latest content update: Sep 4, 12022
this is what I use to organize my notes - I wanted to share it.
this is a work in progress and if you want to chip in with your own information, please do so.
this is my journal.
The notes are divided as follows:
A. ON BOTANY
B. ON PRE-PLANNING (genetics, par light, envir, method & medium, and fertilization)
C. ON GROWING (techs, veg, flower, harvest, cure, issues and pest mgmt)
D. ON POST PROCESSING (decarb, edibles, hash and other concentrates)
E. ON INTERESTING GROW JOURNALS AND CONTENT IN OG
A. ON BOTANY
Cannabis is a vascular plant - specifically, a flowering herb. Vascular or higher plants have lignified tissues (the xylem) for conducting water and minerals throughout the plant, and a specialized non-lignified tissue (the phloem) to conduct products of photosynthesis (mainly glucose + oxygen).
Marijuana Botany Full Book - RC Clark is one of the few cannabis botany published authors out there, who is actually a plant biologist.
Marijuana Botany - Greenman's Page
or if link is down:
Marschner’s Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants - A MUST to understand the mechanics of how Cannabis (vascular/higher plants) feeds and why.
Cannabis evolution and ethnobotany by RC Clark, Mark Merlin UC Berkeley
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275175754_Cannabis_Evolution_and_Ethnobotany (summary of book)
Download PDF - Cannabis: Evolution And Ethnobotany [PDF] [19iclitn8758] (FULL book)
Lucas Laursen - concise article on cannabis botany
The Cannabis Terpenes
The Cannabis Terpenes - PMC
B. ON PRE-PLANNING
- PAR Light
- Medium (Water & Air) and Fertilization
Genetics will be responsible for the general quality of your grow (whereas your growing method will correlate closely with maximizing yield and potential of that plant).
Dedicated Breeder/Genetic Threads in OG
Find reliable seed banks
Marijuana Botany - Refer to Chapter 3 “Genetics and Breeding “ to understand the theory
Marijuana Botany - Greenman's Page or
if link is down:
Team Overgrow FAQ on IBL F1, F2
What is an F1, F2, and IBL?
The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible by Greg Green
The Cannabis Breeder's Bible: The Definitive Guide... (PDF)
This only applies to LED. I do not research HPS.
Light Myths and FAQs - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee - Probably the best place to start to understand the general light requirements of the plant.
Cannabis Grow Lighting Myths and FAQs with Dr. Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
Turning photons into food (calculating potential yield based on light) - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee
Turning Photons Into Food - YouTube
Photobiology explained - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee -
Photobiology Simplified with Dr Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
PAR, PPFD, PPF, and PFD Explained - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee - How to understand lights efficiency and efficiency nomenclature.
PAR, PPF, PPFD, and PFD Explained - YouTube
Far Red effects - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee
Far-red: The Forgotten Photons - YouTube
Light Spectrum - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee
Toward an Optimal Spectral Quality for Plant Growth and Development - YouTube
UV Light effects - VIDEO by Bruce Bugbee
How Ultraviolet Radiation Affects Plants with Dr. Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
OG member Mr. Sparkle DIY LED Build
Cheap LED Strips : A Viable Alternative - #2 by Mr.Sparkle
DYI LED Build - VIDEO By GreenGenes
Ultimate DIY LED Grow Light: Photo Boost Reference 1.2 - YouTube
OG Grow FAQ - How to calculate your grow room efficiency (how much light is costing you per gram)
How do I accurately measure my Grow Room Efficiency?
PAR light and Spectrum
PAR means photosynthetically active radiation. PAR designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis - in other words, the specific light spectrum (specific wavelengths) that cannabis will use for photosynthesis.
Solar light has a spectrum of 300nm to 800mm. Of that range, it is usually considered that PAR light falls between 400nm (blue) to 700nm (red), yet there are studies that indicate that some ultra violet (UVA 315-400 nm) and far red (700 - 800nm) light affect trichome production and photosynthesis.
