If you’ve never grown your own Marijuana plant before, but think you might want to save some money while ensuring that you’re getting the best quality weed, this step by step guide will tell you everything you need to know. We’ll look at all of the basics you need to consider before you take the plunge and invest in your first growing setup, and we give you all of the information you need to decide whether growing your own is really the right choice for you.
First of all – The legalities
Cannabis still isn’t legal everywhere, and there are some states in the USA (and other countries around the world) where growing your own Marijuana could get you into a lot of trouble with the law. Even if it is legal to grow weed, make sure you know if there are any restrictions on the amount of plants you can cultivate before you get started. Some places allow growing of your own Cannabis providing that it is hidden from public view, so if you’re planning on outdoor growing, make sure you abide by your state or country laws.
If you aren’t sure of the legalities where you live, make sure you do your research before you get involved otherwise you could end up with a large fine or even a jail sentence that you didn’t bargain for. If you’re growing Marijuana to sell to others, make sure that this is permitted in your jurisdiction first. Many places allow you to grow for your own use only, so make sure you aren’t breaking the law.
Your first growing rig
The cost of growing your own Marijuana can vary enormously depending on the size and type of growing rig that you’re thinking of investing in. Growing outdoors is, by far, the cheapest option and you can get started for around $50, but that isn’t an option for most people, so getting a hold of at least a basic setup with lights and a fan is pretty much a prerequisite.
The lowest price setup probably comes in just under $100, complete with a fan for ventilation, simple lights and a small grow tent. You won’t get a huge yield, but it’ll be enough to get you going – to see whether it’s right for you. A more complex and larger setup is likely to set you back closer to $400 with more powerful lights, a carbon filter and a quality exhaust fan. The prices just go upwards from there depending on how high-tech you want to go, and how extensive your growing operation is going to be.
Strains and seeds
Once you start delving into the world of growing your own marijuana, you’re bound to be amazed by the breadth of variety out there. There are more strains and seed types than you can shake a stick at, and all produce different effects and have their own unique flavors. You’ll need to do your research well to find out which are the right ones to suit your tastes, preferences and requirements. For example, it’s pointless to get a CBD only strain if you’re looking for the high that THC brings.
The reality of growing Marijuana
Although growing your own marijuana isn’t the most time consuming thing in the world, you do need to be aware that you have to keep on top of the watering and feeding – otherwise, it goes without saying that your plants are going to die. You also need to be prepared to wait until it has fully grown before you can harvest your buds and that can vary from strain to strain. The average time before harvest is around 3 to 4 months, however, when growing outdoors you can expect to have to wait 6 months and in the right conditions and with the right choice of strain, you could be looking at as little as 8 weeks. Then of course there’s the drying and curing time to factor in. Basically, it won’t happen overnight.
What do you need to know about growing outdoors?
Growing outdoors may be cheap and convenient, but it isn’t for everyone. Firstly, if you live in a hot climate over 86°F (30°C) or a cold one under 55°F (13°C) your plants aren’t going to survive long. Also, if your region is prone to heavy rain, storms or excessive moisture, your plants won’t fare too well either. The amount of daylight your plants will get each day is also a key factor as your plants need a minimum of 5 hours of light every day. You’ll also need enough room to accommodate the plant’s height, since some strains can grow up to 15 feet (4.5 meters)!
Problems and factors of indoor growing
If you’re growing indoors, you’ll need to bear in mind the smell that can be produced which is a telltale sign of what’s going on in your spare room! It can also be difficult to get the temperature and humidity right when using grow lamps, and then of course there’s the added factor of your energy bills mounting up to consider.
If you think that once you’ve invested in your growing rig and seeds that your expenses are all done, forget it! There’s a lot of recurring costs to bear in mind. Your energy bills are going to rise if you’re growing indoors because of the fans and lights running every day. You’ll also need to use more water to keep your plants hydrated and you’ll need to invest in measures to eliminate pests and get nutrients to help your crop grow.
When you’re new to cannabis growing, you’re bound to encounter some words that are second nature to those who are already in the industry, but which are just nonsense to beginners. Some of the words you’re going to need to know include:
- Ballast – provides power and current to the grow lights
- Canopy – the plant’s top-most branches
- CFM (or cubic feet per minute) this is the amount of air which can be displaced by your fan in 1 minute
- Germinate – the process of the plant beginning to sprout
- Harvesting – gathering the crop
- Hydroponics – growing without soil using rockwool, vermiculite or perlite
- Hybrid – a plant made of several strains of marijuana
- Light-Burn – if the grow lamps accidentally burn the top of the plant’s leaves
- Lumens – the amount of light emitted
- Medium – either soil or a soil-less mix used to grow plants
- Necrosis – the death of parts of the plant – usually the leaves
- Strain – the genetics of the plant, the variation
- Topping – trimming the top of the bud to give your plant more room to grow
How much yield can you expect?
The yield you can expect will depend on a number of factors such as growing location, type of grow setup, type of lights, and the growing medium you use. An experienced grower should, in theory, get 1g (0.035oz) of marijuana per watt of light, about 400g (14oz) of marijuana from a 400 watt light. Of course, if you aren’t an expert you can expect to get a lower yield than that, and if you are using soil rather than hydroponics, you can lower your yield still further. The more plants you grow per light, the less you’ll get from each plant too, so although growing 16 plants rather than 4 from a single lamp sounds like a great idea, you’ll get a greater yield with just four plants sharing that one lamp’s light and heat.
This is just a quick introduction to the basics of growing your own marijuana. If you haven’t been put off yet, read on and get more details about how to get started.