Beginners Quick Guide to Growing : Ready to start?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Smokeitdown, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. #1 Smokeitdown, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2009
    If you have your grow box, or room, or area set up, and you are ready to germ and grow, this is a quick rundown of everything you will NEED TO KNOW to grow.

    Well, over the past 2-3 months, I've been reading everything helpful I could find about germing, growing, and taking care of Mary Jane. I just thought I would share my condensed outline/ notes on growing. Kinda like a quick start-up and reference guide for the beginners without having to read an extensive growing narrative.


    Tupperware container. Take a small cut of paper towel, and place it inside the tupperware. Fold the seeds inside the towel, and pour a little bit of water on the towel. Only enough to get the towel damp, dont get it too wet. Seal up the tupperware container.

    After that Just leave the Tupperware somewhere dark and preferably warm. Check it every 18-24 hours, and make sure to open the lid to "burp" the container... Just to let some fresh air in once a day.

    You should have little white sprouts in anywhere from 1-4 days.

    Planting Your Germ'd Seed:

    Okay. So once you have the sprouted seed, be very careful with it. Dont touch the white sprout at all. Get a small pot, about 4-6" tall, and fill it with soil. USE ORGANIC, ALL NATURAL SOIL. AND AVOID MIRACLE GROW. Not to diss MG, its just not all that great for MJ. Works wonders on my tomato plants though, seriously.

    Water the soil with about 1cup of water an hour before planting sprouted seeds.

    Poke a hole about 1/4 of an inch down in the soil. drop the sprouted seed in, try to make the sprout face down, but if it doesn't that's okay. Cover it with loose soil, and in a few days you'll have a sprout!

    Caring for Your Young Seedling:

    ALWAYS REMEMBER- 100w Per plant, 50-100w more for every additional plant.

    There is no need to give it any type of nutrients yet. Not until 3-4 weeks old. At this stage the plant isn't in veg yet, not to me at least. Its a "seedling"

    Check the soil every day. Poke down gently, or use a chopstick. If the soil is dry 2 inches below the surface of the soil, water with 1/2 - 1 cup of water. Continue this for the first week.

    In my seedling stage of the first week, I ran my CFL's on a 24/0 light schedule. I kept the lights about 3 inches from the plant. The 24/0 "no dark time" schedule allows the plant to generate a LOT of leaf sets in just a week or so. During the plants dark hours, it uses up stored energy and grows upward, sometimes stretching. We want to keep this to a minimum in the early stages.

    The Vegatative Stage:

    In my opinion, this is when your plant is about 2 to 3 weeks old, and has 3-5 good, strong leaf sets. It should have its first internodal growths coming in, and the new leaves should have 5-7 leaflets. This is when I consider my plant in "Veg state"

    Once in this stage, you will soon start a nutrient schedule. Aim to start at a weak ratio, to kind of get your plants used to the nutrients. Plants are very easily stressed/shocked, and any stress is no good. Nutes should be started at the 5th leaf set, or 3 weeks. This is also where you will choose to TOP/FIM which you can find in other stickies.

    Once at this stage, its time to change pots!


    Just get a bigger pot, preferably 3-5 gallons, and fill it 80% with your soil. Burrow out a bowl in the middle of the pot, make sure to keep the soil loose though. This is where your root ball will be put into. Gently take the plant out of the old pot. You can flip it upside down slowly and place your hand under the plant and shake the pot GENTLY. This way, the plant and root ball will come loose from the pot. Shake gently to remove any loose soil, and then place it in the new pot.​


    PH is important here. Get a good digital ph tester or test strips. Keep it in the 5.5-7 range for optimum nutrient absorbtion. To read the ph, just take the reading from the runoff water that comes out the drainage holes when you water. Low or high ph can be fixed simply with ph/up or ph/down added to your water.

    To start, use a 1/4 ratio of what the nutrients bottle says. Do this every other watering. Each watering at this age should be every 4-6 days, depending on how dry your soil is. Get a chopstick and check the soil deeper in the pot gently.

    After 2 weeks, switch to 1/2. I've read most people stick to 1/2 the recommended ratio when using chemical nutes. Organic its okay to use the full recommendation, but with chem stay at 1/2.

