How to Grow

How to grow Marijuana the easy way, following this manual.

4germ
It basically means that information bellow is for Growers who share our philosophy and use tools what we advise. This way growing Marijuana becomes easy, safe and most productive for Weed plants. It's perfect for beginners and Medical Marijuana growers.

Basic rules to get a great Marijuana harvest with this manual:

  • Use LED Grow Lights
  • Use Grow Tent
  • Grow in soil
  • Use feminized or feminized & auto flowering seeds
  • Follow the manual!

This is the first step of your Marijuana plant in the big world. Here are a few tips on how to Germinate Cannabis Seeds.

    Cannabis Seeds need to be soaked in tap water for no less than 24 hours for the sprouting to start. There are enough elements in ordinary tap water for normal germination and chlorinated water has some anti-fungal effect too.
test_1
    After 24 hours we see that seeds sank and swell, some of them are even open and a sprout can be seen. It means that everything goes according to the plan. Take plastic container with cover, it will be our seed-bed. Put wet cotton pad in it, put the seeds onto the pad and cover them with another cotton pad.
test_1test_1
    Close the container with the cover and put it into a dark warm place for 2-3 days. The perfect temperature for germination should be 75-80 degrees (°F). After 2-3 days you have to see the following.
test_1test_1

Wait till seed root gets 1 cm long, but don't wait to long before the seeding.

If you think which seeds to buy I recommend those .

Plant germinated Marijuana Seeds.

When all Marijuana seeds have germinated and the roots have become strong enough, it is time to plant them into the pots for further growth. If you have done everything correctly during the previous stage, you are likely to get strong sprouts which will survive repotting without any problems.
4germ

How to plant Marijuana Seeds

Well, you will need pots with soil. You need to make the soil a little bit dense but not too much, otherwise it will be difficult for sprouts to grow. It is also crucial for the soil to be homogeneous, and keep the room temperature comfortable enough - not too hot and not too cold, around 60-70 (°F), it shouldn't cause any stress for the seeds.Soil should be watered but not very intensively, it needs to be moderately wet in order to avoid drying out and hold off the emergence of rotting. With the help of a toothpick or a match put the Cannabis Seed into the hole with its root down and carefully cover it with soil, just a few millimeters. 

First watering of sprouts and the light regime

 

What to water young Marijuana plant with?

During the very first stage when the Cannabis seeds only start striking their roots in a new environment, you may spray (!) the surface with water at room temperature. Don’t make mud on the top of the soil, just wet it. 

Having put the pots into the box we turn on lamps.

The illumination will be done on the regime of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. This length of light is enough during the first stage. You will see the first sprouts in several days.

After a seed has germinated and a sprout has developed the root, the Cannabis Vegetative Growth Stage begins.

If you have done everything correctly, in 2-3 weeks the young Marijuana Plant should have more than 10 beautiful leaves.
4germ
A plant starts growing intensively and gains weight as much as the conditions allow. Gender features appear during 3-6 weeks, meaning your dear Marijuana plant is ready for blooming.The Vegetative Stage can be infinite as blooming depends on the illumination regime (the only exceptions are few auto-flowering Weed Strains like Lowryder). 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness is a standard mode of illumination for the vegetative growth. Any regime with more than 14 hours of light will keep your Cannabis plant in Vegetative stage. For the next stage, Blooming, you need to switch into 12/12 hour mode with your illumination.

Desired temperature: 68-86°F

Desired humidity: 40-70%

Illumination regime: 18 hours of light / 6 hours of darkness.

Watering is a tricky thing. If the soil is still wet, do not pour more water. Let the soil dry out, even the leaves of the plant can wither a bit. Your Marijuana plant won't die because of that. On the opposite - excessive watering can cause rotting of the roots and death of your plant.

Change into 12/12 illumination mode, to begin the Marijuana Blooming.

We intentionally skipped the pre-blooming phase as we know that you’ve definitely bought feminized Cannabis seeds in a trustworthy Online Shop, so the problem of identifying and laying aside male parents is not an issue.

