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Beginners Guide

Beginners Guide To Get You Started In Growing Cannabis



 

#1101
green4dj

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Thanks for the guide! I had a question though. You said to have a 30% runoff is that for every time you water? Also I ended up with fungus gnats because of overwatering was this because I was watering too frequently and not necessarily with too much water? Thirdly I ended up covering the top of my soil with sand to stop the gnats(about 2") so how can I tell if the top of my soil is dry?

#1102
medicin

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The Beginners Guide To Get You Started in Growing Cannabis
The Basics

Ok so I get a lot of the same questions from “NOOBS” or Beginners on how to start growing cannabis. So im going to try to compile a write-up on what’s needed to get a grow started. Now this will just cover the basics to get you on your way to growing nice plants.

First is a list of items that are a must to have to start a grow. Ill list the items 1st then described them in detail later.

Items:
1. Viable seeds.
2. Medium to grow them in
3. Lights
4. Pots/containers
5. Ventilation
6. Thermometer/Hydrometer
7. Ph testing equipment
8. Nutrients/Supplements
9. Odor & Odor Control
10. Watering

The 1st thing you need to start growing cannabis is of course SEEDS. Viable seeds should be dark in color w/ darker spots or stripes, & should have no cracks on them. Non-viable seeds will be light green to white in color & if they have cracks in the shell, most likely they are no good. For beginners it is a good idea to use “Bag Seed” for your 1st attempt at growing, why?, because: bag seeds are free, & if your grow fails or you encounter a lot of problems your not out any money spent on higher quality genetics, & gives you the experience to grow quality genetics next round. I do get people asking “What are “bag seeds” & where do I get them“? Well just like it sounds, bag seeds are seeds you find in a bag of weed you have bought, weather its schwagg or dank.

Viable seeds should look like these: dark w/ spots or stripes
Posted Image

Non-viable/immature seeds look like this: white or green, light in color. seeds in the right cup
Posted Image

2. Growing Mediums: Rock Wool Cubes, Jiffy Cubes, Soils (organic, or Non-Preferted Soils), Perlite & Vermiculite, & Hydroponics are the most common. Rock Wool & Jiffy Cubes are mainly used to start seeds in or used in hydroponic systems. If you plan to use soil to grow in, I suggest a organic soil, you do not want to use Pre-ferted soil mixes, as this can cause many problems down the road. Now depending on where you live & the access you have to stores, & your budget, you have many choices. Fox Farm Ocean Forest is probable the #1 used organic soil, Black Gold Natural Organic, Roots Organic, & Harvest Moon is another top quality soil to use if you can find it in your area or order online. For those who have limited access to soils, I recommend Garden Safe Natural Organic, & Miracle Gro Organic, Kelloggs Organic, & Jungle Growth (but look for their organic line), Earths Finest Organic (@ houston garden center) which can be found at most of your local home improvement /garden centers. Ive only been able to find Lime (for soil) at Ace Hard Ware, besides online. Or of course you could always make your own soil mix. When growing in soil its recommended to add 20-25% perlite to your soil mix for extra drainage & O2 retention, & 1Tbsp of lime per gallon of soil to help maintain a correct Ph. Next you could grow “Hempy Style”, which is using the medium perlite & vermiculite to grow in “Hempy Buckets“, using them in a 4:1 ratio, 4 parts perlite to 1 part vermiculite. Next is hydroponics, pretty self explanatory, but a little on the advanced side of growing.
For soil grows you want your soils ph to be between 6.3-7.0 (this is where a ph testing kit is needed, a digital ph meter is recommended). To measure your soils ph, you check the “runoff” water. To get a good reading & to flush out any old fert salts, always water till you get 30% runoff, eg: 1 gal in, 1/3rd gal runoff. This is the water that drains out of the bottom of the pot, & will tell you your soils ph. Optimum soil ph is 6.5-6.8, but letting it drift between the correct range will allow for optimal nutrient uptake. You adjust your soils ph by adjusting your plants water ph. Eg: if soil ph is too low, use a higher watering ph & vise versa. A good water ph should be around 6.5-6.8 IF the soils ph is in the correct range. Never add ferts/nutes to your soil if the ph is out of range, correct the ph 1st, then start/restart your ferts/nutes. Improper ph will cause nutrient lockout & stunted growth & unhealthy plants. Hempy grows ph should be around 6.2. Hydroponics ph range needs to be between 5.5-6.1, with 5.8 ph is optimal, & also letting the ph drift between the correct range will give you the best nutrient uptake.

