If you're interested in growing weed, whether for fun, profit or both, now's a good time to prepare. Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. have made medical marijuana legal, while 11 states and the District of Columbia also have legalized recreational use of marijuana. The trend to legalizing marijuana use across the U.S. is clear.
Laws vary according to where you live, so you should always check local ordinances and state statutes before you plan any steps towards starting your own weed garden. Be aware that using or growing marijuana is still technically illegal under U.S. federal law and you should know those limitations as well. With all that in mind, growing marijuana offers many potential benefits. If you just like to smoke it now and then, you can save lots of money with home-grown weed compared to buying it at a dispensary. If you're looking to augment your income or create a career, it is also possible to become a commercial grower in pursuit of profits once you meet the bureaucratic requirements and get the proper permits. To get you off to a good start with the gardening aspect, DripWorks is happy to provide you this primer on how to grow marijuana.
First, you'll want to consider where you will be growing your pot plants. The biggest choice is deciding whether to grow your weed outside versus inside.
Indoor growing offers you better control over your pot plants' environment, letting you manage levels of light, water, humidity and fertilizer. But growing your plants inside, whether in a cannabis grow room or somewhere else, will cost you more. At a minimum, you'll need to set up grow lights to give your plants the 16 hours of light they need every day.
You'll also need to devise a method for watering. If you decide to go with a hydroponics system, growing your plants indoors with nutrient-laden water rather than in soil, your expenses will go even higher.
Growing marijuana outdoors will probably be cheaper, but it exposes your plants to the vagaries of weather. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your luck in getting the right amount of sun and rain during any given growing season.
Unless you carefully hide them, your plants will be easier to spot by potential thieves and other natural threats outside. On the other hand, they will benefit from the sun, rain and soil Mother Nature provides gratis. Of course, the quantity and quality of those elements will depend on where you live.
A myriad of cannabis strains is available, but you will have two basic choices: Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. As far as effects go, most users say sativa tends to give them a more wired, buzzy feeling than indica, which produces a mellower high. If you're planning on growing indoors, some experts say sativa will be easier to grow there.
When planting, your choice is between growing marijuana from seed or using clones. Clones offer some advantages. The main one is you can buy 100% female clones.
Sexing marijuana plants is crucial to getting the most out of your crop. Female plants are the ones that will produce the flowers you want to produce good smoke or medibles. Feminized seeds are available but will still produce a few hermaphroditic plants.
You can obtain seeds or clones from friends or buy them online. If you decide to go with seeds, you will need to germinate them. You can do this by placing them in water for 24 to 48 hours till a root sprouts. You can also place them between damp paper towels or plant them directly in the ground, watering them every day. Depending on conditions, germination can take two to seven days.
If you are growing outdoors, local climate conditions will limit your growing season. Indoors, of course, you can control temperature and grow year-round if you want to. Generally, pot plants like a temperature of 68° F to 77° F during their vegetative stage and 65° F to 85° F during their flowering phase.
Then there's the timing of your harvest. How long does it take to grow marijuana? Generally, you can expect to wait about three or four months until harvest time. The period can be shorter or longer, depending on conditions. Growing indoors gives you more control, enabling you to hasten flowering and shorten the grow time by adjusting the amount of light your plants get.
After you have planted your seeds or clones, whether in pots, the soil or some other garden structure, you will need to help your plants achieve their peak growth and potency. The main factors involved in achieving success include water, light and food.
Although all of these elements are crucial to healthy pot plants, it's important not to give them too much of a good thing. Most experts agree it's best to err on giving a little less rather than giving more water, fertilizer or light than they need.
When it comes to watering, experts often advise providing water every couple of days. Of course, this advice will vary widely if your plants are outdoors, where they can benefit from plentiful natural rainfall or suffer from prolonged droughts.
Outdoors or indoors, a good cannabis drip irrigation system can promote optimal plant health while saving this precious resource and reducing your watering expense. Drip irrigation for weed can also promote healthier plants by delivering water right to the soil rather than getting it on leaves, where it can spread disease. Timers can be used to make these systems fully automatic.
Crucial marijuana growing supplies include fertilizer. The most essential nutrients for ganja plants are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which you will see listed on fertilizer labels as N-P-K. Many experts recommend different ratios of these nutrients for plants in their vegetative versus flowering stages. You'll want to use a formula with less nitrogen during flowering.
It's easiest to purchase fertilizers specially formulated for pot plants, although you can make your own if you prefer. Whatever you do, remember not to apply too much fertilizer. Yellowing or browning leaf tips can be a clue you are going overboard.
You also want a light, loamy soil that has a pH of 6.2 to 6.7. Garden test kits are available to check the acidity level yourself. An alternative is to bring a soil sample to your local extension office.
With patience, planning and careful attention to your plants, you should enjoy a bountiful harvest. Whether you are growing cannabis for personal use or to sell, you will enjoy tremendous satisfaction from growing your own.
We hope our growing marijuana tips have been helpful, and you can stay up-to-date with the latest information in the marijuana category of our blog. We know that no two growing situations are exactly alike, so if you have any questions, feel free to call us here at DripWorks or email us for advice for your specific situation.