Optionally fill the first couple inches of your pots with perlite for extra drainage, and then fill the rest of the pot with good soil. Water your pot thoroughly until water drains out the bottom before adding your seeds or clones. Set up your lights so that they can start around the height of your pots and eventually be raised to the final height of your plant .Once you have everything set up as described, simply add your seeds or clones and set up your lights so that they’re about 4 inches away to start.
After your plants have grown accustomed to their new environment (after a couple of days for transplanted clones, or when your seeds grow their second set of leaves) then you will want to move your CFLs so that they are about an inch away from the plant. CFLs lose a lot of light the further away they are and their light is almost useless once the plant is 6 inches away. Your biggest task when growing your plants will be adjusting the lights. The CFL bulbs should always be as close as possible to the plants, yet they need to be far enough away that your plants doesn’t grow into the lights and burn its leaves. If you check on your plants constantly, you can keep the lights closer. If you’re going to be away for a while, you should move the bulbs away to give your plants some growing room. Your plants can’t get really get too much light from CFLs and the only thing you need to worry about with the CFLs is burning your plants if they get too close. Basically if you put your hand where your plants are closest to the light, and the light feels too hot to be comfortable, then the light is too close. If your hand just feels warm, but not hot, than your plants are at the perfect distance. I generally kept my CFL bulbs 1-2″ from the leaves during the whole grow.
When your plants are about half their final desired height, you will change them over to the flowering stage so they start growing buds. The reason for this is that plants will generally double in height after being switched over to the flowering stage.
To initiate the flowering stage, you will switch your light schedule so that your lights are onfor 12 hours a day, and off for 12 hours a day. During the ‘off’ period, your plants should be in darkness. This light schedule will trick your plants into thinking that the days are getting shorter and fall is coming. The 12-12 light schedule will cause your plants to begin the flowering stage and start focusing on making buds instead of just growing. If you are growing Autoflowering strains then you don’t have to change the light schedule. It will flower even if your lights schedule is 18/6 or even 24/0.
After switching to 12-12, you should start noticing your plant making it’s first sex organs after a week or two. Females will grow white hairs and males will start growing grape-like balls. In order to maximize on the amount of bud you get, you will want to make sure you remove any males so they don’t impregnate you females. If they stay together than your females will get pollinated by the males and will end up making lots of seeds instead of buds. Unless you have a reason to keep males (for example breeding), you probably want to just kill any male plants because they won’t make any usable bud anyway.
When growing with CFLs, it becomes harder and harder to fully illuminate the plants as they get bigger and grow more branches. You will maximize the total amount of buds you get by keeping the plant smaller (and therefore easy to bathe in light), and then harvesting more often since your plants will be ready to harvest much sooner.
Towards the end of the flowering cycle as your plants approaches harvest time, you may notice that some of the oldest leaves start turning yellow and falling off. This is totally normal and is a sign that your plant is taking nitrogen out of the leaves and putting them into the buds/flowers.
You will want to stop feeding your plants any nutrients for the last two weeks before harvest to ensure the best tasting bud. Simply feed them plenty of water without nutrients for these last two weeks, but make sure you’re still adjusting the pH so they absorb any leftover nutrients in the coco coir. I usually stop feeding my plants nutrients and start feeding them water when about 75% of all the pistols (hairs) have turned dark and started curling in towards the buds.
Harvesting is not difficult but it will require your time and patience.Prior to harvesting, stop giving your plant with fertilizers one to two weeks before the set date of harvest. The purpose of this is to flush out the chemicals present in the plant, making sure that it is not already there when you consume it. This Grow Guide recommends that right before harvesting plants, you should stop giving them water. This will help the plants dry quickly. Use sharp scissors to ensure even cuttings. During cuttings, you may leave the stems on so that it would be easier to attach them to the strings for dry hanging. After the harvest is done, you can now begin with the drying process. Drying time will differ with the size of the buds. For bigger ones, it can take 2-3 weeks to complete the drying. If the buds are smaller, one week is given for it to dry completely.
After all the buds are dried, proper storage comes next. Canning jars with tight lids are recommended. This is to prevent mold growth on your newly harvested buds. Keep the jars full as much as possible. Regularly check on your jars, making sure that no moisture is build up. Jars are best place in a dry, cool and dark area. One month after harvesting and storing it in jars, you can now transfer them to a freezer for storage. Take note that the longer time it is stored, the more strong it will become.
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