Growing cannabis for the first time
Learning how to grow Cannabis for the first time can be a little confusing, so we are here to help take out the mystery of growing cannabis. Generally, cannabis plants are quite tough and need only some attention if given the right circumstances to grow.
The easiest way to grow cannabis is to use the natural light provided by the sun and grow in the summer season outside.
You will need only basic equipment to be able to do this: Good quality soil, a large pot (or plant directly into the ground). Nutrients (plant food) and good seeds of course.
When it comes to choosing seeds, we recommend using an auto-flowering seed for your very first grow. You are probably asking “What is an auto flower seed?” An auto-flowering cannabis seed grows into a plant that produces flowers (the buds you smoke) after a certain age, this is approximately around 5 weeks of growing the plant. There are other options for seeds of course, but this type of seed has its benefits. Firstly, the plant does not require a change in light before it starts to flower, unlike Photoperiod plants.
You can also grow 3 to 4 harvests a year with auto-flowering plants, as appose to one with photoperiod plants.
Once you have chosen your seeds, you will need to plant in good quality soil. There are several ways that you can germinate a cannabis seed, but we recommend planting directly in the soil.
Use a small disposable plastic cup or similar container. Make sure you make some holes in the bottom of the cup so any excess water can drain away.
Plant the seeds in the soil 1 – 2 cm below the surface. Water the soil slowly until it has enough water to wet the top and 2 cm below the top of the soil but, don’t overwater! Too much water and the seed will be swimming!
Place indoors, in a warm (not too hot) area, a window ledge is perfect for this. Keep an eye on the condition of the soil, don’t let it dry out, if it does, the seed might die. Similarly, do not over water, you can drown it! Try to aim for keeping the soil lightly damp, if water is running out of the bottom of the cup, you have overwatered!
The seed should start to poke its head above the soil after 3 or 4 days, but it can take longer, this process all depends on the growing conditions. Warmth, water, soil, and light.
Once your plant has grown its second or third set of leaves, you can transplant the seedling to a larger pot or plant it directly into the ground.
The seedling will require good amounts of sunlight to grow into a healthy plant. This can be achieved by planting your seedling in the best spot sun-exposed area in your garden (south-facing). Otherwise use a pot. The pot can then be moved around to the sunniest spot in your garden, or balcony to harness the power of the sun.
Once your plant has entered the flowering stage, it will start to go through some noticeable changes in appearance.
In the first few weeks of development, the buds start life as small white hairy strands (these are called stigmas). As the weeks go by, they develop more strands and small leaves grow within the buds. The stigmas will eventually change from white to orange.
As the weeks pass by the buds begin to fatten up and become covered in what might look like little crystals, but these are the trichomes. They contain all the cannabinoids like THC and CBD!
The trichomes are actually the most accurate way of telling when a plant is ready to be harvested.
The 3 stages of trichome development are:
2) Cloudy white
The best time to harvest your plant is when the trichomes are changing from cloudy white to amber.
However, if you leave your plant to develop until approximately 70% of the trichomes are amber, your plant will develop many different cannabinoids adding to the flavour and effect in the final buds.
For the highest THC content, if that is what you require, we recommend harvesting when the trichomes are cloudy white. This is when the plant produces the highest THC levels.
Once your plant is ready to harvest, it is time to cut it down and dry the plant. To do this, simply remove the large leaves from the plant by cutting them off, they will not be needed, then hang the plant upside in an area that is dry and has plenty of fresh air.
Depending on the size and thickness of the plant, it will need around 5 – 10 days to dry out. Once the plant is dry enough, you should put your buds in an air-tight container (like a mason jar).
This will help to preserve the life of your crop. You should open the mason jar called (burping) every day for 10 minutes in the first 2 weeks, this lets the buds breathe and releases any gases that may build up. This process is known as curing. Curing helps preserve your crop as well as add a rich depth of flavour.
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