The legalization of marijuana is spreading like wildfire across Canada, the United States and many other countries across the world. People could ask why it’s being legalized but besides getting you high, marijuana has been reported to have tremendous medical benefits to the users. For instance, it prevents Alzheimer’s disease, treats Glaucoma, relieves arthritis, controls epileptic seizure, controls the pain of multiple sclerosis, manages pain, muscle spasticity, depression and anxiety, and protects brain especially after a stroke among others.
Many people are becoming sensitive about their health in each dawn and this has made it possible to legalize the growth of cannabis at home. If you’re reading this, it could be that you want to start growing marijuana at home. Well, growing can be complicated especially if you don’t have the right information, but you have come to the right place as we will give you clear and precise information on how you can successfully grow marijuana for the first time at home.
First things first, a successful growth of cannabis at home starts with a good preparation which is more than just setting up the right place for your plants to grow. This section gives you an idea of what to expect when growing your plants and we have made it easier for you and choosing the strain is the first thing you must do.
Before spending your energy, time and resources on growing marijuana at home, it’s important to decide on what strain to use. The three common strains are; hybrid, indica, and sativa plants. These plants differ in one way or the other, thrive in different growing environments and require their own training methods, nutrition and growing environments for them to give maximum yields.
For instance, hybrids and indica plants become bushy and provide fatter buds during harvesting. On the other hand, sativa plants are less bushy and grow tall and provide smaller buds during harvesting. With this information, therefore, do your research first on what strain you should grow depending on the growing conditions in your area. If you’re not sure on what to look for, we are here for you and here are key considerations to think about when choosing the best strain to grow.
- The overall size of the plant
It’s important to have an idea of the overall size of the grown-up cannabis plant for two major reasons. One, it helps you determine the size of the growing space you need and the number of plants you can grow in that area without competing for nutrients, light and space. Two, it helps you determine the perfect lighting for your plant keeping in mind that weak lighting hinders the growth of your plants and too strong lighting makes the plants to fry.
- Average yields
When growing marijuana for the first time, consider the yield the strain you want to choose is likely to give based on size, quantity and quality. If you want the harvest bigger buds, the plant will require strong lighting and nutrition and you should be prepared for it. Most importantly, the strain you choose must give the yield you’re expecting.
- Long day vs short day plants
Growing cannabis at home can be exciting but before that, understand that every plant type requires specific lighting, feeding, and environmental requirements so don’t mix up. For instance, long day plants thrive in short periods of darkness and long periods of light and on the other hand, short day plants grow well in short periods of light and long periods of darkness.
- Flowering times
Some plants take longer to flower than others. Therefore, you should understand the period the strain you choose takes to flower as this will prevent you from undercutting your plants or flowering for too long and this will give you a promising harvest.
- Choosing Genetics
You can receive the genetics in either seeds or clones. Seeds are usually a perfect choice for anyone growing marijuana for the very first time as it easy, make you a better grower especially when you familiarize on how it’s done naturally, help you to create your own strain, and open your future grow to more benefits.
Clones, on the other hand, are perfect for anyone looking for a quick turn-around as they grow quickly. Therefore, weigh your option and decide what you want to start with. If you want to be part of the cannabis plants and wants to have a wonderful experience when growing them, go for seeds but if you want to grow cannabis right away, choose clones.
- Designate a cannabis grow space
After making a choice of strain and genetics to use while growing your cannabis plants, choose a perfect space for the job. The space doesn’t necessarily have to be a large room as marijuana grows excellently in a cabinet, closet, spare room, tent or a corner of an unfinished room. The most important thing to keep into consideration is that the space should be spacious enough to fit the equipment and the plants.
As a rule of thumb, aim to start small; it will be less expensive, easy to monitor your plants, and you’ll make a few mistakes which will cost you less. When growing plants indoors, sanitation is a key consideration. Therefore, choose a space that’s easy to clean and avoid materials that will give you headaches when cleaning such as drapes, carpeting, and raw wood. The space should be light-tight as light leaks tend to confuse your plants.
