Growing Cannabis 101: Your Guide

Growing Cannabis 101: Your Guide to Making Marijuana

If you're in a state that has legalized marijuana, congratulations. Growing weed is the perfect quarantine activity. It's a much more fun hobby than just growing zucchini.  However, it can also be a bit tricky. Here's everything you need to know to start off growing cannabis.

How to grow Marijuana

Decide On a Space

Marijuana is a hardy plant, hence the term weed. It can grow in a variety of spaces, from inside under grow lights to outside using natural lights. Even if you don't get your space perfect you will still probably be rewarded with some buds.

If you're growing cannabis outside, you will need less equipment but a lot of space. Needless to say, if your state has yet to legalize weed do not grow outside. Growing outside will also limit your growing season, and have far more variables beyond your control.

If you grow inside, you will need a set of grow lights and possibly a grow tent. You will also need to get a set of pots for each stage of your plant's life. The good thing is that you will be able to reuse these things for many harvests to come.

You could also consider hydroponic growing, which is a bit more complicated.

Growing outside you'll need a way to deal with pests, plenty of soul and fertilizer, and possibly a scrogg net. A scrogg net is a net found at most garden stores that can keep all limbs of a plant facing the sky. This means a higher yield of buds, which grow best at the top of your plant.

You will also want to pick a strain of seeds that will grow best either indoor or outdoor.

Germination

No matter where you grow your plants, you will need to start indoors with germination. There are tons of methods. The most common is to place your seeds between damp paper towels until you see roots begin to sprout.

You can also punch holes in a red solo cup, then place seeds covered with a little soil in them. Make sure they stay damp and wait for their roots in this method as well.

germinations should only take a few days, then you'll be on to the next step.

Vegging State

Once you see sprouts, you will want to put your seeds into their first pot. This includes if you're planning to grow them in the ground since your plants will not be big enough yet. You'll want a pot under a gallon for this step.

You will want to get them gradually bigger pots every week or so.

This is also when you'll want to get serious about fertilizing your plants. Read the instructions on your fertilizer carefully and make sure you use the right dilution.

If you're planting inside using a grow light, be careful not to keep the light too close as it could burn your young plants. If you're planting outside, make sure it's not too early in spring so that you will not get a frost.

Your plants will be in this stage for about a month.

Transfer to Flowering Pots

This is the stage when you give your plant plenty of space, light, and nutrients so that it will begin to flower. You'll want to adjust grow lights to their pre-flowering settings and transfer the plants to a pot at least twice as big as the ones they are in at their vegging state.

Pre-Flowering Stage

Unless you chose all-female seeds, this is the stage when your plants will show their sex. You should see two hair-like strands at the base of your plant. This will mean that your plant is female and preparing to flower.

A plant with two small balls at the bottom is male and should be discarded or used for seeds.

At this point, you will switch to your flowering support fertilizer. Your plant will grow rapidly, stretching out to get the most sunlight. If you're growing outside you may want to put up your scrog net to keep your plants maximally upright.

You should try to move any buds that get shaded by other leaves and buds to make sure that you get the most yield.

This may be the stage when you need to start seriously investing in pest control if you're growing marijuana outside. A lot of growers swear by apple cider vinegar as a general cure, but specific pests will require more research. They will vary heavily by region and growing year.

While growing organic weed is a noble goal, remember a lot of organic pest control options are just the same chemicals as the big names but derived from a different source. It can also make growing a lot less efficient if you're devoting a lot of water and fertilizer to plants that mostly get eaten by slugs.

Flowering Stage

Once you see white hairs on your plants, this means they're about to develop flowers. you will want to spray them with a flower stimulant and switch to a fertilizer meant to promote flowers. Use the stimulant until the flowers begin to grow.

This should be the final pot that your plant is in, so you get to say goodbye to frequent repotting.

The Fattening Stage

To get the most out of your plants, it is important not to harvest too early. While your seed packet can give you an idea of how long it will take from flowering to harvest, it is also important to factor in if you're growing inside with a grow light. This can take a few weeks longer.

It is best to wait until they have no white hairs left. The old ones will have turned brown and there will not be any new ones coming in.

This stage may last 2-3 months but depends heavily on the strain. Be sure to check the back of the package for a better idea of how long to expect.

The Harvest

It is important to flush out your plants so you don't end up with a lot of fertilizer in them. Stop giving them fertilizer for a few weeks and give them only plain water. They may start to look a little rough, but that's totally normal. Then they will be ready to be cut and prepared for the drying stages.

One thing to note is that harvest time can change the effects of the eventual high. Harvesting early can make for a very intense and sometimes anxiety-inducing high, while a late harvest can make the buzz sleep-inducing. YOu will probably want to research exactly when is the best time to harvest your particular variant. It will also come down to personal preference.

This is another step of growing that you will get a feel for after you've grown a few times and gotten to try out various strains and harvest times.

Drying and Curing Your Cannabis

Now you need to dry out your cannabis. You will want to hang the whole plant upside down away from heat, sunlight, and wind.

Drying your cannabis can be tricky and may take a few tries to get down. Ideally, your cannabis is dried enough that once put into an airtight jar the buds will get evenly soft again. If it gets far too wet you'll need to take it out and dry it out again.

After this, you might want to consider curing your weed. This is a simple process to ensure you have the highest quality weed. It is more effective at getting rid of chlorophyll, which can cause an off taste, than simply drying your cannabis.

If it is all lightly soft, open the jar for five minutes a day until it gets crispy again. This should take about a week. Then you'll have the highest quality recreational cannabis around.

Using Your Recreational Marijuana

Now is when you finally get to enjoy the spoils of your harvest. You can grind up your weed to use it any of the ways you normally enjoy cannabis, like a bong or a hookah.

However, if you want to make edibles you will want to get it ready to be baked and infused. If you want to prepare your plant for this I recommend using this decarboxylation guide that will help you get the most out of the plants you worked so hard for. decarboxylation is a great way to use your weed in a variety of fun ways.

Edibles make a great gift for boring quarantine birthdays. It's much more fun than a normal birthday cake, and once it's your own homegrown weed, you get to brag about making everything from scratch.

Basics of Growing Cannabis

Cannabis can be a fun and rewarding hobby to get into. Don't get discouraged if it takes a few harvests to really hit your stride and get the most out of growing cannabis. If you want to learn more please keep reading. There are lots of great weed tips out there.

Funny Marijuana Cartoon

• Meet the Author • Julius Rogers


Julius Rogers is a health freak and loves to pen health articles that teach, educate, and entertain. He writes health information at various health outlets. Be sure to check out his other ventures!


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