
internode spacing and early maturation, like most HPS users do, and you have all
advantages of a HPS lamp. One bulb does it all.
Internodal length of plants grown with the Son Agro are the shortest ever
seen with any type of lamp. Plants grown under this lamp are incredibly bushy,
compact and grow very fast. Son Agro bulbs however, do not last as long as
normal HPS bulbs. There is something like a 25% difference in bulb life.
Metal Halide (MH) is another option, and is available in both a 36k and 40k
lumen bulbs for the 400 watt size. The Super Bulb (40k) is about $10-15 more,
and provides an extra 4000 lumens. I think the Super Bulb may last longer; if
so, that makes it the way to go. Halide light is more blue and better than
straight HPS for vegetative growth, but is much less efficient than HPS. It is
possible to purchase conversion bulbs for a MH lamp that convert it to HPS, but
the cost of the conversion bulb is more expensive than the color corrected Son
Agro bulb, so I would recommend just buying the Son Agro HPS. Even though it
costs more initially, you get more for your energy dollar later, and it's much
easier to hang than 10 fluorescent tubes.
If you have a MH 36k lumen lamp burning at 400 watts and a 53k lumen HPS
burning at 430 watts, which is better efficiency wise? Which will provide a
better yield? Obviously, the Son Agro HPS, but of course, the initial cost is
higher. Actually, the ballast will add about 10% to these wattage numbers.
The Son Agro bulb will prove much better than the MH for any purpose. The MH
bulb does not last as long, but is cheaper. Compare $36 for a 400 watt MH bulb
vs. $40 for the HPS bulb. Add $15 for the Son Agro HPS. The HPS bulb life is
twice as long. 10k hours vs. 21k hours. The Son Agro is 16k hours or so. Still,
longer bulb life and more light add up to more for your energy dollar long term.
Horizontal mounting of any HID is a good idea, as this will boost by 30% the
amount of light that actually reaches the plants. Most HID's sold for indoor
garden use these days are of this horizontal mounting arrangement.
HPS is much less expensive to operate than any other type of lamp, but comes
in the 70 watt size at the home improvement stores. This size is not very
efficient, but blows away FL in efficiency, so they might be an alternative to
FL for very small operations, like 9 sq. feet or less. Over 9 sqr. feet, you
need more light than one of these lamps can provide, but you could use two of
them. 70 watt HPS lamps cost about $40 each, complete. Two lamps would be 140
watts putting out about 12k lumens, so it's better than FL, but a 150 watt HPS
puts out about 18k lumens, the bulb life is longer, bulbs are cheaper and the
lamp more efficient to operate. The biggest problem is that the mid size lamps
like the 150 and 250 watt HPS are almost as expensive to buy as the larger
400's. For this reason, if you have room for the larger lamp, buy the 400. If
your going pro, a 1080 watt model is available too, but you might find there is
better light distribution from two 400's rather than one large lamp. Of course,
the two smaller lamps are more expensive to purchase than one large lamp, so
most people choose the larger lamp for bigger operations.
Heat buildup in the room is a factor with HID lamps, and just how much light
the plants can use is determined by temperature, CO2 levels, nutrient
availability, PH, and other factors. Too big of a lamp for a space will make
constant venting necessary, and then there is no way to enrich CO2, since it's
getting blown out of the room right away.
Bulb Costs: the bulb cost on the 70 watt HPS is $24, the 150 is only $30, and
the 400 is only $40. So you will spend more to replace two 70 watt bulbs than
you will to replace one 400 watt HPS. (Go figure.) Add that up with the lower
resale value on the 70's (practically nothing) and the fact that they are being
modified and are not suited to this application, and it becomes evident that
$189 for a 250 HPS lamp, or $219 for a 400, might just be worth the price. Keep
in mind that for $30 more, you can have the larger lamp (400watt) and it puts
out 20k lumens more light than the smaller lamp. Not a bad deal!
If your looking for these types of lamps, look in the Yellow Pages under
gardening, nursuries, and lighting for indoor gardening stores in your area.
Sea of Green (SOG) is the theory of harvesting lots of small plants, matured
early to get the fastest production of buds available. Instead of growing a few
plants for a longer period of time, in the same space many smaller plants are
grown that mature faster and in less time. Thus, less time is required between
crops. This is important to you when the electricity bill comes each month. One
crop can be started while another is maturing, and a continuous harvest, year
round can be maintained. 4 plants per square foot will be a good start for
seedlings. 1 plant per square foot will allow plenty of room for each plant to
grow a large top cola, but will not allow for much bottom branching. This is OK
since indoors, these bottom branches are always shaded anyway, and will not grow
very well unless given additional light and space. The indoor grower quickly
realizes that plants that are too tall do not produce enough at the bottom to
make the extra growing time used worth while. An exception to this rule would be
if it is intended the plants are to go outside at some point, and it is expected
that the light/shading issue will not be a factor at that point.
The plants, if started at the same time, should create what is called a
"green canopy" that traps most of the light at the top level of the
plants. Little light will penetrate below this level, since the plants are so
close together. The gardener is attempting to concentrate on the top of the
plant, and use the light and space to the best advantage, in as little time as
possible. Use of nylon poultry fence or similar trellising laid out over the
green canopy will support the plants as they start to droop under the weight of
heavy fruiting tops. Stakes can be used too, but are not as easy to install for
plants in the middle and back of the room, where reach is more difficult.
It's easy to want big plants, since they will produce more yield per plant,
but it's usually better with limited space to grow smaller plants that mature
faster and pack into smaller spaces. Sea of Green was developed in Holland.
Instead of fitting 4 large plants in that small room, fit 12 small ones on a
shelf above 12 other small plants. These plants take only 3-4 months to mature
from germination to ripe buds, and harvesting takes place constantly, since
there is both a vegetative and flowering area devoted to each, with harvests
every 45-60 days.
It's not the size of the plant, but the maturity and quality of the product
that counts. Twice as many plants grown half as big will fill the grow space
twice as fast, so harvests take place almost twice as often. Get good at picking
early flowering plants, and propagate only those that are of the best quality.
6" square containers will allow for 4 plants per square foot. You may
also gauge by the size of your growing tray (for passive hydroponics); I like
kitty litter boxes. ($3 each at Target) Planted 4 per square foot, (for
vegatative seedlings) a 12 sq. ft. closet will hold 48 seedlings on one shelf.
In my case, I use 4" rockwool cubes that fit into kitty litter pans @ 12
cubes per pan. I can get 5 pans onto a 12 sq. ft. closet upper shelf, so that is
60 seedlings on one small shelf!
For flowering indoors, 1 plant per sq. ft. is a good rule of thumb for SOG.
If less plants are grown in this size space, it will take them longer to fill
the space, thus more electricity and time will be used to create the same amount
of product. If more than one plant p.s.f. is attempted, the grower will soon
find that plants thus crowded tend to be more stem than bud, and the total
harvest may be reduced, so be cautious.
It's good to avoid "topping" your plants if you want them to grow
as fast as possible. It's better just to grow 2 or 4 times more plants, since
they will produce more, faster, in the same space. Also, "training"
plants with twist-ties is a great way to get them to bush out a bit. Just take
any type of plastic or paper twist tie and wrap it around the top of the plant,
then pull it over until the top is bent over 90-180 degrees and then attach this
to the main stem lower on the plant. Do this for one week and then release the
plant from it's bond. The plant can be trained in this fashion to take less
vertical space and to grow bushier, to fill the grow space and force lower limbs
to grow upward and join the green canopy. This technique takes advantage of the
fact that if the top is pulled over, it creates a hormonal condition in the
plant that makes it bush out at all lower internodes.
Sea of Green entails growing to harvest the main cola (top) of the plant.
Bottom branches are trimmed to increase air flow under the "blanket"
of growing tops. Use these cuttings for clones, as they are the easiest part of
the plant to root. It's also the fastest part of the plant to regenerate after
flowering has occurred.
Germinate seeds in sterile soil (for planting outdoors) or a hydroponic
medium of rockwool or vermiculite. DO NOT (!) use a Jiffy cube #7 to germinate
seeds. Informal tests and experience show these peat cubes do not work well and
stunt the plants growth. Planting in vermiculite gives the seedling so much
oxygen, and are so easy for roots to grow in, that the plants look large 1 week
Keep them moist at all times, by placing seeds in vermiculite filled 16oz
cups with holes in the bottom, placed in a tray of weak nutrient solution, high
in P. Rockwool cubes also work extremely well. When the seed sprouts, place the
rockwool cubes into larger rockwool cubes. No repotting or transplanting, and no
You can germinate seeds in a paper towel. This method is tricky; it's easy to
ruin roots if they dry out, or are planted too late after germinating. Paper
towels dry out REAL FAST! Place paper towel in a bowl, saturated with weak
nutrient solution (not too much!), and cover with plastic wrap to keep it from
drying out. Put bowl in a warm area; top of the gas stove, water heater closet,
or above warm lamps. Cover with black paper to keep out light. Check every 12
hours and plant germinated seeds with the grow tip up (if possible) in a growing
medium as soon as the root coming out of the seed is 1/16" or longer. Use
tweezers, and don't touch the root tip.
Transplant as little as possible by germinating in the same container you
intend to grow the plant in for a significant period of time. Just plant in
vermiculite or rockwool. You will be amazed at the results! 90% germination is
common with this method, as compared to 50% or less with Jiffy Cubes. (Your
milage may vary.)
5-55-17 plant food such as Peter's Professional will stimulate root growth of
the germinating seed and the new seedlings. Use a very dilute solution, in
distilled water, about 1/3 normal strength, and keep temperatures between 72-80
degrees. Warm temperatures are very important. Many growers experience low
germination rate if the temperatures are out of this range. A heating pad set to
low or medium may be necessary, or a shelf constantly warmed by a light may do,
but test it with a few seeds first, before devoting next years crop to it. No
light is necessary and may slow germination. Cover germinating seeds with black
paper to keep out light. Place seedlings in the light once they sprout.
Plan on transplanting only once or twice before harvest. Use the biggest
containers possible for the space and number of seedlings you plan to start.
Plants will suffer if continuously transplanted and delay harvesting. You will
suffer too, from too much work! 13 2-liter plastic soda bottles filled with
vermiculite/pearlite will fit in a cat box tray, and will not require
transplanting for the first harvest, if you intend to grow hydroponically.
Transplant them for a second regenerated harvest.
Cut holes in the bottom of containers and fill the last few inches at the top
with vermiculite only, to start seeds or accept seedling transplants. Since
vermiculite holds water well, wicks water well, but does not hold too much
water, roots always have lots of oxygen, even if they are sitting in a tray full
of water. A hydrogen peroxide based plant food is used to get extra oxygen to
the plants when the pans are kept continuously full. The water can be allowed to
recede each time after watering, before new solution is added. This allows the
plants roots to dry somewhat, and make sure they are getting enough oxygen.
Use SuperSoil brand potting soil, as it is excellent and sterilized. If you
insist on using dirt from the yard, sterilize it in the microwave or oven until
it gets steamy.(NOT RECOMMENDED) Sterilize the containers with a bleach
solution, especially if they have been used a previous season for another plant.
