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The T8 and the T5 fixtures use electronic ballasts that run cooler and cycle electricity faster so lights do not flicker. Seedling Growth Seed germination is induced with moisture, heat, and air which activate hormones within the seed. Attached ballasts are connected to the mogul socket and bulb. Seeds do not need any extra hormones to germinate. Pre-flowering Cannabis grown from seed grows pre-flowers after the fourth week of vegetative growth. A small, white rootlet often emerges from strong viable seeds. Days Peat pellets or root cubes both seedlings and clones may be transplanted in two to three weeks or when the roots show through the sides.

If seeds came in a see-through bag, do not open it. Call or e-mail the seller immediately to explain the problem. If one or a few are crushed, return all seeds for replacement. If you are not going to plant the seeds immediately, remove them and keep them from the original package. Keep seeds dry or they might start to germinate.

Place them in a small dark vial or film canister with a dry packet of silicone, the kind you find in electronics packages. Label the crush-proof container before you place the seeds inside.

Storing Seeds Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place. See Receiv- ing Seeds, page Make sure to label containers! Some seeds will remain viable for five years or longer when stored properly.

When 50 percent of the stored seeds do not germinate, the average storage life is over. But seeds a year old or older often take longer to sprout and have a lower rate of germination. Seedlings During seedling growth, the root system grows rapidly while green aboveground growth is slow. Water and heat are critical at this point of development. The new, fragile root system is very small and requires a small but constant supply of water and warmth.

Too much water will drown roots, often leading to root rot and damping-off rotting at the soil line. Lack of water will cause the developing root system to dry up.

As the seedlings mature, some will grow faster, stronger, and appear healthier in general. A little heat now will help nurture small seed- lings to a strong start. Other seeds will sprout slowly and be weak and leggy. Most growers cull sickly, weak plants during the third to fifth week of growth, and focus attention on the remaining strong survivors. Use heating cables or mat to raise the temperature of the growing medium.

If you have just a few seedlings, you may want to save weak, slow-growing plants. Seedlings need at least 16 hours Baby such small plants oflight daily. Many growers give along and let them seedlings hours oflight grow longer until they per day so they will grow as fast catch up with the as possible. Seedlings that receive others before moving 16 hours oflight and 8 hours of them into the next darkness tend to grow more stage of growth.

Seedlings require less intense light now and grow well under fluores- cent tubes or compact fluorescent lamps CFLs for the first two to three weeks. Keep fluorescent lamps two to six inches above seedlings and CFLs inches cm above foliage.

Growers prefer metal halides because the color spectrum ofHP sodium lamps tends to make seedlings stretch between branch internodes. Keep HIDs three to four feet cm above seedlings for best growth. The seedling stage is over when rapid foliage growth starts. Rapid growth above ground is the begin- ning of the vegetative growth stage. Plants need more room to grow; transplanting into a larger container hastens development. Transplanting Seedlings If you are growing a few seedlings, they are easier to maintain in bigger containers.

This example shows how to transplant a small seedling grown in a rockwool cube into a 4-inch 12 cm container full of potting soil. Rockwool, Oasis, o Here is the same seedling near the end of the seedling growth peat pots, etc. It is very important to cover them when transplanting. If the cube is left uncovered, roots tend to stay in the root cube and not grow into the soil. Vegetative growth is maintained in most strains with hours oflight daily.

Plants grow faster when they receive more hours oflight. Marijuana will continue vegetative growth a year or longer theoretically forever as long as it receives hours oflight every day.

During the vegetative stage, green leafy growth is rapid. Healthy plants will grow an inch or more daily. Strong, fast vegetative growth is essential for a heavy harvest. Plants that are stunted now should not be induced to flower because they will yield much less.

Hold them back until they are stronger. Proper levels of nutrients are important for fast-growing vegetative plants. Make sure you are following the manufacturer's recommended dosage when fertilizing. Some plants can take much more fertilizer than others. In general pure sativa and sativa-dominant strains require less fertilizer. The photo at left is a good example of a Haze strain that received very littie fertilizer and suffered from overfertiliza- tion.

One of the best ways to learn a strain's fertilizer tolerance is to experiment so that you will know exactly how much fertilizer this specific strain needs. In general pure indica and indica-dominant strains can take higher doses of fertilizer. Check with seed sellers and Internet forums to learn more about which strains can take high and low doses of fertilizers. Check Marijuana Horticul- ture: When to Induce Flowering After four to five weeks of vegetative growth, plants grow early male or female pre-flowers.

Once these pre-flowers appear, plants are ready to enter the flowering growth stage. Indoors you can control the life cycle of cannabis with light and dark. This light and dark cycle is called the photoperiod. Cannabis stays in the vegetative growth stage as long as it receives hours oflight. Flowering is induced with 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours oflight per day.

The vegetative growth stage is only two to four weeks long in most strains when grown indoors. Plants should be from inches cm at the end of vegetative growth. If they are taller, artificial light will not be able to penetrate the foliage to the bottom. Plants will need to be flushed at the end of the vegetative growth stage and possibly once in between after three weeks.

I like to flush plants with three times the amount of weak fertilizer solution as the amount of soil or soilless mix in the container. This will flush or leach out all the extra built up toxic fertilizer salts in the growing medium.

Mother plants see Chapter 7 enjoy a longer life from six months and occasionally as long as several years. Once a plant's sex is determined at pre-flowering, it can become a mother, clone, or breeding male.

However, intersex aka hermaphrodite or bisexual plants with both male and female flowers can also occur. See Intersex or Hermaphrodite Flowers in Chapter 6: Flowering for more information. Pre-flowers are the first sign of a plant's sex. The pre-flowers grow at branch internodes just Male behind the leaf spur or stipule about the fourth week of vegetative growth, when the plant is six to eight weeks old.

This is the point of sexual maturity, the first sign a plant is preparing for flowering-the next stage in life. You can see pre-flowers with the naked eye, but a lOx to 30x magnifier will make viewing easier. You can accurately determine plant sex after eight weeks. Using this method, you can distinguish sex before inducing flowering. Pre-flowering Sl. Male Pre-flowering Male pre-flowers are normally visible when plants are six to eight weeks old, after the fourth week of vegetative growth.

The pre-flowers emerge behind the stipule at the fourth to fifth branch internodes and generally do not turn into full flowers. The little nub is a male pre-flower starting to grow. Early male flowers are easy to spot with the naked eye. They are located at branch internodes. Male pollen sacks hang like little balls.

Marijauna Grow Basics - Jorge Cervantes

Each pollen sac has enough pollen to pollinate all the females in the average grow room. Remove and destroy male plants grown from seed as soon as you can verify male pre-flowers.

Removing male plants now will virtually ensure an all-female crop of sinsemilla. Anotherview of the little nub that will turn into a male flower. Female Pre-flowering Female calyx formation initiates about the fourth week of vegetative growth when they develop female pre-flowers. The appearance of pre-flowers does not depend upon photoperiod. It occurs when a plant is old enough to show signs of sexual maturity, about six to eight weeks from seed germination.

The pre-flowers emerge behind the stipule at the fourth to fifth branch internodes. A pre-flower looks like a regular female flower; most have a pair of white fuzzy pistils. Pistils normally emerge after the light green seed bract part of the pre-flower has formed. Wait until pistils have formed to ensure the plant is a female and not a male.

The pre-flowering stage lasts from one to two weeks. Always wait to induce flowering until after pre-flowers appear. Inducing flowering with 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours oflight before pre-flowers develop will stress the plant.

