The List of Mistakes that Beginner Growers make
These are not exactly mistakes when you are into growing marijuana on your own because they are more likely a learning process. However, the list of most common mistakes that beginner growers make exists, where reading it shall give you knowledge, and avoiding them shall bring your marijuana growing effort to a higher level from the very beginning.
This is how you start a wonderful journey of gardening your weed for yourself. And yes, you can take your first experiment for free (or almost free), read this post.
How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?
Patience you need to grow a marijuana plant – the otherwise is an often mistake, but you should not hurry at no stage of marijuana growing. In general, the full growing cycle takes about 4 to 6 months for a solid marijuana plant to ripe, where the term depends on many variables of the equation. Commercially offered seeds may give fruits as fast as 4-8 weeks.
How to decrease the marijuana growing term?
– Outdoor or indoor, where for the latter you can alter the term by changing the light regime: as soon as you set your light regime as 12 and 12 hours the plants immediately react ending the vegetation and just start flowering (producing buds that we smoke). Do not do that too early.
Apparently, for the outdoor, you cannot change the Sun astronomy, as it is the main and only source of light for the outdoor marijuana.
However, what you can do is select a proper date in the calendar when you plant seeds to have the Sun rolling over the sky in a 12 on 12 mode right when you need your future weed to flower. The very reason why some countries enjoy two harvests of marijuana per year.
– The genetics of seeds that you use influence the how-long question too. Autoflowering seeds are independent of the light regime but they take a certain amount of time for vegetation and then start flowering regardless of where the light is.
Autoflowering cannabis grows as fast as 4-5 weeks.
Feminized cannabis grows as fast as 6-8 weeks.
Autoflowers offered in the market usually need a shorter period from seed to weed and are considered to be the easier effort for beginner growers.
– Playing with nutrients for your marijuana plants, and this includes building a hydroponic garden, ease your waiting too. May it be a harder way to learn and perfect your skills, however the “plants on steroids” (enforced nutrients) shall perform fast similar to you wishing to grow your body promptly in a gym adding proper nutrients.
– Using clones shall make the vegetation shorter just logically. Doing so you skip the seed germination stage and seedling at all. There are pros and cons and a lot of arguments about growing marijuana from clones… We suggest it is not bad to use the clones but just using the clones is a different business and it certainly delivers a shorter growing term for your marijuana.
This or that, or a combination of the listed, but you are to accept that all plants are naturally slow, including the marijuana plants.
Being a first-timer, you’d better not cut the growing term too much but let it go the natural course for a cannabis plant to grow taking as long as it needs under the current environmental conditions.
The obvious exception is choosing an autoflowering seed or another kind of seed (like Ruderalis) with a genetically modified growing term, either embarking on a quest of growing your marijuana from a clone. The latter shall never grant you knowledge about how to germinate, nor what a seedling is, but we still recommend exploring the natural cycle before you alter it.
Note that the light regime alteration and leveraging on the chemistry of the nutrients are the advanced techniques.
How to grow marijuana easy
There is an easy way to stay away from the common growing issues. For this, you may treat a marijuana plant just as a regular plant, as if it’s no different from a potato or a tomato. You may lose a bit in quality (depending on what you count as “quality”) but this is the very idea of how you may grow marijuana easy, no stress, no sweat.
How’s that possible to grow marijuana easy?
Because a marijuana plant is a natural thing and, after millions of years of evolution it can survive and give fruits without your assistance. Yes, we tried. You maybe won’t get it as high as in a coffee shop in Amsterdam, but you’ll be high enough and satisfied.
Even though you prefer a hustle-free way of growing you’d better still read the list of mistakes beginner growers make, to know where you look at along the whole process. For example, you still need to water your marijuana plant, which is a little more sensitive, compared to regular plants, and you do not wish to over-water it, right?
How to grow marijuana for free
One word: Soil.
Soil, the very source of everything your plant consumes when growing, is often underestimated by the first-timers. Most of the most common mistakes that beginner growers make. The wrong soil can ruin everything. The proper soil can make all your efforts easy going all way up to growing your weed for free, or almost free, and it is as important as a seed itself.
The list of what you need to grow marijuana for free
1) Seed. Once upon a time we have picked a couple of seeds from street marijuana, and it has worked, and we’ve got high. This was an effective experiment of growing marijuana both successfully and free of charge. However, if you allow yourself a few buck investment taking a “professional seed” from a seed bank you’ll just gain a better chance to succeed.
Acknowledge that as a beginner grower, you may fail. But using a professional seed from a seed bank your odds are higher. But a free marijuana seed shall give you free knowledge of trial and error.
TIP! Pay the most of your attention to the cannabis seed germination stage. This is when the whole thing starts, and a seed gives a small root out of itself, such is called germination. Before you even send a marijuana seed into the soil you make it germinated in a Petri Dish. Very important.
