How to grow weed at home – basic overview
Then this article is just for you. Today we will elaborate of marijuana culture technique; indeed, this process is simple, and cultivation of cannabis at home is easy enough, the main thing is to have a desire and learn the required information. The selection and arrangement of a room is also required for cultivation. But first things first.
Such plant as cannabis has a lot of other names – weed, marijuana, flower bud etc. Such weed is cultivated and dried using a special method. Eventually, the weed is used for evaporation, smoking and application for food. Quite often, cannabis is used for medical and therapeutic purposes. The plant can be cultivated in different conditions, so, it can be found throughout the world. By cultivating marijuana, you can save the money, time, and amuse yourself.
The advantages of individual cannabis cultivation
- Time and money savingsThe individual marijuana cultivation is actually more efficient than purchasing it.
- Application in medicine. The patient doesn’t have to search for the medical grass for a long time, spend time and efforts.
- The required amount of weed will be available anytime.
- Conspiration and safety You will not have to bring the marijuana into the houses raising the suspicions of wider public or buy it from unverified persons.
- Possibility of individual cultivation for different strains of high-quality cannabis.
How long should cannabis be grown before harvesting?
Most of cannabis strains are grown during 3 months and more. The terms depend on the strains of cultivated cannabis. The picked flower buds should be dried for 7 days. The cannabis dried for more than 2 weeks has higher quality. The cultivating and manufacturing medical cannabis includes the following steps:
- Cultivation, requiring correct fertilization of plant, irrigation by pure water, etc.;
- After 3 or more months, the plant is ready for harvesting: the plant or stick from the main trunk can be hacked;
- Cutting of inflorescences and leaves;
- Drying of grass. This process should be performed in a dark room at 18°С – 25°С and 50% – 60% humidity;
- Grass curing;
- Fundamentals of cannabis cultivation
What do you need to pay attention for growing weed indoors?
1. Select a room/place where the cannabis will be cultivated.
First, it is necessary to prepare the proper space fitted ideally for growing marijuana. For instance, the grass can be grown in a reserved room or a half-finished basement. But remember that the selected space should be fitted to the maximum. So, proceeding to the space planning, take into account the area of the space where the plants would be grown. The room also should have the space for laying various communications and place of work. During blossom, the cannabis can go up in size two or even three times. So, this should also be taken into account, and a room of proper area should be selected.
The cleanliness of the room is also important. The room or basement should be easy for cleaning and disinfection. The room where cannabis is grown should be swept regularly. It is also important to care for light tightness of the room. Otherwise, the risk of growth of male flowers increases. The following criteria will help properly select an ideal room for growing marijuana:
- The room should be convenient to the maximum extent possible. This criterion is very important since you will have to watch the plant every day. So, the access to the room should be simple and easy enough.
- Temperature and humidity. The room should not be too hot or moist. We recommend selecting the place with dry air with easy access to fresh air.
- Safety. Select a room which would not attract the unnecessary attention of importunate neighbours and strangers.
This factor is of great importance for cultivating cannabis since it influences the quality and yield. We strongly recommend selecting and installing a lighting system of the highest quality possible. The following types of lights are used frequently for lighting in the rooms for cultivating cannabis:
HID grow lights
They relate to the high-intensity grade. These light sources are most efficient. Their cost is an order of magnitude greater, than the prices for conventional incandescent lamps or luminescent lamps. But HID lamps produce much more light. These types of light sources are divided into two types: metal halogenids (МН) and high pressure sodium (HPS). The first type is used during the vegetative growth, and the second – during flowering.
Fluorescent Lamps. T5 high-output (HO) lamps are quite popular. These types became quite popular with the following properties:
- The fluorescent tube lamps can be set up easily;
- They are cheap;
- No need to install the cooling system because the lamps don’t produce much heat.
- It should be noted that the fluorescent tube lamps have a substantial defect – they are less effective and produce 20%-30% less of light.
LED lamps for weed growing
LED lighting systems are produced for quite a long time, but only recently they have been adapted for cultivating plants indoors. The main disadvantage of these lamps is their high cost which can be 10 times higher than that of HID-based lighting systems. The main advantages of LED lamps are as follows:
- They produce less heat;
- Their operation time is long enough;
- They reduce energy consumption;
- They irradiate the full spectrum light which improves the harvest and its quality.
When selecting LED light source, you should act responsibly since some unfair manufacturers produce low-quality LED lamps. So, before buying the lamps, take a close look at the product overview of the company and customer reviews.
Inductive lighting fixtures. Just like LED lamps, they have been represented at the market long enough. However, they have only recently been adapted for cultivating plants indoors. This type has higher efficiency and longer service life.
3. Ventilation – weed needs fresh air
Fresh air intake is required for good and fruitful growth of plants. Moreover, carbon dioxide promotes photosynthesis. So, it is very important to organize the constant air flow which would circulate through the plant cultivation chamber. The constant air intake can be organized using a special air exhauster installed in the upper part of the room. The air exhauster will remove warm air. Make an inlet opening opposite to the air exhauster, closer to the floor.
The temperature for weed growing in the room should be controlled regularly; it should be within the following limits:
- 21°C to 26°С with the lights on;
- 17°C to 21°С with the light off.
It should be known that each strain of cannabis seed is preferably to be grown at a certain temperature. For instance, Indica is preferably cultivated at low temperature. The dimensions of the air exhauster should match to the room area where the cannabis is grown. The amount of heat emitted by the light sources should also be taken into account.
We strongly recommend setting up the lighting system properly and setting the specific interval for lamps to switch on and off. It is also necessary to make a decision on the air exchange rate required to ensure the comfortable temperature in the room. These investigations will allow to select the proper model of air exhauster corresponding to your needs. You can remove the odour of flowering weed using a carbon filter built into the air exhauster.
The completely air-tight room supporting the artificial environment can be provided using an air conditioner, a drier and an auxiliary СО2 control system. However, this requires large investments. The artificial environment is capable of creating constant light wind in the room which will promote the strengthening of plant culms and fight against possible occurrence of mold and other blasts.