Grow Lights regime for Marijuana Bloom

Finally, the Weed Plant starts to smell and the first tiny pistils appear – the Blooming Phase has begun. This is the longest and the most emotional period of Marijuana plant's life. Emotions are, first of all, yours. After the transition of illumination into 12/12 mode (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness) the Blooming starts. 

Duration of Marijuana Bloom

Within 2-3 weeks after that, the plant grows 2-3 times higher and starts emitting strong fragrance - juicy Marijuana smell - never can get enough of it. The duration of Blooming till the full maturation of buds depends on the chosen Weed strain (indica: 6-8 weeks, sativa: 8-12 weeks) and the intensity of illumination. During the last two weeks of Blooming the Weed Plant gets about 25% of bud mass. 

Desired temperature: 65-80°F

Desired humidity: 40-50%

Illumination regime: 12 hours of light/12 hours of darkness.

How to harvest and dry Marijuana

4germ
Once your Weed plants together with Buds are naughty enough, a question arises, what to do with all this beauty? Below we will briefly describe when to harvest Cannabis, how to do it and how to dry your Buds properly.

When to Harvest Cannabis

It is crucial for you to remember the day when your Weed Plants have started blooming, at the very least an approximate day. This will give you a rough idea of how long it takes for your smelly plants to cease blooming, which means the day when to start harvesting your Cannabis yield.The duration of blooming is very different for various Marijuana Strains. We'll have a brief look into technical side of Indica vs Sativa. Weed Strains with a predominance of indica genes usually finish early, sometimes as little as 6-8 weeks, while Marijuana plants with a dominance of sativa type will take a bit longer - even up to 24 weeks in the most extreme cases.Usually it is faster, as there are only quite a few growers who are willing to wait more than 10-12 weeks. Commercial hybrids, even with sativa dominant genes often cease blooming in less than 10 weeks.Knowing how long your chosen Weed strain blooms, according to its "passport", is not enough to determine the right time for Harvesting Marijuana. Obviously, a useful aid here will be the estimation of the number of trichomes in the Buds, which change their color from white to brownish-orange (and in some cases pink or purple). It’s way too early to cut off the plants, if only less than 40% of the trichomes have changed color.
4germ
Levels of THC in the Buds, are the highest when 40-70% of the trichomes have changed the color. You can also assess the readiness of Buds with a magnifying glass or a microscope - if during the blooming there are transparent flowers – they are not mature enough, if they are opaque - THC levels are at their peak, and if there is an amber color - it means that THC begins to disintegrate.

How to Harvest Cannabis?

The way you cut down the Marijuana Plants will primarily depend on their size: small shrubs can be cut entirely, but if they are large and consist of a mass of long branches, it is better to cut off each branch separately. What you need to remember before you start the cutting, is that you need to touch the Buds as little as possible and to do it as gently as possible, otherwise there’s a chance to damage the most precious part of the plant you have put so much effort into. And it's important to ensure that the branches, hung to dry, will be properly ventilated. It is enough to hang them so that they do not touch each other.Before proceeding to the cutting, get gloves (rubber or latex, but without talc), scissors, a large plastic tray or a container (where you will put the cut branches) and some rope, twine or fishing line for hanging the branches. Working in gloves, you will protect your hands from sticky Weed resin.It is easier to collect the resin from gloves than from the skin. Scissors, by the way, will also become sticky, but if you gather all the resin from both scissors and gloves, you will get some good hashish.

How to Dry Marijuana?

The branches cut from the plant and with excessive leaves removed, go into the dryer. To make drying Marijuana a success, you need to create the right conditions - if the air is too cold or wet, drying will be delayed, and mold is rather likely to appear and destroy all your Cannabis Harvest, as product contaminated with mold cannot be used.In extremely hot and dry conditions the flowers will dry too quickly and will have a sharp, "green" taste when smoked. The Buds can dry out unevenly, if the air is too warm and dry, the surface of the Buds will be brittle but the inside - still wet.

