If you buy seeds from a seed bank, look for those labeled “feminized” to ensure they give rise to female plants, Johnson says. But if you’re a total newbie, he suggests buying clones, which are cuttings from a “mother” female plant, available at some dispensaries, as well as at nurseries. Not only are they easier to obtain, “they’re easier to grow. You get a clone, and you transplant it to some soil.”
When the pandemic hit, many of us turned to quaint pastimes to soothe our existential dread, whether it was baking sourdough, knitting, or doing jigsaw puzzles. If you want to expand your repertoire of distraction methods with an activity that still has that quiet, homey vibe, but with a bit more of an edge, consider growing your own weed.
Do your homework and read up on the laws in your state. Some states prohibit growing cannabis, while others, like my home state of California, permits anyone over age 21 to grow cannabis, but only up to a certain number of plants. NORML has a pretty in-depth guide to the laws in each state. Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Maine also allow cultivation, but again, the specifics depend on the state. Definitely clarify what your rights are before you start the glorious path to at-home bud gardening.
Cannabis plants can be either male or female. Female plants yield the plump flowers, a.k.a., “buds,” that we know and love, brimming with psychoactive compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which gets you high), Modern Farmer explains. Male plants yield much smaller flowers, which people typically don’t consume. In other words, if you want to actually indulge in your crop, you’ll want female plants.
Before you get started
If you use organic soil, all you’ll really need to do is add water, Johnson says — but don’t overdo it. The number one mistake he sees new growers make is watering their plants too often. In general, “watering every day is too much. The rule is, if you pick up your plant, and the pot is heavy, then it has a enough water. If it’s light, it’s dry, then you need to water.” You could also stick your finger knuckle-deep into the soil; if it feels dry, add water.
The most important elements of a successful grow are…
The reason is that those lights are incredibly efficient and easy to understand how to use. With fluorescents like CFLs and T5s, the yields are relatively low for the electricity used, and with LEDs it can be really tough to get the light distance “dialed in.” It just adds a lot of variables that make it easy to burn your plants. I like how with the small HID lights you just keep the light about a foot away from the tops of your plants and forget about it, yet you still get those really dense and potent HID buds because of the light intensity. The small HID lights also don’t put out a whole lot of heat, so you don’t usually need to worry about an exhaust system unless you’re growing in a very small space without ventilation. A 250W HPS puts out about the same total amount of total heat as an LED that pulls 250W of electricity out of the wall.
So what does a grower need? A grower needs to make a good environment for their plants with decent temperatures, bright light, and happy roots. Even if you don’t do anything else, you’ll be able to make it to harvest with really high-quality bud by doing just those things.