Flu-Buster Bone Broth for a Stronger Immune System:
Bone broth is one of the most popular health foods today. There are many reasons why it’s so popular; it’s easy to make, its low cost, and because people have been making their own bones since time immemorial. However, there are some downsides to using bone broth in your diet. One of them being that it contains gelatin which may cause problems with your immune system.
So what exactly is gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein found in animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats and humans. It’s used to keep meat tender and tasty. When you eat animal products like beef or pork, you’re consuming gelatin from those animals! If you consume any kind of dairy product (like milk), then you’re consuming dairy products containing lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk. If you consume anything that contains gelatin, then you’re ingesting gelatin from these sources.
Gelatin is not only found in meats and dairy products, but also in plants like mushrooms and seaweed. These types of foods contain small amounts of gelatin too. But the problem with all this is that they don’t contain enough to cause problems for your body if consumed regularly. The amount of gelatin you need to consume in order to see any kind of negative effects is very large.
If you were to drink meat broth every day, then it might cause problems for your body. But if you do choose to consume meat broth once in a while, then it shouldn’t have any kind of negative effects on your body.
How does bone broth compare to other drinks out there?
When choosing what to drink there are several options available to you. One of the most popular choices is water. People choose to drink water for several reasons. It’s cheap, it’s good for your body and it’s available in most places around the world. The only downside to drinking water is that it’s flavorless. You may want to consider adding a bit of lemon or other fruit to add flavor, which can be expensive when done regularly. Another popular choice is soda or pop as it’s called by some. Sodas are very popular, but they’re also highly controversial.
Sodas are known to have a lot of negative effects on your body such as weight gain, cavities and increased blood pressure. These types of drinks also contain artificial colors, flavors and sugars which aren’t good for your body. Sodas also have a very high amount of calories compared to other drinks. If you’re watching your weight, then sodas should be avoided at all costs.
Another popular drink is milk. The only problem with milk is that it can cause problems for some people. This may be because humans haven’t been consuming milk long enough for our bodies to adapt to it.
Some people can’t digest lactose, which is the main sugar in milk. If you’re one of those people who can’t digest lactose, then you shouldn’t consume milk or any other dairy product. Another drink that’s gaining popularity is the tea and coffee market. These drinks contain large amounts of caffeine which is a known stimulant.
It can give you a temporary boost of energy, but can also cause problems such as sleep deprivation if you consume it regularly. There’s also the possibility of consuming too much sugar or artificial sweeteners when drinking these beverages.
Finally there’s bone broth. This has been a drink that humans have been using for thousands of years. It used to be a staple in every household, but it has since been replaced by sodas and other drinks. There is a good reason for this.
Most people today don’t even know what bone broth is, much less why it should be consumed on a regular basis.
What Is Bone Broth?
The simple definition of bone broth is that it’s the boiled down bones of chickens, cows or any other type of animal. It’s been used in many different cultures throughout the years for various reasons such as healing broken bones, softening teeth, fighting infection and so forth.
In your world, it’s become a health trend that’s gaining popularity once more. It’s usually consumed as a beverage rather than a proper meal. There are many different benefits to drinking bone broth on a regular basis.
Benefits Of Consuming Bone Broth
There are several benefits to be had by regularly consuming bone broth. These benefits include:
• Boosts The Immune System- Consuming bone broth on a regular basis can help to build up your immune system. By doing this, your body will be better equipped to fight off any type of virus or bacteria that enters your body. This will also make you less likely to catch a cold or get sick compared to someone who doesn’t drink bone broth on a regular basis.
• Lowers Chances of Getting Sick- As your immune system is strengthened through regular bone broth consumption, your chances of getting sick will begin to diminish. This means you won’t have to take time out of your day to deal with the symptoms, and possibly miss work or school because of it.
This is one of the major benefits to drinking bone broth on a regular basis.
• Better Sleep- One of the biggest benefits of drinking bone broth before bed is that it can help you sleep better at night. Many people report waking up feeling more refreshed after a night of sleep after drinking bone broth. This is due to your body being able to heal itself while you sleep.
