Growing weed: what do you need to know?

When you consider growing your own weed, all the information that comes your way can be overwhelming. There are so many things you should know or learn to really get far with growing weed. Think of the different ways of germinating, infinitely many different types of nutrition, cultivation schedules. In addition, there are certain factors that play a role in achieving a good harvest. Partly this is genetically determined, but for the most part this is determined by the growing conditions.

In short, what do you need to know when you start, or just started, growing weed?

Grow indoors or outdoors?

Even before you start growing, it’s good to think about this for a moment. Are you opting for outdoor cultivation or investing in indoor cultivation? If you choose to grow indoors, you will need to keep a closer eye on the conditions of your cannabis plants. This is because indoors, preferably in a grow tent, you mimic nature in an optimal way. The supply of fresh air and extraction of used air must be well regulated, lighting will have to be adjusted in height as your cannabis plants grow.

When growing outdoors, nature will do more of its work. Rainwater, for example, is perfectly suitable for cannabis plants in terms of pH value. If you can grow outdoors unabashedly, you will also have less to worry about keeping the marijuana plants small, as you will often have more space per marijuana plant and be able to let them grow higher.

In short, indoors you have much more influence on the development of your marijuana plants, but this simply takes a little more time. Outside you can let nature do its work a bit more, but it is good to give your cannabis plants a place in full sun, with some shelter from (strong) wind and rain. Whether you’re going to grow weed indoors or outdoors, the following things will come your way anyway.

Cultivation area

For both indoor and outdoor cultivation, setting up your growing space in the right way is essential for successful weed cultivation. As described, you can rely a bit more on Mother Nature outside, but when your weed plant is in the open field and exposed to strong gusts of wind and a lot of rain, this will be bad for your weed plants. Even then it is very important to take measures.

A growing space is very easy to make yourself, there are plenty of examples of very creative growing spaces even. If there is (grounded) electricity, good extraction and supply of air and active air circulation and the grow space is light-tight, then you can speak of a good grow space.

Growing space outside

If you plan to grow outdoors you can give your weed plants a big hand by preparing a good growing space. For example, you can pre-sow and cover the soil with plastic. This will better retain heat and your seedlings will not rain badly. Of course you can also let your vulnerable seedlings or small weed plants grow indoors.

A good growing space outside will protect your weed plants against a lot of rain and wind, please note that some ventilation in the growing space is necessary to prevent mould and lag in growth and flowering.

Indoor growing space

While outside you mainly have to make sure your weed plants are nice and warm and not too wet, inside you have more to worry about completely imitating a perfect climate for your weed plants. In addition to ventilation, this also includes lighting, reflection, filters, temperature and extraction. Fortunately, developments continue at full speed and nowadays you have a wide choice of these things.

Light and air are the most important factors for your marijuana plants, but you also need to take into account the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. You also don’t want too much temperature fluctuation between day and night temperature, this can also cause delays.

Germinate

During the germination the breeding process really starts. Fun! Especially if you have been busy for a long time with the preparations and picking out good weed seeds. Germinating your weed seeds is an essential step when growing weed. If the conditions are not optimal for your cannabis seeds, this will lead to disappointing results. Good to know is that your weed seeds do not need light during germination.

Different ways to germinate

There are some successful methods to make your weed seeds germinate successfully. Seeds from Gold Seeds have excellent germination power, which means that 99.9% of the weed seeds will germinate successfully. At the right temperature and conditions, a cannabis seed will germinate, but you can achieve that in several ways. A commonly used successful method is sprouting cannabis seeds in a glass of water.

Another successful method to germinate your weed seeds is by placing a few cotton balls on a saucer, where you place the weed seeds. Slightly dampen the cotton wool and make sure that you squeeze out excess moisture first. So moisture and an environment at room temperature are important during germination. You can read all about germinating between cotton balls here.

Naturally germinate

The most natural way to germinate your cannabis seeds is to simply plant them. Generally the germination and emergence of the weed seeds will take a little longer. On the other hand, you don’t have to repot the seedlings or small plants. They can be sown directly in the pot where you ultimately want to bring them up. After all, when repotting, there is always the risk that your cannabis plant will become stressed or damage its roots. Prevention is cure, they say.

Every breeder swears by his or her own way of germinating and it will therefore also have to find out which way suits you.

