If you regularly purchase your supply from dispensaries or online cannabis sites, you may have noticed a sharp rise in the price of weed. The demand for top-quality recreational and medicinal strains has increased and this has led growers and breeders to increase prices for their products.
Many consumers are now feeling the heat. Many recommend growing your own supply to augment the costs of buying cannabis. And if you want to grow your own supply then you need to learn how to grow marijuana.
Most expert growers say that it’s easy to grow cannabis. Basically, marijuana may grow no matter what kind of environment the plant is in. There are even cannabis strains that can grow in the cold or in aridest environments.
Aside from these, experts also recommend growing marijuana if you regularly use cannabis for recreational or medicinal use. Beginner growers should practice all they can to grow different kinds of strains as well. Here is a guide to help you prepare for your future in cannabis growing.
Cannabis growing essentials
You need to understand legal cannabis growing
In some states and countries where cannabis growing is regulated (legalized or decriminalized), those who would like to grow medicinal cannabis should apply for a license. A cannabis growing license is a document that will allow you to cultivate medical marijuana in your home for a particular illness or medical use.
There are steps to be able to get a license. It starts with consulting a doctor regarding the use of medical cannabis for your medical condition. If your doctor says you can use medical cannabis then you’ll be provided with a document to apply for a growing license which will be granted by a regulating body in your country or state.
Take note that a growing license has limits. There is a number of plants that you can grow and there are regulations regarding your growing area. You will also need to comply with local laws about growing cannabis. There could be rules against growing cannabis in your apartment building or even in your city.
And to check if growing cannabis is regulated and if you require a license to do so, check local government regulations from a local online site.
Now, how about recreational marijuana growing? You can only grow recreational cannabis if this is allowed in your area. Usually, there is no license to grow recreational cannabis but you need to follow laws about growing from your province or state especially the number of plants allowed.
You must learn about the basic things to grow cannabis
To sum up the important basic equipment you need to grow cannabis, you need:
- Cannabis seeds for first-time growers
- Good grow lights
- Intake and outtake fans
- Grow tent or grow cabinet
- Pots and potting mix
- Smell filters or carbon filters
You can purchase these from online or from local shops. You can also purchase these individually or as a set.
Easy to grow cannabis strains
For this guide, we recommend first-time growers to use autoflowering cannabis seeds. Autos are perfect for people new to growing cannabis because these are the quickest to grow and have the most unique characteristics.
Autoflowering cannabis is the opposite of regular or photoperiod plants in such a way that these plants don’t rely on the amount of light that the plants get to flower. Regular cannabis strains require a 12-hour light and 12-hour darkness schedule to start flowering. This type of cannabis has a natural system that will feel if the air is colder and there is less darkness compared to daylight.
As a grower, you will need to place your plants under 12/12 schedules daily until these flowers. But with autoflowering plants, you simply grow your plants according to whatever lighting schedule you prefer. Autoflowering cannabis is set to flower in 7 to 9 weeks, you may even grow two to three sets of crops in a year if you follow their growing needs very closely.
It will take about 9 to 10 weeks to harvest autoflowering marijuana plants. On the other hand, indica ruderalis strains or strains made by combining an indica and a ruderalis will harvest earlier while sativa ruderalis plants can take the longest.
The type of strain also matters when estimating the flowering and harvest periods of auto plants. Choose the strain that will grow well.
The best cannabis strains to grow now
Amnesia Haze Automatic
Amnesia Haze Automatic is an autoflowering cannabis made after long years of research. It is a strain from an Amnesia and a ruderalis and will flower faster compared to its photoperiod counterpart. Amnesia already grows fast but when combined with a ruderalis the result is a super strain that’s ready to flower in just 8 weeks.
Automatic Amnesia Haze comes with 18% THC. It has a fantastic flavor profile that combines earthy and fruity flavors that consumers love to smell and taste. This strain is perfect for impatient consumers and growers because it flowers fast. Those who can’t wait to smoke their supply and to make fast and easy profits from growing cannabis deserves this strain.
Amnesia Haze auto is a versatile cannabis strain since it can be grown indoors and outdoors. Indoors, you have a plant that can reach up to 100 cm and yield up to 400 grams per square meters. Outdoors, you can get up to 120 cm and up to 180 grams of yield per plant.
One of the most flavorful autoflowering strains is Diesel Automatic. The smell of this strain is enough to make crave for more. This strain was made by combining the genes of a Diesel and a ruderalis. The result is an easy growing plant with a THC content of 14%.
Diesel Automatic offers a sativa-dominant effect that will give you a clear head and energy. You will want its cerebral effects to last and it will for hours. And aside from its potent diesel smell and flavor, it comes with a matching citrus and fruit aromas. These are very strong but not too overpowering.
Diesel Automatic is a daytime cannabis strain. It can help you get things done at home or work. It will let you bring out your creative side. If you think you’re losing interest in painting, drawing or composing then Diesel Automatic is the answer to your creativity.
Other features you must know about Diesel Automatic is that it grows well, it can tolerate cold temperatures and is very forgiving. This strain also grows quicker with yields of up to 375 grams per square meters indoors. Outdoors, you’ll get a tall plant at 110 cm and yields of 110 grams per plant.
Flowering takes only 8 to 9 weeks; one of the quickest strains around. Diesel Automatic grows well in sandy-clayey soil and requires a lot of sunshine to thrive. Protect this strain from molds because it has large buds which can store moisture.
As the name suggests, Easy Bud is one of the easiest to grow. It is best for novice growers. The secret behind its success is its very strong and resilient genes. It can be grown indoors under strong lighting or outdoors.