This stress could cause odd growth, and plants might grow into hermaph- rodites. Inducing flowering before pre-flowers form will not speed flowering. Flowering will occur about the same time as if you had waited for pre-flowers to show!

Vegetative seedlings are now ready to start flowering.

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Male and female flowers will form and are easy to see. This garden is full of females that have been flowering for three weeks. Marijuana is a dioecious plant, being either male pollen-producing or female ovule- and seed-producing. Male plant with pollen- Female plant with unfertilized Intersex plant with both male producing flowers pollen-producing flowers and female flowers. In nature, cannabis flowers in the fall, after the long days of summer. The long nights and short days of autumn signal marijuana to start flowering.

Plants are normally either male or female. Growth patterns and chemistry change during flowe ring: Nutrient needs change as growth stages change. Plants focus on flower production rather than vegetative growth. Green leafy growth, requiring much nitrogen, slows. Phosphorus and potassium uptake increase to promote floral formation. Shortly before the flowering stage, growers change to a "super bloom" fertilizer formula with less nitrogen and more potassium and phospho- rus.

Always flush or leach soil with water two to three days before changing to the flowering fertilizer. When flowers are full of ripe, mature seeds, the female will die, having successfully completed her life cycle.

The male com- pletes his life cycle and dies after producing and dispersing all his pollen into the wind, in search of receptive female pistils. Induce flowering indoors by giving plants more hours of total darkness and fewer hours oflight. Give cannabis 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours oflight to induce visible signs of flowering in two weeks or less.

This program is effective in all but the latest-blooming pure sativa strains. Flowering Often, when using low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus and potassium bloom formulas, large older leaves yellow or turn purple during flowering. Such fertilizers make buds swell with resinous growth.

Water intake of flowering plants is usually somewhat less than during the vegetative stage. Adequate water during flowering is important for plants to carryon internal chemistry and resin production. Withholding water to "stress" a plant will actually stunt growth and diminish yield. Once the sex of the plant is guaranteed, males are almost always harvested before they shed pollen, and females are coaxed into higher yields.

Once the photoperiod is set, disrupting it will cause plants to suffer stress. If they suffer enough stress, hermaphrodite tendencies increase. Some male plants flower under long days and short nights as well, but these generally produce fewer flowers. Once male calyxes show, pollen develops quickly and can disperse within a very short time. There is always a flower sack that opens early and sheds pollen, often within 24 hours or less! To avoid pollination problems, remove males as soon as they are distinguished.

If growing male plants, always isolate them from females, to prevent accidental Early male flowers Open male flowers that pollination.

This male was allowed to mature completely and disperse its pollen. When you decide to let male plants mature to shed pollen on receptive females, make sure to keep the male in another room and as far as possible from female plants that you do not want pollinated. Female Flowering Female cannabis is prized for heavy, potent resin production and weighty flower yield.

Ideal female plants grow squat and bushy with branches close together on the stem and dense foliage on branches. In most strains, the first signs of female flowers appear one to three weeks after inducing flowering with the Blue Mistic hour photoperiod. Female flowers initially appear near the top of the terminal bud and gradually develop on lower branches starting at the tips and moving downward. Flowers have two small one- quarter- to one-half-inch mm fuzzy white hairs called "pistils" that form a V.

The set of pistils is attached at the base to an ovule, which is contained in a light-green pod called a "calyx. A cluster of buds is often called a "top" or "cola. Buds put on much of their harvest weight as they swell during the last two or three weeks of growth. Pure sativas, including Thai varieties, can flower for four months or longer!

Once the ovule has been fertilized by male pollen, rapid Power Plant calyx formation and resin production slow, and seed growth starts.

Sinsemilla Flowering Sinsemilla pronounced sin. Sinsemilla is the word that describes flowering female cannabis tops that have not been fertilized by male pollen. Highly prized sinsemilla buds are the most potent part of any strain, with a proportionately large volume ofTHC per flower bud. When females' flowering is at their peak, pistils swell and swell. Soon they Trichome Burmese 3 change in color, most often from Technologies white to amber and, eventually, to reddish-brown.

Sinsemilla is all smoke with no seeds! During six to ten weeks of flowering, calyxes develop and swell along the stem, yielding more high-quality buds than pollinated, seeded flowers. Make any female marijuana sinsemilla by removing male plants as soon as they are identi- fied. Removing males virtually guarantees that male pollen will not fertilize female pistils, but sometimes premature male flowers shed a few early grains of pollen.

Sometimes an intersex hermaphrodite with a few male flowers will sprout on a predominately female plant. Pollen dispersed from wild or cultivated male cannabis plants could also be floating in the air.

Intersex or Hermaphrodite Flowers Intersex or hermaphrodite flowers may occur, sometimes near the end of the blooming cycle, though occasionally they appear earlier. Plants that flower past peak potency are most prone to show intersex flowers.

Intersex plants are more common in some strains. A clone is a branch tip cut from a female mother marijuana plant that has been planted and has grown roots.

Female clones can be induced to flower as soon as they have a strong root system and are inches lS-4S cm tall. When planted from seed, crops take four to five months to mature. And unless you planted feminized seed See Chapter 3: Seeds and Germination about half of the plants will be undesirable males.

You must grow them yourself or get them from a grower or medical marijuana cooperative.

Induce clones to flower when they are inches lS-4S cm tall to make most efficient use of HID light. Short crops of clones in small containers are much easier to move and maintain than big plants in big containers. Well-illuminated, strong clones grow fast and have less chance of being affected by pests and diseases. Fast-growing clones develop more quickly than spider mites can reproduce. By the time a spider mite infestation is noticed and sprayed, the plants are a few weeks from harvest. Clones are also easy to submerge in a miticide when small.

Mother Plants Any plant can be cloned, regardless of age or growth stage. Take clones from mother plants that are at least two months old. Plants cloned before they are two months old may develop unevenly and grow slowly. Clones taken from flowering plants root quickly but require a month or longer to revert back to vegetative growth. Such rejuvenated clones occasionally flower prematurely, and buds are more prone to pests and diseases.

Clones and Mother Plants Keep several vegetative mother plants for a consistent source of cloning stock. Start new mothers from seed every year. Give mother plants hours oflight per day to maintain fast growth. For best results, give mothers about ten percent less nitrogen, because less nitrogen promotes rooting in clones.

A female plant will reproduce percent females, all exactly like the mother. When grown in the exact same environment, clones from the same mother look alike. But the same clones subjected to distinct environments in different grow rooms will often look different. Get Ready to Take Clones Clones go through an enormous transformation when they change from a severed growing tip to a rooted plant, their entire chemistry changes.

The stem that once grew leaves must now grow roots to survive. Clones are attheir most vulnerable point in life when they are cut from the mother and forced to grow roots. While rooting, clones require a minimum of nitrogen and increased levels of phosphorus to promote root growth. Avoid spraying during rooting because it creates extra stress.

With good instruction and a little experience, you can achieve a consistent percent clone survival rate. Large cuttings with large stems grow roots slower than small clones with small stems, and are more prone to diseases. Thin-stemmed small clones with few leaves root faster than big leafy cuttings because there are no roots to absorb water and supply moisture to foliage.

A small amount ofleaf space is all that is necessary to supply enough energy for root growth. Some cuttings may wilt but regain rigidity in a few days. Older leaves may turn light greenj growth slows as nitrogen is used and carbohy- drates build.