Care

When your cannabis seeds are germinated and your seedlings are up, there are a number of things to keep in mind. When growing indoors, you want to keep your lighting at the right distance to prevent your weed plants from stretching. Your seedlings will ‘look’ for light if the lamp (s) are hanging too far away or are too weak. However, if your lighting is too close to your weed plants, then in the worst case they will burn / dry out.

Water cannabis plants

How much water you have to give your cannabis plant is a matter of feeling. If you give too little water, your cannabis plant will show this quickly with sagging, hanging leaves. Your cannabis plant will naturally dry out if you don’t water quickly, but too much water can also cause hanging leaves.

The basis of growing weed is a good dosage when it comes to watering weed plants. It is better to give slightly less water with a little more regularity, so that weed plants can gradually absorb this.

Correct acidity

Also described as the pH value of both the soil and the water you give your weed plants. When you grow on organic soil you will have to worry less about the pH value as it often regulates itself. However, if you grow on coconut or in hydroponics, it is more important to monitor the pH value. This is possible with a simple pH meter. The wrong acidity can cause your cannabis plant to absorb less or no food, so the result will be disappointing and your cannabis plant may start to show problems. A correct acidity is therefore very important for the well-being of your cannabis plant.

EC value

The EC value indicates how much nutrition is present in your culture medium or nutrient water. By keeping a close eye on this and measuring it with an EC meter, you will notice it quickly if your weed plants receive too much or too little nutrition. Too little food can cause overdue growth or flowering and an excess of food can cause the weed plant to no longer absorb food. In the worst case, the roots can even ‘burn’ due to an excess of nutrition.

The same applies for the EC value as for the pH value of your medium and food. 

Tops

The tops of weed plants ensure that the number of tops of your weed plant will increase. It is wise to wait until your cannabis plant has at least four branches to prevent too much stress. By pruning growth points of your weed plants, twice as many branches will simply arise. This is possible with the main trunk, but also with the branches above. It is advisable to prune the lower, small branches so that all energy can go to the top of the plant. Want to know more about how to top weed plants?

Fimmen

Fimmen is a variant that was accidentally created during the tops of a weed plant. By pruning incorrectly, just a little too high, there were up to four new shoots. This is in contrast to the entire top pruning. This will only yield twice as many tops.

An additional advantage of filming is that you cut less from the top, so that it also causes less stress for your weed plants. You can read everything about filming here and what you exactly cut away here.

Scrogging

Traditional weed growing is of course fun, but growers will always find ways to maximize yield and grow as effectively as possible. Scrog stands for Screen of Green and provides a growing room full of thick buds. A scrog uses a scrog net, or just chicken wire. By ‘training’ your weed plants and putting them in bloom at the right moment and tying them to the net, it is possible to increase the yield.

Nutrition

Earlier in this piece you already read that the EC value is a crucial factor when you grow weed. This stands and falls with the use of the right food. The most important nutrients for your cannabis plants are: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Nitrogen mainly ensures the growth of your cannabis plant. Phosphorus stimulates the growth of the roots and the development of the tops. Potassium in turn provides a strong weed plant with good resistance. In addition, potassium provides protection against infections.

A correct ratio in every phase of your culture, between these and more important nutrients, provides the ideal nutrient mix for your weed plants. Want to know everything about the nutrition of weed plants?

Growth food

During the growth phase your cannabis plant will need nitrogen in particular. Nitrogen provides beautiful green leaves and a strong weed plants in the growth phase. The exact ratio may differ per type of weed, but as a rule your weed plants generally have little need for food at the start of their life phase. Most growers are eager to feed and to see their weed plants grow and bloom enormously. Feeding in moderation is the most important thing there is. Read more about growth nutrition here.

Flowering

When the flowering phase has arrived it is time to give less nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium. In the last few weeks you can even completely ignore the nitrogen and only provide food rich in phosphorus and potassium. The most important thing is to gradually build this up by giving less and less growth nutrients, until in the last few weeks you only give flowering nutrients so that the buds can develop well. Click here if you want to know more about flowering.

Other food

In addition to growth and flowering foods, additional types of food are available. Think of top boosters that ensure even thicker tops. These are often additional foods with extra phosphorus, or in the case of top boosters, potassium. What is important when giving food is that you maintain one and the same food line throughout the entire culture. Different brands and compositions cannot go well together, which can ultimately ruin your entire culture.

