When thinking about growing your own weed, there is a litany of factors to consider and choices to be made before you even get to germinating the seed. In fact, that is one of the choices: do you want to plant a seedling or transplant a clone?
As we continue, I’ll be giving you the basics on how to grow your own weed — from nutrients to lighting and types of growing set-ups, all the way through the life cycle of a cannabis plant. The female cannabis plant is where the best cannabinoid concentrations arise, so when figuring out how to grow your own weed, it’s important to note that a majority of cannabis seeds and/ or clones are going to be female in gender.
Indoor or Outdoor
Of all the factors to consider when learning how to grow your own weed, the environment you chose to raise your plants should be among the first to consider. Let’s take a look at the things that set these operations apart.
If you are considering growing your own weed outdoors, there is an array of factors you may encounter that just wouldn’t happen in an indoor grow. More glaring: Seasons. Most obscure: gophers. When you grow your own weed, temperature, moisture, and humidity are three major considerations. All three of these factors become less controllable in outdoor grows. Critters, bugs, and other pests exist outdoors that are more controllable in indoor grow operations.
Another factor to consider when deciding how to grow your own weed are the restrictions your home government may have on marijuana and its products. Even in Colorado, where it has been recreationally and medically legalized, there exists regulations regarding the quantity of plants per person that can be grown and about the security and storage of outdoor grown cannabis. In general, growing your own weed outside may be best suited for those who lack indoor space or proper lighting/ ventilation.
When growing your own weed indoors, you can control the environment in a much more calculated way; often increasing plant health, yield, and potency through scrupulous scientific processes. To grow your own weed indoors, there are three major considerations to make:
Like us, plants get vitamins and nutrients from the sun, so if you are considering growing your own weed indoors it is definitely important to ensure you will be able to give your plants adequate light when she needs it. There are several different indoor growing systems that have been developed to meet the different needs of growers, but I like the hybrid system (think greenhouse) for its access to natural sunlight.
The amount of space you have and local, state, or federal regulations will dictate how much of your own weed you can grow. Another factor to consider along with space is type of plant. Indica, for instance, are known to be shorter, broader plants — so knowing the strain and leanings should be calculated into your space requirements.
Finally, ventilation and airflow. Plants build strong roots with exposure to wind and other natural stimulus, so any indoor grow should have the capability to move air around — especially at the vegetative stage. In addition to this, the introduction of Co2 is vital to all indoor grows, as plants breathe Co2. I generally use a burning candle, but you can buy carbon dioxide generators if you are feeling like being more scientific.
The Life Cycle
Learning how to grow your own weed would be utterly incomplete and would likely yield poor results if you had never learned about the life cycle of cannabis plants. While I go over some of the more pertinent details of the stages of marijuana growth and how it effects growing your own weed, I’d like you to start thinking about whether or not you want to grow from seeds or from clones.
- The process of exposing the plant material within the seed to light and moisturize, starting a process of converting sugars into energy that causes the seedling to crack and form the beginning of the root.
- The stage occurring roughly a week after germination, the seedling stage is important when learning how to grown your own weed because it is the stage in which the root really takes hold and the first leaves should begin forming. Lots of light (~18 hours) and consistent, warm temps (68-78 degrees Fahrenheit) should be given to the plant at this stage, as a sturdy root is the crux on which the plant’s success hinders. Can last 3-6 weeks.
- When you grow your own weed, the vegetative stage is when nutrients and fertilizers become most effectively applied (NITROGEN!!!!). The plant will experience upward and outward growth, allowing it to absorb more and more nutrients. This is when it is also good to check for developing or existing fungal or bacterial infections on your plants, as this stage may last up to two months, still using ~18 hours of light, if possible. You can reference common fungal and bacterial infections
- The stage that produces the glorious, aromatic trichome shielded love nugs is known as the flowering stage. When learning how to grow your own weed, this is the stage that you have to remember to change up the lighting. If you have an indoor set-up, changing to infrared light at this time is usually a good idea, while reducing overall exposure to light to just ~12 hours per day is encouraged no matter the environment. The flowering stage, when growing your own weed, takes 6 to 10 weeks and differs drastically based on strain and environment.
Nutrients, Deficiencies, and other Pests
All living things need other things to continue living, and therefore writing a ‘how to grow your own marijuana’ that fails to comment on both what is needed to thrive and the impediments to survival under delivers on its purpose. To start, growing your own weed requires that a near-neutral pH be achieved in whatever medium you decide to grow in. I use soil, but hydroponic systems and other fertilizer systems exist. For reference, pH ranges from acidity and alkalinity, with 1 being most acidic and 14 being most alkaline. Neutral, therefore, is a pH of 7 and that is where cannabis plants achieve the greatest health.
Similarly to how we take vitamins both proactively and reactively — to prevent future deficiencies and disrupt current nutritional outcomes — proper plant nutrition can become a major financial investment when growing your own weed. While there exists a myriad of fertilizers and nutritional supplements for plants, knowing what they are is meaningless if you don’t know how individual nutrients effect your plants. As this is just a beginners’ guild on how to grow your own weed, it isn’t really my interest to go into great detail about each individual possible nutrient that may or may not be deficient. Instead, I have complied a list of nutrients that can cause negative effects on your plants growth in hopes that you use it to ensure you pick an effective soil product or fertilizer.
Table of Common Nutrients
If you are learning how to grow your own weed and you wish to know more about each nutrient, I’ve found a collection of blog posts specific to each nutrient.
Table of Common Pests
|Birds||Cats and dogs||Deer||Gopher or mole|
|Rat or mouse||Ants||Caterpillars||Crickets/ Grasshoppers|
|Fungus Gnats||Snails||Spider Mites||Mealy Bugs|
Similarly, the above table of different bugs and general pests was composed from this guide if you wish to know more about how these pests can get into and effect your crop.
As with much of life, growing your own weed takes a bit of trial and error. Hopefully with this introductory guide, you know a bit more about how to grow your own weed and the life cycle of cannabis plants.
by Joey Wells