Are you ready to start growing? Tired of spending lots of dollars on getting the weed of your choice? Why not take the bold step and save yourself some money by learning how to grow weed. The fact is most people make it looks so hard to grow because of the little information available at their disposal.
Before you start growing, you should be aware that cannabis can either be grown indoor or outdoor as long as adequate nutrients and provisions are made available. So the choice is yours!
What does a cannabis plant needs to grow?
Lots of different growing lights are available for the growth of cannabis ranging from Natural light (the sun), Household lighting (CFLs) & LEDs (which are very cheap and affordable) to Metallic Halide & High pressure sodium (one of the best and it’s commonly seen with commercial growers of cannabis indoor). It is best that your plants get at least of sunlight 10am-4pm for outdoor growers, 18-24 hours of light a day for indoor growers (during vegetative stage), because more light equals more buds and yields.
Where you can grow your cannabis, can either be soil, soilless mix or water (hydroponics).
Choosing the right growing medium (soil) for your cannabis can be a little bit tasking, even after searching online, you get more confused because you see various medium for cannabis growth and wonder how can i get the best! Well, your best bet option is to either compost your own soil or better still purchase a composted soil.
A quick steps on how to make your own composted soil;
1. Start your compost pile with a four-inch layer of brown or carbon materials.
2. Add another four-inch layer of green or nitrogen materials.
3. Use a thin layer of bone meal on top of the brown and green pile as an activator to invite microorganisms into the pile to begin the decomposition process.
4. Add new layers of carbon, nitrogen and thin layers of activator until you have a pile of compost that is at least three feet high and three feet square to generate enough heat to sterilize your materials into soil.
5. It will take about two to five months for your materials to decompose into soil in warm. You’ll notice the color change of compost to dark brown or black shows that your compost has decompose into soil.
For those that prefer pre-made soilless mix (growing cannabis plants without soil),usually we have substrate like rockwool, clay substrate, coco coir or some sort of mix(organic potting mix) we have lots of cannabis-friendly potting mix that are available for your purchase. In case you have difficulty in purchasing one, you can decide to start yours by mixing coco coir (good for beginners, cheap and retains water well for a long time) and perlite using CFLs as grow light. Furthermore, for hydroponics medium, cannabis can be grown directly in water especially when combined with LED grow light. Less commonly seen among cannabis grower is the aquaponics type where plant roots are suspended in a tank with fish.
NUTRIENTS; TYPES AND ITS APPLICATION
As expected all plants (cannabis inclusive) need nutrients for optimal growth. Nutrients specific for each medium are available; unless your medium (soil) is made of compost soil, you will need to get yourself a suitable nutrient for your medium which is available for purchase. While trying to figure out which is best for your medium, the important is to have a bit knowledge about cannabis plants and when to apply the right nutrients can save you from spending aimlessly.
Two major nutrients type are seen when it comes to cannabis growth;
(1) Organic nutrients (better taste to buds, more natural and not for hydro medium)
(2) Chemical nutrients (increased potency, faster growth and only choice for hydro)
Your cannabis plants needs a main group of element called macronutrients, which are obtained from the soil (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, magnesium and sodium), air and water (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen). The 3 numbers shown in front of most fertilizer bags, nutrient solution bottles all indicate how much of the 3 main elements (N.P.K) is present in the product. Let’s say, we have “12-5-5” written on the nutrient bag, it means it contain 12% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus, and 5% potassium by weight. Rest micronutrients (zinc, iron, manganese, molybdenum, chlorine, cobalt, silicon, boron and copper), though required in low quantity but still important to the overall growth.
The basic rule of thumb to be aware of when applying your fertilizers is; to keep your potassium high and phosphorus medium-high throughout your vegetative as well as flowering phase. And nitrogen should be kept high in vegetative and low for flowering phase.
For hydroponic fertilizers, products consist concentrated mineral (all nutrients except carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) salts, which either be in the liquid form or solid form that are meant to be diluted by water (care must be taken when diluting). During the first stage (vegetative), hydroponic fertilizers are used for “general purpose”. But as soon as flowers and buds starts appearing, you should switch to a blooming nutrient with low nitrogen with plenty of potassium and phosphorus. Why? Nitrogen was found to decrease bud development while increase in phosphorus and potassium increases the weight of the bud and flowers respectively.
Generally, nutrient manufacturer will recommend a dose that is too high for your cannabis growth and production, so when starting with a new nutrient system, always start with half the recommended dose. Only increase the dose when your plant seem pale.
Why are my plants looking pale and unhealthy despite giving it all the adequate nutrients? There is a different thing to supplying the right nutrients to plant and plant absorption of that nutrients. If the pH at the plant roots is too high or low, your plants wont absorb nutrients properly.
Many growers of cannabis tends to ignore this factor when growing their cannabis but they later fall a victim of having a bad plantation. Studies have shown that cannabis plants do fine in the vegetative phase (reason why many growers turn blind eyes to checking of their medium’s ph) but becomes more prone to problems in the flowering/budding stage. In order to get rid of this problem, proper and adequate ph test for water and medium used using ph test kits.
Each medium to certain ph value; Soil medium (6.0- 7.0), Hydroponics medium (5.5-6.5). The fact is getting the ph exactly right is not as important as checking if it sure stays within the normal range.
Germination is more of a process of getting the seeds to sprout, this sprouting is from the plant first root (tap root/white root). As the germination process continues more tiny and fine roots emerges from the tap root that gets longer and pushes the seed upwards towards the surface of your growing medium. Seed shell breaks off and the first leaves (cotyledon) are seen.
There are lots of methods used in germination according to preference and medium used;
Method 1; cheap paper towel method
Method 2; soak cannabis seeds in water overnight
Method 3; starter cubes (Rapid Rooter starter cubes, Rockwool cubes)
Method 4; cannabis seed directly into the growing medium
Method 5; germination station.
Using paper towel method is one of the cheapest and reliable method and due to the non-porosity of the paper, which is essential for the seeds and its root to lay on top without getting stuck to anything. So, as the name implies, wet a PAPER TOWEL, fold your seeds in it and leave in a warm place. Check up on germinating seeds once every 12hours and plant any sprouted seeds immediately.
How to plant your germinated seeds
Once the first sign (sprouted seed) of germination is seen, planting should be started right away! Seed planting is usually done with the white root facing down. Make a punched out (knuckle deep sized) hole in your medium, carefully place the germinated seed in the hole with the top of the seed just below the surface of the medium. Seedlings emergence from the medium can take a couple of hours to days (within the first week), but usually maximum of 10 days is allocated for germination.
Once seed has been planted safely, grow light and heat can be turned on to increase germination rate. Note, if heat light feels too hot to your hand after 10 seconds, they are too hot for your cannabis seedlings
Treat your marijuana seedlings as if they are in the vegetative phase once they are about 14 years old, they tend to grow fastest at a temperature a bit warmer than a room temperature. Immediately buds developments are noticed (flowering stage), light is changed to 12-12 light schedule, identify the female cannabis (pollen sac with pistils/white hairs) and isolate the male.
Start harvesting when buds stop producing white hairs, and when there is at least 40% of color change in the white hair to dark and curly ones, for maximum THC, harvest is done when there is 50-70% of color change, and for anti-anxiety effect, harvest when there is 80-90% color change.
Harvested buds are hung upside down, and dried out in a cool and well ventilated space.
Well, weed growing can seem like it’s a complicated and unfruitful task because of the enormous attention, time and coupled with the knowledge that is required, but it’s as simple as growing any other plant once you have the right information.