Howdy Mate! I simply love this time of the year. With the weather becoming warm, I love observing how Mother Earth is oozing life again. I am excited to prepare my garden for the new season. Another batch of cannabis babies. Oh! How I love them.
You must be thinking; growing marijuana is difficult. Let me share a secret! Growing cannabis for your personal consumption is fun, and let me share with you a quick guide for growing marijuana.
In this article, I will share with you cannabis growing basics, setting up your garden, and how to ensure a perfect outdoor crop. Are you excited? Me too, let’s begin!
Ideal Growing Place
When growing your marijuana plants outdoors, keep in mind that marijuana babies love sunlight. Therefore choose a spot that receives ample sunlight. A fenced backyard is the best as it also keeps prying neighbors away. You must also have a water source nearby.
With many breeders these days, you get a variety of strains to grow. There are a few things you must consider while choosing the strain.
You must decide early on if you want to grow from clone or seed. If you want to grow from seed, you have the option of choosing from feminized, auto-flowering, or regular seeds.
Auto-flowering plants are the best for you if you want to grow different strains every time for your personal use. These plants are the easiest to maintain and have a short growth cycle.
If you want to grow your stable genetics, go for feminized seeds.
With regular seeds, you will occasionally get male plants. Therefore, you must pay heed to the sex of the plant, and if you notice male plants, you should remove them.
Clones would give you an easier start, and they already have a developed root system.
After the cultivation place and the strain type, you need to figure out the growth container.
You can go for plastic pots or cloth grow bags. Cloth pots allow the roots to prune themselves, and you will get a denser, stronger root ball—the root system circles within the plastic pot.
You should pay more heed to the container size than the type.
Bigger pots will help you grow a larger plant as they would have more space for the root system. Choosing a 3-gallon sized pot will allow you to grow plants that would be big but not unruly. 7-10 gallon pot will support marijuana trees that grow up to
After pots come the medium, you can grow marijuana plants in soil or coco peat.
If you use coco-peat, know that it doesn’t have any nutrients to support plant growth. You need to add nutrients while watering the plants. For soil, you can either choose a premixed soil or regular potting soil in which you need to add nutrients. For premixed soil, be sure what nutrients are present there to not cause a nutrient burn.
Soil holds more water than coco, which means you need to water your plants less frequently when using soil.
Feeding Marijuana Plants
For lush growth, you must feed your plant with the right nutrients. You can make your nutrient mix or use a premixed nutrient blend.
As a beginner, I suggest you use a premixed organic nutrient pack, like my favorite organic nutrient from the top online seed bank i49. I used it for years and moved on to experimenting with nutrient blends as my understanding of my plants’ uptake of food grew.
Keep in mind that you might overfeed the marijuana plants. If you notice discolored or burnt leaves, stop feeding them for a while. Remember, less is more for the nutrients. Begin with small quantities and observe the plants as before you increase them.
You also need to pay heed to the pH level. Use a basic pH testing kit to ensure that the nutrient solution has a pH range within 5.8 to 6.5. You can use pH Up or pH down additives to correct the pH level.
Growth Stages Of Your Cannabis Plant
Your cannabis plant has two phases of growth—first, the vegetative stage, where it grows strong and big to prepare for flowering. In the flowering stare, the cannabis plant develops buds.
Generally, most plants mature in the 8th or 9th weeks of flowering. You will notice little hairs growing from their nodes or the spots where new growth occurs. Slowly you will see tiny flowers appear.
When these signs appear, start counting the weeks. When the plants mature up to 8 or 9 weeks, they will be ready for harvest. You can also examine the buds to determine if they are ripe enough. Notice the trichomes that appear around the buds. These are indicators of ripeness. The trichomes will change from clear to cloudy, milky white to amber. The best harvest time would be about 20-25% of the trichomes are amber, and the rest cloudy. These are the indications of the peak of ripeness.
Process Of Harvesting Cannabis
To harvest your cannabis plant, begin by cutting the large fan leaves off the plant. After removing them, chop the whole plant and hang it in reverse for drying. Your cannabis buds should be dried slowly, and about 10 – 14 days of drying period will help the cannabis buds to develop flavor.
A closet or a small room is my favorite space to dry the buds, and I can control the temperature and humidity there. About 55% relative humidity and 68-72 degrees temperature are ideal for drying the buds.
When the buds are dry and a little crisp on the outside and the inside has moisture, you know they are ready. You might want to bend the stems of the plant. If you see them snap from inside, rejoice! You have attained the perfect moisture level.
Curing and trimming follow after drying. You should delicately remove the buds from the stems, and you must trim off the excess leaves. After that, place them in glass mason jars for curing and seal those jars.
Curing ensures that the buds stay smokable for a long time and retain their flavor. You need to open the jars every day and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Curing allows the leftover moisture to redistribute to the buds, and the plant resins containing terpenes get rehydrated. Continue the process for two or three weeks, and you will see that the flavor of the buds has begun to develop. After that, you can keep your jars sealed and enjoy your buds any way you want.
Additional Stuff You Should Know
Growing cannabis is a constant process of learning through observation. The plant will show you signs and symptoms of what it needs.
You will need to understand those signs and symptoms and understand whether you need to adjust the nutrient levels or any sort of deficiencies.
Any discoloration, spots, or unusual curling to be paid attention to. You must also check for pests.
The last bit I would like to suggest to you as a seasoned grower is to show your plants care and affection. I often talk to my plant babies and notice that it positively affects their growth. I also enjoy taking extra time to prune them. All these add up to a lush harvest in the end.
For me, growing cannabis is not just a hobby; it is a creative, nourishing experience. Immersing myself in my gardening proves to be therapeutic and quite rewarding.
Ensure that you take care of your cannabis babies with a lot of love, and they will show you their joy by giving you the best smokable buds.
Most cannabis strains are extremely hardy and forgiving. Once you start developing this hobby, all the hard work will seem rewarding in the end. And, guess what, you will have the joy of smoking the fruits (I mean, flowers) of your own hard work. Ain’t that incredible? I take your leave with that thought. Happy Growing!