Legal marijuana is becoming the norm, not only in Canada and the United States but in many other countries across the world. And why is the legalization of cannabis spreading like wildfire? Well, it has medically been proven to treat Glaucoma, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, control the pain of multiple sclerosis, control epileptic seizure, relieve arthritis, manage anxiety, depression, pain, muscle spasticity, and protect human brain particularly after a stroke.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you want to start growing marijuana at home. Well done and welcome to the family on behalf of the marijuana cultivating community. We will start by letting you know that growing your own marijuana plants is not a walk in the park but with time and the right information, it is rewarding; you save a lot of money and you don’t have to rely on anyone to supply to you. And given that we care so much about you, here is a simplified guide to indoor cannabis growing that will help first-time growers get started.
If you want to become a successful cannabis grower, you must prepare adequately. Besides setting up the right space for your plants to grow, you also need to decide on the strain to use. You’ll come across hybrid, indica, and sativa plants as the main cannabis strains. You need to understand that these plants are different, thrive in different environments, require different nutrition and training methods for them to give maximum yields.
Indica and hybrid plants, for instance, are likely to become bushy and during harvesting, they provide fatter buds. Sativa plants, on the other hand, grow tall, become less bushy and provide smaller buds during harvesting. Having this information helps you decide on which strain to grow depending on the growing conditions in your area and the available space.
2. Choosing genetics
Cannabis genetics come in either seeds or clones. If you’re planning to grow cannabis for the very first time, seeds will be a perfect choice for you. They are easy to grow and make you a better grower because you get to know how it’s done naturally. In addition, seeds give you an opportunity to create your own stains so why don’t you start your growing experience with seeds!
Clones, on the other hand, grow quickly hence a perfect choice for anyone looking for a quick turn-around. With this information, you can weigh the available options depending on your preferences and start growing cannabis. If for instance, you want to have the feeling associated with marijuana growth, seeds would be perfect for you but if you want quick returns, clones would be a great choice.
3. Designate cannabis grow space
After deciding on the strain and genetic to use when growing marijuana at home, it is now time to designate the right space for the job. Many people find it hard to grow cannabis plants indoors because they are afraid that the space they have might not be enough. However, we have good news for you today because weed will grow excellently in grow tents, whether your preferred space is in a closet, a corner of the unfinished room, or spare room. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the space you designate will fit the plants and the equipment as well.
If you want to enjoy the experience, start small. It will be easy to monitor your plants, you’ll make a few mistakes and the entire process will be less expensive. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that sanitation is the key; so choose a space that will be easy to clean and avoid materials such as carpeting, drapes, and raw wood that will be hard to clean.
The space you choose must be light-tight not to confuse your plants, and here are other variables to pit into consideration:
- Convenience: Choose a place that will be easier for you to monitor the plants
- Humidity and tempretures: Besides being cool and dry, the place you choose should get fresh air from outside
- Stealth: Choose a place that’s secure to keep your plants away from thieves and nosy neighbors
4. Choose your lights
The lighting factor is very important when growing cannabis plants indoors as it determines the quantity and quality of your yields. Some growers tend to ignore light when growing weed and end up being disappointed. And now that we would like you to make a difference and enjoy cannabis plants growing experience, put up the best lighting setup and you’ll have a great reward.
Light is paramount in any plant’s survival as it serves as the primary source of energy. The cannabis plants will get energy from light through a process called photosynthesis. The light energy will then be converted to chemical energy and sugars such as glucose will be produced to provide food for the plants.
Correct lighting setup, therefore, helps your cannabis plants to grow healthy and strong. However, if the lighting factor is poor, your plants will become weak and thin. If you’ve started scratching your head out wondering which lighting setup will serve you excellently, we have made everything easier for you and here are few considerations;
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights
HID lights are more expensive when compared with other grow lights. They produce more light per unit of electricity used and are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a combination of efficiency, output, and value. There are two most commonly used HID lamps. The first one is the metal halide (MH) lamp that is distinguished by blue-white lights and is good for your plants during the vegetative growth. The second lamp is the high-pressure sodium (HPS) perfect during the flowering stage and it’s distinguished by red-orange light.
- Fluorescent Grow Lights
Fluorescent grow lights are cheap to set up and don’t require a cooling system because they produce a low amount of heat. Besides generating low power, fluorescent grow lights produce low yields but will make a perfect choice for anyone looking forward to growing cannabis plants without using a lot of energy.
- Light Emitting Diode (LED) grow lights
LED lights require minimal attention as they give your cannabis plants the light they require without necessarily offering excess heat the plants might not need.
- Induction Grow Lights
Induction lamps were invented in the 19th century by Nikola Tesla. They are efficient and last longer but they’re expensive and hard to find.
5. Provide air to your cannabis plants
Plants require a steady stream of air to survive and cannabis is no exception. Given that you’ll be growing the plant indoors, fix an exhaust fan near the top of the room to remove warm air and fix a filtered air inlet on the other side of the room near the floor. Use a wall thermometer to monitor the temperature in the grow room and ensure it falls within the recommended range; 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit when the lights are on and 58-70 degrees Fahrenheit when lights are off. If the temperatures are too high, use air conditioners to cool them down and heaters to raise them. This will ensure that your plants get a constant breeze and will definitely produce strong stems for maximum yield.
6. Pick your controls and monitoring
When growing cannabis indoors, you’ll require to purchase climate and light control equipment and automate their functions. Basically, you need an adjustable thermostat switch for exhaust fan and a twenty-four timer for light. During vegetative growth, cannabis plants require 16-20 hours of light every day and 12 hours of light a day when blooming.
It’s important to understand that the light/dark cycle is very important and the lights should turn on and off at the same time to minimize the risk of stressing your plants. It might be hard for you to tell when to turn the lights on and off and that’s why you need a timer for that job and a thermostat to control the temperatures in the grow room.
7. Decide which medium to use when growing your cannabis plants
Cannabis thrives in two types of media; soil and soilless (Hydroponics). The soil is simple to use, generate high yield and is a perfect choice for anyone growing marijuana plants for the first time. However, the soil you use should not have artificial extended release fertilizers as they are not good for the weed. As a rule of thumb, consider using super soil (organic pre-fertilized soil) as it will support the growth of cannabis plants from start to finish without nutrients addition.
8. Feed your plants with nutrients
For marijuana plants to grow strong and healthy, they require macronutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in large quantities and micronutrients such as calcium, copper, iron and magnesium in small quantities. It is therefore important to feed your plants with recommended nutrient solutions which are available in the market at least once a week.
9. Watering your cannabis plants
Cannabis plants are just like any other plant and require a constant supply of water. It is recommendable to use clean water because water with high amounts of dissolved minerals may cause root disease as a result of fungus or pathogens or even affect the uptake of nutrients.
10. Drying and curing
So far so good, you have managed to plant your cannabis plant successfully. The last step is drying and curing which is as important as any other step and deserves your time and effort. Dry your cannabis plants completely to reduce the chances of mold formation.
Many people would want to grow cannabis plants at home but they have the perception that the entire process is expensive, difficult and time-consuming. This might be true especially if you don’t have the correct information but because we want you to find out how fun, simple and cost-effective the process is, the above step by step guide will be of great help. All you need to have on your fingertips is that cannabis plants will thrive in correct temperatures, lighting, grow medium, fresh air, nutrients and water and you’ll get fresh weed in large quantity.