Advanced Marijuana Grow Guide
Successful cultivation requires plenty of knowledge, patience and practice. Here at Greenmans Page, we offer support and advice for growers of all experience levels. In this article, we offer an Advanced Marijuana Grow Guide for those more experienced cultivators.
This is an advanced marijuana grower’s guide for those folks who all ready know a thing or two about growing the dread plant, marijuana.
There are several key factors in growing the optimal or near optimal Marijuana plant. These factors can be manipulated to produce different physical variations in any seed stock selected.
THEY ARE: Light Intensity & Spectrum, Photoperiod, Temperature Cycle, Nutrients, Humidity Cycle, CO2, Pruning, Leeching, Cloning, Stress
The Light Spectrum should be as close as approximation of natural sunlight as is available. The Light Intensity should be as bright as is possible while still keeping temperature in line. There are several kinds of lights that one can use. As far as cost and security go, I recommend several vertical fluorescent lights suspended around the plants with a pair of Sylvania SL-100 bulbs in the center.
During the GROWTH PHASE, the light period should be a minimum of 18 hours. The light can be continuous during the growth phase (24 Hours per Day) with profound effects. During the FLOWERING PHASE, 12 hours of uninterrupted light stimulates the production of budding sites for the flowers. I cannot stress enough that during the FLOWERING PHASE, the dark period should not be violated by any light. It delays flower development and promotes leaf growth. 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.
The atmospheric temperature should be grown in a closet with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s. However, the closer you get to the ideal temperature range, the better the buds and the less likely you are to get male plants. see stress)
Nutrients should be provided with each watering. A good GROWTH PHASE mix is 1/4 tsp Peter’s 20/20/20 fertilizer per gallon of aged water. During the FLOWERING PHASE , Peter’s African Violet 12/34/16 fertilizer mixed to the same proportion works well.
The humidity should be kept high (around 90%) unless over watering has occurred and the soil needs drying quickly. Marijuana doesn’t like its roots to be wet all the time, so don’t water every day unless the temperature is quite high. If proper ventilation is maintained, problems like fungus and algae should be minimal. Average watering solution usage: 10 days after transplant, 1 Quart (946 ml) 20 days after transplant, 1.5 Quarts (1419 ml) 30 days after transplant, 2 Quarts (1892 ml) During Flowering, 1.5 Quarts (1419 ml)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels should be high, particularly during the FLOWERING PHASE . Growth rates can be increased dramatically if the CO2 level is near 700 ppm. 300 ppm (Outside Air) 700 ppm (Ideal) 2000 ppm (Plants Burn) 5000 ppm (Death) CO2 is cheaply produced by burning Natural Gas. However, heat and Carbon Monoxide must be vented to the outside air. CO2 can be obtained by buying or leasing cylinders from local welding supply houses. Beware! The DEA has asked the supply houses to provide lists of large CO2 users. If you are questioned, simply say “I have an old mig welder at the house and I want to try and patch up my (Lawnmower, car, trailer, etc.). If you find that you are making lots of trips to the supply house, complain that your “buddy” keeps leaving the cylinder valve open all night. This should provide a plausible excuse.
o maintain the optimal growth rate, trim all leaves that are greater than 4 inches long (not counting the stem). A good rule of thumb is to keep the distance (Internodal Length) between the leaves/branches on the main stem around 1 inch. The more often you trim, the slower the Marijuana plant will grow and the narrower the internodal length. Trimming the growth tip after the plant is 4-5 leaf sets tall will produce a “Y” shaped plant with two “arms”. Too much trimming will result in poor growth and often hermaphroditism. Keep pruning to a minimum during the entire FLOWERING PHASE. (see stress)
LEECHING THE SOIL
From time to time, it is beneficial to leach the soil of high concentrations of salts. The salts come from the fertilizer solution by means of evaporation. To leach the soil, over water the growing medium until fluid can be seen above the soil line. Allow the swampy mess to soak for a few minutes, then pump/siphon off excess from the “well” at the lower end of the growing area.
CLONING (Cutting plantlets)
Next, cut the bottom .5 inch off the end while it is submerged. Remove the clone from the tub and dip into Rootone powder and plant 1 inch deep in a saturated Jiffy 7 pod/rockwool/oasis block. Place plantlet in a small tub with perlite sprinkled on the bottom and .5 inch of the Peter’s solution when the cutting is in place. Place Tub/Planter in a plastic tent to maintain a very high humidity (85-90%). Place 40 watt fluorescent lamp above the tent. Make sure that the plants stay wet, but not standing in water by checking them twice daily. Leave lamps on for 24 hours a day. After about Two Weeks, Rootlets will appear at the bottom of the pods. Transplant at this point to growing area, taking care not to disturb any exposed roots.
Since Marijuana is very responsive to its environment, big changes in any of the growth factors (light, heat, food, water, etc.) can affect not only the growth of the plant but also potency and even sex. The whole thing is really a trade-off. If you want bigger, faster growing buds, then you should increase stress. However, too much stress will force Hermorphrodisim or even a male from a normally female plant.