Heather Burton and Kenneth Langford06-14-2020
The best part about growing high-quality Cannabis at home is that it is your crop and your choice. You conduct your own plant and therefore you know exactly what you consume.
Being able to grow high-quality Cannabis at home is especially beneficial for heavy consumers in many ways.
In Canada, you are legally allowed to grow your own Cannabis plants (up to 4), whereas in the US, there are currently 11 states where Cannabis is legal for recreational purposes. While the quantity varies from state to state these locations allow you to grow your own Cannabis:
There are many methods of growing, you need to ask yourself: what metrics are you using to be successful? What’s your end-game?
Cannabis growers with experience will tell you the best way to grow premium buds is to pay your dues: grow better by growing often.
You can grow virtually anywhere.
Let’s look at what it takes to cultivate high-quality Cannabis.
With technical innovations, there comes cutting-edge Cannabis cultivation equipment. Does it work? Yes. Is it fancy? Yes. Do you need it to grow a premium herb? No.
You can grow both indoors and outdoors in your own backyard as long as you provide some tender love and care!
If you turn to the web, chances are you’re going to be hit with an array of ads and links to grow tents, climate control techniques, and LED lighting.
While these nifty innovations are cool, and they do help conceal grows in a small space (like your apartment’s bedroom closet), they aren’t necessary.
All you need to grow premium Cannabis indoors are:
Regardless of the growing medium you use, lighting, white walls, and a clean space are essential. White walls move light output and keep your growing space clean.
When it comes to growing lights, there are endless options. Depending on factors like access and affordability, use what you can. For example, a high-pressure sodium (HPS) light is a classic choice, and they work. However, if large electricity bills make you nervous, a LED light may be a better option.
If you have space in your yard, you will need:
Each Cannabis strain has its own vegetation and flowering period. It’s important to pay attention to your plants as they have a way of communicating with you and expressing their needs (we will get to that).
Pro tip: If you live in a cooler climate, move your plants into the house or the shed during the last 4 weeks of their flowering period.
You may think starting Cannabis from seeds is harder than starting your crop from clones. While that may be true for seasoned Cannabis cultivators, the opposite is true for novice users and growers. So if you identify as the latter, we recommend starting with Cannabis seeds from a reputable seed company or Cannabis breeder.
Reasons for starting with seeds first:
You don’t know what you have until you grow it. Some seeds may be male, some may be female. As female plants are the ones that produce buds, it’s important to identify the sex of the plant early on and avoid unnecessary tending. Take note, however, that growing Cannabis from seeds adds an extra month (at least) to your harvest time.
You can speed up cultivation by using clones, but unless you have experience with cutting and transplanting, stick to seeds for the first couple of crops.
The choice is yours. If you do your homework, you will notice that people grow from both clones and seeds.
Pro tip: Don’t start with a unique strain. Talk to your seed supplier about which strains are “easiest” to grow.
Your grow medium, or method of cultivation, calls for some decision making: Do you want to grow indoors or outdoors? Do you want to grow using a hydroponic system or do you want to use soil?
Growing in pots can get a bit messy, chances are you’re going to start with some unwanted pests that can damage your crop.
Hydroponic growing means you use an inert growing medium like nutrient-rich water instead of soil. Growing Cannabis hydroponically gives you a greater turnaround and it’s easier to fix any potential mistakes (like overfeeding). Learning how to cultivate Cannabis hydroponically is a great skill to master. If you listen to your plants, they will tell you what they need.
Growing organic Cannabis can be a bit smelly, so opt for a backyard grow if that’s your medium of choice. By choosing this cultivation method, you’re choosing to grow without the use of pesticides or other grow supplements. Organic compost and fertilizer are how your plants will receive the nutrients they need to produce a large-high-quality yield.
Just like us, your plants need a steady routine and a balanced diet. We use nutrients to feed Cannabis plants. We also function optimally when we follow sleeping and eating routines. Instead of eating a salad, your plant consumes nutrients to thrive.