In addition, it takes longer for your stomach to digest bone broth than say a regular soda or sweet product. This means that you aren’t prone to waking up in the middle of the night with a racing mind and an empty stomach.
This will also keep your blood sugar from spiking, which can prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night feeling ravenous.
• Can Be Used As A Condiment- While bone broth on its own isn’t exactly the most delicious drink you’ll ever try, it does have a ton of benefits when you consume it on a regular basis. One of the benefits is that it can be used as a condiment.
If you get tired of the taste, you can dilute it with another beverage such as fruit juice. You can also add other items to change the flavor such as garlic, onions, vegetables and other spices.
These changes can make consuming bone broth on a regular basis more appealing to you.
There are several other benefits to drinking bone broth on a regular basis. If you’re going to make the effort of drinking it, you might as well get the most out of it while also making it taste better.
How To Make Bone Broth At Home
If you’ve never had bone broth before, you may be wondering how to make it at home. It’s actually a lot easier than it may seem.
The steps you’ll need to follow are as follows:
1. Gather Ingredients- The first thing you’ll need to do is gather all the ingredients you’ll need in order to make your bone broth.
This includes water, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and any other type of vegetables you’d like to add. You’ll also need bones (preferably chicken) and apple cider vinegar.
2. Chop Vegetables- After you’ve gathered all your ingredients, you’ll need to chop the vegetables into smaller pieces.
3. Prepare Bones- You’ll need to put the bones into a pot and cover them with cold water.
Leave enough room for the water to be able to boil.
4. Boil Water And Add Vegetables- After the bones have boiled for several minutes, add the chopped vegetables to the mixture.
5. Add Apple Cider Vinegar- It’s important that you don’t skip this ingredient.
The vinegar helps to draw out the nutrients from the bones.
6. Turn Down Heat And Simmer For Several Hours- Turn the heat down low and let the mixture simmer for as long as you can.
You can also do this overnight.
7. Strain Bone Broth And Season- After several hours or even overnight, you’ll need to strain your mixture using a fine mesh strainer.
When you’re finished, you can add whatever seasonings you want to the broth.
The amount of time that you’ll need to simmer your mixture will depend on how concentrated you want your final product to be. If you want a strong flavor, then let it simmer for several hours. If you want a milder taste, then 30 minutes or more should suffice.
You can also experiment with different ingredients as well. There are a lot of different vegetables, herbs and spices that you can add to change the taste. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild!
The Benefits Of Bone Broth
There are many different benefits that you can gain from drinking bone broth on a regular basis. Some of these benefits include:
• Provides Antioxidants- The high amount of antioxidants in bone broth can help to reduce the effects of free radicals in your body. Free radicals can help to cause a lot of different health problems, so by reducing their negative effects, you’ll experience better health as a whole.
• Boosts The Immune System- The nutrients and amino acids in bone broth can help to strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system can better fight off colds, flus and other illnesses.
• Better Sleep- The lean protein in bone broth can help you to get a better night’s sleep. This is essential for any healthy individual.
So there you have it, the top four reasons that you should start drinking bone broth on a regular basis.
Don’t Delay, Start Drinking Bone Broth Today!
If you want to reap the benefits that bone broth has to offer, then you should seriously consider drinking it on a daily basis. Fortunately, it’s easy to do so. All you’ll need to do is gather the necessary ingredients (which are mainly just bones) and follow our guide when making it.
We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible for you, so there’s really nothing stopping you from drinking a glass or two every day.
If you’re still not convinced, then here’s a little more information about the benefits that drinking bone broth can have on your well-being.
Reduce The Effects Of Acidity
The ph levels in our bodies are vital in terms of keeping us healthy and preventing illness. Many food and drink items cause the ph levels to become more acidic, which is when diseases can thrive. (Here’s a tip, sodas and candy are very acidic for you.)
However, the ingredients in bone broth can help to reduce the acid levels in your body. This can prevent long-term damage from taking place, which in turn keeps you healthy and disease-free.