Efficiency VS Spectrum
According to research by Dr. Bruce Bugbee from the Utah State University, roughly speaking - if everything else is stable, the amount of light provided will dictate the quantity of your yield. Efficiency (micro-mol per joule) will generally be more important than spectrum when it comes to yield. Choosing an efficient light is essential.
It is important that the LED manufacturer is straight forward regarding the real wattage and efficiency of the light, the diodes it uses, and the spectrum.
Charts and Great breakdown of VPD and Plant Transpiration Rates
Understanding VPD and Transpiration Rates for Cannabis Cultivation Operations
Understanding RH and VPD - While relative humidity is the most common way growers express the air’s saturation with water, it’s not the best measurement to accurately predict plant transpiration or water loss.
Air Ventilation explained - proper air ventilation (including circulating fans and inline vent) is important to keep environment stable but also to ensure co2 renewal.
The Importance Of Air Circulation In Indoor Cannabis Grow | Fast Buds
OG Team Northern_Loki’s AMAZING VPD information and source code to generate VPD Charts
Source code: C++ Temperature Conversion and Vapor Pressure Deficit Classes 🛠 - #3 by Northern_Loki
VPD App - fast way to check you are on correct environment VPD
How to setup air ventilation - all the correct ways you can locate your air vent depending on your needs.
Light proofing air vent (quick fix) - To prevent stress, accidental reversal to veg state while flowering, etc.
Lightproof Passive Intake Ideas | 420 Magazine
Light proofing air vent (stable fix)
Grow Tent Air Intake Light Baffle | 420 Magazine
Making sure you are able to maintain the proper environment is important because it will determine how much you can push your plant (how much CO2 it can take, how much you can water, feed, and not stress it).
Humidity & Temperature
Marijuana takes water and air from its roots, and transpire it through its leaves. If transpiration rate is too fast or too slow, it will cause issues with nutrient uptake, root rot, mold, etc.
VPD charts (above in links) will help you understand the right temperature and humidity ratio to maintain correct transpiration rates in its different stages.
It is very important to ensure plenty of air circulation to provide enough CO2, control temperature, prevent humidity issues, as well as preventing pests and mold. Having an air vent (like an inline fan) and small fans is a must.
IV. MEDIUM & FERTILIZATION
Soiless Fertilization: In minute 34 Dr. Bugbee discusses a throughout nutrient regimen of 20-10-20 with some amendments.
Maximizing Cannabis Yields with Dr Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
Soiless fertilization: GreenGenes’ nutrient guides for hydro and soilless - based on his own experience, self teaching, and years of trials, GreenGene adjusts a Jacks 321 plan.
Thinking Out Loud: Plant Nutrients - YouTube
Soiless medium: in minute 23 Dr. Bugbee discusses the Soiless medium of choice for USU’s research.
Maximizing Cannabis Yields with Dr Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
GreenGenes analyses & compares all the major Cannabis Fertilizers ratios (including Athena, Jacks, FloraFex, etc)
Plant Nutrients as of 2021 - YouTube
No Till Soil Organics - Discussion
No-Till & Organics Q&A's
When to water (Lifting the pot)
What is the "lift the pot" method? | 420 Magazine
When to water in Coco
EC to PPM chart conversion
EC to PPM Conversion Chart | Manic Botanix – Manic Botanix
PH for Soil Growers explained
Soil pH #961 (Air Date 9-4-16) - YouTube
Base Saturation explained for Soil growers
Base Saturation (From Ag PhD #593 8/16/09) - YouTube
CEC (and its implications in Soilless and Soil mediums)
What is CEC and Why Is It Important? | PRO-MIX
Understanding PH - ChristianKungfu thread in Overgrow to understand PH and how it affects nutrient availability
ChristianKungFu - pH
Controlling PH - LemonadeJoe thread in Overgrow to figure out correct PH in soil and hydro/soil-less
pH Adjustments - guide? - #13 by slain
Role of Calcium in Plant Culture | PRO-MIX Greenhouse Growing
Metods & Medium
The different growing mediums/methods - let it be soil, coco coir, peat, deep water culture, aeroponics, etc - are just creative solutions to balance the plant’s water and air necessities. Essentially, the challenge is how to provide the plant with as much water as it can take without drowning it and how to provide the plant with as much air as it can take, without drying it.
