Table of contents
complete guides in video format:
Cannabis Cultivation Videos
A place or a Room/growbox to grow in
Lamp (or sun)
Cannabis Seeds (or clones )
Soil (or other grow medium)
Ph test kit
Some people swear by soil and soil less mediums. If you decide to go this route make sure you get some quality soil. I have been using miracle grow potting soil with pretty good results. EDIT: Now that I got a soil ph meter I am seeing that my miricle grow soil was a bad idea. I got some scotts soil (home depot) and its ph is closer to nutral. EDIT again lol. Now I use fox farms "ocean forest". Its too strong for seedlings or clones so I start with fox farms "light warrior".
Just make sure it drains water well. you can add sand or perlite to make the soil more drain-able and airated. Once you get past the cups you will want to transplant into bigger pots. A good rule of thumb is for every foot of growth you will want 1 gallon of pot space. 5 gollons work pretty good.
I still start out with the rock wool and transplant to dirt later on. But if you cant get rock wool then soil will be fine to start in too. Just make sure you allow your medium to dry out before waterings. You want the roots to stretch and search for that water. The heart of the plant is its root system so roots are what I work on first.
Probably the most common hydroponics medium is rock wool. It works well. It is like fiber glass but its rock instead. It holds water and air very well. There are many different mediums you can use but to start out a new plant I use 1 inch rock wool cubes. The main thing you need to think about is what kind of system you are going to use and go from there. Rock wool holds lots of water and doesn't need watering as often as say volcanic rocks.
Water can be a medium also. I really like airoponics. That is my favorite system. It always has the perfect o2/ h2o ratio. So its never starved or flooded. It always grows.
The seed is where it all begins. You cant just take any old pot seed and expect it to grow bad ass weed. Its all in the genetics. To grow bad ass weed you have to have bad ass seeds.
I hear these are some good places to buy seeds...
I use rock wool cubes but for dirt I would use a small plastic cup to start my plants. All you have to do is place the sprouted seed in the medium about a half inch (1.2cm) deep. Cover the seed gently with dirt or if your using rock wool just kinda pinch the hole a little with your fingers. Shazzzam your on your way to growing some grade A kill.
just be careful that you dont put the seed in upside down
I strongly suggest using a combination of cool white and warm white florescent bulbs for growing your newly hatched plants. Place the lights about an inch away from the lights. Its ok if the plant grows into and touches the light a little since florescents don't get very hot. You will be fine. Just try to keep an average of one inch away. In less than a week you should see the roots working their way to the bottom of the cup. After this stage you can upgrade pots. I would suggest a gallon pot for your next transplant. You can continue using the florescent bulbs but they really don't put off enough light for fast growth. CXompact florescent bulbs (cfl's) work good too. You will want a bunch of them .
I like to use mh (metal halide) lights for my vegetative cycle. They emit a lot of the blue spectrum which the plant likes for root, stem and leaf growth. Depending on the size of your garden will determine what wattage you should use. I do it big so I use 1000 watt bulbs. They come in 250, 400 and 600 watts and a few others. Your plant will love this light.
high pressure sodium
Hps (high pressure sodium) bulbs are like mh lights but they put out a lot of red light. The plant likes this light when flowering. It also is a little bit brighter than a mh light of the same wattage. A 1000 watt mh puts out around 80,000 lumens and the hps put out about 125,000 lumens. And yes brighter is better. These lights are not cheap and if you can only afford one then just get the hps light.
The mh and hps lights (High intensity discharge) put out lots of heat. You will need a good ventilation system or a good a/c to keep the room from getting too hot. Some light hoods have built in vents you can hook up an a/c duct to exhaust the heat.
You will want to keep it at least 14-24 inches away from the tops of your plants. With a track you can lower the lights to 12 inches or less. With the hood we use we can touch the tops of the plants with the light hood without burning the plant. These cool tube hoods are not cheap but they seem superior to everything else I have used. See pic. But a good rule of thumb is to place your hand under the light and if it burns your hand it will burn your plant.
This is going to be your biggest expense after your light investment. It takes a lot of electricity to run a grow room. You have lights, vents, air conditioners and a few other things like pumps and fans. the cost of electricity can easily add up to a couple hundred dollars for a bigger setup. Smaller single lamp setup shouldnt make much of a difference on your bill.
