Diseases on marijuana plants and infections usually create the worst possible issues for your plants. They have a tendency to be much harder to treat than pests. Diseases in your plants will usually come in one of two major categories: fungal or bacterial.
Fungal diseases are often caused by environments that are too damp or humid, or places which lack airflow. Fungal spores float around in the air looking for a suitably damp place to root down and if the environment is right, that suitably damp place might be on your cannabis plant.
Bacterial infections are often sneakier and harder to notice. They are spread by a number of different possible vehicles, ranging from insects and humans to rain and unclean soil or substrate. Bacteria can sometimes get into a plant and then leave it mostly untouched unless the plant is weakened by external stresses, at which point they can quickly take down the whole plant.
For every marijuana grower, achieving a high final yield is the ultimate goal. In an ideal world, this yield will be high despite less effort, time, and money being used.
There are a number of factors that can negatively affect your yield, so as a grower you need to always be aware and ready to combat these things to ensure a great yield.
What are the main things that can affect your yield? They are light intensity, pruning or training, nutrients, climate issues, and the harvest time. All five of these factors can lead to successful yields, but if they are not handled correctly, then they also have the potential to devastate your marijuana crop. You, therefore, need to be well informed and ready for any unexpected hurdles that might come your way.
If you smoke heavily, you will only need the harvest from between five and seven large female marijuana plants for the entire year – assuming they were grown properly and are as healthy as possible, of course. When translated into choosing the best place for growing cannabis, this means that you do not need a terribly large amount of land to grow all the plants you could want.
This is not to say, however, that a usable growing area will be easy to find. There are lots of different things you need to remember when deciding where to grow your marijuana outdoors.
If you are looking for the perfect place to grow marijuana outdoors, it should look something like this: some sort of clearing that is isolated and near a riverbank, with nutrient-rich soil that does not have rocks in it, that is reached by the sun throughout the day. The most important factor to consider when choosing a location, of course, is always your own security. The following topics will be covered in this chapter:
Examples of some outdoor grow sites
How to find the best places to grow marijuana outdoors
How other plants can help you
How to camouflage your marijuana plants
How to protect your marijuana grow site
Guerilla marijuana growing
Examples of some outdoor grow sites
Growing marijuana in a garden Few people have the luxury of growing marijuana in their own personal garden, but this is always the ideal option. You’re never far from your plants, you can water them accordingly, and keep prying or suspicious eyes out of your garden as you see fit. Even so, the smell of marijuana can be quite pungent, so keep the plants away from your neighbor’s fence.
Growing marijuana on a balcony Like a garden, a balcony gives you an area to grow your marijuana where you have easy access. Unlike a home garden, balconies can be seen from the road or by neighbors who are also on balconies. You can use a frosted plastic film to keep your plants out of sight but still in the sun. The film can also reduce the spread of the marijuana scent. In the northern hemisphere, you should place your plants facing south (if possible) so that they get the most sun during the day.
Growing marijuana on a roof terrace A roof terrace gives your plants a full day’s worth of sun, but odors and strong winds can be an issue. Small amounts of wind are ideal for thicker stems, but constant windy conditions (like those found in coastal locations) aren’t good for marijuana plants. If you live in a windy environment, try to find windshields.
Growing marijuana on the roof of a vacant building Some people don’t have access to their own roof terraces, balconies, or gardens, but another roof can work just fine. If you can find a vacant building in which the roof is not easily accessible by anyone but you, then you might have a perfect urban location for your outdoor marijuana grow. It might be enticing to grow on roofs that are difficult to access but not vacant. Just be aware that appliances or equipment like air conditioners might be up there and they will need periodic maintenance.
Growing marijuana in a forest One of the best places to employ guerrilla marijuana growing is in the forest. It’s always a fun journey hiking through woods, trying to find a location with ample sun, a nearby water source, and a long distance from any trails or paths. If there are no streams, you might be able to dig (sometimes only 3 feet deep) to find groundwater. In most cases, however, the soil in the forest is quite acidic (low pH level). Pine forests and meadows have a problem with acidic soil. Sometimes, you might be better served digging a hole and putting in better, nutrient-filled soil. You might also be able to take 15 gallon pots filled with good soil.
Growing marijuana on a riverbank Rivers or streams have what is called a riverside that features a whole host of tall, green plants like canes or nettles. The soil in these locations is usually so wet that you don’t have to water the plants. You can add a nutrient solution every month or so for better nutrient quality. These locations are also hard to get to. You may have to swim across a river to get to your guerrilla marijuana garden, because there’s a good chance that most other people wouldn’t be willing to do that.
Growing marijuana in an open field This might seem like a bad idea considering how wide open a field is, but if you camouflage your cannabis with other plants then you can get away with it. You get all the sun your plant could need in a location that’s easy to access and difficult to tell what it is. Heathland is usually quite acidic, but if the field has grass or any other plants, marijuana should do well.
If you see nitrogen-loving nettles, then the soil is full of nitrogen, one of the most important macronutrients for marijuana growth. Even so, the best course of action is to start your plants off in a pot or a hole that has fertilized soil. Keep the plants near brambles and nettles so that they’re not obvious to the casual onlooker.