    Choose appropriate LED Grow Lights

    To sum up - LED grow lights are cheaper, easier and more long lasting in the long run comparing to other types of lights. Your Marijuana plants will be very grateful for such choice.

    Light burn on Marijuana plants.

    Every grower makes mistakes. A common one is a Light Burn. Plants can only endure a certain amount of light. The same goes for Cannabis. Too much of light or heat and your lush green Marijuana plant will start to change its leaf color to yellow or red, or even purple.
LED light burn on Marijuana leaves
    The light burn can even cause brown spots on leaves. Quite often the burn damages tips and edges, leaving only the middle of the leaves green.
    If you spot weird discoloration on the leaves of your Marijuana plant right under the grow lights, they can be too strong for the plant and you should immediately put the lights further away, remove some of them or change to a grow light with less Watts.
    If any of these options is impossible, you should bend the plant away from the light source. In the worst case scenario, you can think of cutting its top, but that can only be done when the Marijuana plant is in the Vegetative stage.

    Comparing LED grow Lights to grow Tent size.

    To grow your Weed babies strong, bushy, tasty and big, it is crucial to choose the right power of Grow Lights, taking into account the size of your Grow Tent. Choosing the right wattage lamps will certainly help you not only to avoid the Light Burn and excessive heat, but also you won’t have to deal with changing or resetting your grow lights.
    Here is an awesome LED Grow Lights vs Grow Tents comparison table for Marijuana growers, both experienced ones and beginners. Obviously, the smaller the tent, the lesser the power of the grow lights. The bigger the tent, the higher power of the lights.
 
LED power (W)Size of the tent (cm)Size of the tent (m2)Size of the tent (feet)
45w30x30 cm0.09m21x1 feet
70w40x40 cm0.16m21.3x1.3 feet
115w50x500.25m21.7x1.7 feet
180w60x600.35m22x2 feet
360w90x900.80m23x3 feet
530w110x1101.2m23.5x3.5 feet
750w130x1301.7m24x4 feet
 
    A different approach to make sure that your Marijuana plants don't burn is to use your hand to measure the right height of the grow lights. If it's too hot for your hand under the light at the same height as your plant, it's certainly not good for it either.
    Choose the power (wattage) of your grow lights wisely.

    Which is the best way of Watering Cannabis planted in soil?

    Obviously, one of the first questions which occurs to first-timers in Cannabis cultivation is about watering their Weed Plants. On one hand, it's known that Cannabis demands a considerable amount of water, on the other hand, these Weed plants don’t have high tolerance to overwatering, so you need to balance this out. Here are some practical tips on how to develop a proper watering schedule. And keep out from underwatering or overwatering your Marijuana plants.
4germ

    Cannabis Watering Schedule.

    Marijuana is such a plant which doesn’t stand constant baths, so wait until the soil dries up till the next watering. Here are some rules to follow, while calculating the demanded amount of water for each separate Marijuana plant: use as much water as 1/4 (quarter) of pot's volume in which your plant resides.
    For instance:
  • For a 2L pot, use 0.5L of water per irrigation
  • For a 5L pot, use 1,25L of water per irrigation
  • For a 16L pot, use 4L of water in each watering
  • For a 20L pot, use 5L of water in each watering
    As a rule, I water my Marijuana plants slowly and steadily all over the surface of the soil to make sure that all of it gets an equal amount of moisture.

