Grow Kits are becoming the main choice for those who need to access cannabis for both recreational and medical reasons. With more and more states moving closer to legalization, the technological advancements are ever-changing to accommodate the new market.
It wasn’t always as easy as it is now to understand the basics of growing from home. When I first started to grow, I had to get all of my equipment at my local hardware store and while I received the obvious looks from the cashier and employees there, the process took far more work than I had originally thought. Once I was set up in my room, I had to take a stab in the dark in order to learn how to grow.
That step wasn’t as easy as I had imagined it would. There was a lot of trial and error, and my only resource was this old hippie who lived down the street. He would talk to me about growing for all of 5 minutes before he went into fantastic stories about following the Grateful Dead around for decades. As much as that was fun, that didn’t get me where I needed to be. From there, the process was time-consuming and I lost a lot before I actually gained anything.
This is where grow kits are gaining in popularity. For many, the effort it takes to grow is primarily in the setup of whatever room you are looking to turn into your grow space. From there, it’s simply “watch, tend, and wait.”
Basics For Grow Kits
Grow Kits are the easiest way to learn how to grow.
Well, now that the country is moving closer to becoming more friendly towards the green space, the concept of all-in-one grow kits are becoming more and more popular.
This is why we have this list. We compiled the best tips for growing in the safety of your home. We cover everything.
Grow lights are one of the most important key pieces for growing at home. How else will your plants receive the proper lighting to grow to their fullest potential? Depending on how you would like to grow cannabis from home, there is a multitude of options! We put together a list to help you determine what lights best fit your needs!
Types of Grow Lights
In order to have the best growing option for your home, you need to find the right grow light! Throughout the years, when people grew cannabis at home, there weren’t too many options. For starters, cannabis was still deemed illegal, and secondly, the technology involved wasn’t nearly as innovative as today.
Today we typically separate lights into two categories: HPS and LED
HPS Grow Lights
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HPS lights (High-Pressure Sodium) are what many uses to grow. This has been the more traditional method. Back in the 1970s a few light aficionados figured out that these lights were great for growing and have been a staple in home grow kits since. They are affordable and an effective light source for growing cannabis. One major downside is the amount of energy they take up. These lights can be a costly addition to your energy bill, but if you’re like most who can only grow a certain number legally, then you won’t see much of a drastic difference.
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LED lights are some of the most popular lights to use. While the traditional methods are still completely relevant, many are finding that switching to LED lights for their grow can often cut down on their electricity bill. LED lights are also more “incognito”. Where HPS lights have a clear giveaway in any house, LED lights do not typically have that common “yellowing” feature. One of the drawbacks of using LED lights is the initial upstart cost. While it will eventually save you on your electric bill, the cost might be a little concerning for those who are looking to begin.
It really comes down to what you are looking to spend. A beginner might not necessarily want to spend the most money upfront. This is completely understandable. For someone who is looking to take the next step, we would suggest using LED lights.
Again, it comes down to where you are starting.
Hot Soil & Top Soil
When getting started, you need to use the best soil. One of the major factors for beginners is their use of these products. The soil typically comes in two different verities: Hot Soil and Top Soil.
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Hot Soil Basics
Hot soil sits at the bottom of your planting pot. This is where your plants receive the most nutrients. When a seed begins to sprout, the roots will instinctively work down towards these areas. That being said, the plant needs to have the richest most nutritional soil to be the best.
In a natural ecosystem, the best place to plant crops is at the base of valleys. All the sediment and nutrients run down the steep slopes of the mountains and into the valleys. This is where agriculture started and this is the same method that we use today. Fortunately, in our time of technological advancements, we are able to harness the same nutritional values that our ancestors used! Once you get your soil ready, it will be time to plant.
Topsoil is where you plant your seeds. It’s all in the name. Place this soil on TOP of the hot soil. This is also where you will be planting your first seeds! Having the right topsoil makes a big difference.
For the best topsoil, we suggest using Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil.
Miracle Grow And “Bud Boosters”
Many beginners make the mistake of using Miracle Grow and Nutrients Enhancers. We strongly recommend you DO NOT use these when you are learning the ropes. Here’s why:
Miracle Grow is great for your outdoor plants. From grass to flowers, this stuff has everything necessary to make a garden look nice. Unfortunately, the same nutrients that are enhanced through Miracle Grow are not as compatible with cannabis as many would think. Using this in replacement of more effective methods has the potential to be devastating to first-time growers.