Growing marijuana in a corn field Although you likely don’t own a corn field, they are ideal locations for marijuana growth. If you plant in the middle of all the corn, your plants get tons of sun, privacy, and all the water and nutrients they need. If you know another breeder who has a corn field and plants marijuana surreptitiously, then ask them if you can plant there. Otherwise, it’s pretty risky to try guerrilla farming on a stranger’s land.
You will still need to grow your plants outside of the corn field first. You’ll have to wait until about the end of May or the beginning of July when the farmer stops working the field with a tractor. The marijuana plants should be between 10 and 15 inches in height when transplanted to the field. Plant in the middle of the field and allow for about 3 to 5 feet of space between the plants. Mark the rows where your plants are located with an object or by gauging another natural item. Within a matter of weeks, corn will grow up to several feet tall, which will conceal your marijuana plants nicely.
How to find the best places to grow marijuana outdoors
First and foremost, you need your location to be safe from discovery. As soon as your marijuana plants are discovered by someone else, it will immediately be unusable because you will lose your entire crop. If you have it on your own property, be sure to keep yourself safe by placing it in a location where you can easily deny your knowledge of it being there. If the plants are in a remote enough location on your property, you will probably be able to get by claiming you had no idea it was growing there.
Some growers use self-made greenhouses in order to hide the types of plants that are in there. Although this takes away your chances of denying any knowledge of it, it greatly decreases the chances of your crop being discovered.
Although more exposed to the outside world, public land is probably the safest choice. This can keep the marijuana plants from being traced back to you. Even if your crop was discovered and destroyed, at least you would be safe from legal action.
Avoid it being discovered in the first place by choosing a location wisely. Make sure it is in a spot that does not have high traffic (such as a hiking trail or other attraction), and where hunting does not take place. Keep a special eye out for places that someone looking for psilocybin mushrooms might stumble upon, and avoid such locations – a mushroom hunter would be more than happy to take your valuable marijuana plants for themselves.
Another potential problem could be new development. You wouldn’t be the first one to choose a spot, ready the soil, and spend valuable time and money preparing the water systems, and then come back a while later only to see the land completely destroyed by bulldozers and construction.
Some cannabis growers are particularly lucky because they live in a place where the law allows growing so they can focus their efforts on the more important aspects: soil, water, and light. Here’s a short list with requirements for an outdoor grow site:
1. Sun More sunlight correlates to larger plants and higher yields. If you plant in the shadows, at least make sure your plants get a few hours of sun each day.
2. Water Marijuana plants will be able to thrive in most areas, except those that are uncharacteristically dry. Of course, if you have more water at your disposal, then the plant can absorb more nutrients. Creeks, rivers, or other nearby sources of water are ideal. Bringing in your own water is also an option.
3. The Right Amount of Wind The gentle touch of a small breeze helps develop strong root systems, but lots of wind can cause damage to the marijuana plant. Choose a location that is not too windy.
4. Nutrient-Rich Soil Nutrients are the lifeblood of marijuana plants, so try to find an area where lots of other green plants are growing. Marijuana will likely do well in that location.
5. Easy Access Seeing your plants at least once per month is reassuring and also important. You will be able to tell if they have incurred a bug or pest problem, lack of nutrients, water deficiency, or whatever else.
6. Keep It Hidden Easy access is good for you, but not for others. Try to keep thieves or potential police informants off your trail by planting your marijuana garden away from the road or other locations that people frequent. Corn, canes, and tomato plants can also camouflage the marijuana.
You can easily use the growing cycles of other plants to help guide you for what you can expect with your marijuana plants. You should look into the growing behavior of other summer plants, such as corn or tomatoes. Corn is generally your best bet. This strategy gives you the chance to ask around for tips (about corn or tomatoes, for example) without needing to explain that you are actually gathering the information in order to grow cannabis.
Because the harvest time is similar for these other plants and cannabis, information about other plants can turn out to be invaluable for you. You can gain helpful insight into growing climates and harvesting time, and you should plant your marijuana seeds around the same time as these other plants should be planted.
Besides weather and the harvesting time, talking to others about plants with the same growing season will help you out with other factors you may not have considered already, including subjects such as rainfall and types of pests. You can’t believe everything you hear, of course, but conversations like this could even help for finding a good growing location. Just make sure to be discreet about it.
Other plants can also help from just being near where you will grow your marijuana plants. Tall plants, especially green ones, will help hide the cannabis. Many growers (such as ones in an urban location), put flowers on their marijuana plants so they will resemble a different local plant. Although the flowers are just attached loosely, they are good enough when seen from afar, so they are a popular method for rooftop growers. Sometimes combining the flower technique with something else, such as tying down a few of the branches, will be enough to mask what you are really growing in your garden.
Other growers use or intentionally place other plants around their cannabis plants. Green plants with lots of leaves such as jasmine and spider plants can do the trick nicely. Bushes or bamboo have also been used by growers to make a sort of shield around their plants.
Be careful with these methods, though: cannabis plants that need to compete for sunlight with taller plants around them will spend all of their precious energy on growing very tall, meaning they will grow very quickly and will soon be taller than the other plants. To avoid this, simply make sure that you are not planting the other plants too close to your marijuana. This especially applies if you are using the shield technique.
All in all, make sure to be taking in a lot of information not only about marijuana plants, but about native and local plants in general. Learn how and when they grow, and use this to your advantage. It will help you grow healthy, strong marijuana plants, and will allow you to have a successful crop without any theft or loss of your plants. Any information about your local system will help you reach success, so start with the local plants.
