Growing marijuana for the first time can be quite overwhelming. Especially if read about all of the new terms: N-P-K, Ph, EC, micro nutrients mediums, HPS vs MH, etc. This bombardment of information can be off-putting to the newbie grower.
This is why its best to simplify things into a few basic tips. In this two-part article, we hope to make things easy for the newbie grower.
1. ENVIRONMENT: The most basic thing you will need to figure out is where you will be growing. Pick a room in your house with lots of ventilation. For a first time grow it's easiest is to start with a grow tent: look for one that has silver foil lining on the inside as this makes for a great reflective environment.
2. AIR FLOW: Air flow consists of intake and out-take. Plants need fresh air to live and thrive, so it is essential that you use a circulation fan to pump the fresh air around. In addition to this is odor control. Always use a carbon filter, your plants can get really smelly and a filter aids in keeping your new garden on the DL. A good rule of thumb when deciding on a fan and filter is to use this equation: half the total wattage of lighting being used + 20 percent. Here is an example using a 1000 watt bulb.
1000 watt/0.5= 500
500+20 percent= 600 cubic foot filter and fan
3. LIGHTING: This is a very important aspect of growing as all plants use photosynthesis. Picking the right light bulb, ballast and light hood are all very important. The best ballasts out there are digital ones: They maintain a cool temperature and are easy to work with. The best choice currently is to use a HPS or high-pressure sodium bulb, so that you could use one bulb your grow and veg cycles. It is recommended to use either a 1000- or 600-watt bulb. As far as a hood goes, a cool tube is a great choice for a tent, as it keeps the temperatures low. The ideal conditions for growing are temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. TIMERS: This is crucial as cannabis flowers in a 12/12 photo period. The first important thing to consider is that you need to make sure your timer works with high-voltage lights, thankfully most timers are rated to 3500 watts so that shouldn't be a problem. The next-best advice is to always have a back-up timer as messing with the plants photo cycle could really lead to problems with your crop.
5. MEDIUM: For a first-time grow, soil is the ideal medium. It is more forgiving when it comes to watering as it holds more moisture than other hydro mediums. Use a soil with a light nutrient mix so you don't burn new seedlings when you first transplant them.
In next weeks follow up we will learn about nutrients, meters, watering, genetics and how to trim and cure your finished bud.