How to Grow Marijuana: A Step-By-Step Beginners Guide to Cannabis Cultivation (+Tips)
Learn how to grow cannabis at home with our easy-to-understand guide for first-time growers. From sprouting seeds to harvesting and curing buds, we cover everything you need to know to get started on your cannabis growing journey. We'll walk you through the necessary equipment and best practices for maintaining the right grow medium, light, water and nutrient levels, temperature and air flow. Whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your cannabis cultivation skills, our expert guide will help you maximize yields and produce high-quality buds. Get started today and discover the benefits of growing your own cannabis.
STEP 1 - CHOOSING A GROWING LOCATION FOR YOUR MARIJUANA
PLANTS When it comes to growing cannabis, there are two options: indoor and outdoor cultivation. Outdoor growing is cost-effective as nature provides the necessary elements for growth, such as sunlight. However, there are also potential risks of theft, pollination, pest infestations, and damage from wild animals. Indoor growing, on the other hand, requires more equipment and maintenance but offers complete control over the growing environment, including lighting and temperature.
When deciding on a growing location, consider the following best practices: -Start with a small grow operation, especially if you are a first-time grower. -Maintain a clean and organized grow space from seed to harvest. -Ensure that the area is light-tight to prevent escape of light. -Maintain the proper temperature, humidity, and airflow for optimal growth. -Consider the cost of electricity as it can be high for indoor growing, especially for large-scale operations. -Keep the setup costs within your budget.
STEP 2: SELECT A GROWING MEDIUM FOR YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS
When it comes to growing cannabis, there are a variety of mediums to choose from. Here are a few options to consider:
SOIL: This is the most traditional and popular medium for growing cannabis. It's easy to find and comes with its own set of nutrients. Additionally, cannabis grown in soil tends to have a more robust flavor and aroma. However, it's important to use high-quality potting soil and supplement it with specialized nutrients for optimal growth.
SOILLESS: A soilless medium, such as coco coir, vermiculite, or perlite, can lead to faster growth and larger yields. However, you will need to provide all the necessary nutrients yourself.
HYDROPONICS: This method of growing cannabis involves using a hydroponic system and providing the plants with nutrients directly. This can result in faster growth, bigger yields, and increased potency. However, it's important to do your research and choose the right system and nutrients for your setup to avoid any issues.
STEP 3: SELECTING NUTRIENTS
Similar to other plants, cannabis plants require nourishment to thrive. The key is to understand the appropriate type of nutrients to use based on the growing medium: soil, soilless, or hydroponics. Each medium has specific nutrients designed for optimal growth, and using the incorrect type can impede the plants' development. Utilizing marijuana nutrients is simple, as long as you strictly adhere to the nutrient-feeding chart and instructions provided. However, it's important to ensure that the plants can absorb the nutrients through their roots. Additionally, maintaining the appropriate pH level of the root environment, particularly if using liquid nutrients, is crucial. The pH level should vary depending on the growing medium. For soil, the pH should be between 6.0 to 7.0, while for hydroponics it should fall between 5.5 and 6.5. Adhering to these guidelines can lead to denser buds and larger yields for your cannabis plants.
STEP 4: SELECT A SUITABLE CANNABIS VARIETY FOR NOVICE GROWERS
Are you new to growing marijuana? Don't fret, there are options that cater to beginners like you. Have you heard of autoflowering cannabis seeds? These seeds do not require a specific lighting cycle to induce the flowering stage, thus saving you money on lighting costs. Additionally, autoflowering strains have a shorter flowering time, which means less maintenance for you. Another great choice for beginners is feminized seeds. These marijuana seeds produce only female plants, eliminating the need to identify and separate male plants. We highly recommend choosing cannabis seeds that possess both autoflowering and feminized characteristics for a hassle-free and successful growing experience.
STEP 5: SET UP YOUR LIGHTING
As a weed grower, it is crucial to understand that during different growth stages, cannabis plants require varying levels of light. Indoor growers, in particular, should pay close attention to this as outdoor growers do not have to worry about it.
