Growing Cannabis From Seeds Indoors

Learn how to grow weed indoors with this step-by-step guide that'll teach you exactly how to turn a seed into a smokable dried flower. Free eBook included.

How To Grow Cannabis Organically: Seeds, Soil, Containers & Care

Editor’s Note: It is legal in both Michigan and Ann Arbor to grow up to 12 cannabis plants indoors or outdoors for personal consumption. Check Ann Arbor’s zoning code for exact details. Outdoors, cannabis plants must be in a fenced, locked area. Plants can’t be visible from the street or sidewalk.

Note:

This post is intended for people living in states who are legally allowed to grow cannabis at home, either medicinally or recreationally. If you have any questions about this, please refer to your local cannabis regulations. Note that today’s post is also geared around growing cannabis naturally outdoors, so I will not touch on light deprivation or indoor grow set-ups. I do plan to write an indoor grow guide in the near future, but most of the tips in this article can easily be applied to an indoor grow too!

The topic of “how to grow cannabis” has such a funny vibe about it. If you browse around online, you’ll see there are many cannabis growers with extremely strong opinions about “the right way” to grow cannabis, though all of their methods vary… Esoteric language, expensive supplies, and complicated recipes or instructions are often used, making it a very intimidating and confusing subject for new home growers.

I am here to hopefully take some of the mystery out of it for you! The methods we choose to use for growing cannabis here at home are pretty dang simple! Sure, there are some steps to follow and supplies to gather, but growing cannabis is not all that more complicated than growing high-quality organic food at home. Or at least that is how we approach it. All you need is rich healthy soil, a large container, and either cannabis seeds or started seedlings – called “clones.”

This article will get you started with your growing season, then check out the follow-up posts for ongoing care – with tips on routine fertilizing, organic pest control, and how to harvest, dry, and cure your cannabis too. Keep in mind that our goals are not all about high yields. The goal is to grow safe, high-quality, organic cannabis that we can utilize and enjoy with peace of mind – knowing how it was treated from “bean to bowl”. It is about quality over quantity, though we end up with more than enough anyways!

SOURCING CANNABIS

Where to get cannabis seeds or clones

Keep in mind that cannabis has not been legalized at the federal level – with the exception of low-THC, high-CBD hemp. Therefore, even if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana, shipping cannabis seeds and products across state lines is technically still illegal. But it is commonly done nonetheless. To my knowledge, people buy cannabis seeds online fairly easily and without issues. However, if cannabis is legal in your state, the most safe and “by the book” way to procure seed or started plants (clones) is from a licensed cannabis store.

Here are a few reputable places that discreetly sell cannabis seeds online:
    – A popular ‘seed bank’ with a huge selection, including CBD! (money order only) (autoflower seeds only) (based out of the Netherlands, ships to US) (UK, ships to US)

Feminized, Regular, or Autoflower Seeds

Cannabis comes in many shapes and sizes! Obtaining feminized seeds or plants guarantees that they will flower. Aka – they’ll grow buds. “Regular” seeds could grow up to be males. They’re pretty useless unless you want to breed plants. Any males in vicinity will pollinate your female plants, make them produce seeds in the buds, and reduce their THC development. Most people cull the males before they produce pollen to avoid this. We grow with feminized and sometimes regular seeds too.

You may also want to start regular seeds a few weeks earlier than you would feminized seeds, which allows for ample time to ID the ladies (or gentlemen). For a super-quick growing season and small, manageable plants, you could try autoflower cannabis types. Autoflowers are available in feminized, sativa, and indica options too.

Strains: Sativa vs Indica

Sativa-dominant plants are typically more uplifting and energizing. Sativa plants also get taller, lankier, and take longer from seed to harvest. Indica-dominant strains finish a little faster, pack on fatter buds, and are generally shorter and wider plants. These make them a preferable variety for northern climates with shorter growing seasons. Indica is also known for more of a mellow, sleepy, heavy, couch-lock kind of vibe.

We generally prefer uplifting, happy, energetic sativa-dominant hybrids – ones that are balanced with enough indica to keep things smooth, relaxing, and still make for a great night of sleep. “Maui Wowie” is a long-standing favorite here, and “Rosetta Stone” is our new go-to lately.

Beyond all of these broad categories, each strain will also have unique attributes that may make it more or less desirable to you. Find what suits your needs! What works for us may not be what works for you.

