You may go for for a trouble free experiment, simply put a marijuana seed of a professional quality (it’s just better to pass through beginner’s wrong-doings with a GOOD seed rather than some totally random one), so put it into a regular box with a regular soil, place it to rest onto the same shelf where the others of the house plants spend their lives. You will gain the wonderful feeling of growing something and see your first mistakes. Maybe you will even see the flowers, and at minimum you should finally get a very easy and a totally free plant holding 5-10 joints, good enough but made of leaves or maybe even some sort of buds, with just minimum effort for making it happen. I’d even suggest cooking it instead of smoking, a good fun and the efficient way, not to say a yummi way.
— Not bad for doing almost nothing, mostly watching with admiration the full cycle: how the cannabis seed grows into a plant, to become a marijuana one day.
Alternatively, you wish a serious home cultivation of high-end marijuana for yourself and for your fellow buds. Consider some minimal investment of reasonable money or effort: seed as we mentioned, and some minimal gear: soil, electricity, lightning, building a box or buying a box, ventilation, fertilizers. And patience.
The mistakes that beginners really make when starting to grow marijuana at home for the first time
1). Soil Is Very Important
You’ve just excavated a jar of soil from your neighbour’s garden, and now you are confident this is it. The answer is still “No”. The random soil may not be enough for cannabis; the acidity may have a too high or too low pH level. Also “the soil from the garden” in most cases is too dense for cannabis; loose and crumbly is always much, much better for cannabis plant to grow good. Not to mention the insects and parasites teeming in the garden soil (Imagine?)
The only acceptable solution is: if you want to grow cannabis at home, if you maybe want to enjoy it with less trouble and maximum fun (like any other hobby, right?) then buy a pack of prepared soil and you will be generously rewarded.
The recommended level of acidity for cannabis (pH) is 5.7-6.2 for hydroponic and up to 7.0 for outdoor, along with a not high NPK where the Nitrogen dominates to allow more so-called green mass to grow.
Soil is important for cannabis plants, everything comes from soil or through soil, learn more about soil for your weed:
2). Choosing A Seed
Here is another story, easy to imagine: You’ve got nice pot from some friends and you’ve found – Wow! It’s a Seed! – in it. And this has totally altered your mind … to start a growing career out from this exact seed! Please do not do this. Because you (maybe) have no idea what kind of plant it is. All the growing from this anonymous seed will be flooded with surprises and your hard efforts may end up with a really low quality weed.
Besides, there is another problem, that the seed definitely means a hermaphrodite plant. Because professional growers only grow female plants for certain reasons. The offspring of your anonymous plant will also have a lot of chance of being a hermaphrodite too and this may also mean low quality weed.
Choose a proper cannabis strain by its features for hassle free growing. You may have specific conditions (how much time you have, what your nearest grow shop may supply etc., etc.) So choose a seed for these personal conditions from professional seed-banks. Purchasing a clone may also be a good move! After-all, think how much you are already spending on equipment, lights, the electricity, soil – do not save on a seed, it’s simply illogical.
3). Acidity And pH Level
Watch the acidity level in water that you use for watering. In chemistry, pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. It is approximately the negative of the base 10 logarithm of the molar concentration, measured in units of moles per litre, of hydrogen ions.
For cannabis the pH level (acidity) may be 5.7-6.2 for hydroponic and up to 7.0 for outdoor.
Here is the hint: First of all – buy a pH-Meter. One for aquarium purposes may be used, but – as always – the one especially designed for growing is just better. If you can invest then it’s better to do it. Let’s just compare the pH Meter for a marijuana grower to a radar for a sailor: We all agree that it is positively possible to go safely to the right destination having no radar, even more – once humanity was missing this wonderful invention … In other words: Buy a pH Meter.
4). Too Much Care
It’s easy to imagine from a Mom providing too much care that it starts to be already harmful. We’d recommend avoiding this sort of relationship between you and your Cannabis Plant. First of all it is a Plant, not a mammal, not a bug. Plants are slow! Do not fuss too much with it. Take a puff, relax, watch =))
The seed may grow up to 10 days. No need to dig it out twice a week (some people really do!!), unless you have a recommendation on your pack of seeds that the specific strain is potentially risky in this stage. Think about before buying cannabis seeds for the first time.
