For beginners, growing hemp could be tricky. Or at least that’s what I felt when I first started growing. Years passed, now I grow and sell my own. Growers and customers come in and ask a lot of questions, so I wrote this blog hoping to answer everything they need.
First, they say… I just bought these seeds and germinated them in the wind in a dish. What’s next?
AUTO-FLOWERING OR FEMINIZED?
So I ask – do you plan to grow auto-flowering or feminized seeds? Auto-flowering seeds seem to be more popular than the latter. It can grow and produce a full crop in 8 weeks as opposed to the traditional veg and flowering cycle which takes 16 weeks for more indoor grows.
Are you growing it in soil or hydroponic system? If you’re a beginner, I suggest growing in soil. Hydro requires more expertise so I would say it would fit best for advanced growers. Hydro systems are costly compared to growing with soil but are highly efficient WHEN SET UP CORRECTLY – this is very important! If one piece of your system fails, it could kill your plants in a matter of hours.
Compared to growing with soil, plants can mature faster and more evenly with hydro systems but needs to be regularly monitored. Because hydro systems are soilless, soil-borne insects and plant diseases are less likely to occur but make sure to regularly maintain and keep it clean to prevent water-borne plant diseases.
Aside from seeds, there is cloning – which means reproducing the same strain. Cloning preserves the genetic identity of your plant by taking a cutting from it and growing into an identical plant. This is extremely useful if you want to keep your plant’s characteristics.
How many times can you clone a plant? You can do it as many times as you want as long as it’s in the vegetative stage. It is not advisable to clone a plant in the flowering stage because instead of forming a new root structure, it will focus on forming buds – leaving the clone with a small chance of survival.
If you grow 10 seeds from the same batch produced from the same F1 Pheno strain (Pp), the odds of getting the dominant or recessive traits you want can differ. So 1 out of 10 seeds may only turn purple from that batch of seeds. This process is called Pheno-hunting. It can take a while for certain attributes to show from a breed. After you find THE ONE, then you can start cloning it.
Here’s how you clone a plant:
Step 1: Prepare a glass or container with water. It’s better to get this ready before cutting to limit the time that the plant stays out of the water and reduce stress.
Step 2: Using scissors or a knife, take a cutting from the plant. Some growers cut the top of the plant, while others cut from the bottom. They say cutting off from the bottom is better because the stalk is more developed, but I prefer taking the top. Place your cutting in the water while you’re not working on it, leaving the stem dipped in the water.
Step 4: Dip the ends of the stems in the solution before placing the cutting in a neoprene insert then put it in tray. Neoprene inserts make it easy for inserting and removing cuttings, at the same time holding and protecting it from damage. After 10 days or so, your plant should start showing a few inches of roots. So if you want to skip Pheno-hunting, go straight to finding a F1 hunted clone and save years of time and money.
Step 6: Next is the vegetative stage. This takes about 6 to 8 weeks depending on the grower. I use the Vanquish 315 All-in-One Grow System for the lights and a Gorilla Indoor Grow Tent. Both products are available in Chicago Fabrications – they sell everything you need for growing.
Step 7: After 6 to 8 weeks, your plant should be grown and looking fresh. Use a trellis to support your plant so that it won’t fall when it gets heavy.
You’re all set up! The FoxFarm potting soil has bat guano, earthworm castings, and all the nutrients your plant needs so you won’t need to add additional nutrients for up to 10 days. After that, you will need to feed it nutrients to keep it healthy. I suggest using any of these FoxFarm products: Grow Big, Big Bloom, and Tiger Bloom.
Watch out for bugs, mold, and equipment malfunction as these greatly affect the health of your plants. I recommend checking the room or tent daily at different times especially during the flowering stage.
Clean your equipment after each cycle. You can brush the tray and soak the neoprene inserts in an antibacterial dishwashing liquid then let dry.
Growing takes a lot of time and money but when done right, it could really pay off. Here’s a sample breakdown:
3.5-gallon bucket (optional) – $6.95
Trimming shears – $9.99
Clonex Rooting Gel – $5.00
Clonex Clone Solution – $29.50
Neoprene inserts – $10.00
1-gallon pot – $3.75
FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil – $16.54
FoxFarm Happy Frog Soil Conditioner – $17.40
Mother Earth Coco + Perlite – $19.23
Vanquish 315 All-in-One Grow System – $380.00
Vanquish 315 4K Bulb – $90.00
Gorilla 9×9 Indoor Grow Tent – $1,295.99
Ratchet straps – $12.99
Tornado Maxx Inline Fan – $254.95
Infinity Recycle and Lighting Timer – $189.95
Aluminum Ducting – $19.95
Trellis – $13.35
FoxFarm Grow Big Liquid Plant Food – $24.99
FoxFarm Big Bloom Liquid Plant Food – $19.50
HM Digital TDS-3 TDS-Temp Meter – $36.95
Infinity CO2 Generator – $325.95
Infinity B1 Analog Atmosphere Controller – $209.95
Vanquish Master Light Controller – $439.99
TOTAL: $ 3,599.3