Getting Started

Our focus is on organic outdoor gardens. There are many different ways to grow Cannabis, but we’ve put together some helpful tips and info together to help beginning gardeners get started.

We suggest that beginners start by growing cannabis outside with a plant vs. a seed. Cannabis starts are known as clones. Clones are a genetic replica of the mother plant. The female Cannabis plant produces the flowering buds that you want. Just as there are many varieties of tomato, there are many varieties of Cannabis that vary in plant size, days until harvest, and potential yield.

Planting

As with tomatoes, harden off your new plant by slowly introducing it outdoors to sunlight over the course of a week. Plant your start in the ground or in a generous sized pot, using potting soil and amending that soil with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as Bat Guano 7-3-1 (see starter list). Plant or place your plant in full sun. By placing your plant in a pot rather than in the ground, you’ll be able to extend your season by moving the plant indoors to finish its cycle, in case fall rains arrive early. Keep in mind that the pot size combined with plant, roots, soil, and growth habit may make it difficult to move once the plant matures.

Important: Allow the plant to dry out between watering. Be sure to water to the roots, and never water overhead. Water requirements will increase as the plant grows.

Starter List:

• Down To Earth Potting Soil or Pro-Organic Potting Mix

• Worm Castings

• Bio-Live 5-4-2

• Biochar

• Cascade Minerals

• Bat Guano 7-3-1

• Seabird Guano 0-11-0

• DTE Liquid All-Purpose Fertilizer 4-1-3

• DTE Liquid Bloom 2-6-4

• Kelp Help!

• DTE MicroNutrient 2-0-1

• DTE Liquid Calcium 5.0% (Helps improve nutrient uptake, plant development, and can help as a disease preventative).

 

Environmental Factors

Plant Cannabis outdoors in full sun when the overnight temperatures remain above 50˚F. The Cannabis plant, whether planted indoors or outdoors is susceptible to molds and mildews, most commonly and notoriously, powdery mildew and botrytis. Neem oil acts as a preventative for molds. Apply as directed. Good air circulation, as a result of pruning during the vegetative stage is a must to avoid mold and fungal issues. Supplements, such as DTE Liquid Calcium and Kelp Help! will enhance your plants stress resistance and improve tolerance to environmental extremes such as heat and drought. Pests are limited.

Vegetative Stage

During the plant’s vegetative growth stage, fertilize lightly every 10-14 days with a high nitrogen fertilizer one month after planting. It is extremely important to maintain air circulation & light by pruning and training the plant during this time. Do not prune the plant once it starts flowering.

Flowering Stage

Cannabis is photoperiodic-reactive. As the days shorten and the nights lengthen the plant will flower.
As the plant approaches its flowering stage, change to a high phosphorus fertilizer to encourage blooming: Seabird Guano 0-11-0 , or DTE Liquid Bloom 2-6-4, or DTE Liquid Bone Meal 0-12-0. In addition, the following supplements can also provide a benefit to the plant during this time: Kelp Help!, DTE Liquid Calcium, or DTE Liquid MicroNutrient.

Depending on the strain of plant you are growing, some may finish as early as late-September or as late as mid-October. It is recommended to stop fertilizing at least two weeks before the harvest of your plant. Protect your plants from rain before harvest time. Mold will damage and compromise your harvest. Plants should flower approximately 6+ weeks before harvest. Indications of flower maturity can include: pistils which look like tiny little hairs coming out of the flower that appear at least 50% orange/red. Trichome (tiny ‘hairs’ with what appears to look like tiny crystals on the tips) coloration should change from a clear color to a milky white with amber throughout (not visible to the naked eye; use a 60x magnification microscope or greater).

Harvesting/Drying/Storage

Once the plant has reached peak maturity, remove the flowering branches. Trim off the larger fan leaves with fine tip snips, as well as some of the smaller leaves throughout the flower, removing most of the leaf matter prior to drying. Clean your trimming equipment with a product such as Citra Solv Concentrate at full strength to help remove sticky plant oils that will accumulate on your snips.

To properly dry Cannabis, hang your flowers in a very well-ventilated space using a fan if necessary. When the flowers feel crispy to the touch, and the stems still bend without snapping, then you know it is time to cure the flowers. (This usually happens within a few days of hanging up the flowers).

For curing, glass jars or large plastic containers will work as long as they are airtight. Seal the flowers in an airtight container, and open it daily to allow moisture left in the stems to escape. You’ll notice the flowers will feel wet when you open the container. Allow them to become crispy to the
touch again, then seal them back into the airtight container. Once the flowers no longer feel wet upon opening the container, they are ready for long term storage. Keep them sealed in an airtight container until use.

*Note: If dry fertilizer mixes are used as the primary nutrient source it is important to apply compost tea as a soil drench using the following Down To Earth Compost Recipe, as well as some DTE Soluble Root Growth Enhancer to encourage root growth, and nutrient & mineral uptake for optimum overall plant health and growth.