Marijuana Grow Guide

Marijuana Growing

Grow your own weed!  There is one surefire way of avoiding high prices and the grass DT’s: This is not as difficult as some “authorities” on the subject would make you believe. Marijuana is a weed, and a fairly vivacious one at that, and it will grow almost in spite of you.

Both the male and he female plant produce THC resin, although the male is not as strong as the female. In a good crop, the male will still be plenty smoke-able and should not be thrown away under any circumstances. Marijuana can reach a height of twenty feet (or would you rather wish on a star) and obtain a diameter of 4 1/2 inches. If normal, it has a sex ratio of about 1:1, but this can be altered in several ways. The male plant dies in the 12th week of growing, the female will live another 3 – 5 weeks to produce her younguns. Females can weigh twice as much as males when they are mature.

Marijuana soil should compact when you squeeze it, but should also break apart with a small pressure and absorb water well. A nice test for either indoor or outdoor growing is to add a bunch of worms to the soil, if they live and hang around, it is good soil, but if they don’t, well, change it. Worms also help keep the soil loose enough for the plants to grow well.

Cannabis Seeds – Genetics Types and Tips

Cannabis Hemp seeds

Cannabis Hemp seeds

To get good grass, you should start with the right seeds. A nice starting point is to save the seeds form the best batch you have consumed. The seeds should be virile, that is, they should not be grey and shriveled up, but green, meaty, and healthy appearing. A nice test is to drop the seeds on a hot frying pan. If they “CRACK,” they are probably good for planting purposes. The seeds should be soaked in distilled water overnight before planting. BE SURE to plant in the ground with the pointy end UP. Plant about 1/2″ deep. Healthy seeds will sprout in about five days. SPROUTING The best all around sprouting method is probably to make a sprouting box (as sold in nurseries) with a slated bottom or use paper cups with holes punched in the bottoms.

The sprouting soil should be a mixture of humus, soil, and five sand with a bit of organic fertilizer and water mixed in about one week before planting. When ready to transplant, you must be sure and leave a ball of soil around the roots of each plant. This whole ball is dropped into a baseball-sized hold in the permanent soil. If you are growing/transplanting indoors, you should use a green safe light (purchased at nurseries) during the transplanting operation. If you are transplanting outdoors, you should time it about two hours before sunset to avoid damage to the plant. Always wear cotton gloves when handling the young plants. After the plants are set in the hole, you should water them. It is also a good idea to use a commercial transplant chemical (also purchased at nurseries) to help then overcome the shock.

Why genetics is important

It’s very important to start with good marijuana seed genetics. You should attempt to buy marijuana 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…

Some strains are meant for indoor growing only, while others are bred for growing outdoors. Choose your strains wisely as different stains can have different effects and characteristics.

Sativa or Indica?

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 bred 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.

Germinating Marijuana Seeds

There are 3 things you need to know to correctly germinate marijuana seeds. For a seed to sprout, it needs moisture, darkness, and warmth. If possible, use distilled water because its pure, and free of any chlorination. Bottled Spring water will work as well.

Best Method to Germinate Marijuana Seeds

This method always works for me. Place the seeds in a wet, folded paper towel. Make sure the seeds are in between 2 layers of the paper towel.

Next, put the paper towel on a small plate, and place in a warm cupboard. The seeds must be kept warm to germinate properly, make sure the temperature is between 19°C and 26°C (66°F – 79°F). Now fill up a clean glass with water, and place next to the seeds. I will explain in a minute.

Make sure to keep an eye on the paper towel, you’ll need to make sure it stays moist. When it starts to feel like it’s drying out, take the cup of (room temperature) water you have next to the seeds, and pour a little on. NOT TOO MUCH. You don’t want to fully submerge the seeds, so just a little water. Since you filled the cup before, its now room temperature so you won’t shock the seeds.

Within 48 hours or so, you may start to see the seeds opening up. Next a small white root will appear, indicating it’s time to plant! Handle carefully so you don’t break this root!

Marijuana Seeds Not Germinating?

