How To Grow Marijuana From Seed Australia

Find out how to grow cannabis in Australia. The best beginner’s guide to marijuana growing, plant nutrients, organic soil, and all the basics. Read More! If you've ever thought of growing cannabis outdoors, then this comprehensive guide is for you. We discuss climate, soil, nutrients, watering, and more. This is a super-condensed version of our Beginner Guide! The following tutorial is very basic, but if you follow the 10 steps you will get to harvest!

9 Step Beginners Guide To Growing Cannabis In Australia

Whether you are in Canberra or growing as a professionals, you have to learn the basics of growing cannabis in Australia. What makes marijuana cultivation in Australia different than America?

You’ve been dying to grow your own bud for ages, and now it’s finally legal in Canberra.

There are dozens of questions going around in your head.

  • Where do I start?
  • Should I grow indoors or out?
  • What seeds should I grow?
  • Do I need special supplies?
  • When can I start the germination process?
  • How can I control the plants?

We’re going to help you get ready now, so you’re ready for legal marijuana cultivation in a few weeks or with a sweet setup outside in Canberra.

In this article, we will walk through a few steps on how to grow legal cannabis in Canberra, Australia.

This article is intended for educating on how professionals would grow in regions where they have the legal ability to do so.

Table of Contents.

1. Choosing Indoor or Outdoor Cultivation

There are advantages and disadvantages to growing cannabis inside and outside.

There are different reasons for wanting to grow outside, and inside, especially if you are living in a suburban area.

Even though its legal to grow cannabis in Canberra, indoor and hydroponic cultivating is prohibited.

Indoor Cultivation

The two most significant advantages to growing marijuana inside include control over the environment and year-round growing.

On the other hand, it requires much more planning and the costs can add up fast.

If startup funds are an issue, you may want to start outside and save for indoor equipment.

Steer clear of hydroponics setups as of 2020. This method is still 100% illegal in Canberra.

Outdoor Cultivation

Growing outside is more comfortable and cheaper. However, more factors can reduce and even ruin your crop.

For example, problems with weather, attacks from predators, and human interference can make outdoor growth more difficult.

Unless you have a great security system on your property, your excellent cultivation skills could come under assault from thieves that steal the fruits of your labor.

Another consideration is extreme weather, which can be devastating to any outdoor crop.

There is a way around weather and security issues that are discussed in the sections below in more detail.

One factor some growers tend to forget is cross-pollination issues.

If there’s a hemp farm or other cannabis growing nearby, it can quickly destroy a cannabis crop.

2. Pick a Cultivar (Cannabis Strain)

Wait until you choose between inside and outside cultivation to decide on a strain and purchase seeds.

Each cultivar has different growing conditions. For example, you should grow Indicas inside because they’re sensitive to heat and humidity.

However, Sativas will thrive outside in Canberra. Additionally, you may also consider Sativa dominant hybrids.

When purchasing these seeds, study their resistance to heat, humidity, and water.

Important cannabis seed terms and definitions

When you pop over to one of the marijuana seed supplier’s websites, it’s essential to know and understand the different options.

Regular

Purchasing a packet of regular seeds will give you a mix of males and females.

If you pick these, you’ll have to pay close attention to your plants to pull the males before pollination, or it will dilute your plant’s THC count.

Feminized

They cost a little more, but feminized seeds have no males, so you don’t have to spend too much time watching your plant’s anatomy.

If you miss just one male, it can ruin an entire crop.

Autoflowering

These have a short growing period and flower after a certain number of days rather than the amount of sun per day like regular seeds.

New growers may prefer these to start because they allow them to be successful the first time out.

Since you can grow two plants per person and up to four per household now in Canberra, consider trying an auto-flowering and regular plant.

Although the genetics of cannabis is much more complicated than Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid, it’s still the easiest way for growers, distributors, and dispensaries to label the effects of different variances in the plant.

Below are some of the broad characteristics of each.

Sativa

Sativa-like effects include increased euphoria, uplifting, suitable for social settings, without a couchlock.

Sativas can enhance creativity and boost the mood of anyone experiencing symptoms of depression.

Indica

Indica-like effects include calming, stress-relieving, full head, and body highs with a mild to heavy sedation.

Indicas are often recommending for sleep, relaxing, and reducing pain.

Hybrid

As the name suggests, these are a cross between both Sativas and Indicas and contain characteristics of both in varying degrees.

There are some 50/50 ratios, but most strains are dominant in one of the other.

Buying Cannabis Seeds in Australia

It’s unfortunate, but the cannabis laws don’t allow you to purchase seeds in the country.

However, it’s not illegal to possess marijuana seeds, and growers can buy them discreetly from online suppliers.

Distributors that ship to Australia include,

Storing your marijuana seeds

Cannabis seeds have a durable outer shell, but you still need to store them right to keep them viable for germination.

Much like cannabis oils, you must keep seeds away from light and humidity and store them where the temperature won’t fluctuate.

Ideal locations are dark, cool, and dry.

Whenever possible, keep seeds in their original shipping containers.

If that’s not an option, seal them in something airtight, such as plastic storage bags that zip.

You can put them in the refrigerator or freezers.

3. Find the Perfect Grow Area

There are a few factors for finding the right area for your cannabis garden.

First, you should be comfortable with the area.

Indoor Growing Spaces

For most personal use, indoor grow areas are going to be small, so make sure to read the seed’s descriptions regarding size and consider ones for indoor growing that are short and bushy rather than tall and broad.

A small room or closet lined can make the perfect space for your plants to get a concentrated amount of heat from grow lights.

