How to Grow Your First Weed Plant
Stephen Lipton, The Farm Recreational Marijuana Distillary’s cultivation manager, said that “growing cannabis in tight spaces” is not something he recommends. He oversees approximately 15,000 plants in seven facilities in Boulder County. “If your space is too tight and too hot or humid, you will have major trouble.”
Despite these hurdles, many people grow cannabis indoors. It is legal in Alaska, Colorado and Washington D.C., and Oregon. Some steps can be taken to increase a plant’s success rate. The genetic makeup of a plant is the most important thing. Lipton stated that a short-leafed plant is best for a closet. That means an indica. Sativas can be very tall and lean.
Most recreational and medical farms grow cannabis from seeds. This ensures that the plants are virus-free. However, home growers with little experience often start with Clones, essentially cutting pieces of cannabis plants from female plants. These clones have been grown in separate pots. Lipton stated that most people think about cannabis as the flowers of the female plants. Half of the plants you grow from seeds will be males. You don’t want only to grow one or two plants. A clone obtained from a dispensary, friend or knowledgeable source will guarantee that the plant is a female and will eventually produce buds if it is properly cared for. You can make up to four ounces from the right plant if you know your stuff.
Growing cannabis can be difficult, even with a healthy clone. This is especially true in small indoor spaces. Lipton stated that growing cannabis is not easy. You have to put your all into it. Everyone can’t succeed.
Some people consider cannabis cultivation a hobby. Some people make cannabis cultivation a passion. It’s remarkable in its wide appeal to a diverse demographic. Lipton stated, “Everyone I know is growing.” It’s possible for people as young as 20 to do it. People in their 60s do it. It’s an enjoyable thing for people. “You don’t need to be afraid anymore.” Lipton shares his tips for growing your first plant.
Learn the law.
Remember that even cultivating one cannabis plant for personal use is a federal felony and can result in up to five years imprisonment. Four US states, including Oregon, Washington D.C., Colorado, and Washington D.C., have adopted local amendments that allow citizens 21 and older to cultivate a limited amount of cannabis plants without fear of persecution.
The law is not always straightforward, even in the most progressive states. Lipton stated that the law is now county-specific in Colorado. When the amendment was first passed, you could have six plants per person. However, some counties and municipalities now say it’s only six plants per person. There are no combined plant counts. This means that you can have three flowering and three vegetating plants at once.
You should also consider that cannabis cultivation must be done “outside of plain sight.” It can be offensive to neighbors.
Encourage the right environment for growth.
Before anyone can even look at their favorite strain’s genetics, they must have a cannabis-friendly apartment. You need to think about five things: space, temperature and humidity, pH of water, light intensity, and how much light you have.
Space: 3 x 3 x 5 feet, minimum. The more space you have, the better. Closets can get very hot with all the light,” Lipton stated. Closets are beneficial for growers to reduce light pollution during the flowering cycle. This is one reason why closets are preferred by home growers over larger spaces like living rooms. Lipton stated that if you have a spare bedroom or basement, you can use it and close the door.
Temperature: 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Lipton stated that a temperature gauge is an essential tool. They are called hygrometers. They are inexpensive and can tell you the temperature and the humidity.
Relative humidity ranges from 30 to 45 percent. Lipton said, “If you live in humid areas, you will probably want to purchase a dehumidifier.” “In Boulder, sometimes we have to add humidity.” A reliable humidifier can help.
pH of Water: 6.3 to 6.7 Lipton stated that you need a pH meter to test the water. For watering your plants, you need a pH between 6.3 and 6.7. This sounds complicated, but it is not. Often, tap water will reach 7.8. It is possible to turn pH down. This is a critical step.
Light: 2,200k. Lipton stated that a 175-watt HPS lamp would be a good choice for a closet setup. Some people use fluorescent lighting but I don’t recommend it. It’s not likely to produce a good result. You can plug HPS lights directly into your home’s outlet. All you need is a timer to set the intervals. The light should be placed directly overhead. These lights can be quite powerful so make sure it is at least 2 feet away from the canopy.
Locate a healthy clone.
Female cannabis clones are now available at both recreational and medical dispensaries. They retail for around $15. Home growers can also gift their friends clones. A clone will be given to you by someone in a 4-inch pot. This means you can skip the whole process of germinating seeds. You are already 10-14 days ahead of the game, and you’re ready to plant.
Keep the plant in the vegetative phase until it is fully mature.
After maturation, cannabis plants produce the best-quality flowers. It usually takes around a month for this to happen. Lipton stated that he recommends planting in a 5-gallon Home Depot bucket. The bucket must have proper drainage. You should drill holes in the bottom. Overwatering and sucking the roots is the biggest mistake. Cannabis needs to be watered, dried and aired out before being watered again. To prevent the room from reaching 78 degrees Fahrenheit, remember to close the closet door when the lights are on.
Start the flowering cycle.
It is important to understand that cannabis can be grown as a plant. It follows the seasons, just like other plants. Growers decrease the amount of time plants are exposed to light sources to trigger flowering, taking between 55 and 60 days. Lipton stated, “You are basically telling your plants it’s mid September.”
He said that it is important to stick to the schedule. Imagine you are at day 30 in the flowering cycle. You go into your closet when it is supposed to be dark, and turn on many lights. This will end the cycle. It takes only 10 seconds.
Although the 12 hours is universally accepted, it is not easy to know when to incite flowering. It all comes down to space. The longer you wait to start the flowering cycle, your plant will grow taller. The rule of thumb is that cannabis will stop growing 30-50 percent if the light source has been reduced. Growers who have cannabis in their closet should trigger the flowering cycle. This is because there must be at least two feet between the canopy and the ground throughout the plant’s entire life.
Harvest and cure.
Growers start to pay more attention to the trichomes of their plants after 55-60 days. These are the tiny, bulbous fibers around the female plant’s flowers. Lipton stated that the trichomes would turn from amber to clear. They look almost like red hairs. “They kind of look like red hairs. You can tell it’s time for harvest when 10 to 15% of the trichomes turn that shade.” Cannabis plants typically have a 5- to 7-day window to peak harvest.
Many growers start by trimming the cannabis leaves with scissors. Then they remove the buds using pruners. Lipton explained that this is called “bucking”. “Gloves are important for sanitation and to prevent your hands becoming sticky from the plant’s resin.
Curing the buds is the last step. Lipton said that curing is as important as the growth process. “We use a slow cure which means it takes anywhere from three up to six weeks depending upon the variety.” To ensure great results, temperature and humidity must be controlled. Lipton stated that the actual cure process is a little secret so I can’t share all details. It’s an art form, and crucial to our success,” Lipton said. The reason that growers cure buds after harvesting is because it creates smoother smoke and increases the potency.