Category Archives: Tutorials

Marijuana A Brief History Documentary 2014

Great little Documentary focusing on the History of Cannabis in U.S, a must watch for those that dont know, but with a need to get to know!

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1st Ever Grow

my first go My first ever grow consisted of 4 plants, which were 3 Cheese and 1 Psychosis. As well as White widow and Northern Lights these strains of plants present no problems growing side by side as they are all members of what I call the ‘white weeds’ family.

Typically flowering takes place over a 9 week period and yields are generally above average. All in all these are fairly easy strains to grow and are really forgiving towards the growing noob (beginner). Be aware though that they are probably amongst the most smelliest to grow, not too bad when in veg but when in flower boy do they stink. A decent carbon filter is a must.

Although White Widow and Northern Lights are commonly available from seeds, the Cheese as in ‘Original Exodus Cheese’ and Psychosis are only found as clones. Yes I know you can obtain Cheese and Psycho seeds, but they are not original strains, moretime they are cross breeds.

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UK, Cheese Phenomonen, 50% Body / 50% Mind

” This phenotype of Skunk #1 is so cheesy it should be served with crackers. “


 The name ‘UK Cheese’ is an ode to the strain’s birthplace, which as story has it, is in the United Kingdom. It is rumored to be a phenotype of Cheese that showed unusual, yet favorable uniqueness out of a pack of Sensi Seeds Skunk #1 that was grown in the hills of southern England (hence the UK in the name). The phenotype had larger buds and a splendidly pungent cheese smell among other characteristics that set it apart. This plant of the Skunk #1 was cloned and renamed Cheese after its distinct smell. Considering the Skunk #1 heritage of Afghanistan (Indica), Mexico (Sativa), Colombia (Sativa), we believe the original strain of Cheese (which is just a phenotype of Skunk #1 remember) can be regarded as a 50/50 Hybrid. This is because it has a near perfect blend of genetics to affect the body and mind equally.

The Legend of UK Cheese

The legend of UK Cheese starts around the year of 1995, when a Cheese clone was passed on to an alternative community (group) by the name of, “Exodus,” who lived just north of London. This DIY culture group has been around in the UK since the 90’s, and is famous for their free community dance events, city farm, and social housing projects. Their free parties on weekends were known to attract thousands of people from all around the world. However, their stance on marijuana is one of the things that caused them to have many problems with the law. The members of the collective protested UK law by outwardly growing and smoking marijuana in public. Because of the large amount of traffic through the community, many clones of the original UK Cheese were given out to travelers as gifts.

Its’ budding notoriety in the UK caused Cheese clones to be passed around an extensive network of growers all throughout the 90′s. The fact that Cheese was, for a long time, a clone only strain, has made finding a batch of UK Cheese from an original clone extremely tough. Since then many phenotypes of Cheese have surfaced, but it is believed by some that the original UK/Exodus phenotype is still floating around in the hands of the most senior of growers. It would be something special to get our hands on a bag of that medicine.

“This was a one of a kind smell that could only be described as a mix of fresh berries and cheddar cheese.”

The particular batch of UK Cheese that we had was very sticky, to the point where it was a chore to break it up with our fingers. After resorting to a grinder, we took off the top to reveal a pungent smell that smacked us in the face. This was a one of a kind smell that could only be described as a mix of fresh berries and cheddar cheese. Amazing.

How UK Cheese Smokes

The taste is akin to the smell; it’s fruity with hints of berries, cheese, and undertones of skunk. Upon exhale, the flavors of skunk and cheese coat your mouth, and lingers between hits. This is when the cheese flavor is most noticeable. The smoke is potent, with a ‘stoned’ effect immediately settling in behind the eyes all the way down to our legs.

After two small bowls we experienced a severe case of ‘couch-lock’ accompanied by an uplifting, clear euphoric effect. We found it easy to focus and get work done after smoking UK Cheese. In spite of this, once you get settled in your chair you have no desire to move; oh, and don’t forget a drink before you sit down because this strain leaves you parched. It’s 50% Indica and 50% Sativa lineage make the effects a perfect blend of body and mind.

UK Cheese is an ideal strain for patients seeking daytime pain, stress, and anxiety relief without the fear of crashing. It could also serve as an anti-depressant, as it puts you in high spirits after just one draw from the bong (no pun intended). UK Cheese remains one of our favorite Hybrid strains to medicate with during the day.

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Growing in Soil

Growing in compost mixes

Growing plants in compost mixes under high output lights, has become a very popular way of growing, especially with the wide range of good organic products available. It’s simple, effective and although you may not quite reach the same yields as you would with a hydroponic system, the the quality is excellent.

Traditionally, to get a good usable compost mix you would mix a little soil (or earth) in with layers of manure or home made compost (from rotting vegetable/organic matter). This home made mix should be left for a
while before using to let the bacteria and micro-organisms have time to turn the manure or compost into usable feed for the plants. This takes time, so the longer you leave your home made mix (up to a few weeks is best) the more fertile it will be and the less feed you will need to add. Alternatively you can just buy a bag of  Bio-Bizz All-Mix, a specifically blended organic compost.
Structure of the mix is all important too, so in a good compost mix Perlite is added to improve drainage and oxygen content. This is very important in the demanding indoor environment where our pot mix must be able to deliver enough feed, moisture and oxygen without becoming too wet or compressed.

