With marijuana becoming increasingly legal within the United States, more individuals have chosen to grow their own rather than buy from costly dispensaries. In addition to being cost-effective, this can also turn into an enjoyable hobby that teaches a lot about the basics of gardening. If this is something you’re interested in doing, the steps below will help you get started. While it’s true that you’ll learn a lot from experience, this information can help you learn what to expect during each stage of growth.
Although not much is needed for casual growers, it’s still important to have the supplies you need before the first seed is ever planted. The most important supplies include:
– Container (this can be any empty container made out of wood or plastic, such as an empty plastic tub)
– Small circulation fan or duct fan
– Grow tent or dark space, such as an empty closet
– Organic fertilizer
– Hygrometer (this reads temperature and humidity in the room)
– Organic potting soil
– Small Jars
– Plastic Bags
Although it’s possible to move the area where you grow, it’s recommended to have a designated spot where all of your plants can be kept. This will ensure the climate of the area can be controlled so you can avoid changes that may ruin your plants. While many beginners choose empty closets because they are dark, you may also want to use a cabinet, tent, or any other dark space. You can also invest in a grow tent so you can leave your plants in the middle of any room no matter the light or temperature.
*Tip: While you might want to plant a lot at once, it’s best to start small. Not only is this more affordable but it also will ensure you don’t overwhelm yourself.
– Lighting: This is one of the most important parts of the interior climate, as plants cannot grow without the appropriate amount of light. Fortunately, if you’re using a dark space that has minimal areas for light leaks, you’ll be able to control the amount of light with a grow light. This should be installed near the top of your grow area, such as the ceiling or top of a grow tent.
If there is a window in the space you’re using, cover it with a heavy duty piece of dark plastic that’s taped down to prevent light leaks. If possible, stand in your grow area with the cover on to see where light is being introduced. From there, you’ll know which areas need to be covered.
– Temperature: While fresh air from the outdoors isn’t possible in most grow places, it’s highly recommended if you can make it happen. Otherwise, you’ll want to have a rotating fan within the room to ensure air is circulating throughout the day. Use your hygrometer to monitor the humidity and temperature throughout the day. Once you begin to grow, it will be much easier to know what the ideal climate is for your plants.
One of the best types of soil for those who are just learning how to grow weed is organic pre-fertilized soil. This is a healthy type of soil that contains all of the nutrients that are needed to carry the cannabis from start to finish, which will make your life as the gardener easier. You can find this at most home improvement stores or online.
To plant, begin by taking the seed in a half inch of moist (but not wet) soil before covering it completely. Maintain moist soil in a 75-degree space for 3-7 days until you see a sprout appear in your container. This germination period is the most important in the growing process, so don’t try to rush it.
The next step in the growth cycle is vegetation. With the growth of branches and leaves, this stage is where your plant will begin to come to life and sprout before your eyes! Maximum light during this time is important, as it will help facilitate healthy growth at a rapid rate. For most plants, 30 days is enough time for the plant to remain in the vegetative phase, although this really depends on the strain being grown in particular.
Tip: For those who do not have direct sunlight, a 250-watt HID fluorescent bulb is highly recommended.
When the plant has entered into the flowering cycle, it will need to have a regular schedule of dark and light. This should include 12 hours of light with a very powerful light and 12 hours of dark with no light in the room at all. Darkness is just as crucial in the flowering cycle as light, so try not to disturb the plant when it’s in a state of rest. This will last for around 8-10 weeks, although this largely depends on the size of your plant as well as the strain.
Tip: Using a timer will ensure that you keep your 12-hour cycle exact and avoid forgetting to change from light to dark. If you plan on moving the plant, do it before you begin this stage to avoid any disruptions in growth.
When the flowering stage is complete, you may notice that your plant begins to look less healthy than it did before. This is a sign that it’s time to harvest, especially if the buds darken and the pistils begin to turn from white to red. When it’s time, the sticky buds must be removed from the plant with shears or scissors (wear gloves for added safety). Once the leaves that surround the buds have been removed, you can begin the drying and curing process.
To help activate the THC in the plant, you must dry it properly. To do so, hang each of the buds upside down in a dark and cool space so they aren’t exposed to heat or light. The ideal temperature is 64 degrees with 60% humidity to prevent the growth of mold. During this time it’s still important to keep the space clean and reduce dust exposure as much as possible. When the leaves are 100% dry, you can choose to either cure your buds or move straight to storage (curing is highly recommended). Store in either air-tight jars or vacuum-sealed plastic bags.