easy cannabis growing introduction
Introducing Easy Growing
Getting started with growing cannabis
Tending to your cannabis plants
Expert tips on growing cannabis
Books and websites on growing cannabis
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Tending to your cannabis plants

When taking plants that normally grow in warm countries on the equator and putting them in a small room we need to recreate their natural environment. Sun, soil, rain and wind all need to be simulated to make the plants feel at home. Let's start playing the roll of mother nature.

From seed to seedling

Getting the right Cannabis seeds is not that easy. Several companies in The Netherlands specialize in producing seeds and sending them, discreetly, without getting fished out by customs, to nearly all countries in the world.

Now for getting the seeds to grow. The surest way to get the seeds to germinate is to place them on a dish on top of something that will hold water, like some cotton wool or some tissues. The material needs to stay moist, but not wet. Now place the seeds on the surface, close the top of the dish with some plastic wrap and make a bunch of small holes in the top to let the air flow through. Keep an eye on the set-up, keep the temperature between 20C and 25C and make sure the surface does not dry out.

About 80% of your seeds should germinate after one to five days. The germinated seeds are ready to be planted when the little root coming out is about 3 to 5 mm.

Now put every germinated seeds in its own small pot filled with the soil. The pots should be about the size of your fist. Put the seeds about 5mm under the soil. Be carefull when handling them, they are pretty fragile in this stage. Some people use a pair of tweasers when doing this. The seedling will surface after about 2 to 3 days.

If you are not so worried about losing a few seeds you can also just put them in the ground directly. Get some of these small pots, fill them up with the soil you got, make a small hole in the soil with your finger about a centimetre deep and put in one seed. There should be some signs of life after about 2 - 7 days. Keep the temperature of the pots above 20C but below 25C. No need to give the pots any light really, just make sure the soil stays moist, but not wet.

There are other ways of getting seeds to grow. For specific information, please refer to the Further Reading section.

First light
Once you see a little plant coming out of the soil, place the pots under a tube light. Just an ordinary TL will do. The "Cool White" colour type works best. Hang the TL about 15cm above the plants and keep the soil moist. The TL should be on for 18 hours and off for 6 hours. Use your timer. Keep the temperature to the same as before. If possible try to keep the daylight out during the dark hours.

When the plants are about 10cm to 15cm high and seem to have some good roots it's time to get them out of the small pots and putting them in their larger homes.

This plant is ready for a new home
This plant is ready for a new home

A new home: getting them in place
Fill all the big 7 litre pots with the soil you got. Leave some three fingers room from the top. We have to add water later. Now get the small plants and carefully take them out of the smaller pots. Make sure not to break any leafs or roots as you do so. Make a hole in the soil of the new pot about the size of the small pot, chuck a gulp of water into the hole and put in the plant. Now press the soil around the plant gently but firmly. Make sure all the roots are covered.

When the plants are firmly placed in the new pots, add about half a litre of water to all. Now lift the pots and remember their average weight. You could even use a kitchen scale and write it down. All pots should be about the same weight and during the whole growing and flowering stage they should remain about the same.

Here comes the sun
You now need to place the plants in their final location under your large lights. Switch the light to an 18h on and 6h off cycle and start the desk fan and ventilation system to simulate the wind. Check on your plants every day, keep the soil moist and check all systems for failures. Check to see the leafs move a bit because of the desk fan.

The flowering stage

Some 4 weeks after showing their little heads the growing stage has come to an end. Your plants should look firm, healthy and have plenty of leafs. They should be about 20cm to 30cm high. Now set your timer to a 12 hours light, 12 hours darkness cycle and place the seedling on even distance under the spread of your lights. Turn on the desk fan and check if he plants move in the air flow. You're all set. Now it's up to them.

Time to change the light
Time to change the light

Caring every day: the basis for a good relationship
When checking on your plants, feel the earth in the pots and make sure it's moist. The soil should never be too wet or too dry, since that could damage the roots of the plant. When all is well, the plants are nice and green and have their leafs up in the air. In the early stages of flowering there should be no leafs dying.

Check the thermometer just to keep an eye on the highs and lows. If it gets under 15C or above 40C find out what's going wrong. Ideally the temperature should remain between 20C - 25C.

The most important task for you now is to water the plants. Feel the soil before you start. Water them every day or every other day. Don't forget, the plants won't like it!

When watering them check for bugs, dead leafs and lift the pots to feel if they are getting very light. If you are unsure about the level of water in the pots, weigh them again with the scale and check your notes.