(My bill has raised about ~$350 with my system. Its fairly large so yours probably wont get this high. I have 4 1000 lights, a big 240 a/c and a few fans)
Don't steal electricity. Whatever the bill is just pay it. If the elec. company reads their grid meter and things don't add up they will start investigating. That will probably get you busted. Some power companies can see what your meter is doing every day. They can see the power jump up at 8pm and drop back down at 8am every day. But don't worry because everything is pretty much automated. A real person doesn't get involved unless there is a problem. The cops can use this to bust you, but they wont check unless they have reason to believe you are doing something wrong. If thats the case you are already busted. They just use that to help get a warrant.
One major important thing is not to overload your circuits. 1000watt Hps and mh lights pull 9 amps. So if you are going to have a multi light system you may need to run some more cables to your breaker box. I always build a 240v power/timer box. I already know I will blow all the breakers in the room with ease. They sell these boxes for $200-300. I make mine for about $60-$80. I put about 8 120v plugs and around 4-6 240v plugs in it. I also use a 240v hot water heater timer. Works great up to 50 amps.
plain tap water is usually fine, just be sure to check/correct the PH-level before using it. Some countrys will have less suitable tap water perhaps containing chlorine or with a high PPM. The chlorine in it will burn the tips of the leaves. You can let the water sit out for a couple days to allow the chlorine to dissipate. You can also use those drops for the fish tank.
So how do I figure what my ph is? Its simple, buy a ph meter. Duh. Mine is a cheap digital meter that cost me $75. Mine is for water but they sell them for soil too. They can get expensive into the $300 range. If your tight on cash you can also buy ph drops. Its been a while but I think they are less than $10. So now you got your meter and need to change your ph. I go to the local hydroponic store and buy a bottle of ph up and ph down. Makes things real easy to adjust. You can also use baking soda to go up and vinegar to go down.
for more detailed information about PH levels, read this page: PH
I try to keep my seedlings and clones at about 100-250 ppms. After about 10 days I bump up the ppm to around 500-600 ppm for the next 2-3 weeks. After about a month I raise it to 800-1000 ppm. When I start to bud I am at around 1000 and start taking it up slowly to no more than 1500 ppm. I don't suggest going past 1300 till you have a couple crops down.
If you over fertilize your leaves will start to burn. If you see this you will need to flush immediately. Just use pure water and basically drown the plant. Four times the amount of grow medium should be fine. One other thing. If I use tap water it usually has a ppm of 250 in my area. I pretty much add 250 to whatever I'm shooting for. So for a 1000 ppm my meter will read 1250.
Towards the end of the flowering phase I stop feeding the plant nutrients and just give them pure water. This will allow the plant to use up the nutrients it already has and makes the smoke taste a lot smoother with out all the chemical taste.
During our grow cycle the plant likes a fertilizer high in nitrogen. Something like 20-5-5. It uses the nitrogen for strong stem and leaf growth. After you change over to your flowering cycle you will want a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous and potassium. Something like 5-15-15 should work well.
I use a two part solution that I feed the plant all year round. I use enhancement solutions for root, grow or bloom for what ever cycle I am in. It is a bit more costly this way but I have had good results so I am staying with it.
For more information about Cannabis fertilizer products and brands go to this page: Cannabis Fertilizers
I have oscillating fans that blow on my plants. It keeps them breathing fresh air and makes the stems strong. You will need strong stems to hold up those huge buds you are going to grow. Basically the wind rips the plant cells just like building a muscle.
The best way to do this is to buy a charcoal canister. These things work very well. I was doubtful myself but ended up buying one for about $600. They have smaller ones that are cheaper. You will just need to know how many cubic feet is in your grow room and select the right size for your garden. You will have to change the charcoal every year. I have heard that if you put the charcoal in an oven on warm setting for 1-1.5 hours then it will reactivate the charcoal.
There are many air fresheners you can buy to mask the smell too.
You will want to make sure your room is sealed or odors may get out.
So after about a month I take my plants and put them in my flowering room. You can just change the lights to 12/12 if your working out of one room. But my place is a machine. I try to keep a steady supply of new plants coming in and ready when my plants have budded. Saves me some time and its nice to bud back to back. Prolly saves me about 2 months of cloning/ growing using separate rooms.
Indoors we manipulate the seasons by keeping long hours of light for growth. 18-24 hours of light will keep the plant in grow mode. I usually leave my clones on 24 hours. And then when I put them under my mh light I keep it on 18 hours to save some money on my electric bill.
