Get Growing! How to Grow Cannabis
Dec 23, 2017 | Save On Cannabis
“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
– George Washington, first President of the United States
Growing cannabis is more than just a means to an end or straightforward agricultural process. Cultivating cannabis is an art. With practice and experience, a grower develops their own style and learns his or her own methods for collaborating with nature to most effectively produce the desired results.
Though growing cannabis is rewarding, it’s not easy. The best way to begin is to get familiar with the basics so you can choose what’s best for you. Will LED grow lights be the best cannabis grow lights for your plants? Which cannabis strains are best for a first-time grower? By the end of this post, you’ll know!
This grow guide is a nuts-and-bolts overview of how to grow cannabis featuring cannabis growing tips and what you will need to get started on your first indoor grow.
Why Grow Indoors?
Many folks live in a climate that won’t allow cannabis to flourish or in a location with legal restrictions on growing outdoors. If you can grow outdoors, there are benefits, like not having as much ongoing maintenance work as those tending indoor plants.
But, overall, growing indoors may be the best choice for most growers, especially those who are just starting out. In addition to being able to keep a lower profile on your grow, an indoor setting allows for climate control. The ability to control the climate is why indoor plants tend to produce a more consistent flower than outdoor set-ups.
We are focusing on a basic set-up indoors because, generally speaking, indoor set-ups for cannabis growing are more common and easier for first-time growers.
You don’t need a huge space to grow cannabis flower indoors, but you do want to make sure you have enough room for the plants to grow plus all of the tools, heating and cooling equipment, and lighting. Closets, large store cabinets, and even tents work well for many growers. But before deciding which space to use, ask yourself these questions:
- Will you work on the plants in the same space as where they are kept during the day or will you be moving them in and out of the space?
- Can you sanitize the space easily to prevent mold and bacteria from interfering with your grow?
- Can the space be completely isolated from light? (Even a small crack in the door could let in enough light to disorient plants and disrupt effective growth).
- Can you effectively control the temperature and humidity?
- Is there enough space above the plants for them to grow and flourish?
- You’ll need to check on your plants often. Is the space in a location that is convenient for you to check on during different times of the day?
- How many plants do you want to start with? Will they fit? What are your plans for the future? If you plan to grow even more plants, will you continue to use this space, or move to a different space?
Since studies are still being conducted on the best indoor grow lights for cannabis in terms of stimulating cannabis growth, there is a great deal of passionate debate regarding which type of light is “best” and, perhaps more importantly when it comes to small-grow operations, which type of light is worth its cost. Many cannabis growers use a combination of the different types of lights in order to get the best results.
- FLUORESCENT (CFL) GROW LIGHTS. Fluorescent grow lights are available at most mainstream retailers, are inexpensive, and fit in standard light fixtures, making them a great fit for first-time growers. However, because of their relatively low light output, CFL grow lights are only a good choice for small grows limited to one or two plants.
- HID GROW LIGHTS (MH & HPS). High-intensity discharge lamps, also known as HID, are the go-to grow lights of most cannabis growers. Their set-up cost is much less than LED lights and they are pretty easy to set-up and manage (despite needing a a special hood and ballast instead of a regular power socket). Because HID lights generate a ton of heat, you will need efficient exhausts in your space to prevent your plants from burning. HID bulbs will need to be replaced regularly, too (much more so than other grow lights). Also, though they don’t cost that much to set up, HID lights can significantly spike your electricity bill.
- LED GROW LIGHTS. When they first appeared on the scene, LED grow lights weren’t nearly as effective for growing cannabis as the traditional HID. Now, the best LED lights are on par with HID lights in terms of efficacy, but are still much more expensive. However, LEDs are the most energy-efficient of all the grow lights and they don’t generate as much heat as HID lights, so there is less risk of burning your plants. Plus, LED grow light bulbs last much longer than other grow light bulbs.PHYTOMAX-2 LED GROW LIGHTS and Cirrus LED Grow Lights are two highly rated types of LED grow lights used by many cannabis growers in our community. Learn more and save on cannabis grow lights by checking out our online cannabis coupon codes:
Ventilation and Air
For cannabis, a cool breeze isn’t just refreshing, it’s a necessity. Like all plants, cannabis needs a consistent flow of carbon dioxide to complete photosynthesis. Also, good ventilation is necessary to prevent mildew and bacteria from building up in the room.
