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Growing Cannabis: Grow Stages, Week-by-Week Growing Guidelines

Growing Cannabis | Grow Stages | Cannabis Growing Guidelines | GrowHigher

My Experience Growing Cannabis

In commercial cannabis production, no formula fits all.  There are so many styles of growing cannabis, different mediums, and many different ways to get the plants the nutrients that they need.  But let us not forget it is not analytic chemistry.  (Just kidding, I had to take that class twice.)  

But nevertheless, growing marijuana indoors follows the same principles of growing an outdoor garden and houseplants. The only difference is that indoor growing has a few temperature differences, ph preferences, and humidity needs depending on where you are growing. 

In hydroponic growing we are bringing the cannabis plant indoors, probably from another country, removing wind, Co2, cold roots, stripping the nutrients that are already in the earth, extinguishing the sun and replacing it with a light. What could go wrong? A lot. An in-depth knowledge of botany, chemistry, and other sciences sure can help in having a better understanding of what your cannabis plants will need to thrive. But what you really need is experience, passion, notes, and guides to get you started on your journey to mastering the cannabis plant. 

I am going to take you on the only journey that I know, My Journey.  I understand that not all people use the same ingredients as me, not all use the same mediums as me, not all live in the Pacific Northwest. But every piece of information that you pick up on the way will be an accumulation of stories like mine. This will help build your journey and eventually your success. 

An Overview of My Best Method Growing Cannabis

To get started, I want to provide a quick rundown of what I found to be the most effective setup for growing cannabis, at least for me. Here are some quick notes about the products and equipment I used before getting into my weekly walk-through.

Indoor Environment

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s worth noting that my walkthrough assumes that you are growing cannabis in an indoor environment. This allows much more control of environmental factors. 

Medium and Nutrients

Note** – This walkthrough goes through the process starting with cloning plants, not growing plants from seed. For this, it’s ideal to use a cloning rack system

  • Rockwool 1.5-inch Starter Plugs – For propagating new clones.
  • Rockwool 6×6 Hugo – For vegetating new clones once they start to root.
  • Water is Reverse Osmosis – I’ve found this is the best type of water to maintain ph levels and avoid problems.
  • Nutrient Salts – There are many varieties, but this is necessary whenever you notice any nutrient deficiencies.

Equipment

Here is a quick rundown of the equipment that I like to use best.

Vertical Grow Racks – When growing indoors, naturally you need a place to grow your plants. While benches and tables work great, it is ideal to expand your canopy space vertically to fit more plants in your space and maximize your yields and profits. To do this, you’ll need vertical grow racks, and even better would be mobile vertical grow racks.

LED Lighting – Of all the different types of lighting I’ve tried, LED grow lighting was easily the best fit for indoor cannabis growing.

Humidity Domes – Particularly during the propagation and vegetation phases, using humidity domes was the best way to control the environment and cultivate healthy plants.

Proper Measuring – You’ll definitely want to make sure you have plenty of measuring devices such as:

  • Ph Meters – For measuring ph levels in the soil
  • EC/PPM Readers – For measuring electrical conductivity of your nutrient solution
  • Hygrometers – For measuring humidity in the air
  • CO2 Meter and/or Controllers – For measuring CO2 levels in the air
  • Thermometers – For measuring both air temperature, leaf temperature, and root temperature

My Growing Cannabis Weekly Checklist

Before I walk through the week-by-week details of my method, you should know that there are things that need to be done every week to ensure that everything goes well and you can maximize your cannabis yields. Not doing each one of these things every week, or even more frequently, can result in disaster for your grow.

Here is my weekly checklist for all indoor cannabis growers:

  1. Calibrate ph meters
  2. Calibrate EC/PPM reader
  3. Check water EC/PH that drains out root zone
  4. Check water EC/PH that goes into plants
  5. Water your plants:  Make sure to water until you have runoff. You need to verify the root zone EC and PH
  6. Room temperature check
  7. Plant temperature check
  8. Root temperature check
  9. Insect inspection
  10. Air circulation (look for hotspots)
  11. Humidity level check
  12. Co2 level check
  13. Check for nutrient deficiencies
  14. CLEAN UP YOUR ROOMS
  15. Make sure light controllers are active and functioning correctly
  16. Refer to VPD Chart off leaf temperature if you cannot control your environment well  

 

My Week-by-Week Walkthrough for Cannabis Growers – Cannabis Grow Stages

This walkthrough outlines a roughly 14-week production cycle, generally in total about 98 days.