Other variables to put into consideration when choosing the grow space include;
- Convenience – Choose a place you’ll effortlessly monitor the plants several times a day until you ensure they are growing as intended
- Temperature and humidity considerations – Choose a place that’s cool, dry and gets fresh air from the outside
- Stealth – Choose an area where your plants will not be accessed by nosy neighbors as they pass by or potential thieves
- Chose cannabis grow lights
Choosing the best lighting setup for your cannabis plants is very important as it determines the quantity and quality of cannabis yields. Many indoor plants growers tend to ignore the lighting factors but if you want your cannabis plants to grow strong and healthy, put up the best lighting setup. Plants cannot survive without light as it serves as a primary source of energy. This means that your marijuana plants get energy from light through photosynthesis and light energy is converted to chemical energy leading to the production of sugars such as glucose that provide food helping your plants to grow strong and healthy.
Poor lighting set up leads to weak and thin cannabis plants. If you’re wondering which lighting setup will be perfect for you, here are few considerations;
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights
HID lights produce more light per unit of electricity used and are perfect for anyone looking for a combination of value, efficiency and output. The most common HID lamps to use are metal halide (MH) that are distinguished by blue-white light perfect during the vegetative growth and high-pressure sodium (HPS) distinguished by red-orange light that’s good for your plant as they flower.
- Fluorescent Grow Lights
Fluorescent grow lights are cheap to set up and usually produce a low amount of heat meaning that they don’t require any cooling system. They generate limited power and produce low yields but are a perfect option for anyone who wants to grow marijuana plants without using a lot of energy.
LED lights give your plants the light they require without offering excess spectrum or heat they don’t need.
- Induction Grow Lights
Induction grow lights were introduced in the 1800s and have found a place in the hearts of cannabis growers. They last longer, are efficient but they’re hard to find and are expensive too.
- Give air to your marijuana plants
After designating the space to grow your cannabis plants in, ensure it’s getting a steady stream of air. You can fix an exhaust fan near the top of the grow room to get rid of warm air and also fix a filtered air inlet on the other side of the grow room near the floor. The temperature in the room should match your plant’s requirements; 58-70 degrees Fahrenheit when lights are off and 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit when lights are on which you can easily monitor using a wall thermometer.
If you realize that the temperatures are too high, cool them down using air conditioners but when they’re too low, raise them using heaters. When your plants get a constant breeze, they produce strong plants and stems and reduce the buildup of mold and flying pests.
- Pick your controls and monitoring
When growing marijuana indoors, you’ll require light and climate control equipment and automate their functions. As a beginner, you’ll need an adjustable thermostat switch for exhaust fan and a 24-hr timer for the light. Cannabis plants are sensitive and the light/dark cycle is of great importance. During vegetative growth, they require light for 16-20 hours a day and when blooming, they require light for 12 hours a day.
Lights should turn on and off at the same time to prevent the risk of stressing your plants, and because you might not be able to keep time, a timer will do. A thermostat can be used for exhaust fan which minimizes your energy and keeps a steady temperature.
- Determine the medium to grow your plants
There are two different media that cannabis plants can thrive in; soil and soilless (Hydroponics). Soil has been used for centuries now thanks to its simplicity and high yield generation and you should use it if growing cannabis plants for the first time. Ensure that the soil you use if free of artificial extended release fertilizers which are unfavorable for growing good cannabis. Instead, opt for organic pre-fertilized soil as it will excellently grow your plants from start to finish and you’ll have no need to add any nutrients.
- Feed your plants with nutrients
For cannabis to thrive, they require macronutrients such as Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and potassium in large quantities, as well as micronutrients such as copper, calcium, magnesium, and iron in small quantities. Feed the plants with the appropriate nutrient solution at least once a week. These nutrients are available in concentrated liquid or powder, and all you need to do is mix with water as directed on the label then water the plants.
- Watering the plants
Just like any other plant, cannabis plants require a constant supply of clean water. You may wonder why clean water but using water that’s concentrated with dissolved minerals affects the uptake of nutrients or it may contain pathogens or fungus that can lead to root disease.
- Drying and curing
After growing marijuana plants successfully, drying is the last step and is equally important meaning that it should be done with care. The plant should be dried completely to remove moisture which could otherwise increase chances of mold formation.
Growing marijuana plants in your home seem like an impossible mission but with the right information and patience, it becomes easy and fruitful. If you’re a marijuana lover and you would like to turn your attention from rolling joints to cultivating your own plants, the above step by step guide will give you a reason to smile. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that for your plants to thrive, they need correct lighting, temperature, fresh air, perfect grow medium, nutrients, and water.