Once the seeds become seedlings, with roots showing on the sides and bottom of the grow plus (usually after about four days), they’re ready for planting. I start with small P9 size flower pots. I’ll leave them for 7 to 11 days to give the roots time to develop, creating a stable habitat.
After germination comes the vegetative or growth stage of the cannabis life cycle. In indoor conditions, the plants will keep on growing as long as they get 18 hours of light. This is a 16-8 lighting regime (18+6=24, i.e., a whole day). Autoflower strains are an exception; these switch from growth to flowering automatically.
From Germination To The Growth Stage Of Your Very First Cannabis Home Grow
After drying, I carefully remove all the buds from the nets and place them in glass mason jars to cure. The buds cure gradually, improving their taste and ‘maturing’ them until they are perfect for smoking. Curing buds is a straightforward affair: simply stick them in a jar and wait. Give them time to ‘burp’, though: open them for a few minutes to refresh the air inside and return them to their dark storage location. How long you cure is matter of personal taste. I personally cure my weed for one month before that sweet day arrives: time to smoke those fabulous Amsterdam Genetics! Let’s not kid ourselves here: this is what we’ve been working so hard for, isn’t it?
The next step is transferring them to the full-sized grow tent. Time to repot ad\gain: choose a flower pot that matches your approach and available space. In my case, that’s 18 litres.
The flowering phase is where the actual magic happens. At this point, your home grow will start developing the (flower) buds containing the THC, CBD and other useful compounds. You can initiate the flowering stage by making your plants believe the calendar has moved past its midsummer peak. How, you wonder? Easy: just make the days shorter! Grab your timer and change the lighting settings from 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness to 12 hours of light/ 12 hours of dark. There you go; you’ve just started late summer in your tent! After about 8 to 12 days, you’ll see the first flowering hairs or pistils emerge. That’s a good sign: your plants have started flowering.
If you really want to reuse your old soil, you need to amend it with fresh nutrients. Before that, you need to make sure that your soil is free of contaminants.
This is usually done when growing hydroponically. Soak the rockwool blocks in low-pH water and place them in a plastic tray with a lid. Place your seeds in the hole of each rockwool block. Seeds should germinate in a few days. Place the rockwool blocks with your seedlings in their soil pots when roots start to come out the bottom.
5. IMPROPER HUMIDITY FOR SEEDLINGS
Your planting pots need to provide good drainage. Usually, there will already be holes in the bottom. If there are no holes, as can happen when you buy standard plastic pots, you will have to make them yourself. Make sure there are at least 5 openings, each about the size of a penny. As long as soil doesn’t just fall through the bottom, you’re good.
Even if every stage up to harvest has gone splendidly, the final (and most maddening) mistake you can make is harvesting too early or too late. You don’t want to make the chop before your buds reach peak potency, but you also don’t want to leave them hanging, so to speak.
Use some type of absorbent paper (kitchen paper, coffee filter) and place a couple sheets on a flat surface such as a plate. Put your seeds on the paper, spaced a little apart, and cover with a couple more sheets over the top. Moisten the paper and make sure to keep it damp so it doesn’t dry out. After a few days, when the seeds have sprouted 2–3mm taproots, transfer them to their seedling pots.