The first thing to consider when growing marijuana is the location. Your could either grow your plant indoors or outdoors. For beginners, we recommend growing indoors. For one, you can grow during any time of the year and control the climate and environment, while that isn’t possible if you grow outdoors. Secondly, growing outdoors introduces unnecessary security risks. If anyone discovers your pot plant, they’ll likely take it or destroy it.
A small closet or bathroom is suitable for one plant. When growing indoors, a large atmosphere is neither necessary or ideal for just a plant or two. A room that fits the size of your garden is what you’re looking for.
The next factor you need to consider is how many plants you’d like to grow. This guide is designed to help you grow your first plant. You could use this guide to grow 2, or possibly 3 or 4 plants. However, to grow any more than that requires more sophisticated equipment, and more knowledge. This is beyond the scope of this beginners guide.
Lighting is essential to growing plants.
Incandescent bulbs are basically worthless as far as growing marijuana. They don’t emit the proper spectrum of light and they also consume a lot of power through waste heat. These issues result in these bulbs being ideal neither for your plant nor for your electric bill.
There are several types of lighting available such as metal halides and high pressure sodium; however, because they’re expensive up front and more difficult to setup, we suggest beginners use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). CFL’s are less expensive up front, offer a usable spectrum of light for growing weed, and are safe and easy to use.
Method of planting
Soil versus Hydroponics
There are two main ways of growing weed. One is in soil, while the other in water known as hydroponics. To clear up the confusion, hydroponically grown cannabis is not a certain level of quality or potency, but merely, a certain way of growing your plants (in water). For beginners, it is advised that your grow your weed in soil. To grow hydroponically is more expensive, more complicated, and more difficult to maintain.
You’ll be growing indoors
You’ll be growing 1 plant
You’ll be using compact fluorescent light bulbs for lighting
You’ll be growing your cannabis in soil
Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Clamp light socket for light bulbs
6 inch clip fan
Twin light outlet socket adaptor
5 gallon bucket to grow your weed in
Pre-fertilized organic soil
- Set up a clean environment. After you choose your location for growing, clean the area with household cleaning supplies and water. Always wear freshly clean clothes. Remove all the dust and dirt from the area.
- Wash your hands before touching or handling soil, pottery, or the plant itself.
- Pathogens on your hands could transfer to the soil and thrive and grow there.
- Touch the seed or plant as little as possible, and preferably use gloves when handling is necessary.
- Always use care when handling the plant since trauma will only stunt or slow its growth and reduce its yield.
There are two ways to obtain seeds. One way is to buy them online. The other is to use bag seeds.
If this is your first time growing, then we recommend saving your expensive or high quality seeds for future use after you gain some experience.
If you’re interested in buying high quality seeds, make sure to buy from a high quality vendor.
Good seeds should have some of the following characteristics:
grey or light brown
consistent in color
fat or plump
You may find that bad seeds have some these characteristics:
small in size
white or black in color
We recommend starting out with 5 seeds.
Some of them may be duds, small, or too weak, so it’s preferable to start with a few more to ensure you reach your goals. Choose the best plant of the group.
A comfortable room temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature for the plant. Ideally, the growing environment should be relatively dry.
Marijuana is known for its strong distinct smell, and while the plant is growing, it’s even more noticeable. Be aware of this when you’re growing, otherwise people may figure out what you’re doing and have you investigated.
Some growers use a carbon filter to reduce the strength of the smell.
Here’s a link to a tutorial on how to setup a homemade odor control system.
The plant needs ventilation and air circulation for breathing, cooling, and strengthening of the stem. A 6 inch clip fan set on low is an acceptable and affordable solution for air circulation. If the location is in a closet, opening the door during the day is sufficient. In general, the more fresh air, the better.
We’ve already decided that compact fluorescent light bulbs will supply the light for your plant. The question is what type you should purchase, the wattage, and the quantity. 5000k color temperature is preferable as this is a compromise between the optimal light spectrum for vegetation and flowering. Look on the packaging of the light bulbs to ensure you select the right one.
You should purchase two 5000k color temperature 42 watt bulbs. 40 or 45 watt are both acceptable as well.
There are different ways of arranging your lighting with clamp lights and twin light outlet socket adaptors. For example, for one plant you could use 1 clamp light and 1 twin light outlet socket adaptor or simply purchase and use 2 clamp lights. Socket adaptors are less expensive than clamp lights; however, you will be limited in how you can arrange the lighting around the plant.
For beginners, it is recommend that you buy pre-fertilized organic soil. You’ll need one package of organic soil that is not chemically treated.
You’ll also need to purchase perlite to mix with your soil.
Perlite is a naturally occurring siliceous rock usually with a white color which will be mixed with your soil. A mixture of soil and perlite will allow the roots of the plant to breathe better than with just soil alone. Tight and dense soil is not an ideal environment for plant roots. Perlite takes the place of worms and small pebbles so as to closely emulate a natural environment.