Be patient. Most seeds will sprout within 48 hours, although some take 72 hours or longer. Just make sure you keep the paper towel moist, and wait. Take a look at the temperature conditions, try placing a thermometer around the seeds to make sure its warn enough (or too warm as well).

Growing Marijuana Outdoors

Contrary to popular belief, grass grows well in many place on the North American continent. It will flourish even if the temperature does not raise above 75 degrees. The plants do need a minimum of eight hours of sunlight per day and should be planted in late April/early May, BUT DEFINITELY, after the last frost of the year. Growing an outdoor, or “au naturel”, crop has been the favored method over the years, because grass seems to grow better without as much attention when in its natural habitat.

Of course, an outdoors setting requires special precautions not encountered with an indoors crop; you must be able to avoid detection, both from law enforcement freaks and common freaks, both of whom will take your weed and probably use it. Of course, one will also arrest you. You must also have access to the area to prepare the soil and harvest the crop.

There are two schools of thought about starting the seeds. One says you should start the seedlings for about ten days in an indoor starter box (see the soil and a little bit (not too much, now) of good water soluble nitrogen fertilizer. The soil should now be watered several times and left to sit about one week. The plants should be planted at least three feet apart, getting too greedy and stacking them too close will result in stunted plants. The plants like some water during their growing season, BUT not too much. This is especially true around the roots, as too much water will rot the root system. Grass grows well in corn or hops, and these plants will help provide some camouflage. It does not grow well with rye, spinach, or pepperweed. It is probably a good idea to plant in many small, broken patches, as people tend to notice patterns.

When growing marijuana outdoors, you don’t have to worry about 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. Chipmunks and rodents too.

Growing Outdoors can Present Challenges

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 pot can be better than outdoor, but the best smoke I ever tasted was outdoor pot, 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 evaporation. 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.

Find A Good Spot to Grow

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.

Use Good Top Soil, Its Makes a Difference

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 minimum. 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 pot, 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 pot 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…

Outdoor Marijuana Needs a Good Water Supply

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 pressure 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.

Growing Marijuana Indoors

Indoor growing has many advantages, besides the apparent fact that it is much harder to have your crop “found,” you can control the ambient conditions just exactly as you want them and get a guaranteed “good” plant. Plants grown indoors will not appear the same as their outdoor cousins. They will be scrawnier appearing with a weak stems and may even require you to tie them to a growing post to remain upright, BUT THEY WILL HAVE AS MUCH OR MORE RESIN! If growing in a room, you should put tar paper on the floors and then buy sterilized bags of soil form a nursery. You will need about one cubic foot of soil for each plant. The plants will need air, so the room must be ventilated. (however, the fresh air should contain NO TOBACCO smoke.)

At least eight hours of light a day must be provided. As you increase the light, the plants grow faster and show more females/less males. Sixteen hours of light per day seems to be the best combination, beyond this makes little or no appreciable difference in the plant quality. The walls of your growing room should be painted white or covered with aluminum foil to reflect the light. The lights themselves can be either bulbs of fluorescent. Figure about 75 watts per plant or one plant per two feet of florescent tube. The fluorescents are the best, but do not use “cool white” types. The light sources should be an average of twenty inches from the plant and NEVER closer than 14 inches.They may be mounted on a rack and moved every few days as the plants grow. The very best light sources are those made by Sylvania and others especially for growing plants (such as the “gro lux” types).

For growing marijuana indoors, A small indoor space should be found that can be used to spout marijuana 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 growing. 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.

Ventilation is Important when Growing Marijuana Indoors

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 switches 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.

Reflective Walls and Spill Precautions

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.

An Area for Germination and Supplies

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.

