The first time you grow a plant at home can be the most exciting and rewarding, but also the most confusing. There are a lot of different techniques and tricks that can help make for a healthy plant, and an abundant amount of information out there. If you have decided to start grow in a Mary system, we make it easy to understand the steps so you can get started without spending hours scouring the message boards and research papers.
Here is what to expect in your 1st grow in the Mary Model Z.
The first step is to unbox your unit and find a good place to grow. We recommend that you place the unit in a spot that has easy access to a power outlet and is in range of your home wifi network. It’s a good idea to avoid bright, direct sunlight and carpet so that the weight of the unit, once full, doesn’t leave any marks. Don’t forget to find a place where you can admire your plant as it grows!
Once you have found your spot, plug it in and download the Mary AG app. The app will guide you through the steps to connect the Model Z to your wifi network. Once it is connected, you will be able to control all of the features and monitor the conditions in the grow chamber, inside the unit. The app will also be where you can find any tips, reminders, as well as connect with Live Support to guide you through your first grow.
What’s included? The Mary model Z comes with most of what you need to get started. Here is what you will find inside the water tank of the Model Z when it arrives:
Nutrient Cycle - You will be prompted in the Mary AG app to change the water inside the Model Z once per week. The nutrients are packed into individual pouches for each week, so you can simply open the pouch for the corresponding week, and mix with 13L of water before adding it to the water tank. Grow Plug - This is where your seed goes. When you are starting your grow cycle, you will mix the first pouch of nutrients with water, and add it to the water tank. Next, soak the grow plug in this solution for 2 mins, then remove. Now you are ready to plant your seed Odour Filter - The filter will come installed in the base of the Model Z so it is ready to use. It will help reduce odour outside of the grow chamber while the doors are closed. Replacement filters are included with each grow kit that is available to order through the Mary AG app Humidity Dome - A small, transparent dome that will allow you to maintain high levels of humidity in the crucial early Seedling phase. If your humidity level is below 45%, simply wet the inside of the dome, and place it over the seedling.
What do I need?
While pretty much everything you need is included when your unit arrives, you will need to supply the water and seed. A little preparation is always a good thing, and there are a few other items that will make tending for your plant easy during the first cycle.
First, the most important supply to get is a pH measuring kit. When you are mixing the nutrients with water for the weekly tank change, it is important to make sure that the pH of the solution is in the correct range so that your plant can efficiently absorb the nutrients through its roots. The ideal range is 5.5-6.5 for most plants. That means, you will need to be able to measure and adjust the pH balance.
One option is to find a chemical pH balance kit. This will include a chemical test, as well as pH buffers to adjust the balance up or down. This is an easy, cost effective option for starters. Another option is to use electronic pH measuring devices (pH Pen). The pH pens are very simple, extremely accurate when calibrated. You can read more about what pH means in the Hydroponic Growing Terms article (link).
Another handy item on your check list is a bucket. We recommend a 5 gallon paint bucket because they are standard size, easy to mix in, and cost only about $4. This is the bucket you will use to mix the nutrients and water before adding it to the Mary built-in water tank.
Pro-tip: a small aquarium pump is a good addition to your growing supplies. It allows you to add water slowly to the water tank without moving or disrupting the plant. To remove the old water from the water tank, you can use the built-in pump which is controlled through Refill Mode in the Mary AG app.
Now that your unit is set up and you know how to prepare your water and nutrient mix, you might be wondering what is next. Select “start new grow” from the app, and follow the steps. This process will allow you to choose the automation recipe that best suits your chosen plant, and the Mary unit will make sure that those conditions are met automatically.
Each grow cycle is broken down into phases. The conditions will change for each phase, as will the tips provided through the Mary AG app. Here is what to expect for each phase:
During this first phase, the lights will remain off to avoid exposing the seed to light. It mimics the conditions of being underground. During this slow start, it is a good idea to check to see if you have any growth once per day. Don’t worry the app will remind you.
The first sign of growth! It may be small, but it is still exciting. Your plant might need a little extra humidity during this crucial time to help it get established. Use the humidity dome included with the Model Z for help.
At this point, you are starting to see more leaves growing from the main steam. Each layer is called a ‘node’.
During this important phase, your plant will develop 5 nodes and you may want to ‘top’ your plant. Not sure what to do? That’s ok, the app will show you how. Of course, you can always use Live Support to get an expert opinion from one of our growers.
Transition to Flower:
Your plant is growing quickly now! The Mary Model Z monitors the height of your plant. Once a certain height threshold is reached, the transition phase will automatically start.
The vertical growth of your plant will begin to slow since the light spectrum that is best for the flowering phase started during the Transition phase. This is where the flower growth takes over.
Now you are starting to see the fruits of your labour, literally!
Now that you have buds on your plant, they will start to gain density and weight. This is the final stretch of flower growth.
One final week, with no nutrients, to make sure your plant is ready for harvest.
Once harvest arrives, you can use the Grow Chamber to hang and dry your plant. This is also a good time to clean out the water tank and get ready for your next grow cycle. Reach out to our team through the Mary AG app, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to start again.