Easy Bud was made by combining a White Indica and a Ruderalis. This is a heavy sativa strain that will give you the couchlock effect even when you take it moderately.
There’s 12% THC in every bud and thus it is best for daytime use because it will give you that burst of energy for the rest of the day. It has an indica strain lineage that is ideal for its unique therapeutic and calming effects.
When grown indoors, Easy Bud will grow up to 50 to 60 cm with 325 grams per square meter. When grown outdoors, it will grow up to 110 cm and will give you bountiful yields of 80 grams per plant.
For strains that will flower fast, this should be your strain. This can flower in just 5 to 7 weeks and this is without using any lighting schedule. Consider this strain for an easy, first-time strain for beginners.
The Quick One is one of the first autoflowering marijuana seeds developed by growers and when it was released decades ago, it was one of the quickest to grow. Quick One was made by combining a very potent indica with a ruderalis strain.
Quick One is an indica-dominant strain and this means that it will let you experience a sedating physical high. It contains 13% THC, therefore, a good choice among recreational cannabis users who want to relieve pain, nausea or stress.
Tasting Quick One, you’ll get hints of fruit and citrus which is a good combination of flavors to keep you on your feet and energized. When grown indoors, Quick One can grow as much as 60 cm. This makes this strain perfect if you live in a small space like an apartment or dorm. Indoors, it will give you up to 325 grams per square meter which is still a decent amount.
Outdoors, this strain can grow up to 100 cm in height and will give you up to 150 grams per plant. You will surely be satisfied with this beginner strain.
Royal Dwarf was made by combining the genes of a Skunk and a Ruderalis. This is a classic auto due to its small and compact size. It is the best for indoor growing especially when you have a very limited space to grow in your home. You may also grow Royal Dwarf outdoors but place it in a shaded area protect it from direct heat.
Royal Dwarf grows excellent indoors inside growing cabinets, tents and buckets because of its size. It is so small but the buds are densely packed with an average level of THC. You’ll get a satisfying high that will slightly stone your body.
The strain has very potent flavors. You will instantly feel that citrusy flavor moving through your lungs at the first few puffs. This is the strain for people who want to remain focus and in control with a moderately-heavy effect.
Royal Dwarf is quick to grow due to its ruderalis heritage. Your plants will be ready for harvest around 9 weeks. Cultivate this indoors and you will get yields of up to 200 grams / square meters. When grown outdoors the plants can grow up to 90 cm in height and will have 80 grams of yield per plant.
You must buy seeds from reputable seedbank sites
So where to find the mentioned good strains for first-time growers? The best place to start is from a local seed bank in your city and if this is not available, you can check online seed banks instead.
Use only good quality seeds. Reputable local and online seedbanks have a large collection of seeds to offer. These companies ship to most countries and have several good payment options for customers.
Reputable seedbanks offer guarantees for the viability of their seeds. These companies believe that their seeds will sprout or germinate given the right conditions. Reliable and reputable seedbanks have good reviews. You may also ask for recommendations from people who have ordered or purchased cannabis seeds before to find a good company.
You must have the best grow lights
Consider that light = amount of your harvest. So, the stronger your lights are, the better your yields would be. The most common grow lights are HID lamps, CMH lamps and LED lamps. But the best according to many growers is an LED lamp.
LED lamps are preferred because these are energy-efficient and won’t cost too much to use. LED bulbs may be the most expensive of the three expensive but these use very little electricity and one bulb can last for years so you will save money in the long-run. Select high-quality bulbs because these will give you a better harvest. Cheap bulbs may not be as bright and may only give you small buds and little yield.
Meanwhile, fluorescent lamps are also popular but the problem with this type of lighting is that it is not too bright. You may need more lamps to light up a medium-sized room and this cost a lot of money.
Finally, HID or high-intensity discharge bulbs can give you better harvests because it is bright, intense and effective but the main disadvantage is that it uses a lot of power. These are very cheap but it costs more to use. HID lamps are very warm and can affect the temperature inside the growing area.
LED lamps are intense but won’t make the room hot. You can place LED lamps as near as an inch from the leaves of plants without burning them. Overall, the type of lighting can improve or ruin your plants so choose wisely.
You must have adequate ventilation
Your plants require fresh air to grow healthy and strong. When plants are grown inside tents and cabinets these may not be well ventilated. Molds and mildew can develop and these can affect your harvests.
The best way to improve air circulation is by using two fans inside your growing area. Install one fan at the bottom of the grow tent to take in the cold, fresh air inside the tent or cabinet. The second fan will be installed at the top to blow stale air out of the tent. This air movement will enhance ventilation and ensure good health of your plants.
Another reason why you must improve ventilation is to remove foul odors. Use carbon filters to remove strong cannabis smells. Carbon filters are very easy to install and are available in cannabis growing shops and hardware stores. Insist on reusable filters and make sure that the filter fits your ventilation system. As much as possible, change or clean your carbon filters as often as possible to improve the smell inside your growing area.
You must have the best-growing soils and containers
A part of growing healthy, high-yielding plants is growing these in good soil. At the moment, there is no particular soil recommended by growers but the best one has to be soil that absorbs the specific type of soil for auto cannabis plants, but it will grow better when the soil has the following characteristics:
Soil requirements for growing cannabis plants
High water retention
Soil should retain or absorb more water. Water is very important because it acts as a transport for nutrients in the soil. Roots absorb water together with the nutrients from the soil and then take these to the different parts of the plant. Water also hydrates the plant and keeps it healthy. It is also essential in the processing of its own food.
Good soil must also drain extra water away from the roots. This is will avoid root rot and other root conditions that can affect nutrient absorption.
