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The basics: How to grow weed?
Not everyone knows how to grow their own weed. Many new growers wonder how to start and what are the best marijuana seeds for beginners? What stuff do you need? And are you going to grow indoors or outdoors? Moreover, many people think that growing weed is difficult, so they’d rather not start. Good news! Growing a cannabis plant is actually quite easy if you understand the basics. That’s why we’ll explain the basics below.
Growing cannabis is just like growing any other plant
Cannabis plants are just like any other ordinary plant. If you are able to keep regular garden or indoor plants alive, growing a cannabis plant will probably not be a problem for you either. But because you want a successful harvest, it’s wise to get the basics into your (green) fingers.
The basics: how to grow weed
For a successful cultivation you will need to know the basics of the cannabis plant. So not only how you grow the plant, but also what the characteristics of the plant are. Once you understand this, growing becomes a lot easier.
Cannabis plants belong to the category “short-day plants”. This means that the plant grows when the days are long and flowers (develop buds) when the days get shorter. In nature this happens when summer turns into autumn. When growing indoors, the grower should mimic this cycle. This is done by means of a light scheme and creating the right climate conditions.
The cycle of a cannabis plant follows a fixed pattern. First the germination of the seed, then follows the sowing phase which then moves on to the growth phase (vegetative phase). Finally, the flowering phase begins after which the plant eventually dies off.
Once you have germinated your seeds and the embryo grows out of the seed, a young seedling will emerge. Seedlings need 14 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness each day. As long as this light schedule is followed the plant will remain in the growth phase. However, most growers keep a schedule of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
The growth phase takes about 2 weeks, but can also last 8 weeks. This is determined by the grower. Growers who eventually want to grow a small adult plant will keep their plant in the growth phase for about 1 to 2 weeks and then switch to the flowering phase. You can then harvest faster. Growers who want to grow a large plant let their plant grow for 2 to 8 weeks after which they switch to the flowering phase. The advantage of this is that you get a higher yield.
The flowering phase begins when the plant receives less than 14 hours of light per day, but most growers opt for a light schedule of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. The flowering phase of a plant takes about 5 to 12 weeks, depending on the variety.
Related article: Life cycle of a cannabis plant
Cannabis plants are generally homogenous plants. This means that the plant only produces male or female flowers. In exceptional cases the cannabis plant is hermaphroditic.
Cannabis lovers are often only interested in female plants because only female plants develop smokable cannabis. That’s why growers usually choose feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds. These are cannabis seeds that produce a female plant with 99% certainty.
Growing a cannabis plant can be done indoors or outdoors. Outdoors nature does its work, but indoors you will have to imitate nature. Growing cannabis outdoors is by far the easiest way to grow cannabis. Especially outdoors where the plant finds enough nutrients, sunlight, water from the rain and wind. In a cold climate, growing outdoors is often unsuccessful. That’s why many growers choose to grow indoors. For this they need to imitate nature as best as possible. This is quite easy if you know what to do and have the materials below.
- A grow light that mimics the sun
- An extraction system and a fan to mimic the wind and to provide the supply and removal of fresh air that allows the plant to absorb sufficient CO2.
- Pots with soil to mimic the soil. Do you opt for pre-fertilized soil? Then you hardly have to worry about fertilizers and pH values. As soon as you have more experience you can experiment with plant nutrition, the acidity of the water and apply cultivation methods such as SOG or Scrog.
How can you grow your own cannabis plant and what do you need?
Now that you know how a marijuana plant develops, you probably wonder how you can grow your own marijuana plant and what you need for that. We’ll list the necessities for you:
- Feminized or autoflowering cannabis seeds
- Lightproof growroom
- Grow lights and timer
- Exhaust system and fan
- Pots with pre-fertilized soil
To grow your cannabis plant you need a light-tight growing space. For this you can buy a grow tent. Such tents have many advantages. They are easy to set up, have all the necessary openings for air hoses and power cables and they are equipped with reflective material on the inside, which makes the light from your grow light more efficient. People who are experienced in construction can easily create their own grow space. For example by using slats, wood, tarpaulin, plasterboard and a reflective interior (no aluminum foil!).
Grow lamp and timer
A very important part of growing cannabis is light. This determines the size of the harvest. For a good result growers use at least 300 watts of light per m2. Here a standard rule applies: the stronger the light, the bigger the yield.
Advanced growers reach about one gram of weed per watt of lighting. But if you’re just starting out, the yields will usually be less. If you achieve half a gram of weed per watt with your first crop, you should be very satisfied.
For the lighting there are basically three choices:
- HPS grow lights
- Fluorescent grow lights
- LED grow lights
HPS grow lights
Most growers choose HPS grow lights. HPS is a reliable lamp, provides deep radiation and is affordable. However, HPS grow lamps require a separate ballast, which makes the installation of this type of lighting slightly more difficult.
HPS lamps have to hang above the plants at a distance of 10% of the wattage. 250 Watt at a distance of 25 cm and 300 Watt at a distance of 30 cm etc.
Fluorescent grow lights
With fluorescent growing lamps you can think of energy saving lamps, fluorescent and T5 lamps. These types of lamps are cheap, but have one disadvantage. Fluorescent light gives little depth radiation and should therefore be hung closer to the plants. This increases the chance that the plant will burn.
LED grow lights
The best and most expensive lamps are LED grow lights. LEDs are easy to install and offer a lot of depth radiation. Timers and relays make the work easier because they automatically do the work for you. The timer ensures that the light goes on and off at the right moments. Moreover, for safety reasons, it is advisable to purchase a relay.
Exhaust system and fan
An extraction system and a fan are used to supply and extract the air. In contrast to the lamps, the extractor and the fan must be switched on continuously. In addition, the extractor must have sufficient capacity to dissipate air and heat.
An extraction system will suck the air out of the growroom and must be installed at the top of the growroom. There must be an opening at the bottom of the growroom. This combination creates under pressure. This will continuously suck in fresh air and remove the dirty air.
In case of an extraction system, the capacity is indicated in cubic meters per hour. This is the number of cubic meters of air the extractor can process in one hour.
Based on your growing space in m3 you can easily calculate the desired capacity of the extractor. To prevent the grow space from getting too hot, most growers choose an extractor that can move the air content of their grow space at least 3 to 5 times in one minute. Using the following line you can calculate the desired capacity of an extractor system.
Use this formula: capacity of the extractor in cubic meters = (content of the grow space in m3) x 5 x 60
Note: it is convenient to choose a little overcapacity. In addition, most growers opt for an extraction system with a connected carbon filter to control the smell of flowering cannabis plants.
A grow room must also be equipped with a fan. Such a fan provides the air circulation. Most growers use a normal table fan or a rotating fan for this purpose. Swivel fans are better because the wind does not blow continuously in one direction.
Note: the fan should be placed just above the plants, so that the plants move slightly but are not blown over.
Pots with pre-fertilized soil
For the cultivation of a cannabis plant growers choose light-tight pots with pre-fertilized soil. The pre-fertilized soil is needed for the right PH-value. When choosing a pot there are several possibilities. From 5 liters to 25 liters and larger. The bigger the pot, the bigger a cannabis plant can become.
Grow your own weed?
Now that you know what you need, you can grow your own cannabis. For this you do need weed seeds that need to be germinated before you put them in the soil. How to do this can be read in the blogs below.