Getting Started - Recommended Supplies 

•PH METER OR STRIPS

•PH DOWN

•POTS WITH DRAINAGE

•SOIL WITH GOOD DRAINAGE

•LED OR T5 GROW LIGHT (vegetative)

•NUTRIENTS

•FAN(S)

•HUMIDIFIER 

•JEWELERS LOUPE

SEEDS VS. CLONES 

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SEED ADVANTAGES:

  • Large selection of genetics 

  • Has a tap root

  • Does not carry pests or mildew

  • Produce stronger plants with better yields

SEED DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Germination may be challenging for new growers

  • Seedlings are more delicate than clones in the first few weeks of life.   

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CLONE ADVANTAGES:

  • Clones speed up the cultivation process as they are already several weeks ahead of a seedling

CLONE DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Clones lack a tap root and have a fibrous root system. Many reputable growers believe the TAP ROOT makes the plant stronger and more resilient to disease. 

  • Clones have been found to grow slower and have smaller bud development 

  • Clones may carry pests and diseases

  • Fewer strain options  

SEED TYPES  

Regular -Photoperiod 

  • These seeds are not sexed and could be male or female

  • Not recommended for new growers

  • Vegetative light cycle: 18 hours light / 6 hours dark

  • Require a 12/12 light cycle to force flower 

Feminized -Photoperiod 

Auto Flower  

  • Feminized seeds should be guaranteed female plants. 

  • Vegetative light cycle: 18 hours light / 6 hours dark

  • Require a 12/12 light cycle to force flower 

  • Auto Flower seeds are USUALLY Feminized seeds that flower due to age not light cycle. 

  • Autos can be kept with vegetative plants as they will flower under an 18/6 light cycle.

  • Smaller plants therefore smaller yields 

  • Shorter grow cycle  

MALE, FEMALE AND HERMAPHRODITE PLANTS  

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MALE

FEMALE

HERMIE

GERMINATION TIPS

  • Be sure to start your grow with quality genetics 

  • The ideal temperature to germinate is between 22°and 25°C (71–79°F)

  • Relative humidity range should be between 70% and 90%

  • Seeds favour fluorescent lighting (Cool White code 33)

  • Minimize the amount of seed handling you do (only check paper towel once a day)

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PLANTING THE SEED

NEVER PLANT MORE THAN ONE SEED PER POT!!

  • Plant seed in solo cup sized container WITH DRAINAGE

  • Add soil and water BEFORE before placing seed in cup

  • Make very small indentation in the soil and place TAP ROOT DOWN

  • Very lightly cover seed head

  • PLACE UNDER GROW LIGHT (Minimum 30 watt T5 High Output or LED)

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THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHTING

If you do not plan on growing indoors and are only preparing your plants/seedlings for your outdoor grow, I highly recommend purchasing a T5 HO fluorescent grow light. They are inexpensive, less chance of burning your plants, have good footprint size and are great on hydro. 

 

Do not place your plants in a window! Although a few may have luck with this method, you are risking plant stretch or death if temperatures drop at night.  In addition, plants that do not receive enough light will stretch and become very weak. 

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The seedlings in the picture above are not getting enough light. The consequence of this is that the plants stretch, become weak and will not be able to support the weight of the leaves. If you are using a light and your plants are stretching you most likely have the light too far away from your plants. Always read the manufacture's guidelines to see what spacing they recommend for that particular light. 

COMMON TYPES OF GROW LIGHTS

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T5 High Output 

T5 ADVANTAGES:

  • Extremely cost efficient

  • Do not generate much heat 

  • Great for seedlings and small plants

T5 DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Only used for vegetative plants. There is not enough power to flower cannabis under a T5 light  

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LED (Quantum Board) 

LED ADVANTAGES:

  • Energy efficient 

  • Offer full spectrum light

  • Plug and Play no need for a ballast

  • Cooler temperatures than HID lighting

  • Can be used in veg and flower stage

LED DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Light bleaching can occur 

  • Small footprint compared to HID lighting

  • Diodes may fail in high temperature settings 

  • Quality LED lights can be very expensive

HID (High Intensity Discharge) 

HID ADVANTAGES:

  • Larger light footprint (more grow space)

  • Provide full spectrum light

  • Very bright and intense light that is great for your canopy and strong enough to penetrate lower leaves 

  • Can be used in veg (MH) and flower (HPS) stage

HID DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Produce a great deal of heat 

  • Bulbs can (although rare) explode if handled incorrectly

  • Higher Hydro Costs 

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OPTIMAL TEMPERATUARE AND HUMIDITY 

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OPTIMAL pH Level 5.8 - 6.2

BREAKING SOIL 

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  • Keep your plants on an 18 hours of light and 6 hours of dark schedule 

  • Place at least one gentle fan (2 in opposite directions is better) on the plant as soon as it breaks soil. This will assist in stem strengthening. If you only have one fan to start, give your plants a quarter turn daily. 

  • Plants require proper pH levels for optimal growing. pH your water between 5.8-6.2

  • Never use distilled water! There are no minerals in distilled water

  • Dechlorinate your water simply by pouring into an open container and allowing the chlorine to evaporate over a 24 hour period

WHEN TO TRANSPLANT

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  • To start, your plants will do best in a relatively small container. This helps prevent the chances of overwatering (since the container is so small) and since a small container dries out quickly, it will deliver more oxygen to the roots.

  • Once the leaves reach past the edges of the container it is time to place in a bigger container. 

