Growing marijuana made easy with this step-by-step growing marijuana guide.
1. Growing Marijuana; Seed Selection
You’ve decided to grow your own. So here is a step-by-step growing marijuana guide to get you started. To find the variety of your choice you’re faced with some important decisions. Most important, obviously, is where you are gonna grow; Indoor or Outdoor. In choosing your variety for Outdoor you are restricted by the weather conditions. Plants that you’re able to grow outdoor in more southern countries, will not be ready in time in Holland.
- Indica or Sativa?
- Experience level? (avoid difficult strains as a beginner!)
- What high?
- What taste?
- What smell?
- What yield?
Growing Marijuana: compare Indica and Sativa and make a decision
Let’s compare Indica with Sativa and look at their differences, so you can make a solid decision with the help of this growing marijuana guide on what you would prefer to grow.
- Short, bushy and compact. Budstructure is hard and compact.
- Darkgreen color plant. Ovalshaped, wide and short leaves, narrow spacing between internodes.
- Higher CBD level; so bodystoned high; Relaxing, chillout, couch locked, sedative.
- Smell generally is often pungent and can range from Skunk to Musk. Or can range from acrid to earthy.
- Indoor; faster to flower and better yielding than a Sativa.
- Widely branched, tall plant. Buds stretched, fluffy and airy.
- Lightgreen color plant. Thinfingered, long leaves widely set apart.
- Higher THC level; euphoric, energetic, spacy, trippy high.
- Smell can range from tropical fruit to a field of flowers. From fresh herbs to citrus.
- Outdoor; better yielding. Excellent flower-to-bud ratio. Less chance of mould.
Growing Marijuana: what difficulties lie ahead
Some strains are easy to grow, so perfect for beginners. Some are more suitable for experienced growers as these varieties require more expertise. Especially short Indica varieties are easy to grow for first-timers. Haze varieties, however, are more difficult, because they are fussy feeders and prone to mould. Experience and knowledge will also help improve yield, taste, resin production and overall quality. So be curious and try to find out as much as you can by reading up on the subject (read books, magazines, search the net) talk to experts and watch videos. Learn the basics about a successful grow. The first start is to read this growing marijuana guide carefully and then get knowledgeable on plantprocesses, fertilizers (boosters), different substrates, different systems and all the gear that’s out there.
As for growing conditions there’s five things you have to get right: Light, fresh air, temperature, water and humidity. First light; no matter at what stage, be it germination, veg or flowering plants should always have sufficient light. So make sure that your plants are not in the shade. The remaining three factors (fresh air, temperature, water and humidity) will be discussed in each stage of the plant’s process. When it comes to nutrients you should always consult the growing schedule of your nutrient brand and stick to the advised measurements. Use a startbooster in the first two weeks, then follow up with a veg nutrient and finish it off with flowering nutrient and a PK booster. Below we will guide you through the entire cultivation process: germination, vegetation, flowering and drying of marijuana. There is however, one element that does vary: time. Some plants are ready quickly; others need more time to grow. For Indoor; buy a PH and EC meter. PH should be right so your plants can absorb all nutrients properly, EC meter is to check to make you haven’t overfed or underfed your plant.
Growing Marijuana: regular and feminized strains in our collection suitable for beginners
A short summary in this growing marijuana guide of strains that are suitable for beginners in both our regular collections (bronze and silver collection) and our feminized collection (gold). Our Bronze collection has the Afghan and Skunk no.1 ideal for beginners. The Silver collection has the Power Plant and the Super Skunk. And the feminized (gold) collection has the Afghani Gold, Snow White and Spliff Cheese that are easy to grow. More advanced growers could try a Haze no.1 (bronze) Jack F1 (silver and gold) and Neville’s (gold). For outdoor we highly recommend the following strains from our gold collection: Blue Medi Kush, Fast Bud Outdoor, Gold Rush Outdoor, Polm Gold Outdoor and Sweet ’n Sour Outdoor.
Growing Marijuana: the five basic things you have to get right
As for growing conditions there’s five things you have to get right: Light, fresh air, temperature, water and humidity. First light; no matter at what stage, be it germination, veg or flowering plants should always have sufficient light. So make sure that your plants are not in the shade. The remaining three factors (fresh air, temperature, water and humidity) will be discussed in each stage of the plant’s process. When it comes to nutrients you should always consult the growing schedule of your nutrient brand and stick to the advised measurements. Use a startbooster in the first two weeks, then follow up with a veg nutrient and finish it off with flowering nutrient and a PK booster. Below, this growing marijuana guide guides you through the entire cultivation process: germination, vegetation, flowering and drying of marijuana. There is however, one element that does vary: time. Some plants are ready quickly; others need more time to grow. For Indoor; buy a PH. PH should be right so your plants can absorb all nutrients properly.
2. Growing Marijuana: Germination
Growing Marijuana; Germination rules of thumb:
- Always start indoors
- Begin germination in the dark After initial period of darkness place the seeds in full light. Either on a window sill or under a lamp with 18 or 24 hours of light.