Some of the supplies you’ll need for indoor cultivation include,

  • LED (light-emitting diode), HID (high-intensity discharge), fluorescent, or induction grow lights
  • Exhaust system with charcoal filters
  • Timer
  • Quality soil
  • Containers with proper drainage systems
  • Macro and micronutrients (Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper)

Keep in mind that growing indoors with a hydroponic setup is illegal in Australia without a license.

Outdoor Growing Spaces

As mentioned, security is an important consideration when growing outside.

Unless you plan on setting up video surveillance, installing fences, and even perimeter alarms, a good option is one close to your house with good outdoor lighting to deter thieves.

Another option is to use containers.

If your planting directly into the ground, you’ll want an open space with as much sun as possible.

Another factor, when feasible, is an area that gets a light breeze that helps move the air around in hot or humid climates.

Make sure to put your containers on a sturdy hand cart. As they increase in size, it will be harder to move them around.

A second advantage of keeping them in containers and mobile is you can bring them inside during inclement weather, such as heavy winds, rains, or unseasonably cold or hot temperatures.

You’ll need far fewer tools for outdoor cultivation than indoors. Some that are necessary include,

  • Quality soil with few rocks, organic, and the right mix of nutrients
  • Supports
  • Fertilizer

4. Germinating the Seeds

When you get your package of seeds, carefully scrutinize all 10 or 20, under a light.

Choose the darker ones first over ones that are lighter in color, which is more inferior in quality.

You can use seeds that are slightly damaged, and they should still germinate.

There are a few methods to use, including,

  • Wet kitchen towel – one of the most popular ways to germinate seeds, it only requires paper towels or cotton wool pads and water. You can learn more about this process here.
  • Glass of water – one of the least effective ways; requires placing the seed in a glass of water that’s 22 degrees Celsius. You can learn more about this method here.
  • Direct soil – this method is like growing many plant types. The key to direct soil is not planting the seed too deep. The temperature, pH balance, and moisture levels of the soil play an essential role in this method. You can learn more about directly sowing seeds in the soil here.

Additionally, you can purchase starter kits. Seeds need temperatures of 21 to 32 degrees Celsius to germinate and take about five to ten days.

Remember to be very careful when handling seeds and small seedlings. These are very delicate. At this point, you’ll need to transfer the seedlings into containers if you didn’t use the direct to soil method.

For seedlings ready in October, depending on the local day and night temperatures, you may be able to sow them in the ground if you’re not using containers to grow your plants.

5. Stages of Growth

Following germination, the seedling stage takes about two to three weeks, and you need to maintain an air temperature of 77 degrees with proper humidity.

The next stage is vegetation and the first time you can take clones from your new plants.

During this time, the plant’s stalk will thicken and new nodes will form for the next set of branches.

The second to last stage is pre-following. This is when the female and male reproductive parts will start to show (if you’re using feminized seeds only, you won’t have to worry about male issues.) Flowering is the final stage, and it lasts between 6 and 12 weeks depending on the strain.

6. Cannabis Plant Care

The most apparent care tips involve watering your plants, being careful not to overwater, which can lead to mold.

If you’re still in the early stages of growth, this may include paying attention to indoor and outdoor temperatures, moving plants inside when it gets too cold and outside when it’s warm enough for them to get some natural rays.

While you can plant some strains and let them grow with relatively little interference, most require some tweaking at different stages to prevent mold and increase yield.

This is increasingly true if the strain tends to grow tall, top-heavy, or is busy. There are various techniques you can use to get the best results.

Screen of Green or ScrOG

The ScrOG method has been scientifically studied and proven to improve the yield of cannabis crops.

Famous books like The Big Book of Buds, by Rosenthal, promotes the Screen of Green (SCROG) growing method as the best way to bring out the cannabis plant’s full potential of THC and CBD.

The method involves the use of a chicken wire screen or net to hold the tops of the plant’s canopy and contain growth, which allows you to increase yield in a smaller area. This method works well with a limited growing room indoors and out.

Low-stress training

The low stress training method (LST) is very common in horticulture and widely used in the cannabis cultivation and growing industry.

The LST method is supposed to help optimise the cannabis growing conditions and produce a larger flower (bud) yield.

LST involves the grower using a tie and bend method. This uses ties to bend the branches and change the direction of the plant’s growth.

This will help the stems support substantial bud development during the flowering period.

To perform Low Stress Training on your cannabis plants, you will need:

  • Soft rubber or plastic zip ties
  • A wooden stick/stake
  • Duct tape

You can then use the soft rubber ties to bend the plant into any direction for optimised nutrient intake and growth.

Be careful not to use string, as this will typically dig into the branch and cause damage.

Super cropping

The cannabis plant is robust and responds well to being stressed during the growing process.

Super Cropping, otherwise known as High Stress Training (HST), is one of the oldest growing techniques that uses trauma on the plant to produce higher yields.

The grower will break the branches of the cannabis plant; this form of trauma puts positive stress on the plant.

When breaking the cannabis branches, you must make sure not to damage the outside, and only break the inside of the branch.

Growers can force the plant to change the direction for controlled growth. This allows you to place the plant in the ideal growing conditions to optimise its intake of nutrients.

To Super Crop your cannabis plant, you will need:

  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic zip ties or Garden ties (really useful for super cropping)

Super cropping is easily down with these few steps:

  1. Choose the cannabis branches for super cropping
  2. Place the branch between your thumb and index finger
  3. Gently bend the branch in the chosen direction
  4. Use ties and repair the branch with duct tape where necessary

Topping

The topping process involves pruning the primary growing tip of your cannabis plant.

Topping is a High Stress Training (HST) method that is common in both indoor and outdoor cannabis growing and cultivation.

Topping can be useful in growing more seeds or increasing the yield of resin and flower (bud) in the plant.

This training method involves removing the crowns of your plants to cause two to grow back in its place.