Create a mixture of soil to perlite in a separate container from the pot using the following ratio:
6 parts soil, 4 parts perlite
Pour the mixture into a 5 gallon bucket and do NOT compress the soil. The soil mixture should be relatively loose and fluffy.
The 5 gallon bucket requires proper drainage to allow the roots to breathe and drain out excess water. Without proper drainage, root rot may occur, destroying your plant. Healthy roots lead to a healthy plant. You will need to cut out holes in the bottom of the bucket to accomplish this. Cut as many holes as possible while still preventing the bulk of the soil from falling through. Elevate the bucket 2 or 3 inches above the floor so the water can drain out of the bucket. Use a reservoir below the bucket to catch the water.
The first step of the growing process is germination. This is the stage when the actual plant emerges from the seed.
There are several methods for performing this step. Presented here is one of the simpler ways of carrying out this procedure.
Set up five 8oz cups (one for each seed), and fill each of them with soil to about 3/4 of the cup height.
Use a pen or pencil and insert it into the center of the cup and press down 1/2 inch into the soil.
Place the seed into the hole you just created.
Lightly brush it over with soil and pour 1 ounces of water into each cup.
During the growth phase or vegetation stage, the light should be on 24 hours per day. Use care when positioning the light. If the light is too far the growth will not be optimal, while if the light is too close it could burn the leaves and harm your plant. Position the light and then place your hand in line with the light and directly in front of the plant. If it feels hot on your hand, then it’s too hot for your plant. Move the light 1 inch back and test again.
Once the seedlings have completely sprouted to about 2 inches in height, the plant should be transplanted into the 5 gallon growing pot.
Carefully cut into the cup and around the plant and soil. Discard the cup and support the soil and the roots from beneath with gloves. Carefully transplant the sprout into the bucket of soil.
Lightly fill in the hole, and press down lightly on the soil around the base of the sprout. Do not press down with excessive force and pack in the soil. The stem should be erect and stable.
Over watering is a very common cause of plant problems.
Overwatering will essentially drown your plant, preventing the roots from breathing.
To check if your plant is thirsty for water, insert your finger into the soil at the wall of the pot. Use care when performing this test to minimize any disturbances to the plant. If you discover that the soil is moist, then the plant does not require water. If it’s dry, add 32 fluid ounces of water. Always water the soil around the base of the plant; never on the plant itself. If you’re not sure or in doubt, then it’s better to err on the dry side.
Another sign of thirst is erect leaves that are losing their green color.
Try to create a consistent watering schedule, so the soil always has optimum moister.
Marijuana develops as either male or female. The male develops small sacs as it matures and the female develops flowers. It’s the flowers from the female that you’re interested in. Therefore, it’s best if the plant matures into a female.
At a certain point during the growth phase the plant will develop preflowers. As the male develops, it grows small sacs or small bananas. As the female develops, it grows small cups with two white hairs in an erect position.
If the plant develops and matures as male, then you’re out of luck and you will have to try growing again. If the plant develops as female, continue to the flowering phase. As the main stem grows thicker and taller youll see preflowers. If you see 2 hairs, then the sex is female which is what you’re looking for.
The longer the growing phase, the more flowering points the plant will have and the more you will yeild at harvesting.
The growth phase usually lasts about 3 or 4 months.
During the flowering phase, continue regular watering as discussed earlier in the growth phase.
Use a timer to switch the lighting to 12 hours on and 12 hours off to induce the flowering phase. For the sake of practicality, the 12 hours on should coincide with your regular days hours and the 12 hours off should coincide with your night hours. Be sure that during the 12 hours off, the grow room is perfectly dark. If light periodically enters the grow room, the plant could be become “confused”, stunned or shocked, or switch sex.
After about 1 week of 12 hours on/off, you should see the points where the flowers will develop.
The flowering phase may last up to 2 months or until most of the white hairs of the flowers turn light brown or amber. As tempting as it may be, wait as long as you can during this phase to produce a high yield.
Two weeks before harvesting stop watering the plant completely.
When you’ve decided to harvest, simply cut the plant at the base. Be careful not to crush the flowers. Cut off the large fan leaves by hand and discard of them properly. Hang up the branches in a cool, dark, ventilated, secure place. The product may take up 2 weeks to dry out.
To test the dryness, bend a small branch. If it flexes before breaking, it needs more time to dry. If it breaks with little bending, it’s ready.
After proper drying cut the flower tops off the branches and store in an air tight container.
During the curing stage, chlorophyll breaks down, moisture is released, and THC develops which makes a more potent and smoother product.
Place the product in an airtight sealed glass container only to half full for long-term storage. Periodically open the seal to release any moisture that may have accumulated and to prevent mold growth. In the first 2 weeks, open it twice per day for one half hour. After 2 weeks time, most of the moisture has been released, and you no longer need to periodically open the seal.
We hope that you meet your growing goals. Enjoy your product!
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