THE PERFECT CANNABIS SOIL

We’re shooting for something that is rich, biologically active, full of micronutrients, and has an excellent balance between moisture retention and drainage. Reference that raised bed soil post if you want to dive deep into detail, but otherwise here is a quick-and-dirty for cannabis soil:

I’m going to give you all two options below. One is a little more involved, which is crafting your own soil from scratch. This is what we do. The second option uses pre-made soil, and requires less ingredients and steps upfront.

Either way you choose to go, please note that we follow a no-till method. That means the soil is a one-time upfront cost, aside from some amendments you’ll need on an ongoing basis. Those last a long time before needing replenishing too! At the end of a growing season, the mature cannabis plant is cut down at the soil line, and the roots left in place to decompose over the winter with the aid of worms and light moisture. The soil is used year after year in the same container, improving with age. This is also called ROLSrecycled organic living soil.

Option 1: Our Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe

Combine the following ingredients. If you plan to fill several large containers (like grow bags – discussed below) then it may be easiest to mix all of these in a very large tote or even spread out on a tarp, and then add some to each bag. Note that it is best to pre-moisten the peat moss before mixing it with everything else. Peat tends to be hydrophobic when dry, and can make your soil less likely to absorb water well if it is mixed without wetting first.

Soil Base:

  • 1 part Canadian sphagnum peat moss (We often use Roots Organics or Premier – both found at our local ‘grow shop’.)
  • 1 part high quality compost (We love Malibu’s Biodynamic Compost, but it’s only available on the West Coast. There is a similar East Coast option by Coast of Maine. You could use aged homemade compost, or shop around to see what is available. Maybe there is a local worm farm in your area?)
  • 1 part aeration additive (We prefer 3/8-inch Lava rock, aka lava cinders. You could use pumice or perlite instead.)

Evenly mix in the following amendments:

    , ½ cup per cubic foot of soil* , ½ cup per cubic foot of soil , ½ cup per cubic foot of soil , 2 cups per cubic foot of soil , 1 cup per cubic foot of soil , 1 cup per cubic foot of soil
  • A handful of worm castings and a few compost worms, if possible
  • Optional: Biochar, 2-4 cups per cubic foot of soil

*In the recipe above, when I mention the amendment amounts “per cubic foot of soil”, I mean the total combined volume including peat moss, compost, and aeration. Also note that all of these amendments are things we also use in the garden, and last many seasons!

Curious about what all these things are for?

Kelp meal contains over 70 different vitamins and minerals. It helps promote overall plant health, vigor, and tolerance to stress, pests ,and disease. It is also a renewable, sustainable resource – so that’s a huge plus.

Neem meal enhances microbial activity, making your soil even more alive! It also strengthens root systems, and can help control unwanted nematode populations, fungus, and soil pathogens.

Crab or Crustacean meal is high in chitin, which stimulates the soil food web and beneficial microbe activity. It may also help combat root knot nematodes. This meal contains both macro and micronutrients as fuel for the plants.

Rock Dust contains micronutrients and trace minerals that are essential for a plant’s core biological processes to work at their strongest, such as nutrient uptake and photosynthesis.

Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur, and helps the plant better utilize and uptake potassium, which is one of the key macronutrients that all plants depend on for life. In the “NPK” ratio for all fertilizers, the K stands for potassium. Adequate potassium availability and uptake enables plants to photosynthesize, produce energy and important enzymes during growth, and also assists with water uptake and drought resistance.

Oyster shell flour is an excellent source of calcium for the plants, as well as phosphorus. Adequate calcium carbonate protects plants from heat stress, makes them more resistant to disease and pests, strengthens plant cell walls, and increases nutrient uptake and overall vigor. Oyster shell flour also acts as a pH buffer.

A note about peat moss:

Peat moss gets some flack for being not very sustainable. However, it also gets some of the best reviews and results for growing cannabis. Cannabis likes very slightly acidic soil, which peat moss naturally is. It is also an incredibly common ingredient in almost all bagged soil, so it’s hard to avoid in the gardening world. Aaron put together our soil before we were fully aware of the environmental concerns. Because we are reusing and recycling it each year, the best thing for us is to continue utilizing it!

Some people who grow cannabis choose to replace the peat moss portion of this recipe with coco coir, which is a more renewable, sustainable material. I can’t speak to its effectiveness because we haven’t used it for cannabis, though we do add a little coco coir to our raised beds sometimes, and also use it as bedding in our worm bin. Honestly, we have heard not-so-great results and read numerous studies that show coco coir has inferior performance to peat moss.

