Once sprouted, the plant starts vegetative growth. This means the plant will be photosynthesizing as much as possible to grow tall and start many grow tips at each pair of leaves. A grow tip is the part that can be cloned or propagated asexually. They are located at the top of the plant, and every major internode. If you “top” the plant, it then has two grow tips at the top. If you top each of these, you will have 4 grow tips at the top of the plant. (Since it takes time for the plant to heal and recover from the trauma of being pruned, it faster to grow 4 smaller plants and not top them at all. Or grow 2 plants, and “train” them to fill the same space. Most growers find)
All plants have a vegetative stage where they are growing as fast as possible after the plant first germinates from seed. It is possible to grow plants with no dark period, and increase the speed at which they grow by 15-30&. Plants can be grown vegetatively indefinitely. It is up to the gardener to decide when to force the plant to flower. A plant can grow from 12″ to 12 before being forced to flower, so there is a lot of latitude here for each gardener to manage the garden based on goals and space available.
A solution of 20-20-20 with trace minerals is used for both hydroponic and soil gardening when growing continuously under lights. Miracle Grow Patio or RapidGrow plant food is good for this. A high P plant food such as Peters 5-50-17 food is used for blooming and fruiting plants when beginning 12 hour days. Epsom salts (1tsp) should be used in the solution for magnesium and sulfur minerals. Trace minerals are needed too, if your food does not include them. Miracle Grow Patio includes these trace elements, and is highly recommended.
Keep lights on continuously for sprouts, since they require no darkness period like older plants. You will not need a timer unless you want to keep the lamps off during a certain time each day. Try to light the plants for 18 or more hours, or continuously at this point.
Bend a young plant his stem back and forth to force it to be very thick and strong. Spindly stems can not support heavy flowering growth. An internal oscillating fan will reduce humidity on the leave is stomata and improve the stem strength as well. The importance of nternal air circulation can not be stressed enough. It will excersize the plants and make them grow stronger, while reducing many hazards that could ruin your crop.
HYDROPONIC VEGATATIVE SOLUTION, per gallon:
- Miracle Grow Patio (contains trace elements) 1 teaspoon
- Epsom salts 1/2 teaspoon
- Human Urine (OPTIONAL – may create odors indoors.) 1/4 cup
- Oxygen Plus Plant Food (OPTIONAL) 1 teaspoonThis mixture will insure your plants are getting all major and minor nutrients in solution, and will also be treating your plants with oxygen for good root growth, and potassium nitrate for good burning qualities. Another good GROWTH PHASE mix is 1/4 tsp Peters 20/20/20 fertilizer per gallon of water, with trace elements and oxygen added, or fish emulsion. Fish emulsion is great in the grean-house or outdoors, where smells are not an issue, but is not recommended for indoors, due to its strong odor.
Article written 2004 and featured on Grow-Marijuana-Seeds.com