STRIDERS GUIDE TO MICRO-LEVEL CANNABIS CULTIVATION
[ 1.0 | Introduction ]
Cultivating the herb is the greatest and most rewarding hobby there is and it is a real shame that most governments on this planet has chosen to outlaw this plant, forcing its proponents to live in the shadows and hide all their good work.
I hope that one day, this guide will truly become obsolete because no-one will really need to cultivate marijuana secretly, but until that day I will remain dedicated and do my best to spread knowledge and prove that it is possible to grow this plant stealthily in small confined places where noone will ever notice.
This guide is dedicated to those who have ever gotten into trouble with the law because of the way they decide to live their lives and the plants they choose to cultivate. We have so much to learn from mother nature and I find it utterly ridiculous that we are actually prohibited from inviting this beautiful plant into our bodies. Peace!
[ 2.0 | Where the heck did I put my stash again? (On Choosing A Location) ]
Whether you choose to build a box of your own or you are using something such as a speaker, a wardrobe, a fridge or just a plain old cabinet the actual location of this "grow chamber" inside your house/apartment is a crucial point to achieve 100% stealth cultivation. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the location for your micro box:
- Never ever grow against a wall that you share with a neighbor
- Never ever place your grow box so that it is visible from a window
- If you need to cover a window or keep your blinds closed, you need to rethink your plans; a window that is always covered up attracts attention.
- Make sure your grow box blends in well with the enviroment, make it look natural and not out of place
- Put a discrete lock such as a magnetic lock on your box to prevent people from accidentially opening it out of curiosity
These points are all important to consider in micro growing because even if you make a box that is 100% lightproof and smellproof you will have wasted your time if it looks out of place and attracts attention.
[ 3.0 | Little Shop Of Horrors (On Height Control) ]
Cannabis, particularily Cannabis Sativa and Sativa dominant hybrids can become quite a tall plant and the micro grower usually does not have the luxury of much vertical space. Luckily for us, there are a number of techniques you can employ to control the height of your plants. One of the obvious advantages of growing indoors is that you (yes, you!) are in power of the light and thus in control of the seasons and choose when you want your plants to grow leafs and branch material or flowers.
As you probably know, cannabis plants start producing flowers when they recieve 12 hours or less light per day. Take advantage of this and switch over to 12/12 light regimen at about 6-10 centimeters of height to make sure your plants stay nice and short. You can also start your seeds directly in 12/12 light, which is the extreme version of this and it works just fine but I would recommend at least a week of 18/6 or 24/0 before you induce flowering anyhow. The cons of this method is that you get a smaller yield per plant and that plants take longer time to finnish, but hey, thats life, right?
In addition to controlling height by inducing flowering early you can also train your plant to spread out over a larger area instead of growing vertically. The two most popular methods are called SCROG and LST. SCROG, which stands for SCreen Of Green involves a net that is placed over the plants that you train the plants to. In LST on the other hand, you simply use twist ties or something similair to tie your plants down below the pot as it grows. I wont go more in depth into these two methods here as they are covered in various other threads on the forums, but I encourage you to experiment with various ways of training because it is really a nice tool to have under your belt when cultivating marijuana on a micro level.
[ 4.0 | Growing Pains (On Dimensions and Container Size) ]
If you are using soil, it is generally advisable to have a gallon of growing media for every month of the plants life. So a one month plant would need a 4 liter pot, a 2 month of plant an 8 liter pot and a 3 month old plant would like a 12 liter pot.
These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt however, becuase I know for a fact that it is possible to grow great plants in way smaller containers. I have found that the TEKU15 pots that are 15x15x20 cm and hold 3.6 liters (1 gallon) of growing media are pretty much optimal for micro level cannabis growth, particularily if you are using coco coir as your medium rather than soil. If you have a bit more space or you are going to SCROG and will be vegging for four full weeks I recommend the TEKU25 pots that hold 11 liters and measure 25x25x25 cm.
As for dimensions, you need about 15x15 cm per plant if you are vegging for a week or less and about 30 x 30 cm if you are doing the full four weeks of vegetive growth that has become standard. Thirty by thirty centimeters of space is also the minimum recommended per plant for SCROG. These are just general guidelines however and what you really need to do is to look beyond the numbers and consider your situation, your enviroment, how much you smoke and what strain you are growing.
[ 5.0 | Super Soaker (On Watering) ]
Smaller pots need to be watered more often, larger pots less often. To determine when a pot needs watering, poke your pinky finger into the soil and feel if it is dry or moist. Also lift the pot to see if it is heavy and thus filled with water or light and dry. This takes some practice, but if you combine both of these techniques you are much less likely to over or under water your plants.
If you are growing in coco coir the watering situation is a bit different. You must never allow coco to dry out and since it is virtually impossible to overwater your plants in coco I advice you to be generous with your water if this is your medium of choice. Shoot for about 10%-20% runoff and all should be good.
Another tip I have about watering is to keep a reservoir with water and nutes mixed and ready to use and to stick an aquarium pump in there to airate the water. This way your plants get more oxygen and you are allowing chlorine to evaporate from your tap water.
