If you are one of the lucky people who live in a state where cultivating cannabis is legalized, and you want to try to grow your own garden, why not do it now? Growing weed is not rocket science, though it does require certain special skills and lots of your attention.
If you have never done it before, you may face some common problems almost all newbie growers have to solve. But have no fear; we all make mistakes, and here you will find the necessary information on how to avoid the most common ones.
It is probably the most frequent mistake beginner growers make. If you have never tried gardening before and do not have enough skills for growing plants, it is better to get one of the most easy-to-grow strains that will not cause many problems. Buying a fastidious plant is a bad idea. Trying to start with a big garden will also probably end up bad. Postpone applying all kinds of complicated growing techniques until you try to grow at least one simple plant at home. The general rule is to try to keep things simple at first.
Buying “some seeds” may not be the best idea. If you look at the database of strains, you will find out that some strains are more suitable for beginner growers than the ones that are considered relatively hard to grow. If it is easy to grow, it does not mean it will give you a bad or small yield; there are plenty of wonderful strains that can help you enjoy the whole growing process and be absolutely satisfied with the reward.
It is also recommended to start with feminized seeds as they will allow you not to worry about isolating the male plants from the female ones.
And again, if you are going to grow cannabis outdoors, look for the strains that suit your climate and are resistant to the most common problems (mold, pests, etc.) in your region.
Growing cannabis outdoors mostly means using areas with the ideal climate for this plant: high temperature year-round, low humidity but no drought, good sunlight, and regular rains. If you have other conditions, growing cannabis outdoors may be really challenging.
For this reason, it is better to choose the greenhouse or indoor options. However, even these locations require the right lighting and a proper ventilation system. Growing cannabis on a windowsill is a bad idea altogether.
It is one of the most important factors (if not the most) of getting a great yield. For providing an 18-hour (sometimes 24-hour) lighting day during the vegetative period and 12 hours of light during flowering, you need to get either high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps or LED grow lights. The HID lamps are cheaper, but they provide some extra heat that you will need to take into account when controlling the temperature in the growing room. LED lamps do not have this problem; moreover, they are also energy-saving. At the same time, LED lamps are much more expensive than other kinds.
What you should not buy for your growing project are incandescent bulbs as they lack the spectrum that is necessary for plants.
Watering cannabis should be wise. Both overwatering or underwatering can damage your garden. If you do not give your plants enough water, you will see their leaves become weak and yellowish. Too much water can make the leaves curl and temporarily slow the growth of the plant. It is better to hold on to the same regime and give your plants more or less the same amount of water every time depending on the size of the pot. To check whether it is the time to water it again, stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep, and if the soil is still wet, wait another day. If the soil is already dry, it is time to give it another portion of water.
It is well known that during the growing process, cannabis requires additional nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. You can choose any label of the nutrients that suits the size of your garden and your budget. But what is usually ignored is the amount of nutrients. Lots of companies provide instructions to their nutrient sets with a schedule of recommended doses, but for some reasons, those doses are always too high for cannabis and can seriously damage your garden.
Controlling the pH of the soil and water is one of the tasks beginner growers often ignore. However, the right pH helps your plants be healthier and more productive because it allows your cannabis to uptake all the necessary nutrients. When the pH of the water or soil is above or below the correct range (5.5 – 6.5 pH), your plants simply cannot “detect” the nutrients, and all the growing processes are slowed down.
Sometimes, incorrect pH can even lead to the death of the plant. That is why it is important to get a device that can measure the pH level and make sure that your plant is getting everything it needs.
When you are growing cannabis for the very first time, it may be really challenging for you to understand when it is the right time for harvesting. If you remove the flowers before they become mature, you will have much less THC and CBD in them. If you miss the right time, those compounds will start to destroy themselves, and the buds will lose their potency.
There are several ways to find out whether it is time for harvesting. First of all, you should study the information about the strain you have chosen, including the data on the seed bank's website and the reviews of other growers on the forums.
Then, you need to examine your plant very carefully and pay attention to the long hairs on the flowers and the trichomes. The hairs are pistils, and they should change their color from white to dark orange or even brown by the time the buds are ready to be harvested. Trichomes are the resin glands that produce THC, and you will be able to spot them using a magnifying glass. Trichomes should also turn from cloudy to clear. It may be difficult to tell the difference if you have never seen cloudy and transparent trichomes next to each other, but in fact, the trichome method is the most accurate way of understanding when it is the right time for harvesting. Combine both of the methods, and you will make no mistake!