LED Grow Lights for Marijuana

Now you Need a Light, Right?  Yep! LED’s are a great light source and are proven to grow marijuana. They are a great inconspicuous way to grow. A 90 watt LED light system has the same output power as a 400 watt HPS or MH bulb! Just by reading the point form info above you can see a clear picture of why the LED Grow lights are great for marijuana. Here you can see the Led Grow lights on the Market

A couple of years ago if someone mentioned LED Grow Lights for growing marijuana you’d surely hear a chuckle. Now? Well, this  type of lights are the most respected option and we know why

Here are some of the reasons why LED lights are the best for indoor growing:

  • Using LED’s for growing saves around 80% from your energy bill vs. HPS and Metal Halide. This is a green solution which is not only easier on the environment, but also your wallet!
  • Low Heat. How many times did you forget to raise your HPS light and burn the tops of your plants? LED grow lights emit very little heat. This also means your grow room won’t be so hot, so its easier to control temperature. Your thermal footprint will also be less, providing a more discreet growing experience.
  • LED growing lights have a long life span. Some are rated for 100,000 hours!
  • Wide Spectrum. The LED’s provide the right blend of light to be equally effective during vegetative and budding stage.

How to increase THC yield

There are several tricks to increase the number of females, or the THC content of plants: You can make the plants mature in 36 days if you are in a hurry, by cutting back on the light to about 12 hours, but the plants will not be as big. You should gradually shorten the light cycle until you reach fourteen hours. You can stop any watering as the plants begin to bake the resin rise to the flowers. This will increase the resin a bit. You can use a sunlamp on the plants as they begin to develop flower stalks. You can snip off the flower, right at the spot where it joins the plant, and a new flowough a lab of some sort and costs about $35 a gram.)

To use the colchicine, you should prepare your presoaking solution of distilled water with about 0.10 per cent colchicine. This will cause many of the seeds to die and not germinate, but the ones that do come up will be polyploid plants. This is the accepted difference between such strains as “gold” and normal grass, and yours will DEFINITELY be superweed. The problem here is that colchicine is a posion in larger quantities and may be poisonous in the first generation of plants. Bill Frake, author of CONNOISSEUR’S HANDBOOK OF MARIJUANA runs a very complete colchicine treatment down and warns against smoking the first generation plants (all succeeding generations will also be polyploid) because of this poisonous quality. However, the Medical Index shows colchicine being given in very small quantities to people for treatment if various ailments. Although these quantities are small, they would appear to be larger than any you could receive form smoking a seed-treated plant. It would be a good idea to buy a copy of CONNOISSEUR’S, if you are planning to attempt this, and read Mr. Drake’s complete instructions.

Another still-experimental process to increase the resin it to pinch off the leaf tips as soon as they appear from the time the plant is in the seedling stage on through its entire life-span. This produces a distorted, wrecked-looking plant which would be very difficult to recognize as marijuana. Of course, there is less substance to this plant, but such wrecked creatures have been known to produce so much resin that it crystallizes a strong hash all over the surface of the plant – might be wise to try it on a plant or two and see what happens.

Marijuana Growth Problem Chart

Always check the overall environmental conditions prior to passing judgment – soil around 7 pH or slightly less – plenty of water, light, fresh air, loose soil, no water standing in pools

SYMPTOM

PROBLEM

CURE

Larger leaves turning yellow smaller leaves still green.

Nitrogen deficiency

add nitrate of soda or organic fertilizer.

Older leaves will curl at edges, turn dark, possibly with a purple cast.

Phosphorus deficiency

add commercial phosphate.

Mature leaves develop a yellowish cast to least veinal areas.

Magnesium deficiency

add commercial fertilizer with a magnesium content.

Mature leaves turn yellow and then become spotted with edge areas turning dark grey.

Potassium deficiency

add muriate of potash.

Cracked stems, no healthy support tissue

Boron deficiency

add any plant food containing boron.

Small wrinkled leaves with yellowish vein systems.

Zinc deficiency

add commercial plant food containing zinc.

Young leaves become deformed, possibly yellowing.

Molybdenum deficiency

use any plant food with a bit of molybdenum in it.

How to Prune Marijuana, Pruning and Trimming Tips

Each time a growing tip is clipped, the stem branches into two shoots, which begin to grow from the nearest leaf axils. Pruning a growing marijuana plant is an easy way of controlling uneven growth without seriously harming the plant. Don’t prune the growing tip of a young seedling until after the first five-bladed leaves have formed, and the vegetative stage has begun.

Many growers prune the growing tips after four to five weeks growth to develop lower branches which will quickly fill all the horizontal space.