Boost The Immune System
The nutrients and vitamins that you’ll gain from drinking bone broth can help to boost your immune system. Many of the ingredients in bone broth contain a wide variety of minerals, like phosphorus, sodium and magnesium.
All of these minerals help to strengthen your immune system, fight off infection and prevent illness.
These are just a few of the many benefits that you’ll experience when drinking bone broth on a daily basis. If you’re still not completely convinced that this is something you need to do, then take a look at our list of reasons why bone broth is good for you.
Reasons Why Bone Broth Is Good For You
There are many benefits that drinking bone broth can have on your body. Some of these include:
• Provides Key Nutrients- The nutrients in bone broth contain a wide variety of minerals, vitamins and amino acids. All of these are essential to the human body and help to promote better health.
• Reduces The Likelihood Of Illness- One of the major benefits of drinking bone broth is that it can help to reduce the likelihood of you catching an illness. This is due to the ingredients in bone broth that help to boost your immune system.
You won’t get sick as often, if at all.
• Makes Your Skin Look Better- The nutrients in bone broth can also help to give your skin a healthy glow. It also helps to reduce acne and heal existing skin problems.
• Detoxifies And Fights Off Disease- One of the lesser-known benefits of drinking bone broth is that it can help to detoxify your body and even fight off disease.
This is because of the ingredients, like collagen protein, in bone broth that promotes the removal of harmful toxins from your body.
The collagen protein also helps to protect your cells from free radical damage, which can slow down the aging process of your body’s largest organ.
These are just a few of the benefits that drinking bone broth can have on your overall health. If you continue drinking it on a regular basis, you’ll experience even more benefits that can improve the quality of your life.
How To Make Bone Broth
So now that you know how beneficial bone broth can be on your overall health, let’s take a look at how you can make it. The exact process for making bone broth is very easy to do and only requires a few ingredients and tools.
1 Whole Organic Chicken
2 Celery Stalks
1 Bunch of Parsley
4 Large Carrots (or 2 cups of cut up carrots)
1 Medium Onion (or 1 cup of chopped up onion)
2-3 Garlic Cloves
10 Pepper Corns
Water (enough to cover everything)
Pot that can hold at least 12 cups of liquid (3 quarts)
Medium (3 quart) size glass bowl
Cheesecloth (or coffee filter)
Large mashing spoon
1. Prepare The Chicken- Take your whole organic chicken and place into a pot that can hold at least 12 cups of liquid.
Add enough water so that the water comes up to about (but not over) the level where the neck was on the chicken. Add the garlic cloves, onion, celery, carrots and parsley to the pot.
2. Cook On High Heat Until It Comes To A Boil- Turn your stove’s burner on to high heat and allow the water to come to a boil.
Once it’s at a boil, turn down the burner to low so that it’ll simmer from here on out.
3. Simmer For 4-5 Hours- From here, you’ll want to allow your chicken and vegetables to simmer for a total of about 4 to 5 hours.
Make sure to add water every so often (about every 30 minutes to an hour) in order to prevent it from boiling dry.
– Once the cooking time has been reached, turn off your stove and allow it all to cool down. Strain the liquid through a colander, then place a large bowl under the colander (to catch the liquid) and let it all drain.
5. Pick Out The Chicken- Place your pot on the counter and pick out the chicken pieces (and other ingredients) from the broth.
You can discard these, or if you’re feeling ambitious (or you want to add more flavor) you can reserve them for making chicken salad or something else.
6. Let It Chill- Place your broth in the refrigerator until it’s nicely chilled.
7. Skim The Fat Off The Top- Once your broth is chilled, you’ll be able to see large pieces of fat that have solidified on the top of the liquid.
Use a large spoon (or if you have one, a turkey baster) to remove as much of the fat as you can. You can discard the fat or reserve it to use as cooking oil later.
8. Place In The Freezer- Place your broth in the freezer until it’s fully frozen.
9. Take It Out & Remove The Final Fat- Take the frozen broth out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes so that it’s not completely frozen.