- Use tapwater
- Ideal humidity around 80%
- Use a propagator to control humidity.
- Temperature 20 degrees (22-27 degrees) with little variation between high and low temp.
- Stick to the indicated measurements of your start booster on your growing schedule (EC of 0.4-0.7 in week 1-2)
Growing Marijuana; germination methods:
A.Take two sheets of kitchen cloth, wet them with a spraycan and place the seed in between. Take two plates one on top of the other (upside down).This way the seed is in the dark. Lay the cloth in between and check moistness twice a day. Once it has popped place the seed 2-5mm deep into either a plant container with soil or coco or in a pitpot.
B.Soak the seed in a glass of water untill it pops. Get a pair of tweezers and place the seedling into the substrate (soil or coco) 2-5mm deep. Then place the seedling in a propagator.
C.Use a pitpot (pressed coco with a preformed hole) or make a hole in the soil of a plant container. Place the seed 2-5 mm deep and cover loosely with some substrate. Dip the container or pitpot in some water until the middle part of the soil gets wet. Place the seed into a propagator. Keep the substrate moist with a spraycan.
Check if the soil is moist enough .
Ideal temperature when germinating is around 20 degrees centigrade. Ideally it should be between 22 and 27 degrees. Seeds can sprout after 12 hours, but can also take up to 10 days. Check if the soil is moist enough daily. If need be use a plant spraycan.
Place the pitpot or plant container in the windowsill (around begin to mid April when growing outdoor) for adequate sunlight or under artificial light (use a TL lamp or propagator lamp, 18 or 24 hours daily). If you use a lamp be extra cautious, because the emitted heat of the lamp will make the plant evaporate more water. The first rule in the growing marijuana guide when germinating is whatever method you use make sure the seed is covered in the beginning and kept in the dark away from the light. The seed will need the dark to germinate before it surfaces. Also if you expose the root to light you will burn it and damage it in the process. Once she is above ground please make sure the leaves of the seedlings don’t have too much water on them or the stem will bend and eventually break. Use a startbooster for the first two weeks.
3. Growing Marijuana; Vegetation stage
Growing Marijuana guide; vegetation rules of thumb:
- Growing marijuana indoor: Ideal humidity around 70%
- Growing marijuana indoor: Temperature 20 degrees (22-27 degrees) with little variation between high and low temp.
- Growing marijuana indoor: PH 5.8-6.2
- Growing marijuan outdoor: veg indoors up until 20-45 cm in height. Plant is then solid enough to withstand the outdoor conditions.
- Stick to the indicated measurements of your vegetative nutrients on your growing schedule (EC 1.2-1.8 during veg)
Marijuana grows during 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness.
Another essential rule when you are growing marijuana is don’t give the seedling too much water. You have to find the right balance between oxygen and water, both essential parts in the photosynthesis of a plant, in your soil. This way the plant will create a healthy and strong root system and grow optimally.
If the substrate contains too much water the roots won’t grow through the entire pot looking for water resulting in a weak, fragile seedling that is long and gangly and will look like spaghetti. To create a strong root system the roots will need to look for water in the process penetrating the entire substrate.
When growing in open ground dig out 1m2.
Please use a basic nutrient for grow after the initial two weeks. Also use some enzymes at this stage. Enzymes will clean the root surface making nutrients more easily absorbable to the roots. It will help absorb accumulated nutrient salts and that will lower the EC in the substrate. For indoor; start off with an EC of around 1.0-1.2 gradually increasing the EC during flowering up to 1.8. Depending on what brand of nutrients you are on, off course.
Tip: Water the plant regularly, but not too often. Use tensiometer to measure surface tension, so you can see when the plant needs water. 80-150 mbar means there is sufficient water in the substrate. Below 80 mbar means there is too much water and above 150 she will require water.
Marijuana grows during 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Ideal temperature is 22 to 27 degrees. Indoor; the plant should receive plenty of fresh air (contains CO2) from outside your growroom. A fan will diminish the protective layer around the leaves and help CO2 get easier access into those leaves to play its vital part in the photosynthesis.
Growing Marijuana: Outdoor
When growing in open ground dig out 1m2. Mix this soil with nutrients and put the soil back into the hole. Place the plant in the ground and water and feed them regularly. If you want to limit their height, prune them. An outdoor plant requires a lot less attention.
Growing Marijuana: Outdoor plant
Ideally we of this growing marijuana would commence germinating and vegging the plant indoors up to a height of 20 to 45 cm. That’s when the plant is sturdy enough to withstand the harsher conditions as wind and rain outdoors. Move the plant outdoor after the last frost period (mid-end of May). To adjust to outdoor conditions you can first put her in a pot on your terrace or balcony.