One of the best ways to hide your planted marijuana is to originally plant them beneath trees or beside bushes. Another tip is to make sure you have only a few plants in one specific area, just in case one clump of your plants are discovered. This way, you won’t lose your entire crop if they are discovered.
You can actually bend and prune your marijuana plants so they look like other types of plants, therefore lessening the chances of their discovery. If you bend the stems in a horizontal way while doing this, all the better: your plants will get more sun, making the yield even bigger.
Although planting marijuana plants underneath trees seems like a good way of keeping them well-hidden, you have to be sure that they will still get at least five hours of direct sunlight, as well as much more indirect light. The more light there is, the more you will get from your harvest.
Some growers attach silk flowers (click here for some examples) to their marijuana plants to camouflage them better; otherwise, planting them close to similarly colored and sized plants could do the trick. Make sure these plants won’t die earlier than your plants, however, as that would make your plants be even more obvious.
The key is to keep your marijuana plants from being visible from people just looking around. Your work is not done after planting them, however; you will need to take other steps, such as changing your route each time when you go back to your site, as well as covering your tracks as you go. Don’t make it obvious that you have been there: keep the environment looking like it is untouched by anyone.
Even if it is less convenient, try parking your car in a place where there are multiple cars around. It will help if you have your source of water near to the planting site; carrying 100 gallons of water will look awfully conspicuous if anyone sees you. Have a reasonable explanation for you being in the location, and even bring along “props” to further prove your story.
All of this is equally important to consider during the planning process before you plant your cannabis. You might even want to try on a smaller scale for your first season so you can be sure that you will harvest the few plants that you do grow.
More than anything, be careful who you tell about your operation. Even if you do tell someone that you are growing marijuana, you must always keep yourself from telling them where they are planted. For most people whose growing sites are in really well-hidden areas and are nonetheless discovered, their only mistake was bragging about it to someone who then reported it. Despite all your efforts until now, nothing will matter since your entire harvest will be gone. Never underestimate the importance of security!
Security issues can vary quite a bit, depending on the geographic location – it can even vary quite a bit within a single country. Vancouver growers of marijuana have an easier time of growing outdoors than US growers who live in states located in the southwest do. Growers in Hawaii need to take extra measures to make sure that their plants remain a secret, but people living in Australia don’t have this same problem, due to the fact that they have a lot more space and a cultural lack of concern by the neighbors.
So how can you protect yourself, wherever you are? First and foremost, learn your local marijuana laws, and the consequences of breaking those laws. In certain places with stricter laws and penalties, the risk simply might not be worth it. Some states in the US have zero tolerance, which means that if they discover you the minimum penalties will be extreme, including jail time and hefty fines. In other locations, such as some European countries and a few states in the US (especially California), the penalty depends a lot on how much was discovered.
In most cases, your stash will be taken away from you and you will be fined, but that is it. You will need to do the research yourself and make a well-informed decision about what is right for you. In any case, keeping your security a priority is crucial. If nothing else, it will protect your crop from being discovered and taken from you. The fewer people who know about it, the less likely discovery is. When in doubt, simply don’t tell anyone at all.
Aerial surveillance and infrared photography are some of the types of technology that American police forces will use to try and find secret cannabis plants. They are often successful, discovering hundreds of thousands of plants each year. The US government funds efforts to find and get rid of cannabis plants. Don’t let this intimidate you, though: they are mostly focused on much larger planting sites, which are far easier to find than personal gardens or just a few plants in one location. Some state laws allow the police to take away entire properties of the grower, then auction everything off. This money is then used to buy state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, firearms, vehicles, and other tools used to find and destroy all the marijuana in their precinct.
This is why security should be your first priority from the beginning. Think hard about where you will grow your marijuana: growing away from your own property is always the best choice for your own safety, as it is going to keep the crop separated from its grower. Choose a remote location, away from any hikers, hunters, or other foot traffic. Other (legal) plants should be used for extra coverage – you can even plant some nearby to cover up your cannabis plants even more thoroughly.
Because the law enforcement in certain areas is becoming more and more aggressive, marijuana growers have had to come up with some very creative ways of avoiding discovery. Guerilla farming is one of those methods. It is the way that most growers who plant their cannabis plants outdoors have had to adopt.
The concept is simple: keep your plants from being discovered, and keep their discovery from leading to you.
Various tactics have been used to achieve a successful, undiscovered harvest. Some growers raise their marijuana plants amidst tree branches. Some growers used buildings that have been uninhabited for a while, growing their plants on its rooftop. While these locations would be quite difficult to be discovered, it does lead to some difficulty when trying to reach them to water the plants. If you are growing your cannabis plants on some inaccessible patches on the side of some hills, you might have to carry water to each plant individually.
Given the risk you are taking in losing your time and money (not to mention legal consequences), be sure to keep your security the first priority when choosing the location of your planting site.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.
There are millions of varying kinds of cells that make up a cannabis plant. The different cell types vary in their function, and they all work together as a sort of cell team. Cells for the leaves, roots, vascular system are just a few examples of the different cell functions and types. Everything you do with your plant has an effect on the cellular plane as well. Outside factors (i.e. changes in sunlight or temperature) also come into play at the cellular level, affecting the plant’s functions. Consequently, it is very important to have an understanding of cell responses, so you can alter the conditions for your plant to make sure it has a perfect and healthy response.
