Cutting Electricity Costs

When growing indoors electricity use can become a set back. Lights, Fans, Air conditioner, and Dehumidifiers can all cost a bit to run, its best to pick efficient lighting which also puts out the lowest heat. I use Cob LED’s and I get really great results from them. There is two full spectrum Cob’s. Each Cob is 192 watts, there is two Cobs so roughly 384 watts total for the light I use.    The Cob LED will get me bigger yields, put out virtually no heat and produce quality Cannabis. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights produce much more heat requiring you to run more fans and maybe even use Air Conditioning which cost a lot to run monthly. The Cob LED will usually have a Heat Sink behind it with a fan or just a big Heat Sink, the Cob is also run by a driver.

Heatsink
50 watt Led grow chip with a 50 watt driver DIY kit.

So over all Cob LED’s are the way  to go. They will save you money and still give great results. I also have a low wattage 150 watt High Pressure Sodium lamp running along side of one of these about a foot away and it seems fine. After my HPS is at the end of its life I plan on switching to all Cob LED’s.

Dual Cob Grow Light
Dual Cob Grow Light

 

 

Spider Mites

Spider Mites are a common problem when growing Cannabis it usually occurs with outdoor grows more then indoor. It will look like little spots on top white or yellow and the mites hide underneath the leaves, so you will have to look out for that. They can be seen with a Jewelers loop or Magnifying glass. You can use a few different products on the Spider Mites or also make a spray with a mild soap the kind without a degreaser about 2 teaspoons per 1 liter spray bottle and spray that on the entire plant. I use Neem Oil on mine and spray the undersides of the leaves ever 3 days because the bugs will lay eggs every 3 days. So spray with either of those every 3 days. You can get Neem oil its inexpensive from a garden shop or order it on Ebay or Amazon. It is a organic product but I wouldn’t use it in flowering stages and if you need to don’t use it for a month up until harvest time. So if you spray it, allow it to flush out for a month before harvesting and I’d also cover up the Soil with plastic baggies while spraying so it doesn’t soak up the soil too much. Neem Oil will work for a number of pests. They also have Mite washes you can get for them. This should solve the Spider mite issue Since I was asked about this a few times. Thank you for reading and Happy Growing!

Cloning

Cloning is great to do if you want to preserve a certain female strain or if your short on seeds. Before you clone always use sterile tools and a sterile cloning tray to hold the clones. Wash everything and the area the clones will be rooting in. Cloning is prone to fungus, mold and pests so pick a strain that is resistant to those issues. As you know only clone female plants because they are the ones that flower. Cloning will also save you a few weeks time because once they root they will already be at a good height.

Tools you will need:

  • Sterile Razor blade (flamed)
  • Rockwool Starter Cubes
  • Cloning Gel
  • Powder fungicide (RoottoneF)
  • Clone tray and clear dome
  • Mist Bottle

First you want to make sure the female plant you pick to clone has been growing for awhile so it will easily regenerate for you. I usually don’t clone a plant till its been in vegetative for at least 30-50 days. You will want to soak your Rockwool Cubes in a 5.5 reverse osmosis water.  Pick a branch with a few nodes (The part of a plant stem from which one or more leaves emerge, often forming a slight swelling or knob.) and using a clean sterilized blade cut the branch at a 45 degree angle and trim the top leaves the tips and pull off bottom leaves. Put the clone in distilled water with a light nutrients mix, then cut again a small amount off the bottom where you made the cut while its in the water solution. Dip the clone in cloning gel and push into a Rockwool cube until the stem is in about 1/2 inch. Spray the clone dome inside and put Clones inside the Clone Tray. Cover with the dome and keep the humidity at 70-80% and the temperature at 75-80 degrees you can keep track of the humidity with a Digital Hygrometer. Dust the base of them with some Roottonef and keep them under a medium light for 24 hours. Spray only inside the dome every few hours and allow the clones to air out for a minute or two then put the dome cover back on. Some types will root quicker while others take longer just depends on the strain. Roots should appear in about 2 weeks. Allow the Mother plant that you cloned from to regenerate for at least 2 months before cloning again and keep in 18-24 hours light.

