Vegetative Growth and Flowering
As soon as your light is adjusted and the leaves start to appear, you are entering the growing season. Only water the plant when the soil is completely dry to the bottom of the pot.
You can check by placing your finger in one of the drain holes in the bottom, feeling if it is damp, or using a moisture meter.
A Chinese food straw is used for improvised testing, place it to the bottom of the pot next to the side to avoid hitting any roots, and then remove it.
If the tip that touched the bottom becomes dirty, there is still moisture in the vase. Let it dry a little more before watering again.
Perhaps the best method is to wait for the plant to say it wants water. The leaves are somewhat withered with a “thirsty” appearance.
The reason this method is preferred has two parts:
1- You will be sure not to “drown” the plant and
2- Waiting for the soil to dry until the end, you will stimulate the development of the roots in search of water.
More roots = bigger and stronger plant = more and better “shrimp from the hair of goats that play reggae” ;-P
Probably the most common mistake among beginners is to “drown” the plant. Over-watering will cause the plant to grow poorly and if continued it can lead to root rot and death. Be careful if you are starting with a very large pot.
When over-watering a small plant in a large pot, it will not be able to absorb all the water, the soil may appear dry on the surface, but at the bottom mud may be forming, leading to root rot.
A plant that is not watered enough is much healthier than an overwatered plant. It is also more difficult to recover a “drowned” plant than one with “thirst”.
As a rule, 2 cm of gravel or another suitable mixture of high drainage should be used at the bottom to avoid drowning the plant.
It is recommended that a fan be placed on top of the plant as soon as it leaves the soil, this simulates the wind and stimulates the strengthening of the stem leading to a more vigorous plant that will support its own weight during the flowering period.
Big, strong stems = big, strong plant = more and better “shrimp bla bla bla”
The temperature can be between 21 and 30 degrees Celsius without damaging the plant. For the soil, the Ph should vary between 6.3 and 6.8, generally. The relative humidity should be around 60% in the growing season.
During this period, feed your plant with a fertilizer rich in Nitrogen (N). There are several products rich in Nitrogen, start using ¼ of the dosage recommended by the manufacturer, gradually increasing as the plant responds to growth.
Clogging with fertilizer will not make the plant grow faster, but it can burn it. Look for fertilizers with an NPK rate of 2-1-1. NPK is the standard in fertilizer packages with the rate of the three largest nutrients needed by the plant: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).
For this period of the plant look for a fertilizer with double N in relation to P and K. As soon as your plant reaches around 30 cm or 4 to 6 weeks of age, you can start to notice the alternation of leaves in the nodes (junction of branches and stem).
When the upper branches begin to alternate it is a sign that the plant has reached maturity and is ready for flowering.
If you chose to leave the plant on the 24/7 cycle, let the plant grow for as long as you wish. A plant tends to double, triple and even quadruple in size during the flowering period.
Sativas usually quadruple while Indicas usually double in size. Some marijuana species need 8 weeks of vegetative growth.
Its height, harvest and potency will depend on the type and form of growth. As our object is the flower or “shrimp”, avoid creating too many plants at the same time, unless you have enough light for all of them.
That way they will not have elongated stems and “shrimp” only on the top.
Remember, you can only get flower or “shrimp” from a female plant, so keep your focus on “mines”. In order to find out the sex of the plant, get a timer and put the lights on a cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
Using a timer, it is much simpler to control the cycle than manually, and more accurate. Make sure your plant receives 12 full hours of darkness at this stage.
Any interruption could delay the discovery of sex for days or even weeks and affect its production severely. The flowering period can take 2 to 3 months.
During the flowering period, your plant needs nutrients with a high phosphorus (P) content.
There are several products with a high P content, usually start by diluting ½ of the dosage recommended by the manufacturer.
The ideal relative humidity is between 40 and 55% for this stage.
Around 14 days in the 12/12 cycle, you can start looking for small pistils or white “hairs” (indicative of female) or small balls (indicative of male) growing at the base of each knot.
The pistils grow to 0.5 cm, being easily visible, appearing in pairs on either side of the knot. The balls also grow at the base of each branch, in groups, looking like small horns, before the final round shape. In the balls is pollen.
As soon as you identify a male, remove him from your area to allow the females more space and more light. It is at this stage that the “shrimp” are formed, and as time goes by they increase in size and need more fertilizer.
It is highly recommended that you stop using fertilizers 2 weeks before harvest. To ensure that all product chemistry has already been absorbed by the plant.
If a plant is still chemically harvested, the smoke will be very bitter and harsh in the throat. To avoid this roughness, rinse the plant under running water, to the extent of 4 times the capacity of your pot, 2 weeks before harvest.
Example: A 4 liter pot can be rinsed with 16 liters of water.
You can try smoking a male plant, or making hash oil, but the main goal is the flower or “shrimp” rich in THC and pleasant to smoke.
In a short time you will be harvesting your plant, when it reaches the point where growth stops, starting to swell and mature.