The Plant Kingdom is the foundation of almost every single ecosystem on the face of the Earth. Without plants, there would be no animals— no insects, mammals, or birds. No humans. Animals (humans included), depend on plants for food. Plants, however, are not held down by the same restrictions. They transmute their food through the process of photosynthesis, requiring only water, C02, and sunlight. Plants of the Cannabis genus are no exception. But what characteristics identify cannabis? How do the mechanisms of photosynthesis function within the plant itself? These questions are simple but significant. In order to properly grow marijuana, we must first understand how it works, down to each constituent part.
In this quick educational summary, we will break the Cannabis plant down into five parts:
One of the most annoying things about growing marijuana is that you have to accurately determine the sex of your plant. Many growers want to keep their female plants from being fertilized because it is the only way to ensure sinsemilla buds. These buds don’t have seeds and they will have ample THC by the time the harvest comes around. Even then, many marijuana growers just like to get the males out of the garden because they don’t produce that much THC. Determining the sex takes a subtle attention to detail and quick action. Below are a few tips for sexing marijuana plants.
1. Look at the growth patterns. During vegetative growth, every plant, regardless of sex, will start to flourish. As the plants age, however, you will begin to notice subtle differences in their sizes. Some marijuana growers have even noticed certain signs early on that can help you determine the sex. Females tend to have more complex branching when they progress from the seedling stage to the vegetative stage. Males, on the other hand, tend to be slightly taller and less filled out. Of course, the last thing you want to do is pull plants out at this early stage, but this can help you get an idea so you know which plants to watch later on. (Note: marijuana plants grown indoors under artificial light don’t usually exhibit these tendencies).
2. Males mature faster than females. This is one of the most common ways to determine sex on sight. Males will generally reach sexual maturity about two weeks before females. The males will start to grow rapidly and they will be taller than their female counterparts. They will also have these “false buds” which are actually pollen sacs. The reason the males grow taller is so that the pollen can drop down on to the female reproductive organs. This occurs whether you’re growing marijuana indoors or outdoors.
3. Males have flowers, females have pistils. Obviously, all marijuana plants have flowers at some point, but, if you can’t differentiate between male and female just by height, then flowers and pistils are good indications of sex. Those false-bud, pollen sacs will eventually open up to form little yellow or white flowers. Any female plants will not have these. Instead, they will have hairy, whitish pistils that will be sticky enough to trap the pollen dropped from those flowers. If you wait this long to identify the sex of your marijuana plants, then it’s probably too late to get any sinsemilla buds. Even so, you can still remove the male plants to make room for the continued growth and cultivation of the female plants.
4. Clone the marijuana plants to determine sex. This is really the only foolproof way to determine the sex before the plants achieve maturity. You simply have to take a cutting from any number of plants. Place this cutting into potting soil and let it grow on its own for a few days. Then, force flowering with a 12-hour period of darkness and 12-hour period of light (the clones must be separate from the host plants). Because the clones share the exact same DNA as their host, they will have the same sex. Once the clones go into the flowering stage, it will be easy to determine their sex and the sex of their hosts. Make sure you keep track of which clone came from which host so you don’t get things mixed up.
5. Identify where the plant sprouted during germination. Although it might seem a little strange, some marijuana growers have discovered a method that helps them sex the plants just after germination. If the sprout comes out of the top or bottom of the seed, it is generally a female. Side sprouts generally turn out to be male. While this hasn’t been scientifically studied, growers who have used this method report a 90% success rate. Even so, you shouldn’t use this knowledge as absolute fact. Let the plants grow a little and try to notice any distinctly male or female signs. Don’t just throw away the marijuana seeds if they sprout out of the sides. Instead keep track of your predictions so you can make an informed decision later on.
6. Sometimes, you’ll have hermaphrodites. Growers can occasionally end up with some hermaphrodites which are basically plants that exhibit both male and female reproductive capacities. These can be difficult to determine right away because they can send you mixed signals. Hermaphrodites can also come about as a result of environmental stress, making their sex increasingly hard to determine. If you start to notice flowers and pistils on the same plant, try pruning off the flowers to ensure that the marijuana plant doesn’t self-pollinate (or pollinate other surrounding females). Read more about male, female and hermaphrodite marijuana plants.
Have you had any strange or successful experiences with sexing your marijuana plants? Let us know in the comments below. Also, let your friends in one these details by sharing the article on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
For centuries, gardeners have had to deal with pests of many varieties. Whether they are birds, insects, mammals, or even other humans, cultivated plants seem to have a target on their backs. While humans don’t really eat raw cannabis, some pests certainly seem to like the taste. If left unchecked, an infestation can end up ruining your crop. At the same time, using harsh chemical products to repel the pests can be harmful to you later on. To avoid all that, we have compiled a list of some safe and effective repellents (and other safety precautions) to keep bugs away from your plants.
1. Only use sterilized soil or fertilizer. The problem with unsterilized soil is that it can contain the eggs or even larvae of some common marijuana pests. If you grow your marijuana in that soil, you will be in for a rude surprise when those eggs hatch or those larvae start to grow up. This is particularly bad for indoor growers because there are no natural predators inside your house.