While you’re waiting, take a medium sized bowl and place a strainer on top of it. Take some paper towels and fold them, then use them to hold the strainer in place over the bowl. Once your broth is semi-frozen, take a large knife and run it along the edge of the bowl to remove the final chunks of fat that may be floating around in there. With any luck, you should have a nice, clear broth after this process is finished.
10. Store It- You can either store it in containers in your refrigerator or even in the freezer. If you store it in the freezer, make sure to only fill it up about 50% full so that there’s room for it to expand as it freezes.
Always make sure to label everything with the date, what it is and how much is in there. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of frozen mystery goo that you can’t remember what it is!
You did it! Congratulations on making it through another chapter! This stuff isn’t as hard as some people would have you believe!
Chapter 4: Growing
In this chapter you’ll learn all about plant growth and how to produce the biggest, healthiest plants in the shortest amount of time.
Plant needs are very simple when compared to that of an animal; they require only light, water, nutrients, oxygen and CO2. Of course, every plant has different requirements depending on the type, but in general these are all necessary for survival.
The Different Parts Of A Plant
In this section we’ll quickly go over the parts of a simple house plant and explain what they do. Learning these basic parts will help you to understand the different needs of each type of plant later on.
Leaves - Leaves are the green parts that we all recognize as the main “vegetable” part of the plant. They contain the chlorophyll that is necessary for photosynthesis.
Stems - Stems come in several different shapes and sizes. They support the weight of the plant as well as acting as a passageway for nutrients, water and other things throughout the plant.
Roots - Roots are typically underground and anchor the plant as well as getting nutrients from the soil.
Flowers – Flowers are exactly what they sound like, the flower of the plant. They produce the seeds that allow the plant to reproduce.
Types Of Lighting
There are several different types of lighting you can use for your gardens. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks so choose carefully.
Incandescent Lights - These lights are very inexpensive and easily available at any hardware store. They provide a spectrum similar to that of normal sunlight. This type of lighting isn’t intense enough to promote lush, fast growth but it’s better than nothing.
Fluorescent Lights - These lights come in either short or long varieties, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
Short Fluorescent (Normal Sight) - These lights are good for a basic set up if you want to see what you’re doing but don’t have a lot of money. They provide a light similar to sunlight at dawn or dusk.
Long Fluorescent (Daylight) - These lights provide a spectrum closer to that of sunlight. They are more expensive and not as readily available but they have the benefit of growing the best plants.
High Intensity Discharge Lights - These lights give off a spectrum even closer to sunlight than the long fluorescent lights. They are very expensive and hard to find though. They are typically only used in professional greenhouses.
Choose the best option based on your budget and the type of plant you wish to grow.
Watering Your Plants
You’ll need to water your plants about once a week if you are using long fluorescent lights or HID lights. Once every two weeks if you’re using normal fluorescent lights.
To water simply pour the water directly on the soil (not the plant!) Use a cup or something similar, just make sure it’s not made of metal! Also, water your plants in the morning. This will prevent the water from being evaporated by the sun during the day.
If your plant starts to lean towards the light it usually means it needs water so make sure to keep an eye on it!
If you want to get really technical you can purchase a wet soil meter from a garden store or somewhere similar. Follow the instructions on how to use it. It should tell you exactly how moist your soil is. The ideal range is usually right in the middle.
There are several things you can use for nutrients. Anything from organic to synthetic. The best option really depends on your budget and personal preference.
Here are a few of the most common options:
Organic- Typically the cheapest option, organic nutrients come from natural sources like bones, blood, and various plants. They tend to be brown or black in color.
Synthetic- Typically more expensive than organic nutrients, these come in a variety of forms. You can get them in specialized form (tablets, liquids, etc) or you can get them in a ready to use form (example: [Hydro-Grow Liquid Nutrients]).
There are also various types of nutrients and supplements you can add to your soil if you feel it needs a little extra help.
