|How To Grow Marijuana|
By Dr. Clone
This is one method of growing marijuana indoors. It is based on growing with soil using metal halide lighting. You would probably get the same results using the same wattage of high pressure sodium lights. So you've decided to grow pot, but you don't have the money to buy several 1,000 watt halide lamps, and, unless you steal power (not a good idea, legal wise) four 1,000 watt halides will cost $256 every two months in British Columbia. That's a bit unwise, if your previous electric bill from BC Hydro (ponic) was $50 for two months. Then there is the large problem of massive amounts of heat, humidity and smell. And you might be concerned with all this equipment and activity and its association with a legal problem described as manufacturing or cultivating with the intent to distribute or some such charge. A simple way to solve this dilemma is to use one or two 400 watt halides. Some growers will tell you that this is way too little or you won't get anything worth while out of that wattage. I say hogwash to them. A 400 watt bulb will not give as much light as a 1,000 watt set-up, but the bulbs are cooler, last 2 to 3 times longer, and the spectrum is the same as 1,000 watt. You can flower six large plants (about 2' tall at the start of the 12/12 cycle), but the 2' tall plant will not flower as profusely as a one foot tall plant, nor will all of the light reach the back of the plant. So all in all, stick with a height of ONE FOOT high. This will allow you to flower 12 plants per 400 watt bulb. Place SIX plants ON tomato juice cans, coffee cans, etc., in a circle around the bulb, about one foot away from the bulb. There will be large spaces below for the other six to sit in. Each plant will yield around half to three quarters of an ounce of buds. If you have an exceptional variety (Big Bud, for example), seven or eight ounces per bulb can be grown, but you should be able to harvest 3 to 4 ounces (minimum) every 60 days (plus or minus one week, depending on variety). Let's start with your house. If your landlord lives upstairs, don't do it! If the landlord visits unannounced, don't do it. A bedroom with a closet works best. The closet should be a minimum 50 inches wide for 4-foot fluorescent fixtures. This will be your vegetative CLONE room. Keep this room open while the metal halide(s) are on. With a 400 watt system, you will not need to rewire unless you live in an old house with fuses. Your Grow Room White plastic is to be used in both the closet and a corner of your grow room. Since you want to contain as much light from the halide(s), it will be necessary to put a corner post where two walls (do not now exist) will meet. Put plants on an old table. In your veg/clone closet, hang one fixture above the upper shelf (one foot) and suspend the other fixture from clothes rod (make it adjustable -with chain).
Soil & Pots
I prefer one gallon nursery pots. For a good soil less mix, I use 50% peat, 50% perlite. To the dry mix add one tablespoon of fine dolomite lime and three tablespoons of bat guano per gallon (OF WHAT?). Mix well. Use a dust mask. Add water. Next, get a book like Marijuana Growers Handbook by Ed Rosenthal, as you need a reference book, no matter what. See the list of books at the bottom of this page and decide which is best for your needs.
Seeds vs. Clones
No question about it. Clones are best. If you start from seeds, it will be 5 - 6 months before you harvest. If you obtain clones, three months at most. If you have started your plants via seeds, keep them under fluorescent light until 6 to 8 inches tall. Transplant and put in the bulb area, two feet from bulb. In four to five weeks these plants will be anywhere from 10 - 36 tall, depending on variety and sex. At this point, take two clones off of each plant (long, lower branches are best.) To determine the sex of the plants, place a black, air-permeable piece of paper over one shoot of each plant. Within 7 days they will manifest sex characteristics on those shoots. Male plants (see your Handbook for pictures) -out! Or put all clones at this point in a closet with lights on a 12 hour on-12 hours off cycle. 8 - 14 days later, your clones will have male or female characteristics. Unless you want seedy pot (or seeds), kill all male plants. Put closet timer at 18 hours on/6 off as soon as sex identification is made. If you can, take two more clones off of each female and put in closet. Turn bulb timer to a 12/12 cycle and wait for your buds to start flowering. But, if you get clones from female plants, you won't have to do this. Just transplant immediately and put under bulb at 18/6 for one month. Take two clones from each plant and now turn closet lights to 18/6 and turn open area bulb to 12/12 (these plants will mature faster too). You won't need a fan in the closet. You will need an oscillating fan in the halide bulb grow area, blowing at the bulb. Also, a fan in the doorway will force hot air out of the grow area (an ugly box fan works fine).
Pot prefers a dry medium. Always. Don't keep plants saturated. Empty trays after watering, to keep humidity low. Low humidity will promote shorter, bushier plants. Water temperature should be about 70 degrees F. Never use hot tap water. It will kill your plants. Fill your pail with water & heat some on the stove to bring temperature up. PH factor will not be a problem if you have used fine dolomite lime. Fertilizer should be applied at half strength of what is recommended on jar or container, ONLY every third watering.
