19 and counting. That’s the number of states that have legalized recreational cannabis so far, and the number is only going in one direction. The legalization steamroller has gathered pace in the wake of the unprecedented events of 2020, not so much because lawmakers want to give us something to smile about but because cannabis is big business and provides a huge boost to the economy.
You can see that for yourself by checking out prices. While they vary dramatically, the average cost is around $300 per ounce. Little wonder so many people are trying their hand at home cultivation. After all, you can reckon on a yield of at least 10 ounces per plant. Of course, cultivating a cannabis plant demands an investment of time, effort, and money. Here are some pro tips to help make it worthwhile for cannabis growers.
Start with an Indica
There are dozens of strains to choose from, and we could spend hours discussing some of the popular ones and their pros and cons from a home cultivation perspective. As a beginner, though, the most useful piece of advice is to start with an indica, or more accurately, an indica-dominant hybrid.
Indicas originate in harsh mountainous areas of the Middle East and are far more forgiving of rookie errors than the sativas that demand tropical conditions. Popular indica strains that you can try growing from seed include Northern Lights, Bubba Kush and White Widow.
Even with an indica, you still need to put some effort into optimizing the conditions to achieve or exceed that 10-ounce yield we mentioned. Light is one of the most important factors, and while there are a few different options out there, LEDs are strongly recommended.
Yes, they are more expensive to buy, but they use so little energy compared to the alternatives that they soon pay for themselves. They also last much longer. Choose broad or full spectrum lamps for the best results.
Don’t forget to flush
No, not in the sense that your mother meant when you were a kid. Flushing means removing all the nutrients from the soil so that the plant is just growing in pH-neutral soil in the final stages. Start flushing approximately two weeks before harvest. You will end up with a much smoother smoke, while unflushed buds can feel harsh and might irritate the throat.
Nutrients and adequate watering
As soon as your cannabis plant starts growing, it will demand less attention at your end. But that does not mean you can entirely forget about it; you have to keep a check every 2-3 days.
Like your furry friend, your weed plant also needs to be nourished for ideal growth. For cannabis, you have to provide nutrients, and it would be best if you schedule it out. It is unnecessary to add nutrients whenever you water your little invader. You can add nutrients once daily, depending upon the need of your cannabis plant.
When it comes to watering the cannabis plant, many beginners water it more often. Remember to water it every 2 or 3 days when it comes out of the seedlings. As it grows bigger, you would have to water it more frequently. Make sure you make a log to be aware of your watering schedule.
Keep a check on nutrient deficiencies, mold, and pests
Nobody would ever want their weed plant being eaten by mold or pests. Therefore it Is essential to keep a strict check on its appearance and growth. Usually, humidity and dampness are the core reasons for pests and mold. So make sure you are providing a good environment where the plant grows perfectly. Make sure you examine the undersides and tops of the leaves more often and do not forget to keep an eye on the soil.
Cuttings vs. seeds – what would be best for growing cannabis for the first time?
Let’s start with understanding the primary growth stages of cannabis, starting from seed and ending at the harvest.
Germination stage (3-10 days)
Seedling stage (2-3 weeks)
Vegetative stage (3-16 weeks)
Flowering stage (8-11 weeks)
It takes 10-32 weeks or 3-8 months to get your first harvest if you have used seeds. However, if you used to clone or auto-flowering cannabis strain, you would quickly get your first harvest.
Humidity and temperature
If you want to control odor once your weed plant starts flowering, you have to make sure the humidity levels and temperature are under control. An AC can help control the odor and would be easy for maintaining a balance.
Take your time
A steady and methodical approach is essential throughout the cultivation process, but never more so than when it comes to harvesting. Mistiming the harvest is the most common rookie mistake of them all, and it is far more common for beginners to act too soon than too late.
The most obvious indication that your crop is ready is that the leaves are starting to take on a slightly yellow hue, and more than half of the pistils have darkened from white to yellow or orange. However, there are different indicators for different strains, so be sure to do your homework.