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Project's Ultimate Grow Guide

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Project ICE, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. #1 Project ICE, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2012
    Project's Ultimate Grow Guide

    The reason behind this guide is that everywhere I look, there is never an easy complete guide for beginners. There are always bits and pieces lying around, but never what anyone needs to get fully going with their grow. I have compiled those little bits and peices into one place so that even the complete novice can read this and be ready to grow right away.

    Plan Your Grow

    Budget - First thing you need to decide is your budget. Are you willing to spend nothing? A few bucks? A few Hundred bucks? Sorry to say but growing weed does end up costing some money. Not always a bank breaker but if done right it can be.
    YOUR FIRST QUESTION: Are you growing indoors (costly) or outdoors (relatively cheap)?

    Now here are a few things to consider regarding indoors or outdoors:
    Indoors - lighting, ventilation, enviornment (tent/room), grow medium, nutrients/organics
    Outdoors - soil and nutrients/organics

    Security - Security is one of the most important things for most growers.
    Outdoor - Location is key. You must account for a few things, such as smell, visibility, and sunlight. If you have neighbors that are offended by cannabis then it would not be a good idea to do a backyard grow as cannabis can be pretty pungent. In that case it would be better to have a "Guerilla Grow" which a grow in the woods or other areas that is in the nature and not disturbed by pedestrians. Visibility is a very important factor due to the obvious reasons. If someone sees your plants , one of two things can happen. The person that sees your plants can either take them for themselves and/or call the authorities and report your grow and they will come and take your plants. The last thing is sunlight. Your plants need at least 18 hours of sunlight during the vegetative stage and 12 hours in the flowering stage. This rule mainly applies to indoor growing but can be applied to outdoor growing in regards to sowing dates. To find out the best time to plant in your region use THIS LINK

    Grow Medium - If you are growing outdoors you are limited on options as far as grow medium. If you are growing indoors your options are pretty much limitless.
    Hydroton (Indoor)
    Soil (Indoor and Outdoor) NOTE: STAY AWAY FROM MIRACLE GROW
    Rockwool (Indoor and Outdoor)
    Coconut Fiber (Indoor and Outdoor)
    Peat Moss (Indoor and Outdoor)
    And then you can also add ammendments to your soil or soiless mix such as: perlite, vermiculite, organic material (compost/earth worm castings/manure), kelp meal, fish emulsions, lime, rock dust....and the list goes on.....

    Time Frame - Another important thing is to determine how much time you have to grow. For indoor growers this can be a problem for first timers on a high security alert. If you want fast bud and not alot of it then you should grow Autoflowers. If you want alot of bud and have some time to grow then your should grow Photoperiod plants.

    Do I know enough? - The answer is most likely NO! A grower can never know enough and never stop learning!
    If you want to learn more I suggest checking these educational materials out.
    DVD - Jorge Cervante's - Ultimate Grow Bible 1-3(can be found on youtube)
    eBook - The Cannabis Grow Bible by Greg Green
    eBook - Growing Elite Marijuana by Ryan Riley

    Grow Area Setup - NOTE: this section mainly applies to Indoor Growers​

    Your grow area sometimes can be a very difficult thing to decide. Some areas that you can grow in that are optimal are in a spare bedroom, basement, closet with vents, etc. Some areas that are not good to grow in would be attics, or other rooms that do not have proper ventilation and can endure difficulties controlling temperatures.

    Micro Grows
    This type of grow system can be used for a small yielding plant in which security is a very big issue. Although growing cannabis in your parents house while you are underage is not a good thing to do, people do it any way. The easiest way to plan a micro grow is to grab some cfls, gut a old pc, line it with mylar, and get growing. Sorry this section isnt that well detailed. I personally frown upon micro grows as they are a waste of time. A cannabis plant can grow up to 25 feet in the right conditions. Why stunt it into a 10-12 inch plant? Thats just mean!

    Grow Tent
    A grow tent is the best option for a beginner grower and the seasoned grower. It gives security, discreetness, and proper needs for your complete grow. These tents come with portholes for natural ventilation, and exhaust. They also come with framing that can support lighting systems suspended. You can find these grow tents on,, or your local grow shops

    Grow ROOM
    A Grow tent and a grow room are in fact different. A grow room is an actual room within a building designated for growing. Grow Rooms are often the top of the line, with an artificial controlled enviornments with carbon dioxide generators, full ventilation, superb lighting, etc....


