Hillside’s 10 Quick Tips for Growing Marijuana
Growing marijuana is an art form that has taken many years for growers to perfect. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, there are always ways to improve your technique and yield.
1. Seeds Or Clones?
Among the initial decisions to make before starting to grow is whether to use seeds or clones. We’ve detailed seeds in another article here. Marijuana clones are cuttings of a fully developed and mature marijuana plant. These clones can be grown into large, potent plants with the same genetic makeup as the parent plant. It’s more cost-effective to buy a clone than to buy seeds and grow them from seedlings.
When you buy a marijuana clone, you’re paying for the plant’s root system – this is what’s most important when growing cannabis. The clones will grow into full-size plants in no time, making it an ideal choice for first-time growers.
2. Choose The Best Soil
Your soil is the foundation of your plant – it’s what they’ll absorb all of their nutrients from. That means that you should always, Always use good quality soil. Your plants will thrive with a mix that contains natural ingredients like peat, perlite, vermiculite, and composted cow manure. It should also include fertilizers like potassium nitrate, calcium nitrate, and nitrogen.
Coco coir is another great alternative to soil.
3. Make Sure Your Water Is Clean And Pure
Contaminated or impure water will cause fungal growth on your plants – this can be lethal for young seedlings, so make sure that you’re giving them the best conditions possible. You should always use clean, potable water when watering the plants. Also, use it sparingly.
One of the most common reasons for a marijuana plant to die is because they were overwatered – meaning that they received too much water at once. This can cause the roots to rot, which results in a moldy smell coming from the soil and dying leaves on the top of your plant.
4. Choose The Right Nutrients
Nutrients are basically what your plants use to grow – they’re crucial for a healthy, balanced plant that’s thriving in its environment. There are three main types of nutrients: Organic, macronutrients (nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus), and micronutrients (magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, zinc).
You should choose a nutrient system that’s designed to meet your plant’s needs as it grows. You can find nutrients for cannabis in the form of liquid or solid tablets, powders, and more. Soil-based systems are always safe options because they contain slower-release nutrients that work overtime.
If you’re using a hydroponic (soil-free) system for growing cannabis, you should have more advanced nutrients that are designed to provide your plants with all their essential vitamins and minerals.
5. Use The Best Lighting
Cannabis plants grow best when they receive 16 hours of light each day – this means that you need to invest in a good grow light! HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights are the most popular, but LED lights are also becoming more common. The lighting cycles are different at each stage of the cannabis plant’s lifecycle.
Germination requires light to occur, so you must use a light timer in the first weeks of growth. During this stage, your plants are rapidly growing their roots, which means they need plenty of water and food.
For the vegetative stage, you should provide 18-24 hours of light each day. This is when your plants are rapidly growing upwards. The lights should be on for 18 hours and off for 6 hours.
For the flowering stage, you need to switch to 12 hours of light each day. During this period, your plants will flower – which means that they’ll start producing buds. It takes about three months of 12-hour periods for your buds to fully mature.
6 . Use Temperature Controls
If you’re growing cannabis indoors, you should invest in a thermostat and grow tent that will keep your plants warm all the time. They should be kept between 20-25°C – this is ideal for budding and flowering. When it comes to humidity, you should always keep an eye on the levels – especially during the flowering stage.
The buds need to be kept in a relative humidity of 50%-75% when they’re budding. If the room is too dry, it can cause your plants to become stunted and produce weak flowers when they finally appear. The same goes if there’s too much humidity – this can cause mold, which will harm your plants and ruin the buds.
7. Manage Growth Cycles Properly
You should carefully manage the plant’s lifecycle to produce a healthy crop of bud at the end of flowering. Here are the main stages you need to worry about:
Grow your seeds in a seedling tray for the first two weeks of their lives, then move them to your grow space and give them plenty of light.
Provide your plants with 16-24 hours of light each day during this stage. This is the time that they’ll need plenty of room and a steady water supply to grow their roots, leaf stems, and foliage.
You should also start doing your first nutrient feeding – use a good nutrient system designed for vegetative growth.
Once your plants have passed into the flowering stage, you should give them 12 hours of light each day. You’ll also need to reduce the amount of water that they’re receiving since this is when buds begin to form on the flower stems.
After eight weeks of flowering, you can start the harvesting process. If you’re growing in soil, it’s best to wait until the plant has matured and showered your pot with its “crystals.” When many of the pistils on the plants have turned amber (some will stay green), your plant will be ready.
8. Watch Your pH
When it’s saturated with water, the average pH level of marijuana soil is 6.0–7.0, which is considered neutral. If the level falls below 6.0, then it’s too acidic; if it rises above 7.0, then the soil is considered alkaline.
To protect your plants from either excess acidity or alkalinity, you should regularly check pH levels in the early stages of growth and adjust as needed during feeding periods. You can use a simple home-testing kit to monitor the pH levels.
PH levels are especially crucial when your plants are flowering. During this time, the pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.0 – a lower level will prevent buds from forming properly; an excessively high level can cause buds to burn or turn brown and ugly before they’re harvested.
9. Opt For Organic
Always opt for organic when growing cannabis. Marijuana plants don’t need any pesticides or other chemicals to thrive! Using harmful pesticides or chemicals when growing marijuana can destroy your plant’s root system and kill its growth potential! We also don’t know the long-term health effects of using these products, so you should always go for organic.
10. Know When To Harvest
The most important thing to know about harvesting your pot is the right time of year to reap. If you’re growing outdoors, harvest during late autumn or early winter. If you’re growing indoors, you can begin harvesting a month after switching to the flowering stage. Once your plants are in maturity and they’ve reached the proper height, you’ll need to know how to process them properly.
To harvest your cannabis, cut off the main stem you’ve been feeding your plant during flowering. Then carefully place it in a drying chamber to cure.
Drying and curing your marijuana is one of the most important parts of growing and smoking weed. Read more about it in our article here!
After you’ve harvested your plant, it’s time to dry its buds out over a week or more. The idea is to slowly remove moisture from the bud to prevent mold or other problems – too much humidity during this phase will ruin all your hard work!
There are many things to consider when growing weed. Your purpose, the stage of growth, and what type of setup you’re using are all factors that can influence how you grow your pot.
You can never learn too much, so be sure to research all the info you need before starting. Growing is taking care of a living thing, after all, so you should treat it preciously.
Hopefully, these tips will help get your marijuana plants off to a great start!