How to Grow Marijuana
Marijuana, weed, bud, ganja, sticky icky… call it whatever you like but the reason you came here is to learn about growing marijuana.
There are many resources available online to help you decide which grow methods work best for you, and that’s the most important thing to consider. Deciding to grow your own weed requires you to experiment through trial and error to figure out what technique is most suitable for your particular environment.
Are you growing outdoors or indoors? Will you use traditional soil or grow hydroponically? What kind of ventilation can you provide? Do you have time to nurture the plants every day or do you need something automatic?
As you can see, there are many factors and variables that come into play that may easily become overwhelming. DO NOT GIVE UP! This website will guide you through all the different techniques and products available to help you to successfully grow and harvest your crop.
Let’s first go over the basics of growing marijuana. The marijuana plant needs 4 essential elements to survive and produce tasty buds. Those elements are: Light, Air, Water, and Nutrients. Balancing these elements together will result in some of the most satisfying weed you will ever have.
Lighting is usually one of the first items a new weed farmer decides to purchase. HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights, Fluorescent lights, and LED lights make up the three most common types of lighting systems used to grow marijuana.
Assuming that you are growing indoors, having the proper lighting is necessary to simulate the natural growth cycle of marijuana plants. This cycle of growth allows the plants to grow rapidly during the Summer and start producing buds during the Fall.
During the vegetative cycle, or Summer season, your plants will need lights that have a cooler and more blue color spectrum. This early cycle of growth promotes healthy root and leaf development. You can achieve this simulated Summer season by selecting the correct light bulbs for your particular lighting system during the vegetative cycle.
If you’re using an HID system, choosing Metal Halide (MH) bulbs will produce the bright blue spectrum that is needed for early development. This can also be accomplished by using 6500k daylight bulbs in a Fluorescent light system or blue diodes in an LED system.
The vegetative growth cycle allows you to create a solid foundation that will give your plants the strength to produce quality buds during the flowering cycle.
In the flower cycle, or Fall season, your plants require a warmer and more red color spectrum. Having a red color spectrum and reducing the amount of time the light is on, will recreate the shorter days of Fall. This period will stimulate the plants to flower and start producing sticky buds.
This flower cycle can be simulated my choosing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs for your HID light system, 2700k warm spectrum bulbs for fluorescent systems, and red diodes for LED systems.
The flowering cycle of your grow is the time you need to take extra precautions to make sure your grow environment is set up correctly. Flowering your marijuana plants will create swings in temperature and moisture that can lead to problems if you are not careful. Monitoring your grow space and having enough ventilation is absolutely necessary during this period of growth.
Proper ventilation is just as important as lighting when you are deciding to construct your grow space. You have to use strategic planning for your particular space to allow sufficient airflow directly on the plants, as well as the ability to efficiently exhaust the heat generated by the grow lights.
Having direct airflow over the plants will help prevent mold and insects from invading your crop. This is especially crucial during the flower cycle of your grow as your environment will become more damp and humid due to the formation of marijuana buds on the plant. This air movement directly on the plants can be achieved with a simple circulating fan. The last thing you want is to lose your entire crop a few weeks before harvest because of mold or insect damage.
The consistent air movement will also strengthen each plant as it grows during the vegetative cycle. The consistent air movement simulates wind and breezes that the plants would encounter in nature. Having stronger stems and branches will help prevent unwanted breakage or having the plant topple over from the weight of marijuana buds that forms on top during the flower cycle.
Heat ventilation is probably the trickiest part to growing marijuana. The smaller your enclosure is the harder it will be to keep temperatures down. This will require you to put more thought into what type of grow lights to use. Different lighting systems will give out different amount of heat. You have to decide on a happy medium that will give you the light power you want but also the ability to ventilate the heat generated from that light source.
If you have figured out an exit point for heat and an entrance point for fresh air, all you need to do is add an exhaust fan to extract the hot air out of your enclosure while drawing fresh air in. This will require some experimentation with the size and speed of your specific fan.
A very simple element that cannot be overlooked is water. Plants in general need water that is within range of a certain pH. The level of pH is measured from a scale of 1 to 14. Having a pH level higher than 7 means that the water is more alkaline, while a pH level lower than 7 is more acidic. Your normal tap water from your faucet will usually contain minerals that cause higher than optimal pH levels. Although your marijuana plants may survive under those conditions, it is certainly not optimized for higher quality yields.
The optimal level of pH in a traditional soil grow differs from those grown hydroponically. Soil or dirt grows are optimized at a pH level range between 6.5 and 7.5, while a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 is ideal for hydroponic grows. A pH meter is a necessity in every grower’s tool box. Having a pH meter helps you to determine and adjust your water’s current pH levels to the ideal range by using pH up or down solutions. Using reverse osmosis water can be a great starting point, allowing you to fine tune your water by adding in specific nutrients and balancers that can adjust your pH to your desired levels.
Many growers invest in a reverse osmosis system to avoid the need to purchase purified water from a store. These systems are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and give you the benefit of clean drinking water as well.
Nutrients go hand and hand with water maintenance. The best nutrients for marijuana plants usually come in liquid form and are mixed in with your water. Plant food is normally listed as N-P-K which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. These nutrients provide the plants with the essential foods needed throughout the growth cycle.
The early stages of vegetative growth require higher levels of Nitrogen. While Phosphorus and Potassium are also important during this stage, they are needed at a lower level. An example of this would be an N-P-K rating of 20-10-10. The extra boost of Nitrogen promotes rapid root and leaf development.
During the flowering cycle, you should reduce the amount of Nitrogen and increase the amount of Phosphorus and Potassium. Another example of this would be an N-P-K rating of 10-20-20. This helps the marijuana plant to focus its energy on producing buds instead of roots and leaves.
In most cases, you will want to follow the manufacturer’s feeding schedule. However, new techniques like the Lucas Formula (a highly recommended feeding method) follow their own feeding schedule using General Hydroponics nutrient solutions.
So there’s the brief breakdown on how to grow marijuana and the things you need to consider when doing so. Keep in mind that there are many different techniques and methods to growing weed. Do your research and experiment to decide what is most suitable for you.
Just like maintaining your flower bed or taking care of your lawn, growing marijuana is a fun and rewarding activity. So be sure to explore this site to learn more about how to grow marijuana yourself.