The greatest potency of the growing plant is found in the growing tips, and by three months, they should make a high quality smoke.

You can basically prune growing tips at any stage of the plant’s development, but just don’t overdo it.

Severe pruning can harm the growth of the plant.

It is always better to plan a pruning strategy for your developing plants, rather than haphazardly clipping off growing tips on an irregular basis.

Each time a growing tip is removed, the plant takes a few days to recover before new growth resumes on that branch.

The amount of new growth formed with continued pruning is limited by the genetic structure of the seed, and the conditions of the environment.

It is better to prune your plants at an early stage of their development, than towards the end of the vegetative stage or during flowering.

It is always better to prune growing tips in the morning than in the evening, as it gives the plant a full day to recover and heal the wounds.

It is not recommended that you prune every new node in a developing plant. Rather prune every second or third node to allow the plant time to recover.

Wait for the new node to start growing before clipping the young branch a few millimeters above the previous node’s newly formed leaves.

It is always better to use a small scissors to prune your plants, than to simply pluck off the growing tips by hand.

Do not prune any growing tips if you notice that your plant’s health is declining and it has started losing leaves. Although you should always smoke the pruned growing tips, plants should be pruned to develop their growth rather than for smoking purposes.

While it may be tempting to prune female buds during early flowering, your harvest will be severely reduced by doing so.

Cannabis Indica is a genetically smaller and more bushy plant than Cannabis Sativa and usually requires less pruning.

Never prune more than the single growing tip, or upper-most node, from any branch on the growing plant.

The upper-most growing tip of an unpruned marijuana plant will always be more potent that the top buds of a pruned plant grown in similar conditions.

Pruning the tallest branches ensures that the lower branches grow upwards, forming a larger surface area for the light to cover.

The clear fluid that often flows from the end of a newly pruned branch, contains substances which seal the wound and aid the healing process.

Although it is recommended that you remove all dying leaves from the plant, you should resist the temptation to prune too many healthy leaves.

To grow seedless marijuana, you should remove all the male plants as soon as they are discovered, by pruning the main stem right above the ground.

Although it may be better developed, a pruned marijuana plant does not always produce more buds than an unpruned plant.

Another good reason for pruning is to take cuttings from a strong growing, favorite plant for further hydroponic development.

Marijuana growers often prune their plants in an attempt to limit their height and prevent unwanted detection.

An alternative to pruning for developing growth, is to bend the tops of the branches over and tie the growing tips down with string or wire.

Remember that by pruning a growing tip, you are removing the most potent part of the plant, thereby spoiling it’s chance of reaching full maturity.

By pruning all the buds at harvest time, rather than cutting the stem off above the ground, you could easily harvest your plant a second time.

By severely pruning your marijuana plants you are lowering their resistance to harmful natural enemies such as insects, fungus and frost.

You can make a great cup of tea, by chopping up some pruned growing tips and soaking them in boiled water for a few minutes.

Cannabis is a very hardy and adaptable plant, and will endure serious harm to it’s leaves, branches and stem before it dies.

How to flower marijuana?

You can Flower Marijuana by introducing 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 vegetative 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.

13 Light, 11 Dark in Increase Flower Size

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.

Introduce Nutrients While Flowering Marijuana

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 flowering. 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 herb. 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 indefinitely 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 enough flowers), turn the lights back to 8-10 hours. Now the plant will start to ripen quickly, 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 vegetative 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.

How to Clone Marijuana (Video)

Cloning Marijuana? Basically you cut a small section from a marijuana plant, then re-plant the clipping. The clipping will sprout roots and grow into its own plant.

Harvesting, Drying and Storing

The male plants will be taller and have about five green or yellow sepals, which will split open to fertilize the female plant with pollen. The female plant is shorter and has a small pistillate flower, which really doesn’t look like a flower at all but rather a cluster of white hairs. If you don’t want any seeds, just good dope, you should pick the males before they shed their pollen as the female will use some of her resin to make the seeds. After another three to five weeks, after the males are gone, the females will begin to wither and die (from loneliness?), this is the time to pick.