2. Use natural predators. Of course, if you’re growing marijuana outdoors, you can make use of a few pest predators. Ladybugs are notoriously beneficial to have around your outdoor marijuana plants because they love to prey on larvae and other potential pests. You should also encourage birds to nest in the area because they often like to snack on some pernicious marijuana pests. Put out some bird houses or a bird feeder to get birds to come around. Just make sure that they stay away while the seeds are germinating because many birds do enjoy the taste of a marijuana seed. Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link and for more outdoor growing tips.
3. Grow companion plants. Interspersing the marijuana garden with a few naturally repellent plants is certainly a good way to keep the predators away. Although the THC that marijuana produces acts as a natural repellent in its own right, it is often not strong enough to repel all plants (especially in the early stages of life). Particularly pungent plants like geraniums and marigolds will keep many leaf-eating insects and worms at bay. You can even plant some onions to ward off bigger pests like deer or rabbits.
4. Use the urine of your pests’ enemies. This might sound like a joke, but it actually works and it’s actually feasible. Many mammals like deer have keen senses of smell and if they detect a hint of bear or puma urine, they will want to stay as far away from your marijuana plants as possible. That’s because they won’t want to enter territory that a much larger predator has been roaming around in. The same is true for rabbits and fox urine. You can buy these scents at many sporting goods or outdoor shops.
5. Build a fence. If bigger animals are a problem and the scent of their enemies doesn’t deter them, then you might need to try building a fence around your plants. Obviously, many marijuana growers don’t have this luxury and it’s really only something that people growing on private land can do.
6. Create a repellent force field around the plants. With a permethrin-based repellent, you can keep insects away from your plants without using the synthetic spray on the plants themselves. Simply spray a ring on the ground about 6 feet away from the plant. Any bugs that come into contact with the permethrin will die or just evacuate the area.
7. Use custom organic repellents. Many growers have opted for pungent, organic repellents to keep pests away from both their indoor and outdoor plants. Concoctions like cinnamon oil, clove oil, and coriander oil have all had relative success without causing any damage to the plant. You can easily spray these repellents directly onto the cannabis leaves with no fear of any adverse reaction. Of course, different cannabis strains might have different reactions to any homemade organic repellents, and you should always test the repellents on an inconspicuous section of the plant to make sure no harm is done.
All cannabis plants start as seeds, and they all require water to germinate properly. Each seed contains a full, little plant that has a root, stem, and a couple of leaves. There are also enough nutrients in the seed for it to survive the first portion of its life. During germination, these vital nutrients (proteins, carbs, etc.) are transformed into glucose, which all plants need to for growth.
1. Let the seeds soak in water that is 65°F (18°C) until they split open and roots appear
When seeds achieve a nice moistness level, they will enlarge and split open. A single root will grow downward with gravity out of that split. The root will always grow down no matter what and the stem will always grow up.
Placing your seeds in water ensures that they have achieved the proper moisture level for the process of germination to begin. The seeds will not take on excess water and drown until about 2 weeks after they have cracked open (you will have already transplanted them into soil by then).
When you fill your glass with water, simply put it in the living room so that it shifts to the temperature of the environment. Tap water is fine, but don’t give the seeds any extra nutrients because they already have everything they need. The seeds will crack open in between 2 and 7 days. Make sure to replenish the water in the glass every other day. Start transplanting when the roots reach 0.1 to 0.2 inches (3 to 5 mm) in length. Download my free marijuana grow guide to learn more about marijuana seeds at this link
2. Place your seeds in a ½-inch hole in small pots with seedling soil
The nutrient level of the seeds is already adequate, so you should use a soil with fewer nutrients to start. Soil made specifically for seedlings and clones that has low quantities of nutrients is ideal. Plants are very susceptible to nutrient burn at this stage if you give them too many nutrients.
The pots should be filled halfway with the seedling soil. To make the half-inch hole, use your finger tip or a pen. Each seed should have its own pot. Since the roots will always grow down, you don’t have to worry how you place the seeds in the soil.
Place the seed in the hole, and cover it up with the soil. When you spray the soil with water, it will tamp down on its own. Avoid pressing the soil. The germination process will continue until the plant starts to surface within a week. The taproot will produce other root offshoots so that the system is strong.
3. Use a plant sprayer to moisten the soil
Water is responsible for both life and germination, making it the most vital component early on. It is extremely important that you give the plants plenty of water and keep the soil moistened.
Plants that don’t receive enough water will compensate by not growing to full capacity. This is largely to increase the plants’ chances of survival. Of course, too much water can cause the plants to lose out on valuable oxygen. Leaves will start to wither and the marijuana plant and growth medium will become more susceptible to diseases and bacteria.
The soil needs to stay adequately moist (not too dry and not over-soaked). The seedling won’t use much water, but a lot of the water evaporates fast. This is the major reason why seedlings should never go on a windowsill or near a heater. Spraying the plants 1 or 2 times throughout the day should be plenty.
4. Put pots 2 inches below CFL tube
Other than water, light is another vital component for the plant’s growth. Light and water help convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose—necessary resources for plant growth. This is referred to as photosynthesis.
When plants don’t receive adequate light, they will form fewer side branches and will elongate abnormally. This stretching helps marijuana plants grow taller to grab enough light in nature. Plants that receive adequate light will grow wider (not taller) and produce a flurry of side branches with a ton of buds. Light should be kept on 24 hours per day and the room should have a consistent temperature of around 72° Fahrenheit.