How to Clone Cannabis

Day 0 – Cloning Day

Time to Clone! Only take from healthy mothers that do not have insects. Clean, healthy mothers produce clean healthy clones. Don’t skip this process—it is key to a great crop. 

The Propagation Grow Stage

Week 1

To start, clones have no roots and need to be covered. High humidity and temperature is a must if you want this process to go quickly. Put on humidity domes and don’t even think about watering your clones until you see roots. Test your plants and see how dry you can really get them.  

Week 1 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED Low Par 100 -150 24 hours
  • Par 100-150
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 0.8
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 86F 
  • 75% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 2

Your clones are just starting to show roots. It’s time to water them with a higher EC and start introducing the clones to air slowly. As soon as you see those little roots poke out the bottom of the plant it is time to transplant into your vegetation medium.

Week 2 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED Low Par 100 -150 24 hours
  • Par 100-150
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 1.1
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 81F 
  • 70% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

The Vegetation Grow Stage

Week 3

Week 3 Starts with Transplant Day. Get the plants in the vegetation room and put them in the new 6×6 Hugo and give them their first heavy water. They will not use up all the water for at least a week.  

Once again, dry them out and try to water them until you see roots coming out of the bottom. Let them get accustomed to stronger lights for a few days and slowly creep it up. Now is also time to start your pest management program.

Week 3 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED 
  • Par 150-250
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 1.2
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 65% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 4 

You should start to see some plants with roots about now. Give them that heavy watering and make sure the PH and EC are looking good. Don’t let up on your pest management program! 

Week 4 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 200-250
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 1.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 65% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 5

Early in the week, when the nodes are ready, do a single top on those plants. Try not to top too much; the more you stunt them the longer they will have to recover in veg. We are looking for a turn and burn with as little stress as possible. Don’t forget to watch those pests.  

Week 5 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED 
  • Par 250
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 1.6
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 60% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Cannabis Flower | What is a Cannabis Flower? | GrowHigher

The Flowering Grow Stage

It’s time to transfer those vegetating plants to your flowering environment. Make sure your flower room temperature and humidity are matched with your vegetation room, or those plants will freak out!

 Connect your plants to their new watering system. Turn off those lights for 36 hours before you start with the new 12-on, 12-off cycle. Start slowly moving up your par readings as the plants get accustomed to their new environment. Our goal is to blast them without shocking them. If they start looking off, feel free to drop the light intensity back down until they recover.  

Also start adjusting your humidity down. As plants grow and fill out their root zones they will start taking up more water. Monitor the plants often to make sure they are watered enough.

For the most part, you’ll leave the plants themselves alone for about 7 weeks. Here are the environmental specs for each in that time period.

Week 6 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 250-300
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 60% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 7 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 400-500
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 55% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 8 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 55% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 9 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 55% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 10 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 50% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 11 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 200-250
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78 
  • 45% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 12 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 12/12
  • EC 1.9-2.3
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 78
  • 40% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 13

After the plants have been in the flowering stage for about 7 weeks, this is time to start hardening those buds and really getting the moisture out of the air. Watch those trichomes to tell you when to finish. Some strains are wrapping it up and others might need a little more time.  

Do not flush the plants, just start watering with reverse-osmosis water normally. The ph levels will go down on their own.  

Keep dropping that temperature down. At this stage, we are trying to simulate fall weather. Start looking at those trichomes to see if the plant is full and ready to harvest at the end of the week.  

Week 13 Environmental Specs:

Turn off CO2

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 12/12hrs
  • EC 0 -1.3 “ 0 if 8 week strain and 1.3 if nine week strain
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 150
  • Temp 72
  • 30% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Week 14 Environmental Specs:

  • Light: LED
  • Par 800-1000
  • Light Cycle 24hrs
  • EC 0
  • PH 5.8-6.1
  • CO2 1500 PPM
  • Temp 68 
  • 25% Humidity
  • Water Temp 68F

Harvesting Cannabis | GrowHigher

Finishing Your Grow and Harvesting

At this point your buds should be aromatic, full, and ready to harvest! It’s time to move on to your processing procedure to harvest, dry, and cure your cannabis buds. Then, repeat the process!

Learn more about these steps by visiting my other blog posts: