Getting Started Growing Cannabis

Thank’s to new laws passing around the world, more and more people are allowed to grow this awesome plant. As of October 17, 2018 it will be legal for Canadians to grow up to four cannabis plants at a time for personal use.

Growing cannabis inside your home is certainly not a complicated task provided, you are aware of a few basic requirements. Those who follow the proper procedure are able to produce cannabis of superior quality. It is very important to provide powerful lights inside the house for the cannabis to grow. Those who want to grow cannabis indoors may ensure to procure feminized seeds from reliable suppliers. The cannabis plants may be allowed to grow in soil inside the house. However, those who are new to cannabis cultivation indoors may strictly avoid overwatering as well as over-feeding the plants. Overwatering will affect the growth as well as yield of the soil-grown plants. Availability of bright light and fresh air, room temperature at night and a little warmer during the day, water with the correct pH and a proper medium to grow are very important for growing cannabis. It is to be noted that soil is not the only recommended medium for growing cannabis. When soil is chosen, the pH of water must be maintained within the range 6 – 7.

Procuring cannabis seeds

Buying good quality seeds is the best option to grow cannabis indoors. Quality seeds can be purchased either online or from direct suppliers. The seeds that are hard and in dark color are ideal and one should avoid seeds that are small and white in color. Though healthy seeds can be kept in the fridge for short periods, freezing the seeds is not advised. Seeds are to be stored in a cool, dry place away from light.

Finding a suitable space

The cannabis can be grown in the basement, an unused room, a tent or a cabinet. You should ensure that the plants and the equipments used to cultivate the plants must fit the place. Those who are beginners may start with a smaller project. When there are only a few plants, it will be easy to monitor them and the project will be less expensive. New growers are more likely to commit a lot of mistakes which may lead to setbacks and loss. The room must have enough space for the plants to grow and also to keep the lights, fans and various equipments. There must be sufficient space for you to move around and work. Those who grow cannabis for the first time may bear in mind that in its early flowering stage the cannabis plant may double or triple its size. There must be sufficient space or elbow room to remove the plants and perform the various tasks. It is very important to keep the place clean. Raw wood, drapes and carpets must be avoided. In order to ensure that there are no light leaks during the dark periods, the room should be made light-tight. The room must be easily accessible and should be cool and dry. There should be sufficient supply of fresh air from the outdoors. Safety and security of the room should be ensured.

Choosing the grow lights

It is very important to choose the best quality cannabis grow lights for growing cannabis indoors. LED lights are ideal for growing cannabis indoors. They are highly durable and consume less quantity of electricity. LED lights create less heat and facilitate more output and better quality. However, LED lights are about 10 times costlier than the HID setup. HID lights are widely used and are quite efficient. These lights also ensure good yield. HID lights are a little costlier than incandescent or fluorescent lights but are considerably cheaper than LED lights. But, when compared to incandescent or fluorescent lights, HID lights produce more quantity of light per unit of electricity consumed. Fluorescent light fixtures are ideal for the small scale cannabis growers with a small budget.

Choosing the grow medium

Soil is the traditional medium and is the most suitable for the novice growers. Those who use potting soil may ensure that the soil is free of artificial fertilizers. When organic pre-fertilized soil is used there is no need to add nutrients. Instead of soil, cannabis can be grown in soilless hydroponic medium. In this method concentrated solutions of mineral salts solutions are to be fed which will be absorbed by the roots through the process of osmosis.

Watering the plants

Overwatering the plants is a common mistake made by the new growers. If high amounts of dissolved minerals are present in the water, it will affect the uptake of nutrients by the roots and will also contain pathogens that may cause root disease. In case the water contains high levels of chlorine, it is advisable to filter the water. The most important thing to remember is that there should not be overwatering. The frequency of watering must be according to the grow medium, size of the plant and the ambient temperature. Normally, young plants are watered once in a week and grown up plants are to be watered once daily. When the soil is found dry, it is an indication that the plant needs water.

Feeding the plants with macronutrients and micronutrients

Macronutrients required by cannabis plants are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and the micronutrients required by the plants are iron, copper, magnesium and calcium. Those who do not use pre-fertilized organic soil may feed the plants with a suitable nutrient solution once in a week.

Life stages of Cannabis plants and their gender identification

The life duration of cannabis plant is just one year and those who grow them indoors should know about the life stages of the plant. Cannabis plants have two life stages – Vegetative and Flowering. During vegetative stage stems and leaves grow and during the flowering stage buds and flowers will be formed. During the vegetative stage the plants are germinated and they must be put in the pots. The plants must be under the grow lights. For 25 days keep them under light for 18 hours a day and switch off the light for 6 hours a day. Once the flowering stage starts keep the lights on for 12 hours and then keep them off for the next 12 hours. In between, for two days the lights may be kept on for 15 hours.

A cannabis plant is either male or female. Buds are formed only on the female plants and hence the gender of a plant can be identified only at the beginning of the flowering stage. The growers prefer only the female plants so as to harvest the buds. However, a few male plants are also essential to facilitate pollination and seed formation. There are no scientifically proven methods to determine the gender of the plant prior to the beginning of the flowering stage.

Appearance of buds and application of fertilizers

Buds start to form on the cannabis plant after 4 weeks of the flowering stage. This is the time to identify the male plants and eliminate them. Since the plants grow very fast, they require a lot of nutrients. Fertilizers should not be applied directly and always they must be mixed with water. While most of the fertilizers work, the specially prepared marijuana fertilizers give better results. A set of growth and bloom fertilizer will give the best output.

When the plants are 2 weeks old, you can start feeding with fertilizers after mixing them with water. After giving fertilizer-mixed water for 3 times, provide pure water once. In a week, give water mixed with fertilizer on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and on Sunday give pure water. Filtered water is preferred.

In case small white spots are found on the leaves look at the other side of the leaf and in case you find tiny bugs moving around, apply Neem Oil to get rid of the spider mites. Neem Oil should be mixed with water as recommended.

Harvesting

The cannabis plants become ripe within 3 months of the flowering stage. When most of the white hairs appear in brown color, it indicates that the plants are ripe. The plants slow down growing and start smelling heavily. The buds become hard and compact. The plants are ready to harvest. Plants that are harvested earlier will be more activating and those harvested too late will have sleepy effect.

-Guest Post to Oochco

 

 

 

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