Your step by step beginners grow guide to grow cannabis indoors
Are you lucky enough to live in one of the many “legal-to-grow” states or in a country where you can grow weed in a legal way? If so, you are probably interested in learning about growing cannabis indoors. At the same time it raises the question: How to grow weed indoors and what is the best way to get started?
Growing weed indoors is a great way to provide yourself with a safe and sufficient supply of medicinal-grade cannabis. Even more, if you like gardening, it’s both an exciting and enjoyable experience to grow cannabis. That said, It’s vital to do the proper research and gain a real understanding of what it takes to grow cannabis indoors before giving it a go. That’s why we’ve put together this complete guide to growing cannabis indoors for beginners.
Steps for a first-time indoor cannabis grow
Growing cannabis indoors for the first time can seem like a nearly impossible feat for those unfamiliar with the process. Yet, it doesn’t have to be so challenging if you’ve prepared yourself.
Wondering how to grow a good weed? Here are the steps for a successful first-time indoor cannabis grow.
Step 1: Map out your grow space
When it comes to indoor cannabis grows, your growing space is one of the very first factors to consider. This step can at first be overwhelming, as the possibilities are endless and there is so much to plan. Will you be growing in soil? Or, perhaps you’ll be using a hydroponic or aquaponic system to grow your plants.
In addition to deciding on which growing medium to use, there is also the question of whether to use a grow tent or not. Do you plan to grow more than one species, or to grow some plants in veg modes while others are in flowering mode? If not, you can get by without one for now. But, if you’re going to grow plants in more than one setting or space, you’ll need a tent or two and more than one light.
Think long and hard about your grow space, it’s absolutely essential. Does the room you consider to turn into a grow room to hold enough space? To make the best decision, consider how many plants you plan on growing and how much space you need between each one. Keep in mind that the rule of thumb says at least 18 to 24 inches between each plant is best. At any rate, choosing your space and deciding how you’ll arrange it is crucial. It needs your full attention before moving on to the next essential steps of growing weed indoors.
Step 2: Select the type of cannabis you want to grow
Typically the second step in an indoor cannabis grow is selecting the strain of cannabis you want to grow. As with many decisions related to growing cannabis, this can be a tough one as there are so many options. Deciding on one strain of cannabis may take you longer than you imagine. There are, after all, thousands of known strains to choose from.
Some people prefer the strong mental effect of sativa-leaning cannabis strains and buy sativa seeds, while others who enjoy the potent body “indica buzz” will rather buy indica seeds. Then there is an increasing number of newcomers who look for ease and opt for an autoflower.
Like snakes, new cannabis hybrids appear each year at alarming rates. Selecting the type of cannabis you want to grow is no doubt one of the most exciting steps to an indoor grow. It is also one of the most crucial as it practically helps decide the quality and potency of the cannabis.
Step 3: Choose proper lighting
There are so many lights on the market it could make your head spin. That said, having the right lighting equipment is one of the most critical aspects of pulling off a successful indoor cannabis grow. For now, considering something simple is the best bet. You don’t need a fancy $5,000 light for your first attempt at growing.
Best lights for your indoor grow
Most old school growers still suggest High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH), and even fluorescent lights. Although, modern LED lights also offer some amazing possibilities for indoor growing at a much more affordable expense. There are no right or wrong lights for growing weed indoors, per se. But do avoid using common house-light bulbs as well as fish tanks and iguana lights. Other than that, the choice is yours.
As far as cost goes, newer LED lights offer the greatest range of versatility and bang for your buck. LED lights also offer a higher number of lumens in comparison to HPS, MH, and fluorescent lights. Be sure to keep in mind the suggestions for lighting-type which come with the particular strain that you’re growing.
Step 4: Gather durable containers and quality soil
Containers and soil are two crucial factors to consider when still in the planning stage of your indoor cannabis grow. These two things will have a great impact on both the ease of maintaining the plan as well as the final quality of the harvest. So, choose them well.
Selecting the right container is also a bit trickier than it may seem at first. Yet, it isn’t so complicated after all. Which container is best for your grow boils down to the specific composition of the grow you’ve designed. For example, if you’re building a hydroponics system, you’ll use deep and large containers, like a 50-gallon tote. Whereas with a standard soil grow, your typical five-gallon bucket paint-bucket will do fine. There are extra factors to consider as well. Such as the composition of the container. Plastic, ceramic, PVC, and a plethora of materials make up the most common plant. There is also the price of the containers and soil to factor in as well as the number of plants you plan to grow and harvest. Keep each of these essential aspects in mind while deciding which sort of containers to choose for your grow.
