Grow & Harvest: How to Grow Cannabis 101
October 16, 2018
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There are a lot of benefits associated with growing cannabis. The care that you will give to your cannabis plants can’t be compared to the one they will receive when being grown by a marijuana-selling company. Well, if you are tired of purchasing cannabis from dispensaries then you have come to the right place.
This article will guide you on how to grow cannabis at home. As a result, you will gain access not only to affordable cannabis but also high-quality strains. The procedure of growing cannabis laid out below is for both first-timers and pros. Remember, cannabis is depended upon by thousands of people for different medicinal purposes such as pain relief, anti-inflammation and even reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
1. Preparing Your Home
On paper, preparing your home for cannabis cultivation may sound like a simple task. However, there is more to the preparation process than simply clearing and making space. The preparation stage involves figuring out what type of grow lights to use, finding the perfect genetics for your cannabis plants and planning the best conditions for their growth. Below are other factors that you must put into consideration during the preparation:
a. Picking the Perfect Strain
Before you think about how your cannabis plants are going to grow, you must first choose the perfect strain. Today, we have different types of cannabis plants growing in different conditions. For instance, we have some types of cannabis plants that grow tall and their buds are small. We also have cookie cannabis strains that love to get bushier while producing fatter buds at the same time. The mentioned types of strains are the main ones but not the only ones. This further underlines why you need to pick the perfect strain for you during the preparation stage. If you have no idea what cannabis strain to opt for, consider the following factors:
• The Size of a Fully Grown Cannabis Plant
When picking the perfect strain of cannabis for you, consider how tall or bushy the plant can grow when fully matured. Considering this is important because it helps you figure out the garden size and lighting that you need to successfully grow the plant. For instance, if the strain of cannabis plants that you want to grow have a likelihood of growing tall or bushy, you will set aside a bigger garden as opposed to when the plants do not grow tall or bushy. On the other hand, you will also know what type of lighting system to adopt in order to have the best results.
• Average Yields
When growing cannabis, you must have an idea of what to expect in terms of quality, size, and quantity of your end products. To get approximate results of what to expect, you have to ask yourself questions such as; will your cannabis plants produce smaller or bigger buds? With all other factors kept constant, how much can you yield? The rule of the thumb is, the bigger the buds, the higher the yields. It is also true that during the cultivating period, you will have to take utmost care of your plants. How you take care of them will determine how much you harvest.
• Do you opt for long day plants or short day plants?
When picking the perfect cannabis strain to plant, you also have to determine which one to opt for between long day plants and short day plants. The major difference between the two is that short day plants need very little light to grow while long day plants thrive on abundant lighting. Bear in mind that, the two different plants have different lighting environments and feeding requirements.
• The time when the plants will flower
How long does your preferred strain take to flower? This is another factor that you need to consider as well. If you are unsure about the flowering periods of the cannabis strains, you can look up for more information online.
• Choosing genetics
Do you want to use seeds or clones to grow your cannabis? Both seeds and clones have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, seeds are suitable for beginners. If you are a first-timer, opting for seeds will take you through all the steps of what it takes to grow the plants naturally. If anything, without seeds, there would be no genetics. Additionally, seeds provide plants that are more resilient. On the other hand, clones provide faster results. They grow faster as compared to seeds. Also, with clones, you can tell the sex of the plants during the earlier stages and are not as wasteful as compared to seeds. Clones are good for people who want to cultivate their cannabis faster and yield results quickly.
b. Picking the Right Green House or Grow Room
When you choose to grow your cannabis at home, your headache does not end at picking the right strain. During the preparation stage, you also have to figure out if you are going to use a tent, grow room or greenhouse to grow your cannabis plants. With all of these having their advantages and disadvantages, you must consider several other factors before settling for one. For instance, you have to figure out how much space you have to install for any of them. Also, you have to consider the number of cannabis plants that you want to grow. We will discuss each one of them below:
• Grow Tents
Majorly because of their convenience, grow tents continue to gain ground as many people’s favourite when it comes growing plants at home. Regardless of the number of plants that you wish to grow, you can always find a grow tent that fits all of them. The tents are available in different styles, sizes, and designs. Additionally, these tents give you more control over your cannabis plants as compared to any other similar resources.
• Grow Room
If you have limited space, grow rooms provide you with an additional option. You can use any space in your home to cultivate your plants. Some of the advantages of having a grow room include the fact that you do not have to buy a new tent, it is convenient and allows you to use direct sunlight to grow your plants.