Once sprouted, the plant starts vegetative growth. This means the plant will
be photosynthesizing as much as possible to grow tall and start many grow tips
at each pair of leaves. A grow tip is the part that can be cloned or propagated
asexually. They are located at the top of the plant, and every major internode.
If you "top" the plant, it then has two grow tips at the top. If you
top each of these, you will have 4 grow tips at the top of the plant. (Since it
takes time for the plant to heal and recover from the trauma of being pruned, it
faster to grow 4 smaller plants and not top them at all. Or grow 2 plants, and
"train" them to fill the same space. Most growers find)
All plants have a vegetative stage where they are growing as fast as possible
after the plant first germinates from seed. It is possible to grow plants with
no dark period, and increase the speed at which they grow by 15-30&. Plants
can be grown vegetatively indefinitely. It is up to the gardener to decide when
to force the plant to flower. A plant can grow from 12" to 12' before being
forced to flower, so there is a lot of latitude here for each gardener to manage
the garden based on goals and space available.
A solution of 20-20-20 with trace minerals is used for both hydroponic and
soil gardening when growing continuously under lights. Miracle Grow Patio or
RapidGrow plant food is good for this. A high P plant food such as Peter's
5-50-17 food is used for blooming and fruiting plants when beginning 12 hour
days. Epsom salts (1tsp) should be used in the solution for magnesium and sulfur
minerals. Trace minerals are needed too, if your food does not include them.
Miracle Grow Patio includes these trace elements, and is highly recommended.
Keep lights on continuously for sprouts, since they require no darkness
period like older plants. You will not need a timer unless you want to keep the
lamps off during a certain time each day. Try to light the plants for 18 or more
hours, or continuously at this point.
Bend a young plant's stem back and forth to force it to be very thick and
strong. Spindly stems can not support heavy flowering growth. An internal
oscillating fan will reduce humidity on the leave's stomata and improve the stem
strength as well. The importance of nternal air circulation can not be stressed
enough. It will excersize the plants and make them grow stronger, while reducing
many hazards that could ruin your crop.
HYDROPONIC VEGATATIVE SOLUTION, per gallon:
Miracle Grow Patio (contains trace elements) 1 teaspoon
Epsom salts 1/2 teaspoon
Human Urine (OPTIONAL - may create odors indoors.) 1/4 cup
Oxygen Plus Plant Food (OPTIONAL) 1 teaspoon
This mixture will insure your plants are getting all major and minor
nutrients in solution, and will also be treating your plants with oxygen for
good root growth, and potassium nitrate for good burning qualities. Another good
GROWTH PHASE mix is 1/4 tsp Peter's 20/20/20 fertilizer per gallon of water,
with trace elements and oxygen added, or fish emulsion. Fish emulsion is great
in the grean-house or outdoors, where smells are not an issue, but is not
recommended for indoors, due to its strong odor.
The the plant will be induced to fruit or flower with dark cycles of 11-13
hours that simulate the oncoming winter in the fall as the days grow shorter. As
a consequence, it works out well indoors to have two separate areas; one that is
used for the initial vegetative state and one that is used for flowering and
fruiting. There is no other requirement other than to keep the dark cycle for
flowering very dark with no light interruptions, as this can stall flowering by
days or weeks.
Once a plant is big enough to mature (12" or over), dark periods are
required for most plants to flower and bear fruit. This will require putting the
lamp on a timer, to create regular and strict dark periods of uninterrupted
light. In the greenhouse, the same effect can be created in the Summer (long
days) by covering it with a blanket to make longer night periods. A strict
schedule of covering the plants at 8pm and uncovering them at 8am for 2 weeks
will start your plants to flowering. After the first 2 weeks, the schedule can
be relaxed a little, but it will still be necessary to continue this routine for
the plants to completely flower without reverting back to vegatative growth.
Outdoors, Spring and Fall, the nights are sufficiently long to induce
flowering at all times. Merely bring the plants from indoors to the outside at
these times, and the plants will flower naturally. In late Summer, with Fall
approaching, it may be necessary only to force flowering the first two weeks,
then the rapidly lengthening nights will do the rest.
Give flowering plants high P plant food and keep them on a strict light
regimen of 12 hours, with no light, or no more than a full moon during the dark
cycle. 13 hours light, 11 dark may increase flower size while still allowing the
plant to go into the flowering mode. Use longer dark periods to speed maturity
toward the end of the flowering cycle if speed is of the essence. (8-10 days)
This will however, reduce total yield.
Two shelves can be used, one identical to the other, if strictly indoor
gardening is desired. One shelf's lights are set for 12-13 hours, and one is lit
continuously. Plants are started in continuous light, and are moved to the other
shelf to flower to maturity after several weeks. This flowering shelf should be
bigger than the "starting" or "vegetative" shelf, so that it
can accommodate larger plants. Or, some plants can be taken outside if there is
not enough space on the flowering shelf for all of them near harvesting.
A light tight curtain can be made from black vinyl, or other opaque material,
with a reflective material on the other side to reflect light back to the
plants. This curtain can be tied with cord when rolled up to work on the garden,
and can be velcroed down in place to make sure no light leaks in or out. If the
shelf is placed up high, it will not be very noticeable, and will fit in any
room. Visitors will never notice it unless you point it out to them, since it is
above eye level, and no light is being emitted from it.
Flowering plants like very high P level foods, such as 5-50-17, but 10-20-10
should be adequate. Nutrients should be provided with each watering when first
Trace elements are necessary too; try to find foods that include these, so
you don't have to use a separate trace element food too. Home improvement
centers sell trace element solutions rich in iron for lawn deficiencies, and
these can be adapted for use in cultivating the cannabis. Prices for these mass
produced fertilizers are significantly cheaper than the specialized hydroponic
fertilizers sold in indoor gardening shops, and seem to work just fine.
HYDROPONIC FLOWERING SOLUTION, per gallon:
1 tspn high P plant food, such as 15-30-15, or 5-50-17, etc.
1/2 tspn epsom salts
1 tspn Oxygen Plus Plant Food (Optional)
1 tspn Trace Element food
I cannot stress enough that during the FLOWERING PHASE, the dark period
should not be violated by normal light. It delays flower development due to
hormones in the plant that react to light. If you must work on the plants during
this time, allow only as much light as a VERY pale moon can provide for less
than 5 minutes. Keep pruning to a minimum during the entire FLOWERING PHASE.
A green light can be used to work on the garden during the dark period with
no negative reactions from the plants. These are sold as nursery safety lights,
but any green bulb should be OK. It is best to keep the dark hours a time when
you would normally not wish to visit the garden. Personally, I like my garden
lit from 7pm to 7am, since it allows me to visit the garden at night after work
and in the morning before work, and all day long, while I'm too busy to worry
about it, it lies unlit and undisturbed, flowering away...
Flowering plants should not be sprayed often as this will promote mold and
rot. Keep humidity levels down indoors when flowering, as this is the most
delicate time for the plants in this regard.
Early flowering is noticed 1-2 weeks after turning back the lights to 12 hour
days. Look for 2 white hairs emerging from a small bulbous area at every
internode. This is the easiest way to verify females early on. You can not tell
a male from a female by height, or bushiness.
3-6 weeks after turning back the lights, your plants will be covered with
these white pistils emerging from every growtip on the plant. It will literally
be covered with them. These are the mature flowers, as they continue to grow and
cover the plant. Some plants will do this indefinately until the lights are
turned back yet again. At the point you feel your ready to see the existing
flowers become ripe ( you feel the plant has enought flowers), turn the lights
back to 8-10 hours. Now the plant will start to ripen quickely, and should be
ready to harvest in 2-3 weeks. The alternative, is to allow the plant to ripen
with whatever natural day length is available outside, or keep the plants on a
constant 12 hour regimen for the entire flowering process, which may increase
yield, but takes longer.
Plants can be flowered in the final stages outdoors, even if the days are too
long for normal flowering to occur. Once the plant has almost reached peak
floral development, it is too far gone to revert quickly to vegatative growth,
and final flowering will occur regardless. This will free up precious indoor
space sooner, for the next batch of clones to be flowered.
Look for the white hairs to turn red, orange or brown, and the false seed
pods ( you did pull the males, right?) to swell with resins. When most of the
pistils have turned color (~80%), the flowers are ripe to harvest.
Don't touch those buds! Touch only the large fan leaves if you want to
inspect the buds, as the THC will come off on your fingers and reduce the
overall yield if mishandled.
Most growers report that a hydroponic system will grow plants faster than a
soil medium, given the same genetics and environmental conditions. This may be
due to closer attention and more control of nutrients, and more access to
oxygen. The plants can breath easier, and therefor, take less time to grow. One
report has it that plants started in soil matured after hydroponic plants
started 2 weeks later!
Fast growth allows for earlier maturation and shorter total growing time per
crop. Also, with soil mixtures, plant growth tends to slow when the plants
become root-bound. Hydroponics provides even, rapid growth with no pauses for
transplant shock and eliminates the labor/materials of repotting if rockwool is
used. (Highly recommended!)
By far the easiest hydroponic systems to use are the wick and reservoir
systems. These are referred to as Passive Hydroponic methods, because they
require no water distribution system on an active scale (pump, drain, flow meter
and path). The basis of these systems is that water will wick to where you want
it if the medium and conditions are correct.
The wick system is more involved than the reservoir system, since the wicks
must be cut and placed in the pots, correct holes must be cut in the pots, and a
spacer must be created to place the plants up above the water reservoir below.
This can be as simple as two buckets, one fit inside the other, or a kiddie pool
with bricks in it that the pots rest on, elevating them out of the nutrient
I find the wick setup to be more work than the reservoir system. Initial
setup is a pain with wicks, and the plants sit higher in the room, taking up
precious vertical space. The base the cannabis sits on may not be very stable
compared to a reservoir system, and a knocked over plant will never be the same
as an untouched plant, due to stress and shock in recovery.
The reservoir system needs only a good medium suited to the task, and a pan
to sit a cannabis in. If rockwool slabs are used, a half slab of 12" rockwool
fits perfectly into a kitty litter pan. The roots spread out in very desirable
horizontal fashion and have a lot of room to grow. Plants grown in this manner
are very robust because they get a great deal of oxygen at the roots. Plants
grown with reservoir hydroponics grow at about the same rate as wicks or other
active hydroponic methods, with much less effort required, since it is by far
the simplest of hydroponic methods. Plants can be watered and feed by merely
pouring solution into the reservoir every few days. The pans take up very little
vertical space and are easy to handle and move around.
In a traditional hydroponic method, pots are filled with lava/ vermiculite
mix of 4 to 1. Dolite Lime is added, one Tblspn. per gallon of growing medium.
This medium will wick and store water, but has excellent drainage and air
storage capacity as well. It is however, not very resuable, as it is difficult
to recapture and sterilize after harvest. Use small size lava, 3/8" pea
size, and rinse the dust off it, over and over, until most of it is gone. Wet
the vermiculite (dangerous dry, wear a mask) and mix into pots. Square pots hold
more than round. Vermiculite will settle to bottom after repeated watering from
the top, so only water from the top occasionally to leach any mineral deposits,
and put more vermiculite on the top than the bottom. Punch holes in the bottom
of the pots, and add water to the pan. It will be wicked up to the roots and the
plants will have all they need to flourish.