Best soil for your indoor grow
There are several common soil mixtures easily found by performing a quick Google search. But what would be the best soil for your indoor grow?
Each readily available in cannabis gardening-related books, websites, and forums. While searching for the best soil composition for your strain and set-up make sure you pay attention to the comments and suggestions of others who have experience with the strain you are growing. Each type of cannabis has its own preferences for soil type and nutrients. That said, most cannabis plants tend to lean toward mixtures of high-grade potting soil and peat moss or perlite. These soil compositions support superior soil drainage. Blood meal, bone meal, and bat guano are common components used to create rich cannabis growing soil (besides potting soil and perlite or moss).
Step 5: Choose between seeds or clones
Now it’s time to choose whether to use cannabis seeds or clones for starting your grow. This decision may be a simple one depending on the availability of seeds and/or clones in your area.If you have access to both, then there are a few factors to consider before choosing one over the other. Hands-down, clones are a favorite of many first time growers as they are much easier to start than seeds. Seeds need much more patience as well, adding extra time to the process (around two to four weeks). Clones, while rather convenient, also have drawbacks. One of the most significant being that there are far fewer strains available at any given time in comparison to seeds.
However, with seeds you can pretty much track down and plant any strain you can think of. And, for the most part, you can find feminized seeds that are guaranteed to sprout and produce cannabis flowers (male plants do not grow flowers).
Reading tip: growing weed from seed
Step 6: Plant your cannabis with T.L.C.
After you get your hands on clones or seeds, planting them is the next step. If you’re proceeding according to plan, your space already includes the containers, soil, and lights. This makes the planting step a sinch:
- Dampen the soil in your containers and create as many quarter-inch holes as you want.
- Plop the seeds into their holes and cover them back over with soil.
- For clones, remove them from their packaging and transplant them, roots first, directly into your containers.
- Now you are ready to put your growing lights on.
Most growers tend to go with a 12 hours on/12 hours off light cycle. That said, some growers swear by a two to four week 24/7 light cycle to speed up the vegetative cycle of the operation.
Again, the choice is yours. Just make sure to research which sort of light cycles your preferred strain of cannabis likes.
Reading tip: how to plant cannabis seeds?
Step 7: Maintain your grow until the end of flowering
Proper maintenance is the most vital “step” to the whole process of successful indoor cannabis growing. Simply watering your plants every day will not be enough to make them grow and thrive (in fact, watering cannabis plants every day would more than likely kill them!). Learning how to properly care for cannabis plants should be on the top of your to-do list as far as your indoor grow is concerned.
Again, this can be more or less complicated depending on the specific strain you select for growing. Cannabis strains react differently to various soil compositions, lighting conditions, and environmental conditions. That said, they will likewise need vastly different amounts of water as well.
One great tip to remember while maintaining your plants is that it is always better to underwater cannabis plants than it is to overwater them. Also, watch for your plant’s leaves to curl up, down, or turn colors. These signs are indicating that the plant needs more/less water, airflow, and/or light. If this is your first time growing, do yourself a favor and do the research before you get started.
Step 8: Harvest your indoor cannabis plants
Harvesting cannabis is one of the most exciting activities involved in the entire indoor growing process. When the day finally comes (six to eight weeks into flowering), the process of harvesting cannabis is quick and easy:
- Cut the plant at the base of its stalk with clippers, shears, or scissors.
- Secure the plant and hang it upside down in a dark and dry space for approximately two to three weeks.
- Remove the flowers from the stalks and leaves.
- Cure the flowers by placing them in mason jars or cardboard boxes. If curing your flowers in mason jars, “burp” them twice daily for five to ten minutes. Take the lid off, smell the inside of the jar, smoke a bit for a flavor test, and put the lid back on. This process usually takes upwards of 10 to 15 days.
Once your flowers are fully cured your indoor grow has officially come to a successful end! You’ll be able to tell by the strong odor and marked increase in potency of the dried flowers
A final word for beginners
Armed with the above eight steps, planning and successfully pulling off your first indoor cannabis grow should be a breeze! Growing cannabis indoors isn’t rocket science. It does, however, require some basic gardening skills, knowledge of the strain, and lots of patience.
Indoor growing is an extremely rewarding opportunity. It is well worth considering the possibility of investing in if you’re a cannabis patient or simply love growing more challenging plants than standard garden-variety.
Want to start your indoor grow?
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