Option 2: Use Pre-amended Bagged Soil

If mixing up all those amendments sounds a little too “extra” for you, you could do the following instead:

Use mostly pre-made, high-quality, bagged organic soil. If you have access to it, try to add in a little rich aged compost, worms, worm castings, and/or aeration too! Experiment with building your own soil, with a premade base. Check out this post on how to start a super simple worm bin, if you’re in need of worm castings! They can also be purchased.

For this method, you could skip a lot of the additional amendments upfront, though you’ll still want to add some as the growing season progresses. Cannabis is a hungry plant! The choices and availability of bagged organic soil options will vary depending on where you live. If you can, get top-of-the-line stuff – it is going to be more pre-amended for you.

See also  Cannabis Ruderalis Seeds

Examples of popular cannabis soil brands to keep an eye out for are Roots Organics products, Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest/Happy Frog, or Recipe 420 by E.B. Stone. Even some of the Kellogg or G&B Organics could work well, especially when premium compost is added. Check to see if there are any hydroponic stores or “grow shops” in your area. Those stores cater to cannabis growers, and are more likely to carry premium bagged soils over the stuff at big box nursery centers.

Now that you have a soil choice in mind, what are you going to put it in?

CONTAINERS FOR GROWING CANNABIS

We prefer to grow our cannabis in grow bags, and I’ll explain why below. If you want to stick your plants in garden beds or right in the ground, be my guest! This is just what works for us. Check out how to build a durable and deep raised garden bed here.

Benefits of Grow Bags

The preferred container for growing cannabis for many people, ourselves included, is in large fabric grow bags. As opposed to a hard-sided container, they promote better aeration, drainage, and even moisture. Solid containers like 5-gallon buckets could be used, but have the tendency to be drier on top and soggy on the bottom. Grow bags also accomplish something called air-pruning. When the cannabis plant’s roots near the edge of the bag, the exposure to air naturally prunes them back. This is a way to keep the plant happy and healthy in its given container, naturally limiting itself and keeping the roots healthier. In contrast, a solid container allows the plants roots to continue to grow in circles around the container and themselves – becoming root bound. This is not a good thing.

Grow bags are great because they allow people to grow cannabis in a variety of living situations, be it on a patio, indoors, or in a greenhouse. By using a container, you have ultimate control over the soil you choose to fill it with.

Additionally, you can make them mobile! We make rolling dollies to sit all of our cannabis grow bags on, out of 2×6’s and heavy-duty casters. See the photos below. That way, we can easily roll or rotate the large (and heavy!) plants out of our way or into better sun as needed. If you do the same, make sure you get casters that are rated for at least 50 to 80 pounds of weight per wheel, minimum. Ours are 2″ and okay for the flat patio, but 3-inch wheels probably would have made it even easier to move.

CONTAINERS FOR GROWING CANNABIS

We prefer to grow our cannabis in grow bags, and I’ll explain why below. If you want to stick your plants in garden beds or right in the ground, be my guest! This is just what works for us. Check out how to build a durable and deep raised garden bed here.

Benefits of Grow Bags

The preferred container for growing cannabis for many people, ourselves included, is in large fabric grow bags. As opposed to a hard-sided container, they promote better aeration, drainage, and even moisture. Solid containers like 5-gallon buckets could be used, but have the tendency to be drier on top and soggy on the bottom. Grow bags also accomplish something called air-pruning. When the cannabis plant’s roots near the edge of the bag, the exposure to air naturally prunes them back. This is a way to keep the plant happy and healthy in its given container, naturally limiting itself and keeping the roots healthier. In contrast, a solid container allows the plants roots to continue to grow in circles around the container and themselves – becoming root bound. This is not a good thing.

Grow bags are great because they allow people to grow cannabis in a variety of living situations, be it on a patio, indoors, or in a greenhouse. By using a container, you have ultimate control over the soil you choose to fill it with.

Additionally, you can make them mobile! We make rolling dollies to sit all of our cannabis grow bags on, out of 2×6’s and heavy-duty casters. See the photos below. That way, we can easily roll or rotate the large (and heavy!) plants out of our way or into better sun as needed. If you do the same, make sure you get casters that are rated for at least 50 to 80 pounds of weight per wheel, minimum. Ours are 2″ and okay for the flat patio, but 3-inch wheels probably would have made it even easier to move.

CANNABIS GROWING CONDITIONS

Timing

In most places, cannabis seeds are started indoors in March or April, and transplanted outside in April or May once the risk of frost has passed. Basically, cannabis seedlings need to be protected from freezing or other harsh conditions – just as any other seedling does! If you aren’t sure about your area’s frost dates, stop by this article. In it, I share veggie seed-starting calendars for every USDA hardiness zone. For cannabis, you can essentially follow the timing recommendations for tomatoes (but on the later end of the given windows).

Depending on the strains you are growing and your summer daylight hours, the average cannabis plant will continue to grow larger in size (in its vegetative state) until the days begin to shorten and it receives less than 12 hours of sunlight per day (e.g. after summer solstice). Then, it switches into its flowering stage and begins to develop buds. Most outdoor cannabis plants will be ready to harvest in September to October. The exception to this would be for autoflowers, which can start and finish their entire life cycle in as short as 3 months.

Starting cannabis from seed

We prefer to grow from seed. Once we obtain seeds, we treat them pretty much like any other garden seed! They’re germinated in 4” pots full of seedling start mix, inside on a heat mat. Keep the containers covered and moist until they sprout. Ideal germination temperature is around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

After sprouting indoors, cannabis seedlings need strong bright light – such as that provided by a supplemental grow light. Unfortunately, a sunny window will not provide enough light, and the plants will get extra tall, weak, and leggy. Once our seeds pop indoors, we move the cannabis seedlings to our greenhouse for a few weeks before going fully outside. We also use lights for growing autoflowers in the off-season in the greenhouse.

Note that you do not need a greenhouse or fancy supplies to start cannabis! If you don’t have a heat mat, I suggest pre-soaking the seeds in non-chlorinated water overnight before planting. This will aid in germination. In lieu of seedling start mix and little pots, another option is to germinate the seed inside a moist root riot cube, then plant the whole cube in its final grow bag after it sprouts. If you aren’t equipped to raise seedlings indoors for several weeks, plan to start in late April to early May. Most locations will be adequately warm enough by then for the seedlings to go right outside after germination (or to sow seeds directly outside, if you wish).

Once they’re a few weeks old and the weather is right, we transplant our seedlings outside to their final large grow bag. When they are transplanted, we sprinkle some mycorrhizae in the planting hole and on any exposed roots. Mycorrhizae enhances nutrient uptake, and disease and drought resistance. If you did have your seedlings indoors under lights for a few weeks, don’t forget to properly harden them off before moving them outside! This helps to strengthen them and prevent transplant shock.

If you are growing from clones instead (such as those you purchase at a local dispensary, or obtain from a friend), you can skip straight to potting them into grow bags outside.

Sun and Support

Full sun is best! If you have a wide open location that receives full sun all summer and into fall, you’re in luck. We have changing sun patterns, with some shade from our house and trees to contend with. That is the beauty of putting the grow bags on dollies – we can move them around to receive the most sun possible as the seasons change.

Provide support for the main stalk with a sturdy stake. As the plant gets larger and starts to put on bud weight, you may find the need to further support individual branches. This will depend on the strain. Some growers get crazy with their support and training systems! We start with a small stake for seedlings (shown above) and then swap it to a 5 or 6-foot tall stake as the plant matures.

Water

In regards to water, the goal is to provide consistent, even moisture. Do not let the soil completely dry out between watering, but don’t drown it out either. As with many things, this will vary a lot depending on your climate. If you’re in a very hot and arid place, you will need to water more frequently than someone in a cooler coastal climate like ourselves.

As the plant grows and the root ball gets larger, it will drink water faster and therefore need more, and more often. I will write a follow up post about watering and fertilizing (which often go hand-in-hand) throughout the growing season soon.

If possible, use dechlorinated water. It isn’t a deal-breaker, but the plant and soil microbes will definitely appreciate it. If you are on city tap water, allowing a bucket of water to sit out overnight can help the chlorine dissipate. We mostly use our captured rainwater. Another option is to use a simple hose carbon filter to remove chlorine.

Mulch

Mulch the top of your grow bag to maintain a healthy soil. We love using biodynamic accumulators that not only provide moisture retention, but will later break down into more nutrients and energy for the cannabis. Some examples of biodynamic accumulators are borage, comfrey, yarrow, and dandelion greens. Fava bean greens are also excellent for green mulching, since they’re nitrogen fixers! If you don’t have access to these types of plants, straw or hay will work.