Nutrient additives – you’ve seen them at the store. They swear to guarantee your grow will be bigger than ever. Again, this is something that you do not want to get roped into. While it may seem like a good idea to give your plants an extra “boost”, the results can be more harmful. For starters, the core of growing cannabis correctly starts with traditional methods. Once you learn the method, you can make minor changes to how you want the process to go. Secondly, adding the nutrients typically means you have to cut back on something else. This is usually the water that your plants need. In order for you to add these boosters, you need to cut back on water or else you will drown the plants.
These reasons are why we always suggest simply using great Hot Soil. They have everything you need and will not mess up the learning process.
The Grow Process: Germination
Germinating seeds is the very first step (aside from obtaining them) to growing at home. It can also be a nice practice of patience. Before you get to the big beefy buds that you are looking for, you need to start small. How small? Well, how about the size of a seed?
Germination helps your seeds sprout the necessary roots to gain nutrients. By utilizing this method, you will be able to grow bountiful crops in no time.
There are a number of ways a person can germinate their seeds. The most common way to germinate is by keeping them in a glass of room temperature water.
Germinating Seeds In A Glass Of Water
There are many different approaches, but I feel the above approach works well as the above images are taken from a grow using our kit. When setting up your grow to make sure you use the best possible quality of seed. Always purchase from a reputable source and keep the strain of seed simple for your first grow.
Our recommendation is to grow an auto blooming and high-yield/low maintenance seeds like Northern Lights (For the below grow we are using a good quality Northern Lights seed!)
Germinating these seeds typically take 2-10 days. Depending on the seeds and the strains, this could even take longer.
The first time I germinated seeds I had results within 2 days. The second time that I tried this, I waited over a week. Both times I used the glass of water method and despite the wait times between each one, I was satisfied with the results.
All you need to do is simply take a regular glass from your kitchen, fill it with room temperature water and let it sit in a warm (but dark) place until you see the tail of the seed start poking out.
Once that is finished you can take the seed and place them in your rapid rooter.
Planting Your Seed In Rapid Rooter
Planting your newly sprouted seeds is a relatively simple task. You have fully germinated them, meaning their tail is now prominent and they are ready to be planted.
There are a number of ways to do this process – each one is right. For beginners, we have put together a list of steps to ensure that your seeds are grown with the best possible care. This article is meant for growers who are just starting and learning the ropes! Our kits provide our own rapid rooters.
Planting Seeds Properly Step 1. Letting the rapid rooter sit in water. Time: Aprx 2-24 Hours
I know this seems weird but there is no general consensus on letting your rooter soak for longer periods of time. I have tried it both ways and have not necessarily seen a decline in results whichever way I choose. You can do either one. Simply leave your rooters in a bowl of water to soak them. Once you decide that they are ready, take them out.
Step 2: Inserting The Seed
Some people simply put the seed – tail down and call it a day. There is a slight technique that I learned with using the rooters. I take a chopstick or a cleaned pen and insert it into the hole to widen it. This gives you the right depth for the seed without risking damaging the tail by pushing it in.
Once the seed is gently placed into the rooter, you’re almost done. I take my grow dome. filled it with about half an inch of water, then placed my rooter inside.
Optimal Environment for Grow Kits:
I keep my grow kit at approximately 80 degrees. I use a standard HPS light to keep them warm during the colder parts of the night. Humidity levels inside the grow dome rely on how much water is still in the trey. Make sure it doesn’t dry out.
I keep my HPS light on for 24 hours – until the seeds sprout through the top. Then it’s time for moving them to the bigger pot.
The vegetative stage is the next step after your seeds sprouted and you have replanted them into their grow pots. When your plants have gotten past the point of germination and sprouting your ready for this next phase.
What Is The Vegetative Stage?
After you have nurtured your little plants to the point where they are ready, your plants will be at the point where you need to make them big and strong. They have been nurtured and cared for and are ready to start growing! You’ve made it past the conception stage and they need to grow big and strong! At this stage, you will notice that they have leaves starting to really push out and the stem itself is growing rather thick.
The Vegetative Stage: Tips and Tricks
Growers have the option to grow these plants for as long or as short as they want. Well, like most growers, they want the biggest and best buds to produce. So the better option would be to go for the longer side. Vegetative takes approximately 4-8 weeks to fulfill. Stay closer to the 8-week mark.
Most growers at this stage change up their light times. While it was good to continuously have a light on your seedling, now the plants need to readjust to normal light cycles. 18 hours on and 6 hours off is the standard light times for this cycle.
Heat and Humidity Levels
Vegetative plants like non-fluctuating and moderate temperatures. Room temp. is fine. A good rule of thumb is to keep your temps between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Issues With Grow
While these are good rules to follow, you may run into issues. Some of the most prominent ones are the following:
Strange coloring and spots: It’s pretty common for a few of your older leaves to start changing a different color. That’s just the process of life. The older parts of the plants will start to die sooner than the newer parts. It’s also common for your leaves to turn yellow a couple of weeks before harvest time. With that out of the way, the majority of your plant should still look green.
Multiple Leaves Falling Off In A Short Amount Of Time: This is a clear indicator that something is wrong. There are a number of issues that go along with this. Make sure to check the temps and humidity as well as testing your PH.
Rotten Or Awful Smell: If things are smelling rotten, there could be a number of issues as well. From stem rot to black mold, make sure your plants are looking healthy. With black mold, make sure to get rid of it as fast as possible, or else it has the potential to spread to the rest of the plant. If you don’t catch it in time, you have the potential to lose everything.
Bugs/Mites: Spraying NEEM Oil is one of the most organic ways to remove pests from your grow. If you catch them early and remove them then you might not even need to use them at all.
The Flowering Stage And How To Get The Most From Your Grow
What To Expect During the 1st-3rd Week:
When you are ready to begin the flowering stage, the first step is a pretty simple one. Instead of keeping your lights on for 18 hours and 6 hours off will now make a shift.
The real-world environment is roughly 12 hours on and 12 hours off. When you change the grow light cycle to this you are telling your plant “alright it’s time to grow buds now”.
While many think that it’s the 12 hours or less of actual light that produces the buds, it’s actually the 12 hours of darkness that give your plant the idea that it’s time to flower. If the light is on the plant during the 12 hours of darkness, that could cause serious problems such as reverting back to the vegetative stage.
Also, during this time your plant will grow exponentially. Typically it has the potential to double in size. Get ready.
Budlets will begin to form. Your plant will start to showcase its buds and indicate to you, the grower, that you either have a female plant getting ready to fully bloom OR that your seed seller shafted you and sent you a bunch of male plants. Female plants will have white pestles that will start to show at this time if it’s a male plant then it will showcase a number of pollen sacks.
If it’s a female, great news! From here, your plant will be a little bit more temperamental as to the conditions you have made for its environment to grow.
At this stage, your buds will start to grow bigger. They’ll fatten and ripen up. This is when your plants will start to say “hey, it’s time for me to grow as big as I can.” Everything wants to grow in this cycle. Remember to keep your plants healthy by monitoring and checking for yellow leaves, dead leaves mites, and – most importantly MOLD.
At this stage, the plant will no longer grow new leaves and stems. It has completely cycled out of vegetative and is in a full bloom cycle. Your plant should be healthy and green.
This stage is one of the most crucial for caring for your plant. It is highly susceptible to a low PH balance so make sure you check on that regularly. If you notice your leaves turning yellow it can typically mean that either the plant is too close to the lights or that there is a nutrient deficiency.
This is the final stretch for your plants before harvesting. This is the most crucial stage of keeping up with the needs and wants of your plants. You’re going to notice that your buds are super fat and are growing trichomes that are milky white and will eventually turn amber.
At this stage, you are looking over your plant to make sure there is no bud rot or mold, and mites. Many growers will do what is often called a “final flush” where, simply using tap water, they will run the process through the plant.
Your plants are going to smell… a lot. It’s best to use the carbon filter to pull the odor out of the tent and filter it. It can be overpowering depending on the strain. When the trichomes on your plant start to amber, then it’s time to harvest!
Grow Kits Are Perfect For First Time Growers
While many stick to more traditional routes, many first time growers are looking to learn with as few issues as possible. This is why grow kits are becoming a hot new trend for both recreational and medical growers.
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