If you buy seeds from a seed bank, look for those labeled “feminized” to ensure they give rise to female plants, Johnson says. But if you’re a total newbie, he suggests buying clones, which are cuttings from a “mother” female plant, available at some dispensaries, as well as at nurseries. Not only are they easier to obtain, “they’re easier to grow. You get a clone, and you transplant it to some soil.”
There are different harvesting methods, but Johnson cuts the whole plant at the base and hangs it upside down with some twine in a dark room at a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a fan for airflow — you definitely don’t want the room to be humid, which will cause mold to grow, rendering your crop unusable. It’ll probably take around a week to dry.
Since clones come from plants that have been grown indoors, let yours chill in a shaded area for a week before exposing them to full sun, Johnson says. “The clone hasn’t tasted sun like that, and the transplant itself will be stressful.”
While you can absolutely grow cannabis indoors, outdoor cultivation is much simpler and cheaper, says Ron Johnson, author of How to Grow Organic Cannabis: A Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Marijuana Outdoors , who also runs the website The Cannabis Gardener. “The sun is free,” he tells Mic. “You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars a month in electrical bills.” An outdoor garden probably won’t allow you to turn over product fast enough, but it’ll suffice if you just want to grow weed for yourself. Plus, it’s gentler on the planet.
Do your homework and read up on the laws in your state. Some states prohibit growing cannabis, while others, like my home state of California, permits anyone over age 21 to grow cannabis, but only up to a certain number of plants. NORML has a pretty in-depth guide to the laws in each state. Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Maine also allow cultivation, but again, the specifics depend on the state. Definitely clarify what your rights are before you start the glorious path to at-home bud gardening.
Don’t go overboard, though, he warns. Start with growing three plants in five-gallon pots. This way, if one dies, you’ll still have two plants, and the pots will limit their growth. A general rule of thumb is that they’ll grow one foot for every gallon of soil. He recommends mixing your own organic soil, which he explains how to do on his website and will save you the headache of adding nutrients or pH testing. “The soil is what we call alive,” he says. “It’s always breaking things down to replenish nutrients that are missing.” But if you can’t mix your own soil, or don’t feel like it, you could buy organic Pro-Mix soil, which Johnson says many outdoor growers use.
Cannabis plants can be either male or female. Female plants yield the plump flowers, a.k.a., “buds,” that we know and love, brimming with psychoactive compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which gets you high), Modern Farmer explains. Male plants yield much smaller flowers, which people typically don’t consume. In other words, if you want to actually indulge in your crop, you’ll want female plants.
Whatever you do, don’t plant your clones in the ground. They’ll run rampant, and “you’ll have pounds of weed in your house,” Johnson says, recalling the trays of weed atop his kitchen table when his crop grew wild. “You don’t need the stress of plants getting out of control, growing over your fence.” If your neighbors can see them, they might complain about them, and having too many plants could get you arrested.
Cannabis cultivation laws vary widely state-by-state. Also, we can’t stress this enough: Growing cannabis is illegal in a lot of places, and the penalties — which include steep fines and prison time — can be much worse than possession, since growing can imply an intent to distribute. Black and brown folx need to be especially scrupulous about heeding these rules, since law enforcement targets us way more than white people for weed-related charges, even if we consume it at similar rates.
That said, when your plants are fully flowering, you might find yourself watering them daily, based on these indicators. When you do water them, keep going until you see water running off the soil, to ensure the water reaches all of the soil in the pot.
If you use organic soil, all you’ll really need to do is add water, Johnson says — but don’t overdo it. The number one mistake he sees new growers make is watering their plants too often. In general, “watering every day is too much. The rule is, if you pick up your plant, and the pot is heavy, then it has a enough water. If it’s light, it’s dry, then you need to water.” You could also stick your finger knuckle-deep into the soil; if it feels dry, add water.
Johnson notes that the outdoor grow season lasts from around April to October, meaning if you plant seeds now, they’d still yield flower, but not much. Since it’s late in the season, he suggests buying a large clone, which will have more branches and therefore yield more flower.