Another popular mulch option is to use an organic cover crop seed mix, and lightly working it into the top inch of soil when you first plant your cannabis seedling. As it gets watered, cover crop will grow under the canopy of your plant. It becomes a living mulch, and also enhances your living soil food web. As it grows tall, you can “chop and drop” mulch with it. That is when you trim it and leave it in place to decompose as green mulch.

I hope this all took some of the mystery out of growing cannabis for you. Please feel free to ask questions and pass this post along. To the left, of course. Wishing you the bet of luck with your growing adventure!

How to Grow Weed Indoors for Beginners [Follow-Along Guide]

I’m here to tell you that growing weed indoors step-by-step is easy. Just follow along.

Because it’s the first choice of thousands of beginner growers, I’ve decided to put together the most comprehensive soil weed growing guide on the internet.

See also  Seed And Strain Cannabis Co

In this guide, we will go through the whole growing process, from choosing the seeds and soil to harvesting and curing the buds. Hopefully, by the end of this guide your cannabis growing knowledge will grow as much as your plant.

Learn how to grow cannabis with our free eBook

We are giving away a PDF version of this post, so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let us know where to send it (takes 5 seconds).

Preparation stage

The first week (or week 0 as I like to call it) is when you prepare your grow.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole week, however it can often be longer.

You might think:

“So, it’s not a week at all?”

And you’d be right.

You won’t be doing any growing this week as you can’t grow plants without the seeds first.

Week 0 is focused around finding the best soil, seeds, lights and setting up your growing tent.

Even if you are growing hydroponic marijuana you have to do the prep stage, which might be even longer for hydroponic setups.

Seeds

For this indoor soil growing guide we will use one of the most popular strains ever: White Widow.

But, we won’t use just any White Widow.

For this occasion we will use the autoflowering version of this plant.

Well, for a few simple reasons:

Autoflowering plants are smaller, but they don’t cut down on the yield, they are easier to grow, and they grow faster than regular plants.

You will want only feminized seeds for this grow as male plants do not grow flowers.

“Your plant is only as good as your soil.”

I find this to be one of the biggest truths of growing cannabis.

Beginner growers often experience problems with their soil, such as malnutrition and over-watering.

Both of these will have a long term effect on your plant if not dealt with in the quickest manner.

This is not to say that cannabis won’t grow in slightly bad conditions, far from that.

It’s called “weed” for a reason. It will grow even in sub-par conditions, however the end result might not be what you hoped for.

So, in order to avoid any confusion, do your best to get the perfect soil, and if you fail, you can still make it up by adding nutrients.

Feel free to buy any of the branded soil mixes, except for those that are labeled “extended release”as they will release nitrogen to your plant roots for up to 6 months, meaning that you will have n0 control over the pH levels of your soil.

The best option out there for first-time growers is “Super Soil”, a special mix of soil that can be found in stores. KindSoil is one of the more popular brands of Super Soil.

With any Super Soil mix you won’t have to add any nutrients, as the mix comes premade, so water will be the only thing you add to it—by watering the plants.

Fun fact:

Did you know that earthworms in soil can increase the yield up to 75%? According to scientists from Netherlands, earthworms might be one of the most important parts of a soil-based grow.

However, this study was done on wheat plants so I wouldn’t suggest you throwing earthworms in the mix if you haven’t had at least a dozen successful grows.

Lighting setup

Lights are super important for growing cannabis and insufficient lighting is one of the biggest reasons why many indoor grows fail.

Lighting depends totally on the size of your grow.

Basically there are 2 most common options for lighting:

  • LEDs
  • CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights).

CFLs give off more heat than LEDs and are better suited for growing in small spaces, such as tents.

Their downside is that they tend to spend more energy and you will have to readjust them more often than LEDs.

So, my end recommendation is this: if you have room for LEDs and you are willing to go through the hustle of setting up LEDs, be my guest.

For a small first time grow, I would suggest getting a CFL setup with lights up to 300W.

Keeping CFLs close to the plants will bring in the best yields and ensure the biggest plant growth.

The tent

Growing tents are perfect for those that tend to grow in their garage or colder areas of the house, as the tent holds the warmth within itself, helping plants get bigger as soon as possible.

If you plan on growing marijuana in a closet, or a similar closed space that doesn’t let too much heat out, I would suggest that you approach it with caution.

Either way, the most important thing is to keep the temperature at a constant 25°C (77℉).

In case you do go with a tent, you will have to extract the air from the tent, which is removed using a fan that sucks the air out through tubes.

