Basic marijuana growguide
Indoor or outdoor marijuana growing.
There a three basic forms of growing, indoors, greenhouse and outdoors. Your choice most probably will depend on local laws and the weather if you can grow legally outside. Since possession and growing of marijuana is illegal in most countries We will stick to the subject of indoor growing. If you do not have marijuana seeds you can find a list of indoor marijuana seeds in our seedshop, you can choose from to grow. So try to find the sort you like to grow and smoke. Also the length of growing and flowering stages differ per variety so please read the seeds information of the strain you have chosen before you start.
To grow marijuana without causing your neighbours to call the cops on you takes some preparation. The ways most marijuana growers get caught is by smell, light and leakage so preparation of the marijuana growing room is very important. So the ideal marijuana growing room is lightproof, waterproof and smell proof, depending on how much marijuana you want to grow. This might mean an investment on carbon filters and fans to keep the fresh airflow going. Since the marijuana plants need some hours of absolute darkness to switch from growing to flowering your grow room needs to be lightproof, this of course also stops light from your lamps getting out. Most marijuana growers use black plastic sheeting of good quality which will save you money eventually since it can be used for years instead of cheap quality which nearly always needs to be replaced after one marijuana harvest since it rips to easy. The marijuana plant loves light so to make best use of your lamps reflect all light and you should make the room white, some use aluminum foil but that doesn't work as good.
Seeds or clones.
The choice between marijuana seeds and clones. Marijuana clones all come from one mother plant which is chosen for strength and yield so if you treat her right the clone will do the same. But for most people it's very difficult to get marijuana clones and not all clones are of good quality. If you can't get marijuana clones you have to go for seeds. When you purchase marijuana seeds on the internet make sure the seed bank has a good name on the internet. We have to warn you for bad quality and high prices on the internet not all marijuana seed banks are reliable.
Growing from seeds.
Since marijuana seeds can become male or female you want to use at least twice as much marijuana seeds as you want to grow, some seeds don't do anything and some will produce weak marijuana plants. To prepare the marijuana seeds put them between soaked paper towel, this can take a few days to a week. Now you can put the seeds in their own small pot of soil, about a quarter inch under the surface and water it well. In a fresh room you might want to cover the pots with plastic to speed up the process till your seedlings pop their heads up. When you see the seed coming up put them under a fluorescent tube with at least 4 to 8 inches | 10 to 20 cm room between the marijuana plant and the lights. Depending on variety it will take one to fourteen days to stick their heads up, for growing the plant needs eighteen to twenty four hours of light a day. We give them light for twenty four hours since it speeds things up. By the time your marijuana plants are 3 to 4 inches | 7.5 to 10 cm tall you should let the soil dry out a bit before watering them again, this will give the roots a boost to grow. Over watering marijuana plants is one of the most made mistakes by newbies so be careful.
Growing and flowering marijuana plants.
Like all marijuana plants marijuana growing depends on the amount of hours of light and darkness. Marijuana plants start growing when temperature and light tell it it's spring so time to grow. After midsummer the amount of hours of light decreases again so the marijuana plant enters it's flowering stage the marijuana plant starts to produce a hormone called phytochrome and diverts all it energy to the flowering process. We want to do the same in controlled environment with artificial lights.
Grow lights and lamps.
The more light the marijuana plant gets the more yield it will give, for only growing marijuana seedlings single fluorescent tubes will do but if you want to flower and have a good yield we advice at least a 400 watt sodium bulb per 1 to 4 marijuana plants, but more is better so professionals use 600 watts for that. Since our marijuana plants need all the light they can get the best place is a totally white room, which is totally blacked out from daylight. Make sure your ac outlets can handle the lamps, make sure the fuse does blow if you start your vacuum cleaner of washer. A 600 watt sodium bulb will take close to 6 Amps [if voltage is 110] when switched on so make sure you're wiring is up to that, if not it can result in fire and the insurance company is not going to pay if you were growing marijuana illegally. Incandescent lights are not very efficient so they are not often used for our purpose. Many marijuana growers use fluorescent tubes since they are cheap and widely available, you need at least twenty five watts per square foot | square 30 cm of green to get a result. The trick is imitating the sun's light so a few different shades of white tubes should be used, this gives the best results. Metal Halide lamps are most popular with professional growers, you'll find them in nearly every football stadium, they give a bright white light which is perfect for growing and they make stronger and greener marijuana plants. Sodium lamps give a bright yellow/orange light and are very common in streetlights nowadays, lots of marijuana growers use them for growing and flowering.
Soil or hydro.
Soil gives the best smoke to our taste but it's more and dirtier work, hydro is clean but can be a disaster when it goes wrong. Also it's a lot harder to grow a good tasting marijuana bud on hydro, it's in our opinion for the more experienced/commercial grower. Another thing to consider here is pots with soil can be moved without problems where a hydro system is static and can't be moved. Lot's of marijuana growers get caught because their hydro system started leaking to the neighbours downstairs.
Fertilizers and nutrients.
