Toronto420.com is changing
1st Stage of Growth
estimated time period of this stage is from start to finish approx. 1 to 2 weeks
Your lights should be 18 hours ON and 6 hours OFF, alternatively you can also leave the light ON for 24 hours.
When the plants are vegetating it is OK to have the lights ON for 24 hours a day.
Get Promix as your medium instead of regular soil
After about a week you should see your seeds sprouting. The moment they have sprouted they are ready to be placed in to a pot and placed under a light.
Choosing your pots / containers
Cannabis are a very root happy plants, meaning they love lots of space for the roots to explore.
A healthy cannabis plant should have as much room inside the pot (or bucket) as it grows on the outside.
Happy Girl suggests that you use pots or buckets at least 8 to 12 inches wide.
The buckets in fact can never be too big. The plants can easily fill whatever rooting space you give them. The bigger the pot the better the plants will be.
Fill your pots with Pro-mix.
The Pro-mix should be wet with a weak solution of water mixed with plant food. Take your plant food and read the lable for a standard application and use 1/2 strength of the solution. Pre-water pro-mix with this solution.
Fill pots with pro-mix and place the young sprout about 1 cm under the soil covering them completely. (if you see a sign of young leafs on the young sprout, the leaf should be placed above the soil-less mix and the main body of the seed/root below (remember that roots hate light and leafs love light). If the young sprout does NOT have any leaf, the whole sprout should be covered by dirt)
Young plants just sprouted from seeds do not need a hydroponics light and if your budget permits you should get a fluorescent light. The price for a fluorescent light starts at $25- for a single bulb that fits in a regular light socket and up to 4 foot long tubes selling for $150-. Preferably the young plants should grow under the fluorescent light for a week or so in order to prepare the young plant for the full strength of the hydroponics light.
Another solution is to place the young plants far away from the hydroponics light, about 4 to 5 feet away (and/or as far as your closet permits). This is not a bad solution and will not compromise the health of young plants.
Once the plants look like a miniature plant you can move them closet to the light. 2 inches away from a fluorescent light OR 2 feet away from a HID light (like a 400W light). This should happen with the first week of the plant's life.
Give them a good spray with water (plain tap water only, but you can add some B1 if you wish) once daily.
READ ABOUT PROPER WATERING AND NUTRIENTS
5. When watering the plants. Water the Promix through-out and allow to dry before watering again. You can tell when Promix needs water because it gets light-weight when lifted by hand.
Learn this trick; place two identical pots (containers or planters) next to each other and fill each one with Promix. Add water to one pot (soak it though-out), but leave the other pot dry. With your hands lift each pot and "feel" the weight of the containers.
You will find that the difference in weight is very great, i.e. the pot soaked with water is much, much, heavier then the pot without water. It may take a few days for the plant to suck-up all the water and get as light as in this example, however it is important to maintain this wet-dry-wet-dry watering cycle in order to properly encourage the roots to grow. Of course you do not want to let your plants get as dry as in this example, however it is a good lesson to learn if you want to avoid over watering the plants.
Over watering the plants is just as bad as under watering.
Let me explain differently How to Know when to water your plants:
When you come to your closet to check the plants (on a daily basis)
I. You can see the top of Promix looks dry and feels dry when you touch it.
II. You stick your finger in the soil and it feels dry.
III. You lift the container (the plant is in) and it feels light (almost as feather light as in the lesson above, and it is quite scary how feather light a pot filled with Promix can get)
This means: Its is the right time to soak the container with water (or water + nutrients if its necessary). And I mean soak it until water drips from the bottom. Get appropriate size saucers for your planter/pots/containers.
If Promix just looks dry and feels dry on top, but the container feels heavy, it is still too early to water. In most cases watering every day is never recommended. In general terms a pot 8 inches in diameter (or 5 gallon in volume) should need watering every 4th to 5th day and more often as the plants get larger (that is why you should check your plants daily, some will suck up the water quicker then the others). The 5 Gallon pot should take approximately 5 litters of water at watering. You will find that the bigger your plants get, the more often you have to water them. Also, summer temperatures will cause increase in watering cycles.