During the vegetative stage, plants should receive 18 hours of light per day, before switching to a 12-hour lighting cycle to trigger the flowering stage. Ensure that your lighting system is tight enough to prevent light leakage during the dark periods, as this can impact the growth stages of your plants, causing them to revert to a different stage or produce male buds.
There are several types of cannabis grow lights to choose from, including HID, fluorescent, LED, and induction lights. HID lights, such as metal halide (MT) and high pressure sodium (HPS), are the industry standard and are commonly used by many growers. However, they generate a lot of heat and require air-cooled reflector hoods, especially in small spaces with limited ventilation. Fluorescent lights are a cheaper option and produce less heat, but they are less efficient and produce 30% less light per unit of electricity used than HID lights. LED lights, although more expensive, generate less heat, last longer, and use less electricity, resulting in higher-quality yields. Induction lights, such as plasma and magnetic, can support both vegetative and flowering stages but plasma induction lights are not recommended by expert growers as they have inadequate parts of the light spectrum to sustain healthy growth.
STEP 6: DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO MONITOR AND CONTROL THE CLIMATE
Indoor growing requires close monitoring and control of environmental conditions in order to ensure healthy plant growth. This includes factors such as humidity, airflow, and temperature. It is essential to take into account any potential issues that may arise from the location of your grow space, such as a damp basement or excessive heat.
To combat these issues, it may be necessary to install equipment such as heaters, dehumidifiers, AC units, or extra fans to maintain optimal growing conditions. Additionally, it can be helpful to manipulate the timing of your lights to work with the natural temperature fluctuations of your environment. For example, turning your lights on in the evening when it's cold outside and turning them off during the day when it's hot can help to regulate the temperature in your grow space. It is important to note that this strategy may also require adjusting your grow schedule to only work on your plants during the hours when the lights are on, likely at night.
STEP 7: SELECTING THE RIGHT CONTAINER FOR YOUR WEED PLANTS
When it comes to growing weed indoors, the type of container you choose for your plants can have a significant impact on their growth and development. There are a variety of options available, from ceramic pots and fabric containers to traditional plastic containers, but it's important to select a container that is suitable for your specific weed needs, taking into account factors such as plant size, density, and rooting system requirements.
When selecting a container, consider the following important factors:
Nutrients: To ensure optimal nutrient absorption and avoid nutrient deficiencies, your container should allow for the right temperature and soil PH levels.
Oxygen: Proper oxygenation is crucial for a strong rooting system, so make sure your container is perforated appropriately to allow for adequate oxygen flow.
Drainage: Proper drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging and root rot, but your container should also retain water to keep your plants hydrated.
Space: As roots branch out and develop, it's important to choose a container that provides enough room for growth, otherwise, the plant may become choked and stunted.
When germinating seeds or transplanting seedlings, it's important to keep these factors in mind to ensure that your container can sustain a thriving root system. Not only will this ensure optimal growth and development, but it will also help to ensure a high-quality yield.
STEP 8: GROW YOUR FIRST MARIJUANA PLANT:
Growing your first marijuana plant can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's important to follow the proper steps to ensure a successful harvest. Here are the key steps you'll need to take to grow your first marijuana plant:
Plant your seeds: Start by selecting high-quality cannabis seeds that are suitable for your growing conditions. Plant them in soil or a hydroponic setup, making sure to follow the recommended depth and spacing guidelines.
Water your plants: Keep your plants well-watered and make sure they have access to the right amount of moisture. Use a moisture meter or stick your finger in the soil to check the moisture level.
Provide organic nutrients: Feed your plants with organic nutrients to support their growth. Use a balanced fertilizer that provides the right mix of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Monitor light, temperature, air, etc: Keep a close eye on the light, temperature, humidity and air quality to ensure your plants are growing in optimal conditions. Use grow lights, fans, and other equipment as needed.
Spot the difference between vegetative and flowering growth stage: Identify the different growth stages of your plants, including the vegetative stage, when the plants are focusing on growing leaves and stems, and the flowering stage, when the plants start producing buds.
