BRAVO—you’ve finally decided to graduate from being a marijuana-toker to a cannabis-grower. More power to you, my friend !!!
Still, do not flex those green fingers of yours before understanding that cultivating weed in your home lovely home presents a unique set of challenges— especially if you’re just starting out.
Also, the overload of information available online can make it a daunting task.
Therefore, we at VBUD of the Great White North have taken it upon ourselves to educate all you beautiful rookies by simplifying the indoor cannabis growing process.
LET’S GET STARTED !!!
Move 1 – Pick a Marijuana “Grow” Space or Room
The first step in setting up your personal cannabis grow is creating a suitable space in which to do it. This space doesn’t need to be the typical grow “room; it can be in a closet, tent, cabinet, spare room, or a corner in an unfinished basement. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to tailor your equipment (and plants) to fit the space.
Cleanliness Is Crucial
Make sure your space is easily sanitized; cleanliness is important when growing indoors, so easy-to-clean surfaces are a must. Carpeting, drapes, and raw wood are all difficult to clean, so avoid these materials if possible.
Keep It Light-Tight
Another crucial criterion for a grow room is that it be light-tight. Light leaks during dark periods will confuse your plants and can cause them to produce male flowers.
Move 2 – Select Your Marijuana “Grow” Lights
The quality of light in your grow room will be the number one environmental factor in the quality and quantity of your cannabis yields, so it’s a good idea to choose the best lighting setup you can afford. Here’s a brief rundown of the most popular types of cannabis grow lights used for indoor growing.
Move 3 – “Air” Your Marijuana Plants
Plants need fresh air to thrive, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is essential to the process of photosynthesis. This means you will need a steady stream of air flowing through your grow room, easily achieved by means of an exhaust fan placed near the top of the room to remove the warmer air, and a filtered air inlet on the opposite side near the floor.
Move 4 – Pick Your Controls and Monitoring
Once you have selected your lights and climate control equipment, you’ll want to automate their functions. While there are sophisticated (and expensive) units available that control lights, temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels, the beginner will generally need a simple 24 hour timer for the light and an adjustable thermostat switch for the exhaust fan.
Move 5 – Choose Your Marijuana “Grow Medium”
Growing indoors means you have many different methods to choose from, and whether it’s good old fashioned pots full of soil or a rockwool slab in a hydroponic tray, every medium has its benefits and drawbacks. Here we’ll examine the two most popular methods and the media they employ.
Soil is the most traditional medium for growing cannabis indoors, as well as the most forgiving, making it a good choice for first-time growers. Any high quality potting soil will work, as long as it doesn’t contain artificial extended release fertilizer (like Miracle Gro), which is unsuitable for growing good cannabis.
Soilless (aka Hydroponics)
Indoor growers are increasingly turning to soilless, hydroponic media for cultivating cannabis plants. This method requires feeding with concentrated solutions of mineral salt nutrients that are absorbed directly by the roots through the process of osmosis. The technique for quicker nutrient uptake leading to faster growth and bigger yields, but it also requires a higher order of precision as plants are quicker to react to over or underfeeding and are more susceptible to nutrient burn and lockout.
Move 6 – Choose the Container to Grow Your Marijuana In
What type of container you use will depend on the medium, the system, and the size of your plants. A flood-and-drain, tray-style hydroponic system may use small net pots filled with clay pebbles or just a big slab of rockwool to grow many little plants, while a “super-soil” grow may use 10 gallon nursery pots to grow a few large plants.
Move 7 – Feed Nutrients to Your Marijuana Plants
Growing high-quality cannabis flowers requires more fertilizer, or nutrients, than most common crops. Your plant needs the following primary nutrients (collectively known as macronutrients):
- Phosphorus (P)
- Nitrogen (N)
- Potassium (K)
These micronutrients are needed as well, albeit in much smaller quantities:
Once you’ve purchased the necessary nutrient products, simply mix them with water as directed by the label and water your plants with this solution. You should always start at half-strength because cannabis plants are easily burned. It’s almost always worse to overfeed your plants than to underfeed them, and over time you will learn to “read” your plants for signs of deficiencies or excesses.
Move 8 – “Water Up” Your Marijuana Plants
Most people won’t think twice about the water they use on their plants; if you can drink it, it must be fine, right? Well, some water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals that can build up in the root zone and affect nutrient uptake, or it may contain fungus or other pathogens that aren’t harmful to people but can lead to root disease.
The most important thing to remember during this phase is to not overwater. Cannabis plants are very susceptible to fungal root diseases when conditions are too wet, and overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by the beginning grower. How often you water your plants will depend on the medium used, size of the plants, and ambient temperature. Some people will wait until the lower leaves of the plant start to droop slightly before watering.