Growing your own cannabis
Growing your own cannabis and being self-sufficient is possible. You will no longer be dependent on others when you feel like smoking a joint, you can control the quality of the cannabis and you'll also have a new and fun hobby. Do you want to grow your own cannabis but you’re not sure how? You've come to the right place! On this page, I will tell you everything you need to know about growing your own cannabis as clearly as possible. Should you still have some doubts after having read this, you can still find lots of information on the other pages of this website.
Gathering information about growing hemp
It is important to start by gaining some theoretical knowledge. You can do this by reading books and magazines about cannabis. Watching video clips about cannabis has also helped me greatly. You will learn a lot from them and discover new things. Should you still have questions after having read books and magazines and watched videos, you can share them with other growers on forums. On the many cannabis forums on the Internet, you'll find growers of various levels who are prepared to share their experience with you and answer your questions. My experience is that in most cases you a get quick response on your questions. There are of course many different ways to gather information. It's up to you to take your pick. After this, you will know everything about cannabis, growing cannabis, and the various strains, but you'll probably see that in practice not everything goes as you would have expected. Keep in mind that learning takes some time and that you have to start somewhere.
Growing cannabis indoors or outdoors?
Before you buy equipment, seeds and start growing, you have to decide whether you will grow cannabis indoors or outdoors. I would like to advise novice growers to first try to grow a plant outside. This way you can find out if it works and you won't have to buy all kinds of expensive equipment.
Suzy’s Tip: If you decide to grow outdoors for the first time, try to do so with an auto flowering plant. This can hardly go wrong.
The next step is buying grow equipment. What do you need for growing cannabis?
You can opt for growing your plants in open ground. Your plants will be able to grow a lot taller, but you will be dependent on good weather conditions. Cannabis plants only start flowering in late summer and if the weather is rainy and cold your crop will fail. Plants in pots stay smaller, but you are able to control the growing conditions. You can, for instance, put them in the shade or inside. It's a trade-off you have to make for yourself. If you want to grow your plant in a pot, you will have to buy a suitable pot. Pots are available in various sizes. The size you need depends on the size you wish your plant to reach and the available space.
You also need soil to put in the pots. The choice is abundant. You can opt for the cheap bags of soil you can find in the garden centers. It's possible to grow your plant in this, but beginners might experience problems with it. These types of soil do not contain enough nutrients for cannabis plants, are not light enough and dry and harden very easily.
Good air permeable soil is important for the development of the roots of your cannabis plant and will allow your plant to become stronger and healthier. You can add perlite (tiny white stones) to the soil to make it lighter, but why make things more complicated? I prefer to buy soil in a specialized grow shop and these can be found all over the world. There you can buy good soil specifically intended for growing cannabis. These high-quality mixtures are light, generally thanks to the addition of perlite, and contain enough of the required nutrients. Admittedly, it's a bit more expensive. But you have to be prepared to pay more for quality. The biggest advantage of good soil is that your plants need minimal extra care.
Good soil is very important for your plant, so if you want to save money, do so on anything but the soil. If your budget really does not allow you to buy good soil, then the next best option is cutting soil. This is a more expensive type of soil mixture of better quality. In any case, don't use compost intended for flowers, because that kind of soil is usually too acidic for cannabis plants.
When you have filled your pots with soil, you need seeds of course. I've already preselected the best seeds which you can get here. They boast a 97% germination rate, 100% genetics guarantee and are feminized for 95%. The only thing you still have to do is decide which strain you want to grow. The choice is virtually unlimited and every strain has its own qualities. It's almost impossible to make a wrong choice. It all depends on what you're looking for.
There are two main strains of cannabis plants: Indica and Sativa. Indicas stay relatively small, have strong, thick stems and wide leaves and have a short flowering period. Sativas on the other hand grow very tall. The often rapid growth leads to smaller leaves. Next to these main strains there are many hybrid strains/crosses. These mainly consist of a bigger part of Indica with a tiny bit of Sativa or the other way round. You can also choose auto flowering seeds, which make it very easy for you to grow a plant. Everyone has their own opinion about which strain is the best, but it's all about your personal preference. Whichever choice you make, it's always a good choice.
What do you have to pay attention to when buying cannabis seeds?
If you want to cultivate cannabis seeds it's very important that you cultivate female plants. The male plant only produces pollen and ultimately seed, so these aren't any good. A female plant produces the flower, your buds. So if you want to cultivate for personal use, you only need to grow female plants.
