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Archive for the "Growing" Category

Grow: The Hempy Buckets Technique

April 20th, 2009 by Silvio

hempy

Today, I want to offer our readers the easiest and most cost-efficient way to grow marijuana indoors (that I know of.) It’s called Hempy Bucket and even for beginners it’s easy and cheap to do, yet very rewarding.

So on with the show, let’s get started!

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Grow: 9 Points in Choosing a Strain

March 24th, 2009 by Silvio

SDC10091

Choosing a strain to grow can be overwhelming considering the massive amount of good plants out there. In order to get the most out of your grow, you should ask yourself a few questions before ordering the first strain you come across.

1.) Are you going to grow INDOORS or OUTDOORS?
Before you decide to go shopping for seeds, you should make your mind up about this question. Indoor growing will give you more control over the environment. Outdoor grows always depend on the weather, but don’t require expensive equipment and don’t drive your electricity bill through the roof. There are pros and cons for each. Find out what suits you best.

2.) What are your targets?
Are you aiming for a short and compact growing plant with high yields (Indica), or do you prefer a Sativa strain (tall, high quality buds and lower yielding). Then, there’s of course plants that combine both varieties.

3.) After what kind of high are you?
There are two basic types to chose from: The Indica high, which will knock you off your feet, gets you couch locked and keeps you there for a while. Or the trippy, head-based cerebral high you get of a Sativa.

4.) How potent do you want it?
On first impulse, everybody would probably say: as potent as humanly possible. And right you are. But every strain has different effects, too. They range from mellow to happy over to paranoid and thought provoking. Investigate before you invest money.

5.) What’s your budget?
How much are you willing to spend on your babies? Prices vary from as little as $20 for 10 seeds to as much as $150 for 5.

6.) How important is yield to you?
Some strains will give you the most amazing buds, but only a small amount. Others are rewarding in yield and quality, but the seeds will cost you accordingly.

7.) Will smell and odor be a problem in your grow area?
Some strains smell a lot, some are almost not noticeable.

8.) Once you picked a strain, hit the internet and do some research.
Look for grow journals, pictures of your chosen strain. Read how others experienced the grow. How much yield did they get? What medium did they use? How much light, and what nutrition did they use.

9.) Read about seedbanks.
Find out where the freebies are. Most seedbanks will give you free stuff.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask here.

Grow Rooms: Design and Setup

February 5th, 2009 by Silvio

OK, that’s it. You’re sick and tired of buying weed from people you don’t really know or trust. Maybe your just like knowing exactly what strains are being packed in your pipe. Either way, the time has come to grow your own crop.

We’ve already talked about soil options, so that’s a good start. In this article, i want to show you, how you can setup your first grow room. You can use this information for both hydro or soil, although hydro will require more work (and definitely more money).

I will post an entire article about hydroponics setups later, for now let’s cover the main points, regardless of grow medium.


#1) Keep It Simple

http://i9.tinypic.com/4zoc6k8.jpgNOT Simple.

Let’s get one thing straight – growing weed isn’t that hard.

All your problems will come from over-thinking, or too much care. The same goes for your grow space. So stick to the basics. You will find out later where and how you have to modify your grow room in order to make it more efficient. But for now, stick with a simple setup.

Don’t start off with elaborate rigs or or way too many plants than you feel comfortable with. Just like any discipline, start off small, learn the ropes, and then expand as much as you want.


#2) A Suitable Space

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b147/GAngSTaXskATa/HPIM1672-1.jpgA corner in your living room won’t do. The room has to be closed.

The first question to answer for any grower is, “Where can I raise my crop?”

There is no straightforward answer for this question. You can setup a grow room all over the places; a small cupboard, a whole room, in a garage or your attic space. Just be aware, not all grow rooms are created equally.

I prefer a whole room that isn’t being used for anything else. Just be creative. I have seen people growing pot in places you couldn’t imagine, with excellent results. However, make sure you have enough electricity sockets for lighting, an extractor vent (with carbon filter) and an air intake.