In some nefarious Middle Eastern countries, farmers reportedly put their beehives next to fields of marijuana. The little devils collect the grass pollen for their honey, which is supposed to contain a fair dosage of THC. The honey is then enjoyed by conventional methods or made into ambrosia. If you want seeds – let the males shed his pollen then pick him. Let the female go another month and pick her. To cure the plants, they must be dried. On large crops, this is accomplished by constructing a drying box or drying room. You must have a heat source (such as an electric heater) which will make the box/room each 130 degrees. The box/room must be ventilated to carry off the water-vapor-laden air and replace it with fresh. A good box can be constructed from an orange crate with fiberglass insulated walls, vents in the tops, and screen shelves to hold the leaves. There must be a baffle between the leaves and the heat source. A quick cure for smaller amounts is to: cut the plant at the soil level and wrap it in a cloth so as not to loose any leaves. Take out any seeds by hand and store. Place all the leaves on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil and put them in the middle sheld of the oven, which is set on “broil.” In a few seconds, the leaves will smoke and curl up, stir them around and give another ten seconds before you take them out.

When to Harvest Marijuana

How do you know when to harvest marijuana?

The time when to harvest marijuana can be anywhere between 6-12 weeks after the plant starts flowering, then it should be ready for harvest. I know that sounds vague, so we’ll have to look for some visual cues. 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, the flowers are ripe to harvest.

The male plants will be taller and have about five green or yellow sepals, which will split open to fertilize the female plant with pollen. The female plant is shorter and has a small pistillate flower, which really doesn’t look like a flower at all but rather a cluster of white hairs. If you don’t want any seeds, just good dope, you should pick the males before they shed their pollen as the female will use some of her resin to make the seeds.

Should I Harvest Early, or Late? What’s the Difference?

If you harvest early, the THC content will be higher, therefore it will produce more of a cerebral “head high”. When a plant is in the later stages of budding, the THC starts to turn into what’s known as CBD. CBD is thought to produce more of a body buzz then THC. The high will be less clear and will sometimes make you feel stupid. So the later you wait to harvest, the more CBD you’ll be smoking.

I would recommend experimenting a little, no I don’t mean you need to find a white lab coat, just try harvesting at different times and “feel” the results. Try and find a balance between the two. When 50-65% of the hairs turn color, it’s usually a good time. The right time to harvest marijuana is up to you.

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.

Harvesting When Growing to Sell

When growing marijuana for the purpose of selling, many growers will let the buds over-ripen, which causes the weight to increase due to the extra resin in the seed pods. Some growers wait far too long, and the THC content is so low it’s hard to catch a decent buzz. If you decide to harvest marijuana late for weight purposes, remember to cut a few buds for yourself. Just make sure you cut from the middle or the top.

Difference between Male and Female plants

Marijuana plants are either male or female, and its important to know the difference between male and female marijuana plants. The male plants produce pollen which pollinates the flowers of the female plant, which once pollenized, produce seeds. If the female plant isn’t pollenized (if there are no male plants nearby producing pollen), the flower/buds continue to develop and produce THC. Female plants which are not pollenized are referred to as sensemilla (without seeds).

Usually 40-50% of the plants are male.


How to tell the Difference between Male and Female Marijuana Plants?

Males are often, but not always, tall with stout stems, sporadic branching, and few leaves. Males are usually harvested except those used for breeding, after their sex has been determined, but before the pollen is shed. When harvesting, especially if close to females, cut the plant off at the base, taking care to shake the male as little as possible. This helps prevent any accidental pollination by an unnoticed, open male flower.

When a male enters the stage of flower development, the tips of the branches where a bud would develop will start to grow what looks like a little bud (little balls) but it will have no white hairs coming out of it. Females will have no balls and will have small white hairs.

Drying and Curing Marijuana

How to Dry Marijuana?

Do you want great, smooth smoke? Dry and Cure it! When drying and curing marijuana, you must have patience. The best way to dry the plant is the process of slow drying. Since marijuana leaves are made up of 70-80% water, its quite necessary to dry them before smoking. As a rule of thumb, the slower the better. If you are in a hurry to try your freshly cut buds, I will show you a couple techniques to drying faster below.