6. About Nutrients: There is 2 types of nutrients used to grow cannabis. One is a basic A and B formula. A (comes in one bottle) and B (another bottle, but you need 2 bottles for make a complete nutrient, thus the name A and B formula). The A and B formula is sold under brand names like, Bigfoot or DNF or some Hydroponics Stores make their own (its all the same). The other is an Organic formula (comes in 1 bottle only), sold under brand names like, Pure Blend Pro, Flora Nova or Bat Guano. None is better then the other, chose as you wish. Those two formulas break down into a Vegetative part (so you can purchase 1 bottle of Vegetative A formula and 1 bottle of Vegetative B formula together OR you can purchase 1 bottle of Vegetative Organic formula) and Bloom/Flowering (so you can purchase 1 bottle of Blooming A formula and 1 bottle of Blooming B formula together OR 1 bottle of Flowering Organic formula). In general terms you will start using a Vegetative A and B or Vegetative Organic when the lights are on 18 hours ON and 6 OFF. You switch to the Bloom/Flowering formula of A and B or the Bloom Organic when you switch the lights to 12 hours ON and 12 hours OFF. I do not recommend using nutrients bought at a hardware store like, miracle grow or 20-20-20. Those formulas are too concentrated for a beginner to use successfully. In most cases people over feed their plans (which kills them). If you insist on using these products remember that the mixing rate is 1 ml per 1 litter, not as it says on the label.
Note: When using A and B nutrients you have to mix them correctly. It does not matter which one you measure first but you have to mix them separately into a container filled with water. In other words you have to do the following: Mix formula A first into the water container and stir with your hand. Measure formula B and add to the water container and stir. DO NOT put formula A directly to unmixed formula B before mixing into water. This will cause strange chemical reaction and make the nutrients useless (not dangerous in any way, just useless).
When using an Organic formula, you must shake the bottle well before using it, because organic nutrients accumulate heavy stuff on the bottom of the bottle when left on a shelf. On the other hand, If you see any strange materials floating in an A and B nutrients you have to get a fresh batch. The A and B nutrients need to be clear (transparent). If any bottle is not clear or has stuff floating inside, it is no longer usable.
7. Add nutrients to the water only every 2nd or 3rd time you water your plants. Most nutrient formulas (sold at Hydroponics stores) have labels with information on how to measure the nutrient and how often to give it to the plants. Problem is that the labels are designed for growers using 1000W minimum. If you grow under anything less then 1000W, you have to add nutrients far less often then what the label recommends. It is either you add nutrient to your water at about 50% of recommended dosage every time you water your plants or you feed at full recommended dosage but only add the nutrients to water only every 2nd or 3rd time. Anything more will cause the plants to overfeed and die. Remember that it is always easier to add more nutrients later when they need them then it is to recover overfed plants.
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM MARK: I need to change the Grow Guide a little bit. Watering with plain water is NOT as good as watering with water + 25% nutrient mix...... This means that every time you water your plants you have to add al least 10% and at most 25% of nutrients....and of course more when they need it..... This will actually leach out the old nutrients better then watering just with plain water and also prevent nutrient lock.... sometimes when you water with plain water (i.e. 0% nutrients) the plants "think" there is a problem with nutrients supply and they try to retain as much nutrients as possible... the stem becomes dark and the leafs look burnt or drooping or .. just unhealthy.... To prevent this from happening you can always add a little bit of nutrients to your water and prevent nutrient lock in a first place..... If you see on this Grow Guide that I talk about plain water, you must change that to water + 25% nutrient mix..... this also applies to the end week of the bloom cycle when for the last week or two you "leach" out the nutrients before harvest.... "leaching" also means adding 10% to 25% of nutrients.....
ALWAYS WATCH OUT FOR MITES, THE SOONER YOU SPOT THEM THE BETTER YOU WILL
PRE TREAT THE PLANTS AGAINS MITES