Once you are ready to bud the plants you will change the lights to 12 on 12 off. Mimicking fall/winter. We do not want any light getting into our room while the lights are off. Ever!
One thing to think about when you purchase a timer for the lights is the amps your lights will use. You don't want to melt your timer or even worse burn your factory down. A 1000 watt light uses about 9 amps. So make sure you buy the right stuff.
The Life Cycle of Cannabis
here are some different techniques:
How to LST
How to Fim
How to Top
How to Supercrop
How to Scrog (screen of green)
How to Sog (sea of green)
How to Vscrog
To make a clone you will need some sort of cloning solution or powder. These have hormones that help the clone root.
I take a clean razor and cut the shoots off the plant at a 45* angle in between the nodes. I try to make them around 4-5 inches tall. Usually about 4 nodes will do it. I have had good success with larger clones too. The node is where the plant branches out from the main shoots. We need to cut the clone and put it in our root solution pretty quick. We don't want to get an air bubble in the stem of our new clone. That slows things down if the clone even takes. So I just dipped the clone in the root solution and now I'm going to place them in my 1 inch rock wool cube. I push it in the cube till I feel the stem kinda rip through the wool some. This assures me that its held in tight and isn't just sitting in the open air. Don't go all the way through the wool cause that would be pointless.
I mist my clones with pure water daily. Some people use a clear top for their clone tray to help keep moisture in but I don't practice this. If you do use a cover make sure you open the top a few times a day or you can mold the new clones pretty quick. That is why I don't practice this style. I just mist them a couple times a day for about 10 day to 2 weeks. You will start seeing roots. I keep the clones under florescent tubes at 24 hours of light. For the first 3-4 days I keep them about 4-5 inches from the bulb. After that I place them about 1 inch from the light till I see roots. Once we have roots then I transplant into dirt cups or slap them in baskets for my airoponics system. We can now put the clones under our hid light and grow them like no tomorrow.
We breath o2 and breath out co2. Plant are the opposite. They grow faster under a higher concentration of co2. You can get a co2 tank and regulator and put it on a timer. I have never used co2 this way so I'm a little ignorant of how much to use.
What I use runs off a propane bottle and is basically a pilot light that burns when my lights are on. I bought it at the local hydroponic shop. It raises the temperature in my room about 10 degrees. Its kinda bad but when you are in a co2 enriched environment the plant actually does better at higher temps. 85*+.
How can I tell if my plant is male or female?
Why do I not want males?
What type of light should I use?
Where can I get seeds?
What is a grow medium?
What is a clone? and how do i make one?
What is hydroponics?
What are some different types of grow rooms?
What is ph? And how do I adjust it?
What ph do I need my medium at?
What should I watch out for so I dont stress my plant?
How much water do I give my plant?
Can I use water out of the tap?
What is ppm? How much nutrients should I use?
What kind of nutrient should I use?
What soil should I use?
Can I use back yard soil?
How do I germinate my seeds?
How much will i yield?
over or under watering
Quick Nutrient Deficiency Guide:
- Nitrogen: Entire plant is light green in color; lower leaves are yellow; growth is stunted....
- Phosphorous: Entire plant is bluish-green, often developing a red or purpleish cast; lower leaves may be yellow, drying to a greenish-brown to black color; growth may be stunted...
- Potassium: Leaves have a papery appearance; dead areas along the edges of leaves; growth is stunted...
- Magnesium: Lower leaves turn yellow along the tips and margin and between the veins; the lower leaves wilt...
- Calcium: Young stems and new leaves die...
- Zinc: Leaf tissue between the veins is lighter in color; yellowed; papery in appearance...
- Iron: Leaf tissue appears yellow, while the veins remain green...
- Copper: Leaf edges appear dark green or blue; leaf edges curl upward; young leaves permanently wilt...
- Sulfur: Young leaves turn pale green, while the older leaves remain green; plant is stunted and spindly...
- Mananese: Growth is stunted; lower leaves have a checkered pattern of yellow and green...
- Molybdenum: Leaves are stunted, pale green, and malformed...
- Boron: Young leaves are scorched at tips and margins...
Beginning Marijuana Cultivation (by MellowGold)
Beginners Guide to Growing Marijuana (by Widow Maker)