The reservoir is filled with 1 1/2 - 3 inches of water and allowed to recede
between waterings. When possible, use less solution and water more often, to
pull more oxygen to the roots faster over time. If you go away on vacation,
simply fill the reservoirs full to the top, and the plants will be watered for 2
weeks at least.
One really great hydroponic medium is Oasis floral foam. Stick lots of holes
into it to open it up a little, and start plants/clones in it, moving the cube
of foam to rockwool later for larger growth stages. Many prefer floral foam, as
it is inert, and adds no PH factors. It's expensive though, and tends to crumble
easily. I'm also not sure it's very reusable, but it seems to be a popular item
at the indoor gardening centers.
Planting can be made easier with hydroponic mediums that require little setup
such as rockwool. Rockwool cubes can be reused several times, and are premade to
use for hydroponics. Some advantages of rockwool are that it is impossible to
over water and there is no transplanting. Just place the plant's cube on top of
a larger rockwool cube and enjoy your extra leisure time.
Some find it best to save money by not buying rockwool and spending time
planting in soil or hydroponic mediums such as vermiculite/lava mix. Pearlite is
nice, since it is so light. Pearlite can be used instead of or in addition to
lava, which must be rinsed and is much heavier.
But rockwool has many advantages that are not appreciated until you spend
hours repotting; take a second look. It is not very expensive, and it is
reusable. It's more stable than floral foam, which crunches and powders easily.
Rockwool holds 10 times more water than soil, yet is impossible to over-water,
because it always retains a high percentage of air. Best of all, there is no
transplanting; just place a starter cube into a rockwool grow cube, and when the
plant gets very large, place that cube on a rockwool slab. Since rockwool is
easily reused over and over, the cost is divided by 3 or 4 crops, and ends up
costing no more than vermiculite and lava, which is much more difficult to
reclaim, sterilize and reuse (repot) when compared to rockwool. Vermiculite is
also very dangerous when dry, and ends up getting in the carpet and into the air
when you touch it (even wet), since it drys on the fingers and becomes airborne.
For this reason, I do not recommend vermiculite indoors.
Rockwool's disadvantages are relatively few. It is alkaline PH, so you must
use something in the nutrient solution to make it acidic (5.5) so that it brings
the rockwool down from 7.7, to 6.5 (vinagar works great.) And it is irritating
to the skin when dry, but is not a problem when wet.
To pre-treat rockwool for planting, soak it in a solution of fish emulsion,
trace mineral solution and phosphoresic acid (PH Down) for 24 hours, then rinse.
This will decrease the need for PH worries later on, as it buffers the rockwool
PH to be fairly neutural.
Hydroponics should be used indoors or in greenhouses to speed the growth of
plants, so you have more bud in less time. Hydroponics allows you to water the
plants daily, and this will speed growth. The main difference between
hydroponics and soil growing is that the hydroponic soil or "medium"is
made to hold moisture, but drain well, so that there are no over-watering
problems associated with continuous watering. Also, hydroponically grown plants
do not derive nutrients from soil, but from the solution used to water the
plants. Hydroponics reduces worries about mineral buildup in soil, and lack of
oxygen to suffocating roots, so leaching is usually not necessary with
Hydroponics allows you to use smaller containers for the same given size
plant, when compared to growing in soil. A 3/4 gallon cannabis can easily take a
small hydroponically grown plant to maturity. This would be difficult to do in
soil, since nutrients are soon used up and roots become cut-off from oxygen as
they become root-bound in soil. This problem does not seem to occure nearly as
quickly for hydroponic plants, since the roots can still take up nutrients from
the constant solution feedings, and the medium passes on oxygen much more redily
when the roots become bound in the small container.
Plant food is administered with most waterings, and allows the gardener to
strictly control what nutrients are available to the plants at the different
stages of plant growth. Watering can be automated to some degree with simple and
cheap drip system apparatus, so take advantage of this when possible.
Hydroponics will hasten growing time, so it takes less time to harvest after
planting. It makes sense to use simple passive hydroponic techniques when
possible. Hydroponics may not be desirable if your growing outdoors, unless you
have a greenhouse.
CAUTION: it is necessary keep close watch of plants to be sure they are never
allowed to dry too much when growing hydroponically, or roots will be damaged.
If you will not be able to tend to the garden every day, be sure the pans are
filled enough to last until next time you return, or you can easily lose your
More traditional hydroponic methods (active) are not discussed here. I don't
see any point in making it more diffucult than it needs to be. It is necessary
to change the solution every month if your circulating it with a pump, but the
reservoir system does away with this problem. Just rinse the medium once a month
or so to prevent salts build up by watering from the top of the cannabis or rockwool
cube with pure water. Change plant foods often to avoid deficiencies in the
plants. I recommend using 2 different plant foods for each phase of growth, or 4
foods total, to lessen chances of any type of deficiency.
Change the solution more often if you notice the PH is going down quickly
(too acid). Due to cationic exchange, solution will tend to get too acid over
time, and this will cause nutrients to become unavailable to the plants. Check
PH of the medium every time you water to be sure no PH issues are occuring.
Algae will tend to grow on the medium with higher humidities in hydroponics.
It will turn a slab of rockwool dark green. To prevent this, use the plastic
cover the rockwool came in to cover rockwool slab tops, with holes cut for the
plants to stick out of it. It's easy to cut a packaged slab of rockwool into two
pieces, then cut the end of the plastic off each piece. You now have two pieces
of slab, each covered with plastic except on the very ends. Now cut 2 or 3
4" square holes in the top to place cubes on it, and place each piece in a
clean litter pan. Now your ready to treat the rockwool as described above in
anticipation of planting.
If growing in pots, a layer of gravel at the top of a cannabis may help reduce
algae growth, since it will dry very quickly. Algae is merely messy and
unsightly; it will not actually cause any complications with the plants.
Use pots made from squarish containers such as plastic water jugs, etc. More
plants will fit in less space and have more rooting area if square containers
are used. This makes your garden a recycling center, and saves you tons of
2-liter soda bottles work great, but are not square. 13 will fit in a kitty
litter box, and these will take a 3 foot plant to maturity hydroponically. If
you can get 4 litter boxes in a closet, you can grow 52 plants like this
vegatatively. Spread them out more for flowering.
Old buckets, plastic 3-5 gallon containers (food and paint industries, try
painters' and resturant dumpsters), paper paint buckets, old plastic garbage
cans of all sizes, and garbage bags have all been used successfully by growers.
Do not use paper milk cartons and juice cartons for reservoir hydroponics,
since these are difficult to sterilize, and they introduce fungus into your
reservoir trays. Inert materials, such as plastic is best.
Be sure to sterilize all containers before each planting with a clorine
bleach solution of 2 tbspn. of bleach to one gallon of water. Let container and
meduim such as rockwool soak for several hours in the solution before rinsing
Outdoor growing is the best. Outdoor cannabis by far is the strongest, since it
gets more light, it's naturally more robust. No light leak problems. No dark
periods that keep you out of your grow room. No electricity bills. Sunlight
tends to reach more of the plant, if your growing in the direct sun. Unlike
growing indoors, the bottom of the plant will be almost as developed as the top.
Outdoors, outside of a greenhouse, there are many factors that can kill your
crop. Deer will try to eat them. Chipmonks and rodents too. Bugs will inhabit
them, and the wind and rain can whip your little buds to pieces if they are
exposed to strong storms. For this reason, indoor cannabis can be better than
outdoor, but the best smoke I ever tasted was outdoor cannabis, so that tells you
something; nothing beats the sun.
Put up a fence and make sure it stays up. Visit your plot at least once every
two weeks, and preferably more often if water needs demand.
It's a good idea to use soil if you don't have a green house, since
hydroponics will be less reliable outside in the open air, due mostly to
Light exposure is all important when locating a site for a greenhouse or
outdoor plot. A backyard grower will need to know where the sun shines for the
longest period; privacy and other factors will enter in as well. Try to find an
innocuous spot that gets full winter sun from mid morning to mid afternoon, at
least from 10-4, preferably 8-5. This will be really asking for a lot if you
live north of 30 degrees latitude since days are short in winter. Since most
gardeners will not want to use the greenhouse in the middle of the winter, you
can still use winter sun as an indicator of good spring and fall lighting
exposures. Usually the south side of a hill gets the most sun. Also, large areas
open to the sun on the north side of the property will get good southern
exposures. East and West exposures can be good if they get the full
morning/afternoon sun and mid-day sun as well. Some books say the plants respond
better to morning-only sun, verses afternoon-only sun, so if you have to choose
between the two, morning sun may be better.
Disguise your greenhouse as a tool shed, or similar structure, by using only
one wall and a roof of white opaqued plastic, PVC, Filon, or glass, and using a
similar colored material for the rest of the shed, or painting it white or
silvery, to look like metal. Try to make it appear as if it has always been
there, with plants and trees that grow around it and mask it from view while
allowing sun to reach it.
Filon (corrugated fiberglass)or PVC plastic sheets can be used outside to
cover young plants grown together in a garden. Buy the clear greenhouse sheets,
and opaque them with white wash (made from lime) or epoxy resin tinted white or
grey and painted on in a thin layer. This will pass more sun than white PVC or
Filon, and still hide the plants. Epoxy resin coats will preserve the Filon for
many more seasons than it would otherwise last. It will also allow you to
disguise the shed as metal, if you paint the clear filon sheets with a thin
layer of resin tinted light grey. Paint will work as well, but may not protect
as much. Be careful to use only as much as needed, to reduce sun blockage to a
Dig a big hole, don't depend on the plant to be able to penetrate the clay
and rubble unless your sure of the quality of topsoil in the area. Grassy fields
would have good top soil, but your back yard may not. This alone can make the
difference between an average 5' tall plant, and a 10' monster by harvest time.
Growing in the ground will always beat a cannabis, since the plant will never become
root bound in the ground. Plants grown in the ground should grow much larger,
but will need more space for each plant, so plan accordingly, you can't move
them once they're in!
You may want to keep outdoor plants in pots so they can be easily moved. A
big hole will allow the cannabis to be place in it, thus reducing the height of the
plant, if fence level is an issue. Many growers find pots have saved a crop that
had to be moved for some unexpected reason (repairman, appraiser, fire, etc.).
It's always best to put a roof over your plants outdoors. When I was a lad,
we had plants growing over the fence line in the back yard. We started to build
a greenhouse roof for them, and a cop saw us hauling wood, thought we were
stealing it (which we were not) and looked over the fence at us and our lovely
plants. We were busted, because he saw them. If he had seen a shed roof instead,
there would never have been a problem. Moral of the Story: build the roof BEFORE
the plants are sticking over the fence! Or train them to stay well below it.
Live and learn...
When growing away from the house, in the wild, water is the biggest
determining factor, after security. Water must be close by, or close to the soil
surface, or you will have to pack water in. Water is heavy and this is very hard
work. Try to find an area close to a source of water if possible, and keep a
bucket nearby to carry water to your plot.
A novel idea in this regard is to find high water in the mountains, at
altitude, and then route it down to a lower spot close by. It is possible to
create water presure in a hose this way, and route it to a drip system that
feeds water to your plants continuously. Take a 5 gallon gas can, and punch
small holes in it. Run a hose out of the main orifice and secure it somehow.