The pots should be placed under a cool white CFL light at a distance of 2 inches. These tubes don’t create that much heat, they’re energy efficient, and they use the ideal light spectrum for seedlings. Seedlings require about 3 to 5 watts each. When the plants surface after 5 to 10 days, they will need all the light they can get to grow optimally.
5. Moisten the soil with a water sprayer twice a day until seeds germinate
Creating the ideal climate is also important for germinating the seeds under ideal conditions. CFL tubes don’t produce that much heat, but they will keep the soil warm. You can keep the distance between the plants and the bulbs to a minimum, but if the temperature exceeds 77° F, then you should move them farther apart or cool down the area.
Soil moisture is important to ensure that the seed disposes of the water. Avoid feeding the seeds until the initial leaves make it through the soil. This happens after about 5 to 8 days. Be patient and just check the moisture level of your soil without feeding any nutrients.
6. First signs of the seeds
As soon as the seedlings pop their heads out of the soil, it’s vital to inspect the distance between the plant and the light. Adjust the lights if the temperature goes past 72° Fahrenheit or the leaves start receiving excessive light. The soil also needs to stay moist. The leaves on the plants can absorb water, so continue spraying them 2 times per day.
Again, this early stage in life makes the plants susceptible to damage from negative conditions. Don’t use a lot of nutrients and make sure the lights stay on 24 hours to produce a reliable climate. Avoid touching the plants and do not take away the seed skins from the leaves
The plants need to grow and develop sturdy root systems. Big green leaves are capable of absorbing ample light and converting it into energy. Healthy root systems allow plants to take in plenty of water and nutrients. The plant is just starting to form the base for the remainder of its life, so it’s important that they receive proper, diligent care.
7. First two internodes
When the initial internodes start to form, you can feed your plant with root-stimulating foliar nutrients. Start the plants off with a small dose as the developing roots can’t withstand higher concentrations just yet.
The plants will start to grow rapidly (about 0.5 inches per day). Inspect your plants each day for signs of nutrient surplus (e.g. burned leaf tips).
8. Transplant into bigger pots when roots grow out of the bottom
The roots will start to grow out of the bottom of your smaller pot at which point it’s time to transplant. The plant will become rootbound and stop growing if you do not transplant.
To recognize the roots, look for white tips poking out of the bottom. Check for the roots each day and start giving your plants grow stimulator, which is high in nitrogen. More about nutrients on this link.
9. Grow you plants outdoors or under MH/HPS lights
If everything went as planned, then you have strong, healthy plants that will eventually produce high yields. A good start in life means that the plants will be less susceptible to bacteria, diseases, pests, and the effects of harsh weather extremes. Plants that are healthy can better absorb water and nutrients and will develop a faster metabolism for better yields. If you email me a photo of your seedlings, I will publish them on my site.
These plants can now grow outdoors and will thrive in a wind-free location that gets a lot of sun. The plants will also do better in a big container (15 gallons) on a stool. This keeps away any interference from animals like rabbits or snails.
As you have seen, it’s not very hard to grow healthy marijuana plants. Everyone has their own technique and I’d like you to share your own knowledge on my forum. If you need high quality marijuana seeds, check out my seed shop for a wide selection strains at this link. The special offer for all Super Skunk, White Widow, and Super Silver Haze orders is still in effect (buy 5, get 5 free!). And we do ship to the States!
These are naturally occurring hyperparasites of powdery mildew. They form colonies on the infection, reducing growth and may eventually kill powdery mildew on cannabis leaves. Rain perpetuates the life cycle of this beneficial fungus. A formulated powder is available under the brand name AQ-10.
Bacillus Pumilus is a spore-bearing bacterium found in soil. It is resistant to environmental stresses, include UV light. The growth of Bacillus Pumilus on plant roots prevents Fusarium spores from germinating. A commercial product is available by the name of Sonata. Application boosts the cannabis plants’ immune system, inhibiting fungal germination and growth.
Bacillus Subtilis is a naturally occurring anti-fungal bacterium found in soils. It has proven to fight blight, gray mold and several strains of mildew, yet has no adverse affects on the environment or humans. For this reason, it has been approved as a fungicide and bactericide for use in organic farming. Bacillus Subtilis compounds prevents pathogens from colonizing crops. This biological fungicide can be procured online under several brand names. Two strains are available; one for foliage applications (QST 713) and one to be used as a soil amendment at the time of planting (GB03 or MBI600).
Barley Straw Rafts and Pellets
Barley straw rafts are used in hydroponic cannabis systems to inhibit the growth of algae. Barley straw does not kill existing algae but does prevent the growth of new algae cells. While barley straw has not been approved by the EPA for use in public waters, it is available for purchase by homeowners for hydroponics and private ponds.
The use of copper as a fungicide has been practiced for centuries. The most popular use today is in the form of Bordeaux Mixture, which combines copper sulfate with lime. The purpose of adding lime to copper sulfate is to reduce the damaging effect copper sulfate can have on marijuana plants. It is an added benefit that Bordeaux Mixture is also effective in controlling bacteria. As such, it is a good combatant for plant diseases caused by fungi and bacteria such as powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf spots and fire blight. Bordeaux Mixture is a good option for controlling these diseases on outdoor grown marijuana plants, as it withstands rains, enabling its effect to remain on the foliage. However, it should only be applied before the flowering stage. Use a diluted solution on young plants to prevent burning of the tender leaves. Also avoid applying in temperatures over eighty five degrees to avoid the leaves yellowing and dropping off the plants. Follow label directions before using.
