Growing cannabis at home can be an incredibly rewarding experience for cultivators of all ability levels. That said, it also requires a certain amount of horticultural knowledge and specialized skills. Before buying seeds and establishing that very first garden or grow room, read on to find out about some important things everyone should know before attempting to grow cannabis for the first time.
Quality Bud Starts With Quality Seeds
The first thing people should know is that not all cannabis seeds are created equal. It’s best to start growing some cannabis only after researching strains, seed types, and, most importantly, reputable seed banks. Not all seeds will grow into plants that are true-to-type, nor will poor quality seeds always germinate and grow into healthy plants, which means those seeds leftover in the bottom of the bag should be left where they’re found, not planted in a garden.
Cannabis Plants Have Different Requirements at Each Life Stage
Depending on who they ask, growers will find that cannabis plants can be described as having anywhere from three to six distinct life stages. During each stage, the plants have different growing requirements. Novice growers should anticipate watching their plants go through these stages and plan to make alterations to their strategies accordingly:
Cannabis Plants Are Dioecious
Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning that any regular seed can grow into either a male hemp plant or a female marijuana plant. Since only marijuana plants produce THC, growers usually remove male plants from their crops during the pre-flowering stage before they can produce pollen and induce seed production in the female plants. Novice growers who don’t know how to sex marijuana plants can also purchase feminized seeds, which are guaranteed to grow into marijuana instead of hemp plants.
Indoor Growing Requires a Lot of Equipment
Those who are planning to grow cannabis for the first time will need to choose between cultivating plants outdoors or growing them inside. While indoor grow rooms provide more control over every aspect of plant care, they’re also much more expensive to set up.
Plants grown outside will have access to natural sunlight, rain, and even some nutrients from the soil, while plants grown indoors will need to be provided with all of these things by growers, themselves. As a result, it takes a larger initial investment to start a grow room compared to an outdoor garden. The trade-off is that cannabis grown indoors is usually of a higher quality and can be grown year-round to create an almost continuous crop cycle.
Choosing The Right Strain Is Key
Most cannabis enthusiasts have at least a few favorite strains. While it’s perfectly fine to take personal preference into account when choosing seeds, it’s also important to consider the growing environment. Some strains do better outdoors where they have more room to spread out, while others have very specific nutrient, water, and light requirements that are best met inside. For outdoor growers, it’s also important to choose a strain that is appropriate for the plant hardiness zone.
It Takes Time to Learn the Basics
Learning how to grow cannabis plants at home will take not just academic research but also some trial and error. Don’t expect to pull down the perfect crop in year one. Instead, read up as much as possible, follow the experts’ advice, and take note of anything that goes wrong. This year’s mistakes are actually just lessons to be learned before planting next year’s crop.