Ph Nutrient Chart:
Posted Image

3. Lights: The rule of thumb is 50-100 watts per plant or a minimum of 3500-5000 lumens at maturity (about 2wks old). There are 2 main type of lights to grow with besides sunlight, & they are: HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights, which come in 4 major types: Metal Halide (MH) & High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH), & Hybrid - Dual Arc, which are MH & HPS in one bulb. MH lights are used for the vegetation cycle (if u can find & afford it, look for 6500k & 5500k “daylight” MH bulbs) & HPS are used for the flowering cycle, all though HPS can be used for the entire grow cycle. The 2nd type of light to use is fluorescent lighting, weather it’s the tube type or the screw in type also know as CFL (compact fluorescent light), keep your fluorescent lighting between 2-4“ away from plants. Also when buying CFL's you want to look at the actual watts NOT equivalent watts, eg: 15w CFL (actual) = 60w incandecent (equivalent). CFL's also can be found as clamp lights, you can use Y spliters to double your lighting off 1 socket. This is where you need to pay the most attention to when buying fluorescent lights. Plants photosynthesis happens best at the color spectrum 6500k & 5500k for vegetation cycle & 2700k & 2200k for flowering cycle. When buying fluorescent lighting you want to look for these #’s on the package also known as Kelvin. 6500k & 5500k can be called “full spectrum or daylight” bulbs & 2700k are called “warm white” bulbs, 2100k is found in HPS bulbs, not fluorescent lighting.
Chlorophyll Activity:
Posted Image
Notice the spikes at 6500k, 5500k & 2700k & 2200k.

Good lighting links: How Light is Measured & Lighting Spectrum and Photosythesis & All About Lighting & Getting the Most From your Lights

4. Pots & Containers: The rule of thumb is 1 gallon pot per foot of plant, eg: 2ft tall plant = 2 gallon pot. It is recommended to start your seeds/plants in small pots/containers & work up to bigger pots as the plants grow. Starting in small pots (Party Cups are common) & working up as the plant grows allows the roots to fill up the pot/container & use up all the soils nutrients & space will help prevent voids in the soil, & bigger root balls/mass = bigger yields. Keep in mind that once a plant is put into flower they can double or triple in size, so keep that in mind when doing your final transplant. Container size for hydroponics is related to the method of hydroponic growing, & # of plants.

5. Ventilation: This includes air movement, exhaust & intake fans. Air movement in the grow room is important for many reasons. You want preferable a oscillating fan blowing on your plants & lights to help keep them cool, & for the plants it helps to strengthen their stems & overall health. Exhaust & intake fans are used to keep the environment in the grow room & optimal levels, by exchanging out the old O2 for fresh CO2 & to cool down lights.

6. Thermometer/Hydrometer: These are necessary so you can help control your grow rooms environment. For the vegetation cycle optimal temperatures & humidity levels are: 75-78F (lights on) & 5-10 degrees lower when lights off, & 50-70% RH. For Flowering the optimal temperatures are 75-78F during early flowering, & 80-83F for mid-late flowering to help stimulate trich production, & The RH for flowering needs to be around 40%, & lower as you near harvest.

7. Ph testing equipment: This is a must have item if you want to grow nice healthy plants. There are several different kinds of ph testing kits out there, but if plan to continue to grow you need to invest in a DIGITAL ph meter. Meters can run between 15$ to several 100$. Youll also need some ph up & down to regulate the proper ph of your grow. You can buy ph up/down which is recommended, of for quick household fixes, one could use for ph up: baking soda, & for ph down: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or distilled vinegar. If your ph is way off & you cant correct it, it is suggested to "flush" your plants with plain ph'd water 3 times the amount of pot size, eg: 2gal pot = 6gal flush, to flush/remove any salt build-up in the soil. I also reccomend if your flushing to correct ph & removing salt build up, to use 1/4 strength ph'd fertilizer on the last flushing.