The Slow Dry (Curing) Method, Best Way to Dry Marijuana.

Start by finding a good, ventilated space in your house. A cool dark room will work best, although a large closet would work as well. The temperature should be in the low 70’s (20’s Celsius), and air flow is vital to prevent MOLD. Do not use a moist section of your basement. Common sense will prevail here.

Next, drape a string across the room (or closet), from one wall to the other. After cutting each stalk which contains the buds, attach them to the string using a clothes pin, hanging them upside down. This process should take between 1 to 2 weeks to fully dry/cure the buds. You’ll be glad you waited patiently during this stage, because the taste will be much better.

Quick Dry Methods, Quickest Way to Dry Marijuana.

Most new growers will choose this method, I know, you’re excited to try your smoke. Good news is, its possible to dry marijuana faster.

Turning up the heat

Raise the temperature in the room (or space) anywhere from 90° to 110°F (32°C to 43°C). You may need to use a space heater. Be creative with this one, just be careful! This should dry your crop in around 4 days. Some will dry out quicker than others depending on where you located the space heater, so make sure to check them often. Try and use a fan to get the air moving around, this will help against mold.

Using an Oven to Quick Dry Marijuana

Use this method “only” for small amounts, or emergencies. Pre-heat your oven to around 150-175°F, and place a small amount of buds across the grill for around 10 minutes. Although this method works, in most cases the smoke turns out to be harsh. Important: Keep a close eye when oven drying marijuana, if the marijuana “over cooks”, the potency will be lost. We need to gently heat and dry it.

Microwave Steam Dried Marijuana

I have not tried this method, it was reported by a visitor of Concept420. Apparently the smoke is pretty good for a fast dry method. Try only a single bud first for validity. If you try it, be SURE to let me know how it turned out.

What you will need to start:

  • Tupperware container with a lid (that fits)
  • 3 Paper Towels
  • Fresh Buds (cut into small chunks)
  • Water (h20)
  • A Microwave with the ability to change power settings

Put a 1/4 piece of paper towel and put it in the bottom of the tupperware container. Next put all your cut-up weed pieces. Now fold the other 2 paper towels and quickly dip them in water, making sure they are evenly wet. Now squeeze out most of the water, then unfold the towels and place on top of the container. Now place the lid on top and press down all corners except for one, so the steam can escape.

Now we can set the container in the microwave. Set the power to around 40%, set for 1 minute and let it go. Take it out when the minute is up and let it sit for around 20 seconds. If the bottom paper towel is “wet”, change it right away. If the 2 “top” paper towels are wet, get them wet again and pet the lid back on.

Microwave for another minute, and then you must repeat this process for around 4 minutes, or until its dry enough to smoke.

If you know another good and reliable method for drying marijuana, please let me know by emailing [email protected]

Proper Storage of Marijuana

Let assume you just dried a harvest, or you came into some extra cash and bought a ton of weed. It’s going to take time to smoke it all, so you must store the extra. Proper storage of marijuana is critical, due to the fact bacteria will grow on damp buds. Many of these bacteria are quite dangerous, and can cause severe allergic reactions. So let’s play it safe ok?

Jars Method

You will need glass mason (or fruit canning) jars with sealable tops. Place the DRY buds inside and seal. Store the jars in a cool dark place, the fridge if you need to. Keep an eye on your bud for mold. If the bud was completely dry going in, you should be fine. Its been reported that the bud will actually “cure” better using this method, producing some sweet smellin buds!

Freezer Method

To properly use the freezer method, you need to have access to vacuum sealable bags. Its very important to remove all air from the bag because the remaining air could dry the bud, and ruin the flavor. The only downside to this is you may have some squished buds. After placing the marijuana into the sealable bag and removing the air, place into your freezer. The great thing is, mold and fungus will not grow in freezing conditions. When it comes time to smoke, you don’t need to thaw, just blaze away!

The Downside: All plastic bags carry a static charge, which pulls the crystals off your bud and sticks to the plastic. This means you are reducing the potency slightly.