Growing your own marijuana from seeds can be an exciting yet daunting endeavor. As your friendly neighborhood seed bank, i49 wants to make home growing as easy as possible, so read on through this helpful guide for beginners to pick up some new tips and tricks that can make the whole process easier. Aside from the financial benefits of growing your own cannabis, you are sure to feel the joy and satisfaction of completing the whole cycle from start to finish. There will be a few materials and pieces of equipment you may need to pick up, but growing good quality marijuana is available to everyone today thanks to the great selection at i49.net.
The first decision that beginning growers will have to make is whether to plant their crops outdoors (typically either in the ground or in containers) or indoors in a hydroponic or soil-based container system. There are three key factors novice growers must consider when choosing between indoor and outdoor grows: cost, climate, and quality.
There’s no denying that growing marijuana from seed indoors costs more than establishing a healthy outdoor crop. Outdoor pot gardens still require inputs, from high-quality seeds to well-draining soil, essential nutrients, and plenty of water, but the price of those inputs pales in comparison to the initial startup cost of establishing an indoor grow. Indoor growers can’t take advantage of natural sunlight, rain, or wind to power photosynthesis, water their crops, and ensure proper airflow to keep temperatures regulated.
Home growers who are adamant about growing indoors can start out small with container-based systems, then scale up as they develop their green thumbs. To get an idea of what it takes to get started, here’s a basic idea of what growers will need, at a bare minimum, to set up a grow room:
A grow tent: $120 for a 2’x2’ tent that can house a maximum of three plants
Containers or a hydroponic system: $200 for a cheap, home-scale hydroponic setup
Grow lights: $50 each for 200-Watt compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
Electricity: an average of $4 per week to power the lights
Ventilation and air filtration: $100 for a duct fan with a built-in carbon filter, plus $30 for clip fans to ensure adequate air circulation inside the tent
Keep in mind that these are just the basics and that these costs are on top of the cost of seeds, growing media, nutrients, and water. Growers who have the extra capital to set up indoor systems will be able to use most of their equipment for years, but they need to set aside enough money to get things started on the right foot.
For growers who live in cold climates with an exceptionally short growing season, indoor setups may be the only way to pull down a full crop of marijuana. Outdoor cold-climate growers can purchase autoflowering plants that require less time to complete their growth cycles from germination to harvest, but they should expect to see smaller crops from each plant. Other climate concerns like humidity, average rainfall, and average day length throughout the growing season can also play a role in determining whether growers should start outdoor gardens or indoor grow rooms.
If growers do everything right, it’s easier to get high-quality marijuana from indoor grows. That’s because growers can carefully monitor all the conditions that impact plant growth throughout the seedling, vegetative, and flowering stages. For those who prioritize quality over all else, that’s enough motivation to set up an indoor grow.
One of the secrets to growing quality marijuana indoors is to select the best soil once you have chosen the right seeds (discussed later). And since you are interested in growing it indoors, you will have to consider all the factors necessary for optimum indoor growth and these include factors such as water, humidity, temperature, light, and nutrients.
For outdoor plants, many growers opt to plant in the natural ground where they live. Cannabis can certainly do well in the soil, but look into having a soil test to determine if it is deficiency in any major nutrients. Soil amendments can be absolutely critical to ensure you get the best harvest possible.
All these factors need to be provided to the growing plants in the right amounts to ensure that you get the very best of quality. In most cases, you will get the best results using a specialized potting soil mix made for cannabis. Fox Farms is a popular and trustworthy brand, for example, with most mixes containing worm castings or active microbes mixed in for your convenience.
It is vitally important to know the number of marijuana plants you desire to grow because this will dictate your space requirements. Conversely, you can start by evaluating the available space in your indoor setup and form that; you can easily determine the number of plants to grow. Most of the times, you will be advised to invest in an appropriate grow tent as it will allow you to have an optimal number of plants and it will also provide sufficient growth conditions for a bountiful harvest.
The germination process for marijuana is no different from that of any other seed plant, only that you will be required to be more cautious. To germinate the seeds, you may have to keep them moist in a paper towel for up to 5-7 days before they are ready to transplant to the soil. Whether you buy sativa seeds or indica seeds online from us, our recommendation will be the same. Keep the seeds in a warm, moist, and dark environment and you should have ready viable seeds in no time!
Once the seeds have germinated, the seedling process begins. Cannabis plants are especially vulnerable during this growth phase, so they need a lot of care. Once they have been transplanted into small containers, the seedlings can be misted once or twice a day to keep them hydrated while avoiding problems with root rot associated with excessive soil moisture.
Seedlings don’t have high nutrient requirements, but they do need plenty of light to grow and thrive. Indoor growers can leave the lights on 24/7 or set them on an 18/6 light/dark schedule for each day for the first week or two after planting out their seedlings and outdoor growers can move the containers as needed to ensure that they get maximum sun exposure.
