Growing weed at home can be easy if you’re allowed to by law. Anyone with some time and space to spare can become the proud owner of their own unique cannabis plants. In this article you’ll find some grower’s basics to get started. We have all the knowledge and all the prime cannabis genetics to get you set up. So without further ado, let’s talk growing cannabis at home #101!
Growing Weed At Home Is Easy
Most cannabis fans never get round to growing their own weed at home. That is a real pity, because raising your own homegrown cannabis is easy. Perhaps even more importantly, growing your own weed supply is a great way to save money. Yes, going to your local vendor or dispensary is fast and easy, but you’re also spending money that you could have saved. Last but definitely not least is the fun factor in growing weed. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction to be had in enjoying what you grew in your own backyard or improvised growing room.
And then there is the powerful sense of control you’ll get from making all the decisions yourself. Where do you grow? What seeds and genetics do you use? Are you going for fully organic weed, or do you use growing aides like fertilizers and growth boosters? It’s all up to you, if you decide and are able to grow cannabis plants at home. Can you feel those green thumbs tingling yet? Great. Let’s go over some grower’s basics.
Cannabis Is Called A ‘Weed’ For A Reason
Growing your own cannabis is easy, after all it’s called ‘weed’ for a reason. In fact, cannabis plants – depending on the endurance of individual strains – can handle more hardship than most plants in your backyard. This durability actually makes them hard to get rid of, much like regular ‘weeds’. Of course, you can ruin a grow if you want to, but if you know a few basic facts, you should be alright. Ironically, most of the classic screwups are caused by caring too much for the plant. So, in theory everybody is able to grow their own cannabis. The only things you need to grow your own usable crop are:
- Quality Cannabis Seeds;
- Air, and;
Let’s go over these Grower’s Essentials in some more detail.
1. Quality Cannabis Seeds
Let’s face it: you can’t grow weed without weed. Even though cannabis thrives like a weed, it won’t just ‘magically appear’ in your garden. If you want to start growing cannabis, you’ll need one of two things. Either you get a cutting from a living ‘mother plant’, providing you with a 1:1 genetic clone of the mother. Or you purchase high quality cannabis seeds from a trusted supplier. A prime source for top notch genetics is the Amsterdam Genetics Seeds Bank, where you can select all your favorite weed strains and phenotypes. This is a great way to explore the different tastes and effects we have in store, as well as being your guarantee for world-class cannabis genetics.
Since cannabis is illegal in most countries, clones are usually hard to find. Luckily our cannabis seeds travel far and reach even the most remote places. You can order world-class genetics for your home grow from the comfort of your own home and get that Love From Amsterdam in the mail, just like that. Not sure which seeds to pick? Our info on Feminized seeds, Autoflower seeds, and Sativa or Indica strains will help you choose. So, with the seeds part sorted, let’s move on to the other elements you’ll need to start growing.
Once you receive your seeds and activate them through germination, the first element your cannabis seedling needs to survive is light. Just like regular plants, weed needs light for photosynthesis in order to grow. And no, that does not necessarily have to be artificial lighting in an indoor grow house. Sure, you can build an indoor grow room, grow tent, or even a small cabinet with artificial lighting. But why should you? The sun is shining outside, so why not use that natural solar power to fuel your weed plants? Depending on your local climate conditions, spring and summer are the perfect time to get a natural grow running. It’s free, it’s sustainable, and it’s a great excuse to get out more often.
For optimal lighting conditions, look for the best spot using these simple guidelines. Growing cannabis outdoors is also a great educational experience, and you just might add a new hobby to your repertoire. Be careful around nosy neighbors though. Not everyone appreciates the pungent smell of a flowering cannabis plant. Some appreciate it too much – you don’t want that guy next door sneaking off with your harvest.
How Light Directs The Growth Of Cannabis: Vegetative Stage And Spring Sunshine
As you can read in our blog on the various life stages of cannabis, you can draw a basic distinction between three stages in the life of a cannabis plant: germination, vegetation (growth), and flowering. Each of these stages is directed by light, whether indoors or outside. In nature, a freshly germinated seedling first starts to grow as fast as possible to toughen up, with enough leaves to catch the light and firm roots for nutrient absorption. In natural conditions, that happens in spring, when the sun is not yet straight above the equator. As the days get longer, the rays of the sun don’t have their full summer strength yet. Plats ‘sense’ this, so if you get your timing right, your germinated seeds will grow fastest from early May until about mid- or late June. Indoors, you can simulate these springtime conditions all year long by using a ’16/8′ lighting schedule. That means switching on the lights for 16 hours and then switching them off again for eight hours of ‘night’ – similar to outdoor Spring conditions, that is.
Flowering Stage And Summer Sun
On June 21, the Northern Hemisphere enjoys the longest day of the year. After this ‘summer solstice’, the days gradually get shorter as we (sadly) start to prepare for autumn. Rather than growing even taller, cannabis plants now enter the flowering stage. This is when female plants start to develop the flowers growers love to harvest. How long a given strain flowers before she’s ready to harvest depends on the individual strain. Still, in temperate climate zones such as those of Northern Europe, it’s important to finish flowering before the cold and wet autumn weather sets in; preferably before October arrives. This explains why May is the perfect time to get your germinated seedlings out into the spring sunshine.
Late Bloomers And Afterthoughts: Starting Outdoor Grows Later In The Season
Did you start your outdoor grow project too late? No worries: you can start growing weed outside as late as Juli if you play your cards right. The main drawback is that you’ll have to make do with a shorter flowering stage, since the season is getting along already. That’s bound to result in smaller plants, and therefore, less weed to harvest, but for most growers, a modest outdoor harvest is much better than none at all!
A final tip for late bloomers is to pick autoflower seeds. Autoflowering strains pack special genetics that don’t give a toss about how much daylight they receive. That means autoflowers determine their own perfect time to start flowering. Of course, that won’t add a single day to how much summer you have left; but you’ll seriously improve your odds of getting a nice harvest in before the cold sets in.
Lighting For Outdoor Growers: Free Solar Power
You may think that growing cannabis outdoors is a no-brainer in terms of lighting; after all, the sun comes up on a daily basis, doesn’t it? Well, that’s not entirely correct, because the intensity and amount of sunlight determines how much grow power your plant can draw from it. That means it pays to think before you start, preferably using large pots for your plants so you can move them around later if you need more light or shelter.
Consider the location and lay-out of your grow spot, such as your garden for instance. South or west-facing gardens catch the most daily sunlight. Do check for nearby trees, shrubs, and buildings that cast shadows to block the light. Pick a strategic spot that allows your leaves to make the most out of every last sunbeam.
Indoor Lighting: A Matter Of Technique
Growing cannabis indoors is an altogether different matter: here, growers have full control over their lighting regimes. Technology and specific LED or HPS lamps are a specialist story and possibly a bit of an investment, so that deserves a separate blog. At any rate, always make sure a grow room or tent is 100% light-proof, without holes or slits, because that’s your sole guarantee for total lighting control.
Outdoors and indoors, regardless of growing mediums or strain genetics, cannabis plants need water to survive. Not too much and not too little. And believe it or not, even though this sounds like the easiest part of growing weed, watering is where most novice growers get it wrong. Luckily there is a way to determine if a plant needs more or less water: the leaves.
When given the ideal amount of water, the leaves of cannabis plants should be upright during the day. As if they’re holding their little ‘plant-arms’ up to the sky to improve their intake of precious sunlight. At night, the leaves come down and hang towards the ground. If the leaves hang like that during the day, you are either giving too much water to your plants or not giving enough. Simply feeling the soil or substrate with your fingers should provide clarity on that matter. Have a look at our watering grow blog for more information about perfect watering techniques.
There’s enough of it to go around, but do make sure it does! Any plant, including cannabis, needs fresh air to survive. After all photosynthesis cannot take place without it. This is more important for indoor growers, since outside, nature will provide all the air your plants need. In fact, you can even get too much of a good thing. Always make sure outdoor cannabis plants are safe from gusts of wind by providing some shelter.
Indoor growers need to keep the fresh air (rich in CO2) coming in and old air (rich in O2) going out. This requires an extractor fan with carbon filter for the smell, fans for air circulation and a fresh air inlet in a closed-off growing environment. This is also where growing outside saves you a lot of trouble.
Last but not least, every grower needs patience. It is nearly impossible to speed up the flowering process and ‘cheat nature’. Growing weed at home is a process to enjoy, as you wait for the right time to harvest. If you harvest your plants too early, they might not even have enough THC in them to provide the intended effect. Unless you want to throw in all your hard work for nothing, you’ll have to wait – watching the grass grow, so to speak. Patience is a virtue, though. It gives you time to really have a look at your plants and make sure they are okay – and not being attacked by snails and slugs for example, or falling prey to fungi like bud rot or mildew. It also gives you the opportunity to read our other blogs on growing weed at home.