Bury the can in a river or stream under rocks, so that it is hidden and
submerged. Bury the hose coming out of it, and run it down hill to your garden
area. A little engineering can save you a lot of work, and this rig can be used
year after year.
Guerrilla farming refers to farming away from your own property, or in a
remote location of your property where people seldom roam around. It is possible
to find locations that for one reason or another are not easily accessible or
are privately owned.
Try to grow off your property, on adjacent property, so that if your plot is
found, it will not be traceable back to you. If it's not on your property,
nobody has witnessed you there, and there is no physical evidence of your
presence (footprints, fingerprints, trails, hair, etc.), then it is virtually
impossible to prosecute you for it, even if the cops think they know who it
Never admit to growing, to anyone. Your best defence is that your just
passing thru the area, and noticed something you decided to take a look at, or
carry a fishing pole or binoculars and claim fishing or bird watching.
Never tell anyone but a partner where the plants are located. Do not bring
visitors to see them, unless it is harvest time, and the plants will be pulled
the same or following day.
Make sure your plants are out of sight. Take a different route to get to them
if they are not in a secure part of your property, and cover the trail to make
it look as if there is no trail. Make cut backs in the trail, so that people on
the main trail will tend to miss the cut-back to the grow area. Don't park on
the main road, always find a place to park that will not arouse suspicion by
people that pass on the road. Have a safe house in the area if you are not
planting close to home. Always have a good reason for being in the area and have
the necessary items to make your claim believable.
Briar and poison oak patches are perfect if you can cut through it. Poison
Oak must be washed away before an allergic reaction takes place. Teknu is a
special soap solution that will deactivate poison oak before it has time to
create a reaction. Apply Teknu immediately after contact and take a shower 30
Try to plant under trees, next to bushes and keep only a few plants in any
one spot. Train or top the plants to grow sideways, or do something to prevent
the classic christmas tree look of most plants left to grow untrained. Tying the
top down to the ground will make the plants branches grow up toward the sun, and
increase yield, given a long enough growing season. Plants can be grown under
trees if the sun comes in at an angle and lights the area for several hours
every day. Plants should get at least 5 hours of direct sun every day, and 5
more hours of indirect light. Use shoes that you can dispose of later and cover
your foot prints. Use surgical gloves and leave no fingerprints on pots and
other items that might ID you to the fuzz...in case your plot is discovered by
Put up a fence, or the chipmonks, squirles and deer will nibble on your
babies until there is nothing left. Green wire mesh and nylon chicken fencing
net work great and can be wrapped around trees to create a strong barrier.
Always check it and repair every visit you make to the garden. A barrier of
fishing line, one at 18" and another at 3' will keep most deer away from
Gopher Granola is available for areas such as the N. CA mountains, where wood
rats and gophers will eat your crop if given any opportunity to do so. The best
fence in the world will not keep rats away from your plants! Do not use soap to
keep dear away, it will attract rats! (The fat in the soap is edible for them.)
Put the poison grain in a feeder than only small rodents can enter, so that
birds and deer can't eat it. Set out poison early, before actual planting. The
rats must eat the grain for several days before it will have any effect on them.
Ultimately, you may find it's easier to grow in a greenhouse shed in your own
backyard rather than try to keep the rats from eating your outdoor plot.
When growing away from the house, in the wild, water is the biggest
determining factor, after security. The amount you can grow is directly
proportional to the water available. If you must pack-in water, carry it in a
backpack in case your seen in-route to your garden; you will appear to be merely
a hiker, not a grower.
Transporting vegatative starts to the growing area is a most tricky aspect of
growing outdoors. Usually, you will want to start plant indoors, or outside in
your garden, then transport them to the grow site once they are firmly
established. It may be desirable to first detect and separate males from females
so that no effort of transporting/transplanting/watering males is incurred.
One suggestion is to use 3" rockwool cubes to start seedlings in, then
put 20 of them in a litter pan, cover it with another pan, and transport this to
the grow site. The cubes can be planted directly into soil. If spotted inroute
to the grow area, burying a dead cat may be a good excuse for being in the area.
Few people would demand to see the rotting corpse!
One outdoor grower we know has given up on seeds. He has several strains he
likes to clone, so he starts 200 clones in his closet, then transports them
outdoors in boxes to the grow site. No males, no differentiation, no weeding, no
germinating seeds, no genetic uncertainties, no crops grown for seed, no
transporting/transplanting/watering plants your just going to pull up later, no
pollination nightmares, no wasted effort!
Use Super Soil brand in California, as this is the only known soil on the
West Coast that is guaranteed to be good. Many other brands are mostly wood
products and have very few nutrients, are too moist, etc. Add vermiculite,
pearlite or sand to Super Soil to increase it's drainage and aeration.
Organic gardeners use their own compost prepaired from a mixture of chicken,
cow or other manure and household food waste, leaves, lawn clippings, dog hair
and other waste products including urine, which is high in nitrogen. Dog hair is
not recommended for guerilla gardeners planting off their property where police
could find it. DNA tests could prove it was YOUR dog's hair!
Use P4 water crystals in the soil to give the plants a few days worth of
emergency water reserves. This substance swells up with water and holds it like
a sponge, so that roots will have a reserve if harsh drought makes constant
watering necessary. Go real easy on this stuff though, it tends to sink to the
bottom of the cannabis and suffocate bottom roots (new growth roots) and stunts the
plant. Use in extreme moderation, let it swell up for at least an hour before
mixing with other soil.
Plant size in soil is directly related to cannabis size. If you want the plant to
grow bigger, put it in a bigger cannabis. Usually, 1/2 gallon per foot of plant is
sufficient. A six foot plant would require a minimum of a 3 gallon cannabis.
Remember, square containers have more volume in a square space (like a closet).
Planting in the ground is always preferable when growing in soil. The plants
can then grow to any size, unlimited by cannabis size.
Bat Guano, chicken manure, or worm castings can all be used to fertilize
organically in soil. Manures can burn, so they should be composted with the soil
first, before planting, over several weeks. Sea weed is available to provide a
rich trace mineral source that breaks down slowly and constantly feeds the
If growing outdoors in available soil, look around for leaves and other
natural sources of nitrogen and work them into the soil, along with some dolmite
lime and composted organic fertilizer. Even small amounts of plant food such as
Miracle Grow can be added to soil at this time. (Organic gardeners frown upon
this practice, however. Toxic wastes are produced by commercial fertilizer
production.) Mulch can be made from leaves and spread out over the garden area
to hold in moisture and keep down weeds near the plants.
Its interesting that cannabis plants really do blend in with other plants to the
point that they are unidentifiable by all but the most observant. I remember a
relative of the family on a visit to Texas showed me his corn in the garden and
I was standing 3' away from several cannabis plants before I recognized them for what
Plants started outdoors late in the season never get very big and never
attract the least bit of attention when placed next to plants of similar or
taller stature. Even tall plants grown among several trees will be almost
invisible in their camouflage.
Outdoors the object is to control access to an area, and not to arouse
suspicion. Tuck them here and there, never in a recognizable pattern. Space them
out, and fit them in to the existing landscape such that they get full sun, but
they're hidden or blend in. Fence lines and groups of several together are best.
Try to find strains that seem to match the surrounding plants. Feed nitrogen to
your plants if they need to be greener to blend in. Some growers even use
plastic red flowers, pinned to a plant, disguising it as a flower bush.
Visit the plants at night on full moons, and if your visible to neighbors,
appear to be pruning a tree, mowing the lawn, or doing something in the yard
that makes you invisible.
Dig a hole and put a potted plant in it. The plant's height will be reduced
by at least a foot.
Some growers top the plant when it is 12" high, and grow the 2 tops
horizontally along a trellis. The plant will never be over 3 feet tall, and
never arouses suspicion from neighbors. This type of plant can even be grown in
your yard in full view. Many stories abound of having the neighbors over for a
BBQ and nobody ever noticed the nice plants over by the fence...
Plant foods have 3 main ingredients that will be the mainstay of the garden,
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. These 3 ingredients are usually listed on
the front label of the plant food in the order of N-P-K. A 20-20-20 plant food
has a Nitrogen level of 20%.
Secondary nutrients are Calcium, Sulphur and Magnesium. In trace quantities,
boron, copper, molybenum, zink, iron, and manganese.
Depending on stage of growth, different nutrients are needed at different
times. For rooting and germination, levels of high P nutrients with less N/K are
needed. Vegetative growth needs lots of N, and human urine is one of the better
sources, (mix 8 ounces to 1 gallon water), although it is not a complete
fertilizer unto itself. 20-20-20 with trace elements should do it; I like
Miracle Grow Patio food. Watch for calcium, magnesium, sulfur and iron levels
too. These are important. One tablespoon of dolomite or hydrated lime is used
per gallon of growing medium when a hydroponic medium is first brought on-line,
to provide nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. Epsom salts are used to enhance
magnesium and sulphur levels in solution.
Tobacco grown with potassium nitrate burns better. Plant foods with PN (P2N3)
are foods such as Miracle Grow. This is an excellent fertilizer for vegetative
growth, or through the flowering cycle as well. Consider however, potassium
nitrate is also known as Salt Peter, and is used to make men have less sexual
desire or impotent, such as in mental institutions. So if certain plants are
destined for cooking, you might use Fish Emulsion or some other totally organic
fertilizer on these plants, at least in the last weeks of flowering.
Most hydroponic solutions should be in the range of 150-600 parts per million
in disolved solids. 300-400 ppm is optimum. It is possible to test your solution
or soil with a electrical conductivity meter if your unsure of what your giving
Keep in mind most disolved solids readings are usually on the low side, and
actual nutrient levels are usually higher. It is possible with passive
hydroponics, to get nutrient build-up over several feedings, to the point the
medium is over saturated in nutrients. Just feed straight water now and again,
until you notice the plants are not as green (slightly), then resume normal
"Pumping" is when you use more waterings to make the plants grow
faster. This is dangerous if you proceed in a reckless manner, due to potential
over-watering problems. You must go slowly and watch the plants daily and even
hourly at first to be sure your not over-watering the plants. Use weaker plant
food mixtures than normal, maybe 25%, and be sure your leaching once a month and
running straight water through the plants at least every other time you water.
This applies mainly to plants grown in soil mediums.
Use of light strength Oxygen Plus plant food (or Food Grade Hydrogen
Peroxide) allows the roots to breath better and prevents problems with
over-watering. Check soil to be sure there are no PH anomalies that might be due
to Hydrogen Peroxide in the solution. (One experienced grower told me he would
not use H2O2 (HP) due to possible PH problems. This should not be a problem if
your checking PH and correcting for it in watering solutions.)
Be sure your medium has good drainage. At this point, if your watering soil
based plants once a week, you can water every 3-5 days instead if you plant them
in a medium with better drainage. Pearlite or lava rock will greatly increase
the drainage of the medium and make watering necessary more often. This will
pump the plants; they will tend to grow faster because of the enhanced oxygen to
the roots. Make sure the plant medium is almost dry before watering again, as
the plant grows faster this way.
An alternative is to use a standard plant food mixture (stronger) once every
3 waterings. The nutrients are suspended in the medium and stored in the soil
for later use. The nutrients are washed out by 2 straight waterings afterward
and there is no salts build up in the soil. (Does not apply to hydroponics.)