Most modern tents have a carbon filter which prevents the smell of weed leaving the tent, so keep that in mind when shopping for one.

If you still think you can make do without a tent, then get ready to spend some money on fans and/or ventilation systems.

Most modern air extractor fans include temperature and moisture controllers, which will come very handy when calculating your VPD (we’ll get to that later), so I strongly suggest you get one of those.

Pro tip: if you have cats you are going to want to get a tent. Just trust me on this one. I’m saving you money, effort and a lot of nerves.

Light schedule for growing weed indoors

Light periods for autoflowering plants are really easy to grasp:

All you have to do is keep the light turned on.

Like, all the time.

I am not joking when I say that you should keep the lights on 24/7.

Giving 24 hours of light is crucial when growing autoflowering plants, as it may give them the best chance to grow bigger in the vegetative stage and then eventually flower when their time comes.

Autoflowering plants do not need darkness.

Autoflowering plants are not dependent on changes in the light cycle to commence flowering.

This is why they can be grown using a light cycle of anything from 16 to 24 hours daily.

This is also what makes them perfect for first time growers as light periods are one less thing to worry about.

Germination & seedling stage

Time to put those girls into action!

But first, some more prep.

VPD for weed

Creating the perfect environment for your plants doesn’t necessarily end with buying all the right gear.

You will have to know how to properly set it up, and more importantly, how to make the perfect atmosphere for your plants to grow to their potential.

Dehumidifiers decrease environmental moisture and release heat, which can be helpful in certain cases like very moist and cool areas, such as basements.

If you want know how to grow big buds indoors, you have to understand the importance of VPD.

Whether you are growing weed in a closet or a tent, you will have to control the atmosphere.

Humidity is one of the more important factors to control and this is in part due to the fact that different humidity levels are best for different growing stages.

In general, the air humidity for growing weed indoors is as follows:

One thing which is closely connected to air humidity is VPD.

VPD stands for Vapor Pressure Deficit, and it represents the difference between the pressure of water vapor in 100% saturated air at a certain temperature (leaf’s vapor pressure) and actual vapor pressure in the air surrounding the plant.

Plants with higher VPD values will generally have a higher transpiration rate and increased nutrient movement.

Germinating weed seeds

Learning how to germinate a weed seed is a piece of cake, and also the first step you will take towards your new hobby.

Germinating seeds is a process of forcing them to begin to grow and put out roots.

Seeds can be germinated in many ways and the first time you do it you will get a hang for it because there isn’t really too much science behind it.

How to germinate weed seeds?

There are several ways to do this.

Germinating seeds in soil

Germinating seeds in soil is the easiest way to do it because all you have to do is toss them in your pot, cover with some dirt and douse with water.

You only need the soil to be damp so make sure you do not over water it. You can use clear kitchen plastic to wrap the tops of the pots to maintain humidity. Keep the pots in a warm area.

Germinating seeds in water

Germinating seeds in water requires even less effort than germinating seeds in soil.

You literally just have to throw them in a cup of water for 14-18 hours.

One thing that makes this way better than germinating in soil is that you can see if a seed is bad by checking if it didn’t sink. Those that sink are good.

After the seeds start rooting, move them on a damp paper towel and cover with another damp paper towel.

Place the paper towel covered seeds in a dark area and they will grow roots in a matter of days.

After that, all you have to do is move them into a pot.

Germinating seeds with paper towels

For this method, you take a couple of seeds, put them on a damp paper towel and cover with another one, after which you store them somewhere dark.

After a few days you should see roots embedded in the paper towels.

You can do this with gauze and cotton wool as well.

Seedling stage

Seedling stage begins once you’ve moved your seeds from the paper towel into the pot and you start seeing the first leaves break out from the ground.

Here’s a photo of a plant a few days into its seedling stage:

That is exactly what your plant will look like maybe a week after you’ve moved the seeds into the pots.

You don’t really have to do much during the seedling stage.

You don’t even have to water the plants too much as you’ll want the soil to be a bit dry so that the roots can catch better.

You might be thinking, “This man is crazy!”, and you’d be right.

But, letting your plant root strong is a great idea during the seedling stage, just make sure you don’t over water and suffocate the plant.

Over-watering is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

One of the most important things to remember for the seedling stage is that you will want to move your plants in a bigger pot as soon as you see the first few leafs show.

Knowing how and when to transplant your plants is perhaps the best knowledge we can pass onto new growers, as leaving plants in small pots can choke them up, while moving them too early can have terrible effects, especially if you don’t do it right.