8. Nutrients/Supplements: Again this will have to do with your budget & access to these items. If your using 1 of the above mentioned soils you shouldn’t need any fertilizers till week 3-4 of grow. For the vegetation cycle you want a Vegetation/all purpose fert with a N-P-K like 20-20-20 or 6-2-4. You want the NPK values to be equal or close to equal, & in vegetation you want the N & K levels higher or equal to P. In the flowering cycle you want a Bloom/Flowering fert with a N-P-K value like 15-30-15, or 5-15-10, where the N values is always lower than P &K, & you want your P values the highest or equal to K. Some good recommended Nutrient Companies: Advanced Nutrients, Fox Farm, General Hydroponics, to name a few. Some lesser quality but more available Fertilizers are: Miracle Gro All Purpose & Peters All Purpose (both come in bloom versions too), but you’ll need to supplement Epsom salt (1tsp per gal) with those to ferts because they lack the micro nute Mg or Magnesium. A really cheap, easy, & good quality Nutrient program is the “Lucas Formula” (google it). Start your ferts out at a low dose of ¼ strength & work up slowly feeding every other watering. A recommended supplement to use is “Superthrive”, I would also recommend some kind of rooting stimulant & growth stimulant.

9. Odor & Odor Control: For some growers this is a concern. Odor problems can be solved using many methods, but a carbon filter/scrubber will eliminate 99% of the cannabis smell. Other products do work, but not as good, or as good for tiny grows. Ona Gel works good, Ozium, & Ozone Generators are good too. Ive found that unsalted garlic powder covers the smell pretty well, as well as boxes of dryer sheets placed in warm areas in the grow room work to mask the smell too.

10. Watering: When to water your plants. When they are new sprouts I keep the medium moist at all times for the 1st week or two. After the plant/s are established, water when the top 2-3" of soil is dry, by sticking your finger in the soil. Another way is to do the Pot/Container weight test; this is done by "feeling" how heavy or light the pot/container is. To do this, water your plants till you get 30% runoff, then "feel" how heavy the pot/container is, then as days pass & you notice that it might be time to water, "feel" how light the pot/container is, if it is as light as when you 1st planted & filled pot/container its time to water. In general youll need to water about every 3-4 days, but this also depends on the medium, & growing environment, & other factors. You can buy a soil moisture meter from HomeDepot, Lowes, etc for around 5-10$. Always water till you get a 30% runoff, this will help prevent salt build-ups in the soil, & will insure all the soil gets wet. You also need to collect this 30% runoff water to test its Ph, which will tell you your soils Ph.

This should get you started in the right direction to growing great cannabis, for further questions, go here: http://forum.grassci...wered-here.html

download your own copy here:


Great guide

#1103
earmuffin

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Thanks for the guide! I had a question though. You said to have a 30% runoff is that for every time you water? Also I ended up with fungus gnats because of overwatering was this because I was watering too frequently and not necessarily with too much water? Thirdly I ended up covering the top of my soil with sand to stop the gnats(about 2") so how can I tell if the top of my soil is dry?


10% runoff is enough, but be sure to let the pots drain for some time.

No experience with fungus gnats, soz.

Water plants when the pots feel like superlight. Helps to develop a good root system and no worries about overwatering :hello:

#1104
nwags

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if someone can help me it would be greatly appreciated. i started 6 seeds in paper towel method on a heat pad. 2 days and they all popped. i stuck them in pre watered 3 gallon smart pots with 75/25 ocean forest/perlite. waited 3 days and nothing. i blew on a couple pots and the soil blew off and there sits the seed. still cracked open but root wont come out. ive planted bagseed 15 years ago when i was a teen with no probs. the beans popped. i planted in potting soil turn on light and voila plants in 3 days. so whats the problem now???? temp in tent with pots stayed at 75 with 40% rh. i even tried turning on light yesterday cause i get get a definitive answer ANYWHERE, about whether to turn the lamp on once they are in the ground or not. i waited for 3 days with no light and it stayed bout 70 with 70%rh. then i tried 300w hps at 4ft above soil with fan running. figured maybe light would draw out plants as it does in nature. guess not..... really dont want to burn more loot on seeds. gonna do some experiments on bag seed i guess, just really need a little advise. i have 4x4 tent, 409cfm 6" windtunnel, filter, and 600w lumatek. all insulated ducting. (not sure if that helps) i really would appreciate some feedback.