Marijuana seedlings need higher humidity levels than plants in the vegetative or flowering stages. Keep the humidity high in the grow room or place cold frames over outdoor plants to hold in the moisture. It’s also important to keep the temperatures regulated. Seedlings like warm air and soil, but the air temperature shouldn’t exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day or 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
The vegetative stage begins when plants have developed substantial enough root systems to uptake water and nutrients from the soil or grow medium. It takes around five to ten days to transition seedlings into the vegetative stage.
Indoor growers will want to set their lights to an 18/6 schedule throughout the vegetative stage and adjust their nutrient mixes to accommodate the growing plants’ increased needs. Look for specialized nutrient mixes designed for vegging marijuana plants. They tend to have high nitrogen levels, medium phosphorous levels, and medium to low potassium levels. This information will be conveyed as an “NPK ratio.”
For container-based growers, it’s wise to switch your CBD Critical Mass or Snow Ripper plants over to larger pots as they enter the vegetative stage. Pots that are too small will leave them root-bound, hindering their growth and making the plants more prone to developing problems with pests and diseases. Outdoor growers who plan to put their plants in the ground can transplant them into their prepared garden beds at this point.
It isn’t until marijuana plants enter the flowering stage that they begin to produce their infamous buds. Growers can induce their plants to flower by switching the light schedule over to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. Indoor growers can do this by changing their light timers. Outdoor growers will have to set up hoop houses. These inexpensive greenhouses can be built using PVC pipes for framing and can be covered at a designated time to simulate early nightfall in climates, where a late-season harvest could fall prey to an early frost.
The early flowering stage is the easiest time to identify male vs. female plants. It’s very important to remove male plants from the crop before they can begin to produce pollen. Male plants produce distinct pollen sacs instead of pre-flowers with pistols. It can be hard for novice growers to tell the difference, so most are better off purchasing feminized seeds. Feminized seeds will always grow into female plants, so there’s no chance of accidental pollination or wasted resources on feeding male plants that will need to be pulled.
It’s very important to keep an eye out for problem signs during the flowering stage. The plants will be more susceptible to pests, diseases, and stress, and health problems at this point in the growth cycle can lead to substantial crop losses. Symptoms of trouble during this stage include:
Problems with nutrient deficiencies or nutrient burns can usually be corrected. Pests can be removed from the plants. If one or more of your Auto Big Devil or Mango Kush Reg plants are developing hermaphroditism or bud rot, they should be pulled immediately to avoid more severe crop losses.
One of the most common mistakes novice growers make is harvesting their crops too early. It’s important to wait until the buds are fully developed and THC production has reached its peak before you harvest the plants.
The easiest way to tell when it’s time to harvest is to look at the trichomes. These tiny hairs will start out clear. As the plants produce more THC, they will turn an opaque white. Once the buds have reached maximum potency, the trichomes will begin to turn amber. At this point, the THC is beginning to break down, so it’s important to harvest the plants immediately.
For good results and high quality plants, there are a particular marijuana strains ideal for indoor growing. Below are some worth considering:
Critical – originally from Afghanistan, this strain typically takes between 7 – 8 weeks to flower. It is a good all-rounder and will give good results for both indoor and outdoor growing.
Royal AK – originally from Mexico, Thailand, Columbia, and Afghanistan. Takes about 9 weeks to flower.
Royal Mobi – this is ideal for patients who desire to grow a smaller number of plants but desire high quality products in low stressing growing conditions.
Amnesia Haze – this is ideal for complete novices in cannabis cultivation. It is easy to care for and maintain, though you will have to be patient since it takes up to 11 weeks to flower.
Just like some strains perform better indoors, some types of cannabis can thrive in outdoor gardens. Here are a few worth looking into:
Blue Dream. This blueberry-flavored sativa-dominant hybrid produces large yields with high THC concentrations. It’s easy to grow, relatively cold-tolerant and can be harvested in late October in moderate climates.
Critical Kush. Critical Kush is a vigorous and quick-to-flower indica-dominant hybrid that flowers in just 7-9 weeks and boasts THC concentrations of 19.5-25%.
White Widow. This balanced hybrid offers the best of both worlds when it comes to effects. White Widow is relatively slow to flower and best grown in warmer climates, but it can produce yields of 700 grams per plant when grown outdoors.
Green Crack. Green Crack produces tall plants covered in small, dense buds. It’s easy to grow outdoors and is perfect for beginners.
If growing good marijuana sounds like something of a daunting task, don’t be put off. As long as novice growers start out with high-quality, feminized seeds and provide their plants with the water, nutrients, and light they need to thrive, most can pull down decent crops their first year. Over time, they’ll get a feel for different strains’ requirements, experiment with new grow setups, and expand their operations to produce more buds. For now, start with the basics, stay patient, and focus on learning as much as possible.