This all-new blog by our grow expert Nibameca tells you all about growing your first cannabis at home. Are you a complete newbie, or have you tried growing a plant out in the garden before? Maybe after that first batch, you found yourself thinking: “I want to do this all year long!” Would you like full control over what you grow, and how you do it? Well, you’re in luck! A world of different cannabis strains awaits. So why limit your choice by what dispensaries offer for sale when you have so much choice? In this blog, Nibameca explains just what to look out for to make that perfect start at growing cannabis at home.
Looking for genuine first-hand grow expertise, sleeves rolled up and boots in the mud? You’ll find plenty in our Nibameca blogs & grow guides ! Ever since discovering our White Choco genetics, this cannaboss refuses to leave our AG grow program – and rightly so. This veteran grower is all about top quality, innovation and sustainability in indoor grow projects. Our personal Amsterdam Genetics Grow Guru shares his experience with you to make the most out of every weed seed you plant! More About Nibameca
Growing Cannabis At Home: What You Should Know
Location, Location, Location!
The most vital part of your grow is finding a good spot do set it up. Do you have room in the attic or an unused part of the basement? Good. Although either location could be fine, they both have their pros and cons to consider. Your attic, for example, may offer perfect climate conditions in winter, but it may become far too hot in summer right beneath the roof. Your basement is subject to the opposite: the room offers great climate control in summer, bit in winter, it may well get too cold and damp. If you want to control these factors, you’ll need to invest more in heating and demoisturizing that basement, while you’ll probably have to cool and moisturize the attic instead.
Grow Room Or Grow Tent?
Once you’ve decided on a location for your grow, your next choice is right around the corner. Do I want a grow room, or a grow tent? Most growers go for tents. These can be set up and taken down in a matter of minutes. They’re a lot like the party tents you put up in the garden. It’s really not much harder than that, and they come in all sizes [link?]. If you decide to build or furnish your own home-made grow room, it could easily get in the way of your other activities and become a nuisance.
Grow Medium: The Foundation Of Growing Cannabis At Home
Now that you’ve decided on where to grow and picked your tent, the next decision presents itself: your grow medium or substrate. That means the soil type you’ll be planting your seeds in soon. You have a whole range of options here; from regular soil to coco, mapito, of full hydroculture. For rookie growers, regular soil is the most logical choice, because of its high tolerance for mistakes due to the medium’s high buffer capacity. On the other hand, it’s fairly easy to water your plants too much or too little on soil. A medium like coco reduces that problem.
Another option is hydroculture, also known as RDWC (Recirculating Deep Water Culture). In this system, you literally let your roots dangle freely in water. Even though that water will be your only waste product apart from a few leaves, RDWC is the least forgiving grow medium of all. Any mistake you make will immediately cause a surplus or shortage somewhere along the line. If you don’t spot that in time, you could be in for a very costly mistake. On top of that, RDWC is more expensive to set up, and it demand very close scrutiny of parameters. By parameters I mean values like mineral content, pH, and temperature. Keep this in mind if you’re considering growing cannabis at home using RDWC. Personally, I would recommend starting with plain soil: you can always work you way up from there.
Your next decision is about plant nutrients. These days, it’s pretty hard to find ‘bad’ nutrition, but even so, always check whether your nutrients match your grow medium. Most nutrient lines offer soil or hydro variants anyway. The most important nutrients for cannabis plants are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium: always check the N-P-K proportions indicated on the nutrients you buy.
The Best Lighting For Growing Cannabis At Home
Right. I can be brief here: buy quality lighting. After all, light is the energy source your plants use to grow. Here too, you have plenty of options to choose from. The cheapest choice is the old-fashioned HPS light bulb. True: HPS is cheap to purchase, but it uses truckloads of power, much of which is converted to heat rather than light. Even though radiation heat can be put to use in theory, what you want your lamp to do is to produce light.
Personally, I think HPS is an outdated concept. These days, LED lighting is the way to go. Now that nearly all hobbyists have made the switch to LED, they’ve become more advanced, more available, and much, much cheaper than they were five years ago. LED lighting lasts considerably longer than HPS, and it’s more efficient in using valuable electricity, too. That has the added benefit of being kind to our planet on top of being easy on the wallet. There’s all sorts of brands to choose from. Me, I’ve had great results with full spectrum LED lights from different producers. Just have a good look around and go for an affordable choice tat matches your budget as well as your goals.
Growing Cannabis At Home: What Else Do You Need?
Right. So now you have your tent/room and grow medium ready, plus lights waiting to switch on. Just a few more steps and you’re all set for your first grow! Below is a list of essentials that I’ll touch upon only briefly.
Air Circulation And Extraction
A successful grow requires fresh air, as well as a way to extract the old air from your tent or grow room. Inlet ventilators provide the room with cool, fresh air rich in CO2. The old air is expelled using an extraction fan with carbon filter. That allows you to filter the smell of the plants from the expunged air, which prevents your neighbours from detecting your new hobby. Another useful piece of equipment is a hygrometer, used to measure air humidity inside your tent.
Unless you opt to grow autoflowers, which start flowering by themselves without external triggers, you will need to manually switch your lighting to make your plants flower. This is where us growers get to play Mother Nature. That’s because indoor growers have to direct the cannabis life cycle by hand, rather than letting the change of the seasons arrange it as happens outside.In order to grow, cannabis plants need 18 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness each day. Once you switch to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, you’ll force your plants into flowering mode. Out in the wild, that switch is triggered automatically as the days start to grow shorter. Indoors, however, a timer switch is the way to go.
Mixing Water And Nutrients
To save yourself some valuable time, I advise you to use a resealable water container. In it, you can prepare a nutrient mixture with the proper pH and EC values (EC = Electric Conductivity, used to measure nutrient mineral levels in the mix). This makes feeding your plants easy. Be sure to use a Ph and EC gauge to check those parameters.
Then, finally, you’ll need a few fair-sized pots to accommodate your plants, after which you’re finally ready to start picking your ideal cannabis strain! At least you’re already on the right website to do just that – nice one! Amsterdam Genetics has ample choice of fine cannabis seeds, with something to suit anyone’s taste. The only one able to pick your ideal strain is you yourself: be sure to read up on stuff like feminized or regular seeds, autoflowers, and choices like sativa or indica strains before you decide. This decision is not only great fun; it deserves a blog of its own, so I’ll return to that subject elsewhere. For now, the blogs on the AG website are a fine place to start!
Nibameca’s Final Thoughts On Growing Your Own Cannabis At Home
Well there you have it: your guide to starting your very first batch of unique, home-grown cannabis! If you feel it’s all a bit much, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered here in Amsterdam. I’ll be back with more grow info and inside information, to help you pick that perfect strain and see you off to a good start. In the meantime, keep dreaming of your very first grow adventure at home; before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the sweet fruits of your not-so-very-hard labour!