Gliocladium – Beneficial Fungus
Gliocladium is a species of parasitic fungus living in the soil. It produces volatile organic compounds which are toxic to other fungi and bacteria. Gliocladium protects Mary Jane from gray mold by suppressing spore production. It is best applied as a soil drench and is available under several brand names.
This common product found in drug stores and supermarkets, at 3% concentration, is a natural treatment for algae, gray mold, Pythium and powdery mildew. Using hydrogen peroxide on your marijuana plants will not bring them harm. Peroxide helps aerate the soil by adding oxygen and is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Cannabis plants can be fed a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water as a fertilizer and disease deterrent, resulting in healthy plants. It can be misted on the leaves and/or applied directly to the soil. An easy way to apply is to fill a clean fertilizer spray bottle that attaches to a garden hose and feed as you would, say Miracle Gro. The bottle will have gallon markings on it. Fill the bottle with peroxide. When you turn on the hose, it will automatically dilute. If feeding sick plants, add one cup 3% hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and spritz the leaves, making sure to cover completely. For general feeding, add one half cup to a gallon of water.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be added to the water in hydroponic environments. It can be used to sprout seeds by adding it to the water they soak in before planting; they will sprout quicker and grow stronger. Follow the general application recipe for the peroxide to water ratio if using to soak seeds.
Just as milk is essential to a healthy human diet by building the immune system and providing good bacteria to ward off infection, it works in much the same way for plants, including marijuana. Milk is a natural germicide and may boost plants’ immune systems in much the same way it does humans. It is a formidable treatment for powdery mildew. Applying weekly sprays of one part milk to nine parts water significantly reduces the presence of powdery mildew and will prevent it from forming if the plants are not currently affected. When rinsing empty milk bottles prior to putting in the recycle bin, pour the diluted milk around your plants rather than pour it down the drain. Your plants will love it!
Milk also acts as a disinfectant. Dip your gardening tools in milk, rather than bleach, when sterilizing between uses.
Neem oil is extracted from the nut of the neem tree, native to India. The insecticidal component of neem oil is azadirachtin which when applied, stops insects from feeding and developing. Neem oil is an effective defense against ants, aphids, fungus gnats, leaf miners, mealy bugs, scale, thrips, white flies and root weevils. Other components in neem oil have fungicidal properties combating gray mold, root rot, Septoria and powdery mildew.
The beauty of using neem oil in the cannabis garden is its low toxicity factor for humans, animals and the beneficial bugs you want to keep around. Neem oil is so safe for humans it is an ingredient in many household items such as toothpaste, shampoo and cosmetics. It is considered an organic control, will not harm the environment and can be found at local lawn and garden centers.
Neem oil can be applied as a foliar spray, soil drench and is safe to use in hydroponic systems. In the latter, apply one teaspoon per quart of water. The oil will be taken up by the root system and distributed throughout, protecting the plant from attack.
As a foliar spray, test an inconspicuous area of the marijuana plant before applying to the entire plant. Wait twenty four hours to see if it is well tolerated. Once confirmed, spray the leaves lightly. This should be done weekly until there is no longer evidence of pests or disease. Do not apply in extreme temperatures or during the day. Apply at night to allow the leaves to absorb the oil.
pH Up and pH Down
Maintaining the proper pH level of your cannabis garden, whether soil grown or hydroponically, is vital to deterring the growth of disease bearing fungi. Highly acidic environments lend themselves to the fungi species that can be detrimental to your growing efforts.
pH Up and pH Down is used in hydroponic situations to adjust the alkaline and acidity levels. Tap water typically is at the 8.0 level due to the high alkaline content. The optimum pH level for hydroponically grown plants is 5.5 – 6.5. Acids are used to lower the pH level, while alkalis are used to raise the level. Be sure to use a product labeled for hydroponic use or you can damage the crop.
Potassium bicarbonate is a water soluble compound often used to neutralize acidic soil in crops. It is now under consideration as an organic fungicide. Potassium bicarbonate is a synthetic compound resultant of a combination of potassium carbonate, carbon dioxide and water and is found naturally in virtually all life forms. It is most seen in crystal form or as a soft, powdery substance.
Potassium bicarbonate is an effective defense against powdery mildew, Septoria leaf spot, blight and many other fungal diseases. To apply, mix three tablespoons potassium bicarbonate, three tablespoons oil and one half teaspoon castile soap with one gallon water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and mist the cannabis leaves. (This also works on most edible plants).
Potassium bicarbonate can be purchased from garden centers, hardware stores and pharmacies, or can be obtained online under various brand names.
Pseudomonas is a genus of bacteria found in water and plant seeds. The application of this strain became widely used in the 1980′s as a way to prevent the growth of crop pathogens. It is applied to the soil or seeds, in agriculture. It is believed the introduction of pseudomonas to the soil or seeds, induces systemic resistance of the emerging plant to pathogens. The application is available by several manufacturers to control many fungal and bacterial diseases. Pseudomonas refers to a variety of species, so check labels for the particular fix you need.
This is a broad term referring to a class of compounds which act as disinfectants. Its use should be confined to cleaning gardening tools and work surfaces, but should not be applied to consumable plants. Sterilizing equipment and surfaces with quaternary amines will help guard against the spread of fungal pathogens to your cannabis or other plants. Check the internet for suppliers.
