Archive | Growing Tips, Tricks, And Techniques RSS for this section

Do Autoflowering Seeds Save Electricity? What Are The Real Advantages Of Autofem Plants?

I’ve seen online seed stores advertising autoflowering/autofem seeds as “saving you electricity” during your grow. Is this true? Are these actually “more efficient plants?” or is this just more marketing jive to convince you to buy seeds that you cannot reproduce easily at home, assuring that you’ll buy more from the seed bank?

Let us look at the facts about the use of electricity during your grow. The math isn’t even complicated, and we don’t even need to know what you pay for electricity per kWH, since we’re talking about your grow location one way or another. We’ll assume that you want to grow a single plant, using 125 Watts of lighting – a typical small, personal medical marijuana home grow.

All you need to keep in mind is that Read More…

Marijuana Grow Automatic Watering On The Cheap – Budget Irrigation

I am a dedicated soil grower, but have recently reaped the benefits of additional coco coir in the soil mix. The increased drainage and aeration has boosted growth rates, but requires somewhat more attention to keep the soil from drying out when using small containers (I prefer to run a small “sea of green” using one-gallon pots).

For short term absences from the grow room, I need to be sure that the plants are getting enough water to hold out for a week, especially in the summer when the temperature – and the resulting transpiration of water – runs high.

Recently, we were all going to be away for a week, and needed an easy solution to get the plants through with enough water to keep them moist, but without the danger of over-watering.

The solution turned out to be quite inexpensive and very effective. I picked up a dozen “Blumat” – cleverly designed clay spikes with plastic caps and water tubing attached made by an Austrian company.

They are simple to set up and use. Just soak the clay spike for about 15 min to saturate it with water. I found it useful to submerge the cap and tubing, as well, and get any air out of the tubes to be sure they work most efficiently. You then push the clay spike into your soil, and dangle the tubing into a reservoir of water that is placed lower than the clay spike. This is key! If you place the water bucket higher than the spikes, you’ll create a siphon and flood your plants. Keep the spikes above the water level, and they work using capillary action, drawing water up from the reservoir as the soil dries.

It took a bit of trial and error ahead of time to get it set for our absence, but it turned out that two of these spikes per one-gallon pot kept the soil moisture just right under 250 Watts of lighting. I figure that most of you budget home growers are using 250 watts or less, in which case this setup should work just fine. Keep in mind that these “clay spikes” max out at 80-100ml of water per day, but will also deliver less if your plant requires less. They react to the dampness of the soil and draw accordingly. Not bad for a cheap, easy solution.

You can pick them up in a pack of 3 on eBay or Amazon for about $12.


glenn panik

Writer Glenn Panik’s “How To Grow Cannabis At Home: A Guide To Indoor Medical Marijuana Growing”, is available on iTunes here, for the Amazon Kindle or via  Smashwords here You can also order the ‘stealth title’ of our information-packed ebook for the Kindle here.

The Best Soil For Growing Marijuana

“Build a better mousetrap, and the mice will beat a path to your door,” goes the old saying. Well, let’s say, “Mix a better grow medium, and your plants will grow themselves.”

OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there is a lot that can be accomplished with a soil mixture that is tailored to growing cannabis. One great thing about putting your soil mix together yourself is that it doesn’t cost much at all. In fact, if you want to go extra “green” you can recycle a few typical household “wastes” to become a potent fertilizer for your next grow.

The first thing we need to consider is, “What would be the perfect soil for a cannabis plant?” Then all we need to do is put it together.

If you’ve read some of the previous posts on this blog – and even better, checked out our Cannabis Growing ebook (Amazon here, iBooks here) –  then you know a few things about what a marijuana plant needs to properly develop through the vegetative and flowering phases. The MUSTS are: Read More…

How To Grow More Female Plants From Standard Cannabis Seeds

Although feminized cannabis seeds have become very popular, many growers still prefer standard seeds. Feminized seeds tend to be develop plants that are rather consistent in their traits, but it is that genetic “roll of the dice” that can treat a grower of standard seeds to a prize plant to clone or save their own top-grade seeds. Saving pollen from a few killer strains – perhaps a resinous Afghani indica, a virile Thai sativa, and a fruit “Bubblegum” hybrid – lets you selectively pollinate a few buds on a particularly nice plant you have in flowering, and create a stash of your own special seeds. Cool stuff.