    Lazy Cannabis watering technique

    Another useful idea is to put pot plates underneath the pots and pour water into them. It will be absorbed later within a day and will provide equal moisture for the soil, both at the top and at the bottom of the pot. Make sure you use substrate of equal density all the way through the pot and don’t forget about a proper drainage like some perlite, coco coir, or clay pebbles.
    After watering the plants, you may notice that the planting containers are rather heavy at the moment and you will probably find it difficult to move them. Another nice way to understand the need of watering is to weigh pots every day, not even necessarily with some equipment as your hands are enough. Compare the weight of dry soil and the weight of pot with watered one. When they have equal weight, it is the right time to water your plants. As water is heavier than substrate it will take a little bit of practice to understand the proper time for irrigation, depending on the weight of a pot.
    This approach appears to be rather efficient and comfortable for cultivating Cannabis or any type of plants in the pots. In case of using this approach, you will probably come off with a schedule of watering like every 3 to 6 days. But don’t forget that external factors like level of humidity, size of a pot and amount of sunlight can influence your watering schedule a lot.

pH levels friendly to Cannabis

    Demanded acidity of soil and water is ~6.0 - 7.0 pH. PH level of water changes pH levels of soil considerably. PH level of soil can be found on any soil package. As a rule it is ~5.0 - 7.5 pH.
    Naturally, Marijuana plants prefer to grow in a soil which is slightly acidic. The finest pH level for the root zone is about 6.0 to 7.0, but make sure that the majority of time is spent in the conditions with pH in the frame of 6.2-6.9.
    In case of growing Marijuana in soil, you are considerably less likely to face any pH problems, mostly, if you decided to use some professionally mixed soils that fertilize Marijuana plants all their life, without any necessity to input any other liquid nutrients.
    There’s an opinion that the soil performs a role of a barrier, hence it assists to slow down the fluctuation of pH values on the contrary to hydro systems where any changes in the level of pH influence the plant considerably quicker. Making soil a better choice for minor errors in growing process.

Usage of pH Test Strips

    pH test strips are available in all big stores, pharmacies, or specialized shops. Their price is about 3-15 USD.
    If a shop assistant doesn’t have a clue what you are asking for, here’s a tip: pH testers are sometimes also called litmus papers and usually look like yellow papers shaped like a tape or white plastic strips. They are used in the following way – you put them into the water to measure the pH level. Pay attention to the fact that the paper version of this tester is much more cost-effective.

Way of testing pH

    Here’s when you will finally have a possibility to use the knowledge of the chemistry class practically. The litmus paper changes color when being put into different environments like an ordinary water, a soapy water, or into a lemon juice. Did that? Congrats, you are capable of measuring pH level of liquids.
OK, remember your science lesson at school and follow these instructions:
  • 1) Put a piece of litmus paper into the water and take it out
  • 2) Dry it for about 20 minutes
  • 3) Compare the color of the dry litmus paper with the diagram you have on the package.
4germ

Adjusting pH

    The best way to adjust pH level of water is to buy a “pH Up” or “pH Down” kit, wide range of which is available both online and offline.

    Reasons for using soil when growing Marijuana

4germ
    Bushy Marijuana plants in soil is what comes to mind as a first attempt of Growing Marijuana. If you have any experience of soil growing any plants in any possible form including garden, this will probably be an optimal way for you as you have already got certain knowledge of techniques and approaches with all the advantages and disadvantages, so you have some pretty good chance to succeed if you put some time and effort into it.
    Even if you just starting out on the gardeners journey soil is the best solution for growing your Marijuana plants, because it simply tolerates some slips and faults. Miscalculated fertilizer amount? Not a death crime - add water and dilute your mistake straight in the pot.
    Believe me, we all make mistakes from time to time, especially if you are a beginner. Soil is more open for such mistakes, comparing, for example, to hydroponic systems.

    Growing Marijuana is similar to traditional gardening.

    Cannabis cultivation in soil is no different from growing any other plant like potatoes or cucumbers - soil for Cannabis should feel like the most obvious option for you, especially if you already have gardening background.
    Easy – manual watering your plants in containers
    Safe – soil for Cannabis works as an error filter, with soil it's harder to mess up your Weed plants.
    Low Initial Expenses – everything you actually are going to need is a suitable container and some soil.
    PH - 5.5 - 7 PH is an absolute must, but that’s what any type of ordinary gardening soil usually has.

