With warmer weather fast approaching and summer about to make its fantastic debut, it’s almost time to start thinking about getting ready for sun-kissed days and smoking outdoors – what better way to do so than by learning how to grow cannabis?
With the legalization of cannabis, many enthusiasts seem to be growing eager to grow their own weed after earning the right to grow marijuana at home. If you want to learn how to grow cannabis at home, you’ll have to make sure you become very familiar with your local and national weed laws.
This is the critical first step before we get to the fun part of learning how to grow cannabis in your own home.
There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to growing weed. Growing outside is a classic and efficient way to grow marijuana. Indoor operations can cost more to set up and power, but the buds are usually bigger and better. Other benefits include privacy and year-round growing. Weed is slightly more complicated than your average vegetable, but anyone can learn how to do it.
What you need to Grow Cannabis at home
The first step is to be prepared. Do your research then buy your supplies. Don’t worry about those high-end products, it is completely possible to get your grow set up on a limited budget.
Most home cannabis growers buy grow tents to provide an insulated and sealed growing environment. The first step is often figuring out how big of a tent you need. This will be based on how much space you have, how much you want to grow, and what fits your budget.
The next step is investing in good cannabis grow lights. These grow lights often make up a good chunk of the overall budget. Which ones you need will depend on your grow room size. What you need are ballasts, bulbs, reflectors, and a good choice of lights for your growing conditions.
Some options include HID, HPS, and LED grow lights. Make sure these devices do not get too hot and that they’re far enough away from your plants. The excessive heat that these devices can give off could potentially damage your plants.
Exhaust fans are an option for those who can fit it into their budget. They do the job of getting rid of the heat from these lights, getting some fresh air in your tent, and decreasing the smell. You can go up step further and get a carbon filter to manage the smell further. An internal fan is often used to increase circulation inside and to reduce the chance of mold and other problems.
Growing pots should usually contain about 3-5 gallons of soil, loosely filled. If you use a bucket, make sure you cut holes in the bottom, as cannabis plants need good drainage. Use a saucer to catch the overflow and any spilled water.
To feed your weed plants, make sure to buy nutrients from reputable sources. Try to find one that is a popular brand that is well-reviewed. You’ll want to ensure that your cannabis plants have the proper amounts of
You want these cannabis plants to get all the food and nutrients they need to grow big and strong.
Getting the Right Supplies for Cannabis Growing
You can buy all of these supplies online or in stores near you. Extra items to pick up include a thermometer to track temperature and hygrometer to measure humidity.
Once you have your room, lights, and other basic supplies, the next major step is getting seeds. Some growers prefer starting from clones, grown by chopping branches off mother plants and inserting them into the soil to grow like a new plant. Clones and seeds can be purchased locally or online in most places.
How to Grow Cannabis at Home – Steps
General tips for the entire growing process include making sure the tent isn’t too hot and has plenty of fresh air. Use the supplies you have to monitor your growing conditions closely. Be consistent and attentive throughout the growing process.
By doing so, you give yourself the best chance of getting better buds and more of it. Once you have the supplies, you can become a wonderful learning and therapeutic journey that is growing Cannabis at home.
Water and Nutrients for Weed Growing
One essential piece of plant biology to understand is that plants can be overwatered and they can be overfed as well. The amount of watering depends on the plant and the pot size, so do your research.
Droopy leaves can be a sign of overwatering. A leaf that looks burnt or yellowed often means over-feeding of nutrient(s) in the soil. More is not always better when it comes to nutrition. Do your research and keep in mind that some products recommend levels that may be double what you need depending on your strain, local growing environment and budgetary constraints.
Sprouting Weed Seeds
If starting from seeds, the first step will be to germinate your seeds. This just means putting the seed in an environment where it thinks spring has started. A damp paper towel folded over is the cheap and effective way of getting this job done.
When the seed has grown a root it is time to plant the seeds in the soil. Make a little indent and gently place the seed into the soil with the root pointing down.
These seeds are fragile at this stage, they require careful planting, water, and enough light without high temperature and drying out. After your seed gets its root into the soil and starts sprouting new leaves and branches, it has entered the vegetative state.
The Vegetative Stage
The vegetative stage begins after a seed has rooted and put out new growth. This process, known as germination, is a growth-focused stage that progresses until the plant is ready to grow flowers.
New stems, new leaves, getting bigger and taller all take place during the vegetative stage with one exception – no buds. These don’t start growing until the time is just right.
Enjoy watching them grow, and also spend this time checking for early signs of any pests or other problems. Make sure the lights maintain the proper distance away from the top leaves and double check that the plant’s nutrients and soil are all in tip-top shape.
Your job at this stage is all about supporting the plant. The boils down to two major roles, keeping the plants watered and checking the pH levels. The pH level is a measure of acidity in the soil. The pH can be used as a general indicator of the nutrient level in the soil. When nutrients build-up, this balance gets shifted one way or another.
The Flowering Stage
Auto-flowering plants will begin producing flowers after a set amount of time, you don’t need to do a thing. Otherwise, cannabis plants will begin to flower when the light cycle becomes 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Make sure you have your plan to adjust the nutrients in the soil by applying the right amount for this stage.
Harvesting your Weed
Getting the timing right on the harvest is an essential part of the growing process. Using a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass can help to find what you’re seeking. With the enhanced view, you’ll be able to identify the trichome heads, which are outgrowths with a round head.
From afar these are the crystals we are like seeing on the bud we buy. Inside these round heads are the valuable cannabinoids we want, THC and CBD, as well as the smell-producing terpenes.
When the first trichome heads start to transition from clear to cloudy white, it is harvest time. If you see amber-colored heads, you’ve waited a bit too long. You can still harvest, though your weed won’t be as potent or tasty.
Growers often try to time it so they can flush our plants prior to harvesting. This involves running water (with a neutral ph, between 5.5-6.8) through the soil until saturated. Flushing generally improves the potency and flavor of your cannabis.
The current research on the effectiveness of flushing is still inconclusive. That being said, there are definitely a lot of advantages to flushing your cannabis and with only a few disadvantages (since it is a time-consuming process), you’ll be better off following through with a flush.
Curing and Drying your Bud
Once you harvest the plants, it is time for trimming, drying, and curing your bud to get it ready to smoke. These steps have a big impact on the aroma, flavor, and potency of your dried flower. Flushing your cannabis will force your plants to use up the nutrients in the soil so you won’t be consuming any yourself when you’re smoking the final product.
Trimming your flower is a time-consuming activity, so plan out your schedule so you have the time when you need it.
Drying may only take a day or so, but curing can go on for months. In the end, you want stems in your buds to have enough moisture and flexibility so that they bend under pressure. But the leaves should be completely dry.
Make sure you select the correct containers for your curing process and storage afterward. As with all of these steps, do your research ahead of time so you are prepared to make the best buds you can make.
How to Grow Cannabis – Concluding Thoughts
Like any gardening endeavor be it with vegetables or flowers, learning how to grow cannabis is a labour of love. You have to be patient in order to grow cannabis and extra caring if you want to grow great cannabis.
If you’re on the fence about starting the process, try starting small with a few plants or with a few clones. A few plants grown outside will be easy to handle and won’t require as much intimate care as indoor plants. That being said, there are also benefits to growing inside as you’ll have much more control over the growing conditions and you have full access to the plant’s soil, light levels and water.
For a lot of beginners, learning how to grow cannabis through a singular plant inside or outside won’t make a huge difference.
If you’re worried about pungent cannabis smells (which there can be), you can consider growing outside. If you’re growing in a rural environment or have a private backyard, you can consider learning how to grow outside. There are pros and cons to both practices but at the end of the day, you need to water your plants, you need to ensure your cannabis plants are getting the proper nutrition and you need to maintain light and oxygen levels.
We hope this introductory guide was helpful in steering you towards the first steps of learning how to grow your own cannabis!