Most growers set up an exhaust fan near the ceiling to vent out the rising warm air and a filtered air duct blowing air into the room near the ground, on the opposite side of the space.
Growing Medium and Supplements
Growing cannabis in soil has many advantages. It’s the easiest and cheapest method of planting your seeds and getting started with soil doesn’t take too long. Also, many folks believe that the best cannabis is grown in soil, but you have to keep in mind that growing cannabis in soil will take the longest to produce flowers. Once you’ve chosen soil, you need to think about the type of soil you will use. You want moist soil that will be able to hold water but also drain well.
If you purchase a regular soil mix, you can add ingredients to make it better suited for your cannabis grow. For example, adding vermiculite will increase the soil’s ability to retain water and adding perlite will allow for more drainage.
There are many organic and synthetic nutrients and growth boosters on the market that you can use to help your plants thrive.
SpeedyVeg is one brand of organic growth accelerator that delivers macro and micronutrients to increase growth by 20%. Save on cannabis grow set-up by using our 10% off coupon for buying SpeedyVeg online. Check out our other cannabis promo codes for online cannabis brands here!
A good rule of thumb is to water the cannabis plant when the top of the growing medium feels dry. Before watering, make sure your plant has enough drainage so that excess water runs off and out of the pot or it could rot. Water the plant until you see about ⅕ of the water you have poured begin to drain out of the bottom of the pot.
If you are using a specific type of nutrient-booster in your soil or medium, check the watering instructions for that product. Some nutrient-boosters require less water than others.
Depending on the type of grow lights you use, you may have to increase your ventilation or install other types of cooling solutions to maintain an ideal temperature for your plants. The ideal temperature range when the lights are on is between 70 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When the grow lights are turned off, the temperature should be between 58 degrees and 70 degrees. If your plants are left in temperatures higher or lower than these ranges for even a few hours, they could freeze or burn.
When choosing your cannabis seeds, you should keep in mind your personal preference as well as any medical conditions you are trying to treat. In addition to those factors, consider these, too:
- Plant size. When choosing the strain of cannabis you’re going to grow, keep in mind the size of your space. Generally speaking, indica strains suit small spaces better because they tend to be more compact. Indica is also a good fit for first-time cannabis growers because of their shorter flowering time and their overall hardiness (in other words, Indicas can survive beginner’s mistakes a bit better than sativa).
- Cost. Even if you have top-shelf taste, you may want to consider more inexpensive seeds for your first grow. It’s not uncommon for first-time growers to make a few mistakes their first few times growing, which can disrupt and even prevent flowering, so save the pricey stuff for after you have more experience. When choosing your seeds, be sure to check out the great selection of our partners so you can save on cannabis:
- Feminized, Regular, or Autoflowering. For your first few grows, choose feminized seeds so you don’t need to worry about weeding out any males from the “regular” seeds. One male plant can ruin your entire crop!
The easiest and most foolproof option for beginning growers is “autoflowering cannabis seeds.” When you are cultivating traditional, non-auto-flowering cannabis seeds, you need to engage in a “photoperiod,” and adjust the amount of light your plants receive. This will trigger them into transitioning from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase.
Autoflowering weed seeds will switch from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase without your needing to change their light or do anything at all!
Planning Ahead: Drying and Curing Cannabis
As you watch your cannabis grow, you should plan ahead for what happens next. Drying and curing cannabis is a delicate process that has a direct impact on the quality of your final product. For example, if you correctly dry and cure your plants, the process of biosynthesis will continue even after they have been cut. This process produces cannabinoids, including THC, which means that proper curing boosts marijuana potency. Curing your cannabis will also prolong its shelf life and give it a better taste and smell.
Innovative cannabis products like CureCork make curing easy by automating the curing process and maintaining environmental conditions for you so you always get the perfect cure. Get free shipping (worldwide!) on your online purchase of CureCork by using our coupon here:
While you wait for your plants to be ready to harvest, consider your drying and curing options and make a plan. Then you’ll be prepared when the special harvesting day arrives!
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