It's cloning season, and I know we all have our different ways of doing things when it comes to creating our own cannabis. Here are some surefire tips to get you growing BIG, FAST, and HEALTHY. From top to bottom, start to finish, this is The Smoking Bud's complete guide to cloning, baby!
First off and most importantly, the nutrients. Make sure you grab these two at your local grow store next time you are starting a cycle: Advanced Nutrients pH Down and BlueLab pH Pen (the pH refers to the level of acid and alkaline in your water). Advanced Nutrients offers a pH Up as well for other water balancing needs. BlueLab's pH pen is by far the best pH tester on the market. Easy to use, long battery life and can also be submerged. Terrific when trying to get exact measurements in large or deep water tubs.
Plants receive their nutrients from minerals, but the plants cannot absorb them when conditions are not right. Make sure you test the pH regularly, because if the pH isn't at the exact level you need it, the nutrients will not interact with the plant.
Now this pH Down is some hard-working liquid. Without the pH Down, our pH measures in at 8.0. With only one cap added, I am able to bring the level down to a perfect level of 5.5. Be sure to check pH level before adding pH Down. Standard water pH levels vary by location, so depending on where you are, you may need to add pH UP instead of pH DOWN.
Tips: leave a couple of inches from the top of tub (cup/reservoir) for adjustments. Sometimes (especially if you live in CA with this drought, like us) water coming in can vary in quality. The extra space at the top will leave you space to make adjustments by adding water if necessary.
Make sure to keep the water moving around while taking your pH. If you take your reading with your pH Pen from one place only, you will not get the pH of the entire body of water, but only that singular space. The BlueLab pH pen is awesome for this because you can put it underwater. Once you get even readings from inside and around your water, you're good and ready for your medium to soak.
A pH balance of 5.5 is key because of the state the clones will be in. pH balance also determines how receptive the plants will be to their nutrients. A pH level that is too high or too low, combined with the fact that the cannabis plant is already in a delicate state, usually will result in a dead clone.
When soaking your medium, simply place on the top of your 5.5 pH balanced water and let gravity do the rest. Once it sinks, let it sit until all the bubbles have subsided. Give it a few good shakes under the water to shake out any excess trapped air, let stand about a minute then remove. You really want your cubes good and soked with this 5.5 pH water, as this will be the first drink of properly balance nutrients for your soon-to-be clones. I use a 2" inch square 5 x 10 Rockwool Grow Media Starter Cubes. Pods of 50 are an awesome starting point and with this method, you will rarely lose one.
More to come in taking clones, where I'll show you proper clone identification and all you need to know before you plant.
Also planting clones, where we will learn "cut angles" and "clone depth" in relation to your medium.
So many tedious in's and out's to growing, cloning, and planting, right!? Well hell, the methods you read here are tried and true, so take it or leave it. Let's just see who's got the biggest bag at the end of summer, man! Stay tuned!