    One of the things you need to decide and/or look up is if you have a local grow shop near your. The easiest way to do this is to go to and type in "hydroponics" or "grow store" and find one near your. If you do not have one near you, your only option left is to go online. Some very reputable sources are Grow Lights by High Tech Garden Supply | Your Online Hydroponics Store and of course for affordable items.

    Pots / Containers
    There are a few routes you can go. If you are running a hydro system, buckets are your best friend. If you are running a soil/soiless system then you can either use regular pots in various size with holes in the bottom for drainage. Due to recent innovations there are better products on the market though. There are two items in particular that you should look into, and they are "Superoots Air Pots" at Air-Pot Garden and "Root Pouch" at Root Pouch. Both of these products allow for proper aeration for your soil to enrich the oxygen in your root zone.

    There are a few different routes to go here. NOTE: this section applies to Indoor Growers ONLY

    High Intensity Discharge (Metal Halide / High Pressure Sodium) - These lights are in my opinion the best lights for indoor growers. They can be costly and most of the time require a high cfm exhaust fan combined with a "Air cooled hood" or "cooltube" to control temperatures. Metal Halide lights are supported with the blue spectrum and are used in the Vegetative Stage and High Pressure Sodium lights are supported with the red spectrum and are used in the Flowering Stage. Below are two charts regarding how far away you should put your lights
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Light Emitting Diode (LED) - This type of lighting system is easier to control temperature wise and can provide a wide spectrum of light. They also can be very costly but highly efficient.

    Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) - These types of light are good for small growers and micro grows. They are easily controllable temperature wise, although they.

    Reflective Surfaces - There are 3 main types of reflective surfaces. Matte-Finish White paint, Panda Film (double sided - black/white), Mylar. Either of these surfaces are sufficient for a grow environment.

    Circulation - This is one of the easiest pieces of equipment you will need. A simple oscillating fan pointed in the direction of your plants. The purpose of this is to create artificial wind to increase the strength in your stalk/stems

    Ventilation - This is a very important item on your list. Your grow enviorment needs to be released of all oxygen every 5 minutes to draw CO2 in for your plants. A simple script to find out how big of a fan you need can be found HERE

    Timers - Another very important part of your grow. Set up your lights on a timer to have 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness during vegetative stage. 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness for flowering stage

    Temperature / Humidity Gauge - During lights-on cycle, between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During lights-off cycle, between 64 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideal day cycle growing temperature without C02 augmentation: 73 degrees Fahrenheit/23 degrees Centigrade. Ideal day cycle temperature with C02 augmentation: 76 degrees Fahrenheit/24.5 degrees Centigrade. (Centigrade is the same as Celsius). Humidity should be at 40 to 65% during vegetative phase; 40 to 60% during flowering. Excess humidity creates conditions that allow mold and other harmful organisms to flourish.

    Nutrients - There are tons of nutrients companies out there so I will not go into specifics. But for anyone that is serious about their plants you can look up Hydroponics, General Hydroponics, Hydroponic Nutrients & Supplies or just go the organic route.

    Grow Medium

    Soil - Keep in mind that most soil's have time released nutrients. Miracle Gro and Scotts should not be used unless there is no choice. These soils have high volumes of time released nutrients and can potentially harm your plants. A good soil to start off with is Fox Farm Ocean Forest, Fox Farm Happy Frog, or Roots Organic soil. This type of grow is typical for beginners due to the fact that it is easy to maintain

    Soiless Mix - Some people use mixes that have no nutrients value, such as Spahgnum Peat Moss or Perlite. These bases are to be used with either bottled nutrients (advanced nutrients, fox farm, canna, etc.) or AACT Teas (organic)

    Hydroponics - Due to the fact that I have no experience in Hydro, I search long and hard for a good guide....and I found one.
    Hydroponic Systems for Beginners - All credit goes to jetta17 from HubPages
    Hydroponics can be more intricate and is suggested to be done after your first grow. You need some basic knowledge on growing first.

    Organics - Organics can be a GREAT thing if done right. With the right amendments you can use this soil for multiple grows with no need of any additional nutrients. A very good example can be located HERE
    This type of grow medium is a very good start for beginners due to the fact that there is virtually no maintenance. All you have to do is water ;)

    pH - (credit goes to Nebula Haze)

    The pH of your marijuana plant's root zone is very important to preventing nutrient problems with growing marijuana. This is because when the pH is too high or too low, the plant's roots will not be able to absorb nutrients properly. As a result of the pH being too high or too low, cannabis plants may start showing signs of nutrition deficiencies even if the nutrients are available in the growing medium. You will prevent nutrient problems by checking and adjusting your pH in your marijuana grow.