You can buy a pre-mix solution from a nutrient company, or you can purchase each ingredient on its own and mix your own solution.
nutrients used in successful Cannabis cultivations:
However, we don’t recommend doing the latter unless you’ve got a few harvests under your belt.
Once you have chosen your seeds, your growing method, and your nutrients, you can start your Cannabis grow.
Germinating Cannabis seeds means getting them to sprout/grow. The white tendril that sprouts from a seed is the very first root- the taproot. Every root your plant grows will be from this root.
The art of germination requires:moisture, warmth, patience and a gentle hand.
There are many methods to germinate your seed from getting a paper towel damp, to putting your seeds in a cup of water. We recommend using a damp paper towel stored in a dark place like a kitchen cupboard.
Your seeds need warmth and darkness. Leave your seeds alone and avoid checking them often.
Pro tip: be careful when planting your Cannabis seeds, plant them no more than an inch below their growth medium, and point the taproot downwards.
After you successfully germinate your seeds, you can start the first stage of the Cannabis growth cycle: vegetation.
Cannabis plants build their structural integrity in this growth stage. Your plants need a lot of nitrogen during this phase.
The first leaves (feeder leaves) kick-start photosynthesis helping your plants grow. While each Cannabis strain is unique, the vegetation period lasts roughly eight weeks. During this stage, your plants need 16-24 hours of light daily.
Once your plants have made it through their first stage (vegetation), you can kick your Cannabis plants into Flower. Unlike the vegetation stage where your Cannabis plants only grow stems and leaves, the flowering stage grows buds.
The flowering stage lasts eight or more weeks. This stage is where you really need to pay attention to your plants. If you make a mistake this late during cultivation, it can be very hard for you to correct it.
Most people who grow high-quality Cannabis at home want a large yield. Watch your plants for important insights and information weekly is vital.
To start the flowering stage, you need to change your light cycle from 16-24 hours to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Pro tip: 12 hours of darkness is how your plant knows it’s time to start producing buds.
During week 4 of flowering, you will notice your Cannabis plants are forming solid buds (or baby buds), and the postils (hairs) will look white.
Week 8 (or longer) means you’re nearing the end! Yay! This is when you should shower your Cannabis plants with attention. This is when you will want to flush your pants for the final time.
Flushing means giving your plants nothing but water (no nutrients) for a week before harvesting them.
If you have done everything correctly, you will make it to the harvesting stage!
Congratulations, Your hard work is about to pay off. There are just a few simple housekeeping matters that need attending. Harvesting your buds prematurely or incorrectly will result in a low-quality yield.
Pro tip: A cold and dark room is what produces high-quality Cannabis.
Keeping the temperature below 20℃(68°F) degrees is important. It takes roughly two weeks to dry your Cannabis plants. If you are growing outdoors, a shed to hang your buds is ideal. However, if you do not have access to an indoor harvesting area, opt for a shady area.
Once the buds are dry you can begin to trim your buds. If you are trimming by hand, it can take up around five hours per kilogram of Cannabis. Alternatively, if you are trimming a large quantity of Cannabis, you can rent (or purchase) a piece of equipment called the EZ Trim
While some opt to trim Cannabis wet, it’s less sticky and easier on your scissors if you wait for your buds to dry.
Pro tip: Make your trimming experience better by calling some friends, turning on some music, and finding a comfortable place to sit.
The best way to grow high-quality Cannabis at home is by growing frequently. The more harvests you successfully complete, the more knowledge about Cannabis cultivation you grain.
Education, doing your homework, and paying your dues is what it comes down to. Work Hard, Play Harder!
Remember, every strain is different, you need to think about your end result. What do you want out of your crop? Dense buds, a large yield?
Don’t let excitement or inexperience sour months of hard work. Be patient, or you can risk spoiling your harvest.
These tips will help you reach the final stage of growing Cannabis, but nothing replaces hands-on experience.