Stop all plant food 2 weeks before harvesting, so that the plants don't taste
like plant food. (This applies to hydroponics as well.)
WARNING: Do not over-fertilize. It will kill your plants. Always read the
instructions for the fertilizer being used. Use 1/2 strength if adding to the
water for all feedings in soil or hydroponics if you are unsure of what your
plants can take. Build up slowly to higher concentrations of food over time.
Novice soil growers tend to over-fertilize their plants. Mineral salts build up
over time to higher levels of disolved solids. Use straight water for one
feeding in hydroponics if it is believed the buildup is getting too great. Leach
plants in pots every month. If your plants look REALLY green, withhold food for
a while to be sure they are not being over-fed.
PH can make or break your nutrient solution. 6.7-6.2 is best to ensure there
is no nutrient lock-up occurring. Hydroponics requires the solution to be PH
corrected for the medium before exposing to the plants. Phosphoresic acid can
make the PH go down; lime or potash can take it up when it gets too acid. Buy a
PH meter for $10 and use it in soil, water, and hydroponic medium to make sure
your not going alkaline or acid over time. Most neutral mediums can use a little
vinegar to make them just this side of 7 ph to 6.5 or so.
Most fertilizers cause a ph change in the soil. Adding fertilizer to the soil
almost always results in a more acidic ph.
As time goes on, the amount of salts produced by the breakdown of fertilizers
in the soil causes the soil to become increasingly acidic and eventually the
concentration of these salts in the soil will stunt the plant and cause browning
out of the foliage. Also, as the plant gets older its roots become less
effective in bringing food to the leaves. To avoid the accumulation of these
salts in your soil and to ensure that your plant is getting all of the food it
needs you can begin leaf feeding your plant at the age of about 1.5 months.
Dissolve the fertilizer in worm water and spray the mixture directly onto the
foliage. The leaves absorb the fertilizer into their veins. If you want to
continue to put fertilizer into the soil as well as leaf feeding, be sure not to
overdose your plants.
Folair feeding seems to be one of the easiest ways of increasing yield,
growth speed, and quality in a well vented space, with or without elevated CO2
levels. Just prepare a tea of worm castings, fish emulsion, bat guano, or most
any other plant food right for the job and feed in vegetative and early
flowering stages. It is not recommended for late flowering, or you will be
eating the sprayed-on material later. Stop foliar feeding 2-3 weeks before
harvesting. Wash off the leaves with straight water every week to prevent
clogging the stomata of the leaves. Feed daily or every other day.
Best times of day to Foliar feed are 7-10Am and after 5 in the evening. This
is because the stomata on the underside of the leaves are open then. Also, the
best temperature is about 72 degrees, and over 80, they may not be open at all.
So find the cooler part of the day if it's hot, and the warmer part of the day
if it's cold out. You may need to spray at 2AM if that's the coolest time
available. The sprayer used should atomize the solution to a very fine mist;
find your best sprayer and use it for this. Make sure the PH is between 7 and
6.2. Use baking soda to make the solution higher PH, and vinegar to make the
solution lower PH. It's better to spray more often and use less, than to drench
the plants infrequently. Use a wetting agent to prevent the water from beading
up, and thereby burning the leaves as they act as small prisms.Make sure you
don't spray a hot bulb; better yet, spray only when the bulb has cooled.
Perhaps the best foliar feeding includes using seltzer water and plant food
at the same time. This way, CO2 and nutrients are feed directly to the leaves in
the same spray.
Foliar feeding is recognized in most of the literature as being a good way to
get nutrients to the plant later when nutrient lockup problems could start to
reduce intake from the roots.
WARNING!: It is important to wash leaves that are harvested before they are
dried, if you intend to eat them, since they may have nitrate salts on them.
NOTE: One grower who reviewed this document comments: "Fish emulsion
smells. Bat guano could be highly unsanitary. Stick to the Rapid-Gro, MgSO4 (epsom
salts), hydroponic trace element solution. Nitrate salts (The "N" in
NPK) are unhealthy to smoke. Personally, I never foliar feed."
Above is a great comment, and there is great wisdom in an organic, non-toxic
garden. Personally, I use only CO2 on my indoor hydroponic plants, and never
folar feed. It simply does not seem to be necessary when using hydroponics.
Elevating carbon dioxide levels can increase growth speed a great deal,
perhaps even double it. It seems that the plant evolved in primordial times when
natural CO2 levels were many times what they are today. The plant uses CO2 for
photosynthesis to create sugars it uses to build plant tissues. Elevating the
CO2 level will increase the plants ability to manufacture these sugars and plant
growth rate is enhanced considerably.
CO2 can be a pain to manufacture safely, cheaply, and/or conveniently, and is
expensive to set up if you use a CO2 tank system. CO2 is most usable for
flowering, as this is when the plant is most dense and has the hardest time
circulating air around its leaves. If your strictly growing vegetatively
indoors, (transferring your plants outdoors to flower), then CO2 will not be a
major concern unless you have a sealed greenhouse, closet or bedroom, and wish
to increase yield and decrease flowering time.
For a medium sized indoor operation, one approach is to used CO2 canisters
from wielding supply houses. This is expensive initially, but fairly inexpensive
in the long run. These systems are good only if your area is not too big or too
The basic CO2 tank system looks like this:
20 lb tank $100
Timer or controller $10-125
Fill up $15-20
Worst case = $395 for CO2 tank setup synced to a exhaust fan with a
CO2 is cheaply produced by burning Natural Gas. However, heat and Carbon
Monoxide must be vented to the outside air. CO2 can be obtained by buying or
leasing cylinders from local welding supply houses. If asked, you can say you
have an old mig welder at home and need to patch up the lawnmower (trailer, car,
For a small closet, one tank could last 2 months, but it depends on how much
is released, how often the room is vented, hours of light cycle, room leaks,
enrichment levels and dispersion methods. This method may be overkill for your
It is generally viewed as good to have a small constant flow of CO2 over the
plants at all times the lights are on, dispersed directly over the plants during
the time exhaust fans are off.
Opportunities exist to conserve CO2, but this can cost money. When the light
is off you don't need CO2, so during flowering, you will use half as much if you
have the CO2 solenoid setup to your light timer. When the fan is on for venting,
CO2 is shut off as well. This may be up to half the time the light is on, so
this will affect the plants exposure times and amount of gas actually dispensed.
Environmentally, using bottled gas is better, since manufacturing it adds to
greenhouse effect, and bottled CO2 is captured as part of the manufacturing
process of many materials, and then recycled. Fermenting, CO2 generators, and
baking soda and vinegar methods all generate new CO2 and add to greenhouse
CO2 generation from fermentation and generators is possible. A simple CO2
generator would be a propane heater. This will work well, as long as the gases
can be vented to the grow area, and a fan is used to keep the hot CO2 (that will
rise) circulating and available below at the plants level. Fire and exhaust
venting of the heat are issues as well. A room that must be vented 50% of the
time to rid the environment of heat from a lamp and heater will not receive as
much CO2 as a room that can be kept unvented for hours at a time. However, CO2
generators are the only way to go for large operations.
Fermentation or vinegar over baking soda will work if you don't have many
vent cycles, but if you have enough heat to make constant or regular venting
necessary, these methods become impractical. Just pour the vinegar on baking
soda and close the door, (you lose your CO2 as soon as the vent comes on). This
method leaves a great deal to be desired, since it is not easy to regulate
automatically, and requires daily attention. It is possible however, to create
CO2 by fermentation, let the wine turn to vinegar, and pour this on baking soda.
It's the most cost-effective setup for most closet growers, for whom $400 in CO2
equipment is a bit much to swallow.
In fermentation, yeast is constantly killing itself; it takes a lot of space.
You need a big bin to constantly keep adding water to, so that the alcohol
levels will not rise high enough to kill the yeast. Sugar is used quickly this
way, and a 10 pound sack will run $3.50 or so and last about 2-3 weeks. This is
also difficult to gauge what is happening as far as amounts actually released. A
tube out the top going into a jar of water will bubble and demonstrate the
amount of CO2 being produced.
Try sodium bicarbonate mixed with vinegar, 1 tsp: ~30cc- this will gush up
all frothy as it releases CO2. do it just before you close the door on your
plants. A MUCH cheaper way to provide CO2 is 2 Oz sugar in 2 liters of water in
a bottle [sterilized 1st with bleach and water, then rinsed], plus a few cc
urine[!] or if you insist, yeast nutrient from a home brewing supplier. Add a
brewing yeast, shake up and keep at 25 deg celsius[~70 F] . Over next 2 weeks or
so it will brew up about 1/2 Oz CO2 for every Oz sugar used. Keep a few going at
once, starting a new one every 3 days or so. With added CO2 growth is
phenomenal!!! I personally measured 38cm growth in 8 days under a 250watt HPS
bulb[tubular clear, Horizontal mount.
A good container is a 1 gallon plastic milk jug, with a pin-hole in the cap.
Also, the air-lock from a piece of clear tube running into a jar filled with
water will keep microbes out and demonstrate the fermentation is working.
A variation is to spray seltzer water on the plants twice a day. This is not
recommended by some authorities, and receives great raves by people who seem to
feel it has enhanced their crop. It stands to reason this would work for only a
small unvented closet, but may be right for some situations. It could get
expensive with a lot of plants to spray. Use seltzer, not club soda, since it
contains less sodium that could clog the plants stomata. Wash your plants with
straight water after 2 or 3 seltzer sprays. It's a lot of work, and you can't
automate it, but maybe that's good! Remember, being with the plants is a
beautiful experience, and brings you closer to your spiritual self and the
earth. Seltzer is available at most grocery stores (I get it at Lucky's @ .79
for a 2 litter bottle). Club soda will work if seltzer water is not available;
but it has twice as much sodium in it. A very diluted solution of Miracle Grow
can be sprayed on the plant at the same time. One factor of using selzter water
is it raises humidity levels. Make sure your venting humidity during the dark
cycle, or you could risk fungus and increased internode length.
CAUTION: Don't spray too close to a hot bulb! Spray downward only, or turn
off the lamp first.
Even though CO2 enrichment can mean 30-100% yield increases, the hassle,
expense, space, danger, and time involved can make constant or near constant
venting a desirable alternative to enrichment. As long as the plant has the
opportunity to take in new CO2 at all times, from air that is over 200 ppm CO2,
the plants will have the required nutrients for photosynthesis. Most closets
will need new CO2 coming in every two or three hours, minimum. Most citys' will
have high concentrations of CO2 in the air, and some growers find CO2 injection
unnecessary in these circumstances.
Some growers have reported to High Times that high CO2 levels in the grow
room near harvest time lower potency. It may be a good idea to turn off CO2 2
weeks before harvesting.
You have to vent a lot with a HID lamp, less so for fluorescents. Also,
humidity build up requires that you vent at least a few times per day. For a
room with a hot lamp that builds up heat quickly, the best vent would be one
that cleared the room in 5 minutes, then would stop for 25 minutes before
venting again, or similarly, vent 3 minutes, shut off 12 minutes, etc. The trick
is to find a timer that will do this sort of thing. Not easy to find and not
cheap. Once you need to regulate CO2 on and off inversely with the fan, your
looking at a $100 climate controller.