Carbohydrate and rooting hormonal content is highest in lower, older, more mature branches. A rigid branch that folds over quickly when bent is a good sign of high carbohydrate content. Always make sure there is plenty of air in the rooting medium to stimulate root growth.

Do not overwater clones. Aeroponic rooting medium P clone gardens evenly moist. Do not normally do best let it get soggy. Any with apH of Disinfect all tools and working surfaces to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other diseases already present. Use sharp scissors, razor, or razor blade dipped in alcohol, vinegar, or bleach five to ten percent solution. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand. Get all cloning supplies ready before you start to take clones.

Make sure to have all cloning supplies within arm's reach- rooting cubes, hormone, razor or scissors, humidity dome, etc. There are many different "clone machines" available such as this aeroponic model that make cloning quick and easy. Rooting Mediums Set cut stems in rockwool,Jiffy peat , Oasis root cubes, or fine soilless mix.

All cubes are convenient and easy to trans- plant. Some growers report rockwool cubes stay too wet to make clones. Other growers love them. You can also use small containers or nursery flats full of coarse washed sand, fine vermiculite, soilless Jiffy pot mix, or, if nothing else is available, fine potting soil.

Fill rockwool tray with water, pH The growing medium must drain very well to withstand heavy leaching without becoming waterlogged. Rooting Hormones Rooting hormones help initiate roots and are available in liquid, gel, or powder form. Use only products that are approved for human consumption and use before expiration date. As soon as cuttings are taken, clones start sending natural rooting hormones to the wound and arrive in full force in about a week.

The artificial rooting hormone fills the need until natural hormones take over. If exceeded in concentration or duration, IBA applications impair root formation. Liquid rooting hormones Gels are easyto use and Powdered rooting penetrate stems evenly and practical. Gels keep root- hormones do not stick to are the most versatile and inducing hormones evenly stems evenly, penetrate consistent.

They can distributed along the poorly, encourage uneven root be mixed in subterranean stem. Insoluble growth, and yield a lower different gels hold and stay with the survival rate. Clones root fastest and strongest with 24 hours of fluorescent light. Keep the lamps two to six inches 5- 15 cm above clones. Set clones on a heating mat or cables to control the rooting medium temperature. Humidity levels of95 to percentthe first two days and gradually reduced to 85 percent over the next seven days.

Mist cuttings with water to slow moisture loss through leaves and cool foliage. Afogger in the cloning room will ensure humidity stays above 95 percent. No tugging on clones to see if they are rooted. Roots should be visible through rooting cubes in one to three weeks. No fertilizer on clones or seedlings the first week or two of growth. Do not take clones from a sick pest- or disease- infested or flowering mother. Ifthe strain isdifficult to clone, flush the soil with two gallons 8 L of water for each gallon 4 L of soil every day for aweek before taking clones to wash nitrogen from the plant and soil.

Take clones from lower rigid branches. Drainage must be good. Do not add fertilizer. When cutting, make the slice halfway between the sets of nodes. The new clones should be two to four inches cm long. Be careful not to crush the end of the stem where cutting. Cut them off at the nodes where they meet the stem. Clones root very well when there are one or two sets of trimmed nodes belowground and two sets ofleaves above the soil line. While taking clones, hold cuttings in a glass of water until you are ready to dip in hormone and plant.

Moisture that could promote fungus is often trapped between overlapping leaves. Gather leaves in your hand and use a pair of scissors to cut the leaves in half. This will allow less surface area for the plants to breathe, but will still keep foliage on the plant.

Cutting leaves like this will keep them up off the ground, which helps prevent rot and disease. Saturate the medium or root cubes with water. Use an unsharpened pencil, chop stick, nail, etc. The hole should stop about one-half inch 1. Always read and comply with the directions. Pour a small portion of the rooting hormone into another container before using so you do not contami- Dip stem in rooting hormone liquid. Mix the liquid rooting hormone if necessary just before using.

Use the dilution ratio for softwood cuttings. Swirl each cutting in the hormone solution for seconds. Make sure the liquid penetrates the entire stem evenly. Place the cuttings in the hole in Put hormone-covered stem into pre-made the rooting medium.

Pack rooting hole in rooting medium. Press hole closed so that growing medium comes into firm contact with stem. Using Gel Rooting Hormone Dip stem in gel as per instructions. Make sure the part that will go underground is covered evenly with gel. When planting, take special care to gently pack soil into place. Dip stem in rooting hormone gel. Put hormone-covered stem into pre-made hole Press hole closed so that growing medium in rooting medium.

Using Powdered Rooting Hormone Roll stem in rooting powder so that the underground part is covered evenly. When planting, take special care to gently pack soil into place and avoid disturbing the rooting powder on the stem. Dip stem in rooting Put hormone-covered Press hole closed so that hormone powder. The first few days are the most critical for moisture. Clones have no roots to bring water to leaves. Water arrives from leaves and the cut stem until roots can supply it.

Water as needed to keep growing medium evenly moist. Do not let it get soggy, and if it does, remove water at once.

If you are taking into a nursery flat so cubes complete flats of the same clones at the same are easy to handle. Place clones four to six inches below single or dual fluorescent tubes. Cool white fluorescents or a combination of warm and cool white are excellent for rooting. If clones must be placed under an HID, set them on the perimeter of the garden so they receive less intense light; or shade them with a cloth or screen.

Place clones four to six feet 1. These are the most critical days for a clone to get over the shock of being cut.

Gradually reduce the humidity to percent after the first three to four days. A humidity dome or tent will help keep humidity high. Construct the tent out of plastic bags, rigid plastic, or glass. Make sure to leave openings for air to flow in and out of the dome so little clones can breathe. You may need to mist clones several times a day as an alternative to the humidity tent.

Some growers mist once or twice a day when plants are under the humidity dome. Remove any sick, rotting, or dead foliage. Keep leaves up off the rooting medium. Misting clones with water cools foliage and slows transpiration to help traumatized clones retain moisture unavailable from nonexistent roots. Put clones in a warm place to adjust air temperature. A warmer substrate increases under- ground chemical activity, and lower air tempera- ture slows water loss through leaves.

In the beginning you may have some clones that wilt but become rigid in a few days. Clones that are still wilted after seven days will grow slowly or develop a problem.

Set them aside and let them root longer. If they continue to root slowly or show signs of rot at the soil line, toss them out. In days you should see roots growing out the sides of the rooting cubes. Signals that roots have started to grow include yellow leaf tips, roots growing out drain holes, and vertical growth of the clones. To check for root growth in flats or pots, carefully remove the root ball and clone from the pot to see if it has good root development.

Clones usually look strong and healthy soon after you take them. After five or six days, leaves may start to change color. Leaves stay small and often turn a deeper shade of green. After about a week, lower leaves may start to yellow if their nutrient levels dissipate. These clones are using all their resources to conserve moisture and grow new roots. Some dieback in lower leaves is not a sign the plant is dying. Any sign of slime, pests, or disease means there are problems, and clones should be removed from the garden.

Do not transplant slow-rooting clones or clones with a small root system. Keep slow-growing clones rooting until adequate roots have developed. Do not move clones below bright light until they have fully developed root systems. Once transplanted, clones are ready to harden-off and move into the grow room or to an outdoor garden. See Transplanting on the following page. Set up a vegetative pre-growing area that is lit with an HID or bright compact fluorescent lamp CFL for the rooted clones.