    Plant food has a number system the "N-P-K" on the back or side of the bottle. It tells you the percentage of each nutrient in the bottle.

    VEGETATIVE: Nutrients in VEG should be higher in Nitrogen(N) then Phosphorous(P) and Potassium(K). Something like 30-15-15 or 20-10-10.

    Flowering: You are going to want to use nutes higher in Phosphorous and Potassium than Nitrogen. Something like a 10-20-20 should be good. Use this the same schedule you did with nutrients in veg, on a 1/2 strength ratio.

    Nitrogen (N):
    Helps with production of clorophyll, photosynthesis, amino acids. Also helps the plant grow leaves, leaf sets, improves toughness of the plant. Nitrogen travels to every part of the plant from the tip of the root to the newest bit of growth.


    Starts in the middle/ bottom of plant with older leaves yellowing. Starts at the tips of leaves and works toward the stem. Also slows growth
    Dark green with delayed maturity. Also weak stems.

    Phosphorous (P):

    Aids in root growth big time. Influences plant toughness as well. It is the most important nutrient in flowering. It also helps to germinate seedlings. It is needed in large amounts, especially in the flowering and pollination stages (if you choose to cross breed and pollinate)

    Reduced size of leaves and smaller/ slower growths. Weak leaves with brown edges.

    Postassium (K):

    Helps build sturdy and thick stems, and a strong main stalk. Helps with diesease resistance and the plants "immunity system." Also helps the plant with water respiration.

    Small growth with scortched/ yellowed tips. Stretching and weak stems, tips of leaves curl, yellow, and die.
    Salt damage/ acid fixation of the roots. Dark yellow/white between veins on leaves.

    Other common deficiencies are:

    Magnesium: green beins and yellowness surrounding that.

    Calcium: yellow and brown spotting on the leaves or around the edges of leaves.


    Just flush it out! Use the same amount of water you would, wait til you need to water, and use clean water with NO NUTES. In 3-4 days your plant should suck up this water and start to improve. If not, wait a day or two and flush again. It should imrpove now. If not, go to sick plants forum ;)

    Other common problems:

    Over watering - droopy but otherwise firm/ healthy leaves.
    Under watering - droopy "sick" dying leaves
    Root rot- stinky roots, brown, and dying. (Use "super thrive" to fix this.)

    After 6-10 weeks of veg, its time to start thinking about flowering.

    Plan when you are going to flower. If you have space constraints, it is best to flower once your plant(s) get to about 50-60% of your space. Flowering can lead to big growths in your plant. Keep this in mind.

    Okay, well once you've gotten this far, you can use the knowledge I've compiled here to grow out through flowering stage. Its time to head over to the harvesting section to see when and how to harvest. Congratualtions on taking the time to read up before digging in! It will really help in the longrun, as I have learned.

    I hope this helped alot of you. I had some of this written/ bookmarked as a memo for myself, and it helped a lot in times of need. Hopefully it can help you new growers out too!

    Links that helped me big time along the way, as well as where I got a good amount of this info from. Sick plant guide sick plant guide

    A few other VERY USEFUL links. The chart is great for when you have a problem with the plant. And the cloning video is highly recommended if you are going to clone at all.

    A good video on cloning if you ever are going to:
    [ame=""]YouTube - Cloning Marijuana - part 1[/ame]
  2. #2 420HelperMan, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009

    NICE tutorial man!​
  3. OK, i have 1 question on your beginners guide please??? but 1st let me say awesome read very detailed

    Ok u said for the 1st 2 to 3 weeks your plants dont need nutes, but if they are in a hydro solution is that still true, cause they get absolutley no nutes AT ALL in hydro if im thinking right, and i was just wondering in an ebb and flow system if this is the way to go also!!!!

    thank u for the post

  4. #4 Smokeitdown, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009
    Hey man thanks alot. If you are going with a hydro setup unfortunately I cant really help you alot, I am a soil guy and haven't dabbled much into hydro. But I'm almost certain a quick search would yield the info you need. Sorry I cant be of more assistance!

    Yeah thanks for the compliment. I figures I would collect the wealth of knowledge I had and throw it all together in a quick, simple tutorial for getting started. With this guide you can simply get through a test grow, while learning all the things you need to know about growing from the experience itself!

