The legalization of cannabis is spreading quickly in the US, Canada and many more countries in the world. Millions of people are now allowed to try the exciting opportunity of legally growing cannabis from seed for their own enjoyment. This is something that is truly worth celebrating, but does you think you are ready to embark on this challenge?
As a beginner, you might feel nervous because gardening might seem meticulous and complicated. There’s no need to worry, everyone feels that way at first. You only need the right information to make the cultivation a hassle-free time. Good news! Your worries will end now. Keep on reading for a simple guide for home growing first-timers.
Decide where you want to grow your cannabis plant.
Indoor Growing – If you are more of a private person, you can choose to plant your cannabis indoors. It is also very affordable to start and maintain, especially for a starter than will only grow a few plants. The great thing about indoor growing is that you have increased control over the environment, so you have the power to produce strong, potent buds.
You can grow your cannabis in a room, a closet, your garage, a tent, or your bathroom.
Consider the room temperature. It should be within 70-85°F for a good growing environment.
Purchase grow lights for your plant’s lighting needs and have an air conditioner or fan to stabilize the heat given off by the grow lights.
Outdoor Growing – This is even cheaper than choosing to grow indoors, as nature can supply the light and air that your plant needs. In this case, you won’t have much control, especially in terms of weather conditions.
You might have to worry about your privacy, pollination possibilities, plant stealers, insects, parasites, or other animals.
You might have a problem when dealing with temperatures, so take note of that. Whether too hot or too cold, you might experience plant damage if you are not as careful.
2. Choose your grow light carefully.
The Sun – If you are going for the natural way, make sure that your plants get at least 8 hours of direct sunlight for the best results. More exposure is the better, especially during 10 AM up to 4 PM.
LEC Grow Lights – These lights have a natural color that makes it easier to grow and take care of plants. They produce lots of UV light that can help increase trichome production.
LED Grow Lights – These lights are the most powerful among the artificial bunch. They are also visually attractive and they are appealing to modern growers, but they cost a little more. Many models are available and they have different characteristics fit for your needs.
3. Pick your growing medium.
Soil – You can choose organically composted soil for a better growing experience. You can make your own compost or buy pre-composted soil.
Soilless Mix – These mediums use coco coir, perlite, and vermiculite, among other things.
Hydroponics – This means growing your cannabis plants directly in water. You can maximize these if combined with HID, LEC or LED grow lights.
4. Purchase nutrients appropriate for your medium.
For growing with soil – Purchase nutrients based on the growing stage of your plants. There are nutrients meant for the vegetative stage, and there are nutrients meant for the flowering stage. Be careful to not get them mixed up.
If you are going soilless – There are cannabis nutrient mixes designed for soilless mixes or hydroponics. You can use Canna Coco for coco coir. You can also choose Dyna-Gro. There are many brands that offer nutrients; it’s up to you which brand you trust.
You should also test the pH level of water – For soil growing, maintain 6.0 to 7.0 pH. For hydroponics, maintain 5.5 to 6.5 pH.
5. Choose the cannabis strain you want and get your seeds.
You can opt for buying seeds from your local cannabis growers. But, if you do not know any, it is safe to buy seeds online from seed banks. Research on the cannabis strains and pick one that highlights the characteristics that you are looking for.
6. Start to germinate your cannabis seeds.
There are many forms of germination methods but most people use the Paper Towel Method. This style uses a moistened paper towel placed with the seeds on a plate, then covered with another plate. Within 24 hours up to 4 days, you will see your seeds sprout. Then, you can place your seeds in your chosen medium at about 1 inch deep. You will, later on, see two smooth seedling leaves emerging on the medium.
7. Entering the vegetative stage.
After you see your plants grow their first set of leaves, it officially entered the vegetative stage. In this part, you are expected to help your plant grow big and strong.
Make sure that the temperature is a bit warmer than room temperature.
Water your plants regularly, but make sure you do not underwater or overwater.
Carefully monitor the nutrients you need to supply to your plants, and don’t underfeed or overfeed.
Give your plants at least 18 hours to 24 hours in a day if you are growing indoors.
If you are growing outdoors, give your plants direct light at least most of the day.
8. Continue caring for your plants during the flowering stage.
You will identify this stage where the plants begin growing their buds.
In this stage you must start to do three things:
Change to a 12/12 light schedule.
Identify the gender of your cannabis plant.
Get rid of the males to avoid pollination.
If you want to skip the worrying about genders, you can buy feminized cannabis seeds.
9. Begin harvesting your buds.
Before you start to harvest, look for the following signs:
Wait until your buds grow new, white hairs. You might notice that the buds smell fragrant, look fat, plump, and filled out.
Wait until most of the white hairs, around 40%, change color or darken.
If you want higher THC levels, wait until 50% to 70% darken.
If you want more sleep-inducing, anti-anxiety effect, wait until 80% to 90% of the white hairs have darkened.
10. Dry and cure your harvested buds.
After you have harvested the buds, you need to hang them out in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, so they can dry out properly. Dry them out slowly for best results and check for any molds.
To start curing your buds, put them in tightly-closed mason jars. In the first two weeks, open the jars once a day so that they can receive fresh air.
After two weeks, you can start opening the jars once a week.
Most growers advise curing at least a month-long for potent buds. If you are unsure, you can sample your supply to test if you need more or not.
Growing cannabis from seeds is a wonderful adventure all cannabis enthusiasts will surely enjoy. Nothing compares to enjoying the fruit of your harvest. So, why wait? Buy seeds and start your cultivation now.