With Canada legalizing cannabis, and Ottawa’s Marijuana legalizations stating that you can grow up to four different cannabis plants right in your home, the practice of growing cannabis at home is becoming more popular than ever.
However, experts state that growing cannabis at home can result in significantly more expenses for you if you aren’t careful. So, how do you ensure that you’ve it easy?
The Top Steps to Grow Cannabis at Home
If you have been wanting to grow your own crop for a while now, following these simple steps are all you need!
1. Find the ideal grow room:
Your plants need the perfect space to grow, or else they will not give you the yield you want. Since you are planning to grow cannabis indoors, find a corner in your house that is exposed to natural elements. If you do not want to invest in creating a separate room, use a makeshift cabinet or wardrobe.
What you must keep in mind when choosing a space is that your crops will need access to other equipment like lights and fans. Marijuana crops also tend to expand during the flowering stage.
If you do not want to commit without checking how suitable a place is, then you can try growing a small batch at first. You will also end up spending less. You need to check the growing space for:
- Light and heat control
2. Create a proper ventilation system:
Like any other plant, your cannabis plans will require fresh air in order to survive. Carbon dioxide and oxygen are essential for a plant to grow normally. You should arrange for constant airflow through your grow space. A simple exhaust fan can do the job for you by eliminating the hot air.
The ideal temperature to grow cannabis is between 70 degrees F and 85 degrees F in the presence of lights. At all other times, you should try to keep it between 58 degrees and 70 degrees. The temperature requirement varies among different kinds of cannabis.
You should install an exhaust fan that will cover your grow space and help to nullify the heat produced because of artificial lights so that a constant temperature is maintained. The other option is to create a sealed environment and invest in an air conditioner and a supplemental CO2 system.
3. Choose your lights carefully:
No indoor marijuana plant can grow unless it gets a proper supply of light. Natural light is not enough which is why you need an artificial lighting setup. There are different kinds of grow lights available in the market. The most common ones are:
- HID Grow Lights are a popular choice because they give value for money. They might be a little expensive, but their output and efficiency are among the best. Metal halide (MH) lights are usually of a blue-ish white hue while high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights produce a reddish light. The former is used for the vegetative state while the latter is used for the flowering stage. With these lights, you will need an air-cooled reflector hood because they tend to produce a fair amount of heat.
- Fluorescent grow lights serve the functions of a reflector, ballast, and bulbs at the same time. They are cheaper to install. The problem with them is that their performance is average at best.
- LED Grow Lights are among the best light fixtures you can use for indoor growing. However, they are expensive to install and use. You can take comfort in the fact that LEDs last longer and will save you a lot of electricity in the long run.
- Electrode-less fluorescent lamps are not easily available anymore which makes them unreliable.
4. Find the medium in which you wish to grow the plant:
There are a lot of different methods when it comes to growing marijuana indoors.
- You can go for the traditional medium of soil if you are a beginner. It is safe and guarantees good results as long as you do not use artificial fertilizer. The organic pre-fertilized soil is the best medium to grow cannabis in because it is enriched with nutrients that will keep your crop health. It also allows soil bacteria to accelerate the growth of the plant.
- If you do not want to get into the mess of using soil, you can opt for soilless or hydroponic media. They allow you to grow cannabis plants at home, and all you have to do is feed mineral salt nutrients in concentrated form to the crops. The roots absorb the nutrients os that the cannabis grows faster.
- Coco coir is another popular medium to grow cannabis. You will not have to prep it because coco husk is usually pH neutral.
5. Set up your controls and an effective monitoring system
Choosing the lights and the temperature control equipment is not enough because you must set them up properly. Automating their operations will save you time and effort. You can create your system depending on your budget.
You must be careful about maintaining the light/dark cycle because light leakage can destroy your cannabis plants. You should ideally keep your lights switched on for 20 hours maximum in a day when the plants are vegetating. Once they have reached the flowering stage, you should provide the plant with 12 hours of light.
A thermostat will let you control the temperature strictly. Once you plug it into your exhaust fan, the room will not exceed a specific maximum temperature. If you want to monitor your plants, you should arrange for a hygrometer as well because it will keep you up to date with any changes in the humidity level.
A pH meter will be a valuable addition to your grow room because you will be able to check the quality of the soil from time to time.
Do not forget to keep shears handy.
6. Make sure that your plant gets adequate water and nutrients:
Cannabis plants need to be provided with a number of useful nutrients like:
Creating a nutrient solution that has all the necessary ingredients will reduce your work. You can make it in powder or liquid form and feed it to your plant directly. You must be careful because the plant’s needs will change with each growing stage.
All plants need a reliable supply of water.
Creating a proper drainage system will be highly beneficial for your plant. Be careful about the kind of water that your plants are absorbing. Drinking water has a lot of dissolved minerals which can clog up the roots and harm the plant. Pool water, on the other hand, contain chlorine which kills helpful soil microbes.
Overwatering is not an option because cannabis plants tend to develop fungal root diseases easily in that state.
7. Do not rush your plants:
Cannabis plants do not take well to your rushing their growth. You must allow them to grow at their own pace. After the period of vegetation is over, the flowering stage lasts for about 8 weeks. Once that is complete, your plant will be ready for harvesting.
Marijuana is not the easiest plant to grow, but if you can get a good yield then you will feel that all your efforts paid off. It is an investment that you have to undertake and devote yourself to.