Place them in this area to let them grow during the first week or two of vegetation. This area needs to be just big enough to accommodate plants from the time they are a few inches tall until they are about a foot tall and ready to be moved into the flowering room. Transplanting Transplant clones before they are too big for their containers so they can continue rapid growth. Restrained cramped root systems grow sickly, stunted, rootbound plants. Signs of rootbound plants include slow, weak growth and branches that develop with more distance between limbs.

Severely rootbound plants tend to grow straight up with few branches that stretch beyond the sides of the pot. To check for a restricted root zone, carefully remove the root ball from its pot to see if roots are deeply matted on the bottom or ringing the container. A somewhat dry root ball is usually easy to remove from the pot. The more rootbound the plant, the easier it is to remove.

Plants must be sufficiently rooted to withstand being yanked out of the pot! When growing short plants that reach full maturity in 90 days, there is little need for containers larger than three gallons ll L.

A large mother plant will need a large pot if it will be kept for more than a few months. Water the clones until Carefully turn each Carefully place the water freely flows from container upside down root ball into a pre- the drain holes. Next, and tenderly shake the made hole in the fill containers full of intact root ball into growing medium growing medium and your hand. Gingerly pack more potting soil around the wet root ball and water the transplanted seedlings heavily with a fertilizer solution containing vitamin B which will ease transplant shock.

Add a little more growing m edium if necessary. It will take them one to four days to recover from transplant shock. Start fertilizing with a mild fertilizer mix two or three days after transplanting.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy. If transplanting rockwool cubes into soil, do not let the cube stay too wet or roots will not grow into soil. Keep the humidity around percent and the little ladies should perk right up and show signs of growth in a few days. Once the first clone is transplanted and watered, move to the next clone and repeat the process. After you get good at each step, you complete tasks in batches. Move the transplants to the perimeter of the HID garden for a day or two until they recover and show signs of growth.

Harvest timing is critical. The peak harvest window is open for roughly days. Most growers manicure harvested buds before drying them slowly and evenly so THC is preserved. After drying, buds must cure so that full aroma and flavor develop. Like a fine wine, aging curing improves taste and fragrance.

Once cured, proper storage will ensure buds retain all of their essential qualities. Before Harvest Pungent m arijuana odors are often a problem around harvesttime. To minimize odors keep the drying and trimming room well ventilated so fragrances do not linger.

An air conditioner works well to keep odors to a minimum in sealed rooms. Irrigate with plain water or clearing solution to remove residual fertilizers in foliage and soil. Give plants plain water the last days before harvest. Make sure to let percent of the water drain out the bottom of containers.

Clearing solutions remove fertilizer residue faster and are used the last few days before harvest. Continue to top off the reservoir with" fresh" water until harvest, or use a clearing solution as per directions.

Do not water for days before harvest, so plants are pre-dried at harvest. Let the soil dry out but do not let the plants wilt. Give plants total darkness for 48 hours just before harvest so that more resin develops on buds.

Harvesting Harvest At harvest all plant growth and THC produc- tion stop. THC content cannot increase after harvest. In fact, it can only decline. Mind-bending psychoactive THC tetrahy- drocannibinol is located in leaves, flower buds, and stalked glandular trichomes.

The majority ofTHC is found on female sinsemilla plants in the resin glands or trichomes on flower tops. Stalked trichomes look like a small post with a ball on top.

These trichomes develop most heavily on buds and small leaves. THC is most concentrated where the stalk meets the ball of the resin gland. Large female leaves like the Yumboldt at right and male plants contain fewer resin glands and much less mind-altering THe. The THC content found in stems and roots is virtually nonexistent. Male plants, stems, and large leaves hold low levels ofTHC and are most efficiently used to make hash, concentrated resin.

Harvesting leaves Remove large leaves while plants are still in the ground. Cut or pluck off the entire leaf and leaf stem. Once the large leaves are fully formed, THC potency has generally peaked.

Smaller leaves around buds continue to develop resin until buds are ripe. Peak potency is retained as long as leaves are healthy and green. Harvest yellow and diseased leaves and dispose of them. Toss leaves into a paper bag, not a plastic bag.

Paper bags breathe well and can be closed by folding over the top. Reach into the bag once or twice a day and turn leaves so the moist leaves mix with drier leaves. Leaves will be dry to the touch in S-7 days. Once dry, place leaves in the freezer so they are ready to make hash. Male Harvest Harvest male plants before they disperse pollen. Most growers remove them from the garden as soon as they are spotted at pre-flowering, near the end of vegetative growth. Put a plastic bag over any male plants that might disperse pollen before cutting the main trunk off at the base.

Shake the plant as little as possible to minimize any pollen dissemination. See Marijuana Horticulture: Male plant in early flowering. The white spots are drops of water.

Harvest at the point when THe production is at its peak, before it starts to degrade. Most plants that receive the same amount oflight throughout are ready to harvest at the same time.

Lower buds that receive less light often take a few more days to mature. In general, indica and indica-dominant strains are ripe weeks after initiating flowering. Sativa and sativa-dominant strains are ready to harvest in weeks. Too often growers harvest too early because Aplastic bag helps contain male pollen. Test for ripeness by removing a small piece of a mature bud. Put it in a microwave oven or conventional oven. Set the microwave on a low power setting and turn on in second bursts until it is dry enough to burn.

Place a little bit of the dry bud in a single-hit pipe and sample. The dry, raspy taste will be from fast drying, but you will be able to tell how potent the pot is. Too Early! Early Harvest This bud is weeks from harvest. Wait This bud is still a couple weeks from at least 6 weeks before testing buds harvest. The healthy, white fuzzy for harvest. Many growers harvest pistils are still growing and the resin lightweight buds before THe is really starting to accumulate.

After a couple of weeks, this bud will be packed with resin. Buds harvested now will yield up to 30 percent less weight. If harvested a little early pure sativa and sativa-dominant plants contain lower concentrations of allcannabi- noids; the stone is often more heady and soaring.

Pure indica and indica- dominant strains tend to yield a somewhat less intense body stone. Peak Harvest Resin gland formation slows. Trichomes are starting to degrade faster than they develop. THC production has peaked out. Now is the best time to harvest. Harvest when THC levels are at their peak for maximum mind- bending effects. This close up of trichomes shows you what to look for at the time of peak maturity.

Late Harvest Trichomes start to degrade faster and faster. Harvest now for a heavier high. Harvest after peak maturity for higher levels of CBD in relation to White pistils turn brownish-red as THC to yield more of a body stone. In some Indica, afghani, indica-dominant strains, peak potency is when half and afghani-dominant strains of the pistils are white and the other harvested now produce a heavier half have turned brown.

This test is body couch-lock stone. Sativa and only a general guide to peak sativa-dominant strains harvested potency. Look at the capitate stalked tri- chomes, the ones with a ball on top. They develop clear to translucent resinous trichomes. More and more well-formed trichomes continue to appear as they reach peak potency.

Harvest The most accurate way to tell peak when these resin glands form more potency is to look at resin glands slowly than they degrade. My favorite is a 30X they degrade. Handling buds will handheld microscope with a bruise and deform resin glands. You can Such damaged resin glands should quickly check several buds daily not be confused with naturally for peak potency. Often resin glands on strains change Hairlike cystolith trichomes contain colors and deteriorate as plants no THe.

They are visible with the ripen. The trichomes turn from clear naked eye and with magnification. All glands Find these protective trichomes on do not change color at the same tops and bottoms ofleaves, stems, time. They exude substances that repel pests and protect foliage from diseases. This will allow plants to use built-up nutrients in foliage. Accumulated nutrients in plants cause buds to taste like fertilizer when burned. If you use a "clearing solution" you can fertilize up until the last 3 days before harvest.