You can do the same thing again with the double tops to create four new tops, and so forth.

The benefit of this is to increase cola production. This method works best with cultivars that have long flowering periods.

How do you top cannabis plants?

To top the marijuana plant, you will need some sharp scissors or shears to make a clean cut at the top of the primary stem of the plant. Ensure that you completely remove the top growth of the cannabis plant.

Its useful to give a few centremetres between where you can and the branches below in case of any mistakes while topping your cannabis plant.

See also  Difference Between Male And Female Marijuanas Seeds

Fimming

Fimming is a similar high stress training method that can improve the yield of resin and flower (bud) in your cannabis plant.

This Fimming process is popular with smaller growing setups of one to three plants.

The result of fimming your cannabis plant is up to four new top colas. The extra cannabis shoots use the growth hormones from the main stem to grow rapidly.

Be careful with the Fim method as it can damage your plant if you do it too early or too late.

The best time to fim your plant is at the start of the vegetative phase, which will allow the cannabis plant to focus its nutrient derived energy into the production of flowers.

To fim your cannabis plant, pinch the main stem and cut of 70-80% of the tip. This will lead to the growth of up to four colas.

Pruning

No matter what method you use, if any, pruning is essential to your cannabis plant’s health.

The goal of growing cannabis is to have a high yield of resin and large flowers (buds), and having a pair of sharp pruning shears in your arsenal is important.

Pruning your cannabis plant requires removing fan leaves and low-growing tips to direct all the plant’s nutrients to the upper-level leaves and flowers.

You can use your fingers or scissors to prune. It’s recommended you remove between 60 to 70-% of the bottom growth to boost the tops production.

The result is having all the growing energy and nutrients directed to the flowers and resin production in the cannabis plant, and not wasted on the leaves.

7. Pest and Predator Control

Luckily, cannabis plants come with built-in defense systems with their strong and sometimes overpowering aromas.

This means you don’t need to use heavy chemicals. But you still may need to use some mild pesticides that are approved for marijuana.

It’s essential only to use products that are safe for plants you can consume. Indoor cultivation will make it easier to control predators.

However, you’ll still need to keep an eye on your soil and watch your plant’s stalks, stems, and leaves for signs of insect pest activity.

8. Harvesting Your Crop

Deciding when to harvest your cannabis plant is trickier than you may think.

The reason is the wide variances in terpene and cannabinoid content that can make or break your final crop.

As you know, the terpene profile determines the taste, aroma, and some of the effects of the bud.

One method is to watch the stigmas or “hairs,” and when at least 60% of these turn orange and red, they’ve hit their peak, and it’s time to pluck and cure your potent flowers.

9. Taking and Using Clones

If you really like a cultivar or want to save time with your next set of indoor plants, consider taking clones of your current plants.

In addition to saving time, using clones can reduce failures and improve trichome production.

Cloning cannabis plants involves cutting off a smaller branch during the vegetative state (at least eight weeks old).

Significantly reduce your mother plant’s nutrients during this time to prepare it.

If there are too many nutrients, the clone will continue to grow as if it’s eight weeks old and not produce the roots necessary for a new plant.

You can learn more about cloning, including the different techniques to get healthy roots, here.

There’s learning for nearly endless cannabis cultivation.

With the long growing seasons in Canberra, it’s easy to grow half the year inside and half the year outside.

Indoor and outdoor growing methods vary, and there are various techniques available to tweak your yield.

Other challenges can be present as you choose different cultivars that require intermediate or expert skills, such as plants vulnerable to mold or needing specific training methods to produce a good yield.

This article was researched using these and other references:

James King

James is an experienced writer and legal cannabis advocate in Australia. He answers all the questions about business, legalisation and medicinal cannabis.

Disclaimer: Cannabis Place are not doctors and we recommend consulting health professionals for accurate information. This site may contain information regarding drugs. This medicinal cannabis content is designed for an 18+ audience. Click here for our full disclaimer

How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors: A Beginner’s Guide

Although it’s possible to purchase high-quality weed from a dispensary, there are few things more thrilling than growing cannabis outdoors.

Having the ability to choose the right marijuana strain, the ideal location, and the best possible soil is one thing. Possessing the patience to see the entire project through is quite another.

If you live in a state where an outdoor grow is permitted, then this article is for you. This step-by-step guide will go through everything you need to know and show you how to grow marijuana outdoors.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Growing Marijuana Outdoors: The Beginner’s Guide

Just to be clear, growing cannabis is a time-consuming process. However, it is also an extremely rewarding one. This is a guide for a first-time grower who wants to grow quality cannabis without breaking the bank. If this is your first outdoor grow, and you miss a single step, then you may end up with a disappointing yield.

It is also an outdoor growing guide designed for small-scale cultivation. It is crucial that you check your state’s laws before proceeding. For example, weed is legal for recreational use in Colorado. You can grow marijuana plants as long as you’re aged 21 or over.

However, all marijuana growing areas must be enclosed, locked, and they can’t be viewed from the outside. In other words, it is tricky to grow cannabis outside and meet all state laws.

Incidentally, Colorado residential properties are allowed to grow a maximum of 12 plants, while medicinal marijuana growers are permitted up to 24.

We are offering this guide with the assumption that it is legal to grow marijuana plants in your state. First and foremost, it is imperative that you have the right climate for optimum growth.