High nutrient absorption
Good soil should also absorb nutrients more efficiently. Most fertilizer products are mixed in water and then applied to the roots, this must be absorbed by the soil well. It should also hold nutrients to give the roots time to absorb what plants need to survive.
Good soil must be able to drain the excess as well. This prevents nutrient lock in the roots and nutrient problems that may affect the health of your plants.
Good aeration abilities
The soil must not be compact but not loose as well. It must allow oxygen to move through it to reach the roots. Oxygen is essential for roots to absorb different nutrients and for different metabolic processes.
If soil is too compact it won’t be able to absorb water and nutrients and allow oxygen to pass. This is when soil enhancers are handy like perlite and sand. You can purchase soil that has good aerating characteristics or you can add perlite to regular soil.
Good soil for cannabis growing has a pH of 6.6 which is neutral pH. At this pH, it allows vital nutrients to move through the root area. Good pH allows the growth of good bacteria in the soil to enhance plant health. Check soil pH regularly and amend it as soon as you spot any problems.
A good amount of microorganisms
Microorganisms such as mycorrhizae can help make the roots healthy. Healthy roots can dig deeper and absorb more nutrients from the soil. Your cannabis plants will become healthier, will reach their potential and bear improved yields with the help of these good microorganisms.
The best soils for growing marijuana strains
FoxFarm FX14047 is best for growing cannabis because it will support your plants as these turn to large plants and transplant to their final growing containers. This soil has important nutrients for healthy plant growth. It comes with microbes and fungi which will protect roots from harmful microorganisms. It is also enriched with earthworm castings and humus is known to enhance the health of cannabis plants.
Growers recommend this soil brand and say that you don’t need to take soil sample tests or monitor pH because FoxFarm FX14047 has been specially formulated. This will automatically adjust or correct pH level so your plants can improve their ability to absorb more nutrients.
This soil is the best when it comes to growing cannabis plants indoors. It is available from local garden shops and online shopping sites in small packs.
Nature’s Living Soil
The Nature’s Living Soil allows you to grow all kinds of strain on the best organic soil because it has everything your plants need to grow healthy and strong. Nature’s Living Soil has more nutrients and microorganisms to let you grow anything.
All you need is to add water to activate the good microorganisms and soon, your soil will be ready for your plants. You will see good results as soon as a few days of using this kind of soil. You can purchase Nature’s Living Soil from local garden shops and from online garden shopping sites and from online cannabis growing supplies.
FoxFarm FX14000 is the ideal potting soil bag because it is for plants grown in containers. It is made for cannabis plants that are cultivated in small growing areas like grow tents and cabinets.
With this of soil, your plants will get the most out of the fertilizer mixes and supplements that you use to enhance the health and growth of your plants.
The FoxFarm FX14000 has a time-tested formula that contains guano, forest products, and worm castings which can boost soil health. This is the best soil for plants with impressive flavor and tempting effects.
Using your garden soil
If you want to use your garden soil then by all means. As long as your soil is healthy and ideal to cannabis growing then this may be used to grow anything. Check for clues if the soil is ready to grow cannabis.
If the plants in your yard or backyard are growing healthy then this is a clue that your plants will have the same fate too. Check soil pH to find out if your soil is acidic or not. Cannabis won’t grow unless your soil has a neutral pH.
A home testing kit to test your soil pH and nutrients from a local garden shop or online cannabis supplies store. Test your soil at once a week. There are special chemicals that can correct soil pH and these are also available from cannabis growing supplies shops as well.
Find out about cannabis seeds
Germinating cannabis seeds
If you are cultivating regular seeds, you must germinate more seeds to compensate for possible male plants that may grow from the batch. It is said that you must expect that a pack of seeds may have 50 percent males and 50 percent females seeds.
If you’re growing feminized seeds, it is estimated that 12 seeds should be germinated for space for 10 plants. The two are extra seeds in case most of the batch are males. Germinate in Jiffy pellets which are a more preferred germinating medium. Just place each seed inside a damp pellet. Soak the pellets overnight in water until to expand completely before placing the seeds in.
Place the pellets in a plastic bucket or on a large plate. Place these in room temperature. As long as your cannabis seeds have not sprouted, you may place these under strong lighting. Place water into the container to keep the pellets damp. Cannabis seeds can take 3 – 7 days to sprout.
Check seeds’ viability
Consider using fresh and viable seeds. There are ways to make sure that you are growing viable seeds:
Check the appearance of your cannabis seeds
You can’t tell if you are getting viable or non-sprouting seeds just by checking on the seeds’ appearance. Look for warning signs. Viable cannabis seeds are round, a bit oily and are dark-colored usually from brown to black.
Touch the seeds. These must be firm even when slightly pressed. Roll the seed in between your finger and thumb, this should be smooth with only a few imperfections.
Check for any unique patterns on the surface
If you see seeds with unique patterns such as stripes, spots, and irregular markings, consider this as your lucky day. These mean that the seeds are ready to sprout soon because these are mature. You should never throw these unless these are opened, cracked, with the insides showing or dented. For mature seeds like these, germinate these fast.
Watch out for cracks, dents or any openings on the seeds
Upon close inspection, there shouldn’t be any cracks, openings or dents on the surface. In case you see any of these on the seeds, discard these and use other viable seeds.
Perform the glass of water technique
Now the best way to tell if the seed is viable or not is to check its insides. You don’t need to open the seed for this; all you need is to place these in a glass of water.
Put your seeds in and leave these to settle for a few hours.