    Maybe I'll be lucky enough to ahve this sticky'd :)

    You should edit your post and un-quote me... theres no need to quote a huuuuge tutorial like that. But thank you for the compliment man! I'm glad it helped you

    Also thanks for the few quick fixes, although I have found that it is better not to use nutes for the first 3-4 weeks. I haven't used any yet at all and I'm at 3&1/2 weeks.
  5. hell yeah i needed refreshed on how to grow i slacked off growning last year parents made me throw my plants out, and year b4 that i came home tripping on shrooms thinking police were outside so i actually took my plants outside and burned them:eek: i was very upset the next day realizing what i have done. ready to start again muahahahaa thx for the info
  6. Haha thanks! I needed to refresh/ absorb all this info as well, and the best way to do so is write it all down and make notes for a quick read.

    Damnnn dude. Shrooms are crazy fun, but that sounds like a bad trip to me! Good luck with your upcoming grow. You should do a journal! Welcome to GC brothaa
  7. #8 Smokeitdown, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009
    Also, I'll take any grow questions anyone has, as well as questions about building a box or lighting and all that jazz. Just make sure grow questions are SOIL related, sorry peeps, but no hydro experience here... yet :)

    Also feel free to let me know what you want added to the guide! I can improve it based on what you guys need to know that I haven't included or missed.
  8. fixed, sorry, i meant to do it this way.

    and yes, you do need fert (1/4 strenght) after 2 weeks and upwards from that, less you have a stunted and unfed plant. You may be using a pre ferted soil maybe to be getting along with no adverse effects?
  9. alrite mate nice guide!

    can you answer one question, just to confirm how do you take a PH reading? is it done from the run off water from my pots and what ever that reads is my ph level? for example if the run off reads 4.5 does this mean i must make a nuit mix to make up 1.5 making my total 6 is this right?

  10. #11 Smokeitdown, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009
    Just take the runoff PH. If it is 4.5 thats a little low.. Don't use nutes. Just grab some ph/up and add that to your water to get a reading between 5.5-7

    Yeah, I've read everywhere that 3 weeks is suitable for starting nutes. And I started mine in MG which caused light nute burn, until I transplanted to a bigger pot with organic soil.

    I'm still going to wait a few days to nute my plant.. It is doing very well without them, plus I just did some FIM/TOP, so I would rather wait a few more days.

    There is nothing wrong with putting off nutes until week 3-4 if your plant is doing well.

    I added a transplant section to the guide as well as how to take the correct ph reading and fix your ph.
  11. Feel free to ask questions about LST, I have a list of good guides. TOP/FIM as well. I have a bunch of info on this as well with pictures diagramming proper cuts.
  12. hey smoke. nice post. those last 2 vids really need to be watched though. they are not how to grow, they are pro-pot legalization vids.
  13. Journal??? i guess i need to go to help or something and i dont know really if im replying on this message correctly either....and how do u give people +rep??? thanks

    BallzaC aka bongwat3r:D
  14. Haha yes, you can go to the grow journal section and start your own thread. Dont worry youll get used to the city soon enough.

    For anyone else who reads this, I will soon be doing picture help along with everything. I'll try to show proper cuts for FIM/TOP and when I begin LST I might do a small section on that. Right now its off to help my little one recover from heat stress! :(

    Stay high GC
  15. Alright smoke, can you help me with what i think is heat stress also can you look at my journal and look at the last pics i posted cas around the edge of the leaves is startin to turn in is this heat stress??

    Thanks for the help!
  16. Booyakasha!!

    Awesome post... +rep, if I can lol.
  17. thanks man, and yes i definetly think this should be a sticky...

    trillyen votes YES!!!
  18. Major +rep dude.

    I do have one quick question though. When it comes to nutes, are they are required? For instance, if I were to take the tap water out of my faucet and filter it with a brita for instance, would it still allow my plants to grow/flower? I would assume the harvest wouldn't nearly be as good, but it would technically work right?

    Thanks again for helping me get started!
  19. Eh, you're going to need some type of nutes. My plant is asking for them now, leaves are yellowing a bit. I used brita filtered water for the first month though and my plant loved it. Every time I water it perks up like 30 minutes later :)

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