4. Think about process automation.
Having installed lighting and climate-control systems, you should automate the operation of these systems. Beginners should use the 24-hour timer regulating the operation of the lighting and an adjustable thermostat which will set the operating cycle of the air exhauster. During the vegetative growth of cannabis, it is recommended to keep the light on during 16 to 20 hours. Then it should work in 12 hours day/night mode. This way the plant can start flowering.
The timer can also set the operation time of the air exhauster. Conventional thermostats should be installed at standard models of air exhausters, and the desired temperature to be maintained in the room should be set at the thermostats. When the room temperature increases, the timer would start and cool the air to set point. This would save energy, ensure constant room temperature and increase significantly the yield.
It does no harm to acquire a pH meter which can be used to control рН level of water, cultural solution or soil. The рН level for cultivating marijuana should be as follows:
soil –6 to 7
hydroponic medium –5.5 to 6.5
5. Soil and pH control
Higher or lower рН level will lead to lower nutrient consumption, which will affect the plants that will not receive the required microelements. So, we recommend to measure regularly the рН factor of water, soil and nutrient mixture used for fertilization of plants.Growth medium for cannabis. Cannabis can be cultivated indoors using various tanks. For example, using conventional vases filled with soil, or mineral wool and located in the hydroponic trays. Each growing medium has its advantages and disadvantages:
Most frequently, cannabis is grown indoors using conventional soil. This environment is deemed most supposed as most gentle. High quality soil intended for plants cultivation should be selected. However, prior to purchasing, make sure that the soil does not contain any artificial fertilizers which negatively affect the quality of weed
We recommend to beginners to buy the organic soil which has been preliminarily fertilized and enriched with nutritive substances. Conventional soil can also be used, which later should be fertilized with necessary nutrient mixtures. In addition, soil fertilization of soil should be performed periodically, due to the fatigue of soil.
Hydroponic growing medium. In this case, special mineral wool, vermiculite, keramzit, perlite, coconut fibres and other materials are used for cultivating cannabis. These media are available to various buyers, so each consumer can easily buy them. Hydroponic growing medium is non-hermetic; it can be used in special units or in stand-alone containers where the manual irrigation is provided.
6. Vessels for cultivation weed
When selecting a vessel for cultivating cannabis, it is necessary to consider the environment where you plan to grow the grass as well as the system, and sizes of the plants. Using the hydroponic system consisting of a tray and a drip pan, you may use the small yet necessarily clean vases. The vases should be filled with pebbles of clay, or special slab manufactured of mineral wool should be placed in them. More cost-effective ways of housings include perforated plastic bags or fabric bags.
The most of beginners start cultivating cannabis in 19-liter buckets. Special attention should be paid to the drainage because cannabis is quite sensitive to damp conditions. When re-using containers, don’t forget to make a hole at the vase bottom before installing it in the tray/
Most of cannabis strains are grown during 3 months and more. The terms depend on the strain of cultivated cannabis. The picked flower buds should be dried for 7 days. The cannabis dried for more than 2 weeks has higher quality. The cultivation and manufacturing of medical cannabis includes the following steps:
- Cultivation, requires proper fertilization of plant, irrigation by pure water, etc.;
- After 3 or more months, the plant is ready for harvesting: the plant or stick from the main trunk can be hacked;
- Cutting inflorescences and leaves;
- Drying grass. This process should be performed in a dark room at 18°С-25°С and 50%-60% humidity;
- Grass curing;
What is the beginners’ common mistake?
Most beginners make mistakes during the cultivation of cannabis that are connected with lack of experience of “gardener” eager to conduct experiments on plants which are completely counterproductive, or even destroy the plants. So, before you decide to use new technologies of plant cultivation, check recent lessons learned on the Internet. Why run experiments on your own plants when somebody else had done it already and shared their experience with others? Do not cultivate cannabis in common soil because it is undersaturated with efficient microelements. A few beginners also know that plants should not be fertilized during flowering because it may damage the plant and reduce the harvest.
Gather your first harvest before running experiments
The main mistake of beginners is that they start cultivating cannabis without studying and do not learn the rules for handling these plants. If you don’t want to ruin all the harvest of cannabis
We recommend reading carefully this article and not running any experiments on your plants for no reason. In addition, beginners should watch carefully and maintain the required рН level, so the plant would receive the micronutrient elements on time, which increases the level of yielding capacity.
Having studied the information about the weed growing, you can be successful in this business and have a higher chance to receive the sprouts of plant of needed sex. In addition, proper care may reduce the share of lost plants. By strictly following all existing rules, you can gather the first sprouts of plant of remarkably high quality. Further, we continue to discuss the key topics which will be interesting to people who start cultivating cannabis.
General processes in weed growing where you should be expert in
1. How to select the seeds of cannabis?
There are about 400 unique assortments of cannabis at the present time. They differ from each other in growing methods, flowering period and yield. The following sorts of cannabis are grown most frequently:
- Cannabis Indica – it has the wide teal leaves and strong knotted culms. The seeds produce dense and strong sprouts. This strain of weed causes the sedation, smoothly submerging into a relaxed state. Native lands of Cannabis Indica are India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Northern Africa. Usually, the plant height is 150 cm, so it is ideal for indoor cultivation even if your growing room is small in size. The plants of this strain discharge a large amount of tar sticks which is used for manufacturing hashish. This sort has 6-10 week-long stage of flowering;
- Cannabis Sativa. The seeds of this strain can produce a high dioecious plant whose root system may reach 2 and more meters. The plant may reach up to 6 meters in height. Cannabis Sativa has long thin leaves. The flowering period of this plant doesn’t exceed 15 weeks. This strain of cannabis is spread in Mexico, Africa, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand, South India and Hawaiian Islands. The effect of this strain is characterized by operatic leap of euphory. Using the Cannabis Sativa, you will experience a surge of energy and vivacity. The plant is unbelievably resistant to high temperatures but vulnerable to cold;
- Ruderalis is the strain of agrestal cannabis. It grows in Siberia and other regions of the Russian Federation. The height of plant does not exceed 70 cm. This sort is deemed technical because it practically does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in practical terms. This strain has a unique property: short vegetative growth stage which is practically absent for this strain of cannabis. This feature was not ignored by plant breeders who introduced new strains of cannabis endowed with auto blossoming with a short life cycle. Additionally, Ruderalis sort is unbelievably “hardy”: it is resistant to frost and various diseases.