2) Soil. Again, you can take a professionally mixed soil which is not a million bucks in price. But you can also use soil from your garden and it shall perform too, reasoning that a marijuana plant is a natural thing, while “wild soil” already contains hopefully an amount of desired nutrients for cannabis plants as long as other plants do grow in it all the way.
TIP! A rule of thumb is that random soil usually is too dense for a marijuana plant. You require to make it loose by mixing it with sand or crushed brick, which are also free of charge. Such shall allow more oxygen to come to the roots of your marijuana plant, also giving a better way for the nutrients.
3) Indoor or outdoor? Well, this depends on the climate overall and the current season in your region. We mention herein how to grow marijuana for free supposing you take the right season and climate.
In our experiment about using random seeds of street weed, we have put two already germinated marijuana seeds into flower pots but we have placed one pot on a balcony and the other we kept at home. The balcony plant went stronger and it reached its ripe. But the room plant went weak and sick too early and died after a few weeks.
The reason? The more natural environment makes a cannabis plant naturally stronger, as long as it is exposed to wind and rain and a temperature range it lives a normal life, so to say.
4) Water and light are very important for your future success with marijuana growing as a beginner grower. Please about further on in this post.
Finding the right soil for cannabis
We have mentioned above how important the soil is. It delivers all nutrients through the roots through your whole marijuana plant all way up to the buds. Therefore you pay the most attention to finding the right soil for cannabis, and here we share a few tips:
1) Where from? Once you have excavated a potful of soil from your garden, consider also taking other soil from “somewhere else” if you have several marijuana plants for your beginner’s effort. This is for seeing the difference between this and that soil.
2) Make the soil loose. Except that you’ve purchased a professionally mixed soil, in all other cases for a DIY soil you always make the soil loose by adding sand or crushed clay brick, some people use carbon for the purpose.
Loose and crumbly soil is always better for marijuana as soon as it provides better access for water and oxygen to the roots of a marijuana plant.
3) Ventilation. Make holes in your pot for better ventilation, and for the excess water to go out easily. Such shall prevent the roots of your marijuana plant from rot and a lack of oxygen.
4) Mites vs worms. Keep an eye on who else lives in your soil. There are useful beasties living in soil, and there are harmful ones (yet another reason to take soil from different places into different pots to see how marijuana plants shall go on growing in this and that case).
A tip? Worms are good, they provide better ventilation of your soil, also they process the soil elements into what plants “eat”. The other beasties such as mites and insects are not good and you’d better get rid of them, either take care of avoiding them from the start.
There are “professional” worms existing on the market, you can buy them to enhance your soil mix. We suggest they are not expensive.
5) PH level, also referred to as “acidity”, is important for marijuana growing. We suggest in wild soil the PH level is already fine, especially if you make it outdoors in your garden. But for the indoor growing, and in a case you are going to use nutrients hard, you keep an eye on a PH level.
For a marijuana plant the PH level is in a range from 5.7 to 6.2 for hydroponic or indoor, and up to 7.0 outdoor. There are relatively cheap PH meters in the market, designed either for aquariums or specifically for growing, both types may fit.
Otherwise, to keep your experiment as free as possible, you use that wild soil, as we mentioned, and you go outdoors (or balcony) so the plants are taking the most of nutrients from nature. Once you add nutrients the PH level is going to change, then you need to be checking on it periodically.
Choosing a seed
Many sources say, growing marijuana from an anonymous seed may be flooded with surprises and may hard your efforts, this is partly true. However, as soon as you’ve got a seed from weed that you’ve just smoked that makes your seed not that far anonymous, but to be brave you need.
Taking a seed from a seed bank is still a good option and a minimal investment indeed. At least you shall know for sure that a possible fail shall not give credit to the seed. On the other hand, why not try, and more important the seed is a living thing, so shall be the future cannabis plant, you can just let nature go its way, otherwise buy seeds from a seed bank.
If you have decided to have a “some weed seed” consider the following advice
1) Ripe. The marijuana seed for planting should be ripe. That shall mean the color of a cannabis seed must be dark brown, not black, not green. Also, it must have curvy stripes on its surface.
2) Solid. The marijuana seed should be solid, bearing no cracks. Yes, this is a sort of obvious, but we saw beginner growers being so desperate that they take a damaged seed. The effort is doomed even before they got started.
3) Germination. Pay the best attention to germination, this is when a seed shows a small root. Read the easy way how to germinate weed seed below:
How to germinate weed seeds
– To germinate a seed you put a cotton cloth on the bottom of a shallow and wide cup or a container made of neutral material. That may be a plastic container used in the food industry, or a glass Petri Dish, that we find most convenient. No metal due to its acidity, and no possibly toxic material.
