In all situations, whether we are learning a new skill or aiming at becoming knowledgeable about something that others are so good at, all people start as beginners. Most people don’t start right, while others start like they have already figured it out even before they started. Whether you are the former or the latter, one thing is for sure: good results will not come to life without doing the basic thing that you need to do in order to achieve something – to begin acting.
So to you who’s reading this, congratulations on finally deciding to learn how to grow cannabis. You wouldn’t find your way here if that’s not your purpose. Only a few people really pursue this path as legal marijuana is still unfortunately uncommon in most countries. And for you to try your chances, that means you are determined to learn the essentials, or the basic stuff, that will help you become an expert cannabis seeds grower in due time.
As early as now, bear in mind that this endeavor is not a walk in the park. It actually is daunting at times. But more often than not, it is exciting and fun.
And to make sure that you are off to making a good start, we have created a simple and friendly guide on the steps on how to grow cannabis seeds for beginners like you.
Planting Indoor or Outdoor? You Choose!
There are two options as to what setup works on growing cannabis seeds for beginners and experts alike. The first option is growing cannabis indoors, and the other one is growing cannabis outdoors.
Choosing the right option is an important part of the process. In fact, this should be one of the first ones that you will have to consider before you move forward and buy your first set of seeds from your preferred seed banks. And the reason for that is before you start growing, you have to consider your location, the laws that are in place in your state or your country, the space of your backyard, your budget, and the type of seed that you will have to purchase. The last one does not really pose a big challenge because many strains nowadays can grow both indoor and outdoor. But the former ones can significantly affect the process at some point.
So it’s a must that you choose which works for you.
In a nutshell, there are 3 main factors that beginner growers must consider in deciding between growing cannabis seeds indoor or outdoor. These factors are: cost, climate, and quality.
Take a look in this comparative analysis between growing cannabis seeds indoor and growing cannabis seeds outdoor based on the three main factors.
3 Factors Affecting the Cannabis Growth
Most experienced growers would agree that growing cannabis seeds indoors requires more preparation than growing cannabis outdoors. When we talk about preparation, it does not only cover research, but also the amount of money that you will have to invest. In short, growing indoors would entail more costs.
To give you a more concrete view, growing indoors would mean that you can’t take advantage of the natural light coming from the sun, the water from the rain, and the sustainable airflow to regulate atmospheric temperature. You will have to design a closed environment suitable to your growing plants which regulates all the requirements for their growth.
Growing cannabis outdoors would still require inputs, from getting top-quality seeds to the quality of soil, and the nutrients needed to ensure germination and to sustain cultivation. But the money you invest in securing those inputs significantly pales in comparison to the amount of money that you will have to invest in growing indoors.
Climate can greatly limit the choices available for you which is why it is one of the main factors that you should consider as well.
Take for example those who live in countries with cold climates, especially those with significantly short seasons for growing. Indoor setup may be the only viable option for them to achieve a full cannabis crop. For those who prefer growing cannabis outdoors, they can grow autoflowering strains which do not depend on sunlight to grow, but on the period. However they should be ready to see smaller crops.
Humidity can also affect growth. When the conditions are too humid, it is more likely that mold and bacteria can grow. Humid environments also invite more pests and fungus that feed on plants.
Not having enough rainfall and short day lengths throughout the growing season can also affect growing cannabis.
In short, do not overlook the importance of climate.
The bright side of growing cannabis seeds indoors is that you have more control over the conditions that highly affect their growth throughout the whole process. As a result, it is more likely that you will grow high-quality marijuana in this kind of set-up.
Quality is still achievable in the outdoor setup but as a grower, it would give you more confidence to know that you have more control over the factors that highly impact the growth of your canabis plants.
So to those who put premium on quality, given that you do all things right, indoor growing is a much preferable option.
Finding out the Right Growing Medium – This Comes Next
Seeds won’t grow without a growing medium – well, everyone knows this. Easy-peasy!
BUT, in growing cannabis, any medium that’s accessible is not always applicable. There is a science behind why farmers tend to grow more plants than an ordinary plant enthusiast. And it’s more on the combination learned knowledge and skills, and real-life experiences.
All farmers would agree that you cannot just grow crops without considering the growing medium. There is a proper growing medium for a specific crop. This principle is also applicable in growing cannabis.
Growing medium varies for every cannabis strain with different growing demands. For indoor cannabis strains, there is a specific medium appropriate for them. But the most essential tip is that after choosing the right seeds, selecting the best soil with the right set of nutrients should be done. Also, design and construct your indoor growing environment by considering all factors that highly impact their growth, like temperature, light, nutrients, humidity, and water.
For outdoor cannabis strains, setting up the growing medium may be easier. Obviously, plants prefer natural ground where they can have easy access to the nutrients they require and where they can easily take root. But before planting your cannabis seeds, it is very crucial to test the soil first and see if it is suitable for growing. Overlooking this very important part of the process will possibly cause a lot of money-loss on your end. So please don’t skip this process. You don’t want to see your seeds not popping up and growing, and you won’t like the thought of your efforts going to waste. So make sure that you put this on top of your list.
