Don’t Make These Mistakes When Growing Marijuana for the First Time
Growing marijuana, like any other plant, does happen naturally. It’s easy to think this means there isn’t anything to it. Just tossing the seeds outside and letting nature work will lead to marijuana plants most of the time, but it’s not a good way to go about it. In fact, just letting nature do all the hard work often means that the plants that do survive aren’t going to have very high-quality marijuana and aren’t going to produce very many buds.
Whether you’re growing inside or outside, it’s important to understand how cultivation is done and what the best practices are. Many beginners will make mistakes, which can end with a plant that just doesn’t produce as it should. However, if you avoid making the mistakes listed here, you should have a good crop once the plant is done growing and you should be able to really enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Letting Others Know You’re Growing Marijuana
Though being able to grow marijuana is becoming legal in more places, it isn’t legal everywhere yet. If you’re in an area where it’s not legal to grow, do not tell anyone, even your closest friends, that you’re growing. This could inadvertently lead to you getting in serious trouble. If you are in an area where it’s legal to grow your own plants, still avoid telling anyone that you’re growing a few plants. Chances are, someone will ask you to share. Though you might not mind with your closest friends, it could end in someone trying to steal your plants or finished marijuana.
Not Planning and Preparing for What the Plant Needs
Plants are easy to grow, right? While marijuana isn’t exactly difficult to grow, it does take proper planning and preparation. Marijuana is simply not going to grow well if you just stick seeds in a pot and place it next to a window. It takes a lot more work to successfully grow marijuana and ensure the yield is as high as possible.
At the least, it’s important to understand the different growing mediums, the lights needed and how much light the plants need at each stage of growth, the amount of water and nutrients the plant needs, and how to prevent pests. Doing the research beforehand also allows you to have everything needed on hand before the seeds even arrive and to pick out the right seeds for your situation and preferences.
Doing some research on how to cultivate marijuana is going to lead to much higher yields, even for a beginner. Though this doesn’t mean all mistakes will be avoided, learning what the plants need to grow can help you ensure the plant will flower, and you will end up with consumable marijuana once the growing period is complete.
Buying the Wrong Seeds to Save Money
Seeds are see—except when it comes to quality. Many beginner growers will look for the cheapest marijuana seeds possible and then are surprised when they don’t get good results. It is fine to look for deals on marijuana seeds to save money, but it’s imperative you find high-quality seeds. Always buy seeds from a trusted seed bank instead of looking for the cheapest option or trying to grow seeds found in a bag of marijuana you purchased. High-quality seeds have a much higher germination rate, so you’re more likely to get a plant from each seed. They’ll also lead to higher quality plants, which means more buds and bigger buds when the plant’s done growing. Look for sample packs, package deals, and other savings from a quality seed bank to save money. Don’t just look at price alone.
Not Understanding the Restrictions of Containers
If you’re growing inside, you’re likely going to need containers to hold your marijuana plants. This works fine, and almost any container will do – with a few caveats. Containers for seedlings can be small, but they’re going to outgrow the smaller containers quickly. If they aren’t moved up to a larger container in time, they can become rootbound. This means the roots don’t have enough room to grow, so the plants can’t get nutrients from the soil. This will end with a plant that dies.
Finding containers and moving the plant to a new container need to be done carefully. While any container will work, make sure it has not been used to previously store chemicals or anything you don’t want to leech into the plant. It’s not necessary to buy fancy containers, but they should be sturdy. Also, when moving the marijuana plant to a new container, be as careful as possible. Rough handling can cause the plant to go into shock, which it might not recover from.
Not Paying Attention to the Lighting
Regardless of whether you’re growing inside or outside, marijuana plants need the right light as well as the right amount of light for the stage of growth they’re in. Failing to account for this can mean the plant doesn’t produce as well or, if it does, the buds end up smaller and lower quality. Growing outdoors can be easier in this respect, as the plants will get the sunlight they need to grow. However, it is still important to ensure the plant is in an area that gets enough light. Marijuana plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, though 8 to 18 is preferred.
Inside, it’s important to ensure there is enough light for the growing stage the plant is in. Putting it on a shelf in a window will not be enough. During the vegetative stage, which is the stage between seedling and when it starts to flower, it’s best to give the plant 18 hours of light per day. This encourages vigorous growth, which can lead to a bushier and healthier plant. This means a higher yield. When the plant is ready to enter the flowering stage, it should only have light 12 hours a day. This is necessary to encourage the plant to start flowering.