    In fact, feeding your plant with the incorrect pH is one of the most common reasons that plants develop a cannabis nutrient deficiency. At least when growers write in to us, incorrect pH is the cause of a nutrient deficiency at least half of the time.

    How to Test the pH of your Root Zone
    You can test the pH of a water sample using a pH Kit or a pH Meter. If growing in hydroponics, take a sample of the water and then test the pH of your sample .

    If you are growing in soil or another sort of medium, the easiest way to get a ball-park figure of the root pH is to test the water going into the plant as well as the water that runs out of the bottom. You can assume that the pH of the water that runs out the bottom of your plant is about halfway between the pH of the water you put in and of the pH of the root zone.

    So for example, if you water your plants with water that has been pH'ed to 6.0, and the water that comes out the bottom has a pH of 6.5, you can assume the pH of your root zone must be around 7.0, because the water that came out was 6.5, which is halfway between 6.0 and 7.0.

    When trying to adjust the pH of your root zone, make sure to do all changes slowly. It is actually worse for your plant to have the pH change drastically than it is for the plant to have roots in the wrong pH.

    Adjust the pH of your Water to Correct Root pH
    You will need to add all of your nutrients to your water first before checking and adjusting the pH. Your nutrients will affect the pH of your water so it's important they get added before making any adjustments.
    It's a good idea to let the pH cover a range instead of always adjusting to the exact same pH number. Some nutrients are better absorbed at slightly higher pH readings, while others are absorbed better at lower pH readings.

    If your marijuana plant roots are experiencing the wrong pH, the most important thing to remember is to make all pH changes to the root zone slowly (never more than 0.5 points in a day) because rapid changes will hurt the plant much worse than being at the wrong pH.

    For soil an optimum root zone pH is between 6.0 and 7.0 (some say 6.5-7.5), with the most time spent with a pH between 6.5 - 7.0.
    For hydroponics an optimum root zone pH is between 5.5 and 6.5.

    The thing to remember with pH is that you don't need to be exact. What you do need is to be consistent in keeping the pH from creeping too high or too low in your plant root zone.


    There are 3 main ways to germinate seeds. Each of them has their benefits.

    Soaking - You can soak your seeds in a cup of water in a dark warm place for 24 hours before either gently placing your seeds in paper towel or directly to your medium. This action helps your seeds shell gently break down and speed up the germination process

    Paper Towel - Get a paper plate or small tupperware container and place two sheets of moist paper towel down. Place your seeds on the paper towel and then place one more sheet of moist paper towel on top. Then you can either seal your tupperware container with holes punched on top or place another paper plate on top. Then place your plate/container in a warm dark place until you see a 1/4" to 1/2" tap root sticking out of your seed. You are then ready to plant your seed into your medium.

    Straight to medium - Do it like nature does. Plant the seed 1/4" down in the soil with the tap root facing down and gently place some soil over the seed. Add some water and let nature take its course. An easy way to do this is by using tweezers but BE CAREFUL to not touch the tap root


    Sea Of Green (SOG) - The theory of harvesting lots of small plants, matured early to get the fastest production of buds available. Instead of growing a few plants for a longer period of time, in the same space many smaller plants are grown that mature faster and in less time. Thus, less time is required between crops.

    Screen Of Green (SCROG) - The essential detail of the scrog method is a screen, usually poultry netting, typically suspended between the planting medium and the lamp. The plants grow up to the screen and then are "trained" under the screen, resulting in a flat table of plant growth, a field rather than a forest. Because all the buds are growing at the same height, it is possible to get all the growth within the effective circle of light from the lamp, maximizing production from the space. It's really that simple.

    Low Stress Training (LST) - the practice of bending plants to your will in order to get the heaviest fruits possible in the least amount of square footage available. The process begins when the plant is only a few weeks old, and will continue all the way through flowering in order to give it the best chance to flourish in an area that may be less than vertically or horizontally ideal. As each node grows it will be tied down to a portion of the pot, watering system, or surrounding wall to give it an anchor. This anchor then guides the plant on its growth path, in order to effectively use as much of the box or closet as it can, without occupying a space it would suck up if left totally without tending.