There are two main school of thoughts regarding mediums: soil and soiless. While you can have Soil Inorganic and Organic, as well as Soilless Organic and Inorganic, this guide will only deal with Soil Organic (although “organic” is a debated term) and Soiless Inorganic.
See links for specific medium recipes.
The two extreme sides to balancing water and air are best exemplified by
- having the roots partially submerged in highly oxygenated water (for ex, DWC - a bucket with water and an air pump) or
- having the roots suspended in air with constant water misters (like an aeroponic setup),
The problem with extreme soiless methods like DWC and aeroponics is that they depend on the grower knowing exactly what they are doing (and having reliable power sources and good budgeting) since being in extremes means having little room for error. Peat and Coco Coir mixed with Perlite or very coarse vermiculite for aeration are great soiless solutions that will allow you to have a little more wiggle room.
In soiless inorganic all the nutrients are directly provided by the grower through fertilizers diluted in water and/or dry amendments, in the form of inorganic chemicals (the plant takes the element ions the same way regardless its source).
Water PH for soiless mediums should be kept within 5.5 to 6.5, with many growers finding best results at 5.7 to 6.0 ph.
Soiless Inorganic - Fertilization
Cannabis needs a balanced nutrient regimen of primary nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK); Secondary nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium, Silica; and Tertiary nutrients: Iron, Boron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Chlorine.
You can get a 20-10-20 or similar dry fertilizer (that you’ll need to dissolve in water) and apply it through out the grow (with minimal adjustments between veg and flower) for 90% less of the price you pay for a cannabis marketed products (specially liquid ones). Check the links of this section for specifics.
Optimal fertilizer ratios according to Utah University Research (Thanks to @Davesnothere)
For veg: (these are all mg/L). N- 120, P- 30, K- 129, Ca- 50, Mg- 17, S- 21, Si- 8, Fe- 1, B- 0.40, Mn- 0.32, Zn- 0.32, Cu- 1, Cl- 1, Mo- 0.06. For flower you can increase the P up to 50mg/L with monopotassium phosphate or other similar “DIY bloomers”.
You can look for these raw fertilizers
Soiless Inorganic - Fertilization - PPM
PPM or parts per million is the number of dimensionless parts multiplied by a million. So for example, 1 ppm is like 1 minute in 2 years (if you see how many minutes are in a year it is roughly a million). To better understand PPM in terms of nutrient and water, you can express it like milligrams per liter (mg/L - because there are 1,000,000mg in a Liter), therefore 1ppm of Phosphorous, means 1mg of phosphorus per liter. In general PPM will be how much nutrient you are giving to the plant.
When you look at feeding guides you will see that many refer to EC or PPM. These are not really that translatable, but there are charts to convert (see links)
In fertigation (meaning you dissolve most or all of your nutrients in water) how much PPM you give your plant will heavily depend on CO2 levels, VPD consistency, genetics, medium, and plant health. As a general rule you can apply a 1.3 EC or 650 ppm through out the grow.
In soil organic the grower provides nutrients indirectly to the plant by feeding the microbiology sustained in the soil. Those microbes in the soil will process the organic matter (eat and poop it) and produce the element ions that the plants will use as food.
Soil organic has the widest margin of error as it is harder (but no impossible) to break the plants thresholds for nutrients. While there is a widely accepted idea that ph in soil is not important, the actual ph of the soil (not of the water like in soiless) is important for its impact on nutrient availability and Cation Exchange Capacity of the soil.
Soil PH should be usually kept at 7 or slightly acidic.
Soil Organic - Fertilization
In the above links (at the start of IV. MEDIUM & FERTILIZATION) you will find many soil recipes to maintain good fertilization. When you keep a healthy aerated soil, watering and knowing when to water is probably the only things you need to worry about.
For Soiless Coco
For best results water should be kept on a constant basis with automatic fertigation tools or by watering daily (depending on size).
For Soil (and Peat soiless growers)
Fill a same-size container with barely dry (soil) or barely moist (in case of coco and peat) and lift it to have a reference of how much that container weighs when its about to dry, then fill it with water and feel how much it weighs filled. Water everytime the pot gets close to the dry/barely moist weight.
