Growing and cultivating cannabis is an exciting process, whether you’re planning to use it recreationally or for medicinal purposes. Getting the yield you desire is nothing short of rewarding, but it takes a good amount of learning to get there.
Cannabis requires certain conditions to properly flourish and thrive. Knowing how to grow cannabis is a skill that you can learn, but not without the proper preparation and research. Farmers and expert growers have spent years’ worth of research to identify the most efficient growing methods.
While all the information regarding this topic can be overwhelming, let the team at Smokey’s guide you through the basic, but equally important things you need to know before learning how to grow cannabis. From lighting and nutrient needs to power usage, we’ll give you a proper beginner’s learning guide.
Let’s get right down to it.
How to Grow Cannabis: What You Need to Know
If you’ve ever spent time marvelling at the beauty of dried flowers, carefully examining their trichomes and colourful pistils, then you’ve probably wondered about the growing process. Learning is half the battle, and here are some of the most important things you need to know before attempting to successfully grow cannabis.
1. Understand Basic Cannabis Information
Before trying to test how green your thumb is, you would need to acquire a hefty understanding of the cannabis plant, such as life cycles, structures, and nutrient requirements. Here are some quick facts that will serve as a solid learning foundation on how to grow cannabis:
- Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants which can either be female, male or hermaphrodite
- While male plants pollinate female flowers to create new seeds, most growers keep their females unpollinated to produce more attractive buds
- There are three main varieties of cannabis: sativa, indica, and ruderalis, which all vary in effects and morphology
- Indica and sativa varieties are naturally photoperiod plants, which means they flower based on how much light they get
- The main phases to a cannabis life cycle are the:
- Seedling phase;
- Vegetative phase; and
- Flowering phase.
- Cannabis plants grow annually and begin their life cycle between spring and the beginning of summer
- The length of a plant’s life cycle varies between four to 10 months
2. Choose Your Seeds
Possibly the most thrilling part of learning how to grow cannabis is picking the seeds. If you’re growing cannabis for your personal consumption, it is most likely that you will pick something that you truly enjoy smoking. The average temperature of your grow space is also a huge factor in determining which strain best fits your set-up. There are literally thousands of strains and seeds available on the market, so your choices aren’t necessarily slim.
3. Estimate How Much Electricity You Need
Once you have taken the time to understand the cannabis plant, it’s time to figure out how much electricity you’ll need to keep your plants growing at a good running rate. Cannabis plants need a lot of sunlight or artificial growing light (18 hours per day at the minimum). Other than light, you need other electrical equipment such as cooling fans, ballasts, extractors, and more.
To calculate the amount of electricity needed when learning how to grow cannabis, visit this link.
4. Carefully Break Down Costs
We’re not going to lie, growing cannabis can be costly, depending on how professional-looking you want your set-up to be. Most likely, you would need to invest in equipment to ensure a good yield. When learning how to grow cannabis indoors, the equipment needed depends on your skills and the size of your grow. Most indoor growers will need pots, soil, grow accessories, and the following:
- Grow light or lamp
- Grow tent
- Air filters
- Light reflectors
- Small ventilator
- pH meter
While acquiring these can put a dent in your savings account, most of the equipment is reusable. Growers usually make their money back after a few harvests.
5. Learn About Different Growing Methods
When learning how to grow cannabis, it is vital to pick a growing method that will suit your skills the most. The two main types of growing are:
- Soil: Cheap, easy-to-learn, and forgiving; soil is a popular choice for novice growers. There are even pre-fertilized packs of soil available on the market, which allows you to have a good head start as it rids you from worrying about adding nutrients to the soil.
- Hydroponic: Hydroponic became a popular choice because of its “soilless” nature, hence providing cleaner and bigger yields. Plant growth is often faster as hydroponic provides faster growth. Some hydroponic grow materials are: clay pebbles, coco coir, vermiculite, rock wool, and more.
6. Plan Your Grow Space
Learning how to grow cannabis will only work if you have your growing space planned beforehand. First, answer these questions to help you figure out a layout:
- What’s the size of your space?
- Do you want big crops or just several small plants?
- Do you want to use nursery pots or “smart pots?”
Essentially, there are two options for where to grow your plants – indoors or outdoors – and both have pros and cons. Outdoor growing is generally more cost-effective, as it harnesses natural sunlight and breeze. The main con is the lack of control over climate and light exposure.
Indoor growing allows you to operate in stealth mode, and it allows you to have total control over the climate in your grow space. You can adjust the temperature, humidity, and light exposure. Its main downfall is the cost associated with all the required equipment.
7. Learn About Plant Nutrients
When trying to learn how to grow cannabis, it is important to be informed about the most basic nutrients that the plants need to survive. These are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). Apart from these three, cannabis plants thrive well in soil that’s rich in:
Before going too crazy in putting these nutrients into the soil, know the proportions needed. It is best to consult a grow book or a grower friend who has more experience. You will pick up this skill naturally as you study your harvests.
8. Learn Lighting Basics
When learning how to grow cannabis indoors, make sure that your light game is on point. Lighting can easily make or break your plant’s growth, and proper lighting is the beating heart of indoor growing.
9. Know When and How to Harvest
All the hard work and process of learning how to grow cannabis boils down to this precious moment: your first harvest. You would need to know the different harvesting stages and how they affect the potency. Earlier harvested buds have more uplifting effects, while buds that are harvested later can bring in more relaxing effects.
After you’ve collected your buds, it is key to learn how to trim, dry, cure, and store them to ensure that they pack the perfect punch, for the longest period of time. You would want to enjoy the fruits (or shall we say flowers?) of your labour to their maximum!