Confessions of a Home Grow: Vegetative Growth Weeks 2 and 3

By Jay Marsh

IG: @confessionsofahomegrow

The vegetative growth process for a 5-gallon pot is around 4-6 weeks. This all depends on the space you have available to grow your plants in. I have a tent that is 5’ tall. So, I will veg my plants for 5 weeks. During this time, we will also introduce fertilizers to the plants. I have decided to use Fox Farms – Grow Big organic liquid plant food and Bushdoctor – Kelp Me Kelp You. These plant foods can be added into your watering can for easy use. When selecting a fertilizer, you want to keep them organic, NO chemicals here! You will also want to look for a tomato style fertilizer, tomatoes want the same N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) values as your cannabis plants; this is usually 10-10-10 during the vegetative stage. These little ladies want loads of nitrogen to help increase green foliage. Additionally, you want to make sure that the water you are using to water your plants is not what they call “hard water.” Hard water contains a large amount of salt which will increase the sodium in your soil and the plants will not reach their full harvest yields. The best option is to purchase a 5-gallon water bottle and refill it at your local self-fill stations. You will want the soil pH to be as close to 6 as possible. Please check the pH of your water and Iif it is too high also use the self-fill water stations.

Pro Tip: Sativa dominant plants need very little fertilization and will burn easily. While Indica dominant plants can take heavy doses of fertilizer before showing signs of fertilizer burn.  

During week 2 of vegetative growth, your plants will be around 6”-8” tall. You may notice that they will need a little bit more water this week than before. Please remember not to over water your plants (remember the finger trick from the previous blog). I have decided to introduce a small amount of fertilizer during one of my watering sessions. For this I have added Fox Farms – Grow Big organic liquid plant food. I started small, 1 teaspoon in 1 gallon of water. I will also add 1 teaspoon of Bushdoctor – Kelp Me Kelp You. This is a seaweed low-level fertilizer that helps your soil retain moisture. Something else I do during this phase to strengthen the main stem; gently press the plant down to one side. Be VERY careful here as to not break to stem. This will encourage the plant to grow back up towards the light, increasing its strength. Sprinkle your diatomaceous earth on top of the soil. Our light source will stay the same 18/6.

During week 3 of vegetative growth, your plants will now be around 10”-12” inches tall. This is when I will do something called “topping.” Topping is where you cut the top of the plant off. This will make your plant grow 4 large kolas instead of 1. You will want to make sure your plants have more than 3 nodes (or sets of leaves). You will only cut the top portion off, leaving behind a 2-branch top instead of a 1-branch option. Please note that this is an optional step.  During week 3 I also increase my fertilization to 2 teaspoons of Fox Farms and 2 teaspoons of Bushdoctor per gallon, once per week. Sprinkle your diatomaceous earth on top of the soil. As each week goes by you will need to increase your water as well. Our light source stayed the same 18/6.