Benefits of Growing Marijuana Outdoors

There’s no doubt that growing marijuana outdoors comes with challenges (which we address later on), but it also has a list of cool benefits:

  • Eco-Friendly:Indoor growing uses a lot of electricity because it requires so much lighting, not to mention ventilation systems and other equipment. In California, it’s estimated that growing marijuana indoors uses the equivalent of 200 pounds of coal to grow just a single pound. Outdoor growing needs sun, air, water, and minimal equipment for your plants to survive.
  • Better Quality Buds: Marijuana that is grown outdoors carries a distinctive flavor and aroma. As long as you choose the right strain, you’ll enjoy every single smoke.
  • Low Cost: Assuming that you have selected the right location, outdoor growing offers unlimited sun, fresh air, carbon dioxide, and rainwater. Buy the best seeds, take good care of them, and when they sprout, they’ll need minimal maintenance. Once you learn how to handle pests and inclement weather, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to grow marijuana outdoors.
  • Larger Yields: It is common for outdoor marijuana plants to grow nearly six feet tall. Plants of this size offer 500 grams of dried bud. A harvest from just six plants is usually enough to provide you with a year’s supply of premium cannabis.

Step #1: Determine the Climate in Which You’re Going to Grow the Marijuana

Climate is all-important when growing cannabis, with the primary concern being the amount of available sunlight. While this isn’t a problem in sun-kissed California, not every American state has the same luxury. However, don’t assume that glorious sunny weather is perfect for growing flowers.

When growing cannabis outdoors, you have to realize that, while weed is reasonably adaptable to different weather conditions, it is still vulnerable to temperature extremes.

For example, sustained temperatures of over 86 degrees Fahrenheit can prevent growth. On the other hand, temperatures below 55 degrees could kill your precious plants.

Step #2: Choose the Best Possible Location

Outdoor cannabis plants love basking in the sun. Therefore, find a plot that offers at least five hours of sunshine a day. Once again, residents of certain towns and cities will find it easier than most. For example, those who live in San Diego will experience 14 hours of sunlight during the Summer Solstice (June 21).

As we mentioned above, make sure the temperature of your location does not exceed 86 degrees. If your area regularly surpasses this temperature, then you will need to be careful where you cultivate your plants.

Look for a plot that gets direct sunlight early in the day and filtered sun later in the afternoon. It is also ideal if you can find a place that offers a constant breeze. However, bear in mind that this increases water consumption.

Areas that are subject to high wind will need a wall or hedge to act as a windbreak. Then there is the small matter of privacy and security.

Even if it is legal to grow outdoors in your location, there will always be judgmental individuals and possible thieves. Try and plant your marijuana so that it is hidden behind tall fences or shrubs.

It may also be worth investing in wire cages to keep animals at bay. As already mentioned, some plants often grow over six feet tall. However, some plants, when grown outdoors, can become so tall that they resemble mini-skyscrapers. These plants can sometimes be over twelve feet in height, so make sure you plan for this.

Some Potential Grow Sites for Outdoor Growers

It isn’t easy to find the best location. Not only must it offer ideal growing conditions, but it must also be safe from discovery, even when planting legally. If you are adhering to the law, private property is best because you have full access and can control security. Otherwise, you have to risk public property, which increases the chances of discovery.

Some places to consider for an outdoor grow include:

  • Balcony: This allows easy access; however, it is also highly visible. Frosted plastic film can conceal your plants and reduce the spread of the scent. As the U.S. is in the northern hemisphere, it is best if your balcony faces south. This will ensure your plants get the most sunlight during the day.
  • Personal Garden: Again, your plants are highly visible but easily accessible. If you have the right security measures in place, this is the best location.
  • Roof Terrace: Guarantees the maximum amount of sun, but strong winds and odors are an issue.
  • A Forest: Streams provide an excellent source of water. Alternatively, you can dig a couple of feet into the earth to find groundwater. It is well hidden, but just about anyone could stumble upon your stash. As the soil is also likely to be acidic, it is best to use huge pots filled with premium-quality soil.
  • An Open Field: You will need to camouflage it with other plants that are capable of growing as tall as marijuana. Look for land where nettles grow. This is a sign that the soil is filled with nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for healthy marijuana growth.

Tips for Choosing a Grow Site

When choosing the ideal location for your outdoor grow, look for the following features:

  • Sunlight: More sunlight equals bigger plants and larger yields.
  • Water: Marijuana plants thrive in most areas as long as they get enough water.
  • Wind: A gentle breeze is perfect because it helps develop robust root systems. Heavy winds can damage or destroy a crop.
  • Soil: We explore soil choice below, but suffice to say, it has to be rich in the right kind of nutrients.
  • Access: You don’t need to spend as much time tending to outdoor plants as their indoor counterparts. However, you still have to visit your crop every couple of weeks. This helps you identify if they lack nutrients, need more water, or are infested with pests.
  • Security: If your crop is easy to access, don’t be surprised if someone comes in and helps themselves. Also, we urge you not to break the law. Getting caught will lead to a massive fine and possibly jail time.

Step #3: Buy the Best Soil for Your Plants

We are assuming that you intend to grow your cannabis plants from seed. In this case, you should germinate indoors during the early spring. In a warmer climate, seeds can start to sprout by early April. If you live in cold weather, this process probably won’t happen until May.

Typically, seeds only begin to germinate when exposed to constant temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts suggest keeping your plants indoors for up to four weeks before bringing them outside when the weather is more suitable.

When choosing the right soil, bear in mind that it is made up primarily of clay, sand, and silt. Your plants require slightly acidic soil with organic matter that has been adequately drained. Therefore, you have to test the soil if you intend to plant your cannabis directly in the earth.