– Generously moisture the cloth with water. Use clean water. Do not be too greedy about the amount of cloth, have it clean, made of cotton, and let it form a sort of a bed for a seed.
– Place the seeds into that cloth. It should not be lying on a surface but be deep into cloth.
– Moisture another piece of cloth and cover the seed, or the seeds if you have few, with it.
– If you have a few seeds in one container give them space for sending out roots freely, for that place them apart from each other.
– Let the oxygen penetrate the container. Open it up once a day to ventilate, but you keep it in a dark warm place all other time.
– The whole germination may take a week, up to two weeks, so you be patient.
– Add water periodically to keep the micro-environment well moist, but not flooded.
Once your seed germinated you have a good chance to succeed. Weed may outcome being not of the best quality if it is a street weed seed, but what shall make that weed so important is that it shall be your weed.
Here is a small poem for your joy about how important to choose a proper weed seed:
“Heaven knows what seed I am planting,
And I know nothing at all.
Wise men said: seed banks were rocking,
But I’m brave to pull through my own.
Nature shall drive me on and shall help me,
As I do expect smoke and roll.
Future is just weeks from this moment,
I water the soil, lights are on.”
What else do you need to know picking a random seed from street marijuana
The existence of a seed defines that it was a hermaphrodite plant where you found that seed. Professional growers only grow female plants, and those have no seeds at all. The offspring of your anonymous street marijuana plant, where you picked your anonymous marijuana seed, shall have a great chance of being a hermaphrodite too.
Such may result but not necessarily a lower THC level and poorer trichomes but be sure it’ll give you some high anyway. The logic is simple: you have already got high from weed wherein you have found that seed.
Marijuana overwatering is a very common mistake for beginner growers, especially for first-timers. Cannabis plants do not require a lot of water.
The good growers’ advice on watering your cannabis plant is: you put your pointer finger one inch down into the soil – until you feel moisture or see your finger is moist as it is off the soil, you need no more water yet.
Do not over-water your marijuana plant under no circumstances. Such may kill your whole plantation.
LED lights for growing marijuana
Light is essential for marijuana plants, as it is for any plant. If your plants grow indoors, then you need LED lights designed for growing and there is no other way. This is pretty much an investment. The whole LED lights set may cost you 200-400 dollars and shall add a ton to your monthly electricity bill for a few consequent months.
Besides, you can be f**ed by a wrong LED lights vendor delivering a wrong specter of light. You’d better learn about it before you buy any lights, and read comments about how reliable is the vendor you pick.
How do we decrease weed lighting cost?
The sunlight is the best for plants, better than anything artificial like LED lights, and it’s free. You try being outdoors in the garden or on the balcony, but make sure you are at the right season when it’s warm enough outdoors.
More important: marijuana plants switch from vegetation to flowering when the light regime becomes 12 and 12 hours. It means the Sun shines 12 hours a day and it’s dark the other 12 hours.
The light regime is the worst beginner growers’ mistake. You shall need to switch your LED lights into the 12/12 regime at a proper moment, and for outdoors you’d better check for the Sun’s astronomy in your region to gain the 12/12 sunlight regime at the end of the vegetation stage.
How do we avoid light-related problems the easiest way?
1) Use autoflowering seeds from a seed bank or a friend, because the autoflowering seeds do not rely on the light regime but they are designed to start flowering by time and not by light change. We have already mentioned, that the autoflowering seeds feature a shorter growing term overall.
2) Use Ruderalis, if you can find one, which I doubt. However, the autoflowering seeds mix the genetics of Cannabis Ruderalis to be independent of light. Cannabis Ruderalis is a wild plant originating from Sri Lanka and India, those have a lot of weed with strong genetics growing wild.
No panic if you still lack lighting or fail the regime setup. This shall give smaller buds, a weaker plant, but it shall give some buds and some plant. Of course, no great achievement if such happens, but this is your first try and you learn.
How much space do I need for cannabis plants?
Marijuana plants do need space for all three reasons: sufficient space for roots to avoid competition with other plants, a space for growing tall, and a space for growing wide. The latter is to prevent touching the neighboring plants too much.
1) For the roots: think about a big bucket, say, a 10 to 12-liter bucket (or a pot of this size) shall solve the problem. Do not forget to ventilate it as we mentioned earlier in this post. If you are planting marijuana outdoors give the same space wide, having no other plants (cannabis or not) just next to your weed.
2) For the tall: make it 1,5 – 2,0 meters over the soil level if you grow indoors or in a tent. You shall also need fresh air inside of your growing space, then you deliver proper ventilation to your plants.
There are certain techniques to use a smaller space by changing the geometry of the stems, but this is already an advanced level, and we talk here about beginner growers’ mistakes solely.