At present, it is quite difficult to find pure strains of Indica or Sativa. That is because various plant breeders crossed these strains to get unique hybrids. So, today you can find various shops selling cannabis seeds of hybrids consisting of 80% of Indica, 20%, Sativa, and a small share of Ruderalis which makes the plant steadier and stronger. Such mixture also alters the effect of use. For instance, after using this cannabis a person will sense the operatic euphory at first, and then will dive into the world of dreams and appeasement.
2. Which strain to select?
Thanks to the people whose activities relate directly to cannabis reproduction, today it is possible to use following feminized, auto-blossoming and regular strains of the plant. We’ll discuss each strain further.
Feminized sorts seeds are produced solely by female plants. By setting these seeds, you don’t have to fight against male plants; instead, you can just grow unfertilized female plants. However, in some cases, there can be digamous seeds having both male and female organs of reproduction. The digamous plants may occur due to temperature fluctuations, incorrect trimming or excessive fertilization by microelements.
The advantages of feminized seeds are as follows:
- They can be used for producing 100% female plants of cannabis; the quality of product is not inferior to regular sorts;
- They have high immunity, more mildew-proof and resistant to various blasts;
- They have high yielding capacity.
The only shortcoming of such seeds of cannabis is that this sort can’t produce the seeds because male plants able to pollinize the sensimilya (sin semilla) are not grown.
The auto-blossoming seeds have almost no boring phase of vegetative growth, therefore, their entire life cycle is 55 to 80 days. These seeds also have high immunity which helps them to resist fungic diseases and mildew. The advantages of auto-blossoming strains are:
- The short life cycle of auto-blossoming seeds allows to gather two harvests per season;
- The plants are sufficiently compact: their height does not exceed 100 cm;
- Plant have high immunity and are resistant to various types of diseases. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that genes of auto-blossoming sorts contain the legendary sorts and Ruderalis.
We also should mention the negative sides of auto-blossoming sorts. Firstly, these sorts can’t grow many inflorescences. Due to this feature, the yielding capacity of plants is not high. Secondly, you can get only 30-80 grams of resinous inflorescences from one plant, while other sorts produce up to 200 grams of such inflorescences. Thirdly, the presence of the Ruderalis gene is reflected by the level of tetrahydrocannabinol contained in auto-flowers.
Regular strains are supposed as classic. Growing such plants makes it possible to get personal seeds because the Ruderalis sort provides the male and female plants. In this case, the proportion of male and female plants may vary significantly. For example, 80% of female and 20% of male plants, or vice versa. We recommend to shrug off the male plants right away at first sex expression to get female plants only. Blossoming of such sorts begins when the light part of the day starts to reduce. So, when growing cannabis indoors, it becomes possible to control blossoming start time by adjusting the lighting regime as required.
We recommend buying high-quality seeds of cannabis directly from manufacturers. If you decide to buy the seeds at a web store, you should approach this issue very seriously. You should confide solely in verified vendors or private hemp growers which vouch for their production. By ordering the seeds in well-known seed banks located at the Netherlands, you risk to lose your parcel because such parcels are the subject to additional control at the customs.
3. Cannabis cloning
Cloning cannabis allows to get a new plant strain free of charge, quickly and independently. A clone of a marijuana plant represents a tiller cut off from the trunk and rooted, taken from the maternal plant. As a result, plant breeders receive a plant whose genetics is identical to the maternal plant. However, to receive a root for culm, it is necessary to initiate the special conditions for future clone. Cloning of cannabis has positive and negative sides, but we will discuss them later.
Advantages of cannabis cloning
Cloning the determined strain of cannabis, you can know its properties and peculiarities in advance. This feature is important for plant breeders engaged in breeding new sorts of marijuana. In addition, cloning affords the simultaneous growing of several plants-clones which is very convenient and allows minimizing the investments in new bushes. Clones can be obtained in any period of maternal plant’s life cycle. The advantages of cannabis cloning also include the possibility of clone replanting after its rooting. The plant breeder will not have to germinate the seeds, so you can reduce the time for plant receiving.
The following shortcomings of marijuana cloning should also be taken into account:
- Cloned sprouts grow slower than the maternal plant;
- The clone outrides the influence of banes worse. So, the plant breeders will have to spend more efforts on the plants, ensure high-quality lighting, control humidity and temperature in the room as well as fertilize on time and watch the рН balance of cannabis;
- Clone plants are less resistant to attacks of insalubrious insects. So, plant clones detached from maternal plant clones should be processed by special and protective compositions.
The cloning process begins with the preparation of the maternal plant. So, a week before the procedure, you should stop using any fertilizers and spray the leaves of the maternal plant with ordinary water once on every other day. You also should prepare the cube from foam, vessels for growing clones, sharp and disinfected knife, a special gel (repairing the sprigs at the place of cut) and energy-efficient lamps.
Which are the stages of cannabis cloning?
- Place the cube from foam into the water. This process will help to prepare the place for the sprig.
- Cut the lower branches from the maternal plant using the germless sharp knife. The angle of shear should be 45°. Whereby, the length of sprout should be 10-20 сm.
- Put the cutaway culm into the special gel or water. It should be done quickly to prevent air ingress into the plant tissues. Cut the small leaves present beneath using the scissors, then all energy will be directed to the development of the root system.
- Treat carefully all culm of the cut branch with the special gel for cloning.
- Then, place the sprig into the cube for germination pre-soaked with water.
- Then place the cube with the branch into a vase. Watch the level of moisture in the cube, since over-drying is unacceptable.
Then you will have to create good conditions to stimulate the growth and development of the clone. Firstly, the cloned plant should be irrigated regularly. Use a sprinkler filled with water of 20°С-22°С for this. Secondly, you should set a lighting regime properly. Use the light sources emitting soft lighting in the blue section of the spectrum. Such radiance will stimulate the strengthening of the plant which will grow faster. Thirdly, it is necessary to maintain the comfortable temperature in the room, which should not be lower than 22°С or higher than 26°С.