Different Types of Soil

If you decide to use the soil in the earth, make sure you have its pH tested. Otherwise, purchase the soil from a garden store. Please remember that even store-bought soil could use added nutrients from compost. Your options include:

  • Clay-Rich Soil: This is heavy, doesn’t hold oxygen particularly well, and drains very slowly. Around four weeks before you start planting, dig the holes for the marijuana. Add significant amounts of manure, compost, and any other decomposed organic matter. This process improves drainage, offers aeration, and ensures your marijuana plants receive adequate nutrients.
  • Sand-Rich Soil: This is a good option because it drains well and warms quickly. On the downside, it doesn’t hold nutrients very well, and this can be problematic in wetter climates. Dig holes for the plants and add peat moss and compost to bind the soil together. If you live in a warm environment, mulch the soil to prevent the roots from overheating. This process also helps the soil retain water.
  • Silt-Rich Soil: This is the best soil for growing marijuana plants because it warms rapidly. It also has excellent drainage, holds moisture, and is easy to work with. You will find the best silty soil at the bottom of lakes or in prehistoric riverbeds.
See also  Indoor Marijuana Seeds

Step #4: Add Some Fertilizer to the Plants

For outdoor growers, it is best if you skip commercial fertilizers and focus on organic fertilizers. You should add it to the soil before planting and throughout the growth cycle. Natural options include:

  • Compost
  • Kelp Meal
  • Blood meal
  • Fish meal
  • Worm castings

Adding these to the soil before planting means you won’t have to add as much fertilizer during the growing cycle. After planting your marijuana in premium quality soil, you don’t need to add anything else for a few weeks.

It is tempting to make your soil amendments with store-bought fertilizers, but remember, they are filled with chemicals. This can significantly impact the flavor and aroma of the finished product.

If you elect to purchase soil from a store, don’t assume that it has a balanced pH level. Also, don’t think that it will maintain this standard for the duration of the season, either. Ideally, your soil’s pH will be 7.0. However, it may change over the course of a couple of months and become too alkaline or acidic.

It is a fact that some store-bought soils are too acidic at the beginning. This means you have to use organic fertilizers after a couple of weeks because the plants are lacking crucial nutrients.

Composting is the way forward because it is cheap and relatively simple. You can also add all sorts of organic matter from fruit clippings to animal manure. Avoid using meat or animal fat as it will attract pests.

Make sure you layer the compost heap and ensure it has proper airflow. Turn the heap every few weeks and test the pH regularly to ensure it is balanced. These days, consumers are turning to super-soil to help fertilize their plants. This is organic pre-fertilized soil, which contains all the nutrients your marijuana needs.

Step #5: The Importance of Properly Watering Your Cannabis Plants

Obviously, your plants need water, and the benefit of growing outdoors is that your marijuana should be exposed to rainwater. However, in places like California, the hot summer months mean minimal rainfall, so you have to water your plants manually. The main danger is overwatering your cannabis. A good rule of thumb is that a large plant needs 10 gallons of water a day during hot weather.

If you live in a dry and hot climate, then try this tip. Dig beneath your plants before adding rocks or clay-rich soil beneath the planting holes as a means of slowing drainage. Some growers believe that adding polymer crystals to the soil helps improve water retention as these crystals absorb water.

Three Ways to Boost Drainage

Those who live in wetter than average climates need to improve drainage. Marijuana that grows in waterlogged conditions is susceptible to root diseases. Here are three ways to improve the drainage of your soil:

  1. Plant your weed in beds or raised mounds.
  2. Dig ditches to ensure that the water flows away from your plants.
  3. Add clay pebbles, perlite, and gravel to the soil.

If you use tap water, test it first. It could have a significant number of dissolved minerals that build up in the soil and impact the pH level. Alternatively, tap water could contain an excessive amount of chlorine, which is very bad for the soil. Therefore, we recommend filtering the water you use.

Some people use a container garden instead of planting straight into the soil. If you opt for this, bear in mind that they dry out much faster than soil. Therefore, you may have to water your plants daily. Additional watering is also necessary for warm or windy conditions. To avoid overwatering, wait for the top inch of the soil to be dry before adding more. Invest in a soil moisture meter to make things easier.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Step #6: Select Carefully the Type of Container You Need

If this is your first outdoor grow, you may not realize that the surrounding soil is unsuitable for growth until you try and use it. If so, you have no choice but to use container gardens.

Also, when using natural soil, you have to dig holes and amend the soil regularly. For people with debilitating medical conditions, this level of manual labor will prove difficult.

One of the main advantages of container gardens is that you can place them anywhere. Therefore, you can grow your weed on a patio or even on a rooftop. Make sure you move the plants around to make the most of the available sunlight. You can also use store-bought nutrient-rich soil, which simplifies the fertilization process.

Take note that growing the weed in containers will impact the size of the plant. Container-grown marijuana will be smaller because root growth is restricted. In other words, the size of the container determines the size of the plant.

You will have to learn specialized techniques if you wish to grow a few large plants.

Don’t use a container smaller than five gallons. If you want large plants, try 15+ gallon containers. There are even 100-gallon container bags!

If you live in a warm climate, be wary of excessive heat damaging the roots. It is normal for container-grown pots of soil to exceed 90 degrees on a hot day. Always water the plants generously in the morning to ensure they don’t dry out during sweltering afternoons.

Airflow is also critical, so be sure to invest in breathable containers. These enable air to penetrate the root zone quickly and ensure that oxygen gets to the roots. Once marijuana plants breathe in the CO2, the roots use the most with the highest consumption occurring at night.

Step #7: Protect your Cannabis Plants from Pets and Inclement Weather

Outdoor cannabis growers face a significant disadvantage compared to their indoor growing counterparts; outdoor plants are vulnerable to inclement weather. Also, plants grown outdoors are susceptible to attack from pests and pets. Rapid changes in the weather can damage or even kill cannabis plants, while animals and aphids are a constant threat.

Protecting Your Marijuana Plant from Pets & Pests

Don’t just focus solely on bothersome insects. Larger animals such as rodents, dogs, cats, rabbits, deer, and raccoons can damage or eat your crop.

