Drying & Curing

Preparing the plant for harvest

Because Nutrients and other residues are left inside the growing medium, Always flush out your plants well before harvesting at least for the last 2 weeks. This can be done by using a flushing agent. I used Bushdoctor flush from Foxfarm or flushing them with plain water.

Drying

Drying should always be done in a airy circulated, dark and dry area. It takes about seven days for a bud to dry and be ready to transfer to a jar, or paper bag to cure.  First you want to trim your plant of the larger leaves, then trim the buds, the leaves that stick out this could take some time. Use scissors or trimming tool to trim them. I would also use latex gloves to trim the buds so your hands don’t get full of resins the plant material will stick to your hands. After trimming the buds, I then place the trimmed buds inside a dry net. Cut them so they fit and are not stacked on top of each other. Use fans to circulate the drying area and turn the buds every so often. It is important to use fans and protect your buds from mold, mildew and dust. You can also hang the buds up in a row on a line and allow them to dry. The ideal temperature should be 65-75 degrees ☼ and the humidity should be 45-55 percent % in a dark area. Drying time 6-10 days after they are dry start the curing process.

It is important that you dry them in a dark or very dimly lit area, any lights can degrade the THC in the buds. I have seen people make boxes out of cardboard and put a rope or twine inside and hang the buds on that while running fans under to keep them well circulated. It takes about 6-10 days to dry the buds and the stems will snap when you bend them that is how you know the buds are well dried.  Don’t use microwaves, heaters or ovens to dry your buds this will ruin and degrade your buds best way is to dry slowly. Any temperature over 180 degrees will degrade the quality.

Curing your dried Cannabis

The curing process takes about a month or longer. When curing you can put them in mason jars every few hours open and shake the buds and close the jar it will take about a month to fully cure the buds. You can also put them in paper bags. Open every day and shake the buds around to prevent mold this is really important even after you have dried them they could still have some moisture. 1-3 months is recommended for the cure, although you can smoke them right after they are dried its much stronger and better after the cure. This all is a lot of work and patience but the end result is well worth the wait. Enjoy!

Feeding Cannabis

When growing Cannabis it is important to feed it properly.
In vegetative it gets different types and amounts of nutrients then when in flowering. PH is also a important factor when giving nutrients because it will allow the plant to take up the nutrients properly when the PH is adjusted. NPK is the three main nutrients the plant will need during the growing cycle. These fit in the category macro nutrients.

Nitrogen (N) – Helps plants make the proteins they need to grow more tissue

Phosphorus (P) – Helps root growth and helps the plant bloom and flower. It improves plant strength also helps seeds grow bigger.

Potassium (K) – Helps all the functions of the plant to produce correctly.

When looking at a fertilizers content the three numbers show the amount inside the fertilizer so 10-10-10 is a even amount of all three nutrients. Each number is a percentage of what is in the nutrient mix so 10-20-10 would be 10% Nitrogen, 20% Phosphorus, and 10% Potassium. When Cannabis is in the vegetative stage it requires more nitrogen to form more leaves and grow quicker. While in Flowering (budding) stage it requires more Phosphorus.

Other nutrients are also required for better results some are below.

Calcium (Ca) –  Helps with heat stress and also the structure of the plant and leaves. Calcium deficiency will show in the leaves they will be dull in color starting on the ends also will show as brown spots or yellow. It usually appears in the fan leaves that are under the lights or it will show on new growth. Dolomite Lime  is a great calcium magnesium supplement add 6-7 teaspoons of fine dolomite lime to each gallon of soil. I also use CaMg+ from General Organics when I feed Calcium. Other signs of Calcium Deficiency are Crinkling, Spotting, mottling, small brown spots, small or stunned new leaves, curled tips, leafs die – off, dead spots, weak or brittle stems, Slow bud or leaf development. You can also get calcium from finely crushed egg shells.

Magnesium (Mg) – Is needed for photosynthesis its a part of the chlorophyll in all plants and helps activate the plants enzymes needed for growth.

Sulfur (S) – Has many uses in the plants growth one is that its essential for the production of proteins. It also improves root growth and seed production. Aids in the formation of chlorophyll and faster plant growth. helps protect plant in cold temperatures.

Next are the micro nutrients:

Boron (B) – Helps in the use and regulates nutrients also aids in the production of sugars and carbohydrates, aids in seed and fruit development.

Copper (Cu) – Helps in the utilization of proteins and aids in root metabolism. 

Chloride (Cl) – Aids in plant metabolism.

Iron (Fe) – Helps with formation of chlorophyll.

Manganese (Mn) – Involved in the aid of break down of carbohydrates and nitrogen metabolism.

Molybdenum (Mo) – Helps with the use of nitrogen.

Zinc (Zn) – Essential in the transformation of carbohydrates, regulates consumption of sugars part of the enzyme system that regulates the plants growth.

If a plant receives all the required nutrients it will produce better results and yield its important to not over feed but to give the plant what it needs in weekly doses and to also flush out excess built up nutrients every 2-3 weeks. All nutrients have a feeding schedule usually the manufacturer will have a feeding schedule that shows how much and when to use the nutrients. Read the label and follow how much it tells you to use per feeding each brand is different. Ruderalis Cannabis usually is half the recommended dose so be sure to only use half strength for the Dwarf auto flowering varieties. Keep your PH levels 6.5 for soil and ideally 5.7 for hydroponics but they can handle a range of 5.6-6.2 so be sure to measure that before you feed the plants so they can uptake all the nutrients. If you have any questions feel free to contact me thank you for reading hope you enjoy my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Best Grow Tents

The best way to make sure your plants are protected from bugs,mold,dust, and outside temperatures and humidity is to grow in a tent or closed space I have a GrowLab GL60 http://www.homebox-growlab.net which is a awesome sturdy tent. I also have a larger HydroHut 2×2 http://hydrohuts.tumblr.com/ that is just as good as the GrowLab. Both have sturdy poles and connectors as well.

Its important that you use a grow tent to grow your plants because it makes it easier to protect against bugs and molds if your going to be smoking something grow or eating it you want to make sure its free of pests and mold which is harmful to your body also its easier to hang the lights and fans. Another good grow tent is Gorilla these are some of the strongest tents you can buy. Check out the sites and see for yourself http://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=911832&u=1293991&m=31788&urllink=&afftrack=

Thank you for reading and have a great day! Happy Growing!

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.

Watering Cannabis

When starting seedlings in soil you should always spray the soil till its moist but not too wet. I would spray them at least 3 times a day depending on your grow area temperatures. As they get older about 6″ you can start watering them with a glass or watering container till it runs off and gets all the roots wet in the growing container, don’t over water because it will cause mildew and molds to form in the growing medium. As they reach adult stage you can water up to 2 cups per plant depending on your container size and room temperature. You can also build a automatic watering system with a water pump, a reservoir, some water line (I use 1/4″ water line) and some micro sprayers and a hydroponic timer for watering you can find all of these things on EBay or a local Garden or Hydroponics supply shop. I will show you how to make one in a later Blog post. I always use Reverse Osmosis water PH to 6.5 when I water plants in soil. Check the run off (draining water) and test it to make sure the PH is 6.5 inside the roots if not adjust to the proper PH. If your PH is not correct it will lock out nutrients the plant needs.

In Hydroponics its basically the same amounts of water make sure you use a big enough Reservoir to accommodate how many plants you have. If you have any questions feel free to post a comment and I will answer. Thank you for reading.