If you have ever received a succulent or cactus as a gift, it isn’t because your friend is trying to tell you something about your character. It’s because these two houseplants are incredibly robust, needing very little attention. Plants like these do well in today’s under accommodating society, where loose time can easily be supplemented by preferential online streaming and delivery services. Unfortunately, the sharing economy has yet to produce a gig for plant sitters.
Some plants, even despite their names, do not grow like weeds. Cannabis is a surprisingly fickle plant if not provided with adequate care. Difficulty levels depend on each variety’s genetics. Some common clones you might see in shops are the causal three: Blue Dream, Gorilla Glue #4, or Cinex. See our clones vs. seeds buyers guide if you’d like to learn more about marijuana genetics.
For this scenario, we’ll be starting from a clone since this is the most common route people take. There are many growing methods out there, and some require more maintenance than others. This growing method in particular uses microbial populated soils fueled by dry fertilizers and distilled water. Together, these variables form a self-regulating, ecologically-sound vehicle for your new clone baby.
Maintaining Proper PH In Your Soil And Water
There are many different growing methods out there, most of which involve liquid fertilizers. Chelated material from these liquid nutrients builds up in the soil around the plant, and requires flushing every two-to-three weeks in conjunction with a normal watering schedule. This can drastically change the pH level in your soil, creating unnecessary maintenance. Hobbies should be about having fun while learning, not an arbitrary penial measuring contest.
Getting your hands on some rainwater would be ideal, although not completely necessary. Distilled or water conditioned with reverse osmosis is also okay so long as you blend this water with chlorine-free, non-softened spring water. A good healthy pH is considered within the range of 60 to 80 PPMs.
Synchronizing your soil and water is key. Many types of fertilizers, the ones this method will use, are primarily dry non-liquid fertilizers. Fertilizers by Down To Earth are universally available online or in your local garden supply store. Ideally, composted or ‘super soil’ is preferred. For the sake of brevity, we simply recommend using pH adjusted Happy Frog soil by Fox Farm.
Preparing Your Medium & Lighting
Clones are sold commercially in small 12 oz cups or one gallon pots and always sold in a vegetative state. Before you do anything. Go out and buy a five gallon pot and some dual spectrum LED grow lights. It’s important you maintain an 18-hour lighting schedule at the minimum during a vegetative cycle.
Deciding on when to flower, is entirely up to you. The longer you keep your plant in veg, the higher the yield. From this point on, lighting schedules must change from 18–24 hours to 12 hours of light during the day and 12 hours of darkness during the night. Twenty-four hours would be more ideal if you don’t mind paying a little extra in your utility bill for the next two-to-three months.
Buying a five gallon pot will facilitate more room for your roots. Bigger root systems begets larger yields and higher THC percentages. In addition to these peripheral items, try and figure out a way for you to control temperature, humidity, and lighting. Optimum temperature/humidity levels should hover between 75 and 80 degrees with 60–65 percent humidity. After getting your environment set up, begin mixing those spikes.
*VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER*
Any anomalous fluctuations in your lighting schedule during a flowering period can ruin the yield. An overlap can cause your bud (which should be a lady) to display hermaphroditic features if this photoperiod is interrupted during the night cycle. Any sudden changes in light, temperature, or environmental schedules can cause hermaphroditic traits in your cannabis, resulting in seed landed buds.
Prepping Your Amendments
Garden spikes have been around for years and work brilliantly. They distribute nutrients efficiently around a plant’s rhizosphere. What you’re doing here is setting your cannabis up for the rest of its life. Before adding your Happy Frog soil into that five gallon pot, you will need to mix the three following combinations of dry fertilizers.
You’ll need three 51 oz Mason jars if you want to be consistent with these ratios. Each ratio is measured out to be one cup—no more, no less. After filling these up, go ahead and shake them around thoroughly. It’s important you keep these jars organized. Designate each jar with painter’s tape, or something you can easily tear off after you’re done. This first mix will be your Floor Flowering Layer. The last two are going to be your flowering and high nitrogen spikes.
Mixing and Applying Your Floor Flowering Layer
Sprinkle two teaspoons of your Floor Flowering Layer at the bottom of your five gallon pot. At this stage. It would also help if you did an equal amount of PURE Granular Bloom. Cannabis knows where the food is at. Think of this as an incentive to coax those roots to the bottom.
- Bone Meal 4
- High P Bird Poo 1
- Feather Meal 1
- Fish Meal 1
- Kelp Meal 2
Transplanting is a very delicate procedure. Assess how much soil you will need to put in your five gallon pot before taking your clone from its original medium. Start filling at the halfway mark. Don’t disturb the root structure in any way while keeping the base above the soil in your five gallon pot. Otherwise, accumulating moisture around the stem will cause it to rot.
Begin filling the area around the plant’s root mass after placing your clone in the five gallon pot. As you do this, don’t forget to pack the soil lightly. Packing the soil too firmly can create unhealthy irrigation and root growth. Remember: the bigger the roots, the danker fruits. Pretty sure Steve Jobs said that, so it must be true.
Spiking Your Soil
Once you have transplanted your clone successfully, it’s time to spike your soil. Take a wooden dowel or bamboo stick and make four holes about three centimeters away from the pot’s edge. Each hole should be no more than half an inch wide, at a depth of about 5–6 inches. Space each cavity out evenly around the plant in a diamond shape.
Fill the first cavity with your High N Spike. Then fill the neighboring cavity with your Flowering Spike. Never fill neighboring spikes with the same blends. Fill each cavity alternately using the two blends illustrated below.
High Nitrogen Spike Ratio
- Bone Meal 1
- High N Bat Poop 1
- Feather Meal 1
- Blood Meal 1
- Kelp Meal 1
Flowering Spike Ratio
- Bone Meal 1
- High P Bird/Bat Poop 1
- Feather Meal 1
- Alfalfa Meal ½
- Kelp Meal ½
Your topsoil regulates irrigation, humidity, and pests. Any organic material like bark chips, hay, or coco coir work brilliantly. Coco coir is highly absorbent, so maintaining a watering schedule with it only requires two or three days a week. Make sure you get a brand that comes pre-washed, as some don’t wash excess salts from their mix.
Watering and Inoculation
Watering immediately after transplanting is the last step that’s most crucial. The sooner you pacify your root structure, the better. Before you begin watering, give your supply some extra fungi and bacteria. Premixtures come in powder form from products like Great White Mycorrhizae. This stuff delivers fungi and other beneficial microorganisms via the water. Apply globally around your cannabis; fill the pot until it almost spills over the top.
Fungi and bacteria are crucial for increasing your soil’s efficacy. Microbes eat exudates from the plant’s roots, turning them into nutrients. The plant can access these nutrients whenever it feels the need. This shouldn’t destabilize your soil PH too much. However, a piece of mind is never a bad thing. Buy a PPM meter if your budget allows. They’re not too expensive, and can also be found at your local garden supply store.
Paying Our Dues: Thank You Rev
This piece has been a general overview about a style characterized by Skunk Magazine writer, “The Rev.” We recommend purchasing his book, Truly Living Organics 2nd addition, for a more comprehensive overview.