Are you thinking of growing cannabis in your backyard? If so, there are some important things to take into account. Before growing it, you need to decide whether you prefer an outdoor or indoor growing system. For the latter, deep water culture or DWC is the popular method where plant roots are placed in tubs of water. Plants get unlimited oxygen from the air inside the reservoir and have to expend minimal energy to find what they need for growth. If you can set the DWC up well, it demands least maintenance.
Things To Remember When You Are A Beginner:
- You have to be diligent about checking on the plants every day, because the main problem surface at the start and fixing these early on is easier. For instance, root rotting is a common issue as these will have to be in the water continuously. So, you must change the water every week and add beneficial bacteria to it preferably to combat root decays.
- You must also maintain the water and air temperatures in check; for instance, air temperature ideally must be between 75 degrees-85 degrees when you have lights on. These will fall by 10 degrees when there are no lights. Water temperature needs to be constant. The DWC system helps cannabis grow faster because the roots get all nutrients that they need easily in the reservoir.
- You must understand the growth cycle before you plant cannabis at home. Cannabis is available in both male and female varieties and they can hermaphrodite when you do not care for them properly. Males are required for breeding while female plants are ideal for smoking and making products.
- If you grow from seeds, a cannabis plant will take about 14-32 weeks to grow. It passes through 4 key stages, namely germination, seedling, followed by vegetative and flowering. The buds are dried and cured before being made into commercial products. The initial two stages do not require much intervention; it is the vegetative stage when you have to take care of it. For instance, you may need to get bigger pots to transfer the plant or tweak the light cycle to help the females to flower faster.
- Besides DWC, you can use coco coir for growing cannabis when you are new to this. Here, you use fibrous husks from coconut rather than a potting mix for soil gardening purposes. This absorbs moisture much faster and plants can get more oxygen and nutrients. It is simpler to flush the coco rather than changing the whole water in a DWC system. You can simply use a hydroponic flood-and-drain system where the nutrient system floods from under the plant and is controlled by a timer and pump. But you must get good quality coco coir to ensure faster growth. You also have to be careful about not letting the coco become too dry. It is advisable to use calcium-magnesium in the growing medium as these help in root development, protein synthesis, and nutrient uptake.
- To grow cannabis outdoors you can use the regular gardening technique like deep irrigation, top-fed watering etc for watering the plant. You may use composted soil, organic, or store-purchased soil along with liquid nutrients. It is important to flush out the synthetic ingredients if you use these and use organic ingredients when you buy soil from the store. You must be careful not to overwater the plants and keep checking the pH once nutrients have been added. Outdoor cannabis is easier to grow and also less-costly, but it makes them susceptible to climate changes, harsh weather, and pests.