The Home Grow Cannabis Checklist to Help You Decide How to Start Your Plants
If you’re sick and tired of paying elevated prices for weed or simply want to have more control over what you smoke – then stick around. It dawned on me that I have written extensively about growing techniques and how to deal with pests, but I have never really broken down a pathway for newbie growers to get started.
Thus, the hope of this article is to decipher the complexities of growing cannabis by creating a clear guide on how to get your grow off the ground. We’ll be taking a few things into consideration such as whether you are growing inside or out, hydroponics or soil, single chamber or multiple chambers.
1 – Decide the location
Before you even start thinking about seeds, you’ll need to decide whether you are going to grow indoors or outdoors. This decision will drastically change your shopping list so make sure that you have a location identified first.
There are a number of things to consider depending on whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
If you’re going to grow outside, then the first thing you need to look at is ‘where’ outside. You need to find a place that gets enough sunlight but is also protected from the elements. For instance, a rainstorm can easily damage your crops. If your region receives a lot of rain, you’ll have to consider how to protect your plants from storms. This could be as easy as having a roofed area nearby (which will require moving the plants) or building a make-shift greenhouse. In a later tutorial I’ll walk you through that.
Another thing you’ll need to consider is whether you are growing directly in the soil, or whether you’ll be using buckets or other containers to grow your weed. They both have their pros and cons, but it really comes down to what you can do. If you live in a place where outdoor cultivation isn’t frowned upon, then planting directly in the earth might not be a bad move. However, if you live in a place where cultivation is not allowed, you’re probably better off growing inside.
If you are going to be growing indoors, you’ll need to make a few more decisions. Firstly, you’ll need a “light controlled space” where you can change the light cycles at your command. Secondly, you’ll need to know whether you’re going to grow in soil or using hydroponics. If you’re using hydroponics, having a steady supply of nutrients will be essential, so having access to a store nearby would be a good thing.
However, the internet can bring hydroponic stores to your front door, so it necessarily essential to have a physical store nearby, however, having that is a plus.
For soil grows, you’ll need to get some added fertilizers as the plant will be consuming nutrients throughout the process which will need replenishing. Fortunately, soil grows are far more forgiving than hydroponics, so “skill level” will also help make this decision.
2 – Getting Seeds
If you live in the US, technically the only place where you can get seeds would be in a dispensary. Even though you can buy seeds online, it is still technically “illegal” and will be seized if discovered by customs. Seeds online aren’t necessarily cheap either, so it might be riskier to buy online if you’re on a budget.
Nonetheless, thousands of people buy online and don’t have a problem with getting the seeds, however, if you do have dispensaries nearby, then check them out first. If you have a few grower friends, then ask them for some quality seeds.
Picking the right strain is important because some strains are “fussier” than others. Look for a low-skill cap strain. These typically tend to be indica dominant hybrids which produce shorter bushier plants. Sativas usually have a longer growing/budding cycle, which prompts newbie growers to harvest before they are done.
Getting strains that have a shorter growing cycle will mean that even if you crop out before the time, you’re probably getting more “mature plants” irrespectively. I have written an article on “cropping out” which you can read at your convenience.
3 – Getting Supplies
Depending on whether you’ll be growing in soil or in a grow-medium, will determine what tools you need. For a soil grow, you’ll want basic things like;
- Soil amendments (nitrogen, phosphorous, etc)
- Containers (possibly)
- Basic organic insecticide
- Lights (if indoors)
- Ventilation (if indoors)
- Protection from the elements (if outdoors)
For indoor – hydroponic grow;
- Grow medium
- Ph Tester
- Tent or box
Typically, a hydro store will have everything you need. If the shop is cannabis-friendly, you can ask them specifically what you need. If not, tell them you’re growing tomatoes – cannabis and tomatoes are very similar in difficulty.
4 – Post Crop Tools
Eventually, you’ll reach the point of cropping out. Here you’ll need a few things irrespective of where you are growing. This includes;
- Latex Gloves
- Humidity Meter
- Location to dry the herb (closet or enclosed space)
- Ventilator (a fan would do)
- A glass jar (or several depending on how much cannabis you have)
- A whole bunch of patience
How long will it take from seed to smoke
All in all, it takes about six months to go through the process of growing weed from seed to smoke, especially if you care about curing. Nonetheless, this list should provide you with everything you need to know to start your cannabis grow today.