Growing cannabis from seed is becoming increasingly popular, with states across the US adopting lax legislation on marijuana. If you have thought of going into growing yourself, you’ll be joining an expanding culture of cannabis enthusiasts swapping trips to the dispensary for homegrown buds.
Growing your cannabis from seeds is fun and inexpensive. Besides, most people often find the entire process calming and relaxing. If you are considering growing your cannabis at home, here are some critical things you must consider.
About Cannabis Seeds
You can get your cannabis seeds from a dispensary if you live in areas where legislation favors growing your cannabis. Most growers order seeds from a seed bank, where they get more variety and information on their growing plants. You should know about the characteristics of seeds as you select what plants to grow.
That said, the craze among growers has always been to come up with the most sophisticated rig for the highest quality yield to get you a potency you would find on the best CBD oil stores have to offer.
From motorized LED to mimic the sun and elaborate irrigation systems, growers will go to great lengths to grow the highest quality cannabis plants they can. You won’t need all the gadgetry; ensuring the proper techniques can significantly enhance your yields and potency.
- Choose the Right Seed
- Photoperiod Seeds
Photoperiod seeds produce both male and female plants. Being an annual plant, cannabis flowers according to season. Cannabis plants will start flowering in the Autumn months when the days are shorter.
Indoor growers shorten light periods to replicate the process. The shift usually is from 18 hours of light and 6 of darkness (18/6) to 12 hours of light and dark (12/12). This enables the plant to move from the vegetative stage as it stops growing and starts flowering.
- Autoflowering Seeds
Autoflowering seeds give out female plants that do not follow photoperiod conditions. These have an automatic stage in growth where they move from the vegetative to the flowering stage. Environmental conditions and light stimuli do not affect the growth of such plants.
For this reason, first-time growers find autoflowering seeds suitable to grow. With these seeds, you don’t have to worry about light cycles. Moreover, the life cycle for autoflowering seeds is shorter, so you can quickly complete your first growing season.
- Feminized Seeds
These are seeds that produce only female plants. Feminized seeds can cost you more than regular seeds, but you know all your plants will produce female flowers, which grow into buds. Growers who go for feminized plants prefer to go the whole hog with the growing process getting the right equipment, fertilizer, space, and set up to maximize yield.
- Growth Stages for Cannabis Plants
Growing cannabis from seed to harvest takes anything between 3-8 months. With cannabis plants, the variation in growth periods occurs during the vegetative stage as the plants head to maturity and flowering.
Cannabis plants have four primary growth stages which are as follows.
- Germination (3-10 days)
You can use the paper towel method, placing your seeds in a warm and dark place. Keep the paper towel moist until the seeds sprout.
- Seedling (2-3 weeks)
The light cycle for seedlings is 18 hours indoors and 6 hours outdoors. Keep track of moisture and mold, as seedlings don’t need much water to thrive.
- Vegetative (3-16 weeks)
Plants in this stage need a life cycle of 18 hours indoors and 6 hours of sunlight. This is where plant growth occurs, usually after you have transplanted your seedlings into larger pots.
- Flowering (8-11 weeks)
This is the final growth stage. Indoor growers have to change the light cycle for their plants at this stage, reducing it from 18 hours to 12. During late flowering, as the flowers ripen, growers should check the pistils to know when to harvest.
This stage involves cutting off nutrients during the last weeks of growth and flushing your plants with clean water. Doing this drains out any nutrients or fertilizer you may have applied and gives your flowers a pure flavor with no salt build-up. As the pistils change color to deep orange, brown, scarlet, or mauve, you know your buds are ready to harvest.
There isn’t one decided way to harvest your marijuana plants. Some growers will trim the leaves with the plant standing in what is known as wet trimming. Others prefer to remove the larger leaves and harvest the whole plant before hanging it. The only rule to consider is being careful with the trichomes because you don’t want them disturbed.
- Drying and Curing
Now that you have the buds harvested, it’s time to dry them. It usually takes about two weeks to complete the process. With the buds drying, chlorophyll degrades, and the green is replaced by a different color depending on the species. Your buds could turn to a pale green, tan, fawn, or even purple.
Curing your cannabis takes about six weeks when done under the ideal conditions. A longer cure will ultimately produce better results. However, keep your jars in the dark and cool place, as THC will often break down into other cannabinoids when exposed to light.
Growing your buds is not the easiest thing, but it comes with many rewards. Growers should start with about four plants before advancing into a large operation. Get the right equipment for your plants, and you will enjoy your homegrown stash in no time.