Sprays can also linger in dense buds, which may attract bud mold. Growers who do this say the buds are a little more resinous afterward. This will speed the rest of the Cut branches into lengths of harvest process, and it does not inches. Do not remove the root ball, diminish harvest.

Trim off smaller leaves around bag so they can be made into hash buds that show little resin. Use later. See Manicur- ing later in this chapter. Keep the temperature at in four to seven days. See Curing, page Manicuring Manicuring buds is time-consuming. Budget hours to manicure a single pound gm by hand with scissors. An automatic trimmer will cut manicuring time to hours. Use small easy-to-maneuver pointed scissors to reach into crevices in buds. Have 2 or 3 different pairs of scissors available.

Switch scissors when your hands fatigue. Wear inexpensive rubber gloves to collect "finger hash. Set the hash-laden glass, or sl ick-surfaced table. Scrape up the remaining hash the table or under the screen.

This potent resin can be smoked after all the alcohol has evaporated. Or immediately or pressed into put the rubber gloves in a freezer for a blocks of hash. Cooling will make it easier to scrape and rub the accumulated hash from the gloves.

Scrape accumulated resin from scissors when it clogs blades. Use a small knife to remove built-up resin from blades. Ball up small bits of scraped resin by rubbing it together between fingers. The ball of hash will grow as manicur- ing progresses. Drying Fresh green marijuana is not very potent. Drying converts THe into its psychoactive form and removes about 75 percent of the moisture from freshly harvested plants.

Moisture evaporates evenly when plants are dried slowly over days or longer. Buds are dry throughout so will taste sweet and smoke smooth. Buds dried too quickly retain chlorophyll and other substances within foliage. Such poorly dried cannabis tastes "green," burns unevenly, and tastes bad. Humidity above SO percent slows drying and increases the chances of mold attacks.

Use a small circulation fan to keep air moving in the drying room, but do not train the fan directly on buds or they will dry unevenly. A ventila- tion fan may also be necessary to help control temperature and humidity.

Use an air conditioner or heater to control extreme humidity and temperatures. Check for dryness by bending a stem. The stem should snap rather than fold when bent. The bud should be dry to touch, but not brittle. Dry Small harvests can be dried easily buds burn well when rolled into a in a closet, cabinet, or a cardboard joint.

Once dry, buds are ready to box that is a fraction of the cure. Curing is essential! Large harvests require much more room. Curing and Storage Once buds are dry, they are ready for curing. The curing process lets buds dry evenly so they smoke smooth and taste sweet. When properly cured, all unnecessary moisture is removed and THC reaches its most psychoactive potential. Proper curing ensures buds are completely dry and much less susceptible to mold when stored.

To cure buds, gently pack them into sealable airtight containers. Moisture will move from stems to drier foliage. Place the containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Open the container after hours to let humid air escape. Leave the top off for minutes so moisture evacuates.

Close the container. Open the container for a few minutes every few hours to release excess moisture before closing the lid again. Depending upon moisture content, buds should be totally dry in a few days to 2 weeks. Gently squeeze buds to feel if they are more pliable and moist than they were a few hours before. Once they are evenly dry, they are ready to smoke or seal in an airtight container for storage.

Store packaged buds in a cool, dry, dark place. The owner of this Volkswagen Beetle stored buds in a cool, dry place, but he forgot to keep it dark. Buds stored in the refrigerator will stay fresh a few months.. Make sure buds are in an " airtight container when stored in the refrigerator to prevent moisture from entering the container. Below is a simple discussion that will give you a basic understanding of the grow gear you will need-what it is and how it works.

Light and Lamps You will need a light to illuminate your beautiful plants. If you decide to grow in a small space such as a closet or grow cabinet, you can use fluorescent, compact fluorescent CFL or HID lights. Fluores- cent lamps work well to grow clones, seedlings and small vegetative crops. When from the light source increases. CFLs are placed close enough to flower- ing plants, big tight buds will develop. HID lamps are favored for growing vegetative and flowering plants.

Light fades exponentially fast see charts. The stem carries water and nutrients from the roots to the growing buds. Often indoor plants develop weak stems and may need to be staked up. This process is called photosynthesis. You can see a male pre-flower nub in the photo above.

Each sex has its own distinct flowers. Cannabis plants are normally either all male or all female. They generally appear between the fourth and sixth node from the bottom of the plant.

Pre-flowering Cannabis grown from seed grows pre-flowers after the fourth week of vegetative growth. The most desirable female plants are cultivated for their high THC content. Pre-flowers will be either male or female. The stomata also permit the outflow of water vapor and waste oxygen.

Growers remove and destroy the males or use them for breeding stock because they have low levels of cannabinoids chemical components of marijuana: Intersex aka hermaphrodite flowers normally show up late in flowering and not at the pre-flowering stage.

Female pre-flowers Male pre-flowers. A grower removed the Super Silver Haze plant left from his garden as soon as he saw the male flowers. Plants that developed in tropical regions often start flowering under more light and less darkness. Flowering Male Plants Flowering Flowering is triggered in most strains of cannabis like the Chronic bud below by 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light every 24 hours.

Male seedlings that were not removed during pre-flowering are removed as soon as male flowers are visible so that they do not pollinate females. Give mothers 18—24 hours of light daily so they stay in the vegetative growth stage. Seeds form and grow within the female flowers such as the seeds of the Sweet Diesel left. THC production peaks out and buds are ready to harvest. Sinsemilla flower buds continue to swell and produce more resin while waiting for male pollen to successfully complete their life cycle.

The male dies after producing and shedding all his pollen. Mother Plants Select strong. Seed Crops When both male and female flowers are in bloom.

Cut branch tips from mother plants and root them. You can collect the seeds roughly six to eight weeks after pollination. After weeks of heavy flower and cannabinoid-laden resin production.

Once the root system is established. Clones take 10—20 days to grow a strong healthy root system. Clones Cut branch tips and root them to form clones. Now they are ready to grow for one to four weeks in the vegetative growth stage before being induced to flower. Give clones 18—24 hours of light so they stay in the vegetative growth stage. You will need to control everything and everybody that enters and exits the area in proximity to the garden.

Land of the Free. Choose your friends and romantic partners carefully. Many times these friends and partners are pressured by police to turn you in. Make sure there are no telltale signs of growing. See Seed Ordering Security in Chapter 3.

You can have visitors in your home. First you must restrict access to your garden. Do this by securing the perimeter around the grow house or wherever the garden is located. About 70 years ago Prohibition started in the United States of America. Most often security breaches are the result of a jealous or vindictive friend. Today this crazy. Security has several facets and levels. Avoid visits from armed policemen!

Keep your grow room secure and safe from thieves. Security Hit List Never tell anybody about any garden Never show your garden to anyone! Do not throw out any garbage that could prove that you grow. Never have seeds or grow products sent directly to your home Do not visit other grow houses. Check the sites www. Larger growers outwit thermal imaging devices by keeping lights on during daylight hours to confuse the technology. Learn more about thermal imaging at http: More Security Details Call grow and seed stores from a secure or remote telephone Pay all bills and make all purchases with cash Pay for mail-order merchandise with a money order.

They further safeguard their grow operation by cooling exhaust air and expelling it under a well-insulated grow house so it does not leave a heat trail. Ground all electrical outlets and connections Inspect electrical connections for signs of heat damage and repair immediately Keep electrical use to a reasonable amount. Do not use a film camera! Have a guard dog Buy a fire extinguisher rated to put out wood.

