As its nickname weed implies, cannabis is easy to grow. Left to its own devices, it really can grow like a weed. But if you want to raise the healthiest, most potent plants possible, you need to do more than just scatter some pot seeds in the ground.
If you have a good history of growing vegetables or an orchard, you know how diligent you will need to be to grow an excellent crop of marijuana. Preparation, day-to-day attention and finding a good source for seeds or clones will help ensure your plants' success.
In addition to your own gardening bag of tricks, cannabis growing tips outdoors or indoors can help you harvest bigger and better crops. Read on to learn about our top cannabis growing tips and tricks here at DripWorks.
Tip #1. Shop for your seeds or clones online with a reputable source. Look for clones or seeds best suited to your needs. Clones are a dependable choice because they are pre-sexed. That means you can be assured of getting female plants that produce the flowers you want. For this reason, I would go with clones. This initial stage of the process will be the least expensive part of the entire grow. Choosing clones will save time and help ensure a quality crop of primo bud. Do not cheap out here. Decide whether you want uplifting sativa, a mellow stony indica or a medicinal-quality pot high in CBDs.
If you want an early harvest for your personal use, look for the ruderalis variety. This auto-flowering strain is a short plant that grows to three or four feet tall. It can be planted from the middle of April to the middle of May and is ready to harvest toward the end of July. These plants begin to flower four or five weeks after planting or sprouting. Unlike indica and sativa, they are not activated by the photoperiod. Full flowering takes place in 12 weeks on average.
Tip #2. Pick your location. Whether you are growing weed indoors or outdoors, consider the pros and cons of your situation. With the new legal regulations here in California and elsewhere, growing outdoors has become more prevalent. Growing your crop outside can provide abundant sunshine and a cross-current of wind that can help curtail insects and disease and produce a strong plant.
On the other hand, an indoor grow allows you complete control. Advanced lighting systems, fans, ventilation systems and an air filtration system provide an optimal environment for your plants. Growing inside might be safer too because you can lock the door at night. Also, because your plants will be out of sight, out of mind to passersby, your crop will become less vulnerable to theft.
Tip #3. Discriminate based on sex. In the case of pot, sexual discrimination is a good thing. Female plants produce the smokable bud that lifts your spirit. So, if you are buying seeds, obtain feminized seeds. Even one male plant can pollinate the female plants, causing them to turn their energy into producing seeds rather than those wonderful, sticky, resinous buds.
Tip #4. Get the pot plants off to a good start. Just like giving a child good organic nourishment, properly germinating your marijuana seeds will help produce a strong, healthy plant. Germinating your weed seeds will help develop a strong taproot that can both support the plant and supply all the nutrients it needs throughout its life. If you are wondering how to germinate the seeds, several methods are available. You can plant them in the ground or in a paper cup filled with potting soil just a half-inch below the surface. Keep the soil moist by gently spraying the surface each day. The cup can be put on a south-facing interior windowsill or in a greenhouse.
First, I soak my seeds in water for 24 hours. Then I lay them on a moist paper towel and fold over the moist towel to cover the seed. Check the seeds every day until they sprout. When the taproot sprouts about a quarter inch, plant it in a paper or plastic pot with the sprouted tap aimed down. When the new shoot is an inch or two tall and it has its first set of leaves, it is ready to plant in the ground or in a smart pot.
Tip #5. Select your soil. A loam-type soil enriched with a high-nitrogen bagged soil or organic compost is perfect. It will be easy for the pot plant's roots to penetrate. If your outdoor soil is dense clay or highly compacted, mix in a little sand and a good amount of coco coir to help the roots breathe and grow far and wide to soak up the nutrients they need to grow into sizeable and healthy plants. Indoors, of course, you will have complete control of the growing medium cannabis needs. Hydroponics is another option for indoor growing. This method of growing with the roots immersed in water allows you to fertilize the plants with water-soluble fertilizer.
Tip #6. Irrigation. Generally, you will want to keep the soil slightly moist. You can schedule the controller to water briefly once or twice a day. If your plants are outdoors, this schedule will vary depending on rainfall, of course. A good rule is to water your plants if the soil feels dry a few inches down. Drooping leaves are an indication of too-dry soil. But don't overdo it. Overwatering can be very detrimental to your crop, so pay close attention after you first set your timer/controller. Cannabis drip irrigation with a timer will do an excellent job. Sprayers like the down-spray sprinkler irrigate onto a wide area below the plant's leaves. They will also make it possible to top-dress powdered fertilizer and soak the nutrients into the soil and the plant's entire root system.
Tip #7. Fertilizer. At the start of the growth cycle, marijuana likes a balanced 10-10-5 fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, but which also includes phosphorus and potassium. After six to eight weeks or when the first white hairs show up when budding begins, you might switch to a 5-25-9 fertilizer for the flowering stage. Many premixed fertilizers are available at cannabis-growing supply shops. I recommend installing a fertilizer injector such as the EZ Flo or MixRite directly into your irrigation system so you can easily fertilize as you water.
Tip #8. Humidity. If you are growing indoors, you will want to aim for a relative humidity level of about 40 to 50%. Use a hygrometer for measuring.
Tip #9. Keep your plants in the ideal temperature range. For marijuana plants, this generally runs from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip #10. Ensure good airflow to prevent mold and fungus. Indoors, you can improve airflow with fans and exhaust systems. Outside, give plants adequate spacing to prevent the spread of fungus and diseases.
Remember that marijuana does not need to be difficult to grow. There are currently many websites where you find lots of helpful tips.
Many products are available online and in stores to help you out too. DripWorks website has several blogs detailing how to grow your own using DripWorks irrigation products.