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.”
Cannabis cultivation laws vary widely state-by-state. Also, we can’t stress this enough: Growing cannabis is illegal in a lot of places, and the penalties — which include steep fines and prison time — can be much worse than possession, since growing can imply an intent to distribute. Black and brown folx need to be especially scrupulous about heeding these rules, since law enforcement targets us way more than white people for weed-related charges, even if we consume it at similar rates.
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.
To check if your cannabis is ready for trimming, perform a break test on each branch. If it bends so much it nearly breaks, then it’s ready, and if it breaks right away, it might be overly dry, but still totally usable. Trim off the buds and seal them inside a mason jar for curing, opening it periodically over the course of about four weeks to let moisture escape. Johnson outlines a detailed schedule on his website, including instructions on how to look for mold.
Your cannabis will be ready to harvest at around October. You’ll know they’re ready when the buds “start to get really, really swollen and packed pretty tight,” Johnson says. But it can be hard to tell if you’re a beginner. Many growers say that if you think your plant is ready to harvest, wait two weeks, since many newbies tend to harvest too early. Or, you could share a photo of your crop on a forum and ask more experienced growers to weigh in.
However, the leaf isn’t actually very interesting. It just absorbs sunlight and feeds the plant. According to the United Nations report* on cannabinoid levels between both male and female plants , the large leaves of some specimens only contain about 0.3% THC and 0.7% CBD, meaning you’d be hard-pressed to get any kind of high from the leaves.
Contrary to what most people think, what you’re smoking isn’t actually the rolled up or dried leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. You’re actually smoking small flower buds.
What Do the Seeds Look Like?
Lay your lovely brown seeds on the paper towel, making sure to give them as much room as possible.
Cover it with another piece of wet paper towel and cover the whole thing with another plate of equal size. This should make a handy little clam-shaped house for your germinating seeds.
Before you can do any kind of planting of your seed, you first need to germinate it.
During this process, it’s possible that the seeds might suffer damage and not be entirely usable. It’s possible that, after putting that time and use of your valuable plates into trying to germinate your seeds, none of them will bloom.
If you’re growing outdoors, air circulation shouldn’t be a problem; but then, there are other things to watch out for. For one, you’ll want to protect your plants from thieves. You can do so by planting companion species to hide your crop and mask the smell. You can also select cannabis strains that naturally remain short and hidden from view. Find out more about stealthy outdoor grows in our blog on how to protect your cannabis plants from thieves.
Most cannabis soils, with the exception of special soil mixes used for propagation and seedlings, are pre-fertilised. This way, you won’t have to administer nutrients until several weeks into the grow. In fact, you may only need to feed nutrients when your plants start to flower. If for some reason your growing medium isn’t pre-fertilised, you will have to give nutrients to your plants from the beginning.
There are several methods for germinating cannabis seeds. Although none is really “better” than the other, we do recommend germinating directly in soil, or even better, using the RQS Starter Kit. This does away with the risky part of transferring sprouted seeds and possibly damaging them.
9. HEAT-STRESSING YOUR PLANTS
Without light, weed plants die extremely quickly. They depend on light to create vital carbohydrates, which are required as an energy source. As photons hit their leaves, small organelles known as chloroplasts convert light into energy-rich sugars.
Overwatering is much worse than occasional underwatering, as plants can almost always recover from slightly dry conditions. But when they’re constantly overwatered, this deprives the roots of oxygen and will lead to all kinds of troubles like fungus and root rot. Always allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Less frequent watering is better than overdoing it!
People love their weed plants, so they think giving them more must be a good thing. But alas, it’s not. Overfeeding can lead to nutrient burn, or worse, nutrient lockout caused by accumulated minerals in the soil. In this case, you’ll need to flush your soil with water and start again with your feedings to return the pH to an ideal window. In short: don’t overdo it on the nutes!
Your planting pots need to provide good drainage. Usually, there will already be holes in the bottom. If there are no holes, as can happen when you buy standard plastic pots, you will have to make them yourself. Make sure there are at least 5 openings, each about the size of a penny. As long as soil doesn’t just fall through the bottom, you’re good.