From Seed to Bud – My Plant Journey
I know quite a lot about the basics of cannabis, having done masses of research on the subject.
However, what I didn’t know was how to actually grow it myself. So I decided to set up an indoor growing system from start to finish at a secret location, and chart my progress.
Also, I want fresh cannabis leaves every day to put in my smoothies. I don’t want to smoke the buds as that gives you a high – but eating the raw leaves and buds gives your body massive benefits without any high whatsoever (as most of my readers will know, it is only when you heat the buds that you convert the THCA to THC, and you get a high as a result). This is not my intention. My cannabis is for personal medical purposes only
We bought the Indica seeds on September 25th 2018, and set about setting up a grow tent to house the plants. In total, the whole system cost about £1000 including the seeds, equipment and nutrients.
FYI – these will be plants from Super Skunk seeds – not a pretty name, and apparently they give off a very strong smell when the plants get bigger, hence the reason for the name.
The first step was to plant the seeds in coco material, and spray them with water to encourage them to sprout.
I didn’t have a clue about how to set up the tent, so I got my friend to help me – the guy I bought my seeds and equipment from. The tent erection is easy enough, especially if you have ever been camping! The poles simply slot together, and the canvas goes over the poles to form the tent.
The pumps, timers etc were a little more difficult, but within the reach of any competent person. I did get a bit of a shock when he set up the metal tubing for venting out the air and for drawing in fresh air. It looked like something out of Breaking Bad!
Here you see the tent being erected and the carbon filter being fitted, which will eliminate the smell from the plants as they grow.
4 days later, on September 29th, the seedlings had sprouted and were big enough to plant in their final location.
The next step was to make the ph of the water to read between 5.8 and 6.2. Now I had a lot of trouble with this, as I bought several ph pens and calibrated them, and they all gave me different readings. so I splashed out on a proper ph meter which also measured the EC (electrical conductivity of the water. We then added the nutrients to the water, turned on the lights, set the water to come on regularly, and the lights to come on for 18 hours a day during what is known as the ‘growing phase.’ This was a little confusing, as this phase only actually lasted for 2 weeks – apparently we had to stop them growing too fast, to enable the ‘flowering phase’ to start, although there was no sign of any flowers at that time.
We then had to do a complete water change, reduce the lighting to 12 hours a day and increase the nutrients, so that we would encourage the buds to be produced.
Here are the plants after less than 4 weeks from seed, looking healthy and vibrant.
Remember to pop back regularly and check how our babies are getting on in the nursery! I will be checking the ph and nutrients, adjusting the lighting so that the leaves don’t get burnt, etc. I won’t get bored – they are fast growing, and there is always something to do.
5 weeks after planting the seedlings, the plants are going berserk with regards to growth. The challenge we have is that the plants need more warmth, in order to produce the buds. Furthermore, we have to stop the plants from growing so rapidly.
The first thing to do is to trim the plants at the base. This is quite simple to do, as the pictures show.
Then we have to apply something to stop the growth.
I found a quick solution to the problem of warmth in my basement. The cold air was being pulled in from outside and through the silver tubes, via a fan which sucks it in
So I simply moved the end of the silver tubing from going outside, and put it inside the basement, where it is now drawing on warm air, courtesy of the central heating boiler. The temperature is now 23 degrees or so, which is perfect.
We bought some StopGrow product, and have sprayed them twice now, which should prevent them from getting too tall.
7 weeks in, and the buds are forming nicely. Time to refresh the water, ensuring the ph is at around 6, and to add the nutrients to bring the EC up to around 20 – 21.
All looking good, although the plants appear to have outgrown the tent!