You can also use a Aeroponic Clone Machine and push the clones you cut in so the stem will get aeration and nutrients I never done it this way but it may be easier if you have a large number of clones. They sell the machines at hydroponic shops or ebay.

 

 

 

Nutrients & Deficiencies

In a previous blog post I wrote about feeding Cannabis, sometimes even when you follow directions problems may arise with yours plants. This allows you to spot the issue and fix it.

A usual issue is yellowing of the leaves occurs in lower leaves this is a Nitrogen deficiency. They will turn soft, curl in or crinkle and eventually turn brown. When the plant doesn’t get enough nitrogen it will pull it from the lower leaves, causing them to yellow and die. It should only be the lower leaves if its the upper new growth that’s normal.

Nitrogen moves through out the plant as needed, when it is low leaves use it up in other parts of the plant that require it the most like new growth. The plant will push the nitrogen to these parts to help them with photosynthesis and keeping it green. It is normal for the plant to start yellowing in late flowering cycle. If it yellows in vegetative then you have a issue.

Solution: Feed the plant with a good nitrogen nutrient and adjust pH.  I recommend any complete nutrient should help. I use General Organics or Bat Guano for soil and for hydroponic I use General Hydroponics FloraGro or Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect. Also be sure to not over feed with Nitrogen because you will get toxicity and that shows when the leaves are very dark.


Issue: Edges appear brown or burnt, Pale, Brown spots, yellow spots, Dark or purple leaves, slow growth.

 

This is a Boron deficiency usually occurs in a dry environment or under watered. First sign will be thick grow tip or growth twisting or abnormal. yellow or brown spots will show and root growth will be slow.

Solution: Use a balanced nutrient and make sure your feeding regularly and that its not too dry in the growing room. Make sure your pH is adjusted correctly since Boron is used by the plant at a lower pH so when it rises the Boron isn’t available to the plant. Use a Hygrometer to test the humidity in the air if its too dry you may get a Boron deficiency.


Issue: Spotting/ mottling, dead spots, crinkling, stunned growth, curled tips, small or poorly formed new leaves, leaf die off, weak stems, weak or unhealthy roots.

This is a Calcium deficiency will show up in parts of the fan leaves that have been exposed to light or the newer growth.

Solution: Make sure your pH is correct after the calcium issue is corrected the damaged leaves will not return to normal but the new growth will show the correction. Cannabis plants usually can handle a high calcium add General organics Cal-Mg or Botanicare Cal-Mag Plus. You can also use Dolomite Lime it can be mixed into your soil add 6-7 teaspoons to one gallon of soil. You can also add crushed egg shells for another organic alternative.


Issue: Tips of leaves turn bright yellow or white, leaves turn dark with blue or yellow undertones, shiny or metallic sheen on leaves, Buds don’t ripen or mature very slowly, leaves feel stiff and bent under, wilting or drooping.

This is a Copper deficiency its usually from a pH issue so make sure that is correct and use the right nutrients and is also when the grower uses RO (Reverse Osmosis) water because that filtering process strips out some Copper. It also will happen if a plant is being over watered.

Solution: Don’t over water your plant and make sure the pH is at the right level. Use quality soil and nutrients made for Cannabis.


Issue: Newest leaves turn completely yellow and white. Usually shows in the center and outward on the leaves. Pale colored leaves, Slow growth, Buds not maturing.

This is usually a Iron Deficiency a solution:  Make sure your pH is correct feed with a nutrient containing iron, calcium, and magnesium.


Issue: Light green or yellow will show on the veins or edges of the leaves they may also be crisp to the touch. It usually appears on the lower part of the plant because the plant will pull Magnesium from the lower leaves.

This is Magnesium Deficiency and a solution: It can be treated by feeding a Magnesium supplement like Cal- Mg as mentioned above. Also again keeping the pH in check is a big importance.