Further along the road you will most likely have to re-pot the plants again.

See also  Homegrown Cannabis Seeds Review

I strongly suggest you move the plants as soon as you see the first leaves appear.

The second re-potting should happen once your plants have rooted in firmly and appear ready to be moved—this means that the plant looks stable enough to be moved.

Whatever you decide to do regarding re-potting, keep one thing in mind: The less root damage the better.

Vegetative stage

Vegetative stage starts when you see that the plant is looking more like a weed plant than just a regular plant, meaning that it has clear weed-like characteristics.

You will start seeing the recognizable fan leaves and many branches stemming from the trunk, alongside that familiar skunky smell.

Vegetative stage starts roughly around the second week for most autoflowering plants, but for others it might start in the third week.

Either way, once your plant starts growing in size by the day you will know that you successfully reached the vegetative stage.

Watering weed plants

Watering weed plants is a tricky business if you’ve never watered plants in your life.

Most growers water their plants from the tap so there aren’t really any reasons why you shouldn’t do the same.

The amount of water you will use for your plants varies depending on the specifics of your grow and the environment in which you hold the plants.

It also depends on the size of the plant, air temperature, soil composition, water quality and the capacity of your air filtration systems.

However, seeing how this is intended for beginner growers we won’t go in depth too much with watering.

Let me just leave it at these 3 things:

  1. Water whenever you feel that the top of the soil is dry
  2. Bigger pots — water less often, smaller pots — water more often
  3. Make sure you have appropriate drainage (to avoid overwatering)

Pro tip: Get yourself a bottle of carbonated water, and sprinkle the weed leaves. Carbonated water has CO2, which your plants crave.

How to clone weed plants

Similarly to re-vegging autoflowering weed strains, cloning them is extremely hard or next to impossible to do.

This is due to the fact that autoflowering strains have grown in the northern areas of the planet in which they had limited time to flower.

Cloning an autoflowering seed will create a plant of the same age as the mother plant.

Clones share the exact same genetics as the mother plant, which includes their age.

So, if this is your first grow, chances are that you won’t even try cloning a plant.

If you’re growing a photosensitive strain, however, cloning should be a piece of cake.

  1. Contrary to popular opinion, don’t cut off the most bottom node. Cut at least the 2nd or 3rd node.
  2. Fill a solo cup with soil and punch a hole on the top of the soil about 10 cm deep.
  3. Shave off a bit of the skin on the bottom of the cutting so it can form roots more easily.
  4. Stick the freshly cut branch in the hole you just punched and water your new plant.

Cloning weed plants is a great way to save money and keep growing the same plant with great genetics over and over again. You can clone one plant as many times as you want, and the clone of that clone.

Hell, cloning works even with cats.

Flowering stage

Once your plants reach a decent height and size it is time to flower.

Since we are growing an autoflowering strain, you won’t have to put any effort into changing the light schedule or anything.

Once your plant feels the time is right, it will start flowering.

How to know if your plant is male or female?

“Feminized cannabis seeds are bred to contain no male chromosomes, thus ensuring that every plant grown from them will flower as a female and be able to produce the crop of resinous buds sought by most growers”.

But, what happens if you buy random seeds which aren’t feminized?

Well, in that case you will simply have to sprout all the seeds, and wait for them to grow up a bit.

There are some general rules that will help you determine the sex of your weed plant:

  1. Male plants mature faster, most of the time about two weeks before females;
  2. Male plants also have “false buds” which are actually pollen sacs;
  3. Male plants have flowers while females still have pistils at this point.

It is important to keep in mind that cannabis plants can also be hermaphrodites, which means that one plant has both male and female traits.

Pro tip: It is very important that you keep male and female plants separate (or toss the male plants away) as there is a chance that male plants might ruin your grow by fertilizing the female plants.

Post-harvest stage

Most autoflowering plants will show best results around the 11th or 12th week, which is usually a great time to harvest.

But, before you cut your flowers and start drying, here are 2 things to know before you throw away the remaining pieces of the plant:

  • Harvested plants can grow again and bring more crops (unless they are autoflowering strains) by re-vegging the plant;
  • You can still clone the plant that you just cut up as long as there are healthy leaves.

Make sure that you don’t rush too much with harvesting, as cannabis needs time to develop higher levels of THC, so harvesting a bit later is a lot better than harvesting too soon.

