Five Things You Must Know Before You Start Growing Cannabis
There is doubt that growing your own weed is the wisest decision you can make with regard to this plant. Whether you are growing it for medicinal or recreational purposes, you need to know some basic things for a successful venture. Don’t get us wrong, though: growing your own cannabis in your home is not difficult. You simply need to learn a few things to avoid simple but costly mistakes and ensure a great harvest.
In the following section, we have made a discussion of the five things that you must know before beginning to grow your weed.
- The difference between regular, feminized and autoflower
This is an important thing that you must understand because most beginners find it difficult to choose the correct seeds. It is important for you to understand the difference between regular, feminized, and autoflower, as the choice helps determine if the particular type meets your specific needs. If you have less skill with regard to cannabis growing, feminized seeds should be your choice. Although if you are on a budget, regular seeds are the cheaper option. However, you will need to be confident that you can spot the early signs of a male plant so that you don’t compromise any of the females in your grow room with pollination. You should only really grow with regular seeds if you are a reasonably experienced grower or you intend to create new strains. On the other hand, autoflowers are the best if you intend to grow your weed outdoors. They also require less work compared to the regular ones, making them a better choice for busy growers and beginners. Consequently, knowing the difference between the three options is important because it will help you choose the hybrid seeds that meets your specific needs.
- The different stages of cannabis growth – seedling, vegetative and flowering
The marijuana plant goes through a series of growth stages, which you need to understand before you start growing cannabis. It is essential for you to understand these phases so you know how long it takes to grow weed and the changing requirements of the plant at the various stages. Knowing where your crops are in their growth cycles will determine when to train, prune, trellis, and harvest your weed. For instance, the seedling stage lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. During this period, indoor plants need 18 hours of light a day, while outdoor plants require 6 hours of direct sunlight. On the other hand, the flowering stage takes between 8 and 11 weeks. During this phase, the plants need 12 hours of light and 6 hours of direct sunlight a day if you have planted them indoors or outdoors, respectively. If you fail to meet these requirements, your harvest will be affected negatively.
- The kind of grow lights you will need
If you have made a decision to grow indoors, you will need cannabis grow lights to serve as the center of your operation. Various grow lights exist in the market, and you may want to know the best choice that matches your needs before you begin growing your plants. For example, compact fluorescent lights are inexpensive and the best choice for first-time growers. However, these lights do not produce a huge harvest. On the other hand, LED grow lights are the most expensive light options in the market. If used properly, these types of light may produce outstanding results and are great at keeping your power costs low. However, they aren’t the best choice for those who have limited financial ability and small growers. Other kinds of grow lights that you can choose from are T5 and T8 fluorescent lights, High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), and Metal Halide (MH). The choice you make depends on a number of factors, making it necessary for you to know the kind of grow lights you will need to meet your indoor grow needs.
- The different light cycles to grow cannabis indoors
It is important for you to understand the various light cycles when growing cannabis indoors for you to be able to provide the correct amount of light for optimal harvest. The lighting requirements to grow cannabis indoors are majorly different during the vegetative and flowering stages. During the vegetative stage, your indoor plants need more light than they need during the next phase. During this stage, there are two favored light cycles for indoor growing: 20/4 and 18/6. However, there is still a debate about which is a better light cycle for plants during this stage. A 20/4 cycle means that your plants will photosynthesize 20 hours of the day. However, this cycle does not guarantee optimal yield because keeping cannabis plants in light doesn’t give them a chance to restock their energy reserves following a long day of growing. This cycle can be well suited to autoflowering strains and in fact has shown to increase autoflower yields when used correctly. On the other hand, you will need a lighting cycle that promotes flowering, and experts recommend the least amount of light. The lighting cycle for this stage is usually 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Understanding these lighting cycle requirements is essential in establishing how you will be grouping your plants while in different stages. For example, if you are growing in batches, you may need to maintain separate tents: one for flowering plants and another for vegetative ones.
- NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) – the three main nutrients required to grow cannabis
All plants, including cannabis, require nutrients to grow and survive. You may want to understand the basics of what and how to feed your weed plants before you begin to grow your plants. In particular, you need to understand the three main nutrients needed for cannabis growing (NPK). NPK refers to a formula utilized to list the three most important ingredients (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) needed for your plants to develop strong and healthy buds. Understanding how to manage the levels of these nutrients is an important aspect of cannabis growing. Each of the nutrients plays a distinct yet equally crucial role in the growth of cannabis. While they are needed in the entire growth cycle, they are needed in varying amounts during various phases. Therefore, knowing the proportions of these nutrients required and how you may manipulate them is important for healthy plants as well as big harvests.
Now you see. You just don’t want to rush into growing your own cannabis with the correct information. While there are some more things to learn, we believe the five are most important ones. As you grow your plants, you will be able to gain more information from your experiences.