All about growing the best cannabis possible. Five tips that every weed grower should know.
Tip 1. Grow Good Genetics.
It starts from a seed. Marijuana plants (Cannabis sativa L.) originate from seeds, whether they’re small plants, big bud trees or clones. You can’t grow marijuana without seeds and they’re the source of every single variety of cannabis on the planet. Seeds are what make up your plant’s life force. Without seeds, there is no plant!
Even clones have to be sourced from premium seed stock. Investing in quality cannabis seeds from top breeders will help in obtaining the most profitable marijuana strains to grow indoors, outdoor and in all climates.
Which Is Best For You?
Nowadays, you can find seeds of pretty much any strain, in every quantity you need. Check out our Guide to Buying Marijuana Seeds Shipped into the United States for purchasing advice.
Indicas and sativas come in every variety of plant, from short-statured bushes to tall trees. Ultimately, the decision is yours!
There’s a wonderful culture of marijuana strain breeders across the US and worldwide, working together in developing high-performance hybrids. Hell, a few people have even managed to breed unique strains of marijuana with exotic names like Space Queen and Maui Wowie.
You’re sure to find a strain or an hybrid that you love among all the choices.
Tip 2. Use good soil for planting.
Quality soil grown cannabis (and hydroponically-grown, too) is a real treat. In order for the plant to grow well it needs nutrients. Marijuana fertilizers, nutrients and soil additives including compost, nitrogen sources and varied organic matter are used to improve soil structure, thereby helping plants obtain nutrients easier.
What mix is best?
You can buy prepared soilless potting mix or make your own blend at home. If you don’t have high-quality, tested garden soil already, then buying the pre-made mix is a probably the better choice. To make your own, you’ll need a few ingredients you may find in a nearby gardening store. For further guidance read Ed Rosenthal’s How to Make Your Own Cannabis Planting Mix to Maximize Your Marijuana Harvest
Note: You won’t want to start seedlings in direct soil, unless it’s well aerated already. A better bet is to mix one part soilless mix to one part soil, or simply use only potting soil for the beginning stages. See Most Common Seed-Starting Mistakes.
Tip 3. Use high-quality lights.
Not all lights are created equal.
Marijuana, along with many other plants, absorb only certain parts of the light spectrum. You can’t just buy a regular light and be done with it. You need a special type of light that’s made for growing plants. You can get these lights in different wattages and types.
What types of lights to use?
LED grow lights are among the most popular. They’re energy-efficient, using less electricity than other lights and are able to produce a stronger light for your plants. If you have the space, they’re absolutely worth the investment.
Traditional Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium lights work well but require more electricity. They’re commonly used in hydroponics and horticulture. You can find these lights in higher wattages than LED lights.
If you are growing outdoors, the rule is “the more direct sunlight, the better”. Plenty of sunshine will help the plants grow bigger, faster and yield better.
Extra lighting can be used outdoors to alter flowering times, as in plant responses to photoperiod. In practice, a light kept on all night will cause the plants to never flower. For growers in tropical climates, this cultivation technique is a reliable way to control plant size and yields.
Read the Cheapest Way to Grow Weed Indoors for inspiration!
Tip 4. Protect your plants.
Marijuana plants need to be protected because they will grow very heavy with buds and sometimes become fragile under the weight. You can increase plant strength and support with the addition of cage, trellis or a support system using bamboo stakes.
Outdoors, wind may be problematic, making branches snap. Protect branches with cages, some tape or nothing at all. If you’re growing inside, you can line pots with garden wire fencing to prevent branches from touching the ground and risk losing branches.
Botrytis mold is often a problem come harvest time. It can be avoided by keeping a low humidity and ensuring air is able to flow freely throughout the area your plants are in. Rain may attribute to mold in outdoor climates. If this is the case, move your plants into a relatively well-vacated area until the rain has stopped or cover them with a popup tent. Discard any moldy buds.
Tip 5. Harvest at the right time.
Don’t harvest your marijuana plants too early. They won’t have formed all their buds and you could end up with a lot of the dry, airy stuff we call “larf“. Wait until the trichomes are milky white to get the best results. Read Your Essential Guide to When Cannabis Buds Are Ready to Harvest for the specifics.
The effects of marijuana change when cut at clear to amber trichomes. It’s important to harvest your plants at the right time so they aren’t over or under-mature for harvest.
Too young and your yield could be too small. Too late and it could taste harsh and woody.
On the perfect day, perhaps you will see that special aura in the plant, signaling its prime ripeness. This is the moment to pick. The timing doesn’t need to be exact, as long as you’re harvesting when the plant is at its prime, you’re good.