Why Do People Grow Weed?
Some people grow their own stash to relax after a long day. Others do it to save money and always have the herb at their fingertips.
Regardless of the reason, growing weed is an interesting and exciting endeavor. After all, you don’t need much to get started. However, you do need to educate yourself on important information. Think about different cannabis strains and growing methods.
But the most important thing is that you treat a cannabis plant just like any other plant. You do this by giving her enough attention and loving care.
Are All Cannabis Plants the Same?
Not all species are the same, which, by the way, is true for all living things on our green earth. Each species has unique characteristics. Think about growth rate, smell, yield, size, resilience and of course the amount of cannabinoids and terpenes.
In addition, we find an important difference in the gender of cannabis plants. To simplify this topic, you probably want to grow female plants. After all, these produce those resinous buds. For this you can best use feminized cannabis seeds. These seeds are specially designed to produce only female plants. With regular seeds you have a 50% chance of male or female plants.
You also have to take into account the difference between autoflowering and photoperiodic cannabis varieties. The term ‘autoflowering’ means that these marijuana plants flower on their own. They do this about 2-4 weeks after germination.
Photoperiodic strains require 12 hours of darkness daily to induce and maintain flowering. The life cycle of these plants generally takes a little longer, as the vegetative phase is not fixed.
How To Grow Your Own
When you grow cannabis, you are essentially growing life. Weed plants need adequate attention, care and nutrients to grow into healthy, thriving plants. Here are four essential elements to growing high-quality cannabis or other plants:
Growing Cannabis: Fresh Air
Let’s take a light scientific approach. Plants require both oxygen and carbon dioxide for respiration and the creation of food and sugars.
If you choose to grow outdoors, there’s no question about it. Fresh air is plentiful. But if you grow indoors, you need good air circulation so your plants can breathe naturally.
Fortunately, you solve this with an adequate ventilation system. If you have a small budget you can make do with strategically placed fans. If you have more financial resources at your disposal then invest in a more extensive ventilation system.
Growing Cannabis: Light
Plants rely on light for healthy growth through the process of photosynthesis. For cannabis plants, the more light they receive, the more buds they develop. Like fresh air, outdoor cannabis plants like to receive adequate light. If you are growing indoors, you should think about lights with (at least) 400-600 watts per square meter.
High temperatures are another important factor when growing indoors. Certain lamps, especially HID grow lights, give off a lot of heat. They can damage your buds if you hang them too close to the canopy or if they are too strong.
Growing Cannabis: Water
Water is the life source of every living organism on earth. Weed plants are a fairly rare exception to this because they can survive on little water. They can even die if you water them too much.
The best method to ensure that your plants get the right amount of water is to wait until the substrate has dried out. You can test this by lifting your pots for a moment. If they feel relatively light, then it is probably time for a watering. In any case, don’t water your plants until the first 3 inches of the soil have completely dried out.
When it is time to water your plants, it is best to do so from the bottom. To do this, place the pots on saucers with water. This way the roots can absorb the right amounts of water and nutrient solution.
This process also allows the roots to grow downward, which benefits your plants in the long run. With enough fresh air, water and sunlight, your plants can perform photosynthesis. This speeds up growth.
Growing Cannabis: Nutrients
It is actually your job to provide your plants with nutrients. The basic nutrients are sometimes present in pre-fertilized soil. Sometimes they are mixed into a solution that you give to your plants.
We could write a book on how to properly apply nutrients. We’ll go into this in more detail another time. It is wise to use a complete nutrient solution. With it you only need a single dose to feed your plants for 12 weeks. This is the simplest, most straightforward solution. And who wouldn’t want that?
How Long Does It Take To Grow Weed?
We touched on the growth rate of autoflowering strains above. But in terms of total cultivation time, most strains require at least 3 months before you can harvest them.
Want to know how long it will take you to smoke your grown buds? Count on 3 weeks. 1 week for drying and at least 2 weeks for curing.
To get a better idea of the growth process, you need to know more about the 2 main stages of the cannabis plant life cycle: the vegetative phase and the flowering period. Below you’ll find a brief explanation:
- Vegetative phase: in this period the leaves and stems of the plant become visible. This phase ends when the plant develops male or female sexual characteristics. Once this happens, the next stage begins.
- Flowering stage: this stage begins when the female plants develop white hairs. These are the pistils. Male plants now develop pollen sacs.
What Do You Need To Grow Weed?
Are you planning to grow cannabis yourself? Then you must first decide whether you want to do this indoors or outdoors.
We have already discussed the differences. In short, indoor growing is often a lot more expensive. Think of artificial light, a grow tent, soil, nutrients, gardening tools and possibly also equipment for a hydroponic culture. Let’s discuss in detail what you need for each environment.
- Grow Tent: This is a small, enclosed space where you house all your plants. You can get started if you can fit all your equipment in and provide your plants with enough light.
- Lighting: HID grow lights give you a heavier harvest. But these can also get very hot and damage your plants. LED grow lights are cooler in temperature. They also lead to a less bountiful harvest. You have to decide where your priorities lie.
- Soil and pots: this is the home for your plants and supports the roots. It is best to use pre-fertilized soil. This already contains nutrients. As for the pots, it is best to use textile pots or standard plastic pots.
- Equipment for hydroponics: If you don’t want to grow your plants in soil, then you need to buy equipment for hydroponic cultivation. With this method, you use a concentrated solution of mineral fertilizers that the roots then absorb.
- Water supply: tap water usually contains a lot of chlorine. Rather use filtered water for your beloved cannabis plants.
- Suction: Plants need enough carbon dioxide to grow well. To achieve that, you need a constant, steady flow of air. With an extraction system, you improve air circulation.
- Climate control and monitoring: you control the lighting, CO₂ content, humidity and temperature of your grow room with this. These need to run at a constant speed to optimize the growth of your plants.
- Weatherproof equipment: Mother nature can be very cruel sometimes. So make sure you have extra protection for your plants. Cover them with tarpaulins or put them in a greenhouse.
- Drainage: the roots of your plants are not fond of a surplus of water. A good solution for this is a simple drainage system of gravel.
- Soil: Always use soil that is rich in nutrients. It does not matter whether you plant your plants directly in a garden bed or in a pot.
- Nutrients: just like people, plants also need vitamins. The basic nutrients are more than enough to provide your plants with the necessary nutrients.
- Soil test: a soil test is extremely useful if you would like to know what the quality of the soil is. An added bonus is that it also indicates whether or not your plants need extra water.
- Pots: often Air-Pots are the best choice for growing weed outdoors. These pots naturally “prune” the roots of your plants. This is beneficial to their development.
What Part Of The Weed Plant Can You Smoke?
For some the answer to this question may seem obvious. Yet it is a legitimate question. The answer is simple: the buds are the only smokeable part of the cannabis plant. You do need to dry and cure these buds before you can get high from them. As mentioned earlier, only the female plants produce smokeable buds. If this is your goal, it is important that you use feminized seeds for growing cannabis.
How To Grow | Frequently Asked Questions
What part of the weed plant can you smoke?
You can only smoke the buds and only after drying an curing them.
Which is the biggest benefit of growing outdoors?
The plants can grow much bigger in an outdoor area.
What is the benefit of growing indoors?
The main benefit is that you can control everything.
Can anyone grow cannabis?
Yes, assuming you can provide the right conditions for the plant.
Is it legal to grow cannabis where I live?
In most states it is, but if you want to be sure you can always ask you local authorities.