Don’t be too much Mom for your weed
There is also over-care with watering, as the cannabis itself by its general nature is quite a dry-resistant plant and it does not really require too much water. Check the top inch of the soil with the finger – do not water until it’s moist. Of course you may use another electronic tool for measuring moisture, but the finger works just fine.
Long story short: Always give it time. Don’t be too much of a Mom for your weed :=D
5). Cutting Leaves
You’ve heard about what it’s for and how to cut leaves. You’ve heard that it dramatically increases your future harvest. Yes, this is a problem, many high-end professional growers do not recommend absolute beginners use scissors from the first try. Excluding maybe the very obvious cases.
6). Give Space
While choosing the proper moment to switch from vegetating stage to flowering it is extremely important not to forget that the cannabis plant still continues growing up, having only a different speed. Leave space.
7). Harvest Time
There are few methods to catch the right moment for harvesting, even quite high-tech ones – with the use of microscope, for example. You will probably find extra in this article: When To Cut A Bud. You may also use our e-mail below the page for any questions regarding the topic of growing. Now we are just going to share a simple beginner’s tip that may be somewhat of a ‘guarantee’: 60% of trichomes are amber, and 40% still remain milky white.
Other useful links:
It is a human nature to think more about good. Our brain has a protection mechanism that forces us to forget mostly everything that was not “comfortable” in the past. And the very same trait makes us to imagine the future results we are aiming to, rather than think about routines and labor that may lead us to. This is what happens precisely when performing sports, when you lie on the floor fainted and thinking bleary: “God! Why am I doing this again?” but in next 24 hours you are ready for a new round.
Introduction To Weed Cultivation
Before embarking to growing marijuana in home conditions, spend a minute to imagine that it is a cool hobby with the pleasant outcome but it is also a small agricultural project (means: labor). Obviously agriculture is always a labor, and hopefully this blog-post will help to understand few basics about what to expect. After all, growing cannabis or any other plant is a creation of new life and this is a wonderful journey full of discovery!
Marijuana Growing Stages
This is when a seed shows that it is alive and ready to grow. You put a seed into clean glass of clean water for about 24-48 hours into warm (25-30 Celsius or 75-80 F) and dark place. Wait until it absorbs water, and it’s well seen already in an hour or two. Sinking to the bottom is the indication that all is being done properly. If it does not then give it more time, say, extra few hours. Wait until the taproot shows up (this is the white thing going out from the seed). Simple as that. Then put the seed into clean dirt and switch to Seedling.
Hint: When putting the seeds into water, push it little bit down, so it’ll be covered with water completely, which will make the full procedure flowing better and automatically. Otherwise it may stay afloat and the part of a taproot which is not in water may change color, contacting the air and being dry, and this is not too good.
Water the dirt before putting the seed into it. Then make a small whole by clean finger or a stick or a spoon, more or less 1-2 inches deep. Drop the seed down and cover gently with dirt, but not pressing or pushing, keep it loose, this will help the plant on its way up.
The baby plant gives first two embryonic leaves (and they are nothing similar with what we know as “cannabis leaf”; see the image above) and this already may mean that we have all chances to succeed. The next two leaves will be already looking more like marijuana leaves. The seedling lasts for 1-3 weeks depending on conditions, and it is the next stage arrives when the plant has already 5-8 leaves. On seedling stage we also need the lights on for 16-20 hours out of 24 and we need watering along with spraying the leaves.
More about using the LED-Lights:
Hint: Be patient. It is a plant and it is slow by definition. Once I’ve already start preparing another seed after two weeks no grow, and suddenly discovered in the next morning two leaves appearing. It just took longer. I can guess that was because of outdoor, where conditions are more severe and the plants need to be stronger before going out.
First of all Cannabis is a weed, which means it can just grow without you. Secondly, its original conditions are not humid, do not overwater it. Keep at least the upper 1 inch of dirt dry. Don’t worry, you will see clearly if anything wrong with the plant. Just love it from the first day and everything will be good! 🙂 I water 1-2 times only on the seedling stage: gently, not much, only moisture the ground well enough. Spraying gently on leaves (or allow rain if outdoor) is also healthy.
3) Vegetation, Or Growing
These are next 5-8 weeks, when your cannabis plant grows from few inches to be two or three feet tall. The light is essential in this stage, and it must be about 18 hours a day. As soon as the plant starts receiving less light (12 hours a day) it’ll break to pre-flowering stage. Watering, Light and Fresh air is all that needed.