    What do you need a CARBON FILTER for?

4germ
    One of the features of growing Marijuana is the unique smell you can't mistake for something else. That's a blessing and a course. If that smell catches noses of unwanted sniffers this means trouble. Nowadays only few don't know what does Weed smell like.
    Your indoor Marijuana garden is a non-stop producer of that distinct and strong aroma. To stay discrete and keep that little growing secret to yourself you have to neutralize that smell.
    Here are is an option on how to get rid of Weed smell and keep your precious Weed plants safe from sniffing out.
    There’s nothing better than a good old Carbon Filter in a Grow Room to hide the smell of Weed in the surrounding area. It will not allow any odors from inside slip outside and catch somebody else’s nose.
    It's crucial to neutralize every single molecule of air coming out of your Marijuana grow tent. And that’s where a proper carbon filter will come in handy, as it prevents an accidental leakage of smell outside doors or windows.
    The action principle of these devices is the chemical absorption of smell by an absorbing agent which is the activated carbon. Totally safe and degradable, if you worry about its chemical name.
    To make use of this filter you need to create conditions when all the air in the Marijuana growing room is pushed through this filter. So, basically, you need some kind of a fan to force the air through your carbon filter.
    The most obvious way to do it, is to install that filter as an essential part of your grow room ventilation system you already have and which is equipped with some kind of fan anyway. A fan pushes hot air back and forth, meanwhile the carbon filter absorbs all the smells out of this air.

    Carbon filters are

  • Rather efficient
  • Quite simple in maintaining once after being set up
  • Long lasting while staying productive

    What kind of Carbon Filter will cover your needs?

    Carbon filters
      mostly come in 4”, 6” or 8”, the exhaust fans come the same sizes, it's a standart, making our life a bit easier.
    The majority of exhaust fans
      sold in the US, obtain a "CFM" rating. This abbreviation means "cubic feet per minute" and explains the volume of air the fan can move per minute. It's crucial to buy a fan with the proper CFM rating for your grow tent or room size.
    Just like Carbon Filters fans normally come in 4”, 6” or 8”. Hence you just need to get a Carbon Filter that corresponds in diameter to your fan.

    Instructions for calculating demanded CFM

  1. Measure the cubic area of your Marijuana grow tent or room by multiplying Length x Width x Height. You need to exhaust this volume of air per minute.
  2. Select your fan. Fans are measured by CFM (cubic feet/minute), hence you want a fan which has a CFM that fits your calculated cubic area out in the previous step.

    Ventilation Fan CFM Rating Grid

    (you can see some examples of available setups using the formula above to calculate CFM)
4germ
4germ
    Certain fans are way too overpowered for the majority of small grow spaces, like this Rhino single speed 4-inch inline fan with 380 CFM. As a rule you don't need such a big device unless you have an enormous planting space!
    For a great deal of Marijuana Growing enthusiasts, a cheap 4" fan is all you could possibly need
      - this one is only ~$30
    and moves around 200 CFM- totally enough for Grow Tent setups smaller than 4' x 4' x 7'

And it is available in any store!

4germ

Materials you will need for the Carbon Filter setup

What you need for Carbon Filter setup 

Tools you will need

Tools what you need for carbon filter setup

Step 1. Connect the wire to the fan, if you have it without the wire.

1.1 Open the Fan

4germ

1.2 Take the cable. In a regular cable you will find 3 wires – Blue, Brown (it can be red too), and one that’s Half Yellow and Half Green. In our case, you will ONLY use the first two wires (Blue and Brown). The last wire (Half Yellow, Half Green) is for protective grounding and electrical safety. Unfortunately, in our case it is not useful at all.