When the pandemic hit, many of us turned to quaint pastimes to soothe our existential dread, whether it was baking sourdough, knitting, or doing jigsaw puzzles. If you want to expand your repertoire of distraction methods with an activity that still has that quiet, homey vibe, but with a bit more of an edge, consider growing your own weed.
To check if your cannabis is ready for trimming, perform a break test on each branch. If it bends so much it nearly breaks, then it’s ready, and if it breaks right away, it might be overly dry, but still totally usable. Trim off the buds and seal them inside a mason jar for curing, opening it periodically over the course of about four weeks to let moisture escape. Johnson outlines a detailed schedule on his website, including instructions on how to look for mold.
Your cannabis will be ready to harvest at around October. You’ll know they’re ready when the buds “start to get really, really swollen and packed pretty tight,” Johnson says. But it can be hard to tell if you’re a beginner. Many growers say that if you think your plant is ready to harvest, wait two weeks, since many newbies tend to harvest too early. Or, you could share a photo of your crop on a forum and ask more experienced growers to weigh in.
Before you get started.
Once you’ve cured your cannabis, sprinkle some bud in a bowl, or whatever your preferred method of imbibing might be, and savor your hard-earned crop.
As legalization spreads, more cannabis enthusiasts are naturally going to want to try cultivation for themselves. The 2018 National Gardening Survey found 15% of US households would grow marijuana at home if it was legal. But, along with edibles, home growing is generally among the most contentious topics within the legalization debate.
But home growing has its pleasures. Like tomatoes or carrots, growing one’s own cannabis is cheaper than buying it, and a chance to learn something.
In response, the Canadian Real Estate Association hit the panic button and called for a nationwide moratorium on home growing until it can be better studied. The group says home grows could deplete property values, and also raise rents, especially for low-income tenants. Supporters of the law say four plant grows pose minimal risk.
How to grow your own weed.
“There’s an empowerment that comes from being able to do it yourself,” said Nichole Graf, who left New York City with her partner in 2013 to start a marijuana farm in Washington state. Growing, she said, would also be useful if the administration went after the industry and pushed the drug back to the illegal market. With her business partners, she co-authored Grow Your Own: Understanding, cultivating and enjoying cannabis, a nicely illustrated and eco-minded introduction.
T he Canadian government, which is likely to legalize cannabis nationwide this summer, said it planned to allow home grows of up to four marijuana plants, which might yield 5lb in a year to an experienced grower, and is certainly consumable by an experienced smoker.
For the home grower, this matters much less, and Graf says it helps someone develop their appreciation for the plant. Amid rising interest in home grows, companies have developed home grow pods controlled by smartphone apps and other more modest growing kits and accessories. With strong weed no longer hard to find, home growing is a chance for connoisseurs to grow for CBD, a chemical commonly associated with the plant’s medicinal properties, or for a plant’s terpene profile (bouquet).
For now, one place which has accepted home grow is Vermont. Of the nine US states which have fully legalized, Vermont is the only one not to allow a commercial industry. Instead, the state will allow possession and home growing, up to six plants, including two flowered females.
Allowing it, police say, enables criminals to hide in plain sight. For law-abiding growers it could invite burglaries, since their stash is worth $1,000 a pound and easy to resell. Firefighters worry about the blazing hot lightbulbs growers use and their elaborate electrical set-ups.
The plants can attract unappetizing blights like spider mites, fungus gnats, powdery mildew and grey mold, also called bud rot. And the odor can annoy neighbors. The most vocal opponents of home growing may be the Quebec government which has said it will not allow home grow immediately, as part of an effort to legalize at its own pace.
“It’s not rocket science,” she said, but it does involve some knowhow.
Marijuana growing can be relatively straightforward or “as complicated as you want to make it”, Graf said. Like so many aspects of cannabis, this is a culture advanced largely by solitary men, deeply invested in their competitive world.
Cannabis is a sexed plant; the drug is the flower from the female. The hard to detect presence of a male plant can ruin the flower produced by a whole room of females. To avoid pollination, large-scale marijuana grows typically use clones instead of seeds, and Graf recommends novice growers to begin with clones as well. The wrong lighting can also be ruinous for a very expensive crop.
