Article by Pearce Thompson, Cannabis Life Network
Before you read about tricks and tips for growing weed, it is important to note that this is purely a beginner’s guide to aid in the growth of marijuana with soil as opposed to hydroponically. Long time cannabis growers may roll their eyes because to successfully grow marijuana some of these things are obvious. Additionally, all of these do’s and don’ts will vary depending on whether you’re growing outdoor or indoor.
This list is not exhaustive, there is a lot more work that goes into successfully growing marijuana. To get things rolling, ensure you have a plantation sizeable enough to allow the roots to spread without competition. Marijuana plants will grow larger depending on how much room their roots have.
To make sure you’re complying with all legal standards for growing, click this link to review the Cannabis Act in its entirety.
First and Foremost Tip for Growing Weed is to Acquire legally sourced seedlings
First and foremost, to legally grow in Canada you must, I repeat you must grow from seedlings and not from clones. The only place to acquire legal seeds is from licensed cannabis retailers in Canada. Growing from a seedling is a longer process than from clones, but hey it’s the way the weed pioneers did it so why not give it a try?
To learn how to properly complete the germination process from seed to plant, more research on your end is required. With that being said, nothing is impossible, and with a little research and some work, you could be the proud parent of a happy weed plant. Another note, ensure you have female seeds, as males will not flower!
Click this link for a youtube video on how to properly germinate your seeds.
Vegetative and Flower States of Marijuana Plants
After germination and seedling, marijuana plants have two states, vegetative and flower. Growing begins with the vegetative state and then moves to flower. Typically, outdoor plants will have a longer vegetative state that can last up to a few months. One reason it’s easier to control when your plant goes into flower from indoor grows is that you can control the light and darkness.
When growing indoors, a light schedule of 18 hours of direct sunlight, 6 hours of complete darkness will ensure your plant grows bigger during the vegetative state. Marijuana plants will not begin to flower or produce buds until a 12/12 schedule of light and darkness is achieved. Once your plant is grown to the desired size on its 18/6 schedule, it’s okay to then flip the plant into the flower state to its 12/12 schedule.
If you want your plant to begin flowering, ensure it is covered (but not touching the plant) and gets 12 hours of complete darkness. If you’re thinking, not touching, what does that mean? One way to ensure your plant is getting complete darkness is to build some type of box or enclosure for your plant when you need it to flower. Once in the flower state, a schedule of 12/12 hours of light/darkness is recommended. To get a higher yield from your plants, a rigid light schedule can definitely help.
Topping Promotes Lateral Growth of Cannabis Plant
Topping is a technique used to hamper vertical growth and allow your plants to promote lateral growth. It’s necessary to note that topping should only be done during the vegetative stage of the plant. Its purpose is to redistribute the growth hormones from the main stalk to its offshoots. With topping, ensure you have at least 5 growth nodes on the plant and cut off the top node. Ensure you have disinfected your scissors so the plant does not get infected because 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 stop the plant from growing too tall. Click here for a video on how to super-crop.
Light is energy
Light distribution is key to obtaining a high yield. It’s important to place your plant in a place where the light will be distributed evenly across the plant.
When growing outdoor, the placement of your plant in relation to the arc of sun exposure is crucial. A good balance of sun and shade throughout the day will help your plants get what they need from daytime hours.
With indoor grows, the light source needs to be close enough to the plant to distribute enough energy to the plant, but not so close that it’s burning the top leaves. Additionally, try to center the grow light or lights over the plant to give an even spread of light.
For indoor grows, click this link to find out what types of light bulbs are required to successfully grow.
Air to breathe
Like any living lifeform, plants need to breathe to succeed. To ensure your plant is happy, put it in a place that it will either be naturally or artificially ventilated. With that being said, your plant isn’t going to be happy if it’s being totally blasted by a fan all day so make sure if your indoor its indirectly being fanned.
This can be a little more difficult to mitigate for outdoor growth. In short, don’t put your plants on top of a hill where they’ll going to get blasted by gusts of wind, but also not in the corner of your garden wedged between the fence and your nice shrubbery.
Add Nutrients for higher yields while Growing Cannabis
Watering, or as I like to call “feeding” your plants is another topic worthy of discussion. If you’ve experienced parenthood with house plants, you’ll know that each plant is different in its consumption of water. Different strains of marijuana will even conflict with each other on watering schedules.
There is a ton of different cannabis growing nutrient companies prevalent in Canada, picking the right one can be a headache. If there’s one thing it’s easy to overcomplicate when growing your own weed its the nutrients. With that being said, it is possible to just feed your plant water but if you want to achieve maximum yield, some additions to your water are necessary.
The macronutrients required for plant growth are;
The best thing to do to ensure you have proper nutrients for your plant is to source out a local grow store. These stores will carry all different lines of nutrients to feed your plants as well as feeding schedules and instructions.
It’s important to know that over-feeding your plant is just as harmful as under-feeding them. Ensuring the plants never completely dry out but have consistently moist soil is crucial.
De-leafing/Staking/Clipping is Very Effective for Growing Marijuana Plants Successfully
One thing that new growers may not know about is plant maintenance. To achieve a good yield, a balance of stressing out and supporting the plant is necessary.
De-leafing can be done at various stages of growth for the plant from vegetation to flower. There are many different strategies when it comes to de-leafing a plant. The basic understanding is that the big fan leaves of a pot plant are essentially giant solar panels for retrieving light energy. It’s important to maintain a proper balance so that the plants have enough leaf to obtain the light energy but not too many so its suffocating and bottom branches can’t get light.
One effective tip for growing weed is to remove the fan leaves close to the bottom of the plant which is almost touching the soil. These leaves will be sucking energy from the buds of the plant even though they aren’t getting any light. In addition, cleaning the center of the plant so that air can flow up through the plant can be helpful.