Having an infinite supply of cannabis may be a dream for some, but with the right tools, environment and information, it’s certainly possible!
This guide will walk you through on how to grow cannabis in gardens of any size, scale and application. Keep in mind that these are geared towards both medicinal and recreational marijuana cultivation. Along the way you’ll have the most basic questions, including what kind of cannabis to grow and how to prepare your garden for them, answered here.
Let’s get started.
Step 1 – The Strain
Cannabis plants come in all shapes, sizes and needs, so it makes total sense to think about the type of strain you’d like before anything else.
For one, you’ll have to consider the plant’s size when they’re fully grown. Flowering times, average yield and Short Day versus Long Day varieties must also be factored in.
Do some research on different strains and see which one speaks to you the most. Come up with a checklist and see if you’ll be able to provide for the plant’s training method, nutrition and growing environment. Each of these strains will have their own pros and cons, i.e., Kushes tend to have a bigger footprint but will have a greater yield as compared to Sativas, etc.
After you choose a strain, it’s time to think about your new plant’s housing requirements.
Step 2 – Cannabis Housing
Here’s the next important question – Where will you house your cannabis plants?
There are several options here:
Set Up A Grow Tent
Individuals who want everything done indoors should consider getting a grow tent. With it, you’ll be able to set up shop in the garage, the basement or in any spare room. Grow tents come in several sizes, which means you’ll be able to scale accordingly.
If you’re not handy with tools and DIY stuff, a grow tent works best as you won’t have to mount hanging hooks or drill holes in the walls for your ventilation and lighting. Moreover, you’ll have complete control over the environment as compared to other setups.
Use An Existing Room
Grow rooms will have existing ventilation in the form of windows, power in the form of outlets and lighting. If you have a spare room, a garage, a large closet or a shed that you’re not using, then you can convert it into a grow room.
Setting up shop will be relatively easy. Just bring in the needed equipment, i.e., fans, plant medium and reflective material and you’ll have a garden in no time.
Build A Greenhouse
A greenhouse gives you all the benefits of outdoor environments, including natural light, temperature and ventilation, with options to supplement those elements by artificial means.
Step 3 – The Medium
Where do you want to grow your cannabis? The medium will be dictated by how you intend to feed your plants and the kinds of nutrients you need for them to thrive and be healthy.
Soil. It’s an all-around medium that works on almost all kinds of strains. When you choose soil, you won’t have to worry about nutrients as it’s pretty much loaded by default. You can experiment and come up with your own super mix; from there, just use water all throughout your cannabis plant’s growing phase.
Hydroponics. A soil-less medium that utilizes 100% water. Choosing hydroponics ensure a cleaner setup, and you’ll also have the ability to correct nutritional problems quickly and with little problem than soil medium. Harvest time is significantly shorter than soil as well.
Coco. The in-between of hydroponics and soil. When you choose coco you’ll have a medium that can hold fertilizers for far longer than either soil or hydroponics.
Step 4 – The Grow Lights
Light is an essential part in growing cannabis plants. Thankfully, you’ll have a few choices depending on consumption, energy needs and a few others.
High Intensity Discharge Lights. You’ll be faced with choices such as CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide), HPS (High Pressure Sodium), MH (Metal Halide), and (DE) Double Ended HPS/MH varieties.
T5 Fluorescent Lights. T5 has become a viable alternative for growers who don’t want to experience the bleaching effect with LED lights and for those who don’t want to get hit with a huge energy bill.
LED Lights. Light emitting diodes are cheap and they do a great job in providing light requirements for your cannabis plants. Their spectrum and heat discharge are excellent.
As a side note, it’s important to determine the actual size of your plants when they reach their adult lives as this will determine how much grow light you’ll need to keep your setup viable. You’d want to strike a fine balance between strength and scope, as too strong a light will damage your plants while weak rays won’t help at all.
Step 5 – Your Tools
You now have the gist of what’s needed to grow your own cannabis. Before we get to plant reproduction, let’s discuss the tools you’ll need to make your gardening an enjoyable one.
You’ll need the following:
– Heat thermometer
– PPM and pH meters
– A Hygrometer
Put them all in your gardening kit and you’re ready for the next phase.
Cannabis Source – Seed or Clones?
Growing cannabis can be done either by seed or by cloning.
Starting from seed may be a bit harder (since you’ll be starting life anew), but this kind of experience is a must, especially if you intend to grow cannabis for a long time. With a seed, you can hone in on a particular strain or create your very own, which can be very rewarding and not to mention, profitable.
Seed growing isn’t a necessity but you do gain several benefits from it. One, you can enhance or focus on a strain you like, and two, plants grown from seed are normally more resilient and hardy than cloned ones.
There are three ways on how you can grow cannabis from seed:
– Sowing the seeds on the pot.
– Starting the seeds on plastic cups or starter cells.
– Putting them on paper towels.
Cloning cannabis plants is easy and you’ll have a short turnaround time, which can be good if you want to hit the ground running.
Raising clones may be trickier than seeding, but if you get everything right you’ll have skipped a few growing stages and end up with a plant that’s ready to produce buds. Moreover, cloning gives you an idea of the plant’s strain and genetic makeup, eliminating guesswork along the way.
Here’s how you can start cloning your plants:
– Use a sterilized scalpel and cut a healthy branch in a 90-degree angle.
– Place the clippings in water to prevent air from entering the exposed stem.
– Apply cloning gel and insert them in starter cells, then cover the cannabis plant with a humidity dome.
– Once they reach the appropriate size, transfer to coco or soil medium. Rockwool cells may be used as medium when you’re transferring to hydroponic medium.
Time the transfer right and you’ll have your baby cannabis plants set into their permanent pots during the growth cycle. From there, it’s just a matter of providing the right nutrients, the right lighting and harvesting the buds at the right time.
Are you ready to set up your very own cannabis garden for medical or recreational use? You’ll find it a rewarding experience. Get up, go out and start growing!