While insects damage your plants over a few days or weeks, larger animals can destroy them in minutes. You must examine your cannabis plants daily.

You should be able to deal with animal threats by surrounding your plants with a high and sturdy wire fence. If you are concerned about birds, you can place netting over the plants.

Threats like moles, who push up from the soil beneath your plants, require extra planning. An excellent way to prevent them from causing damage is by building a fence around 2-3 feet beneath the soil. You can also use deterrents such as urine from predators like coyotes, to ward off rabbits, gophers, and raccoons. Household items such as garlic and castor oil are pretty effective deterrents, too.

Homemade solutions for every g…

It is imperative that you keep your marijuana healthy because blooming plants have a natural resistance to specific pests. You can add ladybugs and lacewings, as these predators keep harmful pests at bay while doing no damage themselves.

Pyrethrum is one of the most popular organic insecticide options. Homemade remedies include combining soap with water and misting your plants with it. Soap and water solution is effective against a mild outbreak

Garlic is useful for fighting beetles. Check your plants daily for signs of infestation and act immediately if you see any issues.

Another method of fighting pests is to grow companion plants. Companion plants are plants of a different species to cannabis that you plant near your crop. Clover, rosemary, basil, and marigold are good choices as they are capable of repelling pests.

Protecting Your Weed from Rain & Wind

High winds are a significant problem for cannabis growers as it can damage the plants. It can break branches, damage trichomes, and leave your weed vulnerable to disease and infestation. Any type of excess strain like this can over-stress the plants, causing the buds to produce seeds. You do not want this to happen.

If your crop is in a windy spot, create a windbreak such as a wall. Alternatively, tying perforated plastic sheeting to garden stakes is also effective.

Although rainwater helps your plants grow, too much of it results in mold and mildew. This problem is at its worst during the flowering stage.

If you live in a wet climate, choose a mold-resistant marijuana strain, and support it with stakes or cages. Otherwise, the rain will collect on buds and leaves, and your plants will be weighed down. Alternatively, try and predict wet spells and be prepared by adding a makeshift shelter to your crop.

Protecting Your Precious Crop from High Temperatures

It is best to maintain the temperature between 55-86 degrees Fahrenheit for as much of the growing cycle as possible. Marijuana plants can survive outside this range for short periods.

However, once the temperature goes below 42 degrees Fahrenheit, most varieties of cannabis will be damaged quickly. If excessively cold temperatures are a problem, use protection such as cold frames, hot caps, or cloches.

Step #8: Choose the Right Genetics

It’s essential to first consider your climate because it will dictate the kind of marijuana strain you’re able to grow. If you live in an area with a history of cannabis growing, find out what strains people have grown. There is also a good possibility that there are strains available explicitly for that climate.

Picking the Right Marijuana Strains for Your Climate

Whether you like it or not, certain strains don’t grow well in specific climates. No matter how much care and attention you give your crop, its yield will always be disappointing.

It is important to remember that cannabis plants start flowering as the days get shorter. This is why growing marijuana in northern latitudes is a problem. Your cannabis will flower. However, the process happens too late to get the most from the sun in late summer.

Southern California growers can grow these strains and not worry about late flowering due to plentiful sunshine. Growers in British Columbia, on the other hand, won’t achieve a decent yield because they won’t finish flowering until December. By that time, the lack of light, cold weather, and heavy rainfall will probably have killed the plant.

Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones – Choosing the Best Seeds on the Market

The best genes equal the best marijuana. Marijuana with good genetics not only smells and tastes fantastic but is also extremely potent.

Indoor growers tend to grow their marijuana from clones, while outdoor growers prefer to grow from seed. You can get quality buds using either method, and they both have their advantages and drawbacks.

Clones

If you elect to clone, you need a mother plant. It’s possible to buy clones from your local dispensary. However, bear in mind, clones require at least 16 hours of light a day to ensure that they don’t flower.

All clones are female plants that have the same traits, and they are known for producing premium quality weed.

You must root the clones indoors before they are ‘hardened off.’ This is the process of moving a plant outdoors for a few hours a day. This method gradually exposes them to air, cold nights, and sunlight.

The main downside to using clones is that they produce small yields. If you want a more abundant harvest, you have to grow the clones indoors during the winter and early spring. Cloned plants never develop the thick central taproot that goes into the ground, which stabilizes the plant and consumes groundwater. As a result, they are vulnerable to drought and windy conditions.

Seeds

Plants grown from seed offer larger yields and are more robust in the face of inclement weather conditions. You can plant these seeds in the garden in the spring, even if it is still cold and wet outside. Another option is to begin the growing process indoors, but they have to be hardened off eventually before they are transplanted.

The chief downside to growing from seed is that the outcome is less predictable than it is with clones. If you don’t choose an inbred seed line, you could end up with a different plant to the one you expected. Also, cannabis seeds produce males and females. This means you have to sex your plants when they achieve sexual maturity. This process involves culling the male plants. You can avoid this issue by purchasing feminized seeds.

One other option for outdoor growing is auto-flowering seeds. As soon as they reach maturity, these plants begin to bloom irrespective of the length of the days. If you live in a temperate climate, you will benefit from two crops every year by using auto-flowering seeds. Simply plant one crop in late winter (or even early spring), and another at the beginning of summer.

Step #9: Cut Your Cannabis Plants Carefully

You can use training tools such as screens and ties to ensure the plants grow in a specific shape. You need to prune your plants if you’re concerned about height control; an essential element of low-key growing!

Make sure you trim your plants regularly to help them attain optimum growth. Get rid of unnecessary cannabis cuttings because leaving dead leaves and branches will only attract pests. Pruning also enables you to shape your plant. If you see new shoots that are not growing properly, take a pair of pruning scissors and trim them away. This will help your plants develop bigger buds.

