I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I embarked on my first home grow a short couple of months ago. There were the horror stories that I remember reading as a teenager about grow opps being busted. These stories would continue to describe the amount of mould, the smell and the drain on power that would typically surround an “old fashioned” grow. I interviewed David Kurth of U-Bud Cannabis Services just a few weeks before, and he had assured me that none of the aforementioned concerns would be experienced. Unlike in the years past where grows were set-up by amateurs, today there is a level of sophistication with respect to the technology of the lights, the filtration system, and the tent. Not to mention the collaboration of grow knowledge that has swept the country since the introduction of legalized home growing Oct 17, 2018. Despite Dave’s reassurances, there was still a level of cynicism that lingered as I agreed to purchase one of U-Bud’s curated grows. Here is what happened!
Dave arrived at our home in June with a trunk full of “stuff” . We live outside of U-Bud’s normal service territory, but in this case, they made an exception to deliver and set-up the requisite equipment. I was greeted with a warm smile, and hearty hand-shake and looked on as Dave began to unload the trunk of what seemed to be endless things – most of which I had no idea as to what they were or their uses. Once inside, I watched as Dave unpacked a kit and began assembling what I soon realized was the frame to the tent. As the cover to the tent was finally wrapped around the frame, I now understood what Dave meant when he mentioned to me in our interview about the spatial requirements. Although the tent did not cover a lot of surface area, it does stand about 6 feet tall, and you wouldn’t want this in a basement with lower ceilings. With the tent set-up, lights in, and and the filtration system installed, Dave proceeded to navigate me through the operation of the tent – most importantly how to raise and lower the light system, and setting the timer. He also walked me through a Rubber Maid bin full of supplies.
‘To this day, I have not found one thing that they have overlooked. ‘
From the Brita water filtration system to insure that the plants received purified water, to a few sets of rubber gloves that can be worn during the transplanting. There was soil that was pre-portioned out in separate bags. Zip-locked baggies of soil for the small pots, and kitchen waste bags of soil for the bigger pots. They even included Mason jars for storing the eventual harvest. Indeed they had thought of everything.
The first step in the process was to germinate the seeds. Using the step-by-step instructions that are included with the curated grow, it was as easy as wrapping the seeds in a damp paper towel, putting them into a sealed zip-lock bag and putting them in a warm place such as the top of the refrigerator. In about 36 hours the seeds had split open and and the roots were forming. The next step was to plant these into Jiffy Pucks – condensed little peat-moss pods, that expand when water is added. The seeds were gently set into the holes that were poked into the top of the Jiffy Pucks, root down, and the Jiffy Pucks were set into the Sun Blaster mini dome on an 18 hour light cycle.
In just a few short days, the seeds had poked up through the openings in the Jiffy Pucks. On occasion, pictures were uploaded to Andria, U-Bud’s grow consultant, to confirm that the plants were healthy, while at the same time suggesting when to move to bigger pots, etc. Once big enough, the Jiffy Pucks were transplanted directly into the small pots, backfilling with enough super-soil to insure the stems of the plants are buried deep enough to support the weight load.
With the grow package U-Bud include 5 seeds under the premise that one of them may not make it. If you have the luck that all 5 seeds make it, then you are instructed to sacrifice one of the plants (gasp!), or give one away. I was lucky enough to have all 5 make it, so I opted for the latter of gifting the 5th plant to a friend.
The plants were transplanted one last time into the four large pots provided with the curated grow. The plants were then moved to the tent from the sun dome and continued on an 18 hour light cycle.
Unurprisingly not all plants initially grew at the same pace, but over time, the plants did catch up in size.
Once the plants got to about 22 inches tall, a stretchable fabric netting (included) was hung from the 4 corners of the tent to allow for the plants to grow through the netting. This would provide the needed support for the plants when they were eventually put into bloom. The buds can be laid on the top of the netting preventing the stems of the plant from bearing the full weight load.
On October 3rd the plants were put into flower mode, which is done by reducing the light by 6 hours per day, from a 18 hr daylight cycle to a 12 hour daylight cycle.
Watch for Part Two: The harvest/drying process and the yield!