Fertilizers- These add nutrients to the soil so you don’t have to repot as often.
Chelated Minerals- These provide specific minerals that may be lacking in your soil. It’s best to use a chelated mineral that corresponds with the type of plant you’re growing.
We’ll talk more about nutrients later.
Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to fix them.
Green Patch- This means that your plant is getting to much nitrogen. This causes leaves and stems to grow at an abnormal rate and turn green. You can fix this by adding bonemeal to your soil or potting mix at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of soil.
Nasty Smell- This means that your plants have started to rot. This could be for a few different reasons. You may have over watered your plants, creating too much humidity for them to breath. You may have left them in direct sunlight causing the temperature to rise too much.
Finally, you could have used a soil mix that contains ingredients that rot (bad soil!). If you have properly watered and ventilated your garden then I’d advise you to throw away the soil and potting mix.
Leaves with Yellow Stripes- This means that your plant is getting to much phosphorus. You should add bonemeal at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of soil.
Leaves with Brown/Black Spots- This means that your plant is lacking in Potassium. You can fix this by adding potash (available at garden supply stores) at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.
Yellow Leaves- While this could be caused by several different factors, the two most common are lack of nitrogen and humidity. The best option is to try both! First, water your plant with 1 tablespoon of fish emulsion per gallon of water. This will provide your plant with additional nitrogen.
Then use a spray bottle to lightly mist the leaves with water. Do this several times a day if possible.
Gray Mold- This means that you have too much humidity in your garden. You should remove any leaves that show signs of the gray mold. Also, try placing your garden in a location with good airflow. Direct sunlight will also increase the temperature of your garden, so try placing it in the shade during the day.
Brown Mold- This means that you have too much moisture in your garden. You should dry out your garden as much as possible. Cut away any leaves or flowers that show signs of mold and place your grow lights closer to the plants allowing them to dry out more.
Chapter 5: Choosing a Grow Light
There are many different types of grow lights you can choose. Each brings its own benefits and drawbacks. It really depends on how much money you want to spend and how much work you want to put in. Fortunately, the cheapest grow lights work fairly well, its just that they require a lot more work on your end.
CFLs and other Lights
CFLs are one of the cheapest grow lights you can find. They also are perfectly fine if you want a smaller garden. Just place the CFL close to the seeds/seedlings and they will be fine (alternatively, if you have a smaller garden, you could just place the CFL next to your plants)
However, as mentioned these require work. You need to raise the CFL up so that your plants are within the light’s area of effect. This means you will have to modify something to act as a light stand. Depending on the size of your garden this could take a while, especially since CFLs are not the only lights you will need to place.
For example, if you have a 3×3 garden (which is small) you will need 9 light stands. You can buy these at any hardware store, but that will require more money.
Personally, I would go with the cheaper option and build them myself. This involves getting a few wooden kitchen chairs from goodwill (they should be less than $5) and cutting off the legs. Then, place them around your garden in a square pattern.
Next, take string or something similar and secure it across all the chairs. There you have it, your very own homemade grow light stand!
This method is great because you can always adjust the height of your lights. Plus, if you decide to expand, all you need to do is get more chairs!
The next thing you will need to think about is how long your grow lights stay on. There are two factors to consider: Time and Intensity.
Time is how long your lights are on in a day. For example, you could leave your lights on for 24 hours a day or just for 12 hours.
Intensity is how bright your lights are. This involves a couple things. The first is the strength of your bulb. CFLs are great for this because they are very cheap to acquire and they are good enough for the seedling stage.
The second is the distance from the plants. You will need to raise your lights as the plants grow otherwise they won’t get enough light. For this reason you should start out with CFLs, they give off a small amount of light and don’t emit too much heat either (which is bad for seedlings).
A third, and less important factor, is spectrum. You can read about the benefits of different spectrums elsewhere, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference so far. Plus, CFLs are cheap and they work with your plants just fine.
When you are growing with soil you will need to think about your roots and nutrients. There are three main options for feeding your plants: Liquid, Soil and Hydro.
