Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Friday, October 27, 2006

Transplanting and Nourishing Seedlings

This past week was the most heart-wrenching time for me as a medpot grower. I had to decide which ladies to keep, which seedlings to discard. When you pay several hundred dollars for a packet of seeds, it’s not an easy decision.

Luckily, I joined forces with an MS patient who is severely impaired in his mobility. Instead of throwing away the seedlings that were not chosen, I pass them on to him. He is not able to perform the intricate movements necessary to grow a pot plant from seed. His motor coordination is totally off.

I selected the three sativas and three indica ladies that I’ll transplant into my hydroponic buckets, and gave the rest to Nigel, which is the gentleman’s name. He was most grateful and offered me a box of mandarin oranges in return, which I happily accepted. Squirrel loves mandarin oranges and at this time of year the extra vitamin C could only benefit Claire and I, as well.

There are definite steps to follow in transplanting. First, dip your month-old seedlings into a weak solution of Scorpion Juice, in order to ward of harmful insects or pathogens. This product is especially good for horticulturalists who grow from cuttings or seedlings, since it counteracts damping off, which is one of the most insidious diseases that plague young plants.

Two days before you transplant, you should water your seedlings with a one-quarter strength solution of Organic B, if you prefer organics, or B-52, which is the synthetic version of Organic B, but it is much more cost effective.

Fill your hydro buckets or a 3-gallon container with your grow medium so it’s two inches from the top. In my case, this is baked clay pellets, which I find particularly effective.

Water your grow medium with a weak hydroponic fertilizer solution until it’s saturated and drains freely out the bottom of the container. I used to use Iguana Juice Grow, but this batch I decided to grow with EPN SensiPro, for the ease of administering the weekly packets. All you need is a pair of scissors to snip the foil pouch and presto, you’re in business.

I grew tired of having to measure week-by-week and pouring the liquid fert from the 10 Liter containers, having it splash all over my jeans. Now I can enjoy my time in the grow room and still be assured that my ladies are getting all the nutrition they need. EPN Sensi Pro promises to deliver two pounds per light.

If you used soil or peat to grow your seedlings, this is the time to remove the plastic mesh from the peat pot or the soil from the root ball of the seedling. If you grew them in rockwool cubes, you can transplant directly into your grow medium without having to worry about this.

In either case, you have to carefully place your seedling into the prepared hole in your grow medium. Make sure all roots are pointing downwards.

Gently push your grow medium in around the rootball. Make sure that the medium is in contact with the roots.

Water with a quarter strength solution of your fertilizer, as well as Piranha, which has eight species of Trichoderma, which are energetic colonizers that enhance root mass and prevent root rot.

For two or three days place these seedlings under the periphery of your HID light(s). When they look strong enough, you can place them under full light. At this stage of growth, plants love to get 18 hours plus a day of “sunlight,” or use a conversion bulb in your High Pressure Sodium light fixture, to give them light in the blue spectrum.

Now you can put your full strength fertilizer solution in your hydro system. I use an ebb and flow or flood and drain system, so I pre-mix in a bucket and pour the mixture into the reservoir when it has settled and the pH reading is correct.

I also use No Shock to protect my young seedlings from undue stress, as well as Jump Start, to give them a fair fighting chance to establish their roots and grow into large, healthy plants.

If at any time during this process you have allowed your seedlings to be deprived of water, you may want to use Wilt Stop to seal moisture in and stop the wilting process.

One of my six ladies is being groomed to be a motherplant for cloning, so I’ll be sure to stock up on VHO—Very High Output, which I can use as a foliar spray on my motherplant only, or I can put into my reservoir mix to spur vegetative growth in all my ladies.

Once I’m ready to cut branches off this motherplant for cloning, I’ll be sure to use Advanced Nutrients Clone It, which is the best product on the market for this delicate operation.

posted by Wes @ 1:17 PM


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