Growing

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Soil Conditioning

Before adding any plants or seedlings into the soil, it is best to break up and fluff the soil and make sure the soil is moist before transplanting or dropping in seeds. Condition soil by adding in approximately 300 ml of water per gallon of soil, Pour the water and soil into a tub and stir thoroughly till all of the soil is moist. You want the soil to be wet and fluffy not heavy and muddy. By doing this you improve water absorption and ensure the roots get the proper nutrition.

Water

We recommend using reverse osmosis, rain, distilled water or if using tap water, allow for the water to sit over night for chlorine to dissipate. For best results ph water from 6.0-6.4. Keeping the water in this ph range makes all the nutrients soluble and in turn this provides optimal nutrients for the plant. Watering plants can be tricky, make sure you are not over or under watering or this may cause signs of deficiencies from suffocating or lack of soluble nutrients. Water about 300 ml of water per gallon of soil or as needed. Making sure the pot of soil is completely saturated is key but not over saturated where the water keeps running out and the soil is too heavy and muddy.

Pots

General pot size guide

Pot choice can be a contributor to yield increase. The logic with this style of growing is, The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot you require. With super soil the plant requires space to spread its roots and feed off the soluble nutrients in the soil, use minimum 7-10 gallon pots depending on the estimated final plant size. You can goto our General pot size guide to find out what size pot best suits your garden best. The most common pot being used in growing cannabis are the smart pot style. This is a breathable material that allows more air into the soil and for continued root reach instead of the roots coiling which can be attributed to hindering growth. Earth boxes and Air Pots are also being used in cannabis cultivating. The new designs have shown high increased growth rates.

Strains

Not all strains are equal, Try to find out all specifications on the strains that your are planning to grow. Some species of plants may need more or less attention than others, be aware of your plants needs.

Equipment

Having the right tools for the right job generally influences the finish results. The facility environment, the type of lighting and spacing and addition of Co2 presence are all very important and will help the grower adjust their expectations. We recommend taking the time to source which equipment suits you best because every grower has variance in budget and we feel this is a big part of the overall product. Lights that emit different spectrums and rays can possibly influence the terpenes and flavonoids. Co2 has shown to have an increase of 30% yield when used appropriately and we do not recommend exceeding 1500 ppm. StepWell Super Soil naturally emits Co2 slowly into the atmosphere and can reduce overall costs of Co2 inputs from less being needed.

Lighting

Try playing around with light combos and look for creative ways to get more light to your flowers. Horizontal, Vertical and Ground lights. Not every light is made equally. LED lights are a great way to control heat in your garden as well as saving on energy consumption. Keep in mind that not all LED’s are made equally, Light spectrums and intensities vary on different brands and models. Some LED lights may cause harder feeding on different elements in the soil. Do your research on lights before purchasing.

Nutrition

Although the Super Soil is a rich growing medium, Not all strains will feed the same. To keep up with harder feeding plants use EM1 in your soil. EM1 helps unlock more nutrients by adding more microbe life to your soil. Other solutions to keep up with your plants needs can be organic compost tea’s or adding in more organic fertilizers or amendments. If you are adding more nutrients to the soil keep it within moderation, Start with a little bit and watch the plants reactions before adding more.

Topping

In the vegetative state, when the plant has grown for at least two months (from seed) and at least one week from rooting (clone), the top of the plant can be cut so that at least two or more nodes are left. This will create more branches and colas, increasing yields and bushing the plant out. This technique can be performed multiple times up to the week before flowering, any longer is not recommended. Be sure to allow for growth in between topping times so it does not stunt the plant. Plant’s response can vary from different genetics

Staking

By using sticks or bamboo stakes to prop up branches and the main stalk allows for the plant to focus more energy on bigger flowers instead of using that same energy to keep its self-standing and fighting the winds. The stakes can be used to manipulate the plant to grow in better positions, a good example would be the bonsai tree. This can help to bring light into or to the plant and can help control the height or bushiness. We recommend having selected branches staked before flowering.

Trellising

Using a trellis to control the canopy can act the same as staking when the plant or plants have grown to a size that is hard to manage. Having too many stakes can rip apart the rhizosphere as the stakes are driven into the soil. Most large scale grow operations will be using trellis with selected staking where necessary. This technique allows some of the plant’s energy to be diverted from trying to stand up and stay upright from the wind and concentrate on bigger flowers

Scrog

Scrogging is a type of training for marijuana plants that involves securing a screen above the canopy of your plants, and then tying the growth from the plants onto the screen as time goes on.

Harvesting

Yes, harvesting is a technique. If dialed in, this can be a massive increase in overall yield. Generally, the flower is getting denser instead of visually bigger. When time for harvesting the plants, look at the calyxes on the top colas and specifically the stigmas (the hair coming out of the calyx). We are looking for the stigma to recede back into the calyx, the calyx will look swollen. We think this is a sign of genetic potential and peak performance. Having information for the strain you are growing for approximate flowering times (which is usually written on the seed packet or can be found with a web search), the colour change of the stigma or the ratio of cloudy to amber of the trichrome can also be indicators to when to harvest. The plants characteristics can change based on the stage of ripeness when it is harvested. Some growers may use one method or all of the above. We encourage everyone to try different techniques to create a unique signature for themselves or just to explore. Keeping a log or calendar will help with consistency and narrowing into the peak performance.