7 tips and tricks for cannabis lovers before growing weeds
With the Cannabis Act of 2018, it is now legal for Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants per household. Here are 7 tips and tricks before you start growing weeds.
Before reading about tricks and tips for growing weed, it is important to note that this is just a beginner’s guide to help soil marijuana grow as opposed to hydroponically. Longtime cannabis growers may roll their eyes as some of these things are obvious to growing marijuana successfully. In addition, all of these pros and cons will vary depending on whether you are growing outdoors or indoors.
This list is not exhaustive, there is much more work that is required to successfully grow marijuana. To get things rolling, make sure you have a plantation large enough for the roots to spread without competition. Marijuana plants grow larger depending on how much space their roots have.
Click this link to make sure you are following all legal standards for growing to review the cannabis law in its entirety.
The first and most important tip for growing weeds is to get seedlings from legal sources
First and foremost, in order to grow legally in Canada, you must grow from seedlings, not clones. The only place where legal seeds can be obtained is from licensed cannabis retailers in Canada. Growing from a seedling is a longer process than growing from cloning, but hey, that’s how the weed pioneers did it. So why not try it?
In order to learn how to properly complete the germination process from seed to plant, further research is needed on your end. With that said, nothing is impossible and with a little research and a little work you could be the proud parent of a lucky weed plant. Another hint: make sure you have female seeds as the males won’t bloom!
Click this link to see a Youtube video on how to properly germinate your seeds.
Vegetative and flowering states of marijuana plants
After germination and the seedling, marijuana plants have two states: vegetative and flowering. Growing begins with the vegetative state and then moves on to flowering. Typically, plants outdoors have a prolonged vegetative state that can last up to a few months. One reason it is easier to control when your plant will flower indoors is because you can control the light and darkness.
If you are growing indoors, a lighting schedule of 18 hours of direct sunlight and 6 hours of complete darkness will ensure that your plant will grow taller in the vegetative state. Marijuana plants do not begin to flower or produce buds until a 12/12 schedule of light and dark is reached. Once your plant has grown to the size you want on the 18/6 schedule, it’s okay to flower the plant on the 12/12 schedule.
If you want your plant to start blooming make sure it is covered (but not touching the plant) and in 12 hours of complete darkness. If you think don’t touch what does it mean? One way to ensure that your plant goes completely dark is to build some sort of box or enclosure for your plant when you need it to bloom. In the flower state, a schedule of 12/12 hours of light / dark is recommended. To get a higher yield from your plants, a strict lighting schedule can definitely help.
Topping encourages the cannabis plant to grow sideways
Topping is a technique used to impede vertical growth and allow your plants to encourage lateral growth. It should be noted that topping should only be done at the vegetative stage of the plant. Its purpose is to redistribute the growth hormones from the main stem to its offshoots. For the topping, make sure there are at least 5 growth nodes on the plant and cut off the top node. Make sure you’ve sanitized your scissors so that the plant doesn’t get infected as you are essentially creating an open wound.
When your plant is in the flower state, a technique called super-cropping is common. This is another way to keep the plant from growing too tall. Click here to see a video on the super crop.
Light is energy
The light distribution is the key to a high yield. It is important that you place your plant in a location where the light is evenly distributed over the plant.
If you are growing outdoors, the placement of your plant in relation to the arc of sunlight is crucial. A good balance of sun and shade during the day will help your plants get what they need during the day.
When growing indoors, the light source needs to be close enough to the plant to distribute enough energy to the plant, but not so close that it burns the top leaves. Also, try to center the grow light or lights over the plant for even light distribution.
Click this link to find out what types of lightbulbs are required for successful indoor growth.
air to breathe
Like any living form of life, plants must breathe to be successful. To make sure your plant is happy, place it in a place that will either naturally or artificially ventilate it. With that said, your plant won’t be happy if it is totally blasted by a fan all day. So make sure that your interior is fanned out indirectly.
This can be a little harder to mitigate for outdoor growth. In short, don’t put your plants on a hill where gusts of wind blow them up, nor in the corner of your garden sandwiched between the fence and your beautiful bushes.
Add nutrients for higher yields while growing cannabis
Watering, or as I like to call it “feeding” your plants, is another topic worth discussing. If you’ve experienced parenting with houseplants, you’ll know that each plant has a different water consumption. Several strains of marijuana even conflict with irrigation schedules.
There are a ton of different nutrient companies growing cannabis in Canada. Choosing the right nutrient can be a headache. If there’s one thing it’s easy to complicate when growing your own weeds, it’s the nutrients. With that said, it is possible to just feed your plant water. However, if you want maximum yield, some additions to your water are required.
The macronutrients required for plant growth are:
The best thing that you need to do to make sure you have the right nutrients for your plant is to source a local grow business. These stores all carry the different lines of nutrients to feed your plants, as well as feeding schedules and instructions.
It is important to know that overfeeding your plant is just as harmful as underfeeding. It is vital that the plants never dry out completely, but rather that they have a uniformly moist soil.
The defoliation / staking / cutting is very effective in successfully growing marijuana plants
One thing that new growers may not know about is plant maintenance. A balance between stress and plant support is required to get a good yield.
The defoliation can take place for the plant in different stages of growth from vegetation to flowering. There are many different strategies when it comes to stripping a plant. The basic understanding is that the large fan leaves of a potted plant are essentially huge solar panels for drawing in light energy. It is important to maintain a proper balance so that the plants have enough leaves to receive the light energy, but not too many so that their suffocating and lower branches don’t get light.
An effective tip for growing weeds is to remove the fan leaves near the bottom of the plant, which is almost touching the ground. These leaves suck energy from the plant’s buds even though they are not getting any light. It can also be helpful to clean the center of the system so that air can flow through the system.
By staking and pruning, the plant can believe that it is stronger than it actually is, which will encourage its growth. Plastic rods and tomato clamps or flexible rubber bands can be used to secure the stems to stakes. To properly stake out a plant, first make sure that the large stems of the plant are supported and not growing into one another. It’s okay to pull the plant out of your pot with an outboard insert to reduce competition with the other branches. As soon as the plant begins to bloom, you may notice that the buds sag and point towards the ground. In this case, tie a rubber band to the stem (not the bud) to prevent the plant from disrupting the flow of nutrients.
The process of growing marijuana from seedling to harvest depends entirely on the strain you choose. So keep this in mind when buying seeds. Additionally, some stems literally grow like weeds, while others become more finicky with weaker stems and different characteristics. Keeping your weed happy throughout its life can be more difficult than initially expected.
One final piece of advice is always to pay attention to what your plant looks like. Basically, every time you look at your plant, you can visually tell whether it is happy or not. When you are happy, the fan leaves spread out on the plant and rise towards the light. This could be compared to pointing your palm up and stretching your fingers as far apart and as far as possible. An unfortunate plant has sagging leaves and looks almost bowed.
I hope these 7 tips for growing weed have piqued the interest of readers in trying to grow their own marijuana this summer. Remember, stick to the guidelines of the cannabis law and get yourself more resources to grow successfully. And remember, a happy marijuana plant can yield nearly a pound of marijuana or more, that’s a lot of dope.
Comment below if you have any more weed growing tips that you think can help first-time growers.