4. Selection of space for cannabis cultivation.
Marijuana may be grown both outdoors and indoors. Deciding on the place for the future plantation, it is necessary to consider various crucial aspects and factors. If you live in a town, then, clearly, plants should be grown in an enclosed space. If you live away from a town and your cottage is located far from other houses, then you can cultivate the bushes of cannabis outdoors. If you had not yet decided on the location of your plantation, you should take a close look at all advantages and shortcomings of both environments.
Cultivation of cannabis indoors.
When growing the cannabis indoors, you can place the plantation in a basement, room, garret and even in a case or an old refrigerator. An ideal place may be a growing room, a growing house or a garage. Select a room which will be difficult to access for intruders and domestic animals. If the room has windows, you should ensure that they would not be overlooked from the street.
In growing cannabis indoors, it becomes possible to control the growth of bushes and provide proper care for them. Cannabis plants will feel comfortable to the maximum extent in a 1,5х2 m room. A sodium or metal halide lamp of up to 1000 W power should be used for lighting the space. Smaller areas can be illuminated by fluorescent, sodium or metal halide lamps of 400 W power. You should remember that proper conditions for cultivating cannabis have a direct effect on the harvest.
The optimum temperature of air should also be maintained in the room for growing marijuana. Young bushes like warmth, so the temperature should be within a range from 20°C to 30°С. More mature plants at the stage of budding or flowering should be at 18°C to 26°С. The best thing is to use special timers which will activate the air exhauster or conditioner in case of temperature increase/decrease. So, the required temperature of air in the room will be maintained.
Cultivation of cannabis outdoors.
Most specialists engaged in cultivation of cannabis confirm that such a plant should better be grown on large land plots. However, bushes of cannabis should be grown outdoors away from unnecessary eyes and other people’s dwellings. This method of marijuana cultivation provides a lot of benefits. Firstly, you won’t have to arrange any ventilation or lighting system. Secondly, you should arrange a sprinkling system. Thirdly, you should think of a method of getting out from any force majeure situation. Fourthly, you should arrange safe delivery of the harvest to your place of living. Fifthly, you should protect the bushes of cannabis from unwanted guests: insalubrious insects and thieves.
Having selected a sort of cannabis optimal for open-air conditions sort and having determined the comfortable environment for cultivation, you can reduce significantly the expenses, since the sun rays and nature will take care of the plant and will do for you the lion’s share of work. However, unfortunately, the environment is not always ideal. You will have to watch soil moisture level and irrigate the bushes in due time during rainless hot summer. The plants should also be protected from excessive humidifying, which can result in case of intensive precipitations.
Bushes of cannabis are sensitive to extremely high or low temperatures. If it is hot for you, it is also hot for your plants. The same goes for cold: if you begin to freeze, then the bushes will, too. Overcooling may lead to the loss of plants. Building and equipping a growing house for cannabis is desirable in those territories where the weather changes and temperature increase or decrease is possible.
Hemp growers who decided to grow cannabis outdoors spend fewer money because they don’t use lighting and electricity. They should select a vantage land plot with good-quality soil and access to sunlight for cultivating bushes. However, the challenge is that a hidden place for growing cannabis is not all that easy to find. In addition, the plant should receive the sunlight every day for 8 hours and more.
Growing the plant indoors, you should make certain investments in the equipment of the ventilation and lighting systems, purchase various equipment, lighting fixtures, and consumables. The amount of investments also depends on the scale of the plantation. If you plan to arrange a room of premium grade, you should be ready to cough up. Anyway, the investments will begin to repay after 3 to 7 months.
The roots of cannabis will be in the vegetative environment throughout the growth cycle. Coconut fibres,
mineral wool and other materials can be used as the growth medium. If we want to have strong and ramp bushes of marijuana, they should be set out in high-quality environment, irrigated regularly, oxygenated and fertilized with nutritive substances. Most frequently, cannabis is grown in one of three medium: soil-based, soilless mixes, and water (hydroponics).
Soil-based mixes. Such an environment, thanks to its naturalness, accessibility and ease of use, is the most popular among hemp growers. High-quality soil initially contains the necessary amount of mineral substances, so you will not have to fertilize the plant during the first weeks of cultivation. Sterile arenaceous substrate will be best of all for growing cannabis. Such mixes are known as “organic”. They excellently match the mixtures of small white stones called perlite.
Soil-based mixes have their own disadvantages: plants grow slower than in coco sawdust or a hydroponic system. However, the resulting endo of cannabis have stronger aroma and flavour. The compost is a good fertilizer, when a possibility for creating an ecosystem from microorganisms useful for plant exists. The nutritive substances will decompose slowly delivering the necessary microelements directly to the root system of the plant. Disadvantages of active soil fertilized by compost include: foul smell and slow growth of bushes.
Soilless mediums – coconut fibres.Such mixtures can consist of perlite, coconut fibres, moss (sphagnum), mineral wool and vermiculite. The plant set out in such an environment requires the same care as in case with soil-based mixes. The only difference consists in that the necessary microelements will be delivered to the root system by water mixed with fertilizers. Cannabis grows in such mediums more quickly, so, you can gather a richer harvest of cones.
A mixture combining perlite and coconut fibres showed itself from the optimum side. Growing the weed in such an environment you will achieve excellent results and heavy yields. It should be noted that coconut fibres and perlite allow to alter the characterization of soil, so it can often be met combined with a soil-based mix. Beginners in hemp growing should select soilless medium because they are simple and easy to keep, so you will not have excess problems during cultivation.
Hydroponics. This medium represents ordinary water, where the root system of cannabis is placed. The most popular kinds of hydroponics are the DWC and Bubblponics. DWC hydroponics can support plants of large sizes. At first glance, such a growing medium can appear rather complex. However, this is far from the truth. The main thing to do for cultivating cannabis in such a medium is following instructions and fertilize roots with necessary microelements in due time. Bushes of cannabis grow in such an environment very quickly and provide excellent harvest.
When starting seeds planting into boxes or a homemade growing room, it is best of all to use vases of 5-litre capacity. Seeds should be placed into the cultivation environment to the depth of 0.5 to 1 сm. Holes in the soil or coconut fibres can be made using three matches, the formed area should be sprayed with water using a sprinkler. Do not set seeds too deep because you will either have to wait for braids for a long time, or they may not come up at all. Also, you should not forget to spray the ground with the seeds with a sprinkler every day.