• Green Houses
These are perhaps the most popular all over the world. If you have a lot of space in your compound, simply install a greenhouse and plant your cannabis plants. Some of the advantages that come with adopting the services of a greenhouse include sufficient lighting, perfect temperatures and you can easily monitor all the environmental factors that may affect your plants negatively.
c. Picking the Perfect Medium
Still, during the preparation stage, you have to determine the best medium to grow your cannabis strain. Depending on the medium picked, you will know what nutrients to induce, how to feed your plants and you can interpret the challenges that are likely to come up. Here are some of the most commonly used mediums in the United States and most parts of the world:
Soil provides an average medium. In most case, you do not have to add any nutrients to your soil once you have planted your cannabis plants. The soil is good for starters and guarantees positive results most of the time. However, you might have to wait longer to harvest when you grow your plants in the soil as compared to other mediums.
Hydroponics do not compose of any soil. The medium is all-water and does not pose many challenges as those presented by soil medium. Some of the advantages of embracing hydroponics include the fact that your plants will grow faster and there will be faster absorption of nutrients. However, the medium is not suitable for beginners.
d. Picking the Right Cannabis Grow Lights
We all know that grow lights play an essential role in the growth of different plants and cannabis is not an exception. For the best results, determine in advance what type of grow lights you are going to use. Different types of grow lights are available with all having their pros and cons. Let’s look at the most common ones below:
• High-Intensity Discharge Grow Lights
Also known as simply HID grow lights, the High-Intensity Glow Lights are commonly used because of their efficiency and convenience. While it is true that they are somewhat expensive, their value is worth their price.
• Fluorescent Lights
If you are looking for a cheaper option of grow lights, the fluorescent grows lights have got you covered. The lights do not need any sort of cooling system and are readily available. However, they are less efficient as compared to other grow lights.
• LED Lights
These are amongst the most famous grow lights. They embrace the latest technology, and they are very effective. Aside from the fact that their price is a big disadvantage especially to beginners, you should opt for these grow lights if you have enough resources.
e. Gather the tools
Just like any other project, you need to have the right materials and tools to see this project through. For successful cannabis cultivation, you need the following tools:
• A hygrometer, this will help you tell whether the humid levels are suitable for the growth of your plants.
• Shears, these are important for pruning and removal of the weathering leaves. Shears see to it that your cannabis plants have only the parts that they need for their growth.
• A microscope will help you determine the sex of a particular plant if need be.
• PH meters will help you know the condition of your soil before planting the plants.
2. Growing Your Cannabis at Home
As you may have noticed, the preparation stage takes up a lot of time and strength. However, after you have gathered all the tools and materials needed, the growing stage is simple.
• Transplanting the Seedlings
Depending on whether you opted for seedlings or clones, at this point, it is time to transplant them to their long-lasting home. When transporting the seedlings, be careful not to disintegrate their roots. Remember, how you transplant your seedlings will depend on the medium you chose in the first place.
• Keep the nutrients in check
For you to get high-quality cannabis, you have to keep the nutrients in check. Just like most crops, you will need to add fertilizer and other nutrients to your cannabis plants at appropriate times during their growth. Some of the most common nutrients and fertilizers used include nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. While the mentioned ones are the main ones, you can also add some macronutrients such as iron, copper, calcium and magnesium to your cannabis plants at appropriate times.
• Water your plants regularly
How regularly you water your cannabis plants will depend on the type of environmental conditions in your region. You should water your plants regularly to keep them from weathering down. However, you should be very careful while at it because too much water can inhibit the uptake of nutrients by the plants. High water chlorine levels will also affect your plants negatively.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
Apart from the mentioned steps, here are some other tips that will boost your success rate when you choose to grow cannabis at home:
• Cleanliness is Very Important
Regardless of where you choose to plant cannabis in your home, cleanliness is vital. Make sure the surfaces are always clean. Avoid anything that may cause unnecessary dirt to your working surface.
• The House Should Be Light-Tight
Apart from the light inside your grow room or greenhouse, do not allow light from outside to penetrate to your plants as that may confuse them leading to imbalanced growth.
Even though the legality of growing cannabis in some states is still being debated on, we cannot debate about the positive effects that the herb brings. A lot of people depend on cannabis to relieve themselves of chronic pain, help them focus and boost their cognitive functioning. Following the guidelines provided above will see you successfully cultivating your cannabis at home. You will no longer need to make long lines in public medical marijuana centers so that you can grab some medical marijuana. It’s advisable for newbies to start out small and gradually expand their cannabis cultivation. Remember to follow all the rules that govern cannabis growth in your location/state. Similar to the cultivation of other plants, you may face some obstacles when growing cannabis. These obstacles shouldn’t kill your spirit of growing cannabis, instead, they should act as a lesson.