If it’s your first time growing cannabis at home, then you must focus on completing the project successfully rather than worrying too much about the bud quality. You can improve the quality after a few grows under your belt, but it’s important to understand the basics of cannabis growing before you harvest bountiful yields later.
If you’re a gardener who has grown other vegetables, it might be a bit easier, but indoor grows require some extra patience and techniques to achieve successful results, such as best led grow lights. So, without further ado, let me outline how to achieve success with your first cannabis plants.
It’s easy to sow seeds directly in a pot, but I recommend that you soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. Transfer the seeds to a moist (not dripping wet) paper towel and place them between two plates or wrap them in a ziplock bag to prevent moisture from escaping. Within 2-3 days, you’ll see that the healthy seeds have sprouted a taproot. Gently remove seeds from the tissue paper without disturbing the root.
- Vegetative Stage
The vegetative stage is nothing but the stage where the plant grows initially before it begins to flower. Depending on the kind of strain you’re growing, you can transfer the seeds. For instance, if you’re growing photoperiod plants, you have more room to make mistakes because you can manually switch the plants from the vegetative to the flowering stage once you’re satisfied with the growth.
Moreover, it’s beneficial for photoperiod plants to first grow them in small pots before transferring them to their bigger, final containers, so transfer the seeds from the tissue to a small pot and transplant them to a larger pot after 2-3 weeks. With autoflowering plants, however, you can’t afford to make mistakes and the seeds will have to be planted directly in the final container.
While you can manually control the vegetative stage with photoperiod plants, autoflowers will make their transition without any manual interference. For photoperiod plants, you can allow them to grow for at least 3-4 months before switching, but autoflowers will be ready for harvest within 2-3 months!
- Flowering Stage
To make the switch from the vegetative to the blooming stage, you need to reduce the light cycle from 18 hours to 12 hours. Some people even provide 14 hours darkness, but 12 hours are sufficient to trigger flowering. Within just a few days, you’ll see pistils appearing all over the plant if you have feminized seeds.
Female plants will have pistils, but males will have small balls appearing everywhere. If they are regular seeds, you need to be careful and pull out the male plants early before they fertilize the females. It’s recommended that you purchase only feminized seeds as a beginner because it will give you a better scope to succeed.
Depending on the kind of strain you’re growing, the flowering stage can take anywhere from 2-3 months and sometimes longer. As the flowering stage progresses into its final phase with the leaves turning yellow, stop feeding the nutrients and prepare for harvest.
Keep a close eye on the trichomes of the plant if you have a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe but if you don’t have that, watch the color of the pistils carefully. When 70% the pistils turn amber, it’s time to harvest. This is not true for all strains, however, as some strains have pistils turning pink when it’s time to harvest.
Basically, the pistils should be almost amber with a little white in between, and if you’re watching the trichomes then it’s time to harvest when most of them turn cloudy. Trim the leaves and place the buds on a rack to dry. After a week, transfer them to glass jars and allow them to cure for at least 6-8 weeks before you smoke/consume them.
Now, after you’ve done all the hard work, pat yourself on the back for successfully completing your very first batch of some mind-blowing, home-grown marijuana!