Issue: Leaves turn yellow between vein areas and have brown mottled spots. The brown spots eventually spread and kill the leaf they may also shred and crumble apart. The yellowing will begin at the base of the leaf and move outward, overall plant growth is slow.

This is a Manganese deficiency  and a solution is to flush out the medium using pH’d water and a light nutrient that contains Manganese will correct this.


Issue: Pale and yellow leaves, brown an dark spots, Pink coloring and yellow, red around edges of leaves.

This is rare but it is molybdenum deficiency and a solution is to completely flush the plant and then add a nutrient that includes molybdenum and make sure the pH is set.


Issue: Edges appear brown on tips or dark leaves, dark patches on leaves, leaves will turn under and crack off.

This is Nutrient Burn and a solution is to completely flush the medium out with pH’d water use a flushing solution like Foxfarm sledgehammer Bushdoctor or flush with plain water.


Issue: Yellowing appears starting at tips of leaves and works inward then leaves will turn grey or brown and die off. They will also curl down and the stems will turn bright red or purplish.

This is Phosphorus deficiency a solution is to feed with a high phosphorus nutrient and adjust the pH Phosphorus is best absorbed by cannabis in soil at a root pH of 6.2 – 7.0. Phosphorus is best absorbed by cannabis in hydro at a root pH of 5.5 – 6.2. too wet or compact soil can trigger Phosphorus deficiency. Too low temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit can also trigger it. Good sources of Phosphorus are: Bat Guano, Bone or Blood meal, Worm Castings or Worm tea, Fish meal, Bloom or Flowering nutrients. Make sure you make the Bat Guano and Bone/Blood Meal into a tea before applying it to the plant.


Issue: Leaves appear burnt or brown on edges and show yellowing or paleness, veins of leaves stay green, Brown or dark spots, Lower leaves affected.

This is a Potassium Deficiency a solution is again to flush the medium and feed with a potassium nutrient. Its also due to stressful conditions like heat, over watering, transplanting. Make sure the pH is correct when feeding and watering to assure proper uptake of nutrients.


Issue: Pale colored leaves, yellow leaves in new and old growth, yellowing between veins, red or pink color on stems, Buds not maturing properly.

This is Sulfur Deficiency and a solution is to check your pH to make sure sulfur isn’t being locked out.


Lastly is a Zinc Deficiency same with other issues pale leaves and spotting. A solution is to adjust the pH and make sure you feed with a balanced nutrient. Zinc deficiency is likely to appear when using RO water due to it being stripped from the water during the filtration process.


As with most of the issues pH is a important factor and feeding a well balanced line of nutrients to the plant. Also to prevent over feeding or nutrient burn its important to flush out ever 2 -3 weeks. Make sure your giving the plants good amounts of water without over watering. Humidity should be correct also to prevent issues. Daily care and spotting issues early is important for them to reach maximum potential.

Cropping & LST

When growing in smaller areas like tents, its a good choice to crop or train your plant with LST to grow its maximum in the small space. Also if you want to max the yield getting more buds instead of a main branch.

I’m going to explain a easy way to do this now you want to wait at least till they are 6″ – 8″ in height is when I usually crop them. Your going to pinch off the grow tip just the top leaves that are growing out. In a few days it will regenerate and two new shoots will emerge. Do this again after they grow out some, soon you will have a branched out plant.

Once you have all the branches grown out you can train it to fill up and net by attaching the net (Trellis) https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/BCPSH16  https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/HGN15  https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/LHN010 to your tent poles a easy way is to use plastic zip ties. Once you have the net in place carefully push the branches through the holes in the net to fill up all the space. This will allow maximum light to reach all the buds on your branched out plants

You can also use garden ties https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/HGST to train your branches to spread out the way you’d like simply secure the wire around the main branch twist it around and up the branch and shape it the way you want it to go. If you need the branch to be pushed down use fish line and fishing weights and attach that to the branches to weight them down be careful to not break the branches although Cannabis stems are fairly strong, they may break if too much pressure is applied. I also sometimes use plastic zip ties to support the branches and spread them out so all are receiving a good amount of light.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for reading and enjoy your gardening!