I recommend that you use approximately 30% Perlite and 20% worm castings or Coir/Fibre flakes in home made mixes to help with drainage, oxygenation and structure. Most good ‘Ready to Use’ mixes should already contain similar ingredients and percentages. You shouldn’t worry too much about your water pH and we don’t recommend pH adjustment of water for soil/compost plants. The nutrient availability pH range is much wider in an organic environment than in hydroponics and the introduction of acidic pH adjusting liquids is neither necessary or desirable. With 3 or 4 month cycle fruit and flowering crops,  just rooted or cuttings should be grown up a few inches in a small 13cm (4”) pot to build a nice root ball before transplanting the plant into a bigger pot which they will stay in until harvest.

When transplanting your plants into their final pot

– Slightly moisten your compost mix as this will reduce the chance of any root rot to roots damaged in transplant.

– Fill your new pot with somewhere between a quarter to one third full of your compost mix.

– Ease the plant gently out of its existing small pot.

– Submerge the root zone in some tepid, de-chlorinated tap water with some    added stress relievers or boosters. Popular boosters include Superthrive, Rhizotonic or Root Juice. Submerge the roots for a few seconds.

– Gently place the plant in the new pot and carefully fill in around the plant. Do NOT pack the compost down. Do NOT water the plant for at least 24 hours to prevent any rot to roots damaged in transplant.  In larger pots, try not to make the root zone too deep and add an extra 10% Perlite.

This will help maintain an unrestricted, well oxygenated, well drained root environment.

Cannabis grow guide

Welcome to Weed Farmer’s Free Herb growing guides.  He will help you to grow the most potent Cannabis plants possible.  You will find online information on Cannabis seeds, germination, Cannabis plant sexing, Cannabis growing equipment of today, hydroponic techniques, indoor cannabis growing, outdoor cannabis cultivation, troubleshooting plus a whole lot more.  Use the quick search box to find specifics right away.  Enjoy the reading!


 Complete cannabis growing guide.

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Comprehensive Marijuana Growing Guides



Full cannabis growing guide

Indoor cannabis Cultivation Guide
Closet Culture Guide
Indoor cannabis Cultivation
Simple Steps For Outdoor Cannabis Growers
Phases of the Moon for Cannabis Growing

Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Hydroponics 101
Why Go Hydroponic
Cannabis Hydroponics
Hydroponics Should Be Easy

Cannabis Hydroponic Systems
Cannabis Hydroponic Principles
Quick Cannabis Hydroponic Garden Set Up
Cannabis Plant Abuse

Female and Feminized Seed
Cannabis Nutrient Disorders

Nutrient and Deficiency Table
Troubleshooting Cannabis Health Problems
Ten Biggest Mistakes Cannabis Growers Make
History of Cannabis
Cannabis Cuttings
Cloning Cannabis
Germinating Cannabis
Choosing Cannabis Seeds
Rockwool The Book
Kale Cannabis Growing Guide
Cannabis Growing Guide

Advanced Growing Cannabis Guide
The Home Cannabis Creator

Cannabis Definitions for Growers
Cannabis Botany

Growing Haze
Lighting Types and Intensities
Grow Light Guide

PH and EC Meters
PH Facts
Cannabis THC
Transport and Logistics of the Cannabis Plant

Tips on Growing Good Cannabis Plants
Basics to Cannabis Planting
How To Build A Cannabis Grow Box
Cannabis Growing Tips

Preparing to Grow Cannabis
Cannabis Seeds Germination
Sexing Cannabis Plants
Cannabis Life Cycle
Cannabis Potency
How To Grow Cannabis – and Why

Guide To Growing Cannabis
Closet Cannabis Growing Guide
Complete Cannabis Closet Set Up

Pot Seeds
Growing Pot
Cannabis Grower’s Guide
Gorilla Growers Guide

Dutch Grow Room Visuals
How to Grow Cannabis
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How to Grow Marijuana

Easy Beginner Grow Cannabis  w/ CFL Grow Lights | Guide

This easy indoor hydroponic cannabis grow guide uses common CFL bulbs as grow lights and forgiving coco coir as a growing medium. It’s designed for the beginner as a cheap and easy way to introduce yourself to growing marijuana.

Growing weed doesn’t have to be hard!

This picture was taken just before I turned these White Rhino plants over to flowering. I like to keep my grows short and quick when growing with CFLs.Startup Cost: Around $300 to get started

Maintenance Cost: $50/month

What to expect: Minimum of 4 ounces/plant, up to about 14 ounces/plant.

Recomended for: People who need a few ounces of weed a month and want a super cheap, super easy, “low-maintenance” grow style.

Don’t be fooled just because it’s easy. Even though I was a complete beginner when I started, I ended up getting 6.2 ounces of dried buds off my very first cannabis plant from my very first grow, which I grew using this system!

I still grow this way today and I get an average of 8-14 ounces of dried buds off each plant. I’ve gotten 16 ounces (a pound) from a one plant that was high-yielding strain before (Northern Lights).

This method is not for everyone!

That’s because growing weed with CFLs isn’t the highest yielding method.  But it’s super cheap, super easy, and if you just need a few ounces of dried buds a month, it’s the perfect “low-maintenance” way to grow weed.

I think it would be safe to assume that even a beginner can expect to get at least 4 ounces of dried buds if you just follow these instructions. Even if you mess up, you’ll still get at least that.