[ 6.0 | Pizza Time! (On Nutes) ]
Writing this section is particularily tricky since there are so many schools of thought regarding nutrition and because most of us have to make do with whats available, which varies a lot, depending on where you live.
In addition to carbon dioxide, light and hydrodioxide cannabis plants also requires nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to thrive and live well. Also, cannabis plants like small ammounts of various micronutritions such as magnesium among others. This is WHY we give nutes to our plants. There is no magic, no steroids nothing like that, just basic chemicals that our plants would find in nature if grown outdoors. I am telling you this so you can better understand whats written on the label of most nutritions and draw your own conclusions about a particular brand and understand whats in it and what it does.
+ HESI Line:
HESI is cheap and readily available nutritions that give good results for the money
+ Canna Line:
Canna is more expensive than HESI but comes in wonderfull bottles that makes mixing a bliss and also gives a bit better results than HESI in my opinion
+ Atami BCuzz:
BCuzz nutritions are also excellent and are a bit inbetween HESI and canna pricewise. They make some cool bloom boosters that are made particularily for eithier indica or sativa plants.
They have a great reputation but I have yet to try them. Takes pride in their organic nutes.
Another thing I wanna say about nutes is that just cause someone else get awesome resullts with some particular brand of nutes doesnt mean you will too. I say this because Ive read so many times: "OMG!!!111 I need to switch to brand X for sure"
[ 7.0 | Come On Baby Light My Fire - On Lighting ]
Okay, I am going to go ahead and make a bold statement here: with dimensions lower
than 1 square meter, you will probably do a lot better wih LE (CFL) lights than HPS/MH.
I know there are a lot of people out there who are successfully using 150w, 250w
and even 70w HPSes in small cabs, but they need a lot of ventilation and if noise
is an issue for you, you want to get away with as little ventilation as possible.
Not only can you get away with less ventilation with LE lamps, you can also keep
them a whole lot closer to your plants, which is crucial when you dont have a whole
lot of headroom. So you are going with LE, but how much do you need?
First of, forget about the wattage and look at the lumens. You want to have about
3000 lumens (lm) per square foot (30x30cm) which means 12000 lm for a 60x60cm area
and 6000 lm for a 60x30cm area. For the veg phase (18/6) you want LE lights that are
6500k light spectra and for the bloom period (12/12) you want 2700k light spectra.
If you can get them conveniently, I would highly recommend the special horticultural
LE lights by Nlites that can be found on Head-nature. They come in
powerfull 125 and 200w versions in a variety of color tempratures.
There are a lot of low quality LE brands out there that have low lumen output even
though they draw good ammount of power, so watch out for that as well.
[ 8.0 | Bad mothersucker - On Proper Ventilation ]
With stealth grows it is very important to keep the noise down as much as possible
while having a good airflow for your plants. If you make your intake hole twice as
big as your exhaust, you will only need an exhaust fan as there will be negative
pressure inside your box. For this to work well, you must use silicon to make sure
your growbox is completely airtight, which will also help with odour control.
I highly recommend building your exhaust fan into a separate compartment which you
then line with sound isolating material on the inside. If you do this well, this
separate compartment can also be used as a lighttrap.
As for the actual fan your best bet will be to use a larger inline fan together with a
speed controller and keep it as low as possible. Good manufacturers of inline fans are
Ruck and Systemair.
[ 9.0 | Your Feet Smell Lurid - On Odour Control ]
Do yourself a favour and invest in a proper carbon filter. Yes, they are expensive
and larger than we would like them to be, but they are also the only way to effeciently
control smell, and by extension, to sleep well at night. It is true however that it
is POSSIBLE to build your own, but doing so involves a LOT of guesswork. Do you have
the right type of activated carbon? Is it the right pellet size? Is it tightly packed
enough? Perhaps too much? Carbon filters are science and if you dont buy a proper carbon
filter the best you can do is pour some carbon between a pair of different sized netpots
Sugarbear-style and cross your fingers its gonna keep you safe.
[ APPENDIX A | Where to buy stuff? ]
(based in germany, ships worldwide. cheap and recommended.
(based in holland, ships worldwide. awesome discrete shipping.
(based in holland, ships worldwide. never tried.
[ APPENDIX B | A Word About Beans ]
When selecting a strain to grow I think the best thing to do is to figure out what kind of high you like and try to find a strain that matches it. Everything else is secondary, really; height can be controlled, odour can be contained and yield can be
optimized. If you are a real beginner I would shy away from those really expensive
connesieur beans (you know which I mean) and get something cheaper until you got your growroom dialed in. Another thing you may want to keep in mind is that indicas and indica-dominanated hybrids that branch a lot are genereally better for SCROG while spear shaped beyotches with a single dank main cola are better for SOG. But other than that, focus on the experience, taste and aroma you want in the end so you will stay motivated and really enjoy the fruits of your efforts!
THATS ALL FOLKS!