A Grower’s Primer



CC Summer Issue: A Grower’s Primer



A Grower's Primer

by Darren Morgan


Whether you are growing for yourself or for others you will need some
space. In just one square meter you can produce enough for your smokables,
and even keep a couple of extra plants for edibles and ornamentals. If you
are intending to live off of your harvest, you could get by on a ten by ten
room or a small greenhouse or garden.


SEED

You can obtain seeds fairly easily, whether it be from a friend, a friend’s
product, or a local hemp store. If you already have some plants then there
are many ways to yield hundreds of seeds without sacrificing your
sinsemilla harvest. I prefer the idea of seeds because if you have an
endless supply and good selection then you can plant as many as you want
along with as many different varieties as you might choose to plant. You
also don’t need any mother plants to take clones from.


When you are planting your seeds, keep them pointed end up and cover with
no more than one inch of medium. Temperature and a constantly moist surface
layer are key factors to germination. You should add water when the surface
begins to get dry, however, be careful not to over-water. Medium, room, and
water temperatures should be around 20-24 degrees Celsius for best results.

CLONES

Cuttings or clones are easily available from any plant you might have,
regardless of whether it is in a vegetative or floral state. Clones are a
great way to fill your garden with all female (or male) plants. They are
also good to have ready to go as soon as one crop is finishing or
finished. I have taken a lot of clones in my years and I think the nicer
the cutting the better. There are numerous factors in clone production,
such as temperature of the soil, water, room air, and a correct humidity
level. The temperatures should be the same as for seeds and the humidity
should be between eighty and ninety percent.



INSIDE/OUTSIDE

Whether you grow inside or out you should consider a few things about the
area you use. If you are using lights indoors you should consider the light
seeping out, the odour of your plants, how fast your hydro meter is
spinning, excessive noise, condensation on your windows, and who will know
about your garden.


If you are renting your space you might think of some excuses for why your
landlord (or anyone else for that matter) cannot go in certain areas of
your house. If your garden is small you probably don’t have to worry about
showing friends, but if you get more involved then make sure that only
those you really trust are let in on the secret. Lots of people are greedy
and will rob you without a second thought, so be a little cautious.


Outside some of the same hassles will apply. Neighbours, hikers, and police
are all potential hazards to your plants. Although your backyard is
connected to you, it is easy to grow a good crop if you disguise it
well. Most people think of cannabis as a plant shaped like a christmas
tree, so training, pruning, tying plants over, flowering clones, and
companion planting are all good methods of camouflage.

PHOTO PERIOD

Plants that are planted outside at the beginning of the season live through
an increasing daylength followed by a slowly decreasing daylength. Inside
you must recreate this photo period to control the responses of your
plants. If you want your plants to grow big before they flower you should
keep your lights running sixteen to twenty-four hours a day. If you are
using window light and the day is not long enough then you can still keep a
plant growing vegetatively by exposing it to light several times during
each dark cycle.


When you want your plants to flower then a twelve hour on period followed
by twelve off is good for almost all plants. Make sure your plants are in
complete darkness for the full twelve hours or they will produce much less
bud. Plants measure the dark period to control their responses, so if your
plants are exposed to any light then it will effect their flowering cycle.


Plants outside can be sheltered for the first few morning hours or evening
hours every day so as to start them flowering early in the summer. This way
you can harvest before the old eye in the sky can invade your right to
liberty. When your plants have big colas (flower clusters) you can speed
maturation by cutting the light hours back to fourteen off and ten on for
the last two weeks, inside or out.

BUDS PER FOOT

Most people think that big bushes are the way to grow the most
flowers. Most big plants have large spaces between nodes and flower
bracts. When you grow small plants side by side you get a cubic layer of
buds, thus almost all of your area is filled with colas. Picture a square
foot with one plant, and then picture that same space with four to six
plants. With one plant you get one main cola and with four to six you get
four to six main colas. Get the picture?

pH LEVELS

pH is a scale from 1 to 14 that measures acid-to-alkaline balance, with 1
the most acidic and 14 being most alkaline. 7 is considered neutral, and
cannabis likes a pH of about 6.3 to7.5 in the water and medium. pH test
kits and adjusters are available at most plant stores.


If you disregard the pH of your nutrient solution or medium then you will
notice serious effects on your plants. If the water is too acidic then the
nutrients will be bound by the acid salts and the roots are unable to
absorb them. An alkaline solution or medium will cause a toxic salt
build-up and limit water uptake. When you choose a medium to use, make sure
you find out the pH and how it will react to water.

ANY QUESTIONS?

For those of you who need help getting started, Dr. Clone explains what to
do with your seeds to get your garden going. If there are any questions
anyone would like to ask then please send us your letters. If enough of you
send in your letters then we’ll have a Question & Answer column in the next
issue.

 


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