After the said hours, you will find that some seeds have sunk while some seeds are floating on the surface. Discard floating seeds because these are empty seeds that don’t contain viable insides. These will never sprout or grow. Seeds that have sunk will be used because these have heavy viable insides.
Good ways to germinate your seeds
Select from the following techniques to germinate cannabis seeds. If you have no luck at one technique, you can always try another until you find the one that will give you success.
The paper towel technique
One of the most effective technique is the paper towel method. This is a simple method and needs only a few materials which you can readily find at home. You need a few sheets of paper towels, two plates, and water.
Wet the paper towels and let these dry for a while until these are damp. Place the sheets on a plate and the seeds in the middle of the paper.
Cover the plate with another plate and keep these in a dry, dark and clean environment. You may place this inside a cupboard or in a kitchen cabinet. This would take around 4 to 5 days to sprout. Check on your seeds daily and wet your paper towels while doing it.
You can see that your seeds have sprouted when the taproot appears. The taproot is the first thing that sprouts from a cannabis seed. This is fleshy but vulnerable; this can easily break as well.
The taproot means that it won’t take long for the first leaves and stems to appear therefore you must place your seed quickly in its growing medium.
The taproot may be easily torn off from the seed. Once the taproot breaks from the seed, it could take longer for your seeds to sprout. So never touch the taproot.
Once the taproot has emerged, transfer to the container or growing medium you want to grow your seeds. You may grow your seeds directly from the soil, from a hydroponic setting (something you may consider and will be discussed later) or from an aeroponic setup.
The glass of water technique
Another time-tested technique is the water in a glass method. This is a good way to find out the heaviness and the viability of seeds and can also be used to germinate seeds. To germinate seeds in a glass of water, place the viable seeds in and the glass in a dark and quiet environment.
Usually, a cabinet or your cupboard will be perfect for germinating seeds. These won’t take too long for your viable seeds to open up. This may take only a few hours.
Never leave your seeds for more than a day in water because this can drown the seeds or may affect the seed’s viability. Check your seeds daily for the taproot. Once these emerge remove the seeds from the water and place this in the growing medium.
Plant your seeds in soil, aero or hydroponics. Pick the one that will fit your needs and your growing condition.
Germinating inside peat pellets
Peat pellets contain all the nutrients that your seedlings will need once these have germinated. Peat pellets are handy and will absorb water and drain any excess.
Use peat pellets to grow as many seeds that you may need.
To use peat pellets, place these in a basin of water and leave it overnight. The pellets will swell and once this happens, these are ready to accept seeds. Take a seed and place it in the middle and fold the top to secure it inside.
Place the pellets in a stand or water. The seeds will soon sprout and will grow complex roots which will cover the pellet. If this happens, peat pellets seedlings must be transplanted to a large container. You must use sandy–clayey soil and pots that have adequate holes at the bottom.
Sandy-clayey soil will aid cannabis growth by absorbing water and nutrients. This kind of soil can also make it easier for oxygen to penetrate the soil and allow the roots to stay healthy.
When growing in hydro or aeroponics, rest assure that your plants will be healthier and will yield more due to being exposed to nutrient-rich water.
Germinating cannabis seeds directly in the soil
Soil germination is the simplest way to germinate seeds. Just place the strain in the middle of the soil and cover. Water the soil until you see runoff from the side of the container.
When you germinate using this method, your plants should be placed in individual containers. No matter what position you place your seeds in the soil, these will naturally orient itself towards the soil. This can take up to 7 days for seeds to sprout and by the time your seeds have opened, you can choose to grow it in a larger pot. Again, you must be very careful that you don’t touch the taproot.
Usually, most growers prefer to start germinating and growing in a large container instead of growing this in a small party cups or containers. This will prevent stressing your plants and breaking the taproot.
Placing your seeds in a grow box or tent
Now that the seedlings have sprouted, you may now place the plants in a grow box or tent. Use grow lights at maximum intensity for 18 hours and the remaining hours are complete darkness.
Use a timer to monitor lighting and keep the soil moist. Never water when the soil is wet or moist, but only when the soil is dry. When you see roots sticking out of the peat pellets, it’s time to transplant the seedlings into your chosen growing medium. Place the pellet (with the seed in) inside a pot containing your chosen soil medium.
Create a hole about two to three inches deep in the middle and put the pellet in. Fill the top of the pot with soil to cover the pellet. Press the soil lightly and water it until you see water out of the container hole. Place the newly transplanted plants under intense lighting.
Water your plants regularly. As much as possible use distilled water or bottled water on your plants. You may use tap water if your supply is safe. Some growers have their water source tested before using this on plants. And when watering you should see excess water coming out of the container drainage holes.
Understand the different cannabis plant phases
The vegetative phase
The vegetative stage or growing stage is so named because plants during this stage grow actively. Cannabis plants are growing vertically and horizontally and because of this plants need 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
Leave your plants in 18 hours of light for 3.5 weeks to strengthen the branches and stems. Some growers also recommend 24 hours of light however, this could be too intense for your plants and may be too costly.
The flowering phase
At 3.5 weeks, you must switch your lighting to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness schedule. With this schedule, cannabis plants will think that it’s becoming colder and it must start to make flowers and seeds. You will soon see the first buds after 4 weeks of using 12/12 hours of light.
Learn how to spot a male cannabis plant
During the pre-flowering stage, males and females will develop buds but females will grow buds with whitish hairs. Males will develop balls and sacs that may look like they’re hanging from the plant.
The balls or sacs of male plants are filled with pollen. These will open and pollinate the female pistils creating seeds. You should remove males before the pollen fertilizes female plants. After removing males, females will produce unfertilized buds and will soon become larger and denser.
