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Grow Schedule for Growing Cannabis in Soil

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Cannabis grow schedule for soil
November 05, 2020
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Being the closest to nature, using a soil-based medium lets you take advantage of beneficial organisms in producing the cleanest, tastiest buds. You can grow marijuana using hydroponics and expect vigorous growth. The plants do not have to seek food as it is fed directly. Even so, it does not make this system any better than soil. Here is a sample growing schedule using White Widow seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co.

A Quick Look at White Widow

Among all the famous strains in the world, none are more recommended than White Widow Feminized as the first strain to grow. This hybrid is a lovechild of a Brazilian Sativa and a South Indian Indica. When it first appeared in the Netherlands, it did not take long before all the Dutch coffeeshops carried this strain on their menu. Evidently, its ability to deliver a euphoric, energetic buzz is a hit among the aficionados.

Key Facts:

  • THC: 18-25%
  • Flowering Time: 7-9 weeks
  • Yield: 800 gr/sqm
  • Effects: Creative and euphoric
  • Medical: Anxiety and depression

Apart from desirable effects, White Widow is also a highly resilient plant. It is also naturally resistant to pests and diseases. These growing traits are merely some of the reasons that make it ideal for beginners.

Soil Growing Schedule

Growing in soil is the closest you can get to nature. In the outdoors, it is the most economical way too. You can also do this inside the house, plus the benefit of having more control over the environmental conditions. Since the existence of life on earth, plants have evolved to growing the best when under sunshine. Artificial lights, though, has come a long way. Modern-day lamps can mimic the necessary wavelengths, and the degree of customization you can do indoors can coax the most out of the plants.

In this sample growing schedule using soil and White Widow, we are usingtwo HPS/MH lamps – MH for the vegetative stage, and HPS for the flowering stage.

We are also skipping the germination and the seedling stage. In other words, we take off on the first week of the vegetative stage, in which your plants are developing an extensive root system, branches, and stems.

Since we are growing nine White Widow feminized seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co., the ideal tent size would be at least 48″ x 48″ and 4-gallon containers.

Vegetative Stage

A 400W MH lamp is our primary light source. It emits the necessary wavelength needed by your plants to grow optimally.

Other environmental factors to keep in mind are:

  • Temperature: 70-85°F (20-30°C)
  • Humidity: 40-60%
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5

Week 1

  • Light: 400W MH at 50%, 40″ from the plants, 18 hours on
  • Temperature: 75°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 70% RH
  • Acidity: 5.8 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 250 mL every other day

Replace the light source and use the 400W MH lamp set at half. You will be transplanting the seedlings next week. Notice, too, that the humidity level is at 70%, and exceeds the general recommendation. That is fine during this early vegetative stage as the moisture in the air absorbed through the leaves lessens the workload of the roots.

Follow the recommended procedures on operating digital meters and use them to check the temperature, humidity, and pH – every other day or once a day.

The plants will need water, of course. Generally, you would be using around 250 mL of water per 4-gallon pot every two days. If in case you are using a larger container, then you would have to water less but a little more frequently to prevent overwatering.

When you should provide water depends on multiple factors. These included temperature, humidity, the size of the plant, and the type of soil. Following a schedule may work during this early stage but is not recommended in the coming weeks.

Here’s what you can do as the plants grow larger.

Poke one inch into the tap soil using a finger. If it feels dry, then pour water into the pot until excess water starts to drain at the bottom. There is no need to water if it still feels moist. Ideally, you should use dechlorinated water. It entails drawing tap water, storing in a container, and letting it sit for 24-48 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate before giving to the plants.

At this time, you do not provide nutrients so that the plants could absorb and utilize the existing nutrients in the soil.

Week 2

  • Light: 400W MH at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 18 hours on
  • Temperature: 75°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 70% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 500 ppm
  • EC: 1.0 mS/cm

Your plants have gotten acquainted with the MH lamp. You could, at this time, transplant the seedlings into the 4-gallon pots. Once done, adjust the light to 100% and move it closer to the plants. Ideally, it should be around 20″ away.

