Growing Room Planning
One of the most fun points in any marijuana growers life is being able to plan out and then setup their grow room. Plenty of growers start out with micro cabinets as well as grow tents however for those of you smart enough to skip the small stuff and go straight to setting up a YIELD GENERATING grow room keep reading for some helpful tips.
Easiest Way To Setup A Grow
There are many different grow tents and cabinets that can be built but one of the least expensive and most productive ways to build a grow room is by using black and white poly also known as panda. With the panda poly you will be able to create a light proof and reflective grow area that has the white side of the poly on the grow side and the black side on the outside.
Many times however there are many reasons to not use panda poly especially in a room or area where others might frequent often. Besides a grow tent nothing screams MARIJUANA GROW more than a poly grow room or cabinet setup in a room so make sure the foot traffic is either minimal or completely non existent.
How Important Is Being “Light Tight”
There are many strains that react terribly to any and all light leaks no matter how small. Anytime you setup a grow room don’t forget to go inside it and seal it up and see what light leaks you see while in there.
If you are totally fine with hermies then by all means don’t worry about light leaks however for those who do not want cross dressing marijuana plants in their tents KEEP the light leaks to a minimum or completely irrelevant.
What About Dealing With Temps
Temps are something that most new growers overlook but it can be one of the biggest yield reducers in any garden. Being able to not only regulate but also limit any and all heat should be something that most growers should do. One thing with temps that marijuana growers should understand is that if your temps get high enough many bugs will start to roll in. Sometimes it seems like random bugs come out of practically nowhere however with high temps the odds are much higher.
Keeping Grow Odors Down With Scrubbers
If you are in a med friendly state you might think that life is peaches and cream and no one will mess with your grow BUT you are 100% incorrect with that observation. It really does not matter whether you are in a med friendly state or not for you to make sure to keep your grow odors in check.
Always look at your grow as if you have GOLD hiding and understanding that there is ZERO REASON to let anyone ( no matter how close they are to you ) know that you are growing even if you are a 100% compliant medical marijuana grower.
What Sort Of Walls Or Reflective Material To Use
The easiest and best stuff to use is called panda. It allows you the ability to build a grow room to the exact specs that you want WHILE making sure that the grow itself is completely light tight. There are many other wall materials to use such as mylar but they are a pain in the ass to work with no matter how LESS EXPENSIVE they might seem to you.
You can build actual walls however even if you put the time into drywall etc you will want to end up lining it with poly ( panda specifically ) simply because it is extremely cheap and amazingly simple to work with.
How To Keep Your Grow On The Down Low
There is only one way to keep a secret and that is by telling NO ONE. You might think you have friends that can keep a secret however if it comes down to your livelihood and your NON incarceration we would suggest that you keep your grow a complete secret. The only reason growers run their mouths is because they feel the need to “prove themselves” or even “look cool” and neither of these reasons are worth losing your freedom over TRUST US.
Sea Of Green ( SOG )
Sea of Green growing is perfect for any medical marijuana patient with a decent plant count because it is easier and faster to sog than most any other style of growing. There are many growers who have small plant counts and growing in a scrog ( SCREEN of GREEN ) allows them the ability to grow less plants but still wind up with a great harvest.
Intro To SOG Growing
SOG is pretty much packing in as many plants as you possibly can so that it literally looks like a “sea of green” and rightfully so. After growing with sogs, scrogs as well as low and medium stress training there is nothing more fun than growing sog style. It will allow you to go get clones from collectives for example or take clones yourself and put them into flower much faster than other growing styles because you make up for size WITH numbers.
Instead of having 8 or 9 plants in a grow area you could cram in 32 – 64 and while they won’t compete individually with the 8-9 plants that you vegged longer, they WILL end up with solid harvest numbers due to the overall volume of plants.
Sometimes you need to get growing and fast and waiting around for plants to veg for 4-8 weeks isn’t exactly something that growers want to wait around for because the flower cycle itself is yet another 60-80 days on top of the veg length.
You can cut clones, root the clones and let them veg for a week and toss them in a sog flowering cabinet or grow tent and you will be on your way. Anyone doing micro, small and even large grows can run sog style which btw is perfect for anyone trying to find certain phenos within their strains and seeds they run.
When To SOG
You really only want to SOG with clones so they can be somewhat uniform however growing sog from seed is more than possible. Just remember that with any seed grown plant the first couple weeks are not as productive as a comparable sized clone and needs to be taken into account when adding up veg and flower cycles.
Remember that a sog will only work if your plants have a single cola ( many growers however run 2-8 tops even in sog BUT need to train them throughout the grow and it extends the veg time needed ) so trying to flower out bushes crammed together will leave a TON of larf and fluff so with sog you will want to lollipop them to remove the under growth so the plant can focus all of its growth energy on its top main cola(s).
Better Yields In SOG vs Scrog
As a grower, I have noticed better results within a grow year from sog versus scrog due to the ability to cycle and flower out sog style clones quicker than a scrog ( which needs time to grow as it fills up ascreen with less plants to make up for less plant numbers ) however anyone with plant count limitation should check local and state laws regarding plant counts before attempting a sog.
CLONING BUD PLANTS INTRO
The process of cloning marijuana involves a female plant in the vegetative stage (Mother Plant), and the removal of fresh growth. You will need a healthy mother to start with, a cloning medium to place cuttings in, rooting hormone for best results, a cloning chamber to house your cuttings, and a grow light to keep the cuttings healthy. Cloning can be a very easy process to master and many experienced growers swear by it.
WHY CLONE YOUR PLANTS
The biggest advantage of cloning is that you can skip the entire process of germinating seeds and growing healthy seedlings by using living cuttings instead. You also have the advantage of making exact genetic copies from a plant or strain that you are particularly fond of. Cloning also takes male plants out of the equation so you don’t waste time growing plants that must be killed when you switch to the flowering cycle. Growers often start clones every month, or even every two weeks, to produce continuous harvests.
You will need a pair of sharp scissors, pruning shears, or a razor blade to take your cuttings. Sterilize your tool with rubbing alcohol to help prevent contamination. Snip off 6” – 8” cuttings from the mother plant. Some growers prefer the cuttings from the top of the mother plant while others swear that cuttings from lower branches root faster. Next take off the bottom set of leaves but be sure to keep 3 or 4 sets of leaves per cutting. This process should be done quickly and you will immediately want to place each cutting into water or rooting solution. With the cutting underwater, make another diagonal cut about ¼” from the base. This will prevent air from entering your cutting and allow more nutrients into the stem. Now your cuttings are ready to be rooted.
Your cuttings will need a rooting hormone or rooting gel to speed the process along. Most growers agree the gel works best as it seals out air better than a liquid or powder hormone but this is really personal preference. The rooting gel is more expensive than the liquids or powders but it seems to produce the most consistent results. With your cutting snipped diagonally, use a sterile tool to dip into your gel and apply it generously to the base of the cutting and to the exposed sites where the lowest two leaves were removed. Using sterile gloves and keeping a clean work space helps to prevent contamination of the cuttings. You are now ready to place your cuttings into your grow medium.
There are a wide variety of grow mediums that will work for cloning marijuana but the most successful medium is generally agreed to be 1” rockwool cubes, costing around $10 for 100. You will want to have your cloning chamber prepared ahead of time to ensure the best results. This means placing rockwool cubes in a shallow nutrient solution inside your clone chamber. Next, take the gel-covered cutting, carefully open up the center hole of the rockwool cube wide enough to accept your cutting without wiping away all the rooting gel, and place it about ½ to ¾ of the way in. The center holes of your 1” rockwool cubes should be carefully closed around the stem of the cutting to keep out air. You may need to very gently squeeze the rockwool cube for a few seconds to ensure full contact between the rockwool and the cutting on all sides in order to get rid of any air pockets that may remain. Secure your cutting and your rockwool cube back inside your chamber.
A cloning chamber, or humidity dome, is a plastic chamber that holds your cuttings in the nutrient solution needed for rooting. Many different types of chambers are available and some growers opt to make their own. The basic design requires a shallow base to hold the solution, with a taller, clear plastic top that rests evenly on the base. You can buy these from many garden stores or experiment with making your own at home but the concept is the same. By trapping moisture and humidity inside the chamber, the cuttings are better able to begin pushing new roots out through the rockwool cubes. Some clone chambers have small holes that open and close to allow a bit of fresh air into the chamber for a few minutes each day.
CARING FOR CUTTINGS
Your cuttings like a temperature range around 72 – 80 degrees. The cloning chamber keeps heat as well as humidity in to speed rooting. You will want to spray the cuttings with water or a very light nutrient solution to help stimulate root growth. The nutrient solution in your chamber can be changed or you can just add more as you see fit but the cuttings should not be fully submerged in the solution. It is better to not check your clones constantly for signs of rooting as the more you handle them, the more likely the risk of contamination becomes, so be patient.
The mother plant is where it all begins in cloning. The more clones you can take, the more you can grow. Enter the Bonsai. The Bonsai mother plant is essentially grown to maximize the number of cloning sites. Starting with a large clone (8” – 10”), or a healthy small plant, begin by cutting your lady about half way up the plant. This means cutting off the top part of the plant to allow two shoots to grow back in its place rather than one. Placed in soil, your bonsai mother will grow rapidly as the root system is used to handling a plant twice the size. Now where you have the two shoots growing; cut the tops of these again to allow two more new shoots at each site. Repeat this process over and over until your plant has a good number of branch arms all putting out small shoots. Transfer your bonsai mother into larger pots as needed. The idea here is to train the plant into growing a high number of auxiliary branches of about the same size. Once you are ready to take your cuttings, remove almost all the foliage from the entire plant, leaving only three or four small branches. At this point you will want to remove the bonsai from the container and cut back the root system to the point that it fits in the original size container your bonsai mother started out it. Repeat as needed for new generation of clones.
Your cuttings will need a (18/6) or (20/4) vegetative light cycle and CFL or LED lights are recommended. Place the lights over your clone chamber but not to the point of overheating your cuttings. This can be done rather easily as the chamber will trap heat as well as moisture and humidity. Some growers opt for a window sill to take advantage of natural sunlight.
SEEDS VERSUS CLONES
Clones have the distinct advantage of producing all female plants so you do not have to worry about males in the grow room. Also by using clones you know the exact genetics of the plants. Clones can develop problems from successive generations such as reduced potency, slower growth rates, and they can transfer disease or insects. Seeds will start out a bit faster than clones usually and the overall growth of the plants seems to be more consistent versus clones. The main problem with seeds is that you may begin with ten plants and later find out that five are male. This means you have wasted time, nutrients, and potential grow space on half of your crop. Buying seeds from reputable seed banks will ensure you have quality genetics to start out with and many varieties are available in feminized versions to prevent males. Buying seeds can get quite pricey though, another drawback compared to the costs of cloning.
Until next time,
Keep it GREEN, keep it LOVING and full of LIGHT.
PEACE brothers & sisters!!