When your growing medium is not suitable for growing cannabis, there is no need to worry because there is a way to amend soil contents. Reach out to your friends who are expert growers and ask help on how you can transform your unsuitable growing medium into something that will cause your cannabis to grow in full speed.
How many cannabis seeds should I grow? – Is this the right question? No, it’s not!
The right question is: “How much space do you have?”
Because if you have a huge space, then you can grow more seeds. The amount of seeds that you will be able to plant is directly proportional to the size of the space available.
For indoor growers, it is advisable that you will secure a growing tent with a space you can maximize to grow as much cannabis seeds as allowed and to provide the right set of conditions for you to achieve the harvest you envision.
How to Ensure Cannabis Seed Germination?
This question can be answered by following the right process. This process requires attention and extra care because if you will not follow some of it, you will end up not achieving maximum germination rate. So you need to be cautious.
To ensure the germination of your cannabis seeds, you need to moisten and store them in a paper towel for 7 days max first before you transfer them to the soil. This applies to both indica and sativa strains.
What to do after the germination stage?
Growing cannabis obviously, does not end in the germination stage. This is just the first stage. What comes next is the seedling process which is crucial since cannabis needs extra care during the growth phase.
Once the germinated seeds are transplanted into small containers, ensure that they get the right amount of water by misting the seeds once or twice a day. Do not overdo the misting because an excessively moistened soil can rot your seeds’ roots!
Aside from misting the seedlings, you have to make sure that they get the right amount of light for them to grow. If you grow cannabis seeds indoors, you can opt to expose them to light the whole day, or you can do it partially. Most growers use the 18 hours light / 6 hours dark schedule for the first two weeks.
For those who grow outdoors, movement of the seedling containers is needed to make sure that they get the right amount of sunlight they need.
During the vegetative or flowering stage, it is important to keep the growing environment humid, and soil and air temperature regulated at 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the night.
What to do during the Vegetative Stage?
After 1-2 weeks of germination stage, the vegetative stage comes next. This stage takes place when your cannabis seedlings finally developed roots that they need to get the right amount of water and nutrients from their growing medium.
For indoor growers, it is advisable to set the light schedule at 18/6 throughout the whole stage. It is also advisable to ensure that the growing medium is packed with the right set and amount of nutrients for your growing cannabis plants’ needs. A soil with the right nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels is what you also need to maintain.
For those who grow cannabis in containers, transfer your cannabis plants to larger pots so they can spread their roots in a wider space and continue to develop and grow. Smaller pots allow pests and diseases to grow and you wouldn’t want that to happen especially if you have already reached that far in the process.
For those who plan to grow outdoors, this is the right stage wherein you need to transfer your cannabis plant to your garden.
What do do during the Flowering Stage?
After the vegetative stage, comes the flowering stage. This happens when your cannabis plants are starting to grow the very famous buds that all growers desire. The question as to when the flowering stage takes place hugely depends on the type of strain you plant. Some strains flower after 6-7 weeks while others flower after 8-10 weeks.
In this stage, you will finally identify the female plants from the male plants. Male plants can be easily identified because they produce pollen.
It is crucial to cull out the male plants from the female ones because this part of the procedure significantly affects the success of the cultivation project. And why is that? It is because when the male plants produce pollen, they will seed female plants which is not something that you would want to happen.
One great characteristic of an ideal cannabis plant is the amount of trichomes it produces. These trichomes are in THCs which are highly sought after by growers. When male plants seed female plants, the female plants stop the production of trichomes which reduces its quality. This is the reason why most growers prefer feminized seeds because eventually, they all become female plants, and it saves them the hassle of culling out male plants.
For indoor growers, regulating light schedules at 12/12 is advised. Outdoor growers in cold regions, on the other hand, are advised to construct hoop houses or greenhouses which can be covered at a designated time to simulate early nightfall, and to avoid the frosting of buds.
Pest and disease control is also crucial in the flowering stage because normally, the plants are vulnerable to these problems in this stage. Removing these problems will help you avoid crop losses.
The Harvest Stage and What Needs to be Done
Next to the flowering stage is the much-awaited harvest season! The question is when does it take place? Product descriptions usually contain specific periods as to when you can harvest your crops. But actually, those are just mere suggestions.
Knowing when to harvest involves great observation on the trichomes. The trichomes are where THCs are produced. Initially, they all start out clear. But once they produce more THC, opaque white color takes over. As the buds reach maximum potency, the trichomes will start to turn amber. This means that the THC is starting to break down. At this point, it is important to harvest the crops right away.
While it is true that the process of growing cannabis seeds for beginners and experts alike may be stringent, and at times, cumbersome, it is definitely a journey that is worth taking.
Everyone starts from there, so just do it. Follow the procedures and in due time, you will get used to the whole process. Slowly, you will find it fun and exciting especially when you finally harvest your first crops.
So good luck and may you enjoy the whole journey as much we do!