Harvesting and drying buds
There are ways to harvest plants but the most important thing to remember is the timing should be right. You need to monitor the clarity of the trichomes or the tiny glass-like structures found covering the buds as well as the color of the pistils or the hairs sticking out of the buds.
The trichomes are clear when the buds mature but as these near harvest time, the trichomes will eventually turn opaque and will become amber-colored signaling that you must start harvesting ASAP.
When it comes to the pistils, these are usually white or light yellow but as the buds reach their mature size, these will eventually become dark yellow or orange meaning you must harvest soon.
Cut the buds and discard the plant. However, some growers cut the entire plant and dry these in a dry and darkroom. After the desired amount of time, the dried buds are separated and placed inside clean, dry and sealed containers.
Mostly plant parts are dried and afterward chopped into fine pieces. This is used as a bulk plant matter to make joints, teas, cannabis edibles and concentrates.
Dry the buds by spreading these on paper and leaving these in a dark and dry area. Drying happens slowly so watch out for varying humidity because a higher humidity can place your plants at risk for developing mold and mildew. Successfully dried buds should feel dry after 7 days. You can touch these and feel the buds and plant parts are dry. You may also crush a small portion of the buds to check for dryness.
Special techniques for the first-time grower
Learning how to grow cannabis for the first time is like learning a new sport. Practice well and keep a few techniques up your sleeves and you’ll surely be good at it. Here are some techniques to keep in mind.
Treat your plants like precious treasures
Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors or growing for recreation or therapeutic use, you must care for your plants with extra care. It’s easy to find out if the environmental conditions will work with your plants; use common sense.
If you walk inside a growing area and you feel hot or warm then chances are your plants are also hot or warm. If you feel chilly then your plants are surely cold too. Adjust your plants’ environmental conditions according to its demands. It’s essential to use a digital thermometer and a hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity.
Give your plants more light for better yields
This is the most important equation when growing cannabis. And like growing all kinds of plants, cannabis plants need more light to create more yields. Experienced growers use LED lamps or HPS lamps for indoor cannabis growing.
We like LED lamps better than other lighting systems because these are very efficient. LEDs will shine brighter and consume less power compared to the two types of lamps. The only trouble with LED lamps is that these are costlier than other types of lighting. But it looks like the pros of using this overlook the price. LED lamps are brighter but won’t burn your plants.
Some cool LED systems to consider
The following are the most updated LED lighting systems available in the market. Consider that these are not just LED lamps but have impressive features that you will find handy when it comes to caring for your cannabis plants starting from the growing stage to the flowering stage.
Advanced Platinum Series LED Grow Light
The Advanced Platinum is an LED lamp that is designed with dual vegetative and flowering with full-spectrum use. You only need to flip the switch and use another light color or spectrum for the vegetative stage and another kind of light for the flowering stage.
This LED grow lamp consumes 255 watts and will provide 2 to 3 times brighter light compared to other lamps. This will provide good lighting coverage for moderately large growing areas at 4.5 ft. x 4 ft. x 18” tall. And when you use LED lights, expect these to last for 100,000 hours. There’s no heat build-up on your growing area because the Advanced Platinum because it comes with its fan and heat sink.
BESTVA 1200W Double Chips LED Grow Light
The BESTVA grow lights has full-spectrum lighting for indoor growing areas and greenhouses use. It consumes 240 watts and has 80 LED light chips at 10 watts per chip. Just like the previous model, you won’t have to deal with heat build-up as well because this also comes with its fan and heat sink. This lamp can cover an area of 4.5 ft. x 4 ft. x 24” in tall. And with the BESTVA LED lighting, you can control flowering and bud development inside your indoor growing space.
King Plus LED Grow Light
For a smaller growing area, the King Plus LED Grow Light will fit well. This LED lamp offers 1000 watts power LED lighting which can change color when you flip the light switch. It comes with 100 LED chips at 10 W per chip so you can imagine how vibrant this light is. This also comes with its fan and sink to reduce heat build-up inside the growing area.
Apollo Horticulture GL60LED Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
The Apollo Horticulture LED lamp is a full –spectrum lamp that offers 300 watts lighting for indoor or greenhouse lighting. This is easy to use an LED lamp that you can take anywhere or install anywhere. Using one or two or three of these inside your growing area and you will be able to cover all your plants.
The Apollo Horticulture will only use 160 W and offers full-spectrum light with 60 LED chips at 5W per chip. This can easily cover a small growing area of 2.5 ft. x 2.5 ft. with just two lamps.
This LED lamp has two cooling fans so warming up your growing area is impossible. With this LED lamp, you can fine tune the lighting in your growing area to enhance flowering and bud growth.
Regularly monitor your plants’ progress
Check for soil, root and water pH almost every week or every other week. Your soil should have balanced 6.6 pH to ensure good plant health. A balanced pH is important in the soil and roots so nutrients added to soil may be easily absorbed. If the soil has poor pH, these may not grow well because of pH problems.
pH testing strips are available from local or online garden supplies shops. If you’re growing your plants for the first time using garden soil or soil coming from your yard, test it out first to find out if this is the best type of soil for your plants. You may also ask a professional to test your soil and water. You can send samples to your local soil testing authority for help.
Monitor humidity levels regularly
Humidity is very important in the proper growth of plants. You must constantly monitor the air pressure inside the growing area if you’re growing indoors and the relative humidity for outdoor growing.
Also, take note that cannabis plants require different humidity levels according to their growth phase. During the seedling phase, high humidity is needed for the best growing results. But by the time plants start to grow buds, a lower humidity level is needed. This will avoid mold growth especially mold that can form inside the buds.