  • Many growers will move up to a 3 gallon container from a solo cup  sized pot. 

  • When the container becomes too small it will cause the plants to become root bound which will result in stunted growth.

CORRECT WATERING PRACTICES

DID YOU KNOW THAT INCORRECT WATERING IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE NEW GROWERS MAKE? ​

THE IMPORTANCE OF pH

Measuring the pH for cannabis plants is extremely important as your pH levels affect the solubility and uptake of essential plant nutrients (LOCKOUT).

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OVER WATERING CAN LEAD TO...

SIGNS OF OVER WATERING 

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  • DROOPING AND WILTING LEAVES

  • LEAVES CURL DOWN

  • SIGNS OF NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES

  • YELLOWING OR BLEACHING

  • PLANT WILL BE UNABLE TO CARRY ON NORMAL FUNTIONS

SIGNS OF UNDER WATERING 

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•DROOPING LEAVES

•SOIL IS DRY

•LEAVES FEEL PAPER THIN

•LEAVES CAN YELLOW AND LOOK LIKE NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES

•It can be difficult to diagnose chronic underwatering because problems may look like nutrient deficiencies. One big clue is that plants perk up every time after you water.

ADDING NUTRIENTS/FEEDING VEGETATIVE PLANTS

Like other flowering annual plants, cannabis requires at least 18 essential elements (nutrients), insufficient amounts, to properly develop and reproduce. Three of these elements oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen are accessed through the air and water. The rest must be supplied through the roots via the soil or growing medium. The 16 essential elements are responsible for nearly every facet of development and their absence will often be visibly noticeable. From the growth of roots and shoots to the development of flowers and fruits, a plant’s ability to have complete and reliable access to these nutrients makes the difference between excellent or poor performance.

ESSENTIAL MACRO NUTRIENTS

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Provided by air and rain, Oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), and carbon (C) are sometimes excluded in discussions of essential nutrients. This is because they are not elements that are often lacking, despite being needed in large amounts. They are also not ones that are components of any fertilizer or commercially-available nutrient package.

The other macronutrients that are needed and can be added to soils or other media are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Most commercial formulations of dry or liquid fertilizers will have three numbers on their packaging. These three numbers refer to the percentage by volume of N, P and K. Each of these individual essential nutrients performs a different –but vital– function to cannabis plants.

Cannabis needs different amounts of essential macros depending on the stage of development. Nitrogen is needed in higher quantities during the vegetative and bud-forming stages than during the flowering stage.

For its part, phosphorous is needed more during the flowering stage and is only required at about half the ratio of N levels during the vegetative phase of development. During this phase, K is needed at between half and two- thirds the level of N.

ESSENTIAL SECONDARY NUTRIENTS

The essential secondary nutrients are magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and sulfur (S). These nutrients are often unavailable to cannabis if proper pH levels are not maintained. These secondary essential nutrients perform a wide range of critical functions to proper cannabis development. They are often necessary components or complementary parts to other nutrients and functions. They are all needed for plant and root growth, but they do have specific roles.

 

Calcium assists in transporting other nutrients and aids in their absorption. Magnesium is a critical component of chlorophyll. Sulfur aids in the transport of chlorophyll, but also assists with plant metabolism and transpiration. The lesser amount required to aid in the proper growth and development of healthy cannabis should not be mistaken as being less important than the micronutrients. The same can be said for the diminutive amounts of micronutrients needed.

ESSENTIAL MICRO NUTRIENTS

The number of micronutrients listed as essential can vary based on the source. Like secondary nutrients, it is somewhat a matter of classification as some list the secondary nutrients as micronutrients. Either way, they represent minerals and elements that are not as abundantly available on Earth and as such are not needed in very high amounts by cannabis plants, but are still necessary.

No matter what source, boron (B), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and molybdenum (Mo) are always listed as essential micronutrients. Like the other essential nutrients, all micronutrients either have a unique function or serve to assist in the functions and processes of the other nutrients.

 

What follows is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of some of the roles of micronutrients and how they aid in the development of cannabis plants:

  1. Boron — helps with the development and growth of root tips. It also helps plants to absorb Ca and transports sugars within the plant.

  2. Manganese — is a vital component of chlorophyll production and the photosynthesis process. It also aids with enzyme interactions.

  3. Zinc — aids in the development of stems, leaves, and branches. The more mature a plant is, typically the more Zn is present and required.

  4. Copper — aids in the development of plant proteins and helps with the strengthening of stems and branches.

  5. Iron — is important for chlorophyll production. Iron deficiencies often present themselves as a yellowing of the leaves between the leaf’s veins (nueinal chlorosis).

  6. Molybdenum — helps to process nitrogen.

 

Other trace minerals thought to be essential include cobalt (Co), silicon (Si), chlorine (Cl), and selenium (Se). Not all sources agree on their inclusion in the essential group, though they are important to support all plant life.

COMMON DEFICIENCIES IN THE VEGETATIVE STAGE 

NITROGEN DEFICIENCY

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The most common nutrient deficiency in cannabis is nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential throughout the life of a plant, but especially during vegetative growth. Nitrogen deficiency symptoms include: An overall lightening and then yellowing in older, mature leaves, especially near the base of the plant.

 

  • The Plant will start to pale from the bottom leaves and move up toward the top of the plant

  • Yellowing bottom leaves that will wilt and fall off

  • Top leaves will take nitrogen from bottom leaves

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