You will be growing your marijuana plants indoors in a soil-less medium called Coconut Coir (often called coco coir, or even just coir). Coco coir is a natural fiber made from the husk of coconuts that naturally stimulates the roots of plants and is forgiving when growing marijuana.

For feeding (water plus nutrients), you will hand-water them whenever your plants get dry and you will provide them with all the nutrients they need right in their water.

For lights, all you need are some cheap CFL (Compact Florescent Lights) like the ones you get from your local hardware store. These common bulbs don’t use much electricity and don’t produce much heat compared to other grow lights.

Because CFLs have a short light range (8 inch max) theis tutorial works best for growing plants that are kept shorter than 4-5 feet.

That means you will choose either…

You can still get at least a couple of ounces off each plant, even when plants are kept short and you will be able to harvest your crop in only 3-4 months.

This system reduces many of the problems associated with an indoor soil grow, and is also much easier than almost any other hydroponic grow.

It is a great way to learn about how marijuana plants grow and after doing one harvest yourself, I guarantee that you will start getting millions of ideas on how you want to do your next grow.

Pros of Growing Marijuana with CFL Grow LIghts and Coco Coir

  • Cheap and easy to start
  • Cheap and easy to maintain even for a complete beginner
  • Forgiving way to learn how to grow weed
  • Perfect for growing 1-2 plants
  • Will produce a smokable harvest in 3-4 months
  • Get 6-14 ounces/plant (harvest yields depend mostly on two things: how big you grow your plant and the light intensity you provide during the flowering stage)
  • High quality bud since the plant is fed hydroponically
  • You can use this method even if you have a very small grow space (I once grew a 1.5 foot plant and still harvest 3 ounces of dried and cured buds).
  • Can be used with any strain of marijuana, whether it was started with seeds or clones

Cons of Growing Marijuana with CFL Grow LIghts and Coco Coir

  • CFL grow lights are not cost effective when growing more than 5 flowering marijuana plants at a time, if you’re growing more than a handful of plants, you’ll probably want to invest in a LED Grow Light or an even brighter marijuana grow light to supplement your light intensity, instead of just getting more CFLs.
  • Hand-watering plants is simple, but can be a pain if you have a lot of plants OR very small pots (which need to be watered more often)
  • You have to adjust your CFL bulbs 1-2 times a week, as your plants will be rapidly growing into them
  • For best results and to be able to harvest 10+ ounces/plant with this method, you will need invest your time to learn how to keep your marijuana plant short with basic marijuana growth control techniques

This is really a perfect way to grow your first harvest because it’s so forgiving and you will really learn an incredible amount about growing by using this method.

I used this technique for my first grow, and even though I made a lot of mistakes, my plants still did great.

What you will need

  • Marijuana Seeds or Clones
  • High-quality hydroponic nutrients which are designed for marijuana. I recommend Fox Farms Hydroponic Liquid Nutrient trio since that’s what I exclusively used with good results on my first grow. Another good choice is Canna Coco Nutrient A & B which is a two part system made specifically for coco coir. You can usually find these brands of nutrients at any hydroponic store which is usually going to be cheaper than purchasing online if you count the price of shipping.
  • Pots to plant your marijuana in. I recommend getting pots that are 2-3 gallons each. Only get 5 gallon pots if you need to be able to go a long time without watering or if you want to grow tall plants.
  • Coco coir (and perlite if you’d like) which can be purchased online or at a hydroponic garden store, Sometimes you can find a soilless mix that already has both coco coir and perlite in it.
  • CFLs (Compact Florescent Lights). You will need about two 40w(150w incandescent equivalent) CFLs per plant to start. These lights are easily found at the store or online. You can get different wattage bulbs, but I like bulbs close to the 40w range because they are a small, manageable size but still produce a lot of light. By the time your cannabis is flowering, you may need to get more bulbs to fill in any ‘shadowed areas’ up to maybe two or three more lights per plant. It’s optimal to use ‘daylight’ (6500k) colored bulbs for the vegetative stage and ‘soft white’ (2500k) colored bulbs for flowering (though you can use either kind during either stage and your plant will come out fine). I like to use a mix to make sure my plants get a full spectrum of light.
  • Enough light sockets for all your lightbulbs (they’re less than $5 apiece at my hardware store, usually they also come with some sort of clip you can use to clip your lights anywhere. You can double-up light bulbs to a socket (more info below) so that you have less total sockets you have to deal with.
  • A timer to make your lights go on and off when you want. You can get a cheap one for $5 or spend up to $30 getting a nice digital one  You don’t necessarily need one to start if you veg your plants in light 24 hours a day, but you will need to get a timer by the time you start flowering your plant (about a month in) unless you want to turn the lights on and off manually every day. You can buy timers at your hardware store or online.
  • pH Control Kit: This contains pH Up and pH Down (to adjust pH of your water) and a simple strip test. Another option for testing pH is a fancy (and more expensive) digital pH tester though my plants did just fine with the strip test that comes in the much cheaper pH Control Kit. All hydroponic stores and some gardening stores with sell pH Control Kids. You will want to adjust your water so it’s around 5.5-6.0 pH when you water your plants. How do I check and adjust the pH of my water?