Growing Auto-flowering Ruderalis

Ruderalis is a shorter stocky plant that flowers on its own with the right amount of light I have grown many different kinds. It is one of the easiest varieties to grow and is great for beginners. The first thing to remember is it requires a longer light period to grow and mature properly so instead of a 12/12 hour light time it requires at least 18 hours of light a day I recommend 24 hours I know its not efficient to be running the lights all the time but you could use two different lights in the grow space and then have one going 12 and the other covering the other 12 hours and just hook them up to a timer. After 30 days on 18-24 hours of light you can switch back to 12 hours only thing is the yield will be less so its best to leave it at 18-24 hours of light. The Ruderalis will start to flower in about 15-30 days.

When using a soil I recommend a lighter soil so not too much nutrients you should be using half the strength of nutrients and take care in not over fertilizing the Ruderalis and again keep the PH at 6.5 in soil and 5.5-5.8 in hydroponic. Use the same kinds of nutrients you’d use in a Indica or Sativa just at half strength and same with watering.

You shouldn’t have to prune or pinch for the Ruderalis for it to branch out it does this on its own and if you pinch off the grow tip it might cause problems like slowed growth or it will die so I don’t recommend that. They will be ready to harvest anywhere from 65-110 days depending on the type also they can be about 1 -2.5 feet so they are perfect for small growing areas.

Amount & Types of Light Per Plant

When I grow from seed and clones I use CFL (Compact Florescent Light) Bulbs, for my Vegetative area I use mixed spectrum 3,500 Kelvins (bright white) which is a blue & red mixed light. I also sometimes just use 5,000 Kelvins (daylight bulbs) so its all blue spectrum. I recommend at least 50 watts for each plant for vigorous growth then in flowering bump it up to 100 watts per plant or more if you desire. In flowering they like either mixed 3,500 Kelvins (blue/red spectrum) or 2,700 kelvins (warm white) all red light. The red spectrum enhances flower growth and makes the buds bigger. I usually go to the hardware store and buy the CFL bulbs and use a reflector to house the bulb and it works well for me.

You can also use Metal Halide Lamps in Vegetative which is a all blue spectrum its also good and will produce good results. This is known as a High- Intensity discharge lamp (HID). In Flowering switch to High Pressure Sodium Lamp (HPS) to induce flowering and make the buds plumper. Both Metal Halide and High Pressure sodium lamps product a lot of heat due to the Ballast and the bulb. If you turn off your HID Lamp or power goes out always wait about 10 minutes to turn the Lamp back on so the igniter inside the ballast can cool down. HID lamps and Ballasts can be found on EBay.com, Amazon, or your local gardening shop.

Its important to have lots of ventilation going to your HID lamp because they can let off lots of heat, some you can buy ducting fans for and hook it up directly to your HID lamp with a flange to keep the heat off your garden area. I have never done this but I use a clip on fan blowing inside my grow tents, bigger areas may need to have ducting and fans cooling the lamps.

Next Lighting method is a T5 florescent light these are both made in vegetative and flowering spectrum’s they come in many sizes and wattage. I have never used these kind but I know from other growers who used them that they are a good choice for growing Cannabis.

LED lights are also great and lower costing lamps to operate they put off a great amount of light and are worth the cost I currently have a Purple Sun LED from Apollo Grow Lights. I use it in my Flowering tent and it works great. LED lights come in standard LED and COBB LED bulbs I recommend using the regular type because the COBB can burn out quick but are easy to replace.

But the best light to use is the Sun its free and the best to grow your Cannabis I have had a few outdoor grows on my lanai (balcony) the only thing is it only received a short period of light hours because the shade from the building, so I had CFL lamps inside a mini greenhouse to power on during the low light hours and turn off around 7:00pm when the sun was setting. I had some great results from this method. Keep in mind that if you have plants outside and you have a Cannabis Medical card in Hawaii the plants must be hidden! so no one can see them. They need at least 12 hours of full sun per day as well so no dim or shaded areas.