Alternatives are a thermostat that turns on a fan when a certain temperature
is reached, and turns it off when the temp recedes 4 degrees. But it is a bitch
to coordinate CO2 release with this one, since you don't know when the fan goes
on. $39 for this thermostat, but to sync it to CO2 with a voltage sensing relay
is $100 for the ready-made switch, so then the environment controller at $100 is
cheaper. All you really want is a fan that clears the air in a few minutes, a
temperature switch that turns on and off the fan, and an inverse switch that
turns off and on the CO2. If you can vent the room really quick and the heat
does not build up too quickly, the CO2 could be run in a slow, continuous
fashion, and would build up in-between the occasional quick exhaust cycles.
Two timers synced can be used, but the only ones cheaply available are the 30
min interval, 48 trips per 24 hours. So I could have a fan run 30 mins on, then
30 mins off. I could also sync it to the light so that I don't vent when the
lamp is off. I can sync this to an identical timer that will turn on CO2 during
the time that the fan is not on, and vise versa. It would be difficult to sync
them closer that 5-10 mins, but at least there would be a possible inexpensive
solution. $20 for two of these timers.
Fans are expensive to buy for venting, but I just go down to the local
electronic parts liquidators and they have muffin fans for $5-10, so that's a
real savings over the $50-70 these fans cost new at the indoor garden stores. A
good vent fan will keep the humidity and temperature down, and distribute CO2 to
your plants from new incoming air.
Internal air movement is very necessary as well. An oscillating fan should be
used to circulate air within the growroom, to help circulate CO2. It will also
keep the humidity down, allowing the air to absorb more moisture, and reduce
risk of fungus. A wall mount oscillating fan will not take valuable floor space.
The best grow rooms have the most internal air circulation.
Proper temperature is one highly variable factor. Most books state optimum
grow temperature to be 70-80 degrees, but many list extenuating circumstances
that allow temperatures to go higher. Assuming genetics is not a factor, plants
seem to be able to absorb more light at higher temps, perhaps up to 90 degrees.
High light and CO2 levels could make this go as high as 95 degrees for increased
growth speed.* An optimum of 95 degrees is new data that assumes very-high
light, CO2 enrichment of 1500 ppm and good regular venting to keep humidity
down. It is not clear if these temperature will reduce potency in flowers. It
may be a good idea to reduce temperatures once flowering has started, to
preserve potency, even if it does reduce growth speed. But higher temperatures
will make plants grow vegetatively much faster, by exciting the plants
metabolism, assuming the required levels of CO2 and light are available, and
humidity is not allowed to get too high.
With normal levels of CO2, in a well vented space, 90 degrees would seem to
be the absolute max, while 85 may be closer to optimum, even with a great deal
of light available. Do not let the room temperature get over 35 C (95 F) as this
hurts growth. Optimal temperature is 27-30 C (80-86 F) if you have strong light
with no CO2 enrichment. Less than 21 C (70 F) is too cold for good growth.
Low temperatures at night are OK down to about 60 degrees outdoors, then
start to effect the growth in a big way. Mid 50's will cause mild shock and 40's
will kill your plants with repeated exposure. Keep your plants warm, especially
the roots. Elevate pots if you think the ground is sucking the heat out of the
roots. This is an issue if you have a slab or other type of cold floor.
As temperature goes up, so does the ability of the air to hold water, thus
reducing humidity, so a higher average temperature should reduce risk of fungus.
Contrary to many reports, high humidity is not good for plants except during
germination and rooting. Lower humidity levels help the plant transpire CO2 and
reduce risk of molds during flowering.
Studies indicate the potency of buds goes down as the temperature goes up, so
it is important to see that the plants do not get too hot during flowering
* D. Gold: CO2, Temperature and Humidity, 1991 Edited by E. Rosenthal.
You really have to watch pests, or all your efforts could result in little or
nothing in return. Mites and Aphids are the worst; whiteflies, caterpillar and
fungi are the ones to watch out for long term. Pyrethrum bombs can start you
with a clean slate in the room, and then homemade or commercial soap sprays will
do most of the rest. When bringing in plants from outside, pyrethrum every broad
leaf top and bottom and the soil too. Then watch them closely for a week or two,
and soap down any remaining bug life you find from eggs being hatched. This
should do the trick for a month or two, long enough it won't be an issue before
Fungus is another obstacle in the path of a successful growing season. When
the flowers are roughly half developed they become susceptible to a fungus or
bud rot. It appears that growing conditions for the fungus are best when
temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees and the humidity is high. The fungus
is very destructive and spreads quickly. It is a spore type of fungus that
travels to other buds via the wind so it is impossible to prevent or stop if
weather conditions permit it to grow. If things should go badly and the fungus
starts to attack your plants, you must remove it immediately or it will spread
to other areas of the plant or plants.
Some growers will remove just the section of the bud that is infected whereas
other growers will remove the entire branch. Removal of the entire branch better
insures that the fungus is totally re- moved, and also enables the grower to
sample the crop a few weeks ahead of time.
Fungi can wipe your crop quick, so invest in some SAFE fungicide and spray
down the plants just before flowering if you think fungus may be a problem.
Don't spray the plants if you have never had problems with fungus before. Keep
humidity down, circulate air like crazy in the grow space and keep unquarantined
outdoor plants out of the indoor space. Don`t wait until after flowering, since
it's not a good idea to apply the fungicide directly to flowers. Instead,
flowers must be cut off when they are infected.
Most fungicides are very nasty, and you won't want to ingest them, so it is
necessary to use one that is safe for vegetables. Safer makes a suitable product
that is available at most nurseries; it contains only sulfer in solution.
Use soap solution like Safer Insecticidal Soap to get rid of most aphid
problems. Use some tobacco juice and chili pepper powder added to this for
mites. Dr. Bronnars Soap can be used with some dish detergent in a spray bottle
if you want to save money.
Pyrethrum should only be used in extream circumstances directly on plants,
but can be used in a closet or greenhouse in the corners to get rid of spiders
and such. It breaks down within a week to non-toxic elements, and can be washed
from a plant with detergent solutions and then clear water. I find Pyrethrum to
be the best solution for spider mites, if it is sprayed on young plants up to
early flowering. Into later flowering, the tobacco and pepper/soap solution is
your best bet, on a daily basis, on the under-sides of all infected leaves.
Spider mites are by far the worst offender in my garden. I have finally
learned not to bring plants from outside into the indoor space. They are always
infected with pests and threaten to infect the entire indoor grow space. It is
much more practical to work WITH the seasons and regenerate plants outdoors in
the Summer, rather than bringing them indoors to regenerate under constant
light. Start a plant indoors, take it outside in Spring to flower. Take a
harvest or two, feed it nitrogen all Summer and it will regenerate naturally, to
be flowered again in the Fall.
Once a plant has been taken outside, leave it outside.
There will be little or no shock if you are quick and tender in your handling
of the plants. Make sure you only need to transplant twice, or better yet, once
if possible, through the entire growth cycle. Transplanting slows you down. It
takes time, it's tricky, it's hard work, and threatens the plants. Start in as
large a container as possible, square is best. 16 ounce plastic cups work OK,
and 2 litter soda bottles cut down may be big enough for the first harvest when
growing hydroponically. One-gallon plastic milk or water containers (squarish)
will work too.
Or start seeds and rooted cuttings in 16oz plastic cups. It's better to have
less seedlings than it is to have many seedlings that need constant
transplanting. These larger cups take only a little more space, and allow you to
transplant only one time before harvesting the first crop. Transplant into a
gallon water jugs (cut down to 3/4 gallon) before forcing flower growth. To
regenerate this plant after harvesting, transplant it into a larger cannabis after it
goes into vegetative growth once again, 5 gallon paint buckets work pretty well
if you can spare the space, and a 2-3 gallon container would make this plant's
2nd harvest better than the first, given enough vegetative regrowth first.
One more tip:
A Russian study showed that seedlings with at least 4" of soil to grow
the tap root were more likely to go female. The source I'm quoting says
"This may be why some farmers get female/male ratios as great as
It's possible to tell the sex of a plant early, and thus move male plants out
of the main growing area sooner by covering a plant's lower branch for 12 hours
a day while it's in a constant light vegetative state. Use a black paper bag or
equivalent to allow for air flow while keeping out light. Be sure to set up a
regular cycle for these covered branches. If light is allowed to reach them
during the dark period, they may not indicate early at all.
Use a magnifying glass to look at the early flowers sex type. A male plant
will have a small club (playing card) looking preflower with a small stem under
it. A female flower is usually a single or double pistil, white and wispy,
emerging from an immature calyx.
Some people like to pre-force plants when they are 8" tall, in order to
weed out the males. When growing outdoors, many growers do not wish to devote
time, space or energy to male plants. Just put the plants on a 12 hours light
cycle for 2 weeks, separate the females from the males, then revert the light
cycle back to 18-24 hours to continue vegatative growth for the females. Keep in
mind, this is a time consuming process and can put the plants back 2 weeks in
growth. Don't pre-force plants unless you have lots of time. Just cover one
branch per plant with black paper (light tight, breaths air) 12 hours every day
under constant light to force pre-flowers and differentiate early.
It is possible to harvest plants and then rejuvenate them vegetatively for a
2nd and even 3rd harvest. A second harvest can be realized in as little as 6-8
weeks. Since the plant's stalk, and roots are already formed, the plant can
produce a second, even third harvest of buds in a little more than half the time
of the original harvest. When harvesting, take off the top 1/3rd of the plant.
Leave most healthy fan leaves in the middle of the plant, cutting buds off
branches carefully. On the lower 1/3rd of the plant, take off end flowers, but
leave several small flowers on each branch. These will be the part of the plant
that is regenerated. The more buds you leave on the plant, the faster it will
regenerate. Feed the plant some Miracle Grow or any high nitrogen plant food
immediately after harvest. When you intend to regenerate a plant, make sure it
never gets too starved for nitrogen as it is maturing, or all the sun leaves
will fall off, and your plant will not have enough leaves to live after being
Harvested plants can come inside for rejuvenation under continuous light or
are left outside in Summer to rejuvenate in the natural long days. It will take
7-14 days to see signs of new growth when regenerating a plant. As stated
before, and in contrast to normal growth patterns, lower branches will be the
first to sprout new vegetative growth. Allow the plant to grow a little
vegetatively, then take outside again to reflower. Or keep inside for vegetative
cuttings. You now have two or three generations of plants growing, and will need
more space outside. But you will now be harvesting twice as often. As often as
every 30 days, since you have new clones or seedlings growing, vegetative plants
ready to flower, and regenerated plants flowering too.
Regenerating indoors can create problems if your plants are infected with
pests. It may be best to have a separate area indoors that will not allow your
plants to infect the main indoor area. An alternative to regenerating indoors is
to regenerate outdoors in the Summer. Just take a harvest in June, then allow
the plant to regenerate by leaving some lower buds on the plant, and leaving the
middle 1/3rd of the plant's leaves at harvest. Feed it nitrogen, and make sure
it gets lots of sun. It will regenerate all Summer and be quite large by Fall,
when it will start to flower again naturally.