Don’t forget that your exhaust vents will produce noise. Think about visitors, maintenance work that may have to be done on your house in the future and every kind of emergency that will require anyone to access the room you grow in. Also, do not forget about your water source, and avoid carpeted floors. Carpets are an invite for all kinds of bacteria, mold and other forms of undesirables. Besides that, you will handle soil in there. That’s going to be one hell of a mess to clean. So, just say no to carpets.

The grow room has to be absolutely light-proof. We are talking pitch black here. No light in, because it will mess up your light cycles, and no light out. You don’t want your neighbors to ask stupid questions.

In order to maximize you’re light efficiency, you may want to line, or paint the walls. Some people use Mylar. I prefer white walls. Works just as well, if not better.


#3) Equipment

Let’s start with the obvious – you’re lighting system. I use only High Pressure Sodium Lights (HPS).

Strictly speaking, you would have to buy two separate ones if you plan on using the same room for both seedling stage and the vegetative/flowering stages. A weaker light for your seedlings, and a considerably stronger one for the later stages. This also means more money being spent on bulbs and ballast. So, in the spirit of keeping it simple, stick with a stronger one.

Here is a little chart to give you a rough idea about how strong your lights should be:

  • 250 Watt HPS: very popular for a first time light, or for smaller areas like cupboards, still gives good yields
  • 400 Watt HPS: very popular, good for vegetative plants, small grow rooms or larger grow rooms with limited headroom
  • 600 Watt HPS: the most efficient and popular size. Gives optimum light and good depth over an area of 4 foot by 5 foot or more
  • 1000 Watt HPS: Extremely powerful light systems that are best utilized on light rails where they will cover an area of about 9 foot by 5 foot
budget-600w-hps-rangeHPS Bulb with ballast and reflector.

You will also need a thermometer. I use a digital one that shows humidity and temperature. This will cost you about $20, but it’s well worth it. If you want to make sure your plants will always get the best water quality possible, don’t forget a pH meter. That will cost you another $20, but in my opinion it’s essential.

A good thing to have is duct tape. I will not go deeper into details about pots, soil brand and nutrition. There is far too much to say, and it’s far too important for a little foot note. We will deal with this in future articles.

A little tip for soil though: everything you can use for tomatoes, will work perfectly for weed. As far as electric equipment goes, you should be ready to go now.


#4) Air

filterExtractor vent + filter.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that you make sure to have efficient air exchange.

Air has to come in and move around, and air has to get out of the room. For air intakes, you can use something as as simple as a pc vent, and a hole in the wall.

Getting the air out, and all that dank smell, will be a bigger problem. Most likely you are aware that your plants will develop odor, and lots of it. Put 5 Trainwreck plants in a room and the place will smell like an Amsterdam coffeshop. Not good.

I (and most likely everybody else who is serious about not getting caught) am using a carbon filter with my extractor vent. To move air around the room, use a standard ventilator. Anything will do, as long as you provide permanent air movement in the grow room.


#5) Water

Water_tapYep, that’s a tap.

You will need water. Well, not you, your plants.

It is never a good idea to have your water source outside your grow room. Better said, make sure you can’t be watched carrying water from your source, to your plants. You will need plenty of water, and people seeing you carrying buckets of water inside a room every day for no apparent reason… well, it’s just one of the things that can get you into trouble. And avoiding it is easy.

So, a tap in your grow room is important. Another point is, in the winter, tap water will be cold. Very cold. In order to avoid stressing your plants out too much, keep a water supply in your grow area, to make sure it gets to the same temperature as your grow area. Your plants will thank you for that.

Keep an eye on the waters pH. Not higher than 7, and not lower than 6. You will have to adjust the pH if you are outside these numbers. Get a pH meter, a cheap one will cost you $20 (as I said earlier), and some adjustment fluid.

Ok everyone, that’s the basics. We will go deeper into every single point on this list. For now, this should give you a rough idea on how and where to start your own grow room. Feel free to ask questions, let’s get a discussion going. If you’re already had a grow set-up, how did your first experience go and what lessons did you learn?