The type of strain you’re growing dictates the duration of flowering. For example, most sativa strains will go through the full growth and flowering cycle in a little over three months.

Lastly, make sure female plants are not exposed to males. Otherwise, pollination could occur – a process that decreases the quality of the harvest. If your strain begins flowering during a wet season, excess moisture exposure could prove troublesome. In this instance, find shelter for the plants to prevent mold and mildew growth.

See also  Seeds For Growing Marijuana

Step #10: Grow, Enjoy, Repeat!

Most cannabis strains are ready for harvest between the end of September and the first week or two of October. Although, this does depend on the strain and climate conditions. Monitor pistil and trichome formation to gain a better idea of when your plants are ready for harvesting.

The growing process can take anywhere from two months to 8+ months. Your plants are ready to be harvested when approximately 70% of its pistils turn from white to a reddish-brown color. If the pistils are turning red, harvest immediately!

Other signs that it is time to harvest include brown resin on the buds, a broader stem, and if the leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and die back.

The plant’s trichomes should have turned an opaque white color at this stage, too. This is a good indication that they are fully mature and ready for harvesting.

Experienced growers also recommend keeping an eye out for a change in color in the plant’s stigma. A good sign that the plant is ready for harvesting is when the stigma changes in color from white to orange. However, most growers agree that the most accurate method to determine when it is time to harvest is to wait until the trichomes have turned opaque white.

You must be careful not to wait too long to harvest because marijuana plants suffer a decline in health once they have completed the flowering phase.

Is There a Precise Time to Harvest?

It is impossible to provide a ‘precise’ time to harvest. Most experts believe that you should harvest an indica strain eight weeks after flowering. Sativas usually require harvesting ten weeks after flowering. Strains that come from auto-flowering seeds should take ten weeks to grow from seedling to bud. These are just simple guides, however.

When harvesting outdoors, make sure you have the requisite tools. When it’s time, bring sealable bags. We recommend carrying a holdall if you use Ziploc bags for added security. Cut the marijuana plants into lengths that make them easy to transport. In other words, make sure they fit in your bags!

Congratulations! You have successfully grown a healthy and hearty batch of marijuana. We would love to tell you that it’s time to light up and celebrate. However, there are a few more key things you have to do first. Most pertinently, curing and drying the buds.

Once you have a successful harvest under your belt, move onto the next stage with our article on Drying and Curing Cannabis Buds.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Shortest Cannabis Grow Guide Ever

Are you looking for the shortest and most simple marijuana grow guide ever? Or maybe you just want a quick overview of the growing process. This super condensed version of the 10-Step Quick Start Grow Guide is probably the quickest grow guide out there. You may also enjoy our marijuana life timeline or complete beginner’s guide to growing cannabis. The following tutorial is very basic, but if you follow just these steps you will be harvesting your own weed in 3-5 months! Choose an auto-flowering strain for the fastest harvest (harvest in as quickly as 3 months).

Easiest Cannabis Grow Tutorial Ever!

Table of Contents

Step 1: Choose Your Place to Grow

Indoors or outdoors? A spare room? A closet? Learn more about different places to grow weed indoors. One simple way to get started is to put your plant inside a cheap grow tent.

I personally think grow tents are a cheap (under $100) and easy way to set up the perfect grow environment, but there are lots of great places to grow!

The main thing to remember about your growing environment is that when the temperature, humidity and overall airflow feels nice to you, it’s probably good for your plants, too! Learn more about setting up the perfect environment.

Step 2: Choose Your Grow Light

If your goal is to harvest…

Step 3: Choose Your Growing Medium

There is no best way to grow pot! Each option has its own pros and cons.

    – Close to nature, especially if growing in amended and composted soil without any liquid nutrients. Slightly slower growing but buds tend to have a stronger and more complex taste/smell. – Coco is a hand-watered medium that looks and acts a lot like soil, but is actually made out of broken up coconut husks. Plants grown in coco grow a little bit faster than in soil, and coco has properties that soothe plant roots. As a result, coco tends to be more forgiving than most other grow mediums, and plants are more resistant to heat. Another advantage is pests are much less likely to attack plants in coco because many bugs need soil to live. If you’re not sure which medium to start with, I highly recommend starting with coco! That’s what I did and I’m so happy because it was also a perfect way to train for moving on to either soil or hydro – Setting up a hydroponic reservoir takes more work than soil or coco but hydro grown plants get the fastest growth of all grow mediums, meaning you get to harvest more quickly with the same amount of electricity. Hydro-grown buds tend to be very potent.

Step 4: Get Nutrients

If you’re starting in composted, amended soil, you don’t need to worry about adding extra nutrients. For regular soil growers, you want to supplement your plant with extra nutrients after it starts using up the nutrients in the soil. For coco and hydro growers, you provide all your nutrients directly to your plants from the beginning. Luckily all quality nutrients come with an easy schedule to follow, so you don’t have to think about it!

What Nutrients to Get for Each Stage of Life

  • Vegetative Stage – In this stage you should use nutrients that are high in Nitrogen (N). Almost any general plant food will work. The extra nitrogen will provide what your marijuana plant needs in the vegetative stage
  • Flowering Stage – Plants need a low-Nitrogen (“Bloom”) formula that is high in Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) in the flowering stagea. In a pinch you can use cactus or succulent nutrients, because they use a similar nutrient ratio.

Step 5: Get Your Cannabis Seeds

If you don’t have access to live plants or seeds, the best way to get started growing is to order seeds online. You can get seeds delivered anywhere in the world, including Canada, Australia, the UK and every state in the USA.