When To Harvest
The question of when to harvest tenderly cared-for plants is a question that puzzles many new growers. Most farmers' goal is to pluck the fruit at the exact moment when the potency of the bud is at is peak. Realistically, the skills needed to detect the specific day (or even hour) when a plant is at its peak can only be acquired through years of experience. However, even the novice grower should be able detect the window of time during which the harvest results in premier crop of outstanding bud. 0) Maturity and THC Although some growers are interested in fiber content, most people consider the plant to be mature when the percentage of THC found in the plant reaches its maximum. It is not practical for the average grower to actually measure THC in a plant, as the chemistry is somewhat complex. In a growing plant, each successive pair of leaves contains more THC than the previous pair. The budding tips of the plant contain the most THC of all. Both male and female plants contain THC. In fact, some research has shown that in the early stages of growth the males actually contain more THC than the females. From The Marijuana Growers Guide. Even conniseurs believe it is worth cutting and sampling shoots before the THC has reached its maximum. Clarke suggests that the best test for pot is to roll joints of several different strains, invite all your friends over, and see which pile of joints disappears first (Marijuana Botany, p. 94)
1) Plant Size
The size of the plant has little to do with its maturity. Outdoors, a plant might reach a height of over eight feet (2.5m) and still not be ready for harvest. Indoors, mature, budding plants can be under 18 (.5m) high.
The Key to Maturation The chronological age of the plant has little to do with its maturity. How quickly a plant matures is mostly dependent on the amount of light the plant receives each day (photoperiod). Typically, a plant will transition from the growing (vegetative) stage to the budding stage when the light per day drops below 12 hours. This is not to say that a 3-week-old seedling will begin to bloom when the light is cut. As a general rule, a plant must be a minimum of 60 days old before it is mature enough to respond appropriately to decreased light. For indoor growers, the decision on when to cut the photoperiod depends on available growing space, as well as the need to harvest weed. Some growers report that clones (cuttings) can be forced to bloom prior to 60 days old, perhaps since the cutting itself is somewhat mature at the time it is rooted.
3) Male Versus Female Almost always, male flowers will show prior to female buds. Thus, once the males in the garden are detected, you can be sure that the female budding process will start soon - usually within 1-2 weeks.
4) Different Varieties Many gardeners report that certain cannabis varieties take longer to mature than others. In particular, the narrow-leafed Sativas are said to take significantly longer to initiate and complete budding, as compared to the wide-leafed Indicas. Under some conditions, Sativas will require an additional month or more to mature after the Indicas have been harvested.
5) Time of Year Obviously, indoor growers cannot use the seasons as a guide to harvesting (though a cold winter-time grow room can significantly retard the growth of the plants). Outdoor growers on the other hand can use the seasons as a predictor of the ideal harvest time. In the Fall, once the length of day drops below 12 hours, the count-down to harvest will be begin. Weather conditions will affect the exact harvest day from year to year, but generally you can expect to harvest within the same two-week window each year. If you can avoid it, don't harvest during or immediately after a rainy spell.
6) Monitoring Buds The best way to tell if the plant is ready is to examine the bud. In the paragraphs below, the terms pistal and stigma refer to the white hairs in the center of the female bud. The term calyx refers to the pod that would surround the seed (were the plant to be fertilized). Many growers elect to pick each bud individually, as it reaches it prime. Buds are at their peak potency about one week after flower formation slows...Harvest the plants when about half the stigmas in the buds have withered... When the plants are left in the ground, the resinous qualities of the plant may become more apparent. The bracts and tiny leaves may swell in size...The resin content of these buds may be higher, [but] the grass will smoke more harshly than if the buds were younger when picked. From The Marijuana Growers Guide. In the primordial calyxes the pistils have turned brown; however, all but the oldest of the flowers are fertile and the floral clusters are white...Many cultivators prefer to pick some of their strains during this stage in order to produce marijuana with a clear cerebral, psychoactive effect. From Marijuana Botany. Eventually the pistils start to turn color from pale white to red or brown...When the glands have swelled and the pistil has receded into the false pod, the bud is ready to pick. From Closet Cultivator At the peak of florescence, all but the oldest of flowers have white pistil development...Another indicator is bouquet. When a plant is at the peak of florescence, it has a sweet and musky fragrance. Later, it loses the sweetness. From Sinsemilla Technique The best way to harvest is to examine the resin glands on each bud. As they turn from clear to amber, that is the optimum time to pick. Buds usually mature from the top down, if grown under artificial light, and you will end up with more high-quality pot if you pick each bud when ready. However, the plant will not just continue to produces buds at the same rate. Like any other plant, the flowering cycle lasts a specific period of time. If you wanted a further harvest of buds, the plant would need a second cycle of vegetative growth. This can be achieved indoors by simply turning the lights back up to a 24 hour cycle for a few weeks. Outdoors though, you are dependent on the seasons. Frost and long nights will usually kill the plant. Of course, such a strategy is only viable if growing a few plants. If your operation runs on an industrial scale, just drive the combine harvester through the field. (-peter alt.hemp posting)
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