Estimated Total Cost for Growing Five Plants

  • Marijuana Seeds or Clones: Free –  $10/plant
  • Nutrients: Fox Farms Hydroponic Nutrient Trio (quart) or Canna Coco Nutrient A & B (1 Liter) – $25-$45
  • Coco Coir – $25 / big bag
  • Perlite (optional) – $10 / bag
  • Five 2-gallon pots – $1 – $5 each x 5
  • Four 40w CFLs per plant – $7 – $10 each CFL, or $28 – $40 per plant x 5
  • Four light sockets per plant at $4 – $7 each or $16 – $28 per plant x 5
  • Power timer $5 – $30
  • pH Kit – $10 – $30

Total: $290 – $555 in total start-up costs

Ten ounces of bud retail value: You may get even more but a reasonable estimate is a total harvest of two ounces of dried bud from each of the five plants. At $30-$70/ eighth, ten ounces is equal to $2400 – $5600 which is worth 5-10 times the money you need to put in to get started. I got a total 6.2 ounces of dried buds off my first cannabis plant I grew using this system (pictured below in flowering section). I still use this method today and on average I get 3-4 ounces off each cannabis plant.

After your first grow, you will only need to get more plants, more coco coir, and more nutrients which will significantly bring down the start-up costs for subsequent grows.

Remember, you can start out with fewer lights and light sockets(start with 2-3 per plant), and will only need to get more as you notice shadowy patches on your plants that aren’t getting enough light. The great thing about all of the items needed for this technique is they can all be used in future grows, even if you decide not to continue with this method. For example, even if you end up getting HID lights eventually, you will always be able to use the CFLs for starting out new plants, or for adding additional side lights.

A Note about Using CFL Lights

You will need about two 40w(150w incandescent equivalent) CFLs per plant to start. These lights are easily found at the store or online. You can get lower or higher wattage bulbs, but I like bulbs close to the 40w range because they produce a lot of light, but are still a small, manageable size. By the time the plants are flowering, you may need to get more lights per each plant to fill in any ‘shadowed areas’ up to maybe two or three more lights per plant. It’s optimal to use ‘daylight’ (6500k) colored bulbs for the vegetative stage and ‘soft white’ (2500k) colored bulbs for flowering (though you can use either kind during either stage and your plant will come out fine). I like to use a mix to make sure my plants get a full spectrum of light.

I recommend getting some heavy duty clamp light sockets which you can use to power your light bulbs. These light sockets are able to clamp to most anything and they come with a reflector for your lights. When looking for clamp light sockets, avoid anything that’s made of plastic (it’s cheap and will break) and try to find something with at least a 9 foot long cord. You’d be surprised at how annoying it is to try to find a way to make a 6 foot cord work.

To maximize the light your plants are getting, you can use a light socket extender and a twin light socket adapter to fit two lights per each clamp light socket (without the extender, they probably won’t fit). Setting up two lights per socket can often be cheaper than buying an individual light socket for each light, especially if you buy online. It also is really convenient for arranging around your plant.
A heavy-duty clamp light socket with reflectorTwo Compact Florescents put into one plug using a twin socket adapter and a light socket extender

Click here to learn more about grow lights and the length of time you provide light to your cannabis plants each day.

How to get started

Marijuana seedling showing its first two sets of leavesOptionally fill the first couple inches of your pots with perlite for extra drainage, and then fill the rest of the pot with coco coir. Water your pot with coco coir thoroughly until water drains out the bottom before adding your seeds or clones. Set up your lights so that they can start around the height of your pots and eventually be raised to the final height of your plant (2-3 feet depending on your marijuana strain and how long you let you plants stay in the vegetative stage). Once you have everything set up as described, simply add your marijuana seeds or clones and set up your lights so that they’re about 4 inches away to start.

Watering Schedule

Just follow the instructions that come with the Fox Farms Hydroponic Nutrient Trio

You will want to start feeding your plants with nutrients at quarter strength for the first week, then work your way up to full strength slowly. I recommend following the instructions exactly as provided by the nutrients. For example, if you are using Fox Farms Hydroponic Liquid Nutrient trio, just follow the feeding chart that comes with the bottles and water your plant with nutrients every other watering. When not using nutrients, make sure you still pH your plain water before your feed your marijuana!

You will want to water your marijuana whenever the top of the coco coir starts feeling dry. This will start out with you watering the plants every couple of days, and may end up with you watering them once a day towards the end of the marijuana flowering cycle. You want to ensure that you have about 20-30% extra run-off water come out the bottom of the container every time you water your plants. The reason for this is that coco coir tends to form natural salts if it the fertilizers just sit in there and never get washed out. Making sure you keep adding water until you get run-off is also a great way to make sure that your plants are draining properly. As I said before, make sure to feed your marijuana plant with plain, pH’ed water every other watering. This will greatly help reduce the amount of salt buildup and prevent nutrition problems from occuring.  If your marijuana shows signs of drooping, chances are you are over or under-watering. In order to prevent over or under-watering, make sure you water thoroughly every time, and wait to water again until the top inch of coco coir feels dry.

Vegetative Period

White Rhino marijuana plant at the beginning of the vegetative stageAfter your plants have grown accustomed to their new environment (after a couple of days for transplanted clones, or when your seeds grow their second set of leaves) then you will want to move your CFLs so that they are about an inch away from the plant. CFLs lose a lot of light the further away they are and their light is almost useless once the plant is 6 inches away. Your biggest task when growing your marijuana will be adjusting the lights. The CFL bulbs should always be as close as possible to the plants, yet they need to be far enough away that your marijuana doesn’t grow into the lights and burn its leaves. If you check on your plants constantly, you can keep the lights closer. If you’re going to be away for a while, you should move the bulbs away to give your marijuana some growing room. Personally for me, adjusting the lights was one of the most fun parts of growing marijuana using this method because it gave me something to do while I was hanging out in my grow room. As a beginner, I always wanted to keep checking in on my marijuana plants all the time, and adjusting the lights gave me something I could do to sastisfy that urge. You may also want to rotate your plants every day in order to provide the most even amount of light from all sides.

Your marijuana can’t get really get too much light from CFLs and the only thing you need to worry about with the CFLs is burning your plants if they get too close. Basically if you put your hand where your plants are closest to the light, and the light feels too hot to be comfortable, then the light is too close. If your hand just feels warm, but not hot, than your plants are at the perfect distance. I generally kept my CFL bulbs 1-2″ from the leaves during the whole grow.

If you notice that your plant is growing with a lot of space between nodes or otherwise seems like it’s ‘stretching’ upwards, that means that it probably needs more light. Try adding an extra CFL or two or move tem closer. If you notice your plant is having any other issues or something doesn’t seem right, check out the Plant Problems and Symptoms Guide.

Flowering Stage

This cannabis was grown under CFLs, she's started falling over due to the weight of her budsWhen your cannabis plants are about half their final desired height, you will change them over to the flowering stage so they start growing buds. By half the final desired height, I mean, if you wanted your plant to achieve a final height of 2 feet, then you would switch your marijuana to flowering when they’re about 1 foot tall, or half of 2 feet. If you wanted your marijuana to grow to be 5 feet tall, then switch them to flowering when they’re at a height of 2.5 feet. The reason for this is that marijuana will generally double in height after being switched over to the flowering stage.

To initiate the flowering stage, you will switch your light schedule so that your lights are on for 12 hours a day, and off for 12 hours a day. During the ‘off’ period, your marijuana should be in total darkness. This light schedule will trick your marijuana into thinking that the days are getting shorter and fall is coming. The 12-12 light schedule will cause your plants to begin the flowering stage and start focusing on making buds instead of just growing. If you don’t change your schedule to 12-12, chances are your marijuana will just keep growing forever and never make buds.

After switching to 12-12, you should start noticing your plant making it’s first sex organs after a week or two. Females will grow white hairs and males will start growing grape-like balls. In order to maximize on the amount of bud you get, you will want to make sure you remove any males so they don’t impregnate you females. If they stay together than your females will get pollinated by the males and will end up making lots of seeds instead of buds. Unless you have a reason to keep males (for example breeding), you probably want to just kill any male plants because they won’t make any usable bud anyway.

When growing with CFLs, it becomes harder and harder to fully illuminate the plants as they get bigger and grow more branches. You will maximize the total amount of buds you get by keeping the plant smaller (and therefore easy to bathe in light), and then harvesting more often since your plants will be ready to harvest much sooner.

As the plants get taller and starte blooming, you may need to get a couple more CFLs to light them from the sides. Basically if you see any dark or shadowy areas that are more than 6 inches from a CFL, then you should get another CFL to plug in that ‘hole.’

Towards the end of the flowering cycle as your marijuana approaches harvest time, you may notice that some of the oldest leaves start turning yellow and falling off. This is totally normal and is a sign that your plant is taking nitrogen out of the leaves and putting them into the buds/flowers.

You will want to stop feeding your marijuana any nutrients for the last two weeks before harvest to ensure the best tasting bud. Simply feed them plenty of water without nutrients for these last two weeks, but make sure you’re still adjusting the pH so they absorb any leftover nutrients in the coco coir. I usually stop feeding my cannabis nutrients and start feeding them water when about 75% of all the pistols (hairs) have turned dark and started curling in towards the buds.


Dried marijuana buds. Mmmmm. ^_^Pleast view the Harvest Section of my general cannabis grow guide for more information about when and how to harvest your plant. This guide should tell you exactly what to look for as far as determining if your cannabis is ready for harvest.

Final Thoughts

When using this method I’ve found my cannabis to be really resistant to issues or problems, especially considering this method was the one I used for my very first harvest and I had no idea what I was doing when I started. Over the course of my first grow I made several mistakes, including dropping a light on one of my plants and accidentally burning some of the leaves on the lights. Every time something happened to a plant, it seemed to take it in stride and just keep growing. Despite all my mistakes, I still got 6.2 ounces of dried buds off my first plant grown with this grow method!

Looking at the trichomes on the plant through a magnifier. Trichomes are also known as crystals and resin glands depending on where you live.I really like this technique for a beginning cannabis grower because it’s a really good way to get a feel for how plants grow and how the cannabis plant grows in particular. It can be hard to decide what you want to do for you first grow, and this is a really cheap yet effective way to get started with growing and get good results. After having one successful grow under your belt, I guarantee that the whole process will start making more sense. Even if you end up eventually moving on to other types of growing systems, you will be able to use many of the materials from this system with your future grow.

If you end up using this technique or have any other thoughts or comments I’d love to hear from you!

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Cloning Cannabis Tutorial.


Taking cuttings is one of the most popular ways to propagate a cannabis plant. Often called “cloning” it is a very good method to get multiple cannabis plants that are genetically identical to the “mother” cannabis plant. Many people feel intimidated by the process, and are a bit leery to attempt “cloning”. If you are one of those people, relax, it’s a relatively easy process.What follows are step by step instructions for a simple procedure that works for most types of cannabis plants.


There are several reasons that you may want to clone your plant, the most obvious being, that you don’t have any seed. Cloning might be your only option in this case. Another reason that you might want to take cuttings is to control the Quality of the cannabis plant(s). Let me explain: Every seed, like every human being, is slightly different. Genetically, no two cannabis plants are the same, DNA works in cannabis plants much the same way as humans. So if you have a cannabis plant that is just what you want it to be you can take cuttings to “clone” your special cannabis plant. Over time you could make about a bazillion genetically identical clones if you wanted to.

One reason to clone your cannabis plants that is often overlooked, is that it’s often Faster than starting from seed. Some cannabis plants will produce a rooted, growing cannabis plant from a clone before the seeds of the same cannabis plant can even sprout. Saving a lot of time.


A SINGLE EDGE RAZOR BLADE – Must be sharp!! A new blade is best.
Must be sharp!! A new blade is best.

BACK-UP BLOCK – A piece of Styrofoam, wood or plastic approximately 2″x2″.
A piece of Styrofoam, wood or plastic approximately 2″x2″.

SHOT GLASS – Or similar small glass or plastic container. Or similar small glass or plastic container.

GROWING MEDIUM – Rockwool or Oasis cubes, Pro-mix, coconut fiber or one of several other suitable growing media.


ROOTING HORMONE – You will need a good quality rooting hormone such as Woods, Clonex, Olivia’s, Dip & Grow etc. You can use a powdered rooting hormone but in My opinion they are much harder to work with resulting in a reduced success rate.




This might sound obvious, but you should only use healthy cannabis plants to take cuttings from. The healthier the “mother ” cannabis plants the better success you will have with your clones. You should take a few more cuttings than you need and then select the best ones to use and throw away any that are unhealthy.

You will need to leach the nitrogen out of the mother cannabis plant(s) by watering them heavily with pH adjusted water only (no fertilizer) for two or three days before you take the cuttings. This is an important step because the nitrogen stored in the cannabis plant will retard rooting.

Decide what you are going to use for growing medium. Most people use either Rockwool or Oasis cubes, which are probably the easiest to use because they are pre-formed and already have a hole in them for the cutting. However you can use many different mediums just as successfully, use plastic cups with holes cut in the bottom to hold coconut fiber, a Perlite & Vermiculite mix or other loose type growing medium. Do not use regular dirt or Peat Pellets as they stay too wet and will rot the stem of the cutting. You will need to pre-soak your growing medium before you start, using pH balanced water. Distilled water is the best thing to use, but any Good water source will work. (NOTE: Most growing medium need to be soaked in pH 6 to pH 7 water, Rockwool needs to be soaked for 24 hours with water adjusted to a pH of 4.5 to 5).

Make holes in the top of the growing medium that are about the same size or a little smaller than the stems of the cuttings. You do not want to force the cutting into the growing medium.

It is critical that you sterilize everything before you start, because cuttings are very susceptible to fungus, viruses and diseases until they root. Use rubbing alcohol on your hands, the razor blade and the cutting block. Rinse the shot glass (or whatever you are using) with alcohol, dry it and then fill it 3/4 full with rooting hormone, and set it aside for now.

Work quickly but carefully. When you make the cut that separates the clone from the mother, you must get it into the rooting hormone as quickly as possible to prevent air from getting pulled into the stem. Please be careful not to cut yourself with the razor blade. (The lawyers made me say it).


1. Take a growing tip from your cannabis plant 3″ to 6″ long with at least one leaf internode, two is better but not always possible. (A leaf internode is where the leaf connects to the stem, See diagram 1).

2. With a Sharp single edge razor blade, carefully cut off one or two leaves (or small branches) flush with the stem. (See diagram 2).

3. Make a cut approximately 1/4″ below the internode(s) where you just trimmed the leaves. Cut at a 45 to 60 deg. angle. (See diagram 3). Hold the back-up block behind the stem where you are going to cut, hold block tightly against the stem, this supports the stem and protects your fingers. Make this cut as quick and clean as you can, you do not want to tear or crush the stem.

4. Quickly insert the cutting into the rooting hormone (See diagram 4). If you are using a liquid hormone you can let the cutting soak for 30-60 seconds. (NOTE: With a gel type hormone you just dip the cutting and then insert it into the growing medium).

5. Insert the cutting into the growing medium (see diagram 5), do not push the cutting all the way thru the medium, leave room for the roots to develop. Make sure that the cut(s) you made at the leaf internode(s) are below the surface of the growing medium.

6. Gently pack the growing medium up against the cutting. Make sure there is good contact between the cutting and the growing medium.


Congratulations! you have now successfully taken cuttings, now the challenge is to keep them alive long enough to root. The cuttings are obviously very vulnerable at this point and must be handled with care. If you follow the steps below you should have few problems.

7. Once you have your cutting(s) in the growing medium mist them with the spray bottle filled with water and place them in the tray. Mist the inside of the clear humidity dome and place dome over the tray. (NOTE: The cuttings need some ventilation and a couple of small holes in the dome will usually do the trick).