TIP! if you decide to buy commercial seeds from a seed bank, and you lack space yet, then you consider strains of a low height. There are very low ones in the market, as low as 50-70 cm.
Yet another tip: if you switch from a vegetation stage to a flowering stage by changing the LED light in your indoor growing space, then you can save on the height of that growing space by switching the light regime a little bit earlier. Plants shall continue growing when flowering but they shall not do that intensively as during the vegetation stage.
For the outdoors, there is no such issue, unless your neighbors are unfriendly. Use a fence for God’s sake, or, again, those seeds of low-height genetics. We should warn you about neighbors, should we?
3) For the wide: say, 2×2 meters is a bit wider than you need. Having lack of space, use 1×1 meter space. There is no strict rule about it, but just your marijuana plants should not be one by another.
Do not give too much care to your marijuana plants
Yes, this makes a certain problem more often than we can imagine, because you want your weed, and you value your efforts, but this is your first time and you know practically nothing.
Therefore, you’d better be patient, you’d better accept there shall be mistakes, you’d better watch to learn than expecting the frostiest harvest of all time from your first attempt.
Do not over-care your plants, give them time, wait and be watching more rather than doing, and don’t be too much of a mom to your plants.
A good example of over-care is over-watering, as we mentioned here, and the next two listed beginners’ mistakes are such as well:
Cutting marijuana leaves
You’ve heard of course that cutting marijuana leaves during the flowering stage may dramatically increase your future harvest of buds.
How does cutting marijuana leaves perform?
Once you cut tips of the marijuana leaves, either very tips, or up to one-half of the leaves, or just decimating the whole leaves of the plant, you save nutrients delivered into the leaves, as those get smaller in size, and the freed amount of nutrients goes all into buds making the latter bigger, higher, frostier.
However, this may form a real problem for a beginner grower due to the lacking experience. Many superior professional growers do not recommend for absolute beginners to use scissors to cut marijuana leaves at all on the first try, excluding maybe a few too obvious cases.
Do not over-dose the nutrients
Imagine that you have decided to use the nutrients, even though skipping it shall cut the cost even though requiring proper soil, proper light, proper space, etc. To use nutrients staying away from overdosing when you are a beginner grower there is a safe way:
Use a simple trick until you learn this science better: add nutrients in very small amounts carefully and watch how the plant reacts but give sufficient time for the reaction.
Any change in color of any part of the plant or any other change, anything seeming abnormal, may mean (but not necessarily) an overdose of nutrients or a nutrient. The overdose of nutrients may even kill a plant.
There are exceptions about the color change, like, “going purple” may reflect a too low temperature or another environmental issue, or stress (where overdosing is stress too).
Growing for the first time without nutrients at all or just tiny to small doses shall grant you a better understanding of the whole process. Because in case of an unknown issue you shall have less range of guess about what you’ll have done wrong.
Keep notes while you grow weed
A good piece of advice for a grower of any experience is to log whatever you are doing to the plants and whatever is happening to the plants. This shall help to learn the whole process, and to track the experiments, how your ideas, the weather, the season, and the nutrients influence the plants. You shall find these notes useful for your next trials, this is how the knowledge is accumulated.
Marking plants with small tags is a good idea too in any case, especially when you treat them differently, like, a different nutrient regime, different soil, light, genetics, whatever differently you apply to your marijuana plants.
When to harvest marijuana
Choosing when to harvest marijuana as a beginner grower you may miss the right moment, or cut the bud too early. The latter is coursed by impatience (of course, you already know how important is to stay patient in a plant business, do you?) and the former is merely greed about higher THC. Needless to say that losing a whole harvest at the very end after weeks and weeks of growing efforts is an “epic fail”.
Trichomes you watch to catch the right moment for harvesting your marijuana buds.
Some people advance to using a microscope to detect the best condition of the trichomes, but a 10x magnifying glass (jewelers use such and sell in their shops) fits well enough. Alternatively – a good pair of eyes, trichomes are actually visible.
For a beginner grower, the best time for harvesting marijuana comes when approximately 60% of trichomes are amber, and about 40% remain milky-white. There is an argument about how much trichomes should get ripe, which means amber color, and we suggest this is a matter of personal preference. We cut when amber to milky reaches roughly 60/40.
Ready to hit the road now?
As a rule of thumb you always keep in mind two simple ideas: “never panic” and a “no rush”, this is the best way to win in growing your marijuana.
We dare to say that no beginner in the whole world ever avoided mistakes that beginner growers make. That is why they are called this way. Just stay come and give time to your plants before you doom them to fixing a nonexistent issue.
Anything that may ever happen to your marijuana plants shall work for your experience. Your sticky frosty buds, which you are getting in the end, are the best in the world, because they are the buds, that you have grown.
Peace and love.