1.3 Connect the Red and Blue cables in any order.

4germ

1.4 Connect your fan to electricity, and check if it is working. Good!

4germ

1.5 Close the fan.

4germ

2.1 Now you need to connect the aluminum ducting pipe to the carbon filter.

    We will use a ducting clip for that. First, set the ducting clip on, and then tighten the screw on the clip as much as you can. We need a really tight connection so that the air doesn't get out.
4germ

2.2 A sad moment, we will cut the ducting pipe to set the fan in the middle. Be careful, cut pipe edges can be sharp.

4germ

2.3 Connect the fan to the carbon filter.

Pay attention: the fan has the air flow direction, usually it is marked on the fan itself.

To connect the fan, we will use another ducting clip, so we just have to repeat step 2.1
4germ

2.4 Now we need to connect the longest part of the ducting pipe (which is left after the cutting) to the fan. Guess what - we will use a ducting clip again!

4germ

2.5 Great work, friends! So now we need to isolate our connection place, to hold the air flow at maximum inside of the pipe. For this, we will use an aluminum duct tape. You can also use a regular tape, which is cheaper, but I recommend sticking to the aluminum duct tape because it has higher sealing properties.

4germ
4germ

2.6 Now you just need to put a rag pre-filter on your Carbon Filter and install it into the Grow Tent. All Grow Tents have belts and ventilation windows (holes) for it.

4germ
4germ

    Temperature and humidity in a Marijuana Grow Tent

    Growing environment for Marijuana has to be established as favorable as possible. Your weed plant demands an average temperature or just a little bit higher, and also an average humidity percentage. That’s basically all you have to take care of. During the illumination period the exact parameters should be like:
4germ

    Vegetative stage (Vega):

    Desired temperature: 68-86°F (20-30 °C)
    Desired humidity: 40-70%

    Blooming stage (Bloom):

    Desired temperature: 65-80°F (18-26 °C)
    Desired humidity: 40-50%
    At night or with the illumination turned off the plants are going to demand a bit lower temperature.
    Temperature level and nominal moisture percentage usually are connected.
    Nominal moisture percentage is the amount of water in the air in comparison with the maximum quantity of water which the air can keep at this exact temperature. The warmer the air the more amount of moisture it can keep. Plants flourish at various nominal moisture percentages in connection with the environmental temperature.
    What you need to know is always keep your Grow Tent humidity in check in comparison to the temperature. To keep the mold away!
    As the air gets oversupplied with moisture, water will definitely condense on the surfaces in the form, either of dew or water films on plants which is a favorable environment for the development of mold - which you don't want to happen!

    Options on how to manage moisture percentage in your Grow Tent

  1. You are going to use a Humidity & Temperature Monitor for moisture percentage and temperature measurements, and management. The results of monitoring will allow fixing all the faults.
  2. Use the information offered in the instructions below:

    What should I do if it's too hot?

  • Ventilate the space more intensively (use a more forceful exhaust fan). The increase of the air going through the grow tent will consequently drop the temperature.
  • Temperature control.Besides the obvious function of cooling the air, anAir Conditioner may also help in decreasing the moisture percentage in the air.
  • Light Condition. Create your light regime in the way which will give you the possibility to keep lights on when it’s cooler like early morning or night (some people find it reasonable to keep the lamps on at night and turn them off at daytime)

    What should I do if it's too cold?

  • Put heating mat beneath each plant pot.
  • Increase the capacity of grow light. Use some more powerful grow light, something like a 600W.
  • Insulate. Think of covering your grow tent with some material which has thermal insulation properties.

    What should I do if humidity is too low?

  • Humidifier - is an appliance which levels up moisture percentage in a single room or a building based on the capacity via adding extra damp into the air. One of the most popular types of devices is the evaporator as it has the option of lowering temperature a little bit too.

    What should I do if humidity is too high?

  • More intensive ventilation (improve your exhaust system in any possible way). This rises the total amount of the airflow inside the grow tent and dries it out.
  • Dehumidifier- will remove extra moisture from the air in the grow tent.
    That’s basically all you need to know about the microclimate of a grow tent. Stay tuned and you will get a lot more great Know-Hows. For more tips on How to Grow Marijuana, store it and be part of it check my Blog.