Some hemp growers set out hatched seeds into a peat tablet and, after sprig appearance, transplant the embryo together with the tablet into the vase. Selection of vessels for cultivating plants is also an important aspect. In selecting a tank, it should be taken into account that most of sorts of cannabis have a rather massive root system. Sorts with small roots also exist. Vases of 7 to 15 litres are most common among hemp growers. Practical hemp growers recommend to set out seeds of cannabis into 20 liter vases because such vessels will be convenient even for most rooty bushes of cannabis.
5. Light requirements – cannabis needs light more than most of house plants
Most manufacturers prefer to cultivate cannabis outdoors. However, this would require a lot of energy to find a proper private garden plot. Besides, a plant should receive the sunlight for 8 and more hours.
- Plants need 8 and more hours of sunlight when they are grown outdoors. Cannabis grows sufficiently quickly, but needs high-quality uninterrupted lighting. Thanks to solar energy in a natural environment, a plant grows to the sizes of a small tree in just a year. The mistake many beginners make is that they prefer to grow plants on a window sill, like common flowers. However, plants do not receive a sufficient amount of light during such cultivation. As a result, sprouts of the plant at the stage of flowering will not be set and you will not receive the long-expected harvest without flowers and flower buds.
- Indoor cultivation of cannabis requires breathing space and a lot of light.
A high-quality lighting system should be arranged to grow cannabis indoors. In addition, lighting plants should be provided according to a strict schedule, so we recommend using a special timer which would switch the light on and off at the precisely defined time.
This timer will automate the process of growing weed. We recommend using professional lamps as the light sources which influence the amount of flower buds and, consequently, the quality of harvest.
Electricity consumption (for domestic growers)
Small producers dealing with cultivation of cannabis indoors receive electricity bills at the end of each month, but they are insignificant. In addition, using a local 250 W electric station will allow to reduce significantly the energy costs. The use of energy-efficient light sources will also help to reduce the electric energy consumption. AC stabilization units consume a lot of electrical energy, but they are required. However, despite all the expenses, individual cultivation of cannabis is much more beneficial than acquisition from intermediaries.
6. Selecting illuminating devices for cultivating cannabis indoors
Lighting is rather a significant factor influencing the growth of cannabis. When bushes are grown outdoors, the plant constantly receives the ultraviolet rays influencing the photosynthesis. But what should be done, if you plan to cultivate the plant indoors? The answer is easy: you should arrange a high-quality lighting system. Then you should understand which lamps are best suited for cultivating cannabis and which light sources are better to be abandoned.
Which lamps are ineffective for cultivating cannabis?
In equipping a lighting system ordinary filament lamps should not be used because they emit light spectrum unsuitable for plants and overheat too much. Halide lamps also should not be used since they are somewhat an upgraded version of filament lamps. Ordinary LED and energy-efficient lamps often used at home are also not recommended because their light spectrum is unsuitable for plants cultivation.
Which lamps promote growth of cannabis?
The advanced hemp growers determined the most efficient types of lamps, which have a good effect on growth of marijuana. Such types of lighting fixtures include:
- HID – High Intensity Discharge lamps under high pressure. Most popular are: sodium arc lamps (DNaT and DNaZ). Power consumed by such lamps does not exceed 150 W. The light flux is in the red and blue spectrums that allow plants to develop and grow correctly and quickly at each stage. A disadvantage of DNaT lamps is their high heat output that causes some inconvenience during cultivation of cannabis in grow boxes. These lamps are also unsafe for the environment, and special equipment is required for their operation. Metal halide lamps (MHL) are also widely used, their power consumption is up to 120 W. A ceramic burner located inside this type of lamps, which has a high potential for use in horticulture. Various models of MHLs differ from each other in predominance of blue or red light. These lamps can be used at any stage of cannabis cultivation.
- Luminescent and energy-saving lamps, with power consumption up to 100 W. For cannabis cultivation, two types of such lamps fit the best: 2700 K (emit mainly red light spectrum) and 6400 K (emit mainly blue light spectrum). These lamps have a lot of advantages: they are not heated during the operation, are energy-saving, their cost is not high, they are simple in linking-up.
- Specially developed LED lamps emitting various light spectrum. These types of lamps are also called phytolamps. They are the best for plants because they emit light that is only advantageous for the growth of cannabis. Phytolamps are of economy-type, they have a long life cycle, absolutely safe for people and plants, sufficiently strong and don’t heat up too much during the operation. These types of lamps are: bicolour, multicolour, and full spectrum. The first type emits red and blue light, they are used during seed sprouting, vegetation, in case of lighting deficit. The second type of lamps emits red, blue, warm white and far-red lights. Multicolour lamps are used at the stage of flowering, inflorescence ripening, as well as throughout the life cycle of bushes. The third type emits the whole range of colour gamma, but red and blue light prevail in it. The lamps of full spectrum are used for lighting of sprigs at any life stage. In addition, such lamps will match ideally the photophilous sorts of cannabis.
How does light spectrum influence the growth of cannabis?
Various spectrums with different wavelengths influence the growth and development of cannabis throughout the whole life cycle. When cultivating cannabis indoors, you should provide the supply of light to the plants the spectrum of which is close to that of the sun since growth of marijuana is impossible without them. High-quality lamps intensively emitting the light, have a direct impact on yielding capacity of plants and content of psychoactive components in marijuana. Each light spectrum is meant to perform certain functions:
- red radiances influence the growth of the root system, flowering and ripening. This spectrum is used during the vegetative ripening. These radiances influence the mass of the fruits and form their flavour. Red light gives to the plant the signal to hit stride – sprout and blossom;
- blue spectrum influences growth and size of foliage. In case of abundance of blue radiance and shortage of other spectrums, the bushes become very massive which has a negative impact on the development of inflorescences and flower buds. In case of shortage of blue spectrum weak plants grow, having stretched-out structure and elongated internodes. This spectrum is required at the stage of germination and rootage;
- green radiance promotes the formation of leaves with low pigment content and high unit chlorophyll/ photosynthesis rate ratio. Thanks to the capability of the green spectrum to be absorbed and transformed intensively in culms, it makes the plant to spread out and grow skyward.
