Anyone can grow cannabis indoors with basic equipment and a little know-how.
There are two big myths about growing cannabis indoors: the first is that it is really easy to grow marijuana indoors.
The second is that it’s really difficult…. It’s true that almost anyone can grow pot indoors, but it takes a little bit of effort and planning. Here’s how to get started.
1 – Choose a quiet space to grow your cannabis
Choose an insulated room or closet with a small passage, out of sight.
Even if you live in a place where you can cultivate legally, keep in mind that the fewer people who know, the better.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting an indoor growing space.
The two most important factors are air circulation and vertical height.
You will need good air circulation because, like you, a potted plant needs fresh air to breathe. If you keep your plants locked in a moldy closet with poor ventilation, their growth will be severely limited.
Even with adequate lighting, water, and nutrients, the plant will not be in good condition without an adequate volume of fresh air.
This is why fans are always imperative in an indoor growing space.
One or more intelligently placed fans can provide your plants with plenty of fresh air to breathe.
The vertical height is a little more negotiable, but remains an important factor when growing cannabis indoors.
You will need enough vertical space for the plant to grow vegetatively.
The vegetative stage of growth determines the size of a plant when it flowers.
Larger plants generally offer better yields.
Do not despair if your vertical space is limited, however, by cultivating, pruning and training carefully, you can grow grass indoors, even with only a few meters of vertical space.
2 – Choose a suitable light for growth
There are many options when it comes to lighting when growing cannabis indoors.
The main types of culture lamps are high pressure sodium (HPS), metal halides (MH), light emitting diodes (LED) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).
Smaller spaces, especially those where air circulation is a factor, can quickly become too hot with the presence of poor growth light.
This means that if you have very limited space, you may want to avoid high intensity lights such as HPS and MH. To keep the temperature of the culture chamber under control, think of LED or CFL lighting, because these work perfectly, consume less and heat less compared to other systems.
If power consumption is a problem, LEDs are the best choice. They require less electricity than other types of lighting. However, when the initial cost is a factor, many beginners choose CFL lighting because it is cheaper than LED.
3 – Determine your growing method
There are several ways to grow your cannabis plants. Your choice will have an impact on how you take care of your plants. The three main choices are soil (earth or potting soil); coconut fiber and hydroponics.
Most beginners start with the floor, due to its simplicity.
You will need high quality potting soil. If you know experienced producers, ask them for their brand recommendations.
Avoid using pots or buckets of less than 20L because the roots of the plant will need space to grow.
Coconut fiber and other above-ground blends serve as a medium in which the roots can anchor the plant, without using the actual soil.
The coconut is recycled and transformed into natural fibers from coconut shells.
Its pH between 6.5 and 7.0 makes it comparable to unfertilized soil.
It drains and keeps the roots better oxygenated compared to many peat-based soils.
Many growers combine coconut and potting soil in a mixture.
Hydroponic growers use highly oxygenated, nutrient-enriched water. All the nutritional needs of the plant are provided by water by adding a nutritive solution. Since the plant spends less energy on root growth and nutrient searches, it can use more energy for vegetative growth and flowering.
4 – Choose a nutritious diet
There are two main types of fertilizers (nutrients) used to grow cannabis: organic and chemical.
Both types contain the essential nutrients nitrogen (N), potassium (P) and phosphorus (K).
Followers of organic gardening believe that organic nutrients help to provide superior taste, smell and effects.
The best nutrients for your garden depend in part on the type of soil or growing medium you use. The type of food used for plants also has an impact on soil acidity, which makes the pH test important.
Variations in pH have a huge effect on your plants. Cannabis grows best in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7. Good growing soils revolve around this level.
When the pH deviates from this range, the nutrients become less available to the plant because they do not dissolve as well.
This is probably the most common problem encountered by beginners trying to grow grass indoors.
Use the collected runoff to measure the pH. Many products are available to measure and adjust the pH level.
Digital pH testers are available to accurately measure the level.
Measuring kits using drops or strips are also available.
