STEP 4 - VEGETATIVE CYCLE: Once your plant is a few inches tall, you can start to feed it nutrients (many companies offer a "VEG A" and "VEG B" combo) and water it daily or every other day. The light cycle should be about 18 hours, but you can use as little as 14 hours to grow the plants. Keep the environment around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity around 50% so as to avoid mold, mildew, and other infestations. Use a fan to blow air directly onto the plants; this helps them build stronger roots and stem, and keeps pests and insects from making themselves at home. This process can last one or two months, depending on the strain and depending on the size of the final plant that you desire. After two weeks in the vegetative cycle (or a month since popping the seeds), you should transplant into a larger pot (3 gallon). You can switch to a more powerful light source if you are growing indoors (600 watt or 1,000 watt bulb), but make sure to keep the temperature below 80 degrees Fahrenheit so the photosynthesis process continues. Keep in mind that once the plant goes into the final flowering stage, it will grow another 1 to 2 times in size. We usually veg our plants to about 3 feet tall before flowering; anything smaller will just not produce large enough flowers. This means that by the end of your plant's life, it will grow to about 6-8' tall. Once you are satisfied with the size and health of your plant, you can take cuttings to produce clones. Use the bottom branches for cuttings as they will produce the smallest flowers anyway (as they are furthest from the light source). Remove any dead leaves and treat any pests or diseases prior to going into flowering.
Follow these tips from Don Miguel to pop your seeds, nurture your seedlings, boost your vegetative cycle, and survive the most difficult stage of flowering.
STEP 6 - HARVEST: Congratulations! If you made it this far, you will have grown beautiful, aromatic cannabis flowers. It is time to cut them down to dry. Most growers cut the entire plant at the base and hang it upside down in a closet or barn from a clothes line. Don Miguel prefers to remove all the flowers and pluck off the extra leaves from the buds at this time and put them to dry. The drying part is critical because damp or humid buds will fall victim to mold. It takes about a week in most climates for the buds to dry. Then they should be placed into glass mason jars for "curing." This is also a critical stage. Make sure to remove the lid each day for about 15 minutes to air out the buds. If you put damp buds into a mason jar, they will grow mold and be ruined. You can see if mold is growing as it will look like frost attached to the outside of the buds. After successfully curing the dry bud for a couple of weeks, you can smoke it! The bud will last as long as you keep the jars closed and in a cool, dry place, but the THC will degrade over time, so you should probably start your next grow cycle as soon as you finish it!
STEP 3 - PLANTING THE SEEDLINGS: Choose your medium and setting (coco grow vs. soil, indoor vs. outdoor). Start with a small Dixie cup or quart-sized container full of medium. Then plant the seedling tap root side down and seed shell or leaves up. Do not worry if the seed shell is still on the seedling when you place it in the medium; it will fall off on its own, and trying to remove it yourself may damage/kill the plant. Place under direct light for 18-24 hours of light exposure. If you grow indoors, you can place the plant under any wattage, but the main idea is that there is a light source above the plant to trigger the growth process. We like to use either natural sunlight or a 400-watt bulb. The smaller T-50 lamps are a waste in my opinion, and an added expense for just a week or two of use. Water the plants sparingly. If you put too much water, the roots will lock up and the plant will drown/die. You may choose to use a nutrient blend for increasing the roots like a Roots Xcelerator, but it isn't necessary. At this stage, the plant will look like a tiny palm tree. After about a week or two, the stem will have grown taller, and more leaves will begin to appear. Now, you will be ready to transplant the seedling into a one-gallon pot.
STEP 2 - "POPPING" OR GERMINATING SEEDS: Once you have your seeds, you should follow these steps to germinate them into seedlings. First, take a paper towel sheet and wet it. Squeeze out the excess water, but make sure it is still damp. Lay the sheet flat and place the seeds about an inch apart from each other and stagger them so that they will not overlap or fall onto each other. Fold the sheet (vertically) in approximately 1" rows so that the seeds are covered by the damp towel, and then fold the resulting strip horizontally into a square. Place this folded square into a plastic bag that can be sealed, breath into the bag (fill with your CO2) and then seal it shut. Place this bag in a drawer or cabinet where it will be dark and cool. After 2-3 days, you can open the bag and unfold the towel. Most, if not all of the seeds should have sprouted. Carefully remove them from the towel. For seeds that have not yet sprouted, repeat the entire process and wait another 2-3 days.
STEP 5 - FLOWERING CYCLE: The last and trickiest stage of growing cannabis is the flowering stage. The only differences in this stage are the amount of light given, and the nutrient mix. Switch to a 12-hour light cycle. Make sure that the plants are in complete darkness during the other 12 hours. Change the nutrients to "BUD A" and "BUD B" products and add any others you wish to use. You may also want to increase the lights to a higher wattage and make sure that the bulb you use (if growing indoors) has the correct color spectrum for flowering. The first week of flowering won't produce any obvious changes, but by the end of the second week, you will notice tiny flowers erupting. If you buy seeds from another site, you need to check at this point to make sure there are no male plants in your grow. Males will look completely different and show balls (these are full of pollen) and tiny yellow banana shaped growths. If you have males, remove them or cut them down. If you have a hermaphrodite plant (produces male and female parts), separate it away from the other female plants. After another week or so, the flowers will look like starbursts of white hairs in a circular pattern. After another two weeks, you will notice actual buds formed and trichomes (with tiny THC crystals) developing. After about 8 weeks of flowering, you should see full-sized buds covered in crystals with orange/brown hairs. You can use a magnifying glass to check the crystals; they should be either white or amber.
STEP 1 - ORDERING SEEDS: If you've purchased seeds from Cdk, you can rest assured that they are feminized. If you order from another site or breeder, make sure you ask for feminized seeds. Auto-flower seeds will produce a smaller yield but faster grow cycle. Normal seeds are a crap-shoot because they may be female or male, and you won't find out until after at least a couple of months.
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