Learn more about researching strains to figure out which one you might like best! Choose an auto-flowering strain for the fastest harvest (harvest in as quickly as 3 months).

Step 6: Germinate Your Seeds

One of the simplest ways to germinate your seeds is to plant them in a starter plug like a Rapid Rooter. These already moist when you get them and are designed to give your seed everything it needs for the first few days of growth. Just put your seed in the pre-cut hole and leave in a warm place until your seedlings appear! (Here’s more info if you would rather germinate the seeds first, and then put them in the Rapid Rooters). Add a few teaspoons of water if they start to dry out but don’t add so much water the rooters actually look shiny wet. You don’t want to drown your seedlings! Unless your air is really dry, seedlings like the open air and don’t need a humidity dome like clones do. They get all the water they need through their roots.

Simply put your seeds in the pre-moistened plugs and wait for seedlings to appear

After germination, you place your Rapid Rooter directly into soil/coco, or insert into a net pot if you’re in hydro. The Rapid Rooters make it so you can’t really mess up transferring seedlings!

If you see roots out the bottom, it’s time to transfer plant into its next destination!

There are other ways to germinate seeds if you don’t have or don’t want to use Rapid Rooters. For example you could use the popular “paper towel method” or even plant your seeds directly into the growing medium! Learn about other ways to germinate your seeds here.

Step 7: Vegetative Stage

Your Main Duty: Water Plants & Adjust Grow Light

In the vegetative stage a marijuana plant really does grow like a weed! It can recover from a lot even if you mess up. You can almost even think of it as a regular houseplant, just a really fast growing one!

At this point your main job is to water your plants and check the pH regularly (to prevent nutrient problems). If you are using high levels of nutrients and supplements, try to give plain water sometimes to prevent nutrient build-up.

When it comes to nutrients, follow the nutrient schedule or recommended dosage for “vegetative” growth. However, it’s a good idea to start at half-strength at first since most nutrient recommendations are often a bit too strong for marijuana right away.

When the top inch feels dry to the touch, water your plants well and remove runoff water. Avoid watering too often! You should be watering vegetative plants every few days. If they’re drying out in less than a few days, transplant to a bigger pot or give more water at a time. If they’re taking more than 3 days to dry, give less water at a time until they’re drinking faster.

During the vegetative stage your plant only grows new stems and leaves, and overall the plants will keep getting bigger and bigger.

Many indoors growers choose to train their plants in the vegetative stage to grow in a flat, table-top shape, as this will increase your yields under indoor grow lights in the flowering stage. But even if you don’t do anything your plants will still grow just fine.

Try to make sure you keep your grow lights a good distance away so they’re not burning your plants, and other than that just wait until your plant has reached half the final desired size.

Plants in the vegetative stage only grow stems and leaves, no buds!

Plants in the vegetative stage can grow several inches a day after they get going!

pic by Froctor Dankenstein

If you don’t watch out, your grow space can get out of control

If want to know more about what to expect (and what to look out for) in the vegetative stage, check out the complete vegetative stage tutorial!

Step 8: Flowering Stage – Buds Start Growing!

When your plant has reached half the final desired size, it’s time to tell it to start making buds! After you do this step, your plant on average will about double in size (more or less depending on the strain), so don’t wait too long!

Switch to the flowering stage when your plant has reached half the final desired height. Your plant can double in size after the switch!

You “tell” your plant to start making buds by putting your grow lights on a timer that is set on a 12/12 light schedule. This means the grow light is on for 12 hours, but the plant spends the other 12 hours a day is in uninterrupted darkness.

This daily dark period is like a message that tells your plant winter is coming. Plants will typically start growing buds within 2-3 weeks after the switch to a 12/12 light schedule.

The first few weeks after the switch to 12/12, your plant will be growing fast! This extra fast growth period is known as the flowering stretch.

Here are two plants right after they are given a 12/12 light schedule. Notice how both get taller, but one gets far taller than the other. The amount of “stretch” after the switch is determined by strain/genetics. Hopefully this animation gives you an idea of how plants develop in the flowering stage from 12/12 to harvest. Learn more about growing different strains together.

Male vs Female

When your plant starts making flowers, you need to double check that they’re all making buds (female) and not pollen sacs (male). Learn where to look on the plant to figure out the plant gender as soon as possible.

You can skip this step if you started with feminized seeds (since all plants will be female and make buds).

If your plants are female they will start growing wispy white hairs that eventually turn into buds. If your plant is male, it will grow pollen sacs that look like little bunches of grapes, and these will open up into flowers that can pollinate your buds and make them full of seeds.

It’s important to identify any male plants as soon as possible and remove them from your grow room so your female buds don’t produce seeds from being exposed to pollen.

Around 6 weeks after the switch to 12/12, your plant will stop growing bigger and focus completely on bud growth. Although that’s true for most strains, some long-flowering or Sativa strains can continue growing taller for longer.
Your Main Duty After Week 6 : Watch Buds & Leaves Closely For Problems

It’s hard to be patient for harvest after week 6 because eventually the plant stops making much new vegetative growth while buds fatten and mature. You usually aren’t seeing a lot of new growth any more, so it might seem like buds are done. But even though you might not see it, your buds are getting bigger and more potent each day!

Although plants mostly stop growing around Week 6, buds still need time before they’re “ripe” enough to have reached peak potency. Buds will continue to fatten and get more dense right up until harvest.

Watch plants closely so you can react to any problems quickly so you cruise to the finish line

Most plants are ready to harvest about 9-13 weeks after the switch to 12/12 though some strains take more or less time.

Next, learn how to determine when your plant is ready to harvest!

Step 9: Harvest Your Cannabis

When plants are ready to harvest, the white hairs on the buds will have darkened and will have mostly curled in. What if my plant keeps making new white pistils over and over?