That’s probably a few years off though.
Conversations about variation in soil substitutes, light spectra and humidity are frequent and achieve Warholian feats of boredom. They’re also potentially very important. As a high-value crop, cannabis may attract investment into lighting, water management and other agricultural technologies that might go ignored when the crop is $2 heads of lettuce. These new technologies are environmentally friendly and potentially earth-shattering politically, since they could transfer agriculture to cities.
Marijuana won’t be anything new to Vermont; it is, after all, the state that gave the world Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and the jam band Phish. But the opioid-ravaged state sought to create a buffer between itself and a new for-profit intoxicant, instead making it legal but not readily available. It’s practically un-American to postpone commerce for the sake of the public good, another reason why Vermont’s experiment with growing your own is worth watching.
During the vegetative stage, marijuana plants need plenty of light . You’ll need to give them around 18 hours (or more) of light during this phase. Also, ensure that the temperature in your grow room (or wherever you are growing your plants) is a bit warmer than room temperature. That means between 68°F and 82°F. The long hours of light and higher temperature mean your cannabis plants will need plenty of water , so monitor the moisture level and adjust accordingly. You don’t want your plants to be too thirsty. But, overwatering is more deadly than under-watering.
Commercially – grown marijuana or those grown by seasoned growers are typically regular flowering marijuanas plants. More specifically, they are photoperiod cannabis. These, under the right growing conditions, are the giants of the pot world– with the potential to grow 16 feet (or taller) and harvest 10 pounds of dried pot off a single plant.
The ideal pot size for autoflowering cannabis plants are 0.5 to 5 gallon pots. The size of the pot determines the size of the plant! Bigger pots = bigger plants.
Autoflowering weed will grow year-round outside. As long as the temperature does not get below 43 degrees fahrenheit, your plant can survive. And when it does get cold, you can just bring her inside. Because autoflowering cannabis will flower no matter the light cycle, you can get up to 4 harvests a year outside on your balcony or in a garden. Plants grown in the winter will have a beautiful purple coloring to them by the time they are ready for harvest. Plants in the summer will grow bigger and bushier, reaching C. ruderalis full height potential of up to 6 feet tall and yielding up to 8oz of dried marijuana.
Autoflowering sativa plants grow much taller. Many will grow past 4 feet, and some reach 6 feet tall. If you grow sativa-dominant plants outdoors, plan on sharing these amazing plants with your neighbors!
Step 9: The Cannabis Flowering Stage.
Save Money – No Tent Needed.
And there are grow kits that make it easy and accessible. The truth is that there are more ways to cultivate cannabis than there are names for the plant. And every method can grow great, healthy plants. For example, hydroponics might yield more , while soil will grow stronger buds, aeroponics will grow the fastest, and there’s no replacement for growing marijuana outdoors. It’s as easy to overload yourself with options as it is to add too much fertilizer to your nutrient mix. Below, we describe how to do it naturally and with little work on the grower’s part.
The most common (and easiest to use) grow medium is soil. Ideally, you should use well-composted organic soil rich with nutrients designed for growing cannabis and formulated for commercial cannabis specifically. A Pot for Pot’s Superb Soil is an excellent example of this. Superb Soil is what professional growers refer to as “hot soil.” This means it has a surplus of bioavailable organic nutrients that are alive and working for you!
Harvesting pot at home is really exciting! You watch weed plants develop and blossom amazing, pungent flowers. Soon, you’ll start to wonder when you can reap what you’ve sown. But how do you know when to make the cut? How do you know when to harvest your weed?
We discourage using HPS grow lights mostly because they tend to generate a lot of heat for indoor use. Plus, HPS lights can easily burn cannabis plants. For hobbyist growers, LED technology will grow great buds at a significantly reduced electricity cost.
By far, the easiest and cheapest plant to grow for beginner growers is autoflowering cannabis . It comes from the species Cannabis ruderalis . This type of cannabis flowers, as the name suggests, automatically.