For the budget-minded home grower, standard seeds are not only less expensive to begin with, but the option to save your own seeds saves much more money in the long run. So in this post contains a variety of tips to help you get the most from standard seeds. You’ll increase the chances of your plants growing into the desirable females for bud production, and also get a few males for pollen and save your own seeds.

Thanks to the great minds at Dutch Passion for introducing these concepts some years ago. I’ll focus on what the current home grower should do to implement these techniques – Read More…

Choosing A Marijuana Strain, Pt.3: All About Autoflowering Seeds.

Before you read this post, take a moment to watch this short video from Dutch Passion, one of the better cannabis seed banks:

This is a great example of the wonders modern cannabis breeders are achieving with cannabis genetics. The “Auto Mazar” from Dutch Passion is an incredible piece of work; an auto-flowering, high yielding, very potent cannabis plant that will go from seed to harvest in 2 1/2 months. Damn. (I should note here that I am in no way affiliated with Dutch Passion).

Even with less perfect conditions than those in which they grew that monster plant in the video, you can be sure to harvest enough buds to medicate for a long period of time! I am currently doing the easy “window grow” technique from my new ebook with an autoflowering plant, and will harvest about 20 grams from a plant that I used no additional lighting to grow. Breeders of these strains of cannabis have made tremendous leaps in productivity and quality of the plants in the last few years. They are no longer “something for home growers who don’t mind low quality marijuana” – they are serious seeds for any grower to consider cultivating.

So what is an auto-flowering or “autofem” cannabis plant? How is this different from a standard cannabis plant? Why is that something a home grower should be interested in? We need to learn a bit more about the humble Cannabis r. to understand the significance of an autoflowering cannabis plant: Read More…

Choosing A Marijuana Strain, Pt.2: Fruity, Fantastic Marijuana Strains? What’s In A Name.

Cascade Hops. As with cannabis, hop varieties carry signature aromas.

In a clever bid to sell more product, many marijuana seed breeders and seed shops give their strains enticing names; “Fruity Juice”, “Bubblicious”, “Blueberry Kush”, “Lemon Haze”, and so on. With many weeks from seed to harvest, growers are tense with anticipation – will the name of the strain deliver as promised? A novice grower – especially one on a budget – is not likely to be able to grow a wide variety of plants and compare results.

So the question on beginning grower’s minds: Is there really naturally flavored marijuana? Do strain names mean anything? Does Lemon Haze Cannabis bud taste like lemons? Does Blueberry marijuana taste like blueberries? Do the snozzberries really taste like snozzberries?! Read More…

Lemon Haze? Auto Blueberry? Afghan Kush? Choosing A Marijuana Strain For Your Grow, Pt.1

Indica/sativa hybrid in flowering

The most daunting task as a novice grower is probably choosing a cannabis strain for your grow. Googling “cannabis strains”, “seed shop”, “or “buy marijuana seeds” will just leave you reeling from the seemingly endless variety of seeds available.

You may already be familiar with the basic sub-types of the cannabis plant; the warmth-loving, tall growing Cannabis Sativa, the bushier, cooler-climate adapted Cannabis Indica, and the wily, northern Cannabis Ruderalis.

The cannabis seeds you have perused online are likely to be hybrids (in varying proportion), raised from Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis plants.  Reputable online shops such as Dutch Passion, Sensi Seeds, and Nirvana Seeds often provide you with information about the origin of the parent plants (if available) and provide a list of the characteristics you can expect from the plants that will grow from their seeds.

(The stress is on “can expect”. There are even variations within a given strain of seeds, although the long established seed banks are known for the stability of the seed strains they offer; the descriptions they provide are backed by much experience in breeding marijuana plants. Caveat emptor.)

The first thing you should ask yourself is, Read More…