    Topping - Topping a cannabis plant is relativly easy if done right. The concept is that if you cut off the growth at the top at the precise place you will "split" the growth into two main colas instead of just one

    Veg Life

    Lighting - During the vegetative stage your plant needs light from the BLUE Spectrum. For more information on lighting please refer to the lighting section above.
    Watering - Your plant is small therefore only needs minimal amounts of water. Watering is a very tricky thing for beginner growers. There is no way to say how much your plant should have, but during early stages of vegetation your plants should be water every few days. You should not water your plants if your soil is still moist. Wait for your soil to semi-dry out first.
    Nutrients - During this stage depending on your strain and medium you only want to use 1/8 or 1/4 strength nutrients in the beginning and slowly work your way up. If you are using nutrient enriched soil such as "Fox Farm Ocean Forest" which is a great medium for beginners and seasoned growers then you do not need to give your plants ANY nutrients for at least 3-4 weeks. During this stage your plant needs Nitrogen which is the "n" in the "n-p-k" located on the nutrient bottles


    Lighting - During the flowering stage your plant needs light from the RED Spectrum. For more information on lighting please refer to the lighting section above.
    Watering - Obviously the bigger your plants get the more water they need. You can notice upwards of 10x more water than in veg stage. And your plants will want more more often. But the same concept applies. Let your soil dry out before watering more.
    Nutrients - Your plant in this stage can take 3/4 strength to full dosage of nutrients. In this stage your plant needs less nitrogen and more phosphorus(p) and potassium(k) which is the "n" in the "n-p-k" located on the nutrient bottles
    THC Development - THC is contained in the trichomes of the plant. The more trichomes the more THC. The quality of the THC in your plant is most potent when 90% of your trichomes are cloudy and 10% are amber


    There are two ways to tell if your plants are ready for harvest. The most reliable way is to tell by your trichomes. The other way to tell is by your pistils. Below are pictures regarding both ways

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After you decide when you want to harvest, there are 3 steps

    Cut - Cut your plant down and trim off the excess leaves. These leaves can be saved for make hash
    Dry - Hang your plants for 5-7 days in a dark dry enviornment until the buds lost approx 65-70% of their size and are dry and semi crispy.
    Cure - After your plants have dried, place your plants in mason jars. Dont force the bud in there. just gently place it in there and fill the jar up 75% of the way. For the first week open your jars for 5-10 minutes/3 times per day. For the second week open your jars for 5-10 mintutes/ once per day. After that the longer you cure for the better tasting your buds will be. But the same rule applies....5-10 minutes once per day

    Information on more topics:

    I know that I did not touch up on hydroponics too much, due to the fact that soil is much less of a hassle for beginners. And after all this is a beginners guide.

    Feel free to contact me for any other questions you might have.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. If there is anything that should be added to this BEGINNERS grow guide please let me know and I will edit this
  3. not really anything to add, but you sort of just stopped suddenly under CFLs and added a 2nd root pouch pic I believe under ventilation/fans

  4. Fixed :smoke:
  5. also might wanna dive a little bit deeper into the various mediums, what exactly they are and perhaps pros and cons.
  6. you may want to add something about Ph?

  7. Added

    I pmed you hemi.....
  8. Anybody know who this is??

    Thought it was mine for a second. Haha.

  9. Right on. Thanks, man. Love some modular scrog.
  10. Nice guide!
  11. Thanks man, about to start my second grow and this helped me a lot, definitely going to try LST!
  12. Excellent guide. Here's all the basics right off the bat for beginners with the correct pictures for easier understanding. :)
  13. This should be stickied, nice work project!
  14. Is there really a such thing as a easy/good beginners strain?

    Im thinking after some research this is all really dependant on your particular setup?

    Any input really.

  15. To everyone that has used this guide so far, Thank you for your kind words.

    And may I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

  16. There is no such thing as a good beginner strain, seeing as its up to the grower to make the final impact. But if you had to start with something, check out these strains

    AK-49 Auto
    Auto Anubis
    Auto Diesel X Auto Blue
    Auto White Widow
    BCN Diesel
    Big Bang 2
    Black Sugar
    Cherry Fuel
    Double Berry
    Easy Kush
    ICED Grapefruit
    Lady Lush
    Night Queen
    Northern Lights
    Northern Lights Auto
    Passion #1 Feminized
    Rishi Kush
  17. I need to tag this to make sure I can find it later. Thanks for the complete information!


  18. no prob bro :smoke:
  19. Im thinking about making a full guide. in pdf format......anyone experienced growers want to help?

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