Liquid and Hydro are very similar in that they both use water as a base. The difference is how much control you have. With liquid you can easily dose the nutrients your plants need. With hydro, you cannot.
The advantage to hydro is that it is entirely controlled by the nutrients in the water. The plants get whatever they need without you ever having to worry about it.
The main disadvantage to hydro is that you will generally need a professional grade system to get the best results (you could always scale down professional systems but that isn’t cost effective for most people).
Soil, as the name implies, has your plants in soil. This means you have much more control over what your plants are getting. You can easily add nutrients and other supplements to the soil if you want.
The disadvantage is that you generally need to keep a close eye on your plants for signs of deficiencies or overdose. While this isn’t hard, it can be time consuming.
Personally, I use a mix of Liquid and Hydro. I use liquid for the main nutrients and hydro for the micro nutrients.
Now that you have your lighting situation figured out, you will need to decide on what to feed your plants. There are tons of options here (just look at the gardening isle of any store!), and they can be split into a few different categories.
You can generally buy plant food in either liquid or powder form. Liquid is generally more expensive but also gives better control.
Powder nutrients are mixed into water which is then used to feed the plants. The main downsides to this option are cost (it is cheaper to buy straight nutrients than to buy a fertilizer and mix it with water), and control (you don’t have as much control in terms of amounts of nutrients given to the plant).
As for what nutrients to get, there are two main types you will need to decide on: “Early” nutrients and “Late” nutrients.
Early nutrients are the ones that are used during the vegetative growth stage. This is the “growing” part of the plant when it is getting big.
Late nutrients are used during the budding/flowering stage. This is when the plant actually starts producing buds.
The most important thing to look for in nutrient directions is the amount of nitrogen given to the plant. You always want to go low with nitrogen because it is a very common element and is easy for the plant to get as it grows.
If you pick the right nutrients, you shouldn’t have issues with your plants getting different types of nutrients at the wrong time. (Some nutrients have things like magnesium and other things that you normally don’t have to think about)
The last thing you will need is something to apply the nutrients with. If you go the liquid route, you will need some sort of sprayer. If you go the powder route, you will need some sort of container to mix the nutrients in.
There are many types of sprayers that work well. Automatic ones are generally a bit more expensive, but they save time. Non-automatic ones are quite a bit cheaper but obviously don’t save much time.
As for containers, any large container will do as long as it can fit the nutrients in it. The bigger the container, the more you can mix at once.
Some people use old milk or juice containers while others buy plastic pails designed to hold paint.
Now that you have chosen your method of growing, chosen your nutrients, and picked a feeding system, let’s move on to the next step: choosing which plants to grow.
Marijuana plants fall into three main categories: Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis (although some would argue there is a forth category: hybrids).
The first step to picking what to grow is deciding what you would like to accomplish by growing.
For many new growers, the choice is easily made because the grower wants to grow cannabis for the psychoactive effects. THC is what causes a marijuana high. Most strains of cannabis contain between 10% and 30% THC.
You must be 18 years of age or older to read the rest of this section.
Some people feel a mild sedative effect from certain Indica plants, which is why some people choose to grow Indicas. (Note: Indicas are good for evening/night time use because they tend to make people sleepy)
Sativas traditionally give a much more energetic experience. Some people prefer this for daytime use because it makes them feel more awake and creative.
You also need to consider how much time you have to grow and how much you are willing to spend on equipment, nutrients, and grow lights.
For the quick and dirty version of this section, please read the next paragraph.
For those with more than a few growing cycles under your belt, feel free to skip the next paragraph.
If you are new to growing cannabis, I would suggest you start with an Indica dominant strain. These plants are shorter and have wider leaves. They are easier to grow because they are hardy and don’t face as many problems as Sativas (which are typically tall and skinny with narrower leaves).
Also, if you can get your hands on an autoflower, I highly recommend it. It is a special type of marijuana that matures automatically and can be grown just like any regular marijuana plant during any season. It matures in roughly 70 days indoors. Outdoors, it is ready by late September/Early October.
Autoflowers do not need to be aged or flushed like regular marijuana plants. They also typically have higher THC levels than other types of cannabis.
If you are only looking to grow a small number of plants, then I highly suggest you start with an autoflower.
The next step is choosing a source for your seeds or seedlings.
There are many ways to get started, you can buy seeds or buy clones. Clones are seedlings that you take a cutting from a mature plant and then replant that cutting into your growing medium. This way you can begin to grow weed quickly because you are essentially skipping the seedling phase and going straight into taking cuttings from a mature plant.
You can order seeds from various seed banks online. These come in a multitude of strains and flavors.
You can also visit your local cannabis dispensary and talk to the staff, most of them start their seeds from other suppliers and are usually able to order whatever you need, but there is always a chance that they might not have what you are looking for.
Another option is to obtain some “home grown” seeds. I cannot endorse this method as it illegal in most places, but if you know someone who has weed, asking to take a look at their seeds is an option.
Whatever seeds or seedlings you choose, the next step is to get your seedling growing medium.
There are many types of growing mediums you can use. Each have their own upsides and downsides.
The cheapest option is using soil from your backyard. This will work but it is not advised for several reasons. Your soil probably has unknown variables in it and grows different types of bacteria that might be harmful to your young plants.
You can also build your own medium. There are many online guides that show you how to make your own hydroponic systems and growing mediums, though these are not as common and can be difficult to find the materials for.
You can always buy a premade medium from a site like Amazon or any other supplier, but these can be costly.
Whatever your choice, this is where your plant will live until it is harvested.
After you have your medium, you need to decide how you are going to grow your plants.
Indoors or Outdoors?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each method.
If you are growing a small number of plants, Indoor growing is probably the best way to go. It gives you complete control over your plants’ growth cycle and environment.
Outdoor growing can be risky because it is entirely dependent upon nature and depending upon where you live, nature can be fickle. That being said, many people grow incredible marijuana outdoors with little to no problems.
Whichever way you decide to grow, the next step is getting your equipment together.
There are many types of indoor growing equipment available. You can build a simple system for cheap or you can spend a lot of money on a commercial set up.
Regardless of your budget, there are a few things you will need:
Grow Lights- Essential for the growth cycle of your plants, these are what provide your plants with energy to convert nutrients into sugars and to thrive.
The type of grow light you get depends upon the stage your plants are in.
If you are just germinating seeds, then a simple set of grow lights that cover a 2 foot by 2 foot area will do. The lights should be about 12 to 18 inches above the planting medium.
When the plants are a little older and have developed their first set of leaves, you can increase the height of the lights so they are approximately 24 inches above the plant.
When the plants are in their final growth cycle, you can raise them so they are 36 to 48 inches above them.
In addition to adjusting the height of the lights, you can increase the amount of light your plants receive by putting a reflector behind the lights. This will increase the amount of lumens (light) that hit your plants and allow you to keep your lights on longer.
Organic Growing Medium- This is the material that you will mix with your seeds and nutrients to allow your plants to grow in. You can use a wide variety of things from soil to sand to vermiculite to grow marijuana plants in. Whatever medium you decide to use, it must be sterilized before use to prevent spreading unwanted bacteria or fungi into your garden that could harm your plants.
Your choice of medium will also affect the taste and quality of your final product so choose wisely!
Nutrients- These are what you will mix with your organic growing medium before planting your seeds or seedlings to give them the nutrients they need to thrive and produce chlorophyll. Marijuana uses a lot of energy so it needs a lot of food. A good mix of nutrients is important to producing quality buds. You can choose from liquids, solid blocks, or powders that are mixed with water.
The type of nutrients you should get depends upon your choice of growing medium. If you are using solid growing mediums (sand, perlite, vermiculite, etc.) then your plants can get their nutrients from the mix itself. Your only job will be to ensure the mix is well watered.
If you are using regular garden soil, then your job will be a little more difficult. You will need to regularly check the Ph of your soil as well as adding plant food and other nutrients to keep your plants healthy.