7. Which fertilizers are required for cannabis?
High-quality fertilizers feed cannabis, promote its correct and healthy growth and also influence the yielding capacity. So, you should feed up your plants with special fertilizers which contain all necessary nutritive substances and microelements. Only in this case bushes of cannabis will return hemp grower impressive harvest of high-quality cones which will have a delicate taste, aroma and potent activity in the organism. A plant can’t exist without fertilizers. However, plants grown in soil-based medium should be fertilized with due care because all necessary nutrient elements may be contained in the ground which may be enough for the whole life cycle. When cultivating cannabis in soilless and water medium, you should fertilize the plants because these materials do not contain useful substances and microelements.
It is customary to fertilize bushes of cannabis with organic and mineral fertilizers. Organic fertilizers have a more positive influence on marijuana. They consist of mineral elements formed during dissociation of organic matter. Organic fertilizers contain nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and potassium which have a positive influence on the properties of soil medium. The advantages of organic fertilizers are the following:
- cones of a plant have richer and strong flavor;
- the plant does not have to be washed before harvesting;
- no need to interfere frequently into the process of bushes growth since all required processes take place in the ground;
- organic substances are environmentally friendly and safe for people and environment.
Despite all the advantages the disadvantages of organic fertilizers should also be mentioned. Some components have rather an acute and foul smell. In addition, the use of organic fertilizers creates the risk of contamination for bushes of cannabis with various infections or parasites. So, the preparation of organic fertilizer should be performed correctly and in a responsible manner.
Mineral fertilizers contain chemical elements necessary for growth and feeding of marijuana, such as salts. Such concentrates are manufactured at industrial enterprises; they contain large amounts of micronutrients. So, it is very important to feed the bushes correctly because overdosage of concentrates will lead chemical burn of the plants. Advantages of mineral fertilizers are as follows:
- possibility of yield enhancement of a plant;
- absence of foul smells;
- hydroponic medium may be fertilized by the solution;
- relatively low cost;
- convenience and ease of use;
- availability of more sound control throughout the whole process of cultivation.
Disadvantages of mineral fertilizers should also be taken into account. About two weeks before harvesting, plants should be washed with clean water. Fertilizers should be used very accurately because there is some risk to kill a bush by exceeding the dosage of solution. In addition, fertilizing with such substance worsens the flavour and effect of the plant.
Fertilizers are also separated into basic and advanced. The former contains a minimum amount of useful elements such as calcium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Basic fertilizers contain 2 or 3 components. Each component is for a specific cycle of plant development. The advanced fertilizers may contain 3 to 10 micronutrients. These fertilizers can be used throughout the whole cycle of cannabis growth.
8. Check-list of supplies – are you ready to begin growing?
The compiled checklist will help a hemp grower to understand if he is ready to begin cultivation of cannabis, or something is missing. Thus, what is necessary to have and arrange before you begin to cultivate plants:
- Place for cultivation. Indoors, cannabis can be grown in a special tent, in boxes, in an old case or even in a broken refrigerator.
- Create the optimum temperature conditions in the room. The air exhauster should be located in the room: it will extract hot air.
- Growing medium. Cannabis can be grown in soil, coconut fibres, or hydroponics. You should select the growing medium which is preferable for your work.
- Arrange a lighting system. Lamps should light bushes of cannabis with determined periodicity for the plant to develop in “day/night” periods. So, we recommend to acquire a special timer which will control lamps by switching them on and off at the set time.
- Fertilizers. Provide with organic or mineral fertilizers which will supply your bushes of cannabis by nutrient substances and microelements.
- Acquire the seeds if cannabis or clones of plant.
Met all the above-mentioned requirements to start cultivating marijuana indoors without any problems.
7 stages of cannabis growth cycle you should know
Each hemp grower who decided to cultivate bushes of cannabis finally wants to gather a rich harvest of high-quality grass. Naturally, if you don’t have adequate knowledge and don’t understand the needs of a plant at each stage of growth you will not achieve high rates. So, it is very important to orient oneself in the stages of marijuana growth. Below we will discuss in detail each stage of cannabis bushes development.
Seeds of cannabis should be sprouted before they set out into a growing medium. Sprouting increases the chances of germination ability for sprigs and will provide plentiful growth of cannabis bushes. As of today, there are a lot of methods of cannabis seed sprouting; later we will describe the most commonly used.
- Sanches Method seed germination .This method is the simplest simple and most affordable one. Using it, a hemp grower can sprout the seeds indoors within 1-2 days. 2 ordinary new large kitchen sponges, 1 sealing polyethylene bag, a glass of water (settled or filtered), and seeds should be prepared for sprouting. Prepare all necessary ingredients and act as described below:
- Distribute the seeds in the center of sponge uniformly and put another sponge above them;
- moisture the sponges uniformly;
- place the sponges into SPTA bag and close it, having breathed inside warm air;
- put the closed bag in dark warm place for 24 hours;
- the sprouted seeds can be taken out the next day.
Х Method. This method is also simple and easy to implement. First-time growers use this method for sprouting seeds quite frequently. A glass, water, seeds, cotton discs and a plastic container for food should be prepared for seed sprouting. Having all subjects, start the process:
- put the seeds into the glass with water taken from the tap for 24 hours;
- take the expanded seeds out of water after 24 hours and put them onto a cotton disk wetted in water preliminary, and cover with the second wetted disk, and then into the plastic container;
- cover the container with the lead and keep it in a warm place where temperature is between 24°C° and 27°°С for 2 – 3 days. This way, the greenhouse effect occurs in the container;
- after the specified time the seeds release the long root and they can be set out.