C. ON GROWING
Dr. Bruce Bugbee (University of Utah) VIDEO - covers light, environment, media and fertilizer.**
Maximizing Cannabis Yields with Dr Bruce Bugbee - YouTube
Teaming with Microbes - understand the science behind organic growing and the technique to do it right. (just wait for bar to load for download link)
Crop Steering thread - Manipulating environment to increase productivity and cannabinoids
Lollipopping - To improve air circulation and remove leaves that are not getting light.
Defoliation - Defoliation is not recommended other than when lollipopping or for humidity and temp emergency control (and light penetration)
Topping - To create four main colas, cut on top of the true second node when the plant has grown at least five true nodes.
Uncle Ben's Topping Technique to Get 2 or 4 Main Colas | Rollitup
Mainlining - To create four main colas & try to gain even distribution within the plant
Main-Lining Tutorial on Training Marijuana Plants | Grow Weed Easy
Supercropping - series of techniques to improve yield
SCROG - to maximize the amount of plant leaves getting light from few plants
SOG. Not really any stress. Its a growing method to maximize the amount of plant leaves getting light by growing large number of -small- plants, instead filling space with larger but less plants (like SCROG).
note: when using peat make sure it has dolomite or amended to raise ph.
note 2: when in peat or soil make sure to have enough perlite/vermiculite or soil conditioner to ensure air and fluffiness - critical for seed and seedling health and avoid damp off.
Light cycle in Seedling is predominantly lighted, meaning your lights should be anywhere from 18 to 24 hours on and 6 to 0 hours off (it is recommended to start with 18/4) if your plants get too stressed (if droop towards the end of the light cycle, then lower intensity or cut down on hours with lights on)
Temperature and Humidity will have to follow a .4 to .8 VPD. Regardless of VPD, 70% humidity is recommended during seedling stage.
In this stage, the seed sprouts and grows a few inches along with cotyledons (the first leaves). The cotyledons store nutrients and help supply the seedling with its initial nutrition.
Complete guide for transplanting in coco and soil
Important tips on soil compression and overwatering specially when transplanting.
Light cycle in Veg is predominantly lighted, meaning your lights should be anywhere from 18 to 24 hours on and 6 to 0 hours off (it is recommended to start with 18/4) if your plants get too stressed (if droop towards the end of the light cycle, then lower intensity or cut down on hours with lights on)
Temperature and Humidity will have to follow a .4 to .8 VPD in the first 7 weeks and .8 to 1.2 VPD in the last weeks.
It is also recommended to apply neem oil once a week during veg to avoid common and frequent pests like spider mites (neem oil should be discontinued in flowering)
Light leaks in veg has been hard to investigate, general consensus seems to point towards “not that important, but fix them before flowering”.
With Autoflowers they will go into flowering on their own, on average within a month of being sowed. Although it is not uncommon for some to take more.
Photoperiods will change to flowering when you change the cycle from mostly light to 12/12.
The first three weeks of flowering are usually known for stretching, meaning plants will grow up to double their size. Later weeks will see bud growth, change in color of pistils (the white “hairs” that grow from the buds), and trichomes will become more prevalent and grow (trichomes are the structures that contain the cannabinoids and terpenes)
Temperature and Humidity will have to follow a .8 to 1.2 VPD in the first 7 weeks and 1.2 to 1.6 VPD in the last weeks. Regardless of VPD, it is recommended to keep humidity in the 45% to 58% range to avoid issues with mold, fungus, and bud rot.
Light leaks in flowering are known to cause stress, producing nanners and other hermaphroditic characteristics, and even reveg (force your plant to go back to vegetative state).
Usually, people suggest that when 20 - 50 % of trichomes are amber (you check that with a 30/60x loupe), you can consider harvesting. Equally important is to look at the pistils, they should be brown in color and receded to closely to the bud (meaning they are no longer extending away from the plant, but have actually contracted towards the bud).