#1105
tplat

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if someone can help me it would be greatly appreciated. i started 6 seeds in paper towel method on a heat pad. 2 days and they all popped. i stuck them in pre watered 3 gallon smart pots with 75/25 ocean forest/perlite. waited 3 days and nothing. i blew on a couple pots and the soil blew off and there sits the seed. still cracked open but root wont come out. ive planted bagseed 15 years ago when i was a teen with no probs. the beans popped. i planted in potting soil turn on light and voila plants in 3 days. so whats the problem now???? temp in tent with pots stayed at 75 with 40% rh. i even tried turning on light yesterday cause i get get a definitive answer ANYWHERE, about whether to turn the lamp on once they are in the ground or not. i waited for 3 days with no light and it stayed bout 70 with 70%rh. then i tried 300w hps at 4ft above soil with fan running. figured maybe light would draw out plants as it does in nature. guess not..... really dont want to burn more loot on seeds. gonna do some experiments on bag seed i guess, just really need a little advise. i have 4x4 tent, 409cfm 6" windtunnel, filter, and 600w lumatek. all insulated ducting. (not sure if that helps) i really would appreciate some feedback.


Are you keeping the soil moist? For Light I just start them off under a couple of daylight CFL`s then bump it up once they get going after a week or two. In the very early stages of seedlings I want them to focus more on root growth then veg growth thats why I start them under less light.

#1106
nwags

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thats the weird part. i put maybe 2 gallons of purified water on 6, 3gallon pots. i watered till i saw small bit dripping out bottom of pot. then i let them sit for a full day at 75 degrees before planting. once i did i havent watered since and thats been almost 4 days. top of soil is dry like dust. after i pulled the seed i exposed out, cause it is not coming out of shell i mixed soil around and its all moist. not wet but moist. and thats after 3 days in dark, and 24 hours of light at 300w with fan. i just dont get it. they popped fast then i put in pots and nothing. i didnt want to start in small cups cause i read its better to start in final container. also humidity has never gotten above 50, so shouldnt be humidity issue i woulnt think, but thats why i came here for help. seems to be the best place for knowledge. thanks man

#1107
tplat

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thats the weird part. i put maybe 2 gallons of purified water on 6, 3gallon pots. i watered till i saw small bit dripping out bottom of pot. then i let them sit for a full day at 75 degrees before planting. once i did i havent watered since and thats been almost 4 days. top of soil is dry like dust. after i pulled the seed i exposed out, cause it is not coming out of shell i mixed soil around and its all moist. not wet but moist. and thats after 3 days in dark, and 24 hours of light at 300w with fan. i just dont get it. they popped fast then i put in pots and nothing. i didnt want to start in small cups cause i read its better to start in final container. also humidity has never gotten above 50, so shouldnt be humidity issue i woulnt think, but thats why i came here for help. seems to be the best place for knowledge. thanks man


I just start mine out in small Dixie cups and under a couple of daylight CFL`s. To much light and you can dry out the soil and seedling real fast. Our starting area for seeedlings is right next to the microwave on the kitchen counter. Convenient spot and easy to keep an eye on them. What klind of soil did you put them in? Starting out in the final pot they will finish out in is just a personal preference for some, my plants get transplanted about 2-3 times in thier lifetime.

Edited by tplat, 13 April 2012 - 01:40 AM.


#1108
nwags

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im using FFOF 75/25 OF/perlite. im gonna have to try the cup method. does seem more reasonable to deal with small cups as opposed to always movin round those pots. are you using any heat source under your cups? i do have a heat pad i use for germing the beans. also do you cover the top as i have read ppl using saran wrap till they pop ground? the funny thing is if i wasnt "trying" these would have been no prob. i used to toss whole beans in ground and boom a week later a plant. now that ive paid for quality beans from attitude i f'd em up. really blows. thanks for the replies though. hopefully with a little help i can turn this thumb green. :smoke:

#1109
tplat

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im using FFOF 75/25 OF/perlite. im gonna have to try the cup method. does seem more reasonable to deal with small cups as opposed to always movin round those pots. are you using any heat source under your cups? i do have a heat pad i use for germing the beans. also do you cover the top as i have read ppl using saran wrap till they pop ground? the funny thing is if i wasnt "trying" these would have been no prob. i used to toss whole beans in ground and boom a week later a plant. now that ive paid for quality beans from attitude i f'd em up. really blows. thanks for the replies though. hopefully with a little help i can turn this thumb green. :smoke:


I use Fox Farm Light Warrior soil for seedlings. Our house stays about 75 degrees year around so we just start the seeds in the kitchen. To germ them we drop them in a shot glass of water for about 24 hours or untill they sink then we put them between a small piece of damp paper towel and put that in small round Ziplock containers with lids and stick that in the cupboard above the microwave. When the tap root is long enough to plant we put them in small Dixie cups with some drain holes and sit the cups in a bigger plastic container next to the microwave, no top, no humdity dome. The only heat source is from the exhaust fan on the microwave when in use. The soil we use for seed is Fox Farms Light Warrior, it has very little nutes in it as compaired to Ocean Forest. Seedlings dont need any nutes for the first couple of weeks or so. Maybe the nutes in Ocean Forest is burning your seeds, it can with small seedlings. Below is our most recent plants started. They just got topped the other day. Their getting a little to big for the small 2 foot 4 bulb T5 grow light. For the first 2 weeks we just use a couple of daylight cfls to get the seedlings going and established then they go under the light mentioned above and in the pics below for about 2-3 weeks. I`m doing a couple of dry runs right now in the bigger grow room with the 4 foot 8 bulb T5 grow light to get the room, air flow, exhaust and temps dialed in before they go out to that room. They will stay there untill the weather outside is good enough for our outdoor summer grow. I know I kind of rambeld on here but that covers how we start them to the point of being ready for outside or for growing in our bigger grow rooms.

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#1110
ROKE

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Im in the process of configuring a grow. One of my main questions would have to be, where is the best place to get seeds? Im living in the US in a non bud-friendly state. Does anyone know of a site that they have had good luck with? Im just worried about not recieving my order, or having the order ceased by customs or something of that sort. Please comment with any advise. Thanks

#1111
tplat

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Im in the process of configuring a grow. One of my main questions would have to be, where is the best place to get seeds? Im living in the US in a non bud-friendly state. Does anyone know of a site that they have had good luck with? Im just worried about not recieving my order, or having the order ceased by customs or something of that sort. Please comment with any advise. Thanks


Check out the seed bank section. Alot of good info on seed banks and such also info on how to pay.

#1112
mindismoving

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#1113
tplat

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i'm 8 1/2 weeks into flower on a Kushage plant, and im at a bit of an impasse. 8 weeks is not quite as long as i would expect a sativa-dom girl to take, and about 60% of the pistils are still bone white... but the trichomes look quite mature to me. im a novice, this will be my fourth grow, but it seems uncanny; the trichs are mostly cloudy, some clear but fully formed, and just a few light amber. im trying for a somewhat more "upbeat" high so i was planning to harvest well before there was a whole lot of amber, but im worried if she is ready, and i let her keep going because of the white pistils, im gonna overshoot the harvest window. does this happen frequently (lots of white hairs close to harvest)? could it be that the plant does have a good amount of mature/maturing trichomes but is also still producing new ones, which have yet to mature? +rep for sure for anyone who can give me some insight! all info appreciated :) thanks gc


Post some pics.

#1114
mindismoving

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#1115
tplat

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heh good call :) have to wait til tomorrow to get 100% recent photos, really appreciate ya taking the time.


I grew a couple of Sour Cream plants indoors a year or so ago and kept an eye on the trichs and the majority stayed a milky white color very few went amber. It was the first time I grew a sativa dominent strain indoors mostly grow hybrids. I was then told to go by the majority of the trichs being milky white in color and by the white hairs turing an orangish color and pull back into the buds.

#1116
newbkushgrower

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Is it a good Idea to start plants outside for vegging, then bringing it in for flowering?

#1117
tplat

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Is it a good Idea to start plants outside for vegging, then bringing it in for flowering?


I start seedlings and clones inside about a month or so before planting outside where they veg even more then let them finish up outside.

#1118
newbkushgrower

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Well, I want to take advantage of the beautiful weather (very rare year) im getting in my area (st. louis) perfect humidity, temperature and there is lots of sunlight this spring, my plant sprouted from the ground a couple of days ago. So far Im seeing decent results, just hope it grows well outside until its time for flowering. ( I do flowering inside unless I start vegging in june or july, dont want them to get TOO big to where the whole neighborhood can see/smell them)

#1119
CliveDecostat

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Thanks for your time into making this, I just had a read of this and I found it to be a better guide than most of the paid books.

Appreciated.

#1120
newbkushgrower

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I start seedlings and clones inside about a month or so before planting outside where they veg even more then let them finish up outside.


Yeah, starting it outside wasn't such a good Idea, it got eaten by a slug. (of all the fucking things in the world)



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