Types of seeds and plants
There are numerous cannabis seeds on the market but you can divide these into three groups:
- Regular cannabis seeds: the plants from these seeds can both be male and female. If you have for instance ordered 10 ordinary cannabis seeds, you can’t know if the plants will become male or female.
- Feminized cannabis seeds: the plants from these seeds are in at least 97% of cases female. This offers a great advantage as only female plants can produce flowers.
- Autoflowering cannabis seeds: the plants from these seeds are also in at least 97% of cases female. That's one advantage, but you also have another. The autoflowering seeds automatically bloom after 2 or 4 weeks. The plant needs little attention and can easily be cultivated outside.
Do you opt for a clone or to plant a seed?
The purchase of cannabis seeds is rising in Europe and Worldwide. This is only logical, as more and more growers prefer seed plants over clones. The cultivation of seeds has become simpler the last few years due to the improved quality and stability of seeds. The advantages of seed plants compared to those of clones:
- Seeds are cheaper.
- Seeds are genetically of better quality.
- Clones of plants often have spint or trip eggs.
- Plants from seeds are stronger and are more self-regulating
- With clones you often don't know what the genetic origin is.
- Clones have a lot of additional growth, which does not produce actual buds.
- Seeds are almost always ready for delivery the entire year long.
- Plants from seeds produce a higher yield.
Suzy’s Tip: If you are a beginning grower, I would advise you to start with an Indica. Sativas can be unpredictable and grow very big. Indicas can cope better with stress, which gives you less stress as well.
Nutrients for growing with cannabis seeds
In general, good soil contains enough nutrients for the whole growth. It is however advisable to provide our plant with extra nutrients in the last weeks. My personal preference is liquid nutrition, because the plant can easily absorb it. If you grow indoors you only need flowering nutrition. Even the cheapest soils contain enough nutrients for the whole growth phase. You can buy various sorts of plant nutrition, but all are based on a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen and potassium stimulate growth and during the flowering phase it's best to use a mixture of phosphorus and potassium. Good flowering nutrition contains especially phosphorus and potassium and only a small amount of nitrogen.
We recommend to only use organic certified nutrients with the Union Control Certified (CU801038) quality mark. Do not use molasses or other sweeteners. By making strict use of certified organic nutrients, you also make better-tasting cannabis.
Suzy’s Tip: Of course there is also regular plant nutrition but my advice is to use special cannabis nutrition. It contains the right ingredients for a cannabis plant
Biological pesticides and/or natural enemies
Use only certified biological pesticides and/or natural enemies (predatory mites, predatory bugs, nematodes). Little is known about the precise consequences of consuming pesticide residues. By not using chemical agents, you're better safe than sorry. This also applies to the addition of molasses or sweeteners.
Grow equipment for growing indoors
Just like any other plant, cannabis needs light to be able to grow. If you want to grow cannabis indoors, you will therefore have to purchase a lamp. The length of the night is very important for cannabis plants so always use a timer switch to ensure a regular cycle. You can choose lamps of various wattages for growing cannabis - 400 watt, 600 watt and 1000 watt. The more light, the better the yield will be. Ideal for indoor growing are high pressure sodium (vapour) lamps. I replace my lamps every year for an optimal light intensity.
The next thing you need is an extraction system with an activated carbon filter. Cannabis plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow. They get this CO2 from the air. If you fail to provide the growing area with fresh air, the plants will use up all CO2 in the air. Growth will slow down and the plants will become less healthy. An extraction system sucks the CO2-depleted air outside, which automatically brings CO2-rich air inside. The system also removes the typical odours that are released during the flowering phase. A carbon filter is a large tube filled with carbon. The carbon absorbs the chemicals responsible for the odours and neutralises them. Just like the lamps I replace my carbon filter every year.
To ensure that the fresh air supplied by the extraction system is evenly distributed in your growing area, you also need one (or more) fan(s) for good air circulation. By constantly circulating the air, the fan ensures an even distribution of temperature, humidity, and C02.
You have gathered all technical information about growing cannabis plants and you have acquired all the necessary equipment. Now you can get started by first getting the seeds. Read more on our other pages, where it is explained how you can build a growing area, how to germinate the seeds, how to harvest and much more. I wish you the best of luck! I am confident that you will do fantastic!