As is usual for me, I hit the great outdoors to grow marijuana in the open air this summer and give my indoor marijuana growing space and my air conditioners a well-deserved rest.
It’s now mid-October, and in about two weeks I’ll be done harvesting and manicuring my outdoor crop. The weather’s getting cooler and that means it’s time to start my indoor marijuana growing season, which runs each year from late October to late March.
This season I’m growing strains I’ve never grown before, so I’m super stoked about experiencing these new variants and doing some seed breeding, too.
Before I ever germinate seeds or root clones, I create a grow calendar that provides a very helpful framework for my monthslong indoor marijuana growing season.
Here’s What My Grow Schedule Looks Like
October 14–18: I implement this handy indoor marijuana grow-room season-starting checklist, which tells you all you need to know about finding and fixing problems before you start seeds or clones. It also gives you an opportunity to assess and upgrade your indoor marijuana grow lights and other gear.
October 19: Place 25 seeds into 5-inch Jiffy Pots filled with soilless mix, and water them in. I’m germinating 17 feminized seeds and eight non-feminized seeds. My germination rate will be close to 100 percent because I’m using reliable seeds from Dutch Passion, TGA Genetics, plus a private collection. I’m germinating the non-feminized seeds because I want a couple of male plants for breeding.
October 26: By now the strongest seeds will have germinated. I estimate I’ll have 19–25 seedlings. I place the seedlings under a small LED grow light or T5 high-output fluorescent grow light and set a floor fan to blow gently on the seedlings to strengthen their stalks.
November 5: I do my first feeding and supplementing. At this time I use a very low dose of hydroponics base nutrients, B-52 vitamin booster, and Voodoo Juice root-boosting beneficial microbes.
November 9: I select the sturdiest, fastest-growing seedlings and transplant them to five-gallon smart pots.
November 20–26: I’m waiting for my seedlings to have at least seven or nine sets of true leaves (i.e., serrated leaves). As each seedling reaches maturity, I trim the apical meristem as seen in the following video. I also clean up bottom growth to remove leaves or branches that touch or are near the soil line.
During this period, I increase my hydroponics nutrients feed program to 50–75 percent of the manufacturer’s recommended dose.
I always monitor leaf tips, because if leaf tips turn brown soon after feeding, it means I’m overfeeding. If I’ve overfed, I flush my root zone with Flawless Finish, and reduce the parts per million of my nutrients solution.
December 4: I’m likely to do another trim, this time edging the apical meristem and the top growth of the sturdiest side branches, as you see in the following video:
By this stage of crop growth, I’m running full-strength grow-phase hydroponics base nutrients, and have added Piranha, Tarantula and Rhino Skin to my feed program.
My program is complicated by my breeding program. I examine pre-flowering nodes and plant structural profiles, trying to determine which of the non-feminized plants will be males.
I isolate two or three plants I most believe are males, and start them flowering by themselves in a small grow tent equipped with a 250-watt HID light.
My guesswork regarding plant gender is about 75 percent accurate. If I turn out to be wrong and any of the plants reveal themselves to be females, I place them with the other females.
On the other hand, if any of the plants I think are females turn out to be males, I isolate those and grow them away from the confirmed females if I want the pollen from them.
And if I don’t want the pollen? I terminate them.
Week of December 11: I decide which plants are keepers and transplant those into 10-gallon smart pots. I’m running 2400 watts of LEDs; my target is to have no more than a dozen female plants.
After transplanting, I change to a 12-12 light cycle and start bloom phase. I do a mini-flush using Flawless Finish, then start a new feed program using bloom-phase hydroponics base nutrients, along with Bud Ignitor.
December 16: As early flowering phase begins, I transition my bloom booster from Bud Ignitor to Big Bud. Throughout grow phase and bloom phase, I measure vertical growth and inspect leaves on a daily basis. If I’ve collected premium male pollen and have decided to go ahead with my breeding project, I fertilize several branches as the flowers become ready for pollination.
Christmas: I give my plants a sweet present: Bud Candy. It’s a carbohydrate formula that makes buds taste and smell stronger and sweeter. Peak bloom is just beginning.
January 20, 2018: I’ve stopped using Big Bud bloom booster and substituted it with Nirvana and Overdrive while continuing Bud Candy. The crops have about 3–4 more weeks until flushing and harvest.
Third week of February, 2018: I’ve started flushing and harvesting some strains. Instead of harvesting all plants to the soil line, I choose my favorites and leave the bottom 15 percent of their plant structure intact so I can rejuvenate them. Rejuvenate means I put them back under grow phase lighting so they revert to grow phase once again. I’ll be using these rejuvenated plants as mothers for clones.
End of February, 2018: Harvesting and manicuring is finished, and the buds are drying.
March 23, 2018: I take clones from the rejuvenated plants and put the clones into a grow-phase lighting and feed program so I can use them for my outdoor marijuana growing season. I strip seeds from my dried buds, sampling the new strains with eager anticipation and enjoyment.
I have an erasable wall calendar on my grow-room wall that contains my overall planning template such as I’ve outlined above, along with more detailed notes.
Please consider the benefits of taking time before you start your marijuana seeds and clones to create a marijuana-growing master plan of your own. Your plants don’t always follow your plan exactly, but your planning calendar will help you stay on track.