Upon receiving your clones, focus first on acclimating (hardening off) your clones to higher light levels and the environment you intend to grow in.
For a period of at least three days, Mountain Strong Hemp Co. recommends placing clones outside soon after sunrise, allowing them to adapt to higher light levels and lower temperatures than they are used to in the greenhouse.
However, because the plants are tender and need time to acclimate to peak daily light levels, it is recommended that the clones be placed in the shade and/or inside around 12pm. If placed inside, adequate lighting to maintain a vegetative photoperiod is necessary. They should be placed back into full sun around 4pm to capture the last sunlight of the day.
This technique will maximize transplanting success as the plants have had a chance to adapt to their new environment without immense stress or shock
There are two options for growing on once you have hardened off your clones and let them acclimate to your growing conditions.
The first option is to plant clones directly into the field. It is recommended to use a dibble/auger to make a hole one and a quarter times as wide and as deep as the size of the rapid rooter. Next, place the rapid rooter into a dibbled hole, ensuring that the top surface of the rapid rooter is a quarter inch below the field soil line. Fill any space around or on top of rapid rooter with soil from the field. When filling around the rapid rooter with soil, do not apply too much pressure, as this will lead to soil compaction, which is undesirable.
The second option is to transplant clones into a container with a larger soil volume. We recommend a 4” or 6” standard pot size for the first transplant. The technique for transplanting into a container is the same as the technique for transplanting directly into the field.
*** Keep in mind that the root mass is initially contained to the soil volume of the rapid rooter. This means that until the clone has rooted into the field or into its new container’s soil, one must irrigate focusing on saturating the actual rapid rooter soil mass. Because of the small soil volume but actively growing plant, it is recommended that after planting the rapid rooter, soil moisture be monitored and irrigated if necessary, two to four times a day until roots are actively establishing from the rapid rooter soil into the field or container soil.
It is imperative that the clone be irrigated in a fashion that allows for an adequate wet to dry cycle.
When it is time to irrigate, it is suggested that the rapid rooter be fully saturated. To accomplish this, one should apply a volume of water great enough to prime the soil (this is usually one quarter of the total volume of water that one intends to apply). Minutes later, this priming should be followed by a volume of water great enough to fully saturate all the soil so that if one squeezes the rapid rooter, water will vigorously drip from the bottom.
After full saturation, it is imperative that one is patient and allows the soil to dry an adequate amount.
Deciding when to irrigate can be subjective; however, over time one will learn about their growing environment interactions and what dryness level is optimal. Hemp does not do well when its “feet stay wet”.
It is recommended to never let the rapid rooter dry to the point of plant wilt. A good rule of thumb for making irrigation decisions is that if the individual rapid rooter is not cool to the touch and has a light brown to beige color, it is time to irrigate to full saturation.
If one chooses to fertilize the clones before transplanting or directly after transplanting, Mountain Strong Hemp Co. recommends using the lowest labelled rate of fertilizer on the product of your choosing. We fertilize our clones in the tray and for a short period of time after transplanting. When fertilizing, the same application technique, as detailed above for irrigation, should be followed.