Plants that are regenerated, cloned and even grown from seed will need to be
pruned at some point to encourage the plant to produce as much as possible and
remain healthy. Pruning the lower limbs creates more air-flow under the plants
in an indoor situation and creates cuttings for cloning. It also forces the
plant's effort to the top limbs that get the most light, maximizing yields.
Plants that are regenerated need to have minor growth clipped so that the
main regenerated growth will get all the plant's energy. This means that once
the plant has started to regenerate lots of growth, the lower limbs that will be
shaded or are not robust should go. The growth must be thinned on top branches
such that only the most robust growth is allowed to remain.
Once nice aspect of regenerating plants is that some small buds left on the
plant in anticipation of regeneration will not sprout new growth and may be
collected for smoke. The plant may provide much smokable material if it is
caught before all the old flowers dry up and die with the new vegatative growth
Try to trim a regenerated plant twice. Once as it is starting to regenerate,
collect any bud that is not sprouting with new growth and smoke it. Then later,
prune again to take lower clippings to clone and thin the upper growth so that
larger buds will be produced.
If a regenerated plant is not pruned at all, the resulting plant is very
stemmy, does not create large buds and the total yield will be significantly
Harvesting is the reaping of the bounty, and is the most enjoyable time you
will spend with your garden.
Plants are harvested when the flowers are ripe. Generally, ripeness is
defined as when the white pistils start to turn brown, orange, etc. and start to
withdraw back into the false seed pod. The seed pods swell with resins usually
reserved for seed production, and we have ripe sinse buds with red and golden
It is interesting that the time of harvest controls the "high" of
the buds. If harvested "early" with only a few of the pistils turned
color, the buds will have a more pure THC content and will have less THC that
has turned to CBD and CBN's. The lessor psychoactive substances will create the
bouquet of the cannabis, and control the amount of stoneyness and stupidness
associated with the high. A pure THC content is very cerebral, while high THC,
high CBD, CBN content will make the plants more of a stupid, or hazy buzz. Buds
taken later, when fully ripened will normally have these higher CBN, CBD levels
and may not be what you prefer once you try different samples picked at
different times. Don't listen to the experts, decide yourself based on what you
come to like yourself.
Keep in mind, a bud weighs more when fully ripe. It is what most growers like
to sell, but take some buds early for yourself, every week until you harvest,
and decide how you like it for yourself. Grow the rest to full maturity if you
plan to sell it.
Most new growers want to pick early, because they are impatient. That's OK!
Just take buds from the middle of the plant or the top. Allow the rest to keep
maturing. Often, the tops of the plants will be ripe first. Harvest them and let
the rest of the plant continue to ripen. You will notice the lower buds getting
bigger and fuzzier as they come into full maturity. With more light available to
the bottom portion of the plant now, the plant yields more this way over time,
than taking a single harvest.
Use a magnifier and try to see the capitated stalked trichomes (little THC
crystals on the buds). If they are mostly clear, not brown, the peak of floral
bouquet is near. Once they are mostly all turning brownish in color, the THC
levels are dropping and the flower is past optimum potency, declining with light
and wind exposure rapidly.
Don't harvest too late! It's easy to be too careful and harvest late enough
potency has declined. Watch the plants and learn to spot peak floral potency.
Do not cure cannabis in the sun, it reduces potency. Slow cure hanging buds upside
down in a ventilated space. That is all that is needed to have great sensi.
Drying in a paper bag works too, and may be much more convenient. Bud tastes
great when slow dried over the course of a week or two.
If your in a hurry, it's OK to dry a small amount in-between paper sheets or
a paper bag in a microwave oven. Go slow and check it, don't burn it. Use the
defrost power setting for a slower, better drying. It will be harsh smoking this
A food dehydrator or food preserver will dry your cannabis in a few hours, but it
will not taste the same as slow-dried. Very close though. And this will speed
your harvest time (which can be nerve-wracking, with all this cannabis hanging around
Dry buds until the stems are brittle enough to snap, then cure them in a
sealed tupperware container , burping air and turning the buds daily for two
Once experienced grower told me to dry in an uninsulated area of the house
(like the garage) so that the temperature will rise and fall each night, as the
plant is drying. If you treat the plant as if it were still alive, it will use
some of it's chlorophyll while it is drying, and the smoke will be less harsh.
Cloning is asexual reproduction. Cuttings are taken from a mother plant in
vegatative growth, and rooted in hydroponic medium to be grown as a separate
plant. The offspring will be plants that are identical to the parent plant.
Cloning preserves the character of your favorite plant. Cloning can make an
ocean of green out of a single plant, so it is a powerful tool for growing large
crops, and will fill a closet quickly with your favorite genetics. When you find
the plant you want to be your "buddy" for the rest of your life, you
can keep that plant's genetic character alive for decades and pass it on to your
children's children. Propagate and share it with others, to keep a copy, should
your own line die out. A clone can be taken from a clone at least 20 times, and
probably more, so don't worry about myths of reduced vigor. Many reports
indicate it's not a problem.
Cloning will open you to the risk of a fungus or pests wiping out the whole
crop, so it's important to pick plants that exhibit great resistance to fungus
and pests. Pick the plant you feel will be the most reliable to reproduce in
large scale, based on health, growth rate, resistance to pests, and potency. The
quality of the high, and the type of buzz you get will be a very important
Take cuttings for clones before you move plants from vegetative grow area to
the flowering area. Low branches are cut to increase air circulation under the
green canopy. Rooted clones are moved to the vegetative growth area, and new
clones are started in the cloning area using the low branch cuttings. Each cycle
of growth will take from 4-8 weeks, so you can constantly be growing in 3
stages, and harvesting every 6-8 weeks.
Some types of plants are more difficult to clone than others. Big Bud is
reported to not clone very well. One of my favorite plants, Mr. Kona, is the
most amazing cannabis I ever smoked, but it is hard as hell to clone. What a
challenge! I noticed other varieties that were rooting much quicker, but it was
the stone I was after! Once you find the psychoactive, almost hallucinogenic
properties of some Indica/Sativa hybrids, you never want to smoke a pure Indica
again. Indica is however, great medicinally, so I like to grow a few pure
If a plant is harvested, you can sample it, and decide if you want to clone
it. Pick your favorite 2 or 3 distinctly different types of plants to clone,
based on trying the harvested plants. The plants you want to clone can be
regenerated by putting them in constant light. In a few weeks, you will have
many vegetative cuttings available for cloning and preserving your favorite
plants. Always keep a mother plant in vegatative mode for any strain you want to
keep alive. If you flower all your clones, you may end up killing off a strain
if you don't have any plant devoted to being a mother. I killed off a sacred
strain accidentally this way; my harvested plants failed to regenerate and the
strain would have died completely had not previously igven it to friends to grow
it as well. I was in luck, and a buddy set me up with another clone of this
strain to grow as a mother plant for a new crop of clones.
After two months, any cannabis plant can be cloned. Flowering plants can be
cloned, but the procedure may take considerably longer. Its best to wait, and
regenerate vegetatively plants that have been harvested. A single
regenerated/harvested plant can generate hundreds of cuttings. Before taking
cuttings, starve the plant for nitrogen for a week at least, so that the plant
is not extreamly green, as this will make rooting take longer. Take cuttings
from the bottom 1/3 of the plant, when doing ordinary pruning. Cut young growth
tips from a vegetative stage, mature plant 3-5 inches long with a stem diameter
1/5-1/10 inch. Cut with a sterile razor blade or X-acto knife (flamed) and
immerse the cut end of the clone into a tub of distilled water mixed with 1/4
tspn Peters 5-50-17 per gallon. Next, cut the bottom .2 inch off the end while
it is submerged, using a diagonal cut. Remove the clone from the tub and dip
into a liquid cloning solution following instructions on the label. Dust with
RootToneF and place in cloning tray or medium. Flowering plants can be cloned
too, but may take longer, and may not have as high a success rate.
Cloning goes quickest with the liquid rooting solutions, in a warmed, aerated
tray, with subdued lighting and high humidity. Placing cuttings into 1"
rockwool cubes in a covered tray works great too. In a closet, you can make
space above the grow area so that the heat of the lamp warms the tray (passive
collecting) and spare the expense and hassle of the aquarium heater ($24) or
agricultural heating pad w/ thermostat (pricey). A double 4" fluorescent
lamp will be perfect. Leave lamps on for 24 hours a day. Cuttings should root in
I found only one liquid rooting hormone solution that was not over $10.
(Olivia's Gel was $12 for a 1.6 ounce bottle. Geez, what is this stuff, gold?) I
found some dipNgrow for $9, considered myself lucky, and got a tray and clear
cover for $7. A clear tray cover or greenhouse encloser is needed to bring up
humidity to 90% (greenhouse levels). Liquid rooting hormone seems to be much
more effective than powders. Some types available are Olivia's, Woods, and
Mix a weak cloning solution of high P plant food (such as Peter's 5-50-17),
trace elements, and epsom salts and then dip plants in rooting solution per
instructions on label. All of the above nutrients should be added in extremely
small amounts, 25% of what would normally be used on growing plants. Or use a
premade solution such as Olivia's Rooting Solution. Corn syrup has been reported
to supplement the sugars needed by the plant during cloning, since it consists
of plant sugars.
Use a powder fungicide too, like RoottoneF to be sure you don't spoil the
clones with fungus. This is important, since clones and fungus like the
conditions you will be creating for good rooting:
mild light, 72-80 degrees, high humidity
In rockwool, there is no need for airating the solution, just keep the cubes
in 1/4" of solution so they wick and stay moist at all times. Try to keep
clones evenly spaced, and spray them with water once a day to keep them moist
and fresh. Pull out clones if they are diseased and dying, to keep them away
from healthy starts.
Another method is to float cutings in a tray full of solution on polystyrene
disposable plates, or styrene sheets (shipping/packing material) with holes
punched, so the tops and leaves are out of the water. Take off all large leaves,
leaving only smaller top leaves to reduce demand on the new rooting stalk.
Aerate the tray solution with an air pump and bubble stone. Keep solution at
72-80 degrees for best results. Change the solution daily if not using an air
stone and pump, so that oxygen is always available to the cuttings. A week
later, clip yellowing leaves from cuttings to reduce water demands as the
cuttings start to root.
Buy a tray with a clear cover made for rooting at an indoor gardening supply
house. You must keep humidity very high for the clones. Put cuttings in an ice
chest with cellophane over the top and a light shining down if you don't want to
pay for the grow tray and cover.
It's also possible to directly place a dipped cutting in a moist block of
floral foam with holes punched, or vermiculite in a cup; be sure to root
cuttings in a constantly moist medium. Jiffy peat cubes are not recommended, as
published reports indicate results were not good for rooting clones. Place
starter cubes in tray of solution. Check twice a day to be sure cubes are moist,
not drenched, and not dry. After about 2-3 weeks, rootlets will appear at the
bottom of the pods. Transplant at this point to growing area, taking care not to
disturb any exposed roots.
One grower writes us:
I have had virtually all attempted clones root with the following scheme:
0. Prep cutting by removing large leaves on tip to be cut, allow to heal.
1. While holding underwater, take final diagonal cut on stem to be rooted.
2. Dip in Rootone, then spear stem about 2" deep in 16 oz. cups of 1/2
vermiculite, 1/2 perlite, which are kept in a stryrofoam cooler. 3. Spray
cuttings with a VERY mild complete fert. soln.