Method for sprouting slowly germinable seeds. This method is used for sorts of seeds which, due to the sort specifics, age, or storage conditions, can’t independently shed the hull and release the root. A grower will need water, hydrogen peroxide, seeds, a glass, a plate, 2 identical pieces of foam rubber and a polythene bag for carrying the procedure of sprouting out. The method consists of the following stages:
- Each seed should be cracked for its hull to crack;
- Prepare the special solution by mixing 1 glass of water with three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. This solution should be mixed carefully, agitated and poured from one vessel to another for two times;
- put the seeds into this solution for 2 – 3 days;
- after this time, accurately remove hulls and films from the seeds; it can be done using a dental stick;
- prepare the solution of water and hydrogen peroxide again in the above mentioned proportions, dampen the foam rubber in it and put the cleaned seeds on this piece, lay over the second piece of foam rubber also dampened in the solution;
- put the pieces of foam rubber with seeds amid into the polyethylene bag and keep it in a warm place at temperature between25°°C and 28°°С for 1 day;
24 hours later, the seeds can be set out into the ground. Irrigate the set seeds with the remaining solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Put the glass over the set seed, which will help to create the greenhouse effect. The glass may be removed after 1-2 days.
2. Nursery stage weed growing
The light regime at the nursery stage for cannabis should be 18/6, i.e., the lighting of bushes should be provided for 18 hours, and the night regime should be imitated for 6 hours. The growth of nursery lasts for 14 days. During these days the plant is rather vulnerable and one can’t determine whether it develops normally or not. Humidity in the room should be between 60 and 80%, and the temperature should be at 26°°С during the light period and 20°°С at night. Make sure that the light emitted by lamps is not too bright because it may damage the immature sprig. The lighting fixture should be located high enough.
After the sprig becomes a little stronger, the lamp should be descended within the permissible range. Continue to control humidity and temperature in the room. Don’t rain the appeared sprigs because they don’t need a lot of moisture. Everyday irrigation is necessary in the case if the lamps of high power are used for lighting of the plants. Dampen periodically the sprig using a sprinkler. There is no need to fertilize the plant during the first 14 days because at this stage there are enough available useful substances for the sprig.
3. Vegetation stage
Cannabis vegetation stage is one of the important stages of plant development since the amount and quality of the harvest depends on it. This stage begins with the appearance of first sprigs and continues up to the beginning of blossoming. The following changes to the plant take place during the vegetation stage:
- The roots of the plant develop and grow quickly;
- The structure of bush is finally formed and consolidated;
- Development of culms and sprigs takes place;
- A lot of green foliage appears on the culms.
It should be taken into consideration that cultivation of cannabis plants indoors should be performed in large vases because confined space has a negative influence on the root system and development of the plant in total. Marijuana grown in small vases will not yield in a large harvest.
Duration of vegetation depends on the sort of cannabis and the climate. For example, the photoperiodic sorts depend strongly on the day cycle. So it is difficult to tell exact term of vegetation duration. This stage may last from 2 weeks to 2 months. It is very important to control the photoperiod of plants grown indoors since if this factor doesn’t change, the vegetation will continue to grow, but flower buds and flowers would not appear, so there will not be any harvest.
During the vegetation stage, the plants need more light. The photoperiod should be 18/6. The bushes should receive more daylight then they can disclose their potential and reduce the time for growth of plant. Depending on the selected sort of cannabis, you can adjust the vegetation independently, extending or reducing it. For example, when cultivating a plant in a small room, it does not make sense to extend the photoperiod of bushes blossoming. Anyway, it is important to fertilize and stimulate the growth of bushes intensively.
To ensure correct vegetation stage, the following is necessary:
- Supply the plants with light for 18 hours per day;
- Ensure the optimum level of humidity in the room;
- Provide air circulation;
- Temperature conditions: 18°С at night, 28°С in the daytime;
- Force plants with a fertilizer containing nitrogen and potassium.
4. Blossoming stage
Blossoming stage is the final stage of cannabis development. In natural conditions, the plant begins to blossom in the beginning of autumn, when the light begins to reduce. Each sort of marijuana has its own duration of flowering. Moreover, the full life cycle of plant is more than 10 weeks. Bushes mainly grow for 3 – 4 months. For instance, Sativa blossoms for 9 – 16 weeks, Indica, for 6-8 weeks, and hybrid sorts, for 2-4 months.
There are two main types of cannabis blossoming:
- Photoperiodic. This blossoming occurs when the day reduces to 12 hours. So, you should independently adjust the light period, instigating the beginning of plant blossoming.
- Auto-blossoming. In this case, the title says it all, i.e. the blossoming starts automatically, with no regard to the duration of daylight. Such sorts of cannabis are quite popular among growers, because they can devote less attention to care.
Existing stages of cannabis blossoming including the periods of pre-blossoming, blossoming and ripening should also be mentioned. Stage of pre-blossoming represents a stage when the formation of sex for plant takes place. During this period, the total growth slows down and new offsets and internodes are formed. A lot of calyxes appear on bushes; they are formed at places which adjoin the internodes and minor branches. The duration of this stage is 1 – 14 days. During this period, the plant accumulates all the energy for the formation of flower buds. You should fertilize the plant with the azotized mixtures.
At the end of the flowering stage, flower buds appeared on female bushes become larger. At the peak of flowering these flower buds produce the glands which produce resin. Then the plant stops producing new glands and begins to produce resins. Bushes may become sticky, be covered by a layer of resin across the whole surface. The resin extraction is very important because it contains psychoactive substances. The more resin is produced, the higher will be the quality of harvest and the impact of the substances.
By the end of flowering the pistils of plant begin to thicken and eventually form a cluster. This way the plant raises a possibility of being pollinated by male seeds. Then the pistils change their colour indicating the end of ripening of the plant and the possibility to begin harvesting.
To ensure comfortable conditions at the stage of cannabis flowering follow the advice below:
- Fertilize the plant with mixtures containing potassium and nitrogen. Such substances make the plant more stable and stronger;
- Use both mineral and organic fertilizers;
- Maintain the optimal temperature and humidity in the room. The day temperature should be 28°°С, and the night, 18°°C 20°°С. Humidity should be between 40 and 50%;
- The bushes should be irrigated frequently but not intensely. Unduly wet soil will provoke appearance of mildew or will lead to decay of the root.
5. Harvesting – when the marijuana should be gathered?
Harvesting is the culmination part for any grower. Harvesting may start after the plant had passed all stages of its development, bushes disclosed all their potential, a lot of glands (trichomes) producing resin appeared on them, and the green foliage had slightly dried up. But how an inexperienced grower can understand that the plant is ready for harvesting? In this case, the sort of cannabis should be taken into account since plant ripening rate depends on it. Attention should also be paid to other physiological features of the bush:
- Time of flowering recommended by plant breeders. This index can be used for the most accurate definition of plant readiness for harvesting. The information will help to compile the approximate schedule for plant readiness for harvesting.
