Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Friday, May 11, 2007

Curing in Candy Jars, Preventing Damping Off

While my sinsemilla buds and branches are drying, I am looking for large glass containers with lids to cure my medpot once the drying process is over. The humungous Connoisseur buds are much larger and they won’t fit into the curing containers I used for my last harvest.

I found the answer in of all places, our local candy shop. Squirrel wanted some candy, so she dragged me in there, but I’m very glad she did. The large display jars for the various sweets are just the right size for my colossal buds. I immediately offered cash to the store’s owner for 30 jars.

“I could sell them to you, but then what would I do with my candy,” was his answer. Instead, he gave me the phone number of his supplier, who happened to be at a nearby address. I phoned and rushed over. Presto, after a credit card transaction, I had my thirty “candy” jars ready for curing my pot.

While light is essential for growing plants, during drying and curing it helps the plant deteriorate and lose potency. I noticed that my prescription medications now come in dark green plastic containers for much the same reason.

I’ve built some shelves for my glass jars, but they won’t hold the 30 larger jars that I just bought, so it’s back to the drawing board. The shelves line one of the walls of the large, walk in closet where the drying is taking place in the dark.

I bought some wider shelves with enough space to fit the new jars and assembled the unit outside the closet so I wouldn’t interfere with the drying process. Since for curing cannabis it helps to have a sterile environment, I wiped the new shelves and the walls of the closet with Advanced Nutrients Wipe Out.

I also flushed my six bucket ebb and flow (flood and drain) hydroponic system again and again with fresh water, then I drained my reservoir completely and I wiped all my tanks and buckets and the walls of my grow room with Wipe Out.

It is time to wash my baked clay pebbles before planting the next batch of medicinal marijuana. Luckily, I use SensiZym. The over eighty live enzymes in this product enjoy munching on plant debris in my grow medium, converting them to absorbable nutrients for my plants.

But the pebbles still have to be washed and scrubbed thoroughly with warm water. Never use any chemical detergent to clean your grow medium, unless you want your next crop to taste like soap.

Harvest is also the time for planting new seeds, and I’ve done just that, in one inch rockwool cubes, under a plastic humidity cover in a tray under fluorescent grow tubes. I usually plant around 15 seeds, which with attrition and sex selection eventually whittle down to my six sinsemilla ladies.

At this point the rockwool cubes in the incubator are just soaked in distilled water, but as soon as the seeds germinate, they will be dipped into a half strength solution of my basic fert, Sensi Grow A & B, as well as B52 to help relieve stress.

Once the seeds germinate and the tiny seedlings grow roots, they one inch rockwool cube housing the seedling can be dipped into a solution of No Shock. Mix 10 mL (2 tsp) of No Shock into a Litre of water. Later, I place the one inch cube into a pre-dug hole in your grow medium very carefully, making sure that no delicate root filaments are damaged in the process.

I also pre-soak my rooting media with Jump Start, in order to stimulate root growth. I mix 1-2 mL per Litre of water. This can also be used as a foliar spray, before initial roots have developed. However, if you’re using it as a foliar spray, it should be mixed at a ratio of 30 mL per Litre.

If by any chance my seeds refuse to germinate in the rockwool cubes, I carefully dig them out and remove them with tweezers. My backup system is the tried and true wet paper towel method. You place the seeds in between two wet paper towels and put in a warm, dark place.

Stubborn seeds that have refused to germinate in rockwool most often than not will sprout tiny shoots in the wet paper towels. Of course, extra care should be taken in placing these tiny shoots back into the pre-drilled hole in the rockwool cubes for further incubation.

Never, under any circumstances, allow your tiny seedlings to dry out. On the other hand, don’t make them so wet that Damping Off will result. According to one of the foremost authorities on cannabis diseases, J. M. McPartland, most damping off is caused by a Pythium fungi, but Rhizoctonia, Botrytis, and Fusarium species could also be responsible.

Damping off kills seeds in soil or in any grow medium infected by the fungus. It also kills seedlings shortly after they emerge from the grow medium. The fungi usually attack seedling stems at the soil line. A brown, watery soft rot results, causing the plants to topple over.

Once my seedlings have four leaves in addition to the two cotyledon leaves, it will be time to transplant them into my grow medium, i.e. baked clay pebbles, under my 600W High Pressure Sodium lamp with a blue spectrum conversion bulb.

At that time my pre-mixed nutrient solution, featuring Sensi Grow A & B as my base nutrient, will be poured into my deep, 72 Liter reservoir, and the pumps will start to flood my buckets four times per 16-hour light period.

Barricade will be featured prominently in my nutrient solution, in order to allow its Potassium Silicate structure to strengthen the cell walls of my cannabis, enabling the plants to fight off and prevent many insect and pathogen attacks.

Also, every three weeks my seedlings will be sprayed with a mild solution of Scorpion Juice, which will impart an induced systemic resistance to many pests and pathogens.

posted by Wes @ 7:39 AM


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