Many users wash their flowers before they hang them to dry. A pre-trim may be performed, but it is not necessary. The process consists in dipping the freshly cut harvest into three or two (depending on method) buckets.
The simplest version is to dip the flowers for 1 or 2 minutes in a 5 gallon bucket of water with 250ml of 3% H202 (Hydrogen Peroxide) - or 75ml of 34% food grade H202 in the 5 gallon buck of water - and then dip into a second bucket filled with simple water for rinse, then let drip dry (preferably with a fan near)
VII. Drying and Curing
Drying and curing science is VERY limited. Water Activity is the key factor, but the problem is measuring water activity (expensive equipment). So unless you have a good water activity meter, you’ ll have to go with humidity as your reference.
After chopping (or if you washed them, after initial soak has dried) hang on a dark room or diy drying box and make sure humidity is set to the lowest possible (if controlled) or leave at the driest dark room available for the first 24 hours, after the first 24 hours try to get humidity on a 55% - 60% range and temperature on 70F (max) for about 10 days, or until stems snap or almost snap when bent.
After drying, put into glass jars 3/4 full with a small hygrometer, and check that humidity does not rise above 60% inside the jars. To help maintain 60% or lower humidity, jar burping is necessary (opening the jars for 30 minutes in a cool dark place).
Nagel420 has a great auto burping system
to know more about the limited science on Drying and Curing please see:
VIII. Issues and Counter-Measures
There are many issues (deficiencies, toxicites, pests, and environmental). In order of importance:
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) DONT fuck around with pests. IPM system will include (i) frequently cleaning and disinfecting grow spaces with h202, iso alcohol, and/or heat treatments (like steamers for ppl on budget); (ii) cleaning and disinfecting tools used in pruning and cloning; (iii) setting rules like quarantining plants, or not taking clones.
when it comes to prevention Neem Oil (with MINIMUM or NO SOAP, soap will burn your plants) and Spinosad is OK until the end of first week after flip.
When it comes to prevention and control (meaning you have bugs already) Abamectin (Avid), bifenazate (Floramite), spiromesifen (Forbid) can be used ONLY until first week of flower and min 50 days before harvest. Abamectin can be considered organic. but there controversy regarding its application.
Deficiendies/Toxicites & Environment
When it comes to deficiencies and toxicities, its important to understand that a wrong ph, far off VPD, and even overdosage of a certain nutrient can cause the deficiency of a different nutrient, making diagnosing a pain (you may see a certain deficiency and try to give the plant more of it, not knowing that the levels are actually correct while it is ph, VPD, or a toxicity that needs to be fixed)
Its important to get VPD right with planned EC and proper PH, to be able to single out irregularites, and try one thing at a time.
- Taco shaped leaves
- Droopy, wilting or curled down firm leaves
- Droopy, wilting or weak-limp leaves
- Clawing leaves (leaf tips pointing down)
- Yellow leaves
- Brown leaves
- Red Stems
- Brown & yellow leaves
- Dark green leaves
- “Burnt” leaf tips
Based on the above-mentioned RED FLAGS, diagnose your plants:
Characterization of Nutrient Disorders of Cannabis sativa - Research Paper with great visual progression of principal disorders
D. ON POST-PROCESSING
Decarboxylation - Total THCa decarb is achieved at temps of 110°C/230°F (for 30 min), 130°C/266°F (9 min), and 145°C/293°F (6min) in an oven (coarse grind) on a baking sheet and covered with foil.
E. ON INTERESTING GROW JOURNALS AND CONTENT IN OG
Motaco - For those interested in heirloom and heirloom mix breeding.
Mr. Sparkle - Clean, organized, detailed.
Mr Sparkle - Micro-grow
ReikoX - Advanced, technical, clean, detailed, Organic. - Soil Tests!
99PerCent - Beautiful greenhouse.
GramTorino - Very detailed (with lots of good + explanatory images), clean, and organized.
Ttystikk - Vertical farming, say no more.
Eskobar’s - Crop Steering and Strain Judging in Mapito Flood Tek
Lotus70 - No Till Korean Natural Farming
Davesnothere sources thread - overgrow member with a great thread on resources and info
Off Topic Threads