It’s been 2 weeks and our four plants have their first 3 sets of leaves and they’re approx. 4 inches tall! This is the ideal point in your plants’ new vegetative growth stage to also switch from watering with fresh pure water only, to watering with a nutrient solution. You’ll prepare this using a mix of pure freshwater and your selected brand of liquid organic nutrients. Every container of liquid nutrients comes with a chart and instructions printed on the back label.
You only have 4 plants to raise in peat mix set up, so you don’t need complicated numbers, formulas and watering schedules to answer this question. All you need is your 5 senses, particularly your sense of touch and your sense of sight. And this is why we originally recommended you start simple with a peat moss/perlite mixture growing medium: it’s high-drainage properties make it virtually impossible to over-water. Forget about complicated water schedules. All you need to do is water daily just a little bit at a time. Again, your nutrient company will specify how much, but this can get complicated because their instructions are meant for huge commercial grows.
As your plants grow they will require more and more water/nutrients each day. An ounce a day to begin with turns into a cup a day, then 2 cups a day, and quickly you will see your new plants “green up” to beautiful shades of emerald as they feed on your amazing nutrient solution and get taller and bushier by the day!
Cannabis loves airier “drier” soil in a natural setting. In your artificial indoor grow area environment however, “drier” doesn’t mean “bone-dry”. Just stick a finger in the medium (sense of touch) for each pot on each daily visit to your plants. If the medium feels moist and not wet like mud, add a little water/nutrient solution appropriately based on the amount you used the day before. Also, your sense of sight will confirm if your watering is right.
Happy, healthy plants stand tall with their leaves perky, beautiful emerald green and pointing toward the light. Droopy, faded looking leaves means you’re not watering enough. Browning at the tips is a sign of over-watering—which should never happen if you’re using a peat mix as we recommend. With a peat mix, any excess water drains out to the bottom and collects in your drain pan which you can collect to water your house plants or even your lawn if you have one! As your plants grow, they will need relatively huge amounts of water just to keep the medium moist when they’re 6 feet tall compared to when they’re just babies at 4 inches. Below we see an example of over watering/nutrient burn. When this occurs it’s a signal to cut make on watering and nutrient use.
How “pure” is pure?
If you live in a small town or big city, the closet thing to fresh pure water you’ll find is rain or melted snow water. But with heavy concentrations of air pollution in larger towns and big cities, the rain or snow absorbs on its way down, ain’t pretty: “acid rain” definitely is NOT pure! If you live far from urban centers in a quiet rural area, rain or melted snow water is great. It isn’t exactly the most convenient source of water, however. So use tap water and age it in your big reservoir.
Beware: Pure water may also be DEAD water! Another secret to green healthy plants is keeping your water ALIVE! Any water that’s been standing longer than a day, may be pure, but it will have warmed up and most of the oxygen will have evaporated out with the chlorine. Keep your water alive and brimming with oxygen by keeping it cooler than room temperature and aerated! Since the roots of your plants need cooler, oxygenated water to fully metabolize and use the nutrients in the water, you can take care of them by setting up a simple cooling and aeration system.
A simple FREE way to aerate your water is to “hand bomb” it directly before you water your plants. With a clean coffee can, scoop the solution up and pour it back into your water/nutrient bucket 3-5 times, and like a waterfall, your water will be aerated!
Keeping your water cooler than the ambient air temperature inside your growing area can easily be accomplished too! As your ventilation system removes the hot humid air out of your grow area by pulling hot air away from your grow light and out of the grow area, it will simultaneously pull fresh air into your tent or grow area through the lower intake port and fan. This continuous air-flow will bathe your inside reservoir bucket (that’s placed right up to the lower intake vent fan) with cool fresh air. The small inside reservoir stays much cooler than the air your plant leaves are breathing, simultaneously giving your plant roots plenty of cool, oxygenated water to “breath” for maximum growth!
And if you don’t prefer the “hand-bombing” method to aerate your plant nutrient solution, just use the conventional automated method: 2 aquarium air stones, some air line, and an aquarium air pump are the only items you’ll need.
- Attach the air stone to enough air line that the air stone can be submerged and under the water on the bottom of your large outer reservoir and mini inside reservoir.
- Attach the other end of the air lines to the air outlets on your air pump which you position outside of your grow tent or grow area.
- Plug in your air pump, keep it running 24/7, and you will have a steady supply of fresh oxygenated water.
- Keep the second air stone bubbling in the 5-gallon bucket inside your grow area. If you keep the air pump outside of your grow area, which will be 5-10 degrees cooler, your air bubbles will keep the water/nutrient solution inside your mini reservoir cooler too!
If you don’t know what nutrients you’d like to get started with, check out our blog on Green Planet Nutrients Starter Kits!