Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Slender Sativas, Bushy Indicas, September Surges

Remember large record albums? Record album photography was an art form and had a greater potential to grab the public’s imagination than today’s tiny (by comparison) CD covers.

I came across an old card that my daughter, Squirrel, made for my birthday four years ago, when she was barely five years old. I placed it in front of a great picture book, called “Hippie,” and other relics from the past, notably the CD of “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac, which must be the best ever album of all times. I find myself listening to it even today.

September seems to be the time for new beginnings, as kids return to school and people come back from their summer vacations. There is a high energy in the air, and my grow room is no exception. I am starting my new crop of medicine from seed, under fluorescent lights. First, I cleaned the entire room with Wipe Out to get rid of lingering pathogens, if any, from the last crop.

If you have fifteen or twenty marijuana seeds from a reputable seed company, chances are that some are going to turn out to be male, there will also be some hermaphrodites, and about 6 or 7 will be female cannabis plants, the most potent of the three. It is a process of selection, and it starts way before your seeds arrive in a plain brown envelope.

First, you must decide between sativa and indica. Sativa has thinner leaves and grows much taller, a characteristic not always desirable in basement grow rooms. Indica has broader leaves and grows bushier, but it sometimes gives you an incapacitating high, which isn’t exactly what you’re looking for in medicinal marijuana.

I ordered half-and-half, a hybrid sativa that only grows to five, six feet and a lighter indica, which won’t lay you out for the rest of the afternoon. I shied away from cloning or taking cuttings, since that is one of the best ways to perpetuate plant diseases and possible pests. But I promised myself that if I grow a really powerful “lady” this time, I will try to clone it for posterity. And use Advance Nutrients Clone It, since friends of mine had such great results with it.

I soak my seeds overnight, then I place them between wet paper towels and keep them in a dark place until they germinate. You have to keep them warm since this process happens best with temperatures around 75-80º F.

Once the initial shoot breaks through the skin of the seed, you may want to place the seeds very carefully in wet rockwool cubes and place them in a plastic tray with an airtight, transparent plastic cover. This is also sometimes called a humidity tent. To keep them warm, you may use a heating pad underneath and a fluorescent grow light above.

Tiny seedlings like these need 18 hours of light per day, but not high intensity yet. Advanced Nutrients makes several products to prevent damping off at this stage. This is usually caused by overwatering. The product No Shock was designed to help these tiny seedlings survive this very tender stage.

I also use JumpStart at the seedling stage to help my plants develop stronger roots. It’s never too early to treat them with Scorpion Juice, to inoculate them against all sorts of pathogens.

Remove the plastic cover and transplant the seedlings, rockwool cubes and all, into your grow medium. In my case, that is baked clay pellets. The fifteen, twenty seedlings can go into one big tray of pellets, with nutrient solution flooding and draining the medium periodically.

Since I grow organically, this is when my seedlings first get a taste of Iguana Juice Grow. They are also treated with the root enhancers Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice. These organic Advanced Nutrients products have had miraculous results on my medpot plants in the past, and I'm sure they'll continue to do so in the future.

For the first two to three weeks the fluorescent light is enough, then you can put the tray under the HID light of your choice. Just remember, blue light encourages female plants, while red favors male ones. Also, supposedly a higher nitrogen level and a lower potassium level for the first few weeks encourages females.

A few more weeks and it comes time for the selection process, when the weaklings are rejected and the strong females are positioned in hydroponic buckets to grow into mature plants, providing Claire and I with our most potent and helpful medicine.

posted by Wes @ 10:00 PM

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