Growing Marijuana: Indoor plant
If you are growing marijuana indoors we recommend a growtent. Preferably a high quality one, such as a Budbox. Please ensure no light passes through, because this could cause stress to the plant. Use HPI-T lamp (150watt, 250watt or 400watt), a TL lamp or a special propagator lamp during the growing stage. A HPI-T lamp, due to the heat it emits, should be hung at least 40 cm away from the plant to prevent it from burning the top. A propagator lamp or TL lamp, which emits less warmth, can be hung closer to the plant at a distance of 15 cm. Keep the PH value neutral at around 5.8-6.2. That’s when the plant will absorb all nutrients.
4. Growing Marijuana: Flowering Stage
Flowering rules of thumb:
- Growing marijuana indoor: Humidity of 60-65% at the beginning of flowering. Dropping down to 55%. Last two weeks 45%.
- Growing marijuana indoor: Temperature >20 degrees (22-27 degrees) with little variation between high and low temp.
- Growing marijuana indoor: PH 5.8-6.2
- Stick to the indicated measurements of your flowering nutrients on your growing schedule (EC between 1.8 and 2.2). Increase EC towards the end of flowering
In the flowering stage use a bloom nutrient and after 3 weeks start using a PK booster as well.
Let nature do its work. Do check on your plant and feed them when necessary. If the plant turns yellow, ask advise and use a foliar spray for quick recovery.
When you want to flower the plant switch the cannbis grow lights to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness and that will force the plant into flowering.
By giving the plants only 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness,they will go into the flowering stage.
High temperature should be around 27 to 29 degrees. Low temperature should be around 20-21, depending on high temperature. Keep in mind the difference in high and low temperature of no more than 8 degrees.
If the temperature is constantly high it will not be beneficial for the plant as it will have to work constantly. You imitate the season by having this difference in high and low temperature. The plant will think the season’s changing to fall and that kickstart flowering to finish in time before the cold season starts. At the lower temperature the plant will drop its the plant will drop its leaves and rest in the process saving energy when the light goes on (sun comes up).
Tip:from our growing marijuana guide is to start preheating your growroom to about 22 degrees two hours before light comes on. In nature plants start waking up two hours before sunrise and slowly start getting active. Warming them up before the lights come on will have them ready to go once the lights do go on and they will flower more vigorously and yield considerably better.
Humidity should be around 65-60% at the beginning of the flowering stage, dropping down to 45% in the last two weeks. Around week 2 to 4, depending on the strain, of the flowering stage the plant will show its gender.
Please note: During the last week of flowering only water the plants without any nutrients!
Male and Female Cannabis Plant
Growing Marijuana: how to discover male plants or hermies
Here’s the part in our growing marijuana guide on how to discover male plants.
Male plants only have male flowers (so-called pods) which look like small balls at the stems of the plant. After recognizing male plants; you don’t need to worry just yet. These pods won’t open for another two to three weeks. If they open they will pollinate the other plants.
If that happens these plants will focus most of their energy on making seeds. Buds will be filled with seeds leaving little bud left and the bud will also contain a lower THC percentage.
So do inspect your plants carefully for any males or hermies during the first weeks of flowering. Hermies are recognized by the fact that some internodes will have male flowers and others will have female flowers. Another tell-tale sign of a hermie is if the buds have bananas in them.
Growing Marijuana: how to discover female plants
Female plants are the only ones that produce yummie bud that you can smoke. Female plants you will recognize after two to three weeks by white hairs appearing at the top of the stem and branches and at the internodes where branches emerge from the stem.
5.Drying Harvest Stage
Now we come to the ultimate chapter of this growing marijuana guide; when to yield! When 75% of the hairs on the buds have turned into an amber color it is time. Our preferred method, however, is to check the trichomes under a magnifying glass or better still under a microscope. At first trichomes will be clear, almost transparant. As soon as these trichomes turn misty, a sort of milky white it is time to harvest your plant. Milky white trichomes tell you that THC is slowly breaking down. With the first method you are at risk of flowering your plant for too long, hence turning trichomes amber colored and in the process breaking down THC.
This latter method is more accurate in the sense that you can make a better estimate of what the effect of the strain will be. Let’s clarify this by means of an example; If you’ve chosen to grow a Sativa that’s probably, because you were looking for a more active, energetic effect. If you leave your plant flowering for too long you’ll end up getting a more stoned effect and not the desired effect you were after in the first place.
When 75% of the hairs on the buds have turned into an amber color it is time to yield When 75% of the hairs on the buds have turned into an amber color it is time to yield.
Drying the buds will take at least a week or two.
Cut them off at the stem, remove all the leaves and hang them up to dry. Hanging them upside down will make all the sugars from the entire plant to end up in the bud. Drying the buds will take at least a week or two. If they smell like grass leave them hang to dry for longer and they will regain their recognizable scent. We advise to dry and cure in the dark, at a temperature of around 19 degrees and a humidity of 50%. For more information about growing marijuana please check our blog and selected cannabis grow videos!