- Shade of snout. By inspecting snout colour which is changing from white to orange can give the most reliable information about the time for harvesting.
- Shade of formed glands. The trichomes are the most reliable and correct indicator of plant readiness for harvesting. Trichomes should be inspected using a portable microscope which can be bought easily. During ripening, trichomes are transformed from transparent colour to the matte, and then to amber-coloured which evidences that maximum level of tetrahydrocannabinol has been achieved and the harvesting can be started. Having noticed such changes, you should begin harvesting right away, otherwise tetrahydrocannabinol will begin to decompose due to the influence of oxygen and UV rays.
It should be noted that each grower has his/her own opinion on the time of harvesting. Some hemp growers gather harvest earlier, and others prefer to wait for a certain time and not begin the harvesting until then. If you just a beginner in cannabis cultivation, we recommend you to start harvesting when 50 – 60% of trichomes turned amber. By gaining the experience, you will be able to independently determine when harvesting should be started.
6. Cutting weed
Plant should be prepared properly before harvesting. 1 – 2 weeks in advance, you should stop using organic and mineral fertilizers, and irrigate with pure or distillate water. You can also use filtered water taken from the filter of reversed osmosis. This is important because plants can accumulate fertilizers in different parts, which will cause changes in flavour and smell of cannabis cones. By washing the plant, you can wash off the mineral substances accumulated in the plant.
All plants should be washed, irrelevant of the selected medium of cultivation. Bushes growing in hydroponics should be irrigated with pure water only. After washing a plant for 1 week the available water should be changed completely since the washed off substances flow into it. A hydroponic system should be replenished with pure water when needed. The frequency of irrigation should be reduced to minimum 2 – 3 days before harvesting which will help to reduce the moisture content in cannabis. Less wet plants can be dried easily and quickly. At the same time, you should watch that the plant does not wither and its leaves do not become yellow.
At the conclusion, the plant should be placed in complete darkness for 1 day. Cones will contain more resin after this manipulation. This is due to the fact that tetrahydrocannabinol content increases in the morning and after a long stay in darkness the level of tetrahydrocannabinol increases to maximum. In addition, a certain share of elements required for photosynthesis but excessive for cannabis which is designated for use will remain in the root system in complete darkness conditions.
Cutting marijuana bushes.
Harvesting should begin in the morning. The harvest should be cut in a moment, before switching on the light. Cutting is performed using a clipper. Plants should be cut by small parts starting with the branches located beneath. Large foliage and stalks should be removed from the cut branches because they can provoke mildew. Then the cut bushes or branches should be hanged headlong and kept for dehumidification. Then, small foliage should be removed from the cones. You can do it using the following methods:
- Leaves covered by resin will be processed. The foliage at the culm should be cut off using the scissors with narrow blades.
- The cone will be used entirely. The part of leaves extending beyond the limits of inflorescence should be cut off.
- The harvest will be kept entirely. The growers do so if the harvest came to hand insignificant. The tips of leaves where the trichomes are absent should be cut off.
Cutting should be performed over a clean hard surface, then the fallen resinous trichomes can be degusted on completion of the work. Thereat rubber gloves should be worn on the hands so that the soaking resin would not cleave on the hands.
7. Drying and curing marijuana
Drying. This process should take long enough time so that all existing moisture would be removed from the plant completely. The moisture should gradually evaporate from the culm and cone towards the surface of inflorescence; this process takes from 7 tо 10 days. Cannabis should be dried in a dark room because the tetrahydrocannabinol is destroyed by the light, and the effect of the ready product depends on the tetrahydrocannabinol content. Temperature in the room should be from 18°°C tо 22°°С, and humidity, from 45% tо 55%.
Ageing (curing). This process will allow to remove the moisture completely and to terminate all biochemical processes in the gathered harvest. Ageing of gathered harvest should best of all be performed in glassware with a close fitting lid. As a result, the gathered cannabis will not overdry or crumb. Improvement of flavor and aromatic properties of the primary product occurs during the ageing; the main task is to stick to the special technology. The stage of ageing usually takes from two weeks to one month.
When the thinnest culms will be dried and will begin to snap with rustle and thicker culms are flexible enough, this means that the cones can be aged. The inflorescences can be put into a tight glass or metal tin. The vessel should be filled to 2/3 and placed in a cool dark place for one month. During this time the tin should be regularly (ideally, 2 times a day) opened and aerated by jolting its content. This process will help to avoid the occurrence of mildew in the tin.
Advice for cannabis cultivation
- Cultivate marijuana in high-quality soil or soil mix. Only in this case can a grower expect high-quality cannabis.
- Nourish your plants by own regime. You should fertilize the cannabis taking into account the sort, stage of its development and sizes of bushes. Compile the schedule for fertilization independently, increase/decrease the feeding up of plant depending on the current stage of development, if necessary.
- Arrange proper irrigation. Remember the main rule – the amount of consumed water depends directly on the increase of plant sizes. It would be excellent if you arranged a programmable irrigation system which would irrigate the plant at the needed time at fixed intervals.
- Organize advantageous microclimate in the room. Maintaining optimum temperature and humidity is rather an important factor influencing the growth and development of cannabis. Correct microclimate will help to prevent occurrence of various diseases and blasts.
- Cultivate the cannabis in a clean room. Clean the room used for cultivating weed on a regular basis. You should work in clean clothes only. This way you will not bring worms of blasts from outside nor will you infect the plants with the agents of diseases.
- Ensure to supply clean air into the room. The ventilation system should include special filters installed at the unit inlet, which will keep the blasts and pathogenic agents from getting into the room. The filter capacity should not be less than the capacity of the air-exhauster. Don’t forget to clean the filter regularly and change it when necessary. It is also desirable to use ionizers, ultra-violet disinfecting devices and devices maintaining the microclimate in the room.
- Make notes. Making your own list of notes and observations during cultivation of cannabis, you can control and watch the growth of the plant, upgrade your skills and conduct new experiments!