Broken down to basic chemicals our marijuana plant needs fourteen of them, the first three are the so called macro nutrients: nitrogen [N], phosphorous [P] and potassium [K]. These macro nutrients are used in large amounts by the marijuana plant and are listed on fertilizer packaging in percentages and always in that order NPK. Then there are the secondary nutrients: calcium [Ca], sulfur [S] and magnesium [Mg]. The rest is made up of so called micro nutrients: iron [Fe], zinc [Zn], manganese [Mn], boron [B], cobalt [Co], copper [Cu], molybdenum [Mo] and chlorine [Ci]. Most fertilizers don't specify more then the NPK value because the other nutrients are not needed in such big quantities and are in your soil already. The marijuana plant needs [N] mostly before flowering and the marijuana plant starts using [P] when flowering starts. So for growing a NPK of 20-10-10 is good for flowering 5-20-10 is good. Be very careful with fertilizers, overdoing it is a common mistake and will totally ruin your marijuana plants. One of the signs of giving to much is curled leaves. Make sure you get natural products and no chemical products because you have to smoke it. Don't fall for special marijuana grow mixes since most are just cheap tomato fertilizers with a new label and triple the price. Good organic fertilizers are rabbit, chicken, horse and cow manure. There are some other good fertilizers such as fish emulsion but since they will really smell up the place they are to be used with caution.
Pots and containers.
Since the marijuana plants roots needs oxygen it's advisable to use clean potting soil mixed with some sand and perlite or a similar product ,this stuff also stops the soil from drying out to quickly. Another thing to think about is the size of your pots, the amount of space for roots to grow will determine the size the marijuana plant can grow so a bigger pot can grow a bigger marijuana plant. Make sure the pots have holes in the bottom so excessive water can drain, keeping the roots to wet will grow bacteria which will slow down growth a lot or even kill a marijuana plant. Don't use [red] clay pots because they evaporate the moisture to quickly and will dry out the soil.
Ph and Ph meters.
Ph meters come in a lot different shapes and sizes but they all do the same they check the chemical balance of soil and water. There are two basic types, paper strips for one time use and the Ph probe/meter, the probes/meters have a range from 0 = acid to 10 or 14 = alkaline with Ph 7 as the perfect balance. If you plan on growing more marijuana than one crop our advice is go for the Ph meter, it's a little bit more expensive at first but will pay itself back soon enough. You use the meter by putting it's probe in the soil or water and it will show the chemical balance immediately, it should read 7. When your water is to alkaline it can be neutralized by using sulfuric acid, nitric acid, vitamin C or vinegar, if your soil or water is to acidic it can be neutralized by using a solution of lime, bicarbonate of soda or wood ashes. Be very careful with adding those things, a few drops to much will chemically burn your marijuana plants or yourself !
Marijuana can withstand extreme temperatures however it will slow down it's chemical processes so a stable temperature of 68 ºF | 20 ºC is best. Under 57 ºF | 14 ºC the marijuana plants roots growth will slow down quickly so low temperature will give weak plants so don't put the pots directly on a cold floor, it will slow down root growth. Over 75 ºF | 24 ºC pests will have the perfect place to grow so keeping the temperature in the room stable will save you from a lot of trouble. When you have a 600 watts or more burning the room will heat up rapidly especially in summer so a fan might be needed. In winter with the lights on you might not need a fan but when the lights are off for twelve hours the temperature will drop quickly, so you can use a electric or gas heather with a thermostat to keep the temperature stable. If you use a fan don't let it blow to hard directly onto the plants, to much wind will keep the plant short and it will use it's energy to make a thick stem instead of wide branches.
About the same story goes for humidity, the marijuana plant can withstand both very low and high humidity however fifty procent is the best. However with more then a few marijuana plants humidity will rise which increases the chance of diseases and pests so use of a humidity meter is also advised.
Cutting and pruning.
By the time your marijuana plants are a few inches | centimeters high and the third set of leaves comes up you can cut the two leaves at the top, this will split the marijuana plant up in two branches, you can repeat this process a few times but give the marijuana plant time to grow and recover in between. This technique will increase your yield dramatically but cutting to much will slow the plant down very much since it needs energy to close it's wounds.
By the time your marijuana plants have the desired height you can set the timer for twelve hours of light, now the marijuana plant will start producing hormones and switch to flowering. It depends on the variety how long the flowering will take but the general rule is if the hairs on the buds are sixty to seventy five percent brown|red|orange it's time to harvest.
The easiest way is to remove all leaves while the marijuana plant is still in it's pot, when all the leaves are removed you have to cut the pointy leaves sticking out of the buds. These leaves will dry out and will spoil your taste and make your buds taste sharp so giving you a painful throat. When all non- smoke able stuff is removed the marijuana plants should be hung upside down in a dark well ventilated space, be sure mice and rats won't get to your harvest before you do, they love eating marijuana buds and marijuana seeds. Give your marijuana plant all the time it needs to dry and cure, this process will change the taste of your marijuana buds from sharp and unsmokeable to a sweet and heavenly tasting bud. The marijuana buds are ready to smoke when the twigs break instead of bend. Don't use heaters of any sort to speed up this process, it will result in a sharp flat taste !