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Growing weed is one of those rites of passage in the world of cannabis consumers. Perhaps you have been smoking the sweet ganja for years, but taking your marijuana seeds and actually growing your own changes your appreciation for the plant.
Many growers will tell you, “find the best genetics and then grow” however in my own experience, I have taken some mediocre weed seeds and by growing it correctly, I managed to increase both yield and potency to where it actually gets you totally zonked. It took a few years to perfect my methods and I will be divulging some of the tips I have acquired over the years.
The first trick is to sprout your marijuana seeds. What I like to do is to take a small cotton ball or even napkins and place the seeds (between 3-6) of them inside. Then I spray it with water and place it inside a zip lock back. I then place the seeds in a dark closet for a good 2-3 days. Once I see the marijuana seeds sprout, I plant them in a very small (temporary pot).
Once you have planted the seeds, it’s important to make sure your seedlings grow strong. Before I even move out to the “great outdoors” I first take my seedlings and place them in a sort of “incubator”. Don’t worry it’s nothing fancy.
I constructed a box and covered the inside of it with Mylar. I then use two CFLs with a spectrum of over 6000 lumens and give those seedlings 24 hours of light for roughly two weeks. This allows the seedlings to grow strong and develop a good root system. It also allows them to develop some fan leafs so they can perform better outdoors.
Once they have reached about 15 cm, I move them outside to their next designated pot.
It’s important to move your plants carefully, you don’t want to add any stress to the root system as this will stun the growth process or delay it for a good week. To do a successful transfer, you need to plant your seedling in a biodegradable container. This allows you to simply plant the container into your new soil without having to even go remotely close to the root system. Once the container biodegrades, the roots will continue to expand throughout the soil.
You can check your local garden supply store to see what they have in terms of biodegradable pots.
If you properly prepared your soil, there will be minimal things you’ll need to do to maintain your plant. The reason I didn’t list the soil preparation is due to the fact that it could take up an entire article by itself. There are plenty of tutorials out there on properly mixing your soil to ensure maximum nutrition for your plant.
PRUNING: Moving on from soil; now that you have your plants outside, the sun and wind will do what they need to do to help your plant grow strong and tall. Depending on whether you chose to grow sativa or indica strains, there are different pruning tactics you can implement to increase yield. Most growers like to bush out their outdoor plants since they can generate significantly more buds from a single plant.
In order to bush out your plant, you’ll want to let it grow to about 30 cm and then remove all the stems from below the top fan leafs. This will let the plant grow new sprouts from where you cut the branches. Two new branches will appear from the area you cut. As these new branches grow, you can continue to prune periodically (not a bare prune like the first time) throughout the vegetative state. You’ll want to stop pruning roughly 3 weeks before flowering so the plant can be healthy when the time comes.
WATERING: In addition to pruning, you’ll want to carefully watch the water outside. The sun can dry up the soil quite quickly. Make sure you have checked your PH levels.
WEATHER: Sometimes rain can kill your plants. Make sure to create a screen to protect the plant from heavy rains or simply move the plant outside of storms. A mesh covering the plant would work to preserve its integrity.
BUGS: Finally, outdoor growing has a higher potential to attract bugs. Be sure to keep an eye out for them and act quickly when you find a spider mite or anything else that wants to destroy your crop.
TIME: All that’s left in this stage is taking care of it and waiting for the right time to start harvesting. Enjoy the months you’ll be taking care of your plant.
Now your pot seeds are fully matured and have lush buds stinking up the neighborhood. You’ll know when the plant is ready when some of the fan leafs start dying, the trichomes are a golden brown for roughly 80% of the total trichomes on the plant.
Now some of you might be thinking, “let’s cut that sucker down” however this would be a mistake. You’ll need to starve the plant a bit to increase the resin production. What you’ll do is first flush the hell out of the pot. You do this by running water through it several times a day for roughly 3 days.
Once you’re done flushing, you’ll move onto leaving it dry for about a week (depending on the size of your pot). You want to make the plant thirsty so it produces more resin to protect itself.
On day 5 of drying out the plant inside of the pot, I place coal around the base of the stem. This will further suck out all the nutrients in the soil and increase the resin production of your plant. It might seem odd, but trust me, it’s worth it.
On Day 7-8 of letting your plant dry out, you can cut it at the base. At this point there are two things you can do, “Wet Trim” or wait for a “Dry Trim”. If you go with Wet Trimming, you’ll take your plant, hang it upside down and start trimming away all the fan leaf and other non-desirables on the plant.
It will resin up your scissors a lot quicker and will also coat it with live resin, which is totally worth toking up to after your done trimming. Once you have trimmed out all you could, then simply place it inside a moderately ventilated dark space like a closet or something similar.
For a dry trim, you simply place it into the “drying space” and then trim once it’s dried out.
By this time your plant has been in the closet for a good 5-7 days. If you did a Wet Trim, you can finish off areas you missed to get it to the closest trim possible. If you dry trimmed, well…start trimming.
Don’t think it’s over yet. You now need to cure your bud. You do this by placing it in a hermetically sealed jar and placing it into a dark area like a closet. You’ll open up the jar about 2-3 times a day and air the buds for 15 minutes or so, then place it back in the jar and let it sit for a while.
You’ll want to do this for about 15 days. Once this period is over you can officially smoke your weed. The entire process takes a good 4-6 months if done correctly. I’d say at least 5 months.
There are plenty of places to find good outdoor pot seeds. Some of my favorite are 707 Headband and Afghan Kush which are quite simple to grow and produces a lot of bud. Both of these are excellent for outdoor growing.
Now this was a quick guide to growing, there are many things you’ll discover along the way.