Tough Choice: Seeds or Clones

January 15th, 2009 by Silvio

tFS Note: This the 3rd in a series of posts by Silvio, from WeedFarmer.net, covering introductory and initial cultivation methods.

That’s right, we’re going to cover the topic that caused quite the debate in the comments of my ‘First Time Growers: Common Mistakes‘ post.

As soon as you’ve started the process to grow your own crop, decisions need to be made. The first and most important one is what foundation to start from. Are you going to grow from seeds or rooted clones.

The decision is not an easy one, as both growing options have their respective advantages and disadvantages. You will have to think about growing space, crop risk and turn around time.

Here are some useful pieces of information that will help kick-start your journey to cultivating bliss.

clones

Clones – Pros:

  • The time factor. If you go for clones, you will harvest sooner, therefore more often and end up with more harvest.
  • You will be able to turn one of your clones into a new mother plant.
  • You will get to know what makes your plants grow faster and produce more yield.
  • Every strain is different, but once you figured out what’s good for the one you grow, the results will get better every generation.
  • If you really have to, you could start flowering a clone as soon as it’s rooted.
  • Poor harvest, but very short turnaround time.
  • If you make your own clones, you (almost) eliminate the risk of disease.

Clones – Cons:

  • Unlike seeds you won’t be able to buy clones online.
  • High risk of inheriting problems from the last grower: Root rot, spider mites, powdery mildew, etc. This can kill your entire crop, if not treated early and accurately.
  • Unhealthy clones may die or remain in shock for an extended period.
  • Shipped clones may be in shock and take weeks to recover. There are many stories of medical clones shipped without any protection and arriving flat!
  • Clones are very, very sensitive. You can kill them easily with too much light, and too much nutrition.
  • Since you will end up with almost only female plants, you won’t be able to breed new strains yourself. Plants going hermaphrodite is also possible with unstable clones.

seeds

Seeds – Pros:

  • Seeds you bought off a seed bank will give you a very clear picture of what you can expect regarding strain, yield, quality and flowering time.
  • You can try to breed your own super-strain since you will have some male plants.
  • Even feminized seeds will produce a certain amount of male plants.
  • Hybrid vigor. A female plant grown from seed, is known to produce more buds in most cases. Strains can lose potency over time, if cloned to often. Sometimes it’s a good idea to introduce a new plant into your garden, and start cloning again from there.
  • Seeds should produce healthy plants, free of disease and pests.

Seeds – Cons

  • Cost. Not only are good seeds not cheap, since they will take a lot longer to finish, electricity bills will be higher.
  • There is always a chance you get ripped of if you chose to buy from the wrong seed shop. And seeds being seized by customs is also not unheard of.
  • Not all seeds will germinate and only 50% of the unfeminized seeds will be female. Feminized seeds may produce up to 90% females. Only female seeds will produce female mothers, from which productive clones can be taken and flowered.
  • It may take many seed packs to discover an excellent mother.
  • Growing from seeds takes a long time, a lot of labor and money before you see good results.

Ok, that should give you a good idea on the pros and cons for both seeds and rooted clones. Now choose wisely, and go and spread your wings as a weed farmer!

First Time Growers: 8 Common Questions

January 7th, 2009 by Silvio

tFS Note: This is the second in a series of marijuana cultivation posts aimed at first time growers. Our guest author is Silvio from WeedFarmer.net – check out the first article here and don’t hesitate to throw some comments Silvio’s way.

question
We’ve covered common mistakes of first time growers, now it’s time to jump to common questions. Stir up the knowledge from both of these posts and I hope you’ll feel confident enough to give growing a try.

Now let’s get to it…

Q: Can marijuana grow in Northern countries?

Marijuana plants can grow anywhere corn can grow. All it needs is light for 3 months, water and soil. You will be able to grow weed almost everywhere on the planet. Factor in hydroponics systems, and you really can grow marijuana anywhere in the world.