Therefore, read carefully about the use of supplementary nutrition and focus on the nutrition of one manufacturer. Want to know more about top boosters, leaf nutrition and nutrition that optimizes the bio-life of your soil? You can read all about it here.

Organic food

Nowadays, organic food is gaining popularity because you can grow completely organic good weed. This way you know for sure that there are no shadowy substances or even chemical substances in your diet. Very important, because what you put in your soil is what you eventually get out of it. After all, your weed plants and buds consume the food through the trunk and branches.

To grow

Once the germination is successful, an important change is that your seedling no longer needs high humidity. The growth phase is of course essential during weed cultivation. Problems in the growth phase will also have an effect on your weed plants in the flowering phase. A delay in growth is difficult to make up for, if you already know the problem in time and know how to solve.

During the growth phase, the number of hours of light is very important for your cannabis plant. 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness is what your cannabis plant needs right now to grow well. More growth means more need for nutrients and water. Where a few drops of water will suffice in the first few days, you will see that when your cannabis plant is ready, one day can make a big difference to your cannabis plant.

From the moment your cannabis plant also gets side branches and produces more leaves, growth will increase explosively. A longer growth phase will logically result in a stronger and larger weed plant. When growing indoors, it is advisable to grow two weeks ahead on average.

Bloom

When you switch to the flowering phase, you have complete control over it. The moment your weed plants are in the light for 12 hours and in the dark for 12 hours, they will flower on their own. Note: when the flowering phase has started, your weed plants will continue to grow. Some species can grow up to 200%, compared to the height they were when they were put into bloom. Sativas are known to grow explosively at this stage. An Indica-dominant type of weed will generally continue to grow around 100%. Becoming twice as big as when she started flowering.

Autoflower cannabis seeds are an exception to the rule, since these weed plants themselves will switch to the flowering phase after a few weeks. It may vary per autoflower species, but autoflower plants often remain on a light schedule of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. This is to achieve the optimum result.

During the flowering phase of indoor growing, it is important to keep an eye on the fact that the weed plant does not grow too close to your lighting in the first weeks of the flowering phase. It is important to ensure that you can always adjust your lamp (s) in height using ‘easy-rollers’, for example. Also simple chains that you can adjust in height are of course sufficient, but you realize that you will have to keep an eye on this almost daily. At the start of the flowering phase, a weed plant can easily grow a few centimeters a day. Not adjusting a week can therefore have problematic consequences.

To harvest

Perhaps the nicest moment of growing weed, harvesting! Cut, dry and enjoy. Or dry, cut and then enjoy? It seems obvious that cutting should be done and allowed to be enjoyed, but the potency of your weed can still decrease considerably between harvesting and smoking if the cutting, drying and curing are not done correctly.

To cut

You can cut your weed plants before or after drying. This is often done before drying, because it is generally better to intervene anywhere with your scissors. Before you start cutting, there are a few things you want / need to have. Think of sharp and especially clean scissors, but (latex) gloves are not a superfluous luxury. During the cutting process, your fingers will stick considerably if you do not wear gloves.

It cuts easier when you first cut the branches off the plant. For a gradual drying process, however, it is important that the weed plant remains intact as much as possible. Some growers even swear by drying the weed plant as a whole. More about this in the chapter below. Do you want to know everything about cutting weed and how to cut quickly and well?

To dry

One of the most important points to achieve an end product of optimum quality is drying your weed. This is also one of the last steps in growing weed, so you can almost smoke your own weed. There are a number of ways to dry. This way you can hang the whole plant upside down. When you hang up the weed plant with roots and all, the last substances can still be processed in your buds.

If you cut the branches of the weed plant before cutting and drying, you can also choose to dry your buds lying on a drying net or rack. To prevent moisture from accumulating between the tops, it is important that the tops do not touch each other.

Humidity

You want to keep a close eye on the humidity during both the growth and flowering phase and during drying. If the humidity during the cultivation process or drying process is too high, you run the unnecessary risk of mold and top rot. However, if the humidity is too low during drying, your buds will dry too quickly. During the drying, chlorophyll is broken down and drying too quickly ensures that the chlorophyll cannot break down optimally. The result is less taste and potency of your weed.

Curen

Curing your weed is like ripening your buds. The taste, smell and potency is positively influenced by curing. Curing is done in a sealed, airtight container or container, such as a Tupperware container or weck container. By allowing the bowl or pot to air for 10 minutes each day, the weed can ‘breathe’ and lose some moisture.

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