Lower humidity is needed to protect your plants from molds. Once you see any mold, do everything you can to get rid of it. Begin by controlling moisture because this is important for mold to proliferate.
You must improve the humidity levels inside the growing area. Use a dehumidifier to correct humidity or open doors or windows to reduce humidity. Another way is to use fans to control humidity. Finally, you must water only when the soil is dry and not when it’s wet or damp to avoid increasing humidity and mold growth.
Only the best soil works
Your plants need the best type of soil to grow well and to give you good yields. There are several types of soil but the best is sandy-clayey soil. This has better nutrient and water absorption and will drain any excess. This is well-aerated therefore oxygen can penetrate the soil. You may also use your soil from your yard but make sure to test this first.
Watering your plants
Water your cannabis plants using a strict schedule. Do this during the early morning so that water will be better absorbed by the roots and will avoid evaporating quickly. Never apply water during the night since excess water will only remain in the soil. When this happens, nutrient absorption may be affected and may also contribute to root rot.
As mentioned earlier, water when the soil is dry and not when it is moist or wet. This will avoid mold and mildew which often develop on the roots. Watering when soil is dry can also prevent increased humidity in an indoor growing environment.
Training your plants early
Growers want plants that will grow more yields and while feeding your plants the best nutrients and watering it regularly can help grow healthier plants, you must also consider training early. There are high-stress training while there are low-stress training as well but the best one for beginners is an LST known as the SCROG method.
A SCROG method enhances yields by letting all the buds get more light. A large screen is placed on top of the plants as these are at the vegetative stage. This is done to create an even top canopy. Only the buds are allowed to grow through during the screen during the flowering stage. As your plants grow, tuck the leaves and stems in. Allow only the buds grow through, even the small buds located at the bottom so these can get more light.
Pruning is another training method and it’s about removing the large fan leaves that are found at the bottom of the canopy. Removing the large leaves will improve air circulation will improve light distribution on underdeveloped buds located in the area.
Trimming improves cola size and yields. This is cutting almost all the leaves and stems will allow plants to concentrate its energy. This should be done regularly and is usually used to enhance yields.
Growing marijuana in a hydroponics system
Growing cannabis plants in the soil are the traditional way of cultivating marijuana. Soil has nutrients that plants need and will hold water and supplements far better compared to other growing mediums. But soil also has its flaws.
In some areas in the world, the soil is not fit for growing plants, more so cultivating cannabis. These soils may possess high or low pH levels or may have excess or only a small amount of minerals that cannabis plants need for good growth.
Soil growing also makes plants susceptible to mold and root rot which affects plants growth. When not properly addressed root rot may be so severe that you may not be able to save your plants. This usually happens since it’s impossible to detect root rot early on with roots are found beneath the ground. And together with other reasons, marijuana growers grow their plants in hydroponics instead
What is hydroponics growing?
Hydroponics growing is cultivating plants in a soilless growing area. Instead of planting cannabis seeds or clones in the ground or soil in pots, cannabis roots are suspended in nutrient-rich water.
There’s no soil and only the roots are in contact with the nutrient-rich solution which is flowing continuously through a vat using a water pump. This is one of the basic hydroponics set up. There are a lot more variations.
We will be focusing on a fully-automated system which will need only minimal management at least twice a week. Hydroponics growing is also for growing other kinds of plants like vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowering plants. We suggest learning about hydroponics and considering this as an option for growing cannabis to ensure good plant growth.
Why use hydroponics
Traditionally growing cannabis in the ground has many advantages but hydroponics may give you more than what you asked for. In traditional cannabis growing from soil, plant roots need to absorb nutrients in a manner that requires more work and energy spent. While in hydro, your plants won’t have to work hard to absorb nutrients and water from the soil.
Also, in soil growing, there is no guarantee that roots will be able to completely absorb nutrients; it depends on soil pH and root health if plants can take in nutrients effortlessly.
Hydroponics exposes roots to nutrient-rich water, therefore, nutrients and water are delivered directly to the roots. You can easily monitor your plants’ roots for health and growth as you can see these in water. You just pick a plant, check the roots and replace it in the growing tray.
Cannabis plants that were cultivated in a hydroponic setup may have good yields. Because plants take nutrients from the water, all the parts will also develop faster. Expect bud growth to be quicker.
And since roots are suspended in water, oxygen may be delivered to the roots efficiently. Air pumps connected to an air stone is placed in the system’s water reservoir to replenish oxygen. When plant roots receive oxygen better, plants can make food more efficiently and this enhances overall plant growth and health.
Disadvantages of using hydroponics
It takes time to set up even a basic cannabis hydroponics setup. Needless to say that you also need time, effort and money to purchase different equipment and materials needed for your hydroponics garden.
You must also consider the space for the setup especially if you want to install an indoor hydroponics setup. Consider using a large room, basement area or your garage. And although you can improvise and use materials found in your home, you must never overlook the advantages of an efficient system without compromising on the quality of your materials. If you plan to use hydroponics for a long time, consider building a well-organized, automated setup with updated equipment and materials.
Hydroponic systems also need regular maintenance. Any improperly-working area of the system such as a clogged water line or a malfunctioning water pump can lead to serious consequences. You must be dedicated to using a hydroponic system no matter how automated it is.
Creating a basic hydroponics setup
Almost any cannabis strain can grow in a hydroponics setup but it’s best to check which one will grow best. Start growing from seeds or you may use clones.
A water tank or water reservoir
You need a large water tank to keep nutrient-rich water that your plants need. This may be made of plastic, metal or any other material which can hold more water.
