Those were the days before the internet boom. I was a bright-eyed youngster falling in love with smoking weed. One fine day I saw a beautiful plant growing on its own in my backyard. You guessed it correctly! It was a cannabis plant. Ah! I will never forget the racing heartbeat and fluttering in my stomach as I ran my fingers over those bright green leaves; I felt like I had conquered the world. I watered it every day with full enthusiasm. Imagine my heartbreak when I saw the leaves drooping within a few days and eventually dying.
Though I now have an awesome growing room where I harvest the most heavenly buds, I can never forget the grief of losing my first cannabis baby. But, my new grower friend, you do not need to worry. As I said before, these are the times of the internet, and information is freely available for any new grower who wants to embark on the fascinating journey of growing cannabis.
I am here to share all my learning from my amazing growing adventure and now, let me talk about some mistakes that most rookie cannabis growers make during their initial days. Let me start without further ado.
Be Informed Before You Begin
As I shared in my story, the cannabis plant can crop up anywhere it finds conditions suitable for growth. However, that does not mean they will be giving you a good harvest. If you accidentally grow a male plant, they won’t give you any buds.
So, before you start your cannabis parenting journey, read up. Begin with knowing about the seeds. From regular to autoflower, regular Indica and Sativa, cannabis seeds are a universe in themselves.
Read about different strains. Each of the strains has its particular characteristics and requirements to produce a desirable harvest. Some might need 12 hours of alternating dark and light periods; some might need more light periods than dark; some strains might do well in cold climates; others might need more warmth. This is true for feeding and watering as well.
Read up to see which strain suits your growing space, conditions, and what sort of taste, smell and potency you are looking for. Knowing in advance the kind of care your plant babies need will also let you plan your time better.
Make sure you buy your seed from a trusted seed bank, shop, or dispensary to know what kind of seed you are buying and what to expect.
Select a Good Medium For Your Plants
The growing medium is super crucial when it comes to influencing the quality of your future harvest. Therefore, if you plan to reuse any potting soil you already have, it is not a good idea. These soils might already be contaminated or, worse, might contain pests.
Airy and light soil is the medium of preference for cannabis plants. Choose the best quality soil available and add a little bit of perlite to it. This would ensure that the roots grow unhindered and there is good drainage in the container. Ensure that your marijuana babies get to feed on top quality soil rich in nutrients.
Ensure That Your Seeds Germinate Properly
Every cannabis grower would agree that nothing beats the joy of seeing tiny seedlings grow into luscious buds right in front of them. To germinate those seeds you have procured, you need to understand the process.
Seeds can either be germinated in paper towels, soil or Rockwool. Some growers also use the glass of water process.
I love germinating my seeds in paper towels. Let me share the easy-peasy process with you. Slightly wet your paper towel and wring the excess water out. Then, place the seeds on the towels and keep them covered in a plastic container. The container must be kept in a warm area devoid of any light. You need to inspect the container daily and if the napkin becomes dry, spritz a little amount of water. When the tiny roots become 1-3 cm in length, they are ready to be placed into a container.
The temperature around the seedlings should be around 21-26 degrees centigrade, and the moisture content must be close to 90%.
Take care not to touch the seeds too much with your hands. This might ruin the possibilities of the seed germinating or growing healthy trichome rich buds.
Stay Discreet About Growing Weed
Growing cannabis is still not legal in many places. There are people (who might be your neighbours) who do not yet accept smoking cannabis. Therefore it is best to tone down your excitement and stay mum about growing weed.
It is best not to publish on social media as well. If your excitement and passion are hard to contain, which is natural, you can make grower friends in the online forums and discuss with them.
Keep pH Levels On Check
Keep track of the plant’s pH levels to stay updated with the nutritional needs of your plants. For this, you can use the basic pH strips commonly available.
The pH level decides how well a plant absorbs the nutrients present in the soil.
If the pH level is optimum, the plant will soak up the nutrient easily. Incorrect pH levels may lead to the plant eventually dying. Therefore, check those levels often. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is great if the soil is your medium. Soilless mediums like coco peat or water need 5.5 to 6.5 pH.
Feed Them Appropriately
A good balance of Phosphorus, Calcium, Nitrogen, Potassium, Sulfur and Magnesium ensure healthy growth for the cannabis plants. It’s best to make a feeding schedule with the correct quantity of nutrients. If you see the leaves become brown from the top, it might signify nutrient burn. It means that you are overfeeding them.
Nutrient pack labels often have feeding instructions. To avoid overfeeding, begin with lower than recommended doses and increase as you observe the results.
The organic nutrient pack from the reputed online marijuana seed bank i49 is the best nutrient for beginners. It contains organic nutrients for all the stages and supports the plants to give off an astonishing harvest.
If you are growing them on the ground, the plants will themselves gather the nourishment they require. But you might require feeding them occasionally.
Harvest At The Appropriate Time
Most new growers become impatient during the months of growing their cannabis plant, and when the buds start to fatten, they often harvest them prematurely. This is something you should not do.
You must allow the plant to grow to its maximum potential. It would be best also to take care not to harvest the plants too late because the buds might start developing a rot.
To understand when your buds are harvest-ready, you need to check the trichomes. Magnifying glasses come in handy, and I personally like the ones with LED lights on them.
It is the right time if all the trichomes have a hazy appearance with a whitish or clear colour. Sometimes they might be clouded with an amber hue. It is the perfect time to get the snipping shears out. If you notice the trichomes turning red or fully amber and no white trichomes are remaining on the flowers, or the leaves are becoming wilted and yellowish, it is too late.
Congratulations! You have now read the most comprehensive article containing everything you need to pay heed to while growing your cannabis. I am sure you cannot wait to put these into practice.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time and suffer heartbreak as I did years ago. That heartbreak was a good one too. It pushed me on my journey of growing my weed. Remember what Leonard Cohen sings, ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Have courage, and get ‘Growing’.