With fresh soil adding nutrients will only be needed during the flowering stage. I found that about once a week the normal amount as stated on the bottle will be all right. Just do as the bottle says. When watering the plants don't use cold water. Especially in winter it's a good idea to add some warm water to your watering can. Just make it lukewarm. Also spray the plants with some fresh water with your spray bottle.

Don't forget to check the air flow from time to time, especially when the plants get bigger. You might want to put the desk fan up on a box or something.

A female plant with it's first small flowers
A female plant with it's first small flowers

Flowers: The stuff of dreams

After 1 - 3 weeks after changing the light cycle there should be some signs of flowering in the plants. See the image above.

Males: unwanted
It is critical to check for male cannabis plants. You don't want any, since they're no good for smoking and their pollen make the females produce seeds which makes the harvest less good. Unless you want free seeds ofcourse. Male plants are often longer than their female friends and not as wide. They show their flowers a bit earlier than the females. The flowers are about 5 mm large, yellowish and produce the pollen. Once you are sure you have identified a male plant, remove it from the room.

When the females begin to massively produce flowers stop spraying the plants. We don't want the water on the flowers. If the tops of the plants are heavy from the flowers, fix them to the bamboo sticks with a piece of string. Not too tight, you're not growing bonsais.

After some 6 - 8 weeks the flowers of the plants will turn brown. When you feel they are ready and look and smell good and are very sticky, just quit giving them water. They will put all their energy in their flowers and the bigger leafs will die. Cut or pull off the dead leafs. Especially those that grow out of the tops. They might rot or spread a fungus.

From now on the smell should be really sweat. The THC in the flowers is reaching it's peak. Depending on the variety of your plant you can see it as white crystals on the flowers and the smaller leafs of the tops. It's really sticky stuff. Check your filter set-up if you have one. This is when most neighbours start to become interested.

These buds are nearly ready
These buds are nearly ready


After about a week after cutting the water it's time to harvest. Cut off the plants near the bottom. Then proceed by cutting the plants to pieces twig by twig. Cut all leafs away and at the tops cut away the smaller leafs that stick out of them.

After cutting all buds, hang them upside down to dry from some thin wire or washing line. Make sure there is no light in the place where you dry the buds and check the air flow around the produce. They will lose a lot of water which needs to be ventilated out.

After about a week, when they feel dry enough, cut away the twigs leaving just the small globes of the flowers. Now you are ready to smoke.

To conserve and store the marijuana, put it in airtight plastic bags. Store dry and dark. It will stay good for about a year. For long storage you can put them in a freezer.

Allmost dry and nicely cut cannabis
Allmost dry and nicely cut cannabis

Bugs, Diseases and Problems

Extreme failure of the plants is pretty rare. Usually too much or not enough water, a shortage of fresh air or a cold room are the cause. Smaller problems can be bugs or nutrient dosage.

If you spot animals in your plants, kill them off with regular but preferably environmentally friendly bug spray. Go to your local garden store and find a cure for the particular bug that can be used on fruit bearing plants. An alternative is using natural enemies of the bugs. See a specialist for this. Take a bug with you, but be carefull that you don't take any part of the plant or even its smell. When you get bugs in the flowering stage, remember you will probably be smoking any used bugspray later on. You could even choose to just let the bugs be. After the harvest, clean out your room thoroughly.

Nutrient problems
When during the early stages of growing the leafs of the plants turn weak and yellow or start showing yellow spots, try adjusting the dosage of nutrients. You might be seeing a shortage of nutrients, so adding some more to the water might do the trick. Don't overdo it!

When the plants have curled up leaves and look like they have been burnt, you might have given too much nutrients. Stop giving the nutrients for a while, but give some extra water to flush out the excess nutrients.

Remember that soil that has been used multiple times could need some extra nutrients and fresh soil probably needs less.

Rotting buds
When you spot some rotting in your buds, you know the air is too moist and probably too cold. Try adjusting the airflow of the desk fan to reach the buds. Cut out the bad pieces of the rotting. If you don't, it will spread like a bonfire. Leaving dead leafs in the buds will increase the risk of rotting.

That's it!

Basically that's all there is to it. It all comes down to taking care of your little green friends and pretending you are mother nature. Ofcourse you can make the buds bigger by all kinds of technical tricks. For more on this check our Expert Growing section. For even more information check the Further Reading section.

Good growing. And don't forget, do it the EasyGrowing way!



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