So, what happens with the light being closer to the plants?

Light intensity is higher, and the plants do not have to stretch upwards. You want to prevent the White Widow plants from growing too tall, resulting in unstable stalks and stems. Instead of groping for more light, they could focus on getting stronger.

Heat, though, could be a concern. You can place your hand above the plants and feel if it is too excessive. If you feel uncomfortable, then assume that the plants feel the same way. In this case, you should increase the distance by increments of 1″.

You could also transplant the young plants to the 4-gallon pots at the start of the second week. By this time, they are “old” enough. If you do notice that roots are peeking out from the bottom drainage holes of the small containers, then you do not have much choice, in this case. They need a new home as soon as possible.

In the new soil mix, depending on which brand you chose, it may already have nutrients, or you have to add. Either way, be sure that it has higher levels of nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. Your little babies will need lots of nitrogen to grow into large, beautiful ladies.

One thing to remember when providing nutrients is to start with half-strength of the recommended dosage to ease the plants and observe for any signs of trouble.

By the end of the week, you could also “top” or “FIM” the plants, promoting the growth of more lateral branches. Doing so not only controls their height but also increases the bud sites, resulting in increased yields.

Placing a small oscillating fan strategically inside the tent is also a good idea. The direction of the wind should graze the tips of the upper canopy to prevent heat stress and light burn. Also of equal importance is that a slight movement is a form of exercise, allowing the stems and branches to become more sturdy.

During this week, you should also place a fan in your grow room and aim it right over the plants, so it’s touching the tops of them a bit. The plants should all be moving in the wind a little bit, as that helps to strengthen their stems.

Flowering Stage

How do you know when it is time to trigger the flowering phase?

Looking at the plants from above, you should see a green blanket of leaves. The foliage is thick enough that light is not penetrating beneath the canopy. You can now switch to a 12/12 light cycle and start the reproductive stage.

One more thing, do not forget to use the HPS lamp.

Week 1

  • Light: 600W HPS at 50%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 75°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 60% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 1000 mL every other day
  • TDS: 600 ppm
  • EC: 1.2 mS/cm

Once you switch to 12/12, it mimics the shorter daytime as fall nears. It triggers biological processes that shift the plants’ focus from growing to producing flowers.

You are not going to see any flowers this week, though, as it would take a few more weeks. At this point, moving forward, you would want to commit to the routine of caring for plants, catering to their flowering needs. Providing HPS is an excellent start. It emits a spectrum that is most conducive to developing buds by mimicking sunshine during the fall season. Start this week with 50% strength only, though, to help the plants adjust and get used to it.

Keep in mind that at this point, you have not changed the nutrient mix, and the White Widow plants are receiving plenty of nitrogen.

As always, monitor the environmental conditions. In the flowering stage, you still keep the same pH and temperature range as in the vegetative stage. The humidity level, on the other hand, should be kept no higher than 60% RH.

Preventive measures should also be taken now that your plants are in the final stage of its life cycle. You can do that by watching out for signs of pests, diseases, and other issues concerning temperature, humidity, nutrients, air circulation, and watering.

Week 2

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 60% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2000 mL every other day
  • TDS: 650 ppm
  • EC: 1.3 mS/cm

As the ladies brace up for producing flowers, now is the time to stop topping. You should continue removing the side shoots on the lower parts of the plants, though, as these only take away resources better used by developing buds.

Over the next few weeks, depending on the strain, your plants are going to stretch by 100-200%. Because of that, be sure to monitor the proximity of the upper canopy to the HPS lamp. You will occasionally need to adjust the height, ensuring that the growing buds do not suffer from a light burn or heat stress.

In the following weeks, too, the TDS should increase by 50, and EC by 0.1 every week. In other words, you would be providing more nutrients gradually. Wait until the end of this week, then flush the soil using 6.5 pH water. Once done, only then do you add a nutrient mix that is appropriate for flowering – one that is rich in phosphorus.

Week 3

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 60% RH
  • Acidity: 6.0 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2000 mL every other day
  • TDS: 700 ppm
  • EC: 1.4 mS/cm

Your plants should now start getting accustomed to the new nutrient mix. You should soon see small hairs forming into balls that eventually turn into buds. Now is an excellent time to practice identifying the gender of the plants. These White Widow plants are grown from feminized seeds. There is no harm, however, in ruling out with finality any males that may emerge, defying nature.

The ladies are no longer focused on growing stems and branches. Instead, they shift their attention to producing the flowers. What you can do to maximize development is to continue to provide optimal environmental conditions.

Along with increased consumption of nutrients, the plants will also require more water. Be sure to check the topsoil for moistness or dryness and water as necessary.

Week 4

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 50% RH
  • Acidity: 6.0 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 750 ppm
  • EC: 1.5 mS/cm

In this fourth week, there are no drastic changes in the way you care for the plants. Continue to monitor the temperature, moisture, and also monitor soil pH levels. Watch out, too, for signs of pest infestations. To avoid moisture-related diseases, lower the humidity level to 50% RH.

The hairy balls that should have appeared the previous week should continue to grow in size. They will start to look more and more like buds in the coming days.

Week 5

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 50% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 800 ppm
  • EC: 1.6 mS/cm

One of the traits that make White Widow an easy-to-grow strain is that it is a hardy plant with sturdy stems. These plants are not likely to need stakes to prevent the stems from snapping on the weight of the buds. Note that some other strains do need some form of support.

At this stage of development, the plants also need higher levels of carbon dioxide. You could provide that during daytime hours. If not, the best you can do is to ensure a good flow of air. Use a small oscillating fan to help circulate the air, thus eliminating stale air.

At the end of the week, flush the plants with 6.5 pH water. Use only plain water as you will be changing to a new nutrient mixture again to boost the flower development.

Week 6

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 50% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 850 ppm
  • EC: 1.7 mS/cm

For the past few weeks, you have been using bloom nutrients. What you want to do is to make the plants go on an overdrive and finish strong. You can do that by adding a booster to further increase potassium. What happens is that it enhances the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the buds.

Be prepared for the transformation of the ladies. The white pistils are going to turn to a darker color, usually orange or brownish. As soon as around 80% have changed color, then harvest time is coming soon.

Week 7

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 40% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 750 ppm
  • EC: 1.5 mS/cm

As the buds keep continuing to grow larger in size, they will also be surrounded by thicker coats of trichomes. Beneath the surface, they are also becoming denser. The harvest time is imminent at this late stage.

In preparation, you gradually decrease the nutrients, lowering the TDS by 100 ppm from the previous week to 750 ppm. What you are accomplishing is forcing the plants to utilize more of the nutrients already absorbed into its system. At the bottom, some leaves may turn yellow and die. You do not have to worry about that during this period.

Throughout the week, lower the humidity level to 40% RH. On the last day, flush the plants with 6.5 pH water.

Week 8

  • Light: 600W HPS at 100%, 20″ from the plants, 12 hours on
  • Temperature: 80°F daytime, 65°F nighttime
  • Humidity: 40% RH
  • Acidity: 6.2 pH
  • Watering Schedule: 2500 mL every other day
  • TDS: 250 ppm
  • EC: 0.5 mS/cm

This week is all about cleansing. You have flushed the plants and should now provide minimal nutrients. Keep the TDS reading to around 250 ppm.

Meanwhile, more of the pistils continue to turn darker in color. You may also notice that they do not consume as much water as in the past week or two. It is an indicator of the looming harvest time.

In the meantime, watch out for the traitorous bud rot, so watch out for signs of browning leaves. If it occurs, try pulling and it should come off rather easily. So, what you can do is to open the bud gently. Look inside, and if there is rot, then remove that bud immediately. Take proper precautions not to contaminate the others by wearing gloves and working carefully, gently.

Using a jeweler’s loupe, observe the trichomes. Once 60% to 70% have turned milky white, then harvest the buds. They will be at their best, having the highest concentrations of THC. Delaying results in some of the THC degrading, turning into CBN, causing the buds to be more couch-locking.

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