This is the container where nutrient-rich water will flow and come in contact with the roots. The size of the bed may vary according to the number of plants that you want to grow. This container may be made of metal or plastic and should be deep to hold water to completely submerge plant roots.
Water lines will move water from the reservoir to the water bed to meet the roots of your plants. There are many kinds of water lines that you can use and these may be purchased in local hardware stores or online shops.
The plant bed is the area where plants will be suspended as the roots are submerged in nutrient-rich water. This may be plastic, wire or metal and must be big enough to accommodate the number of plants that you will grow. The plant bed should be easy to lift and to adjust because you need to do this as your plants grow larger.
A water pump will transfer water from the reservoir to the water lines to move to the water bed. An efficient pump that can run 24/7 is best. Also, consider a battery-operated pump for back-up power in case of a power outage.
Air pump and air stone
An air pump will provide fresh oxygen to make plant roots healthy and strong. Plastic tubing is used to take air from the pump to an air stone. The air stone is connected at the end of the plastic tube and submerged to the nutrient-rich water.
Peat pellets or cubes
You need the same number of pellets or cubes depending on the number of plants you want to grow. These will accommodate your seeds or your clones.
Clean pH-neutral water
Whether you are using rainwater, well water or tap water, have this tested before watering your plants. Ideally, water pH should be neutral and should be free from dangerous compounds which can harm your plants.
These are nutrients used in a hydroponic medium and are available depending on the growth phase of your plants. These are also available according to the type of cannabis plants you’re growing such as an autoflowering or regular plant.
Pick the best grow light for your plants. Base your choice according to the intensity of light, the cost of buying a set and the cost of installation. Cannabis plants need light but these need darkness so they can grow stronger.
How to build a basic hydroponics setup
Prepare your plants
If you are growing from seeds, germinate with any kind of method. We recommend using a Jiffy pellet or peat pellet for hydroponics growing. Simply soak a pellet in water for a few hours. As these pellets expand slide a seed in each one. It can take around 5 days for cannabis seeds to sprout and once these do, these will now grow more roots and more leaves.
By the time the roots are thicker, you may now transfer these plants in the hydroponic system’s plant bed.
This is the same as growing clones. Just place the clone cutting in a moist peat pellet and let it grow thicker roots. When the clone cutting develops more roots, it’s time to place this in the hydroponic plant bed.
Construct and install the plant beds
If you’re making your plant beds, ensure that the sections that hold plants should be adequate to catch the plants but will allow roots to remain submerged in water. It’s best if you use a movable plant bed so you can easily lift or adjust this as your plants grow taller or wider.
Construct the bed in a way that it is secure and safe above the water. Let it hang from sturdy posts to hold it on all corners. Plant beds should be constructed out of strong and efficient materials so these may be reused for your next growing project.
Install the water tank or reservoir
You will now place the water tank where it’s supposed to sit which is higher from your plant bed. This is to allow gravity to pull water through the hose and drain it to the water bed. The bottom part of the tank must have a hole where an end of the hose is attached.
Connect the water reservoir to the water pump
To connect the water reservoir to the pump, use hot glue or super glue. Make a hole in the reservoir wall with the use of hot iron or drill. Connect the water line to the reservoir well so you can prevent leaks. This is the most common area where leaks are found.
Connect the air stone
Attach a plastic tube at the opening of the pump and place an air stone on the end. Submerge this in the water bed. If this floats, attach a heavy medium-sized stone using a string.
Add the hydroponics nutrients in the water
Before even placing the plants in figure out the ideal nutrient mix that will perfectly with a hydroponics system. Instructions on how to use hydroponics are mostly found in the packaging. Most nutrient supplements are mostly diluted in water and then fed to plants like watering plants.
A hydroponic system should be carefully managed with the right nutrient mix. Follow the instructions provided in the packaging and as much as possible perform regular monitoring of pH and water quality.
Test the system out
After everything is set, test your hydroponic system out. Things to watch out for are water movement, leaks, pump efficiency and the placement of your beds and reservoir. Everything has to flow smoothly before you place plants in. Perform a last-minute check on pH and water quality for optimum plant growth.
Install the grow lights/lamps
There are many grow lamps to choose from but the most efficient LED lamps are perfect for cannabis growing. LED lamps like the BESTVA 2000W is a complete lighting system equipped with its fan to keep the LED lights cool. Because of this, your growing area is a lot cooler.
This LED lamp even has settings according to the stage where plants are in the flowering stage switch to move from the vegetative to the flowering stage. This lamp is the best for any type of cannabis strain and is easy to install as well. As much as possible, consider an updated lighting system to enhance the growth of your plants using a hydroponics system.
Place the cannabis plants in
Now that the hydroponic setup is complete, you may now add the plants. Handle your plants with care. Transfer these by holding it on its branch and then sliding the cube inside the plant bed. Never touch the roots because this may stress the plant.
Transfer the pellet cube with the plant in the growing tray. As you can see, growing in peat pellets is perfect when you want to use a hydroponics system. When you’re done, power on the system and the grow lights.
Managing a hydroponics system
Just a few things that will enhance your hydroponics growing.
Clean and sterilize everything
Bacteria and mold should be removed from the system. One way is to use a new or sterilized equipment. An old or recycled system may harbor dangerous microorganisms which can only cause disease and mold growth. Remember, the plant is more exposed to bacteria and pests because the roots are very vulnerable.
Remember: from the water tank, beds, pipes, and filters, make sure that these are scrubbed and disinfected. Take note that there are pathogens that can affect the health of your plants in a hydroponics system. Never overlook these when planning and managing your hydroponics system.
