In this guide I will be showing you how to grow Marijuana (the same principles goes for most plants) in an easy way.I will explain it all from a hydroponic point of view from seed to harvest.
It is only Hydroponics we deal in here, so its natural I take this approach to this Medical Marijuana Growing Guide.
I recommend you always get a water chiller with your growing system to keep the water/nutrient solution at about 18 degrees Celsius.
Phase 1, From Seed or Cutting
If you are all new to this, you will probably have to start from a seed. Hatching a seed is not difficult, but it will take some time for it to develop into a bigger plant.
It is way more preferable to have cuttings to grow, that’s why I always recommend people to also get a little cloning station in addition to their main grow station, this don’t have to cost much at all.
To hatch a seed you take 2 small dinner plates, with some wet paper on each side.
You put some wet paper on the plate, then put your seed in the middle and cover it with wet paper and the other plate. Put it then in a dark place, it should after about 2 days at least begin to show a “tale”
Germinate guide from Sensi Seeds:
You put the seed with the tale down (yes, many do this mistake and put it on its head) in a growing medium, I recommend Rockwool cubes.
You then put them in a small cutting box and keep it moistured, in a couple weeks your seeds should be nice little seedlings.
The reason I recommend cuttings is that it is a much faster way to grow, you can then take cuttings from the plant you have and all those cuttings will be identical to their “Mother” (The plant you took the cuttings from)
I always take cutting from a plant the day before I put it into Bloom, this way I always have a new big nice one ready to go in the main system as fast as I harvest.For cuttings, I would recommend an aeroponic cutting station, these have never failed me, the plants love it and they get nice clean roots.
The only reason to begin from a seed is really if you want to try a new strain/type.
You will be very careful with nutrients in the start, all nutrients have charts on them showing you the right amount of nutrient for the plant wherever it is in its lifecycle.
As a seedling/cutting it won’t care too much about PH, but Cannabis plants do like a PH of 5.8, at least try to keep it below 6.5.
In the growing phase your plant can have either light on 24/7 or at least 18h/day. (so you can save some electricity by giving the plant 18h light instead of 24 per day)
The plants also love a high humidity in the start, they thrive at about 70% air humidity.
Phase 2, The Stretch Phase
When you are satisfied with the growth of your plant, you will change its lightcycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
Let’s just call it 12/12.
This should be done when your plant is at least 12 inches tall, I like to put mine in bloom at about 15-16 inches tall.
What will happen now is that for the next 14 days it will grow very rapidly, it can actually grow as much as 2/3 of its height in these 14 days.
(This is when you will be putting a net over the plant to Scrog them, this along with other techniques will be explained in it`s own post as it is a lot you can do to maximize your yield with these plants, like topping, fimming, lollipopping, supercropping, defoliating etc, plant techniques)
It will grow a lot, so don’t be afraid to put it in bloom though it looks tiny at 12-16 inches height.
In this first 14 days you will be giving the plant another regime of nutrients, so it requires a reservoir change when you begin these 14 days of stretch and one after these 14 days.
You can still keep humidity at about 70%, try to keep PH at 5.8. (Automatic PH dosers can be bought)
EC/PPM is also a thing to keep monitoring, but if you use the nutrient charts correctly it should not be a problem.
This is by far the problem most hydro-beginners meet, PH out of bounds, and it can damage your plant severely.
Phase 3, The Bloom Phase
Now your plant should be doing fine and you will begin to see the nodes form into buds more and more.
The time it takes for a plant to be finished depends on the plant itself/strain and the grow method.
Growing with hydroponics/aeroponics you usually can shave off almost a week compared to other grow methods.
Typical is 2-2.5 months time for the plant to be ready for harvest.
During the Bloom phase, you need to get down the humidity, it should not be more than 50% air humidity as that may lead to bud-rot, and you don’t want that.
Also, during this phase you should leave the plant alone as much as you can to not stunt its development, but its ok to defoliate a little. (Defoliating is just to take away big leaves that shadows for buds under it, you want light directly at your buds)
Phase 4, The Harvest Phase
You will see it when your plant is about ready, but you also should have a Microscope with at least 100x magnification to take a look at the trichomes. These looks like little pins with a bubble on top.
In the beginning these bubbles are transparent, and they will then go to milky and finally red.
It depends on what you like when you harvest them, if you harvest early you will get more of a Sativa effect of the plant even if it is an Indica. (more head-high than couch-locked)
I like as most do, to harvest when I see about 30% red, 50% milky and 20% transparent trichomes. This gives you just the characteristic the plant is supposed to have.
You will have to “flush” the plant for a week before harvest, so you should have this in mind and start flushing when you see most milky trichomes. Flushing means giving the plant pure water without nutrients.
(There are some nutrients that can be used in the flushing phase too, like GHE`s Ripen)
Enjoying the fruits of your labor!
Well, not yet, first you have a pretty big job to do, and that’s harvesting and trimming your plant.
This is clearly the most job you have to do with these plants, but also a very enjoyable one.
How thoroughly people do this is very subjective, some trim it “to the bone” while others do it very loosely leaving a lot of small leaf material left in the bud.
I do recommend spending some money on a really nice scissor, as your hands will thank you a lot.
All the trimmings you can also use, the most popular way to use it is by making “Bubblehash” that means you take all your leaves and plant cutoffs, put them in special bags made for this, adding ice and cold water, then stir it a lot.
(You can get small machines to do this)
Then you have to dry it, you can get nice racks to hang all in or you can just hang them up somewhere warm and dry.
This will typically take a week or two, depending on the size of your buds, the smaller one will of course dry first.
You test if its properly dried by breaking a twig, if you hear a popping sound and it breaks right off, they are ready.
(If they just bend, they are not dry enough)
When you hear that sweet popping sound when breaking a twig, you know its dry enough.
You can smoke it right away as it is, but it will mature and get better going trough the process of “Curing”.
This is best done by putting the finished Marijuana in glass jars and open the jar to air it 5min a day for up to 4-8 weeks is normal, but some strains just get better the longer they cure, some can take up to 6 months to reach its full potential.
You can now store your Marijuana for up to 2 years at least without it losing any potency.
Ps. Marijuana should always be stored in a dark, dry place.
Should you have any questions, leave a comment below and I will be happy to help you out!
All the best,
Founder of HydroShopper