Hint: If the weather is good, say, 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, you can put the plant onto the balcony or any other outdoor place. This will solve the fresh air issue completely and free of electricity consumption with no extra coolers, if comparing to a growing tent. But the main thing is that it’ll make the stem and roots much stronger: strong roots and strong stem is everything, like a spine in a human body.
In between Vegetation and Flowering stages you perform a cloning operations as it is described in another brief Cloning Guide by this link: The Importance Of Medical Marijuana Genetic Library. Obviously this is only for the case if you want cloning rather than raising it up from a seed every time.
On this stage it is already important to separate male plants from females to prevent pollination. As soon as female-plants not pollinated they produce trichomes, if they mess with the males the game is over. Keep an eye! A female plant, which will never produce seeds, is called sinsemilla. And this is the richest source of THC.
How To Distinguish Cannabis Males from Females
It’s simple, it’s “balls” hanging on male-plants, when the buds start appearing, and this shall happen when the light-regime switches to 12 on 12 hours. While the female-plants shall have white “hairs”, which are the trichomes.
What to Do with Cannabis Males
Just grow them to the end and then smoke them. There are from 40 to 80 cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. It’s not only the amount THC that is dependent on the “virginity” of your girls.
These are next 8+ weeks. Adding nutrients rich with Potassium and Phosphorus can be good. Keep the light in the same half-a-day regime and wait until it’s ready for harvesting by detecting the condition and color of trichomes. Read the full article about trichomes by this link: Cultivating Proper Trichomes.
Hint: If you fond of chemical high-potential nutrients and fertilizers it’s better to stop adding anything a week or two before harvesting, so that you’ll smoke mostly cannabis when it’s done.
7) Gathering And Drying
Wow! We be high! Some growers cut only branches; some growers cut the full plant. It’s all up to your experience, feelings, esthetics or a space in your closet where you gonna dry them up. For drying attach the plants or branches up-side-down onto the string, same idea like you dry clothing after washing, and place this all into dry dark place. Discover the Guide about the proper time when to Cut A Cannabis Plant by this link: When To Cut A Bud.
Put the buds into glass jar; close it tightly not giving fresh air to come in. Make it is a dry room, to have the air inside the jar as dry as possible. Some growers recommend curing up to one month: the more you cure the more soft and tasty and it will be when smoking. And also your stuff will be more potential, as by curing you finalize the chemical processes in the buds (for your understanding, it’s same idea that is with the fresh fruits: they become more juicy if keep them a while after the grocery).
Hint: The mold and the fungi are your enemies in this stage. To prevent it — open up the jar once in a while to make fresh and dry air to come in; by doing so ventilate the curing environment and this will most probably prevent the possible moulding.
x) Post Scriptum
The essential advice is – keep everything very clean around your small cannabis farm on all stages, and yourself especially: Wash hands with soap before any operation, wash a glass which is used for germination, disinfect pots and all the surrounding, the floor around the pots, wash the tools (and especially when you cut a future clone), do not smoke nicotine right before you do anything to cannabis plant. Using tap water give it a day for chlorine to fly away. Etc. Etc. Keep it all clean.
Let us open the February set of articles with the very seasonal information. It’s Spring coming in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s time to raise a plantation of Cannabis, the weather is never promising there and they desperately need “helpers” for the dankest harvest. And it’s Summer ends in the Southern hemisphere, so that people start thinking about in-door gardening. We talk about Organic Fertilizers! They are pretty free of charge, they are easy to have, still not attracting too much of attention, and we do not like wording “organic fertilizers” we’d prefer them to be “natural fertilizers”!!
The full industry all around the growing one portion of medical marijuana at home is delivering hundred of techniques along with a wide range of fertilizers for better grow of cannabis plants and, of course, all kind of soil types and, of course, the Fertilizers. This all is way too helpful specifically for the beginner grower. And this all saves a lot of effort too!! Let’s just see the alternative ways to fertilize, at least for the sake of understanding what is happening and this also can be helpful when you next time select the components for your desired small home plantation.