Also, observe regular checks, management, and patience with a hydroponics system compared to simply cultivating cannabis in soil.
Monitor the growing environment
Use a clean, pH neutral water to allow roots to absorb nutrients better. Check the pH of your water regularly. Monitor your system’s temperature. The ideal temperature for a hydro system is at 65 degrees Fahrenheit; this permits better nutrient absorption and decreases the occurrence of algae and mold in water.
Monitor humidity levels inside the growing area. Cannabis plants need 60% to 70% during their growing stage and 40% during the flowering stage. Correct humidity levels using a humidifier and a dehumidifier inside your growing area.
Maintain good ventilation to enhance temperature and humidity inside the growing area. Remember to properly mount the fans so that these won’t block the ventilation system. An intake and uptake fan is perfect to improve air circulation.
Use only fresh, viable seeds
Always use viable seeds. You can find viable, high-quality cannabis seeds from reputable seedbanks. Remember that the seeds should grow in hydroponics. You must be patient and take note: success in hydroponics is not made in one day!
It may take several attempts at using hydro to grow different strains but don’t worry because just like growing in soil, practice makes perfect with hydroponics.
Where to buy the best cannabis seeds
Another important component of starting a cannabis growing project is where to find quality seeds. You can buy cannabis seeds in two ways: online and from a local store or seed bank.
Because of the increasing demand for cannabis seeds, it is now popular to purchase seeds online or from an online seed bank. However, despite being an efficient and convenient option than buying seeds from local shops, it is risky to purchase cannabis seeds and other products online.
Therefore, before you purchase anything online, make sure that you are transacting with the best online.
Online marijuana seed banks
If you’re like most people who can’t go to a local dispensary to buy seeds or other marijuana products, buying online might be the best option. Online shopping lets you buy any type of seed and have this delivered at your home. Despite paying additional costs of delivery and shipment, it is a much better way rather than commuting far to buy marijuana seeds.
Some people will buy seeds online because selling and growing cannabis could be illegal where they are located. Buying seeds online despite any circumstances is something that they are willing to risk just to be able to buy quality seeds.
Also, there is so much variety when you buy online. There’s no limitation to the type of strains whereas, local dispensaries may only carry a few types of seeds. Finally, you can shop from local seedbanks or foreign seedbanks when you buy seeds online.
Online buying vs local buying
Compared to buying from a local seed bank, shopping can take longer and risker however most online consumers agree that this is better than dealing with limited seed strains. It can take up to a month for some buyers but despite this, they are willing to wait just to get their seeds.
You will be able to grow your seeds the moment you get home however, there is still no guarantee that the seeds will germinate. There are online seed banks that guarantee a high germination rate making it safer to buy seeds from these sites.
Also buying cannabis seeds from a local seed bank is cheaper than buying from an online seed bank. You must pay higher for your seeds and also for deliveries. But even with the steep price, consumers are still willing to order online especially when they are in an area where there are no seed banks available.
You can now tell that it is more practical to buy online if growing cannabis is not allowed in your country. This may be possible as long as you use efficient and safer shipment options like stealth shipment.
Seedbanks that deliver to your country
I live in the US or Canada, this should be the very first thing you need to check. Some seed banks may not deliver to the US because of legal issues. There are also seed banks that will not deliver to a country or region because of strong rules about cannabis seeds traffic.
To find seedbanks that ship to your area, use a simple search online. Once you find the seedbank, read the FAQs or the terms and conditions of the company to find out if it delivers to your location.
Also, consider your local laws about cannabis delivery. If this is not permitted then you should consider another option to buy seeds. However, if stealth options are available to ship your order then go for it.
Shop from at least three or more seed banks, buying a small number of seeds just to try their services. This is a good way to try out shipment and if there may be any trouble sending seeds to your area.
Seed banks that support your mode of payment
As you eventually find a seed bank that will deliver to your area, check the payment options available. You can find this information from the first page or the FAQs or terms and conditions. If the payment option you want to use is not stated, contact customer service so you can make sure.
Seed banks for stealth delivery
Another thing to watch out for is stealth delivery. Stealth shipment is a method of delivery that places cannabis seeds in unmarked packages. These don’t have your name, address, logos, marks or any information that gives a clue that marijuana seeds are inside it.
No doubt that stealth shipment costs more but many agree that it is a safe way to ship seeds especially when orders need to cross borders or customs.
Seed banks that has several customer service contact options
Consider ordering seeds only from marijuana seed banks that have different customer service contact options. Check if there is a phone number, email, customer contact form, and chat service. You need an efficient way to contact the company in case of any problems with your order. This is why you need multiple methods so they can efficiently help you out.
Use seedbanks with good reviews and online standing
Reliable seedbanks have good reviews and don’t overlook any negative review that has been resolved. Unresponsive companies or those that don’t want to resolve issues with their customers are irresponsible sites. Never order from these seed banks.
Remember these important things
Remember scam sites
Take note that there are a lot of people that are out to scam you online considering that you are new to buying cannabis seeds. Most of the time, you are too eager to purchase seeds and other cannabis products that you overlook these red flags. So shop smart and don’t forget genuine reviews of these sites when you buy cannabis seeds or for any product for that matter.
Never buy from Bitcoin-only seed bank sites
Some seed banks will only accept Bitcoin payments. Although these are very popular, there can still be some dangers when you buy from these companies. Order only from seed banks that accept your payment method or the payment method you are okay with.
Don’t send money if bank transfer is the preferred payment option
Again, never send money to any seed bank company if it only accepts bank transfer. If the seed bank asks you that they will process your order once they have received payment, order elsewhere.