Silica and Silicate Salts
When silica is added to the soil, it provides a strengthening agent for plant cells; it facilitates thicker cell walls, which results in stronger stems. The availability of silica to a plant’s roots provides a protective barrier, dissuading fungal reach into the inner workings of the plant’s ability to uptake nutrients. The plant becomes more capable of surviving stress once clad with the armor silica provides. In addition, enhancing the soil with silica containing materials help to keep it aerated, allowing free flow of oxygen. This is good news for Mary Jane and her counterparts!
Hydroponic environments can also benefit from the addition of soluble silicon added to the water solution. The roots become stronger and healthier, resulting in increased yields. The addition of silica in either growing situation has proven to reduce the occurrence of powdery mildew.
Several forms of silica are available for soil or water growing media:
• Syna-Gro Po-Tekt, a potassium silicate solution, can be used in the soil, hydroponic systems and as a foliar spray. • Pyrophyllite clay, and aluminum silicate in powder form, can be applied as a dust or foliar spray. • Silica stone is used in hydroponic systems and can be re-used after a thorough cleaning. • Greensand can be added to the soil to enhance the benefits of silica. • Vermiculite and perlite is available at garden centers. Mix it into the soil. Many potting soils come with the amendments already added. • Diatomaceous earth contains the shells of marine microorganisms. This amendment also serves as a control for soft organisms such as slugs, as the tiny shells pierce their skin causing dehydration through the loss of body fluids.
Colloidal silver has long been used as a defense against algae in swimming pools and hydroponic systems. It serves to guard against plant attacking pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Pathogens are literally suffocated to death by the tiny metal ions attaching to their respiratory systems. It is a completely safe control, as humans, plants and animals will not be harmed. It can be used in the germination process, as a soil soak or foliar application. In fact, colloidal silver has been known to strengthen many food bearing plants, including their immune systems. Marijuana plants will not be harmed in the least, as there is no such thing as overdose with colloidal silver.
Commonly know as good old baking soda, this inexpensive medium has many uses, including homemade treatments for ailing gardens. By utilizing baking soda in the garden, the cannabis farmer can prevent and/or control many fungal diseases. Baking soda also has the benefit of adding to the good health of your crop.
Powdery mildew will stunt the growth of your plants and eventually lead to their demise if not caught and corrected. To make a foliar spray, combine one teaspoon baking soda with four cups water and one half teaspoon liquid dish detergent or, preferably, castile soap. Spray the affected plants once every two weeks until the infection has dissipated. You don’t want to overwater due to the higher sodium levels than are in potassium bicarbonate.
Streptomyces Griseoviridis – Beneficial Bacteria
That’s a mouthful, huh? This particular bacterium is available commercially and is used to prevent root rot, stem rot, wilt and various fungal diseases such as Fusarium, gray mold and Pythium. Mycostop, RootGuard and Microgrow are a few products available to the cannabis gardener.
Fungi cannot make their own food therefore they depend on your beloved Mary Jane (and other foliage) for food. Consider them the vampires of the plant world. When they appear there should be one goal in mind: attack and retreat!
Sulfur can lower the pH level of highly alkaline soils and is also used as a treatment for powdery mildew, gray mold and Septoria. If using as a foliar spray, test it on a few branches and wait a couple of days before applying, as sulfur can cause leaf damage if not applied properly. Sprinkle sulfur dust on the infected plants, but follow directions carefully. Sulfur can be applied as a dust or foliar spray. Sulfur in both liquid and powder form is available at most garden centers.
Trichoderma – Beneficial Fungi
Trichoderma is present in all soils and has been developed as a bio control against fungal diseases due to its opportunistic lifestyle. It is parasitic in nature, forming on the roots and feeding on other fungi. Trichoderma has also been known to deter foliar fungal diseases. Recent studies have shown that due to the parasitic nature, Trichoderma actually promotes healthy root growth. Check the internet for approved available commercial products.
UVC lights are non-chemical fungal controls for the hydroponic or indoor growing system. They can be placed in the air ventilation system to help eliminate algae, mold and mildew spores from penetrating the indoor garden. It is important to mention that if you have added beneficial microbes to your hydroponic cannabis system, they will also be eradicated, so you may want to think twice when considering this form of control. UVC lights can be purchased at hydroponic supply houses and online.
In the growing trend towards green living and green gardening, many household items have once again come to light with available uses other than the apparent. As a fungicide, add one tablespoon white distilled vinegar and one quart water to a spray bottle. Spray your plants to kill powdery mildew. Make sure you use a diluted vinegar solution. Vinegar alone is a great weed killer, but is non-selective. Vinegar in its full strength will kill all vegetation it hits.
Want to know more about growing marijuana? Check out the FREE book Marijuana Plant Care for more information!
Most marijuana recipes require marijuana butter. It is very easy to make and it can be used in place of normal butter. Another advantage is that it can also be made of marijuana leaves. Especially the small leaves close to the flowers contain a lot of resin.
In order to make the THC in marijuana active it has to be heated in some way. Normally it is done by smoking it but it can also be eaten. THC resolves in fat, not in water. So it’s important to use fat if you’re cooking with marijuana. Oil, milk and butter are perfect to resolve THC and are used in many recipes. Simply replace the normal butter or oil with the prepared one.