You will also have to keep your plants a little more hydrated than with other growing mediums since soil tends to suck up moisture. Make sure you water your plants before they get too thirsty!
Transplanting Tools- Depending upon what you start off with, you will need to buy transplanting tools such as a trowel or shovel so you can move your tiny plants into their bigger growth mediums.
It is very important to sterilize any transplanting tools before you use them to move your seedlings to bigger pots or into the garden. You can do this by letting a flame run over the metal part of the tool for a few seconds, or by dipping the metal part into some sort of disinfectant or by wiping it with a cloth that has been dipped in a solution of bleach.
So you have all you need to start growing now right?
Wrong. There is a significant amount of tools you will need to tend to your garden. You will need things like timers, scissors, small pots, containers, etc. The good news is, you most likely have many of these things already so you won’t have to go out and buy a lot of stuff.
When I first started out, I used to just stick my index finger into the soil to see if it was dry. This didn’t work very well, especially since I do not have a wet finger. I instead used an old rusty fork that had been washed with some soap to remove the rust and it worked pretty well for prying up my plants. You may also want to get a small trimmer to cut away larger plants that are dead or dying.
You can pick one up at a local garden store or hardware store for less than five dollars. It might seem silly to buy one, but it is much more efficient than using scissors!
The most important tools you will need are your containers and mediums. You can use a wide variety of things for this purpose from old baby food jars to tin cans. Whatever you decide to use make sure it is clean and won’t leech harmful materials into your soil. You can also buy containers at a yard sale or flea market for next to nothing or you could go to a store and buy some new.
Whatever you decide to use, it will be a very good idea to label each container with the name of the strain that is planted in it. This way you will be able to keep track of which ones are your favorites.
Some mediums work better than others. Some are easier to work with than others. So you have a wide variety of choices.
So what are your choices?
Well, you could go out and spend a little money and buy some plug trays to start your seeds in. These usually come with covers to help retain moisture and heat, as well as starter soil. This is by far the fastest way to get going. However, they can be rather expensive especially if you buy a lot of them.
You may want to go the seedling stage instead. In this case, you will have to buy some small pots and some potting soil. Each type of plant is different so you will need to research which medium works best for the type of plant you are growing. Once you have the soil and pots, you can start planting your seeds.
This will take a little longer, but it is much cheaper than buying a bunch of plug trays and you get to enjoy the process more.
The cheapest, and in my opinion the most fun, way to start your garden is to start from seeds. This way takes a little longer, but can be a very rewarding experience and it is also the most eco-friendly option. You can reuse everything you need from year to year and just buy new seeds each season. It is also quite inexpensive when you think about it.
For example, you can buy a pack of ten starter plastic pots for less than five dollars. You can then use these pots to start all your seeds in and then once they are big enough you can transplant them into the ground or larger pots. This way you aren’t throwing away anything and you haven’t spent any extra money.
The last thing you will need are seeds! You can find these online, at local head shops, or even in the seed section at your local home and garden center. Make sure you buy seeds specifically for outdoor growing (if that’s what you’re doing) and not just flower seeds. There are websites that sell seeds from all over the world so you will have a much wider selection to choose from.
Once you have all your tools and supplies in hand, you are ready to start planting! I will go over the different options for planting and how to do that in the next post.
I’m sorry about the lack of images in this post. I am still in the process of moving and my computer is packed away until I get my new place set up so I couldn’t add any images even if I wanted to. I promise the next post will have images though! Thanks for reading and stay positive!
Sources & references used in this article:
The Healthiest Food You Aren’t Eating: Liver Pate by A McMahon – breakingmuscle.com
The bird flu pandemic: Can it happen? Will it happen? How to protect yourself and your family if it does by J Greene, K Moline – 2007 – books.google.com
Founder & Moderator Study says echinacea won’t help much, so now what? by S NANO – waccobb.net
Healing or stealing?: medical charlatans in the new age by M Reinfeld – 2016 – Da Capo Lifelong Books