Hydroponic facilities will need mixtures of nutrients specially designed for them.
Good hydroponic growers check their pH at least twice a day and quickly make adjustments. They grow for a basic pH of 6.0, which allows plants to flower between 5.5 and 6.5.
5 – Choose an ideal variety
Good genetics are a crucial factor when you grow cannabis indoors.
No matter how much effort and care you take to grow a plant, you cannot exceed the genetic limits of its parents.
If you use poor quality seeds, the grass you grow will probably not be as good as if you use leading seeds.
Choosing the best genetics you can find means that your work will pay off when it is harvest time.
This is how the level of skill and care you exercise can reach its highest potential when you grow grass indoors.
Remember the vertical space factor, if you have low ceilings or don’t have a lot of vertical space, an indica will be your best choice.
They tend to be short and stocky, which makes them ideal for small spaces.
Sativas, on the other hand, can grow quite large, sometimes reaching up to 2.5 meters.
You can grow them in small spaces, but this will require training and pruning regularly.
6 – Flowering
You will need to leave your growth light for 18-20 hours a day during the vegetative phase, which is the first part of a plant’s life.
During the flowering period, the plant will need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Invest in a timer to program your time slots.
This way you can be sure that the lights are turned off and back on at specific times.
Depending on the seed you choose, the flowering process can take 6 to 12 weeks (most take 8 or 9 weeks).
In the next steps we will see how to approach the harvesting process.
You have spent months pampering your plants, it is time to move on to the long-awaited phase, harvesting!
At this stage, it is no longer the time to fail, the question that arises is: when is the ideal time to harvest?
Do not become too dependent on the estimated flowering times.
If you have already purchased seeds, you have probably read general guidelines such as “indica: harvest after eight weeks of flowering” or “sativa: harvest after 10 weeks of flowering”.
Although largely useful, these guidelines should not be interpreted as strict guidelines.
To know the best time to harvest cannabis, you need to be smarter than that.
You will have to use your powers of observation. Rest assured, it’s not a bad thing, or an expensive task.
There are two main methods for determining the maturity of buds.
Ideally, you should use both methods to determine the maturity of the buds when deciding when to harvest your potted plant.
Harvest with the pistil method
The pistils are the long white hairs where marijuana flowers grow. They start off milky white on a young female plant. As the flowering period progresses, they begin to change color.
More and more hairs turn orange, then dark red or brown.
When about three-quarters of the pistils have turned red and the calyxes from which they have sprouted have grown, it is time to harvest them. (Some varieties of cannabis do this at different times)
Previous harvests give the resulting buds a more “high” stimulating effect.
A harvest at maximum maturity will give the greatest power.
Harvest with the trichrome method
The second, more accurate method of determining flower maturity is to examine the trichomes.
You will need a magnifying glass for detailed viewing.
Trichomes are the tiny stalk-like glands that grow in the calyxes of the seeds.
The glands have a round ball of resin on top which is good.
Trichomes also appear everywhere, albeit in smaller numbers, on all aerial parts of the plant, but floral trichomes are the ones that interest us here.
Trichomes are the resin glands of the cannabis plant.
THC and other cannabinoids are produced here. Trichomes start in young flowers, then become milky and then amber.
Many growers agree that when half of your trichomes have become cloudy, it’s a good time to harvest.
Waiting too long can reduce the power; amber trichomes may indicate degradation of cannabinoids.
According to most growers, amber trichomes give more “lethargic” results than with lighter trichomes. This is because part of THC has broken down into cannabinol.
Be ready for harvest
Beyond ensuring that it is the right time to harvest, it is important to be ready when the time comes.
Many growers find it important to “purge” the plants in the last weeks before harvest. It just means using pure water rather than giving your plants more fertilizer or food in the past two weeks.
Have a clear plan in mind before harvest. If you grow in an area where your law prohibits you from growing cannabis, you should consider transporting the harvested plants to where you will dry and process them.
Although it may seem obvious, make sure your drying room is operational before harvesting the plants.
Your turn now!