How To Grow Medical Marijuana From Start To Finish
Odds are you have your medical marijuana card and have gone to the collectives a few times and spent decent amounts in donations. While collectives offer a medical marijuana patients the ability to choose from various medication there usually comes a price which most cannot really afford especially if their medical needs are higher that average.
Below is a simple yet proven growing style that will allow you to get started inexpensively while producing top shelf medication without a ton of hassles that complicated nute regiments tend to be for new med growers.
You need to get started by realize what type of setup you are wanting to go with. Many will go with hydro however this simple setup uses ffof or you can also use coco or other medium of your choice. I would suggest going with a 600 watt hps setup and a 4×4 grow tent simply because it is decent enough lighting and size to give yourself plenty of medication. Here is a list of what I would suggest getting to make this go smoothly for you.
Grow Tent – 4×4
600 watt grow light
1 or 2 gallon grow bags
carbon scrubber (I wrote an article on how to build a carbon scrubber for dummies you can check out by clicking my profile link and locating it.)
Lucas Formula (Flora Micro and Flora Bloom)
Inline Fan (some might need a/c or heating additions so that is dependent on your temps)
Seeds or Clones ( I always suggest getting medical marijuana seeds over clones)
Ph down (never really needed to use my ph up unless I overdosed the ph down)
ph/ppm meter (having estimates on ph and ppm is always helpful
You can follow my “How To Germinate Medical Marijuana Seeds” article to get your seeds to germinate quickly. You can use cfl’s or other smaller wattage lighting while they are in veg. I ususually run them on 24 hours light from seed up until they are ready to flip to the flowering cycle. Once they have germinated and have been placed in your soil mix you can do one of two things. Some will allow their plants to veg for 3-4 weeks and sometimes longer however the best method is to simply setup a perpetual medical garden. Once the plants have grown 3-4 sets of leaves and are in the 6″ to 8″ range you will want to transplant them from the beer cups (I use the beer cups for seeds/clones because they are easy and cheap) to either 1 gallon or 2 gallon grow bags. The grow bags are very inexpensive and last a long time. If you are going perpetual then I would suggest flipping them to flower once they have had at least a week in the new grow bag to allow the roots time to get used to their new home.
Once you have the plants in their grow bags and have been enjoying it for a week then it is time to flip them to the flowering cycle. During this time the FFOF soil will usually have more than enough nutrients to last during a short veg cycle however if you see any yellowing or deficiencies then it would be time to start your feeding regiment.
Here are the veg and flower feeding schedules:
Veg Feeding: (Only use IF you see deficiencies or are vegging for longer than 3-4 weeks)
Mix 4ml flora micro to 1 gallon of water
Mix 8ml flora bloom into the above mix and shake again
Flower Feeding: (Plants can sometimes be bigger eaters than others so sometimes starting with less than suggested and working your way can be best however most that we have grow are fine with this feeding schedule all the way through from week 1 to week 8 or 9 of flower.)
Mix 8ml flora micro to 1 gallon of water
Mix 16ml flora bloom into the above mix and shake again
** Every time you water you will want at least 10% run off coming out of bottom of the grow bags themselves. This lets you know that there is no salt build up or other obstructions not allowing proper water drainage. **
With the above feeding schedule you will want to feed them once or twice a week with nutrients and one feeding with just plain ph’d water (prefer 6 to 6.5). Some plants will be happy being fed week in and week out however some clean h2o in there once a week does wonders for the overall health of the plant and its roots.
Now some people suggest using the flowering feed schedule from start to finish however there are a couple things you should keep in mind. Some, like myself enjoy a good flush and to allow med plants the ability to yellow up a bit and finish up whatever nutes are still within them. I tend to stop feeding the “flora micro” at about week 4 or 5. The micro contains the nitrogen which we won’t need anymore especially once you are more than halfway done with the flowering cycle itself.
At about week 7-8 of the flowering cycle you will see the plants start to finish off their food resources, fan leaves dropping and the bud weight itself starting to pack on. This bud swell is very important to allow it to finish since most growers tend to pull far too early. The best way to see where your girls are as far as finishing time is to get yourself a small microscope and check the “trichs”. All those pretty crystals that give up our medication will start out clear then go cloudy then amber. When you see mostly cloudy and some amber colored trichs then you should be pretty much done.
At week 8+ (some strains take longer than others) you will want to start giving them nothing but water for the last week and left to dry out some. Letting it dry out some and preferably in a dark area can help with resin production as well as helping it dry and remove possible mold issues.
After the week of flush you simply cut them at their main stocks and hang them in a dark area that isn’t too humid but also isn’t completely dry. The point here is to allow them to hand dry for a good 5-10 days. This allows them to dry fully but not too quickly which can give your meds that terrible hay smell which we all have dealt with i’m sure.
After they are dry on the outside but still have some moisture you will want to do a trim job to remove any excess leaves and then simply toss them in mason jars to cure. This part is usually left out of a med growers arsenal and it is by far one of the best things if you are looking for potency, flavor and smell so don’t leave this step out. For the first week that they are in the jars you will want to open them up to allow them to release the moisture for an hour or so. I do this once or twice a day the first week but make sure they don’t get too dry before putting the lid back on.
After the first week you can then simply medicate as needed and the curing process will simply continue from then on out. The best meds will usually have a 1 month PLUS cure on it so keep that in mind when you get impatient.
This is what I call the bonus portion, remember that perpetual grow that I was talking about earlier in this article? Well think about how simple it can be to simply cut a clone from your mother plants and put in 4-5 a week. If you have a 30+ plant count you will then be able to cut new meds WEEKLY simply by making sure to cut new clones and toss them in your 4×4 tent each week.
With the above article you will be able to start from seed, grow, cure, dry and smoke your own medication without the many hassles that do come with beginner med growers trying to attain their green thumb.