8. Remove the dome and mist the cuttings 2 or 3 times a day. This keeps the cuttings from drying out and also changes the air under the dome. This step is critical, the cuttings have no way to replenish lost moisture because they have no roots. Mist the inside of the dome and replace on tray. The humidity under the dome needs to be about 90 % until roots appear on the cuttings. (NOTE: Be careful that the air under the dome doesn’t get too warm, if it is, you may have to increase the amount of venting, and increase the number or mistings per day). Cuttings need to be kept between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To hot or cold will inhibit root growth. If you live in a cold climate you may need a heated propagation mat.

9. The cuttings are going to need light, you need bright light, but not too intense. Dappled sunlight if you are leaving your cuttings outside. Indoors you can use a double tube fluorescent fixture with both a cool white bulb and a warm white bulb in the fixture (or two “grow” tubes). This will give a good, balanced light spectrum. Fluorescent light doesn’t penetrate so you must keep the lights very close to the cannabis plants (1-2 inches above the cannabis plants).
If you are using a Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium fixture you must keep the cuttings much further away (2 – 3 feet away for 175 – 400 watt bulbs and 4 – 6 feet for a 1000 watt bulb).
The lights should be turned on for 18 to 24 hours a day.

10. To water the cuttings you can use either plain distilled water (or other Good Quality Water), or you can add a very mild fertilizer such as Olivia’s Cloning Solution or Wilder’s Clone Root Concentrate, you can also use a 1/4 strength general purpose hydroponic fertilizer solution. Don’t forget to adjust the pH of the water / nutrient solution (5.5 for rockwool, 6.5 for most everything else).

11. Water the cuttings every 2 days unless you live in a very dry climate then you should water every day. Never let the growing medium dry out. Do not let it set in water either, or the stem will rot. (NOTE: A great way to water the cuttings is to use two trays, one with holes and the other without. Fill the tray without holes about half way with water and then slowly lower the tray with the holes (and cuttings) into it. Let sit for a few moments and them slowly raise the tray back out and let it drain). Small Hydroponic systems are available to automate the watering cycles of the cuttings, greatly reducing the amount of manual labor.

12. After about a week you can test to see if your cannabis plants have started to root. Remove the humidity dome and leave it off for an hour or two. If the cannabis plants have not wilted at all then they probably have enough root development to support themselves. If no wilt is noticed leave the dome off, if they are wilted, spray the cuttings and dome and replace the dome on the tray. Once you have determined that the cannabis plants can support themselves, stop misting the cuttings and leave the humidity dome off. (NOTE: Once the cannabis plants have roots, constant misting can actually be harmful to the cannabis plants).

13. If the lower leaves start to turn yellow and die, don’t worry, it is perfectly normal. It is the cannabis plant feeding off of itself to sustain life, moving valuable nutrient and water from the older growth. Do not remove any dead growth until the cannabis plant is well rooted. If you remove the dying growth the cannabis plant can starve and die completely.

14. When the cuttings are completely rooted you can move them into your hydroponic system or the soil.


“Cloning” is easy once you get the hang of it. You must always remember that every step must be done properly, if anything goes wrong you will get less than satisfactory results. We suggest that the first time you take cuttings take twice as many as you need (if possible). With a little practice this method of propagation should produce a 95 to 100 percent success ratio.

The use of distilled water can drastically increase your success ratio, especially if you don’t have good quality water where you live.

This is one “Tried and True” method of propagation that works well on most types of cannabis plants. There are several other ways to “clone” your cannabis plants, including, air layering, dividing, and tissue culture. There is even a hydroponic system that does a good job of rooting cuttings that uses no growing medium at all, once the cuttings form roots you simply transplant them to whatever growing medium you will be using.

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Closet Cultivator

An AWESOME setup for growing pot — and it’s portable,

Don’t let the price of pot bum you out…. Fight back! For
less than the going price of an ounce of decent connoisseur
herb, you can build your own portable skunk factory follow
ing our Poor Starving Graduate Student’s design. It’s neat
and discreet and capable of producing six ounces in less
than four months.

Written by Ed Rosenthal
Typed and edited by Head Crusher

I recently met a grower who had a unique and innovative
method of cultivating. He also had a number of problems to
overcome before he could put it to use. Poor Starving
Graduate Student (PSGS), as he wishes to be known, needed a
discreet and unobtrusive system, but he had very little
space in which to work. To make matters more difficult, he
would have to relocate three times during the year to
complete his post-graduate research. Lacking time and money,
PSGS designed his “Port-A-Closet.”

To build it, PSGS had to do some shopping at thrift stores,
and visited three before finding a metal closet the right
size: 38″ by 28″ by 6′. After sanding away the rust spots,
he spray-painted it a color matching the room in which it
would be placed. He also purchase 25 pounds of aquarium
gravel, 10 1-1/2 gallon plastic plant containers (each
measuring about 8″ across at the top) and 25 3″ containers.

PSGS also found scrap wood, including 1″ x 3″s, 2″ x 4″s,
and 4″ x 4″s. He followed sales at home improvement and
discount stores, where he bought eight ceramic incandescent
sockets, on 50-watt high pressure sodium lamp (HPS), two
six-plug outlet strips (with circuit breakers), a heavy-duty
6″ extension cord, a 24-hour timer, plastic houseware trays
measuring 14″ x 9″ and a heavy-duty plastic drop cloth. He
had planned to buy some aluminum foil to line the closet;
instead, he found a torn “space blanket” someone had left on
the street.

