Growing your own cannabis doesn’t have to be a complicated affair! In fact, becoming cannabis self-sufficient can be a fun way to control the quality of your product and save money! Today, we are going to discuss the fundamentals of getting started with your very own ganja garden! First things first, you need to decide whether you will be growing indoors or outdoors. For beginners, growing a plant outdoors can be significantly easier and require less investment in equipment. However, many states require that you grow indoors. So, check your local requirements before you get started. The next step is making sure you have all the right tools! This includes pots, seeds, soil, nutrients, and if you are growing indoors, lighting,an extraction system, and fans. Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?
If you are growing outdoors, you can forgo pots to grow directly in the soil, allowing space for your plants to grow much taller. However, this does require that you be at the mercy of weather conditions.
Cannabis starts to flower in late summer and if the weather is rainy or cold, your crop will not flower
Potted plants do not grow to be as large, but you have more control over the growing conditions. You can move them around to get the best light or bring them indoors to escape cold weather. Just remember that the size of your mature plant will depend on the size of your pot, so buy accordingly!
Choosing the Right Soil
Soil is an obvious necessity and while you can always go for the cheap bags you find at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store, I would advise shelling out the extra dough for premium soil with the proper nutrients and texture for optimal cannabis growth. Especially as a beginner, cheap soil can be an insurmountable hurdle to good yield. You want to make sure your soil is light and does not dry and harden easily. Air permeable soil is vital to ensuring healthy root growth in cannabis plants. You can always add perlite to the soil to make it lighter or you can buy a mix that is already formulated to fit the bill. Your best bet is to buy your soil from a specialized grow shop. You can even order this online. These specialized soils will be pre-mixed to provide a light, nutrient dense soil that is designed specifically for cannabis. If you can’t afford to buy a pre-mixed soil designed for cannabis growth, you should make sure that you choose the highest soil quality you can afford and avoid compost that would usually be used for flower since it will be far too acidic for cannabis plants.
Picking your Seeds
Seeds are the next step. There are a few qualities you will want to look for in your seeds. First of all, select something with a high germination rate- typically 95% or higher. Then ensure your seeds offer a 100% genetics guarantee and are feminized for 95%. You will also want to take note of the strain you are selecting. Cannabis has two primary strains: Indica and Sativa. Indicas are small, thick, and wide and offer a heavy body high. Sativas are tall, thin, and offer a upbeat, head high. Indicas are typically more hardy and easier starter plants since Sativas can be unpredictable and large. For beginners, you may also want to choose auto flowering seeds as they will increase your odds of success.
Select your Nutrients
For the most part, selecting a high quality, targeted soil will provide your plants with sufficient nutrients, but in the last weeks, you may want to provide your plants with a little extra boost. Liquid nutrition is usually best for this since is is easily absorbed. There are a plethora of nutrient options out there, but all are comprised of a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen and potassium stimulate initial growth and during the flowering phase, it's best to use a mixture of phosphorus and potassium with minimal nitrogen.
Let There be Light
If you are growing outdoors, this one is relatively easy- just choose a location with a lot of light and let mother nature do her job! If you are growing indoors, you will need to purchase a lamp. For cannabis plants, having time to rest at night is also very important, so you will need a timer to create a regular cycle for your growing buds. You can choose lamps of various wattages for growing cannabis - 400 watt, 600 watt and 1000 watt. The more light, the better the yield will be. High pressure sodium (vapor) lamps are ideal for growing indoors.
When you are growing indoors, you will need an extraction system with an activated carbon filter. Cannabis plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow. They get this CO2 from the air. If you fail to provide the growing area with fresh air, the plants will use up all CO2 in the air. Growth will slow down and the plant’s growth will be stunted. An extraction system cycles out the CO2-depleted air and brings CO2-rich air inside. The system also removes the typical odors that are released during the flowering phase. A carbon filter is a large tube filled with carbon. The carbon absorbs the chemicals responsible for the odors and neutralizes them.
Using Fans for Air Circulation
To ensure that the fresh air supplied by the extraction system is evenly distributed in your growing area, you also need one (ore more) fan(s) for good air circulation.
By constantly circulating the air, the fan ensures an even distribution of temperature, humidity and C02
While this is by no means, a comprehensive guide to growing ganja, this should help you get started growing your first little seedling! Good luck and may the ganja gods gift you with stellar buds!