Use a digital camera to take photos of your garden. Fragrance Do not let grow room air-conditioner water drain outdoors. Use insulated ducting Put rubber or foam fittings on all fans to reduce noise and vibrations Set ballasts on a noise-reducing base Lifestyle Never trust anybody—friends. Buy large assets such as houses and cars over time Have a regular job and a reason for your activities Have few visitors and keep to yourself Keep a low profile and be a good neighbor and citizen Keep your property clean and in excellent repair.

Some plants. Strong plants are the result of strong seeds and proper growing conditions. Seeds are the result of sexual propagation and contain genes from each parent.

The genetic makeup of a seed is the single most important factor dictating how well a plant will grow under artificial light or natural sunlight and the levels of cannabinoids it will produce. Order seed catalogs. Weak plant grown in poor conditions. Vigorous seeds initiate growth within seven days or sooner.

Seeds stored too long will germinate slowly and have a high rate of failure. Strong seeds produce healthy plants and heavy harvests. Seeds that take longer than a month to germinate could always be slow and produce less.

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Weak plants are the result of weak seeds and poor growing conditions. Mature seeds that are hard. Weak seeds are soft. Once germinated. Strong seeds are hard. Of these super females. Immature seeds germinate poorly and often produce sickly plants. Select this super female to be the clone mother. Normally some of the seeds will be male.

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Moisture Soaking seeds in water allows moisture to penetrate the protective seed shell within minutes. Moisture continues to wick in to activate the dormant hormones. Moisture is critical now. Germinating and Planting Seeds To germinate. For best results use distilled water. There must be a constant stream of moisture to transport nutrients.

In 24—72 hours. Letting germinated seeds suffer moisture stress now will stunt seedling growth. Plant seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. Avoid high temperatures and low light levels. Seedlings do not have enough stored energy to force through too much soil before sprouting.

Seeds not rooted by day 30 will probably grow slowly Once seeds are rooted. Air oxygen Seeds need air to germinate. Planting seeds too deeply also causes poor germination. For example. CAB International. Afghanica Afghani has wide leaves and is often confused with indica strains. Each has distinct growth patterns. Cannabis Strains Technically and legally. Ruderalis Lowryder female plant. Most popular strains of cannabis are a combination of two or more of the following: Cannabis sativa can be further classified as: But there are also many seeds with the genes from just one of the below.

Regardless of origin. At first seeds will float on top of the water. Do not soak longer or they could rot. Day 1 Presoak seeds in a glass of plain distilled water for 24 hours.

Day 2. Within a few hours. Seeds found floating the following day are probably not viable. As water penetrates they sink to the bottom. A small.

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Use a dinner plate or a small container with a grate. The top of a refrigerator is ideal. Do not let seeds dry out or let water stand so oxygen is cut off to seeds. Check daily and keep evenly moist but not soggy. Pour the water out of the glass and place the seeds on the moist paper towels and cover the seeds with three more moist paper towels.

If using a plate. Set a paper towel or cheesecloth on the plate or grate and moisten it with distilled water until saturated. Drain off all excess water and put the moist seeds in a shadowy. Let excess water drain away freely. A grate lets excess water drain away. Prevent fungal attacks by watering with a mild two-percent bleach solution. Days 5—8 Once seeds have sprouted and the white sprout is visible.

Do not throw them out. Seeds that do not show a white rootlet now may never germinate. But such seeds might never germinate. Days 5—8 Prepare a seed flat. Jiffy or rockwool cubes. Water the mix in the flat with plain water until it is completely saturated. Make small indent about 0.

Point the white root downward. Take care not to expose the tender rootlet to prolonged intense light or air. Once covered. Use tweezers and carefully remove each sprouted seed and set it in the premade planting hole. Cover the sprouted seed with a 0. The photo above shows clones on the left and seedlings on the right. Germinate seeds before planting and make sure the white rootlet is at least 0.

Seeds set inside rockwool blocks often heave up and out. Once planted. Within a couple of days of emerging. Days 10—14 In four to six days after planting. After seven to ten days. Days 21—30 Start feeding two to four weeks after seedlings have sprouted. Use a mild quarter-strength solution. In 10 to 14 days all the seedlings should have true leaves that are the same size or larger than cotyledons. Some growers wait until leaves yellow to begin feeding. Some growers apply a mild quarter-strength fertilizer.

Most important now is to keep the soil evenly moist. If yellowing persists. Days 21—30 Peat pellets or root cubes both seedlings and clones may be transplanted in two to three weeks or when the roots show through the sides.

Feed with a dilute. Keep the soil uniformly moist. This is a critical time for plants. A shallow flat or planter with a heat pad underneath may require daily watering. Supplemental nutrients often disrupt internal chemistry. When the surface is dry 0. Days 26—30 Grow seedlings and clones under light fluorescent or dim HID light for the next couple of weeks.

Setting root cubes or planting flats on a grate allows good drainage. Do not let them dry out! Potential Problems Too much or too little light coupled with overwatering or underwatering are the main reasons for poor seedling growth. Household water contains enough dissolved solids food to nourish seeds through their first few weeks of life. Keep it evenly moist. Overwatering and underwatering are the biggest obstacles most growers face when germinating seeds and growing seedlings.

Seeds do not need any extra hormones to germinate. This sickly freak trifoliate seedling is the result of dodgy genetics as well. A properly watered flat of rockwool cubes needs water every three to five days when sprouting seeds. This seedling is also a genetically unstable trifoliate with three sets of leaves and should be culled out.

Soggy overwatered soil causes many problems. This is an excellent option because the grower usually knows the strain he is growing well and can tell you many details about growing it. How to Obtain Seeds Get seeds from a grower who developed them. Underwatered seedling with a purple stem demonstrates toxic nutrient accumulation.

Most such growers can also tell you about the qualities of the plant—taste. Always call several companies and ask them specific.

Often the seed will grow into a plant that has only some traits of the parents. Find seeds in a bag of buds. Also check cannabis web site forums for more information and recommendations. Bag-seeds are okay because you will know more or less what the taste. There are many seed shops that sell on-line listed under Find Seed Sellers Here on p It could also have intersex hermaphrodite tendencies.

Before you buy anything. Order seeds via mail order or Internet. If you do not get a response. A good seed company will respond in one to two business days with good answers to your questions. Companies with an e-mail address and web site are usually okay to order from. Speak to a qualified representative who will provide good answers to your questions.

You may prefer to order from a company you can contact by telephone see note under Seed Ordering Security on p When they do. Other companies take your money and do not ship the seeds.

The corrugated plastic is then placed inside an envelope and mailed. Packaging is important. United Kingdom. Find such seed stores at the web sites listed by the magazines and cannabis fair guides on the following page. The volume of first class mail is great. Often the salesperson has personal stories about favorite strains.

You can walk right in and buy them. The site also lists seed banks that do not advertise in catalogs. Seed sellers are rated with one to four stars. Letters under one ounce 28 grams are not opened. Purchase seeds personally at a shop. They sell you seeds that are not what they advertise them to be. Many seed companies place seeds inside the channels of corrugated plastic see photo left of filling seed packages at Dutch Passion. When you talk personally with a seed merchant.

Occasionally the Postal service will find such a seed shipment. Stores in Canada. Greenman gives security. Some seed merchants do not tell the truth about their seed stock. Seeds are easily crushed. Seeds are available at shops in many countries. No further action is taken. It is easy to overcome such problems with a little homework. When will seeds be shipped? How are seeds packaged? What happens if seeds are lost?

How long does the average order take to arrive? How are seeds shipped in a stealth package? Are seeds in stock? Do you ship worldwide? They do not need to know what is in the package. Ask them not to open the package. Count on your e-mails being saved somewhere. Ship seeds to a real address and name. Ship seeds to a third party—friend. Use some initials in the name and address. Seed Ordering Security Pay with a money order. Ask seed vendor to destroy your payment information as soon as your order is processed.

Do not have seeds shipped to the same address where your garden is located Do not have packages sent that require a signature Use a public e-mail address when ordering. Do not use this e-mail for other purposes. Many national governments monitor all international telephone calls. Even if you are a medical marijuana grower in the United States of America. Seized Seeds: Wait several days longer before you start searching for the shipment. International shipments take longer than domestic shipments.

Patience is a virtue. If you live in a country where seeds are illegal. You can see an actual letter at the site www. Use a telephone card and call from a public telephone or one that cannot be traced back to you. Do not telephone or e-mail vendor until a reasonable time has passed. We have never heard a report of a law enforcement official showing up at the door of a seed buyer.

Do not call the seed company from a telephone located at a grow house. My preference is to purchase seeds that are in the middle price range. More expensive seeds are usually more stable and extra care has been taken to produce them. Unless feminized. Of the desired female seeds. Seed Quantities and Pricing Seeds are generally sold in packages of 5.

If you are not going to plant the seeds immediately. Male plants are weeded out and female seeds are harvested. If seeds came in a see-through bag. Keep seeds dry or they might start to germinate.

If one or a few are crushed. Receiving Seeds Check seeds to ensure none are crushed. Make sure to. Call or e-mail the seller immediately to explain the problem. Feminized Seeds Feminized seeds are becoming very popular worldwide. Storing Seeds Store seeds in a cool.

When grown in a stress- free environment virtually all feminized seeds grow into female plants. Label the crush-proof container before you place the seeds inside.

Place them in a small dark vial or film canister with a dry packet of silicone.

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See Receiving Seeds. A little heat now will help nurture small seedlings to a strong start. Seedlings During seedling growth. The new.

Some seeds will remain viable for five years or longer when stored properly. But seeds a year old or older often take longer to sprout and have a lower rate of germination. As the seedlings mature. Water and heat are critical at this point of development. Most growers cull sickly. Other seeds will sprout slowly and be weak and leggy. Use heating cables or mat to raise the temperature of the growing medium. Too much water will drown roots. Lack of water will cause the developing root system to dry up.

When 50 percent of the stored seeds do not germinate. If you have just a few seedlings. Baby such small plants along and let them grow longer until they catch up with the others before moving them into the next stage of growth. Many growers give seedlings 18— 24 hours of light per day so they will grow as fast as possible. Seedlings need at least 16 hours of light daily. Seedlings that receive 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness tend to grow more female plants.

Seedlings require less intense light now and grow well under fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lamps CFLs for the first two to three weeks. Keep fluorescent lamps two to six inches above seedlings and CFLs 12—18 inches 30—45 cm above foliage. Plants need more room to grow. Keep HIDs three to four feet 90— cm above seedlings for best growth. The seedling stage is over when rapid foliage growth starts.

Transplanting Seedlings. Rapid growth above ground is the beginning of the vegetative growth stage. Growers prefer metal halides because the color spectrum of HP sodium lamps tends to make seedlings stretch between branch internodes.

It is very important to cover them when transplanting. If you are growing a few seedlings. This example shows how to transplant a small seedling grown in a rockwool cube into a 4-inch 12 cm container full of potting soil. If the cube is left uncovered.

Healthy plants will grow an inch or more daily. Plants that are stunted now should not be induced to flower because they will yield much less. Proper levels of nutrients are important for fast-growing vegetative plants. Plants grow faster when they receive more hours of light. Hold them back until they are stronger. During the vegetative stage. Some plants can take much more fertilizer than others. Marijuana will continue vegetative growth a year or longer theoretically forever as long as it receives 18—24 hours of light every day.

To learn more about pre-flowering and what they look like. When to Induce Flowering After four to five weeks of vegetative growth. Check Marijuana Horticulture: Once these pre-flowers appear. In general pure indica and indica-dominant strains can take higher doses of fertilizer.

The photo at left is a good example of a Haze strain that received very little fertilizer and suffered from overfertilization. The photo at left is a good example of an indica strain that received high doses of fertilizer before it started showing signs of overfertilization. Check with seed sellers and Internet forums to learn more about which strains can take high and low doses of fertilizers. In general pure sativa and sativa-dominant strains require less fertilizer.

Flowering is induced with 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light per day. This light and dark cycle is called the photoperiod. Plants will need to be flushed at the end of the vegetative growth stage and possibly once in between after three weeks. Indoors you can control the life cycle of cannabis with light and dark. Cannabis stays in the vegetative growth stage as long as it receives 18—24 hours of light.

If they are taller. I like to flush plants with three times the amount of weak fertilizer solution as the amount of soil or soilless mix in the. The vegetative growth stage is only two to four weeks long in most strains when grown indoors. Plants should be from 12—18 inches 30—45 cm at the end of vegetative growth. This will flush or leach out all the extra built up toxic fertilizer salts in the growing medium.

Mother plants see Chapter 7 enjoy a longer life from six months and occasionally as long as several years. You can see pre-flowers with the naked eye. Once pre-flowers are distinguishable as male or female.

See Intersex or Hermaphrodite Flowers in Chapter 6: Flowering for more information. Using this method. You can accurately determine plant sex after eight weeks.

The pre-flowers grow at branch internodes just behind the leaf spur or stipule about the fourth week of vegetative growth. This is the point of sexual maturity.

Female Female Pre-flowers Male Pre-flowering Male pre-flowers are normally visible when plants are six to eight weeks old. The pre-flowers emerge behind the stipule at the fourth to fifth branch internodes and generally do not turn into full flowers. They are located at branch internodes. Early male flowers are easy to spot with the naked eye. Male pollen sacks hang like little balls. The little nub is a male pre-flower starting to grow.

Each pollen sac has enough pollen to pollinate all the females in the average grow room. Remove and destroy male plants grown from seed as soon as you can verify male pre-flowers. Wait until pistils have formed to ensure the plant is a female and not a male.

It occurs when a plant is old enough to show signs of sexual maturity. The appearance of pre-flowers does not depend upon photoperiod. Pistils normally emerge after the light green seed bract part of the pre-flower has formed. The pre-flowers emerge behind the stipule at the fourth to fifth branch internodes.

A pre-flower looks like a regular female flower. Another view of the little nub that will turn into a male flower. Removing male plants now will virtually ensure an all-female crop of sinsemilla. The pre-flowering stage lasts from one to two weeks. Female Pre-flowering Female calyx formation initiates about the fourth week of vegetative growth when they develop female pre-flowers.

Always wait to induce flowering until after pre-flowers appear. Inducing flowering before pre-flowers form will not speed flowering. This stress could cause odd growth. Once pre-flowers are distinguishable as female. Inducing flowering with 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of light before pre-flowers develop will stress the plant.

Flowering will occur about the same time as if you had waited for pre-flowers to show! This garden is full of females that have been flowering for three weeks. Vegetative seedlings are now ready to start flowering. Male and female flowers will form and are easy to see. Marijuana is a dioecious plant. Male plant with pollen-producing flowers Female plant with unfertilized pollen-producing flowers.

Plants are normally either male or female. Intersex plant with both male and female flowers In nature. The long nights and short days of autumn signal marijuana to start flowering. Shortly before the flowering stage. Growth patterns and chemistry change during flowering: Plants focus on flower production rather than vegetative growth.

The male completes his life cycle and dies after producing and dispersing all his pollen into the wind. Always flush or leach soil with water two to three days before changing to the flowering fertilizer. When flowers are full of ripe. Induce flowering indoors by giving plants more hours of total darkness and fewer hours of light.

Nutrient needs change as growth stages change. Give cannabis 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and Green leafy growth. Phosphorus and potassium uptake increase to promote floral formation. Such fertilizers make buds swell with resinous growth.

Water intake of flowering plants is usually somewhat less than during the vegetative stage. Adequate water during flowering is important for plants to carry on internal chemistry and resin production. This program is effective in all but the latest-blooming pure sativa strains. Once the photoperiod is set.

Some male plants flower under long days and short nights as well. Once the sex of the plant is guaranteed. If they suffer enough stress. Early male flowers that are not open or dispersing pollen Open male flowers that are dispersing pollen Once male calyxes show. There is always a flower sack that opens early and sheds pollen. To avoid pollination problems. This male was allowed to mature completely and disperse its pollen. If growing male plants. When you decide to let male plants mature to shed pollen on receptive females.

Ideal female plants grow squat and bushy with branches close together on the stem and dense foliage on branches. The set of pistils is attached at the base to an ovule.

Female flowers initially appear near the top of the terminal bud and gradually develop on lower branches starting at the tips and moving downward. Once the ovule has been fertilized by male pollen. Buds put on much of their harvest weight as they swell during the last two or three weeks of growth.

In most strains. Pure sativas. Blue Mistic Female Flowering Female cannabis is prized for heavy. Holland Hope. Sinsemilla is the word that describes flowering female cannabis tops that have not been fertilized by male pollen.

Soon they change in color. Trichome Technologies. Highly prized sinsemilla buds are the most potent part of any strain. Make any female marijuana sinsemilla by removing male plants as soon as they. Burmese 3 Sinsemilla is all smoke with no seeds! Unpollinated female plants continue to flower until calyx formation and resin production peak out—six to ten weeks after turning the lights to 12 hours.

During six to ten weeks of flowering. Intersex plants are more common in some strains. Sometimes an intersex hermaphrodite with a few male flowers will sprout on a predominately female plant. Intersex or Hermaphrodite Flowers Intersex or hermaphrodite flowers may occur. Pollen dispersed from wild or cultivated male cannabis plants could also be floating in the air.

Removing males virtually guarantees that male pollen will not fertilize female pistils. Plants that flower past peak potency are most prone to show intersex flowers. Short crops of clones in small containers are much easier to move and maintain than big plants in big containers.

Female clones can be induced to flower as soon as they have a strong root system and are 6—18 inches 15—45 cm tall. And unless you planted feminized seed See Chapter 3: Seeds and Germination about half of the plants will be undesirable males.

You must grow them yourself or get them from a grower or medical marijuana cooperative. Induce clones to flower when they are 6—18 inches 15—45 cm tall to make most efficient use of HID light. A clone is a branch tip cut from a female mother marijuana plant that has been planted and has grown roots.

When planted from seed. Mother Plants. Fast-growing clones develop more quickly than spider mites can reproduce. Clones are also easy to submerge in a miticide when small.

By the time a spider mite infestation is noticed and sprayed. Clones taken from flowering plants root quickly but require a month or longer to revert back to vegetative growth. Any plant can be cloned. Plants cloned before they are two months old may develop unevenly and grow slowly. Take clones from mother plants that are at least two months old. Such rejuvenated clones occasionally flower prematurely. When grown in the exact same environment.

Start new mothers from seed every year. Keep several vegetative mother plants for a consistent source of cloning stock. For best results. Give mother plants 18—24 hours of light per day to maintain fast growth. A female plant will reproduce percent females.

Get Ready to Take Clones. But the same clones subjected to distinct environments in different grow rooms will often look different. A small amount of leaf space is all that is necessary to supply enough. Clones go through an enormous transformation when they change from a severed growing tip to a rooted plant. Avoid spraying during rooting because it creates extra stress. Clones are at their most vulnerable point in life when they are cut from the mother and forced to grow roots.

While rooting. With good instruction and a little experience. Large cuttings with large stems grow roots slower than small clones with small stems. Thin-stemmed small clones with few leaves root faster than big leafy cuttings because there are no roots to absorb water and supply moisture to foliage.

The stem that once grew leaves must now grow roots to survive. Always make sure there is plenty of air in the rooting medium to stimulate root growth. Do not overwater clones. Carbohydrate and rooting hormonal content is highest in lower.

Keep the rooting medium evenly moist. Any kind of stress disrupts hormones and slows rapid growth. Clones root well within a pH range of 5—6. Do not let it get soggy. Older leaves may turn light green.

Aeroponic clone gardens normally do best with a pH of 5—5. A rigid branch that folds over quickly when bent is a good sign of high carbohydrate content.

Some cuttings may wilt but regain rigidity in a few days. Disinfect all tools and working surfaces to kill bacteria. Get all cloning supplies ready before you start to take clones. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.

Use sharp scissors. Here is a shot of the root systems in the aeroponic system after a few days of rooting. You can also use small containers or nursery flats full of coarse washed sand. Other growers love them. Use only products that are approved for human consumption and use before expiration date. Fill rockwool tray with water. Rooting Hormones Rooting hormones help initiate roots and are available in liquid.

The artificial rooting hormone fills the need until natural hormones take over. All cubes are convenient and easy to transplant. Some growers report rockwool cubes stay too wet to make clones. IBA applications impair root formation. Jiffy peat. Oasis root cubes. As soon as cuttings are taken.

If exceeded in concentration or duration. The growing medium must drain very well to withstand heavy leaching without becoming waterlogged. They can be mixed in different concentrations. Insoluble gels hold and stay with the stem longer than liquids or powders. Powdered rooting hormones do not stick to stems evenly. Cover clones with a humidity dome. Set clones on a heating mat or cables to control the rooting medium temperature.

A fogger in the cloning room will ensure humidity. Mist cuttings with water to slow moisture loss through leaves and cool foliage. Liquid rooting hormones penetrate stems evenly and are the most versatile and consistent. Gels keep root-inducing hormones evenly distributed along the subterranean stem. Gels are easy to use and practical. Humidity levels of 95 to percent the first two days and gradually reduced to 85 percent over the next seven days.

Always mix the most dilute concentration for softwood cannabis cuttings. Clones root fastest and strongest with 18—24 hours of fluorescent light. Keep the lamps two to six inches 5—15 cm above clones. No tugging on clones to see if they are rooted. Roots should be visible through rooting cubes in one to three weeks. No fertilizer on clones or seedlings the first week or two of growth.

If the strain is difficult to clone. Take clones from lower rigid branches. Drainage must be good. Do not take clones from a sick pest- or disease-infested or flowering mother. Do not add fertilizer. Use a sharp disinfected blade or scissors to make a degree cut across firm, healthy 0. When cutting, make the slice halfway between the sets of nodes. The new clones should be two to four inches 3—5 cm long. Be careful not to crush the end of the stem where cutting.

Carefully trim off two or three sets of lower leaves. Cut them off at the nodes where they meet the stem. Clones root very well when there are one or two sets of trimmed nodes belowground and two sets of leaves above the soil line.