4. Cover top of cooler with Saran Wrap, then punch holes for ventilation.
5. Keep cooler in relatively mild temps, low light, and spray cuttings daily.
6. Cuttings should root in about 3 weeks.
Cloning is not as easy as starting from seed. With seeds, you can have
18" tall plants in 6 weeks or less. With clones, it may take 6 weeks for
the plant to sprout roots and new growth. Seeds are easily twice as fast if you
have empty indoor space being wasted that needs to be put to use quickly. Always
breed a few buds for seeds, even if you expect to be cloning most of the time,
you could get wiped out, and have nothing but your seeds left to start over.
Cloning in rockwool seems to work great, and no airpump is needed. I paid $9
for 98 rockwool starter cubes. A plastic tray is available ($.95) that holds 77
cubes in pockets allowing the cubes to be held in a tray of nutrient solution.
They are easily removed and placed in a larger rockwool growing cube when
It is possible to breed and select cuttings from plants that grow, flower,
and mature faster. Some plants will naturally be better than others in this
regard, and it is easy to select not only the most potent plants to clone or
breed, but the fastest growing/flowering plants as well. Find your fastest
growth plant, and breed it with your "best high" male for fast
flowering, potent strains. Clone your fastest, best high plant for the quickest
monocrop garden possible. Over time, it will save you a lot of waiting around
for your plants to mature.
When a male is starting to flower (2-4 weeks before the females) it should be
removed from the females so it does not pollinate them. It is taken to a
separate area. Any place that gets just a few hours of light per day will be
adequate, including close to a window in a separate room in the house. Put
newspaper or glass under it to catch the pollen as the flowers drop it.
Keep a male alive indefinitely by bending it's top severely and putting it in
mild shock that delays it's maturity. Or take the tops as they mature and put
the branches in water, over a piece of plate glass. Shake the branches every
morning to release pollen onto the glass and then scrap it with a razor blade to
collect it. A male pruned in this fashion stays alive indefinately and will
continue to produce flowers if it gets suitable dark periods. This is much
better than putting pollen in the freezer! Fresh pollen is always best.
Save pollen in an air tight bag in the freezer. It will be good for about a
month. It may be several more weeks before the females are ready to pollinate.
Put a paper towel in the bag with it to act as a desecant.
A plant is ready to pollinate 2 weeks after the clusters of female flowers
first appear. If you pollinate too early, it may not work. Wait until the female
flowers are well established, but still all while hairs are showing.
Turn off all fans. Use a paper bag to pollinate a branch of a female plant.
Use different pollen from two males on separate branches. Wrap the bag around
the branch and seal it at the opening to the branch. Shake the branch
vigorously. Wet the paper bag after a few minutes with a sprayer and then
carefully remove it. Large plastic zip-lock bags also. Slip the bag over the
male branch and shake the pollen loose. Carefully remove the bad and zip it up.
It should be very dusty with pollen. To pollinate, place it over a single branch
of the female, zipping it up sideways around the stem so no pollen leaks out.
Shake the bag and the stem at the same time. Allow to settle for an hour or two
and shake it again. Remove it a few hours later. Your branch is now well
pollinated and should show signs of visible seed production in 2 weeks, with
ripe seeds splitting the calyxes by 3-6 weeks. One pollinated branch can create
hundreds of seeds, so it should not be necessary to pollinate more than one or
two branches in many cases.
When crossing two different varieties, a third variety of plant will be
created. If you know what characteristics your looking for in a new strain, you
will need several plants to choose from in order to have the best chance of
finding all the qualities desired. Sometimes, if the two plants bred had
dominant genes for certain characteristics, it will be impossible to get the
plant you want from one single cross. In this case, it is necessary to
interbreed two plants from the same batch of resultant seeds from the initial
cross. In this fashion, recesive genes will become available, and the plant
character you desire may only be possible in this manner.
Usually, it is desirable only to cross two strains that are very different.
In this manner, one usually arrives at what is refered to as "hybrid
vigor". In other words, often the best strains are created by taking two
very different strains and mating them. Less robust plants may be the result of
interbreeding, since it opens up recesive gene traits that may lead to reduced
Hybrid offspring will all be very different from each other. Each plant grown
from the same batch of seeds collected from the same plant, will be different.
It is then necessary to try each plant separately and decide it's individual
merits for yourself. If you find one that seems to be head and shoulders above
the rest in terms of early flowering, high yield and get buzz, that's the plant
to clone and continue breeding.
In depth genetics is beyond the scope of this work. See Cannabis Botany;
Smith, for more detailed info in this area.
When the female plant is not allowed to pollinate, it grows full of resin
that was intended to make seeds. False seed pods swell with THC laden resin and
the pistils turn red and orange and withdraw into the pods. Then the plant is
Seeds are not part of the bud when the flowers mature. This is called
Sinsemillia, and simply means "no seeds".
It is possible to cross your favorite two female plants to create a new
strain of seeds that will produce all female plants. Preferably, these two
plants will be different types of plants, not from the same mother's seeds.
This will create the best offspring, since it will not lead to inbreeding. It
is easier to gauge the quality of female plants than male plants, since the
smoke is more potent and easier to judge it's finer qualities. Plants from seeds
created in this fashion will be all female plants since there will be no chance
of male chromosomes from female parents.
Use Gibberellic Acid on one branch of a female plant to induce male flowers.
Gibberellic Acid is sold by nursery supply houses for plant breeding and
hybridizing. Spray the plant once every day for 10 days with 100 ppm gibberellic
acid. When the male flowers form, pollinate the flowers of your other target
female plant you have selected. Just pollinate one branch unless you want lots
Once the branch has male flowers, cut the branch and root it in water, with
glass under it to catch the male pollen when it drops. Use a rooting solution
similar to the above cloning solution.Collect the pollen with a plastic bag over
the branch and shake it. Use a razor blade to scrap up fallen pollen and add it
to the bag too.
It is also possible to pollinate the flowers of the plant you create the male
flowers on, crossing it with itself. This is used to preserve a special plants
characteristics. Cloning will also preserve the plants characteristics, but will
not allow you to store seeds for use later. Crossing a plant with itself can
lead to inbreeding problems, so it may not be the optimum solution in many
I once tried using Gibberellic Acid, sprayed on a healthy female, every day
for over a week. No male flowers appeared on the plant. Your milage may vary.
Negative ion generators have been used for years now to cut down on odors in
a grow room, but reports are coming in that a negative ion generator will
increase growth speed and yield. No true evidence to support this, however it
does make sense, due to the fact that people and animals seem to be altered in a
positive way by negative ions in the air, so plants may "feel" better
too. Try putting one in the grow room. You may notice the buds don't have as
much scent when picked, but that may be desirable in some cases.
A negative ion generator can be purchased for $15 to $100 depending on the
type and power involved. Some have reversed cycles that collect the dust to a
charged plate. It is also possible to use grounded aluminum foil on the wall and
shelf where the ionizer sits, to collect these particles. Just wipe the foil
clean once a month. It should be grounded to an electrical outlets ground wire.
If you don't cover the wall and shelf with paper or foil, the wall will turn
dark with dust taken from the air, and you will have to repaint that wall later.
O2 to the roots is a big concern, since the plant requires this for nutrients
to be available, and to rid itself of toxins, etc. One of the easiest things to
do is use food grade hydrogen peroxide in the water to increase the availability
of oxygen in the water. H2O2 has an extra oxygen atom that will easily break
away and can be used by the plant. Oxygen Plus is a plant food that contains 25%
hydrogen peroxide and is perfect for this use.
Using a planting medium that allows for plenty of aeration is also really
important. Be sure you have good drainage by using Perlite, sand, or gravel in
your mix and at the bottom of pots. Don't use a medium that holds too much
water, or you may significantly reduce the oxygen available to the plant. More
on that in the section on hydroponics.
Aerating the water before watering is also a good idea. In the case of soil
potted plants, use an airpump to aerate the water overnight before watering your
plants, or put the water in a container with a cap and shake it up real good
before giving to the plants.
Utility companies can tell your bill is way off from the same time last year,
and police are finding growers this way. More than 500 watts in the family home
running constantly will show up as a regular monthly increase in electricity
use. You can claim space heaters, more people living on the premises, too many
television sets, and late hours, if they happen mention it to you (innocently).
If the police knock and ask you about it, don't let them in, and move your
plants to another location during the wee hours in a vehicle not your own.
Upon moving into a new place, it may be desirable to immediately establish
high electricity use, so that your electrical use history won't reveal your
activities in the future...
Light leaks, open windows, heat expelled from rooms that would normally be
cool, and rip-offs are all serious issues to be concerned about. Don't use a
burglar alarm on when your away from the house. People are busted this way when
the kids try to rip off the garden and the police come. Lock the house up well,
and let them take it if they need it so bad. It's not worth getting busted for a
Think ahead to any situation that will require outsiders to visit sensitive
areas of the house. Repairmen, solicitors, meter readers, neighbors, appraisers,
and pets should all be considered and contingency plans made in advance.
Some growers report purified or distilled water helps their plants grow
faster. Perhaps due to sodium and heavy metals found in hard water that are not
present in purified water. Hard water tends to build up alkaline salt deposits
in soil that lockup trace minerals, and cause iron, copper and zinc
deficiencies. There are several types of purified water, but many are not free
of minerals that could be causing salt buildup over an extended period of time.
Tap water comes in two flavors. Hot and cold. The cold pipe has less calcium
and sodium buildup in it, and should be freer of sediment once the water has
been turned on and allowed to flow for 30 seconds. Hot water will have rust,
lead deposits, and lots of sodium and calcium, so much so, you will see it
easily. Use only the amount of hot water needed to make the water the correct
temperature (70-80 F). Tap water filtered through a carbon (charcoal) filter
will be free of chlorine and most large particles, but will still contain
dissolved solids such as sodium and heavy metals (lead, arsenic, nickel, etc.).
Purified bottled water will be either Reverse Osmosis or some form of
carbon/sediment filtered water. When purchasing water at a store, unless it says
RO or Distilled, don't bother buying it. It could still have the same dissolved
solids and heavy metals your tap water has.
A solution of one pill to one gallon of water has been reported to cause
increased growth speed in tomato plants. It is possible this will help cannabisplants too. One treatment administered before flowering and one administered a
few weeks before harvesting might help the plant mature faster.
One grower told a story of the same type of plants, one administered the
estrogen grew to 20 feet, while the other was 7 feet. This may be purely
anecdotal, but it may work. Try it and report back to us on results.
Use a seal-a-meal to hermetically seal the bag with no air inside. Freeze or
refrigerate, and bud and seed can be kept for years this way.
Rap seeds in a paper towel to absorb moisture. Keep them in the freezer, and
pull out only as many seeds as you need, then pop them back in the freezer
Good results can be had even in what appear to be rather marginal situations.
(i.e.: a four inch cannabis in a room with a skylight.) With the minimum of: well
drained medium, good light with ventilation, regular application of a complete
fertilizer, pest control, and avoidance of detection, anyone can take a viable
seed to maturity.
One need not have a lot of money, or even know-how to grow good plants.
CANNABIS HOME GROWING GUIDE