Growing from A to Z: from germination to weeding
We have already told you how to organize grovelling in the box and outdoors, about the selection of soil, lamps, feeding and ventilation. In this article, we decided to focus specifically on the process itself, to describe it from A to Z: from germination of grains to harvest, drying and spaying of the crop.
How to sprout grains easily
The first way is to use a cotton pad (preferably) or sponge. The stub will appear in 1-3 days, after which you can plant in the ground.
- Two cotton disks (sponges) are moistened with bottled or filtered water. They should be well moistened, but without excess - the water running off them should be squeezed out.
- Seeds are placed on one disk (sponge) and covered with another.
- Cotton disks (sponges) with grains are placed in a container, an ordinary bag or zip bag, tightly closed and left in the dark and warm (about 30C).
The second way is to soak the grains. It takes 1-2 days to germinate in this way, it is a suitable option for seeds that can not break through the shell.
- In any container is poured bottled or filtered water slightly warmer than room temperature.
- The seeds are placed in the water, after some time they should sink to the bottom. If this does not happen, the seed should be opened. With a thin, sharp blade, you need to carefully, without sudden movements and strong pressure, cut through the shell along its seam line.
- The vessel with the hemp seeds is placed in a warm place.
The first days of the seed's life
The seed is planted root-down in a small pot, preferably peat. The peat is full of beneficial trace elements, which helps in the formation of the root system. When the seedling is ready to be transplanted into a large container, it is convenient to do it together with a peat pot.
In the next few days after planting in the ground, the plant will grow vigorously, so it will need a lot of light - you can use incandescent or ESL lamps. But even if the sprout is still in no hurry to show itself on the surface, you should not "help" it to throw off the shell. You also need to make sure that the temperature is at 25C. Too low temperatures - below 15C - can provoke stress in the plant, as well as too high - above 30C.
After 5-7 days, the plant can be replanted in its main pot. If the grower used a peat pot, you can simply place it in its entirety in the new soil. In other cases, to move the sprout, you need to:
- Dig with a large spoon 3-4 cm away from the sprout to a depth of 5-7 cm;
- Take out the clod of soil together with the roots and the sprout itself;
- Transplant the plant into a new pot to the same depth;
- Water the soil around the sprout well.
Organize the growing season
During the growing season, hemp grows green mass and develops a root system. The plant needs a lot of bright light, so it is recommended to leave the lamps on for 14-18 hours. The thing to understand here is that the longer the daylight hours, the faster the vega will go. Those who are going to "train" the plant by stimulating the development of lateral shoots can stretch the vegetation on a 14-16 hour light day. For autoflowers, on the other hand, they recommend putting them on 18-20-hour light.
Grover understands that a houseplant can be switched to flowering when it has developed sexual characteristics - this occurs at 3-6 weeks. For the transition, the duration of the light day is reduced to 12 hours. Autoflowers do not need to be transferred, they bloom on their own.
It is very important that during the "night" (the same applies to the flowering stage) no light hits the plant. This will cause cannabis stress, which can turn the "girl" into a hermaphrodite. It will no longer be able to produce a harvest.
What happens during the flowering phase
If the vegetation of all cannabis passes in 3-6 weeks, the duration of flowering is different for each variety - it is specified in the description. The exception to this is with autoflowering cannabis, which has a full life cycle listed on its card. On average, it takes 6-8 weeks for an indica and 8-12 weeks for a garden variety to flower. During this period, pseudo-fruits (buds) are formed, and in the last couple of weeks the cannabis grows about 25% of their weight.
Ready to harvest the cannabis is checked with a magnifying glass at 30-40x magnification on the trichomes, glands shaped like glass fungus-like glands that produce resin. Transparent glands indicate that levels of THC, the main psychoactive component, are not yet at maximum levels. Further on, as they mature, they will take on a cloudy color, indicating the energetic effect of cannabis. If you leave the cannabis for a while longer, the trichomes will turn an amber color and the effects will become more sedative. At harvest time, you need to cut the bush closer to the root and move on to the next step, drying.
How to dry cannabis
It's best to dry cannabis without separating the buds from the branches. Ideally, it's best to hang the cut bushes upside down. This is not always handy, so you can dry the shoots separately, but for even drying it is advisable to make the branches about the same length.
In the room it is important to keep the humidity at 50-60% and the temperature around 20C. Darkness is key, because light will destroy THC, and drying with stems just aims to increase its quantity. The duration of the whole process is 3-4 weeks. You can tell when the marijuana is ready by looking at the branches: they must be dry but not crispy when you bend them, and the buds must be dry and resilient so they don't crumble when you take them in your hand.
How the spaying goes
Soaking is another way to make cones more powerful and flavorful. For experienced and commercial growers, this is just as obligatory as drying. Only the cones themselves - without the stems and leaves - are cured. The product loses up to 75% of its weight because the moisture contained in the inflorescences evaporates in the process, but the flavor, aroma and effect become more intense.
- The glass jar is filled with about 80% of the pods, that is, not to the brim.
- A compact hygrometer is placed inside, to constantly control the humidity at 60-65%. If you can't maintain it naturally, you can use Boveda (62%).
- The jar is closed tightly and left in a dark place at a temperature of about 20C for 7-14 days. Several times a day the container should be aired for 10-15 minutes, so that there is no mold inside. You can also periodically change the jar.
- At the end of the term, the jar should be moved to the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, to improve the flavor and aroma of the beans. Every day several times the jar is aired.
- After the fridge, you can put the cones for another 7 to 14 days in the freezer to extend their shelf life, but this is an optional step. In the freezer, you can air the cannabis cones less frequently, every few days.
The product is ready to eat if it is sticky, but not so sticky that it sticks together.