With more and more states legalizing cannabis— whether recreationally or medicinally —the uptick in users has been significant. Though most cash in at state-run dispensaries, some flower enthusiasts have begun growing personal stocks to combat high costs and fees.
Truthfully, raising cannabis plants isn’t as complex as it may seem. Though intimidating at first sight, even beginners can jump in and produce decent quality bud. That said, successfully growing a prosperous plant will require research and a basic understanding of cultivating. Continue reading for a helpful beginner how-to guide on growing and harvesting potent flower.
Why grow your own cannabis?
If you’re a regular cannabis user for pain relief, anxiety management, recreation, or any other reason, then you know that buying from a supplier can become expensive. Though growing your own crop has a decent upfront cost, it could be a money-saver in the long run depending on how much cannabis you consume. Growing your own supply can also safeguard you from any shortages in your local store’s supply chain that might affect availability or price.
If you’re particular about what you smoke, then you might want to grow your own crop for the superior control you would have over any resulting buds. Growing your own cannabis allows for unmatched control over vital factors such as humidity and fertilizer, which can affect taste once the plant is mature. You can also have fun with the process and experiment for different results until you’ve nailed down your perfect blend of growing techniques.
Last but not least, growing your own weed can be fun. Just like any other kind of gardening, many people derive great satisfaction from the attention to detail and the care required to nurture a plant to maturity. Where a vegetable crop has the end result of a delicious food to eat, cannabis plants can be used for pain relief or recreation at the end of the cultivation process.
Whatever your reason is, growing your own cannabis can be a rewarding and money-saving endeavor.
Before getting your hands dirty, make sure you have the proper equipment to get you started. Not only will you need traditional gardening tools, like sharp sheers, metal trowels, and sturdy gloves, but you’ll also need additional items to help maintain the perfect environment.
For example, you’ll need a beginner-friendly grow tent and high-quality fertilizer like Purpinator from GardenTap. According to GardenTap (https://gardentap.com/shop/purpinator/), specialty fertilizers like these help to keep your cannabis flourishing and flavorful. You might also benefit from grow lights and a humidifier to keep your new crops happy.
You also want to research the laws around cannabis growth in your area. Laws and regulations can vary by state, so minding your Ps and Qs is essential to ensure you’re not stepping on any law enforcement toes or running the risk of a hefty fine. Some starts allow residents of a certain age to grow cannabis, but have a limit on how many mature plants one person can have.
For example, in New York, residents over twenty-one can grow up to three mature plants. In Connecticut, medical marijuana users at eighteen may have three mature plants, but all other users will have to wait until 2023 and be twenty-one years of age before the same rules apply. Check the letter of your law local to ensure you’re operating in the clear while growing your green.
Although you can produce thriving plants from an outdoor space, chances are fresh-faced flower fanatics may have better luck with an indoor setup. Growing cannabis inside an enclosed space enables you to control the environment better, keeping your herb safe from weather, invasive critters, and nosey neighbors.
When selecting a space for your plant, take note of the dimensions, light sources, and dry drafts that could potentially tank its growth. Fortunately, investing in a high-quality grow tent can help counteract any potential humidity and light regulation complications.
Additionally, consider the strain you plan to cultivate (Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid) to avoid running out of space. For example, Indica herbs typically grow shorter while Sativa shoots up in length. So, ensure your indoor area can cater to your plant’s needs before it’s too late and you have to do some major course corrections in your growing environment.
One of the most significant factors in growing healthy herbs is monitoring and adjusting the humidity through each growth stage. Too much moisture can confuse the plant, stripping it of essential nutrients. On the other hand, attempting to produce in a dry environment can dehydrate your plant, leaving you with a burnt, less-potent flower. Employing a humidifier you can control and a meter to measure moisture in the air is the surest way to secure your plant’s future rather than letting it dry out or drown.
Another critical aspect when cultivating healthy propagation is maintaining consistent light levels. Just like most other plants, cannabis needs near-direct light for approximately 15-18 hours per day, dropping down to 12 hours during the flowering season. However, you’ll need to keep a close eye on each strain, as different variations may thrive with slightly more or less. To ensure your plants grow at a sustainable pace, invest in grow lights to regulate the environment and adjust as needed.
Understanding when to harvest is essential to producing prosperous, potent plants. Once you delve into the flowering cycle— adjusting the light, water, and nutrient levels —you’re almost ready to pluck bud sprigs to dry. Start checking the flowers each day, watching for cloudy-white trichomes, indicating a mature, harvestable herb. From there, hang your bud to dry for approximately one to two weeks, and you’ll be lighting up in no time.
Should you try to grow cannabis?
Whether you partake in cannabis for stress relief, pain management, or recreation, producing a personal weed stock is an excellent way to save money and grow your green thumb. Though the process can be challenging, as long as you stick to the guidelines discussed above, you can likely enjoy success with your new growing endeavors.