How to re-veg weed plants

To reveg a weed plant means to send it back to the vegetative phase right after the harvest.

Now, I know I said that we will be using an autoflowering seed for this, and the common knowledge is that autoflowering plants cannot be re-vegged.

However, let us pretend again for a minute that we started with a photosensitive seed, in order to show you how re-vegging works.

You might wonder:

“Why reveg weed when you’ve already harvested the plant?”

There are multiple answers to this question:

  • If you had a great yield and you want to repeat the same results;
  • If you don’t want to spend money on new seeds;
  • If you want the same genetics but different results.

So, in order to re-veg the plants you will first have to harvest it.

  1. Cut off all the bigger branches and just leave the trunk of the plant snapped with a few of the smaller branches remaining
  2. Those smaller branches should have a few flowers on them. From these flowers you will see new leafs appear and grow once the plant starts to re-veg
  3. Put the plant back into the growing room and give it 18 hours of light.

You will see new branches appear from the old flowers and once it hits a decent size, put it back to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark so that it may flower.

Most plants that get re-vegged will start growing in a bushy manner rather than straight up as they used to.

This is a slow process so don’t be hasty and take your time taking care of the plant as it is a hard process for the plant as well.

How to dry weed

There are 2 things to keep in mind when drying weed:

  1. The room has to have a certain level of humidity, which is around 50%-60%;
  2. The optimal temperature for your drying room is 21°C (70°F).

For best results, you should dry your buds slowly over the course of 3-7 days.

The drying time depends heavily on the climate in your area. In high-humidity climates the drying process will likely last longer, and vice versa.

Experienced smokers know how a properly dried bud feels in the hand, so if you are not certain don’t be afraid to ask.

Here are a few rules to keep in mind when you’re drying buds:

  1. Keep the area clean and dust-free;
  2. Control humidity and temperature (50%-60% and 70°F or 21°C);
  3. Remove the big leaves and hang the pruned colas and buds upside down on a clothing line or wire;
  4. Keep them properly spaced out, especially in relatively humid drying rooms;
  5. Move the nugs to the curing jars once the twigs start snapping.

Once you’ve moved your buds to the curing jars, the curing process begins.

If you wanna read in depth about drying weed, click here for our full article on how to dry weed.

How to cure weed

Curing marijuana buds is the last step in producing a smokable flower. After curing, your weed will have a much more impressive smell and taste.

Here are some of those big truths about properly drying and curing marijuana:

  • This process breaks down chlorophyll and improves taste and smoothness of the smoke;
  • It will bring out the specifics of your strain when done right, such as the smell and fine flavors;
  • Less chances of mold appearing on your buds.

Check out the photo below for a comparison of well dried and cured weed and poorly dried and cured weed.

Here’s a 5 step tutorial on how to cure weed:

  1. Trim off the smaller leaves and stems that you find remaining after the drying process;
  2. Place the buds in an airtight mason jar, but make sure you don’t cram them up inside. They need some space to cure properly;
  3. Place the jars in a cool, dark place, and make sure there is no sunlight as it breaks down cannabinoids. Make sure you take off the lids every day for 60 minutes to get the fresh air in;
  4. Control the temperature (around 70° Fahrenheit or 20° Celsius) and humidity in the jars around 60% by using humidity packs;
  5. Cure your buds for at least 4 weeks to get the optimal potency and taste, and if you aren’t in a rush you can cure for 6-8 weeks for high-grade buds.

Many people have used small refrigerators for curing weed, as it is fairly easy to control the environment within with heat and humidity packs.

Curing weed in a fridge might be a great way to start if you’ve never done it before.

It is easy, it is convenient as little to no smell is left behind, and there is no way the light will come in.

Go wild

Now it’s up to you to get started and go wild.

Growing weed can be a great hobby for all those that have enough time and passion for smoking cannabis.

Young adults do it all over the US and Canada, just as much as retired folks because it doesn’t require much to be good at it.

Experience is perhaps the biggest factor in growing weed, so don’t be surprised if your first crop doesn’t yield much or the buds don’t look like the ones you buy in a medical dispensary.

These things depend on just about everything, from the strain you are growing to lamps that you use and how long you dried and cured buds after harvesting them.

If you ever get stuck, or things start going south (leaves going yellow, mites problems, etc.) don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there just waiting to hear your problems and see your plants. Many Facebook groups are named “Growers helping growers” so it might be a great idea to join one, just in case you need advice and assistance over the course of your grow.