Quick Start Guide


Step 1

Read the strain details and guides to help you choose the right strain.

Step 2

Read our Germination Guide to learn: what is special about our seeds, how you should germinate them for optimal success, what are common mistakes and misconceptions regarding germination methods.

Step 3

Read below what items are essential to have optimal control during cultivation and to avoid common mistakes in plant care.

Step 4

Buy the essentials that are still missing in your gardening kit.


The Essential Gardening Kit

  • pH tester (preferably liquid) for pH 5-8
  • EC meter
  • digital Thermo-Hydrostat
  • yellow sticky traps













The pH affects how plants can take up nutrients and it also determines the solubility of mineral elements. Cannabis can only assimilate nutrients effectively within a certain pH range. In soil cultivation this range is pH 6.0-6.8. Consult our SOIL GUIDE on buying the right type of soil mix.

For optimal plant health you should always regulate the pH of the water to 6.2-6.5 for soil cultivation.

In hydroponics the pH of your nutrient solution has to be adjusted according to what type of hydroponic system and growing medium you are using (rockwool, coco coir, hydrocorrels, bubbler), the type of fertilizer, buffering agents, and how this is all affecting the pH during a 24hr period.

For either soil or hydro you need a pH tester.

The best choice is a liquid tester. The liquid tester is cheap, always accurate, easy to read, and lasts for many tests. Fill the plastic vial only 1/4 and add only 1-2 drops to see the colour change…this is how you can make the test liquid last even longer. Read our WATER & PH Guide for more details.


EC meter

If you ever need to fertilize it is essential to mix the correct dosage using an EC meter.

Do NOT blindly follow instructions printed on the fertilizer product or a conventional "feeding schedule" from the manufacturer.

The word “EC” stands for electrical conductivity. Pure distilled water conducts no electrical current. But once you add mineral salts to it this changes. Tap water, rainwater and well water will also contain traces of minerals and this will show on an EC meter. The first step is to always measure the EC of your water source so that you know how pure it is or if it is contaminated with a lot of minerals. If the EC is over 0.6 you should consider using cleaner water. Read our WATER & PH Guide for more info.

Nutrient salt concentrations are measured by their ability to conduct electricity through a solution. If you do not know how concentrated the nutrient solution is that you intend to give to your plants you are gambling in a life and death situation. One fatal mistake can seriously damage or kill your plants. Therefore you must know three things before you even consider fertilizing:

1. What the EC is of the water (this is called the “starting EC”).

2. What EC your plants can easily tolerate.

3. What the EC is when you add a measured amount of fertilizer to it and if this is within the range of tolerance (this is called the EC of the “nutrient solution”).

To learn what EC range your plants can tolerate and how to fertilize please read our FERTILIZING SMART GUIDE.


Buying an EC meter

We recommend that you buy an inexpensive EC meter such as the 45$/Euro model from Milwaukee or Hanna. This is perfectly sufficient and rarely breaks down. You need to calibrate your EC meter every once in a while. For this you need calibration fluid (grow shop) and a simple thermostat (pharmacy).

What to watch out for

There are various other scales or measurement systems used to measure the EC. These are called CF (conductivity factor), ppm (parts per million), and TDS (total dissolved solids). North American growers tend to use ppm and European growers use EC.

The problem with these other measurement systems is that they are all based on the EC but the manufacturers then use their own system of conversion to convert the EC to ppm, TDS or CF. These conversions are not as accurate as when you simply measure the nutrient salts with an EC meter in the first place! This means that each tester/meter will give you a different reading. You cannot tell what the EC is when you use a TDS or ppm meter. You cannot even compare readings between a TDS or ppm meter from different manufacturers!

Other systems make it very difficult to provide advice and for growers to compare information on their fertilizing methods and dosages. That’s why we always recommend to purchase an EC meter and avoid this confusion. You can then easily follow our advice on fertilizing and you always get accurate readings.

If you already have an expensive ppm or CF meter that you want to keep search for a conversion table on the internet for some of the popular meters.


Digital Thermo-Hydrostat

An essential and inexpensive investment. Required for monitoring temperature during growth and flowering. Most importantly needed during peak flowering, harvest time, and drying buds to keep a check on humidity levels and prevent mold.


Yellow Sticky Traps

These should not be missing in any indoor or greenhouse cultivation. Effective, inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy method to control an entire range of nasty pests: white flies, thrips, aphids, small grasshoppers. The sticky traps are best attached to bamboo sticks stuck in the soil. Hydroponic systems especially attract thrips near the drips or water pipes because thrips love humidity. Sticky traps can also be hung from a bottom shoot near such moist areas. Arrange most of them at plant level and move them up as the plants grow. Start early with this precaution straight after germination. A trap can also be hung from the cable going to each lamp. Any locations that allow pests to enter such as doorways, windows, etc. should not be left out. You will be amazed how clean your grow space remains!

For more information read our PEST CONTROL Guide.







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