Marijuana Grow Guide
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 I will stick to the subject of indoor growing.
I can't really help with naming the best sort for you to grow since this depends on what you can get locally and also on your taste,so try to find the sort you like to smoke.
Also the length of growing and flowering stages differ per variety so do some investigation before you start.
To grow without causing your neighbors to call the cops on you takes some preparation.
The ways most growers get caught is by smell,light and leakage so preparation of the growingroom is very important.
So the ideal growingroom is lightproof,waterproof and smellproof,depending on how much you want to grow this might mean an investment on carbonfilters and fans to keep the fresh airflow going.
Since the plants need some hours of absolute darkness to switch from growing to flowering your room needs to be lightproof,this of course also stops light from your lamps getting out.
Most 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 harvest since it rips to easy.
The plant loves light so to make best use of your lamps reflect all light and you should make the room white,some use aluminium foil but that doesn't work as good.
Seeds or clones
Get clones if you have that option,clones all come from one motherplant which is chosen for strength and yield so if you treat her right the clone will do the same.
If you can't get clones you have to go for seeds,I have to warn you for bad quality and high prices cause a lot of people out there will rip you off for 25 US$ per seed while production cost is not even 1 cent.
Not all seeds will grow to be plants and also there's a 50% chance your seeds can grow to be male which doesn't produce anything smokable so it's a gamble.
Growing and flowering
Like all plants marijuana growing depends on the amount of hours of light and darkness.
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 germination stage it 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.
The more light the plant gets the more yield it will give,for only growing seedlings single fluorescent tubes will do but if you want to flower and have a good yield I advice at least a 400 watt sodium bulb per 1 to 4 plants,but more is better so professionals use 1000 watts for that.
Since our 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 1000 watt sodium bulb will take close to 10 Amps 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 gonna pay if you were growing marijuana illegally.
Incandescent lights are not very efficient so they are not often used for our purpose.
Many growers use fluorescent tubes since they are cheap and widely available,you need at least twenty five watts per square foot 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 plants.
Sodium lamps give a bright yellow/orange light and are very common in streetlights nowadays,lots of growers use them for growing and flowering.
I use fluorescent tubes for the seeds to grow to two or three inches,them I move them under the metal halide lamp for growing,for flowering I use a sodium lamp.
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Soil or hydro
Soil gives the best smoke to my 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 bud on hydro,it's in my 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 growers get caught here cause their hydro system started leaking to the neighbors downstairs.
Since hydro is more specialized and technical I will stick to soil in this manual.
Broken down to basic chemicals our plant needs fourteen of them,the first three are the so called macro nutrients: nitrogen N,phosphorous P and potassium K,those are used in large amounts by the 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 and 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 plant needs N mostly before flowering,and the 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 plants,one of the signs of giving to much is curled leaves.
Make sure you get natural stuff and no chemical shit because you have to smoke it.
Don't fall for special marijuana growmixes 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,blood and urine yes piss but since they will really smell up the place they are to be used with caution.
Since the 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 plant can grow so a bigger pot can grow a bigger 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 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,paperstrips for one time use and the Ph probe/meter,the probes/meters have a range from 0=acid to 10 or 14=alkaline with Ph7 as the perfect balance.
If you plan on growing more than one crop my advice is go for the 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 plants or yourself !
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Marijuana can withstand extreme temperatures however it will slow down it's chemical processes so a stable temperature of 20C/68F is best.
Under 14C/57F the 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 24C/75F 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 1000 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 plant can withstand both very low and high humidity however fifty percent is the best.
However with more then a few plants humidity will rise which increases the chance of diseases and pests so use of a humiditymeter is also adviced.
Growing from seeds
Since seeds can become male or female you want to use at least twice as much seeds as you want to grow,some seeds don't do anything and some will produce weak plants.
To prepare the seeds put them in a glass of water at room temperature until they split open and the white part of the main root becomes visible,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 2 to 5 inches room between the 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.
I give them light for twenty four hours since it speeds things up.
By the time your plants are three to four inches tall you should let the soil dry out a bit before watering them again,this will give the roots a boost to grow.
Overwatering plants is one of the most made mistakes by newbies so be careful.
Cutting and splitting
By the time your plants are a few inches high and the third set of leaves comes up you can cut the two leaves at the top,this will split the plant up in two branches,you can repeat this process a few times but give the 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 plants have the desired height you can set the timer for twelve hours of light,now the plant will start producing hormones and switch to flowering.
Now 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 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 dryout and will spoil your taste and make your buds taste sharp so giving you a painful throat.
When all non-smokable stuff is removed the 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 buds and seeds.
Give your plant all the time it needs to dry and cure,this process will change the taste of your buds from sharp and unsmokable to a sweet and heavenly tasting bud.
The 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 !
Pests and diseases
The fashionconcious Aphid can have several colours: yellow,green,brown,black or red.
Found on stems and undersides of leaves mostly,they are very small oval things sometimes with wings and two little antenna on its back.
Since they tend to group in clusters they can be removed by hand but a more effective method are their predators called lacewings.
They bundle themselves up in leaves and bud,but are not very common indoors.
The name says enough,you'll see them flying up when you shake the plant.
They lay their white eggs at the underside of the leaves and feed themselves on juices from the leaves.
There are lots of sprays available but be careful,you don't want to spray chemicals on something you're about to smoke so you can make some yourself by using a few drops of washing up liquid dissolved in water to spray the plant with,make sure it doesn't drip into the soil and let it sit for fifteen minutes and spray the plant with clean water.
This together with manual removal will help against nearly all common pests,even those not mentioned here.
Repeat after a day and check often.
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