What to Know About Growing Cannabis
Growing weed can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start. By following this guide, you will be able to grow cannabis plants right in your own home. We like to think of growing weed as the ultimate DIY.
Is it Legal?
When you begin growing cannabis, it’s important to first make sure that you are abiding by local rules and regulations. Many states in the US have laws regulating the size and number of cannabis plants that an individual is allowed to have.
Which Cannabis Strain Should I Grow?
Great question! There are thousands of cannabis strains to choose from. The three main strains of cannabis are Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids. Indica is known to give a more relaxing effect with a body high and many users prefer using it at night. Sativa makes users feel more energized, can oftentimes be hallucinogenic, and is often used for daytime use. Hybrids tend to be the best of both worlds - they tend to land somewhere in the middle.
Where Should I Grow My Weed?
Growing marijuana outside has its advantages. If you live in a temperate climate, outdoor growing can save a lot of money that would be used for lighting and grow rig costs. Unfortunately, this means you are also working with the inconsistencies of weather patterns and a cold snap or drought could severely damage your plants and hurt their production.
For beginners, it’s best to grow weed inside where you can have 100% control over the growing conditions. Find a small space in your home like an extra closet, pantry, basement, or garage. When your weed plants are small, you’ll roughly need just enough room for a person to stand in.
Choosing the Right Soil
Choosing the right soil is a key factor in growing cannabis. By choosing the right soil, you can ensure that your weed plant is receiving all the nutrients it needs. Ideally, cannabis plants need phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium for optimal growth, but these can be supplemented with a host of other nutrients including calcium, sulfur, and iron. Knowing the proper amounts of each of these nutrients will wildly change how the plant behaves as an end product.
What Kind of Lighting Should I Use to Grow Marijuana?
Cannabis needs a lot of light when growing at peak conditions. In fact, cannabis plants need a minimum of 18 hours of direct sunlight every day. To ensure you have the perfect lighting for the cannabis plant, you may want to buy an artificial lighting rig. Most people opt to buy an artificial lighting rig. This ensures that you have the perfect lighting 24/7 and is especially useful if you live in a colder climate with less sun.
Most growers use 400-600W grow lights, but it’s important to research and find out the best lighting for your specific cannabis strain. Before purchasing a grow light, check your home’s wattage limit. Many homes are limited to 1600W, which could result in power outages if you are growing.
It’s also important to select a space to allow time for the cannabis plant to be in the dark and away from any light sources. If it’s difficult to find a small space with limited light at night, you may opt for a grow tent. Ideal grow tents are light-tight so that no outside light is able to get in. This ensures that the plant doesn’t get confused during the night and is growing optimally.
Sexing Marijuana Plants
When sexing cannabis plants you have three options: male, female, and hermaphroditic. Sexing marijuana plants is important for multiple reasons. First, if you are trying to create seeds through cross-pollination, you need to know which seed is male and which is female. Second, many growers prefer to keep the males separate from the females as it produces a higher quality bud than the females.
If you follow a stem to where the plant meets the stalk, you find the node. For male plants, you will find sacs of pollen at the node. For female plants, you will find small bracts or balls at the node with hair-like stigmas popping out the top. A hermaphroditic plant will have both sexual organs and therefore you will find both female and male organs on the same plant.
When & How to Harvest My Marijuana
Harvesting at different points in the buds’ life cycle will result in different highs. For example, buds harvested earlier tend to have a more energetic and uplifting effect while buds harvested later have a relaxing or sedative effect.
Harvesting is a very important part of growing weed. Harvesting is the only way you’ll ever be able to use your own homegrown cannabis. When harvesting, it’s very important that you cut the stem correctly in order to avoid any unnecessary damage to the plant. Use sharp hand sheers, as a dull blade can leave the plant open to disease or infection. Once your buds are harvested make sure you trim, dry, and cure them for best results.
It’s important that you consider the costs of growing marijuana before beginning the process. In addition to spending money on the lights and energy to grow your cannabis plant, you may also need to buy additional grow accessories, including:
- Soil PH Meter
- Light Reflectors
- Grow Tent
- Climate Control Tools
These items can drive the cost up of growing weed. For example, cannabis grow rigs cost anywhere from $100 for the most basic rig, to $1000+ for more complicated rigs. For first-time growers, it’s important to start small. By starting small, it will bring the cost down and the plant is less likely to die due to a new grower’s lack of experience.
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