So you’ve decided to grow pot, but you don’t have the money to buy several 1,000 watt halide lamps, and, unless you steal power (not a good idea, legal wise) four 1,000 watt halides will cost $256 every two months in British Columbia. That’s a bit unwise, if your previous electric bill from BC Hydro(ponic) was $50 for two months.
Then there is the large problem of massive amounts of heat, humidity and smell. And you might be concerned with all this equipment and activity and its association with a legal problem described as “manufacturing or cultivating with the intent to distribute” or some such charge.
A simple way to solve this dilemma is to use one or two 400 watt halides. Some growers will tell you that this is way too little or you won’t get anything worth while out of that wattage. I say “hogwash” to them. A 400 watt bulb will not give as much light as a 1,000 watt set-up, but the bulbs are cooler, last 2 to 3 times longer, and the spectrum is the same as 1,000 watt.
You can flower six large plants (about 2′ tall at the start of the 12/12 cycle), but the 2′ tall plant will not flower as profusely as a one foot tall plant, nor will all of the light reach the back of the plant. So all in all, stick with a height of ONE FOOT high. This will allow you to flower 12 plants per 400 watt bulb.
Place SIX plants ON tomato juice cans, coffee cans, etc., in a circle around the bulb, about one foot away from the bulb. There will be large spaces below for the other six to sit in. Each plant will yield around half to three-quarters of an ounce of buds. If you have an exceptional variety (Big Bud, for example), seven or eight ounces per bulb can be grown, but you should be able to harvest 3 to 4 ounces (minimum) every 60 days (plus or minus one week, depending on variety).
Let’s start with your house. If your landlord lives upstairs, don’t do it! If the landlord visits unannounced, don’t do it.
A bedroom with a closet works best. The closet should be a minimum 50 inches wide for 4-foot fluorescent fixtures. This will be your vegetative CLONE room. Keep this room open while the metal halide(s) are on. With a 400 watt system, you will not need to rewire unless you live in an old house with fuses.
Your Grow Room
White plastic is to be used in both the closet and a corner of your grow room. Since you want to contain as much light from the halide(s), it will be necessary to put a “corner post” where two walls (do not now exist) will meet. See diagram B.
Put plants on an old table. In your veg/clone closet, hang one fixture above the upper shelf (one foot) and suspend the other fixture from clothes rod (make it adjustable -with chain).
Soil & Pots
I prefer one gallon nursery pots. For a good soilless mix, I use 50% peat, 50% perlite. To the dry mix add one tablespoon of fine dolomite lime and three tablespoons of bat guano per gallon (OF WHAT?). Mix well. Use a dust mask. Add water.
Next, go to Hemp BC and get a book like Marijuana Growers Handbook by Ed Rosenthal, as you need a reference book, no matter what.
Seeds vs. Clones
No question about it. Clones are best. If you start from seeds, it will be 5 – 6 months before you harvest. If you obtain clones, three months at most.
If you have started your plants via seeds, keep them under fluorescent light until 6″ or 8″ tall. Transplant and put in the bulb area, two feet from bulb. In four to five weeks these plants will be anywhere from 10″ – 36″ tall, depending on variety and sex. At this point, take two clones off of each plant (long, lower branches are best.)
To determine the sex of the plants, place a black, air-permeable piece of paper over one shoot of each plant. Within 7 days they will manifest sex characteristics on those shoots. Male plants (see your Handbook for pictures) -out!
Or put all clones at this point in a closet with lights on a 12 hour on-12 hours off cycle. 8 – 14 days later, your clones will have male or female characteristics. Unless you want seedy pot (or seeds), kill all male plants. Put closet timer at 18 hours on/6 off as soon as sex identification is made. If you can, take two more clones off of each female and put in closet. Turn bulb timer to a 12/12 cycle & wait for your buds to start flowering.
But, if you get clones from female plants, you won’t have to do this. Just transplant immediately and put under bulb at 18/6 for one month. Take two clones from each plant & now turn closet lights to 18/6 and turn open area bulb to 12/12 (these plants will mature faster too).
You won’t need a fan in the closet. You will need an oscillating fan in the halide bulb grow area, blowing at the bulb. Also, a fan in the doorway will force hot air out of the grow area (an ugly box fan works fine).
Pot prefers a dry medium. Always. Don’t keep plants saturated. Empty trays after watering, to keep humidity low. Low humidity will promote shorter, bushier plants. Water temperature should be about 70 degrees F. Never use hot tap water. It will kill your plants. Fill your pail with water & heat some on the stove to bring temperature up. PH factor will not be a problem if you have used fine dolomite lime. Fertilizer should be applied at half strength of what is recommended on jar or container, ONLY every third watering.
Any questions can be asked via Dr. Clone, c/o HEMP BC. Dr. Clone is usually at Hemp BC on Saturdays from 1-4pm.