Harvest: When your plants reach maturity, it's time to harvest your buds. Trim the buds carefully and dry them properly before storing them in airtight containers.
With proper care and attention, your first marijuana plant should grow strong and healthy, and produce a bountiful harvest. Remember to conduct research and follow best practices to ensure the best possible outcome. Furthermore, make sure to familiarize yourself with the legal regulations and guidelines for growing cannabis in your area.
GROWING WEED AT HOME: MONITORING AND TROUBLESHOOTING
As with any type of gardening, it's important to keep a close eye on your marijuana plants throughout the growing process. Here are some key things to look out for when monitoring your plants:
Discoloration or spotting: If you notice any strange coloring or spotting on your plants' leaves, it could be a sign of disease or pests.
Leaf loss, curling or dying: If your plants are losing leaves, curling or dying, it could be due to a lack of water or nutrients. It could also be a sign of pests, disease, or environmental issues such as light burn or poor air circulation.
Smell: If your plants have a strong, pungent smell, it could be a sign of over-fertilization or a pest infestation.
Slow growth: If your plants are growing very slowly, it could be due to a lack of light, water, or nutrients.
Stretching: If your plants are stretching towards the light source, it could indicate that your plants are not getting enough light.
Bugs: Be on the lookout for common pests such as spider mites, thrips, and aphids. These pests can cause severe damage to your plants if left untreated.
By keeping a close eye on your plants and troubleshooting any issues that arise, you can ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest.
BENEFITS OF GROWING CANNABIS INDOORS
Growing cannabis indoors has many advantages over outdoor growing. One of the main benefits is safety. By cultivating your plants indoors, you can avoid the judgement of nosy neighbors and potential thieves, even in states where cannabis is legal. Additionally, indoor growing allows you to have complete control over the flowering process. By adjusting the light cycle, you can trigger the flowering phase at any time, allowing for multiple harvests throughout the year. This flexibility is particularly useful as you are not limited by the seasons, like outdoor growers are.
Another benefit of indoor growing is the ability to produce high-quality buds. Although indoor growing may be more costly, it allows you to create a customized growing environment that produces top-quality buds. By adjusting the lighting, nutrients, and grow medium, you can tailor the conditions to your specific plants' needs. Additionally, indoor growing allows you to choose from a wide range of indoor-friendly strains, including popular options like Blue Dream, White Widow, and Gorilla Blue.
Finally, indoor growing gives you the ability to plant year-round, giving you a steady supply of cannabis. This is a significant benefit over outdoor growing, where you are limited to planting during specific seasons and weather conditions.
THE ADVANTAGES OF GROWING MARIJUANA OUTDOORS
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW WEED INDOORS?
The time it takes to grow weed indoors can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the strain, the quality of the seed, the grow environment, and the grower's experience level. On average, the entire process from seed germination to harvest can take anywhere from 20 to 30 weeks. Germination of the seed typically occurs within 3 to 10 days, and the seedling stage can last for 2 to 3 weeks. After transplanting to a new grow environment, the vegetative stage begins, which can last anywhere from 3 to 16 weeks. During this stage, plants will absorb more carbon dioxide and nutrients, causing them to grow rapidly. The flowering stage, which typically lasts 8 to 11 weeks, will then follow. It's important to note that these growth periods are estimates and that different strains and growing conditions may affect the overall time it takes to grow and harvest marijuana plants indoors.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GROWING MARIJUANA?
When considering growing marijuana, there are several important factors to take into account, including budget, grow space, privacy, yield, and time. It is important to start with a budget that you can manage and take into account the costs of items such as lighting, grow space, fans, and other supplies. The size and location of your grow space should also be considered, ensuring it is private, has proper ventilation and temperature control, and can accommodate the size of your plants. Additionally, it is important to consider the yield you desire and choose strains that are known for high yield. Lastly, it is important to set aside the necessary time to invest in growing marijuana, as most strains take at least three months to mature. Researching and understanding these factors before starting to grow will help set you up for success.