Summing Up the Potted Grow
Congratulations Kush Farmer! You’ve grown your leafy ladies from seed to flower and now you’re ready for harvest. It’s an accomplishment that you should be proud of; one that’s a slap in the face to our ignorant minded governments and close minded douche bags everywhere! That alone deserves a pat on the back. If you think about it, not everyone takes the time to cultivate their own cannabis; most people are all about instant gratification. You however poured your time, money, and passion into your garden and you will soon be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Some tokers don’t grow because they think they don’t have a green thumb. The truth is, that anyone can grow cannabis, like any other hobby or skill that one is trying for the first time; it’s one that requires perfecting. You need to prefect and hone your cultivation skills, if this was your first grow chances are things may not have turned out the way you were hoping they would. Maybe your yield was lower than you expected. Maybe mold got into some of your colas, or possibly one of your females developed pollen sacks and pollinated some of the pistils resulting in seed filled bud. My friend, those are things that happened to the best of us. The difference between true growers and wannabe’s is whether or not you give up after your first harvest. True growers don’t let the results of a first time experience define their entire skill of growing. A true grower reevaluates their entire grow, their methods and identifies issues or mistakes that could have been made. They correct the issues and plan ahead about what can be done during the next grow to improve the overall harvest. Keeping detailed records of your entire grow can make the process of reevaluation far easier and can be very helpful to identifying issues that may have went unnoticed. Trial and error is a part of life; when learning to ride a bike we fall off a lot before we learn to balance ourselves. Success comes to those who persevere, always remember that.
Over the past couple of months I have made several recommendations for first time growers via my posts to the 4:20 blog, a few facebook pages, and my google+ community. All of which are practices I believe give first time growers the best chance for success. I have also made video blogs documenting these practices and the success I have with them. I recommend that first time growers grow their plants in potted soil. I believe that this is the case because plants naturally grow in soil, and require no manipulation to do so. Of course there are better soil’s to use, such as ones that drain better and allow for better oxygen penetration. I also recommend that first time growers (and all growers) grow with seeds. Seeds are all natural, versatile and are able to be stored and persevered for long periods of time with no human attention.
One of the things that can scare first time growers away is the cost of so called “necessary supplies”. Sure, Im not going to lie to you, store bought grow lights do work and they work well but often times they can be a bit on the expensive side for the first time grower. Quality grow supplies are an investment that serious personal/hobby growers should look into. But, understandably so, newcomers are a little apprehensive about laying down large amounts of cash for something they have never done before. For first time growers, I’d say use regular home grade CFL’s that you can buy at any Wal-Mart or department store, I’ve grown two good sized plants with only six 23 watt (100 watt equivalent )CFL’s You can make a homemade grow lamp with a 2 power strips/surge protectors, a disposable lasagna pan, the aforementioned home grade bulbs, flat white spray paint and white electrical tape for under $30. Higher quality grow rated CFL lamps sell at hydroponic shops for as little as $55 or as much as $100. If you buy metal halide, the cheapest grow rated lamp sold is $150 is 150 watts in not efficient in energy use and it creates allot of heat, the CFL’s produce little heat, are more efficient and pack plenty of UV rays and a wide spectrum.
You can grow simply cheaply and effectively and you don’t even HAVE to use cheaply made chemical fertilizers, you can grow quality all natural bud with a small investment into a organic nutrient kit such as GO BOX by general organics. The GO BOX contains a nice sized bottle of each product for around $30. You can buy larger replacement bottle of the products you liked at the cost of about $16 each. It really isn’t too bad if you are a personal needs cultivator and you’ll notice that you don’t go through the liquid fertilizer as quickly as you may originally think. For GO nutes, the advised dosage is only about 1-2 tsps per gallon of water. Typically you can get away with using a little less than the recommended dosage on the bottle. With decently priced products like these you’ll be growing all natural, organic, quality nugs that you’ll be proud to say you grew.
I find that it is also helpful to add beneficial microbes to your soil or feedings. These will help feed you plants and keep them appropriately moist. Since they have a symbiotic relationship with the plants, they healthier the plant, the more sucrose the roots of the plant produce. The more sucrose the roots produce the more food the microbes have. Beneficial fungi and bacteria also fight off things like pathogenic microbes which can harm and ruin your roots effecting the quality of the buds your growing. They can also prevent gnat larvae from gaining a foot hold in your soil. Symbiotic fungi and bacteria can be great allies and help make your pot larger and more potent. The Colorado based beneficial company I utilize sells one or two time use packets for just under $3.
I also recommend that first time growers grow auto flower cannabis plants. This is for a number of reasons; the first of which being the ease of their photo needs. They aren’t finicky like classic sativa, indica or hybrids of the two which require special photo periods that mimic the natural light cycles of the seasons. Auto flowers can grow from seed to harvest in as little as eight weeks and you can leave the lights on 24/7 if you want. They are just that chill . Another great thing about auto flowers is their innate short stature. First time growers are often paranoid and prefer to grow in small less detectable containers, auto flowers fit the need of those growers by fitting in smaller spaces. Auto flowers can be cloned but at the expense of a better sized yield, since they can’t be kept in a vegetative state by changing their light exposure, it is harder for auto flowers to bounce back. So you will have to buy auto flower seeds which aren’t too expensive. However; if you are under severe budget restrictions, you can always choose to buy pick n’ mix and then only buy one or two seeds at time if you must.
Many of my recommendations make growing easier for new comers, and also help to make growing a little more affordable. I believe that anyone who smokes weed should also grow it, I believe that many weed smokers also want to grow their own cannabis, but that its either too expensive or many seem to complicated. Follow my recommendations, make educated decisions, and buy what YOU need for your garden, not what hardcore industrial cultivators swear by. Remember their grow situation is different than yours. I don’t know everything about ganja growing, but I do know an awful lot. I believe that there is a way to help get new growers to have great success for their first few harvests, thus hopefully creating a larger generation of more confident, lifelong cannabis growers. Keep Growing Amigos.