Q: Why is it better to buy seeds? I found some seed in my last sack, can I use them?

Most people put a lot of effort into building a grow space. The same amount of effort is due when it comes to picking the seeds for your crop.

Sure, bag seeds will grow into a plant, but why play a guessing game? Especially if you plan to grow commercially, the process will be inefficient and unprofitable. You will end up with lots of different kinds of plants. And all of them will need a unique treatment. Flowering times will vary, so will height. Unless you have more then one grow space, this will be a problem.

Q: I am a first time grower – hydroponics or soil?

I truly believe soil is the all around better and more convenient choice. It may be right that hydro makes plants grow faster, but you will get better results from a good soil grow. Hydro should be attempted after you have a few successful soil crops under your belt. If you are starting from seed and growing for your stash only, soil is the better choice for you. If you plan on producing a constant harvest for commercial use, hydroponics is the way to go.

Q: Why are my seedlings stretching?

That’s an easy one: you need more light. Also provide a gentle wind and make sure to keep an eye on humidity.

Q: What lights should I use?

For your seedlings, use fluorescent tubes. For personal home growers, 400W metal halide or HPS (high pressure sodium) are a common choice. However, if you want to go pro, set yourself up with 1000 watt metal halide or HPS. Use at least 40 watts per square foot of grow space.

Q: How far should the lights be from the plants?

Put your hand under the light and check how hot it gets. If it feels too hot for you, the chance is high it’ll be too hot for a fragile plant. Other tips:

  • Fluorescent Tube: tips of leaves almost touching bulbs
  • 400 Watt Halide: two feet away from seedlings and one foot away from grown plants
  • 1000 Watt Halide: four feet away from seedlings and two feet away from grown plants

Q: What’s a good watering schedule?

Once a week or once every two week for soil and twice a day with a hydroponic flood and drain system. When top 2 inches of the soil dry out. Occasionally provide periods of extra dry and wet soil. Allow 10% extra water to drain out of the bottom of the tray. This will prevent toxic fertilizer build up.

Q: How long do your seeds last and what’s the best way to keep them?

Seeds can last over 5 years if kept cool and dry. They may last up to 10 years if sealed and frozen, but fewer will germinate.

Ok, that’s covers every common item I can think of. Are there some questions I missed? There’s got to be, so let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to help.

First Time Growers: Common Mistakes

December 24th, 2008 by Silvio

tFS Note: This is the first in a series of marijuana cultivation posts aimed at first time growers. Our guest author is Silvio from WeedFarmer.net – the comprehensive growing guide blog. Welcome Silvio to theFreshScent and be sure to give your own input on his articles.

weedney_spears.jpg

Growing is easy right? You buy some seeds, source a couple of pots, grab lights, dump in the soil and then instantly start to grow weed. Sounds pretty simple!

Well, it is… until the first real roadblock makes itself known.

Luckily, we are here to get you past those roadblocks before they even materialize. Just remember; every mistake you are about to make, someone before you did the exact same thing. So, lets try and avoid the most common mistakes made by first time growers.

1) Overwatering

Overwatering kills your plants. Simple as that.

Only water once the top few inches of soil dries out, just stick your finger in the pot and test if it’s dry. Hydroponics is very hard to over-water, due to the abundance of water roots, but it’s still a good idea to keep a close watch.

2) Telling Other People

This should be obvious.

Telling other people will only make them jealous, it also gives them power over you. People love to feel important, if 4 weeks from now there’s a disagreement, you have no idea (or control of) who finds out there’s a grow-up at your house. So don’t tell anyone anything unless you absolutely have to. Keep it to yourself.

3) Touch / Kill Germinating Seeds

Waiting is never nice, especially for germination. But remember, some seeds may take up to ten days until they sprout. Some growers will tell you the paper towel method is not recommended because you must personally handle the seeds when transferring from the paper towel to your growing medium. I think that’s not a problem, just be careful and hygienic when handling your seeds.

Read the rest of Silvio’s tips after the jump!

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