Using the Wrong Soil or Fertilizer
When growing plants indoors, it’s not as easy as filling a bucket with soil from the yard and putting a seed in it. Growing mediums are used to ensure the health of the plant and to prevent pests from eating the marijuana plant while it grows. There are plenty of different growing mediums available, such as potting soil designed for indoor use and soilless growing mediums like coco coir. These are already sterilized, so they’re safer to use than the soil outside and have the right nutrients. Still, it’s important to ensure the soil does have the right pH level and nutrients before buying anything.
Fertilizers are going to be needed for almost all growing stages of marijuana. However, different stages are going to require different fertilizers. Plus, depending on the nutrients available in the soil, there may be some fertilizers that will be better than others. Fertilizers can be differentiated by the NPK value, which stands for the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer. Understanding what NPK value to use for which stage of growth can allow for a much healthier plant that produces more buds.
Too Little or Too Much Water for the Plants
Plants need water to grow. However, they need the right amount of water. If the soil is often dry to the touch more than an inch down, you’re not watering the plant enough. On the other hand, it is possible to water marijuana plants too much. Many beginners will tend to overwater the plants, especially if the plant is in a larger pot, which will leave the plant sitting in water. When this happens, the roots can’t get the oxygen the plants need, and the plant can end up dying. If you notice signs of overwatering, like dropping leaves, don’t water for a little bit. The key is to check to see if the top inch of the soil is dry. If it is, it’s time to water. If not, skip watering and check the next day. By checking every time, you’ll give the plant the right amount of water and avoid issues from overwatering.
Not Properly Maintaining the pH Level
Most beginners don’t really think about the pH level of the soil. While they might have heard about it before, they may not think it’s something they need to worry about their first time growing marijuana. Unfortunately, not paying attention to the pH level could mean that it ends up too alkaline or too acidic. When this happens, the plants simply aren’t going to produce much, if they survive. Instead, it’s important to purchase a pH testing kit, which is usually not very expensive, and check the pH level of the soil regularly. For marijuana, a pH of 6.0-7.0 is perfect, though hydroponic systems do better with 5.5-6.5. If the pH is tested and it’s not right, there are solutions that can help the plant before it ends up dying.
Using Too Many Nutrients or the Wrong Amounts
As mentioned, nutrients are crucial for proper growth, and marijuana growers need to ensure their plants have the right nutrients in the right amounts to get the biggest, healthiest plants. New growers will often come across a nutrient schedule that details exactly what to give the plant and when. Unfortunately, most of these are not well done and can cause a beginner to give the marijuana plant too many nutrients. If this happens, the plant will suffer nutrient burn, which can kill it. Instead, it’s better to use just a small amount at a time. If the plant shows any signs that it isn’t getting enough nutrients, it’s possible to add a little more at that time.
Pruning Way Too Much, Leading to Decreased Growth
Like many different plants, pruning can lead to healthier growth and can cause the plant to grow more flowers. Yet, many beginners will tend to overdo this. Too much pruning is likely to hinder the growth, sometimes significantly. Instead, it’s better to start small and just prune a little bit. Next time try pruning a little more and see what the difference is. This way, you can learn how to prune the marijuana plant properly to encourage as much growth as possible and won’t risk having a reduced harvest due to pruning too much at once.
Not Removing Male Plants as Soon as Possible
Marijuana seeds, if they’re not feminized, can grow into male and female plants. Unless you’re trying to harvest your own seeds for future use, it’s going to be important to remove male plants as soon as you detect them. Male plants and female plants will start out looking the same, but once they start to reach the flowering stage, it should be possible to tell them apart. Look at the nodes, or where the branches come out from the stem. If there are small balls, it’s a male plant. If it looks like small pre-flowers with a string, it’s a female plant.
Beginners will often end up with both male and female plants late into the growing stages if they haven’t properly learned how to tell the two apart. If the male plants are not removed quickly, they will pollinate the female plant. Once pollinated, the female plant will produce buds that are full of seeds and much lower quality. This happens because the pollinated plants will focus more on seed production instead of flower growth.
Though it is possible for anyone to grow their own marijuana at home, it’s not as easy as simply planting a few seeds in some soil. Beginners will often not realize all of the work that goes into planting marijuana seeds and getting them to the harvest stage and, as such, will end up making all of the above mistakes. If you’re ready to purchase marijuana seeds, check out the i49 USA selection today to find the perfect strain and make sure you’re ready to start growing. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll have a much larger, higher quality harvest at the end.
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