Your plants will get large and bushy. You may want to ‘train’ them by trimming and/or bending the leaves to form a flat canopy on top. This pruning allows light to reach all parts of the plant for maximum yields. Pruning is an advanced technique, so you’d want to read up on it first before trying it.
A good time to harvest is when most trichomes are cloudy or milky in appearance, with one or two trichomes appearing amber. Too many amber trichomes, and you’re past peak THC harvest. At this point, a significant portion of the THC is now CBN (a cannabinoid that relaxes and calms the mind). So, you will still get some medicine from over ripe buds– just a different cannabinoid.
Seed Coupon Included.
Some say cannabis got the name ‘pot’ because early growers would move the pots they’d planted in as needed. With marijuana restricted and illegal in some places, people who grew (and in some cases still grow) had to be creative! The pot provided the freedom to create the best environment depending on what was available.
Indica vs. Sativa Growing Styles.
When flowers start to form, you’ve entered the flowering stage. Only female plants produce flowers. The first sign is thin flowers with white hair-like structures called pistils. Those little pistils are pre flowers and will eventually produce buds – which you can eventually consume. This important phase in the life of your pot plant lasts until you harvest the mature buds. Here’s what happens during this stage:
The ultimate, cheapest grow light for cannabis is the sun. Sunlight is the most powerful light us earthlings have access to, so i f you are lucky enough to live somewhere that allows you to take advantage of the giant fireball in the sky, we suggest you use it. Even just as little as 4 hours of direct sunlight will do wonders for a small autoflowering pot plant.
However, many people don’t understand the difference between autoflowering cannabis and photoperiod cannabis , aka regular flowering cannabis. Understanding these two options makes a big difference when selecting a 1st time strain based on how easy it is to grow. For beginners, we love autoflowers !
Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.
We love these types of seeds so much that our Grow Kits include a $40 discount coupon on autoflowering seeds from our friends at ILGM.com .
This species of cannabis starts her flowering cycle when she starts receiving equal hours of sunlight and darkness. This means if you are growing this type of pot indoors, the plant needs to consistently receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to release the necessary hormones to begin flowering. This is why many people that grow photoperiod cannabis indoors opt for grow tents or dedicated grow rooms .
If you opt for natural sunlight and you aren’t using autoflowers, you’ll need to ensure that your plants receive at least 18 hours of sunlight during the vegetative stage of their growth. Unfortunately, that means unless you are growing during the correct season and in the right area, this may not be obtainable without supplemental lighting. In other words, even if you are growing outdoors, investing in an LED lamp for those cloudy and or ‘short’ days might be a good idea.
Do I need to add nutrients to my marijuana grow?
Harvest up to a pound.
Cannabis ruderalis and photoperiod cannabis both have strains that lean towards either indica or sativa dominance. The experience post-consumption and their growth traits are the same for both photoperiod cannabis and autoflowering cannabis.
more plentiful buds. So, remember to provide the best care for your plants in the vegetative stage!
To be honest, nutrient and pH levels can be complicated and a definite hassle when you only want to grow a single plant. A much easier solution is a Pot for Pot Grow kit . Not only are these kits designed to make growing a single plant simple and easy, but they also provide the best organic nutrients and growing medium for your plants so that you don’t have to spend any time on this step.
The key difference between autoflowering and regular flowering cannabis is how (and when) the plant’s flowering cycle begins. Simply put, autoflowering cannabis automatically starts its flowering cycle, while photoperiod waits for the correct light vs. dark period (12 hours light / 12 hours dark) to flower.
Two things to look for when determining if your marijuana flowers are ready to harvest:
A disadvantage of hydroponic growing, though, is that they do not contain nutrients for your plant, so you’ll need to carefully measure and distribute the proper nutrients in the right proportions and at the right time. Worst of all, one over-feeding can ruin a whole crop. You can produce very high yields with this method, but there is a steep learning curve, and it is a bit expensive (both time and money-wise) for a single plant. If this is your first time, we suggest keeping it simple and letting the plant do the hard work in an organic soil mix.
Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe.