Learning how to grow marijuana can get quite complex. You will begin to familiarize yourself with all the different methods of growing. You will come across new worlds full of different benefits and drawbacks! However, improving how to grow marijuana will always go back to your knowledge about the basics. Regardless of what setup you decide to operate, there are some important tips and tricks to carry over.
Cannabis can either be extremely low-maintenance or quite demanding, depending on a number of factors. This is why it is crucial to make sure that you know how to grow marijuana based on what you have or don’t have!
Here is a list of some of the most helpful tips and tricks in the book for beginner cannabis growing! While they may seem pretty simple to some, they are the bedrock of what marijuana growing is today!
Is an Indoor Setup Better Than an Outdoor One?
The longstanding and on-going debate about whether using an indoor garden or an outdoor setup is better for your plants is pretty much a staple in the marijuana scene. As someone who has tackled this topic many times over, the only reasonable answer to such a question is: it depends. It will quite literally depend on your personal preferences along with the conditions that you are able to grow your plant in! You can learn how to grow marijuana using any of the two methods.
There are a lot of differences between the two. But, they are both fully capable of giving you insane amounts of yields! Here are some key features to keep in mind:
- The key component of an indoor setup is the ability to have full control over your growing environments. By using various lighting systems, fans, reflectors, and humidifiers. You can adjust every little detail of the garden to suit your needs. This, of course, comes with a certain disadvantage; setting up an indoor garden may be expensive due to all the equipment that you need to install!
- An indoor cannabis garden can also give much more flexibility with regards to your growing schedules. Using an indoor setup allows you to place a significantly less amount of consideration to the seasons of the year. Since these won’t affect your gardens, it allows you to maximize your time and either shorten or prolong the harvest depending on your choice. Also, plants inside are much more protected from natural calamities and unpredictable fluctuations in the weather.
- Indoor gardens, however, are particularly known to reduce the heights of your plants and yield lower amounts of marijuana buds. Because of the limited spaces compared to outdoors, the area tends to restrict the plant’s growth. This will eventually lead to a smaller yield and overall plant structure.
- Cannabis plants naturally thrive in organic and open spaces. As such, they are pretty much bound to prosper and bloom in a more natural environment such as an outdoor garden! You see, marijuana is indigenous to places that display warm and tropical climates. If you are a grower who lives in such places with these weathers, then an outdoor growing setup is your best bet!
- The open spaces in an outdoor garden give plants more room to expand and grow. As such, you will typically get taller plants that produce more yields as compared to indoor setups. Also, making use of the natural elements such as the sun and fresh air means that you won’t have to spend much on equipment!
- Of course, growing your plants outdoors will also mean that they will be more exposed to the outside elements which aren’t as beneficial. For one, natural calamities can easily destroy your weed crops if they aren’t secured properly. Also, the fluctuations in weather might attract mold development and other diseases in your gardens. And probably the most complex part of setting up an outdoor cannabis garden is having to study and familiarize yourself with the different seasons in your areas! This will come in handy especially since different times of the year will mean different numbers of hours of sunlight and darkness.
Always Start With Good Genetics
Here’s a pretty straightforward fact for you guys: Your marijuana plants will only be as good as your seeds allow them to be. It’s a simple concept to understand that high quality plants come from high quality seeds! As such, it is very important to make sure that you cultivate fresh, healthy, and mature weed seeds. The result of how to grow marijuana rests in the quality of the seeds that you procure.
You can judge the quality of seeds by the way that they feel and look. Healthy seeds will usually have a black or dark brown color. Their shell will also feel firm and hard to the touch. Healthy seeds also have a shiny, waxy coating that make them feel quite slippery but firm. Greenish and/or white seeds that are still soft are too young and immature to plant.
Float test: One way of making sure that you have healthy seeds is by placing them into the water for a good hour or two. Any seeds that are floating indicates that they are unfit for cultivation.
Choose a Proper Lighting System to Grow Marijuana
Because of the natural and organic elements, sunlight still holds the top spot for a great cannabis garden. However, many growers (especially those with indoor setups) might need to have a few other lighting sources. This is to fully provide the ample amount of light that cannabis plants need. As such, they will have some options for the type of lights that they use.
- Fluorescent Bulbs – These are relatively cheap and great for beginner growers. While they can provide a decent amount of light spectrums to a small area of plants, you might need a substantial amount of them for bigger gardens. They also do not last as long because of the heat that they tend to induce.
- High Intensity Discharge Bulbs (HID) – These industrial types of lights are much more durable and efficient in saving energy. They last for long periods of time and give off extremely bright lights that are good for a sizable garden. HID lights are also known to produce the most buds out of all the different light sources. They can, however, get quite hot which may burn your plants if left unmanaged.
- Light Emitting Diode Bulbs (LED) – LED lights are the newest kind of grow lights for cannabis gardens. Their built-in cooling systems ensure that your plants are exposed to minimal heat. Additionally, LED lights can cover a wide area. This means that you will only need a few panels for a big garden. They will, however, have expensive costs.
Know the Different Stages of the Plant’s Life
Each stage of the cannabis plant’s life will demand different amounts of darkness, light, nutrients, and proper growing techniques! As such, knowing what the plants are going through can help you adjust your gardens and provide the plants with what they need. Here are the four (4) main stages of a cannabis plant’s life!
- Seed Germination (2 to 7 days) – This is when cannabis plants make the transition from hibernating seeds to young plant organisms! As the stage that marks the beginning of their lives, they will need extra care during germination. Provide them with a dry, dark place that will allow them to sprout. Also, regularly keep them moist regardless of what germination method you choose.
- Seedling Stage (2 to 3 weeks) After the seeds germinate, your plant grows into something that resembles more of a plant. This is referred to as the seedling stage. During this time, the marijuana seedling will begin to produce the leaves and branches of the plant, setting the framework for your cannabis plant’s overall structure. The main concern during this stage is its high susceptibility to mold development. Make sure you keep the plants away from damp areas. Provide them with about 14 hours of sunlight a day. Also, make sure not to overwater the roots!
The Other 2 Stages
- Vegetative Stage (4 to 16 weeks) – As the seedling stage jumpstarts the development process of the plant structure, the vegetative stage is where things really start to strengthen. The vegetative stage is when the plants fully develop their leaves as well as establish the roots deep into the growing medium. This is also when regular seeds display their pre-flowers, which you will have to look out for when separating the males and females. Give the plants a 16:8 ratio of light and darkness as they will need the light’s energy in order to fully develop.
- Flowering Stage (7 to 12 weeks) – After the plant’s structure is fully developed, they will subsequently shift their focus to the development of marijuana buds. A standard 12:12 ratio of light and darkness will suffice for almost every strain, but this will also depend on its resistance to molds.
Growing Medium and Nutrients are a Must!
Lastly, the growing medium that you use along with the nutrients that you provide will all provide significant benefits to your gardens! They are usually used in order to boost the overall growth of your plants as well as maximize the performance of your substrate.
For the growing medium, you choose either a soil-based growing medium or a soilless approach such as hydroponics. We recommend using the traditional way of growing, which is through soil, for beginners who are just starting with their cannabis crops. If you have the capital and expertise to operate soilless gardens like a hydroponics system, then they will undoubtedly give you much higher yields and better overall buds!
What About Nutrients?
As for the nutrients, we have the macronutrients which are the primary essentials for your marijuana plants. These consist of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. The amounts in which they come are often referred to as NPK Ratios and will differ with each stage of the cannabis plant’s life. Vegetative stages will demand higher nitrogen and potassium. On the other hand, the flowering stages will need more phosphorus as well as potassium to handle the production of buds!
Micronutrients are secondary nutrients that can boost the growth and development of your plants. While they aren’t necessary, growers still provide them for an additional amendment. These micronutrients are: sulfur, calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, and iron among others.
Cannabis plants can be pretty easy to grow once you get use to the whole process! As you begin to do it more and more, you will notice yourself having a feel of the basic do’s and don’ts of how to grow marijuana plants!
No matter how experienced you are in how to grow marijuana plants, you will still need to adhere to these basic concepts for a better performance in your gardens!