As with any new endeavor, growing cannabis can feel quite intimidating at first. The number of factors to consider can seem complicated and can become daunting and overwhelming. But as long as you get a grasp of the fundamentals, it can be an exciting and very rewarding pursuit. Whether you’re interested in growing for recreational purposes, starting a small business, or for personal medicinal use, there is a definite satisfaction in watching your plants grow from seeds and harvesting your very own buds. So here are a few things you need to know to help you get started on your cannabis growing journey.
Fundamentals of Cannabis
Before you can even start planting, it is essential to have substantial knowledge of the cannabis plant. You don’t necessarily have to be an absolute expert on weed plants, but it will help to know the basics of the cannabis life cycle, its required nutrients, and structure. Here are the need-to-know facts:
- From the family Cannabaceae, cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that can either be female, male, or even hermaphrodite.
- Cannabis plants can be cultivated in a variety of locations, whether indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses, provided the atmosphere is carefully monitored.
- The three main variants of cannabis are sativa, ruderalis, and indica.
- Naturally, the female flowers, or buds, are pollinated by male plants to produce seeds. But more often than not, people who grow them leave the females unpollinated to aid in the production of higher quality buds.
- A cannabis plant’s life cycle consists of four stages or phases: the seed phase which is divided into two stages: seed germination and seedling, then comes the vegetative phase, and finally, the flowering phase.
- The three plant variants produce flowers differently. The sativa and indica varieties are what we call photoperiod plants, which means the number of flowers or bud they produce will depend on how much light they receive. While the flowering of ruderalis plants are naturally based on its age, regardless of the amount of light it is exposed to.
6 Important Facts For Growing Cannabis
Pick The Right Strain
Before you start growing weed, you have to know and pick which strain is right for you. The number of cannabis strains to choose from is quite plenty. Consider your space & skills when deciding on what seeds to get. Sfweekly wrote about the best seed banks where you can purchase your strains to grow. It is important to choose the right strain that will suit your needs.
Budget And Expenses
As with any hobby or venture, growing cannabis requires money. But if you do things right, it will be worth every penny. Investments in equipment and the cost to run everything can widely vary from $100-$1000 depending on the number of plants you plan to cultivate and the volume of space you have. If it’s your first time, I suggest you start small with a cannabis growing room. This way your costs and responsibilities are more manageable, then when you get the hang of it, you can expand.
Choose Your Growing Space
Your grow space is very important before you can even start thinking of buying seeds and equipment. Consider what is available to you. The two main options are either indoors or outdoors, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Growing your weed outdoors is more cost-efficient as your plants will be exposed to natural sunlight, a nice breeze, and occasional watering by rain. But with this said, all these benefits from mother nature are beyond your control ad mostly unpredictable. Plus, other than your crops being exposed to the climate, it is also exposed to possibly unwanted audiences, something you don’t want especially if you are located in a city where cannabis isn’t legalized.
As for indoor growing, as mentioned before, it requires more money, but with the added benefits of privacy and most importantly, being able to control the conditions and atmosphere. Indoors, you can control the amount of light, temperature settings, and humidity, creating a more suitable environment for your plants, thus, having a more predictable harvest.
Amount Of Light Required
Light is undoubtedly the most crucial part of growing your plants. For indoor growing, your light source will be the heart and soul of your enterprise. Let me give you some examples of the most commonly used grow lights available in the market:
- Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) – inexpensive and good for first-timers.
- Fluorescent Lighting (T5/T8) – these lights are more powerful than their compact counterparts and yield better harvests. They have low light intensities, so you have to situate them closer to your plants.
- LED Lights – this option is the most expensive but is the most efficient in giving you the best results. It may cost more, but in the long run, your electric bill will be significantly lower.
- High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) – these are relatively cheap yet garner great harvests, thus making them the most popular among indoor growers.
Nutrients Your Plants Need
Like any other living thing, cannabis plants need nutrients to survive and flourish. There are three key nutrients needed: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. There are many available nutrient solutions in the market that contain these three key elements. But aside from these three, you can boost your plants’ health and reproduction rate by adding these into the mix: calcium, sulfur, magnesium, manganese, boron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, and iron. Research more on how to use these nutrients in the right proportions to give you the most desirable outcome.
Know When To Harvest
And finally, reaping the fruits of your love and labor. Before you get excited to harvest your buds, know that there are different harvest stages, these can affect the potency and richness of your buds.
Early harvests can give you are more uplifting effect, as opposed to a later harvest which can give you a more calming or relaxing effect, almost like a sedative. Once you’ve decided when to reap your harvest, you’ll need to know the proper ways to trim, dry, cure, and store them.
Growing your own Cannabis plant isn’t impossible. All you need to do is follow the tips stated above. In doing so, you will get to grow these plants for your personal use or plans. Just keep in mind to take the proper precautions and do your research at the same time.