While gathering the materials to build the system, PSGS
was constantly on the lookout for discarded potted plants.
Most of these were poinsettias tossed after the season.
Different pots contained different mixes, mostly wood bark
and compost, vermiculite, perlite, peat moss and coconut
hull. The various grow media were shaken from the roots of
the discarded plants into a large box. Last to be added to
the mix was a discarded bag of unused foam rubber bits.


The inner walls of the cabinet were lined with the 6′ x 5′
space blanket. (Areas not covered by the blanket were lined
with aluminum foil.) Next, the lights were installed: The
50-watt HPS lamp was hung from the built-in hanger bar using
several pieces of nylon cord. The side-lighting, comprised
of four 8″ circular-tube fluorescent fixtures, was then
added. Each light was screwed into ceramic light-bulb
sockets spaced 15″ apart and secured on 1″ x 3″ boards.

of the lights were hung from the bar; the other two were
hung along the back wall using eye hooks screwed into the
top of the cabinet. To do this, PSGS drilled two holes
through the top of the unit, screwed hooks through the holes
and held them in place with thin pieces of wood.

Using a hacksaw and a pair of metal shears, a 6″ hole was
cut in the top of the closet, and a small fan (held in place
using the technique used to hold the hooks) was installed
for air circulation. Vibration noise from the fan was
eliminated by placing a piece of foam rubber between the
wood and metal. To allow fresh air into the grow space, a
4″ hole was cut in the lower back of the closet.

The lights and fan were plugged into two six-outlet exten
sion cords with circuit breakers, also hung from the hanger
bar. These, in turn were plugged into a heavy-duty exten
sion cord run into an outlet near the closet.
The bottom of the closet was lined with two layers of 4 mm
polyethylene, attached to the sides of the closet with duct
tape. This helps prevent spills from leaving the closet.


PSGS mixed his pot-luck medium thoroughly, adding 25 pounds
of aquarium gravel. The result was heavy. When he added
water/nutrient solution, the medium felt very porous, moist
… almost wet but nonetheless airy. The medium was poured
in the small containers.

PSGS had been planning to grew for about six months and had
been saving seed. A few were found in some stash sinsemilla,
and some were collected from friends. All were domestic.

The seeds were planted two per container, about 1/4″ deep.
The pots were placed in trays under the HPS lamp only. (The
fluorescents were loosened in their sockets and left off.)
The containers were watered with a diluted nutrient solution;
to keep them moist, plastic bags were placed across
their tops. The seeds germinated over a two-week period.

PSGS used two very popular brands of fairly complete fertil
izer purchased at a local garden center. He noticed that
neither of them contained magnesium (Mg), so Epsom salts
were added to the nutrient solution.

About two weeks after germination, when the plants were
about 8″ tall, the lights were turned down to 12 hours per
day to force sex. All the plants began to flower 10-15 days
after that. The males were pulled, leaving 16 pots with
females and 21 plants total. Only eight females were need
ed. Five of the plants looked less vigorous than the rest
and were pulled immediately. The eight best were planted in
the large containers and the light was then put on continuous

When the plants were between 10″ to 15″ tall — about five
weeks after germination — the bottom layer of fluorescents
was turned on so that the plants received light from the
side as well as from above. At the same time, the tops of
the plants were cut to even out length and to encourage
branching. When the tops were between 18″ to 24″ tall —
about two and a half months after germination — the second
group of fluorescents were turned on and the plats were
pruned again. Two weeks later, the light cycle was reduced
to 12 hours per day to induce flowering.


PSGS wanted to try the wick system of irrigation. He began
by cutting a 4″ x 4″ into wood blocks, which he place under
the containers to raise them above the trays. (The trays
served as reservoirs). He then cut eight pieces of 3/8″
nylon cord — the water wick — long enough to run across
the bottom and out both sides of each container to the
tray’s base.

To get the wick system going, PSGS simply filled the trays
with water/nutrient solution. However, since he enjoyed
hand-watering so much, he used the wicks only once during a
five-day period when he was away.

When the plants started to flower, they turned quite odor-
iferous. PSGS solved the problem with a negative ion generator,
which he purchased at a thrift shop for $15. He placed
the unit on top of the closet, and it zapped the odors as
they blew out of the fan hole.

PSGS harvested the plants 70-85 days later. His yield was
about six ounces of very high quality bud. Soon after, his
post-graduate research at the location was complete….PSGS
temporarily shut down his ” Port-A-Closet,” packed it up
along with his other furniture, and set off for a new loca


Metal closet: $25
Spray paint: $2
Aquarium gravel: $3
1-1/2 gallon containers (10): $2.50
3″ and 4″ pots (25): $2.50
Incandescent sockets (8): $7.92
50-watt HPS unit: $39.95
Screw-in fluorescents (8): $39.60
Six-way strip w/breaker (2): $15.96
Extension cord: $5.99
24-hour timer: $6.99
Negative-ion Generator: $15.00
Plastic houseware trays: $11.92
Drop cloth: $2.99
Planting medium: Free
Space Blanket: Free
Aluminum foil (75 ft.): $2.21
Fertilizer (1 lb each of two popular brands): $6.34
Epsom salts (2 1/2 lb): $.99
Tax: $15.27

Electricity (852 kWh) @ $.12 kWh: $102.24

TOTAL: $308.36