If you have any questions please contact me.

Temperature & Humidity

The temperature and humidity your keeping the plants in can make a huge impact on yields and plants growth rate also keeping molds and pests away from your Medicinal plants.

The ideal temperature should be 75°F (23.88°C) and should never be over 90°F (32.22°C) The ideal humidity should be at exactly 50% anything over or under causes pests and molds/mildew in your garden, a air conditioner or fans can keep the temperature and humidity at the proper levels, you will also see a faster growth in your plants if these levels are kept in the right range. Use a Hygrometer to measure the humidity in your grow room or grow area you can buy them from Ebay or a garden supply shop. I have a digital Temperature & Hygrometer I use in my grow tents. I also have a clip on 6″ fan and two 4″ inline duct fans (180 CFM) one blowing air in and the other exhausting air with a filter connected to it to pull out the dust and pathogens to make sure the air is clean inside the grow space use a fan controller to control the air flow of the exhaust fan. Plants have pores just like our skin does if these pores become clogged it can make the plant sick so its really important that you have plenty of air circulation in your grow space to keep your plants at their healthiest. I have my fans hooked up to a timer they are on when it gets too hot and shut off at night when its cooler always give the fans a break so they don’t burn out. I also recommend getting a grow Tent or if your growing indoors having a completely sealed space to keep out mold spores and pests.

Thank you for reading If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

PH, TDS and EC in Cannabis Growing

PH

When Growing any plant PH is a important factor. The PH scale starts at 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline) Cannabis requires when growing in soil 6.5 PH and when growing Hydroponic it should be 5.5-5.9 having a accurate PH helps the plant uptake the nutrients it needs if the PH is not correct it locks out nutrients. I use the liquid General Hydroponics PH up and down and a Digital PH meter to test the PH before adding water or nutrient solution to the soil or reservoir, gradually use one drop per gallon as it is very concentrated and needs a tiny amount to move the PH. You an also buy PH up and down in the powder form. You should also weekly test the run off (draining water) from the plant pots to make sure its 6.5 If not adjust it correctly.

TDS and EC

TDSxcf

TDS is the total dissolved solids in your nutrient solution its measured PPM – parts per million. EC is the Electrical Conductivity that the PPM meter reads, always test the nutrient solution before adding it to plants newly sprouted seeds need a lower PPM around 100. As it starts growing in vegetative I raise the levels it can go up to about 700 depending on how big the plant is. In the later flowering stages its much higher around 800-1500 PPM depending on how far along the flowering stage is. Each week raise it little by little and every 2-3 weeks flush out the soil with a flush solution to rinse out nutrient build up also flush out before the flowering stage. In flowering 1200 PPM is ideal in the later stages each strain is different. Its best to use Reverse Osmosis water for Cannabis growing because the level is at 0 or is low so it leaves room to add the nutrients so the plants don’t get too much salts built up. In the flush out stages it shouldn’t go over 100 PPM in the water your using to Flush.

If you have any questions feel free to ask Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

Best Soils for Growing Cannabis

I have used three different soils but the best I think is Foxfarm Ocean Forest or Happy Frog  http://www.foxfarmfertilizer.com/ or Roots Organic http://rootsorganicssoil.com/. The other I used was Super soil http://www.scotts.com/smg/gosite/SuperSoil/home when I first started growing I found it was ok but the more micro nutrients and organic fertilized mixes have better results. Also Pro-Mix Soil http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/category/soil-growing-medium is great But I usually use Roots Organic.

Foxfarm and Roots Organic already has all the good stuff inside Bat Guano a natural organic fertilizer, Mycorrhizae which is great for roots, earthworm castings and beneficial microbes all working together to promote the best plant growth. Foxfarm also has a starter soil that is great for the first few weeks of growth. If you decide to mix your own make sure it has plenty of aeration and good organic compounds like Bat Guano or Compost.  You still have to add Organic nutrients to the plants after the first 30 days but you can start light if you want to do it earlier. Experiment and find the best Soil for your Cannabis plants.