The Conception is N-P-K
Nitrogen. Phosphorus. Potassium (it’s “K” in chemistry symbols from “KALIUM” in Latin and in a few of modern languages also). These three are extremely essential for a healthy plant to make it rich with the proper elements. It also works perfectly for other plants, no exclusivity for cannabis hereby. A simple Rose or a becoming-popular Canna Lily shall also say “thank you” if you’ll be trying the listed-below ideas for them.
Coffee beans are rich with Nitrogen, precisely the nitrogenous compounds. Coffee beans are seeds by themselves and by definition contain a full set of elements to begin a new life. Use them from the start. Just crush a handful of coffee beans into soil. Better use beans, so you know for sure it’s only a coffee that you use, and of course not a Nescafe or Italian Mocha, and none of a kind. I would not call this solution absolutely a Gratis one, considering the price and this is a “luxury good”, but it’s something that is right in the household available.
Banana Peel — The King Of Fertilizers
Bananas and their peel are extremely rich with Potassium, so essential for the strength of the roots and resulting a stronger stem and stronger everything. Cut banana peel into the smallest pieces possible (there is also an option to dry them or little bit burn in the oven) and then add into the soil. After some time, and it’s quite quick if pieces are small, the “blend” shall form so-called “compost” rich with Potassium inside the vase where the cannabis plant grows. And in addition banana peel as a fertilizer that provides quite a stable PH Level, which is considered to be around 5.0, and this is a sort of idyllic environment for cannabis, many sources say. Quite a FREE fertilizing solution, eh?
You can also use banana peel in raw right away, but at times it is better to dry it up with the heat a little bit. Specifically for the case if mold and fungus are present in your region, or city with old buildings, or in the particular household. In the cold countries (by “cold” I mean “with snow”) it may be a smaller problem but nothing wrong to consider it.
Magnesium Makes The Green Stuff Green Enough
Besides, bananas also contain the amount of Magnesium, which stands for formation of Chlorophyll, the exact thing that makes the stuff green enough, and resulting better photosynthesis while contacting the light.
Fish Skin And Fish Bones
Fish is rich with Phosphorus. It’s said this is the very reason why fresh fish in Sashimi glows little bit if very fresh. Basically when “still alive” like they serve it in Japan or Korea.
Phosphorus is essential on the Flowering Stage
And the Phosphorus makes the seeds more viable, and as soon as seeds come from flowers, it makes flowers and flowering better. Therefore it is essential on the flowering stage. And we remember from the school times about the Phosphorus as recommendation for the enhancing the brain activity. Your marijuana plant needs Phosphorus too, and to make it delivered to the plant: crush the fish bones into almost-powder, dry the blend and fertilize and it is again FREE of charge as soon as fish is in the ration. Just do not use it along with the cooking oil, take off the bones BEFORE cooking the fish.
Bones by their nature are also rich with Calcium, once called a “trucker of all minerals”. In general it gets into roots and stems and “helps” to transport the other minerals up, making at same time the full structure stronger (similar to that why our bones are strong). A regular chicken eggshells crushed into the soil may serve same purpose. That is exactly what birds do to receive Calcium, I once have had a canary bird as a pet and he has been eating eggshells like crazy! Try it with plants then.
The Most Disgusting Fertilizer
The whole world shall agree that it sounds disgusting, I personally would never go for it, I cannot even imagine HOW — for the love of the God — to provide the Human Urine to the plants!
But then, let us just try to open the mind, and think again: for example, there is a baby in the household, if so then it’s already not that far disgusting, right? Why not then? And the thing is obviously more pure, say, more “virgin” so to say. Still containing quite enough of Nitrogen so required by Cannabis along with few more minerals. In the wild nature the weed gets it naturally from the whole surrounding, and when you smoke the wild one, from Kazakhstan or Sri Lanka, you hardly think that the squirrels pee on it all the time. How far you are fond of scientific experiments with medical marijuana? 😉
BONUS! A Coconut Soil – A Free Hydroponic?
This one is another replacement for a hydroponic soil. The latter is specifically designed to give more Oxygen and Water to the roots. It is made from small “stones” that there is no need to loosen the soil. Some growers add just a bulk of small stones, which also serves the same need. And another way is to crush Coconut shell: It’s again more “organic” and obviously more “natural” and it’s FREE of charge, as soon as you normally use coconuts in your daily ration.
The coconut shell is a part of a plant by itself and contains small portions of the required NPK-bouquet also. It is also used widely to produce the active carbon. Don’t by shy, add it into the soil too.