Growing Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide
Study the Market
Like with any small or large business venture, you can’t go into this blindly. There are many strains of cannabis out there, each with its own demand. Look at the products available in your market or get a hold of vendors to gauge which strain will be most feasible for you to grow and compete with the competition.
Clear Out Some Space
Given the extent of your farm, you need to consider the amount of space you’ll require. Though the plant can grow up to 20 feet, you can control how it grows using farming tricks like topping and lolly popping. Make sure you have enough space; otherwise, your plants won’t get enough light, which will hamper their growth.
Consider the Essentials
Once you’ve decided on the strain, it’s important to note how much yield you can expect from it and what nutrients you would require. The essentials include:
- Nitrogen: For growth and chlorophyll production
- Phosphorus: For generative and vegetative organs like roots, leaves, and buds
- Potassium: For cell metabolism, nutrient absorption, and respiration
Consider investing in multi-nutrient fertilizers that contain the above, as well as micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, etc. They help in other metabolic reactions of the plant that affect growth and yield.
Additionally, light and irrigation sources need to be determined. Make sure you have a light source with variable light intensity. It’ll be necessary for the different growing stages. You can choose to plant your crops in soil or use a hydroponic method. Hydroponic farming yields faster and more effective results but is more expensive than plain old soil plantation.
Managing Your Crop
When growing cannabis, the first stage in the plant cycle is germination, where the root grows out of the seed. You can induce it by placing the seeds in a moist towel and waiting. Once the root sprouts, plant your seedlings and wait for them to grow.
Then comes the vegetative stage, where the cannabis plant starts growing to full size. Determine the sex of each plant and remove any males. They’ll start growing pollen sacs instead of pistils. You can recycle them as compost.
Finally, the flowering stage. Here the female cannabis plants start to form buds and flowers. At this point, it’s just a waiting game till harvest time. Make sure they get nutrients and water as per schedule and receive adequate light. Control how your plant grows by using the techniques mentioned above and trim any dead leaves and branches.
This will be the most crucial stage when growing cannabis. Even experienced growers struggle with determining the right time to harvest. You want to look for the formation of any new pistils. They’re white hairs on the bud and should darken. The ratio of white and dark hairs determines the CBN and THC content of the plant. Harvest when you think that you’ve achieved the right consistency.