Since the legalization of marijuana in certain states across the United States, more and more people have become curious about the possible benefits of cannabis plants. According to a 2021 Business Insider article, marijuana is now legal for recreational use in 16 states (plus Washington D.C.) and is legal in 36 states for medicinal use.
More and more states are also allowing people to legally grow a certain amount of marijuana plants but the amount varies by state. If you’ve been curious about growing cannabis plants, check out these tips for the beginner grower.
Start by picking the right type of soil
When looking for the best soil for cannabis, you’ll need to consider growth issues that make a good soil such as proper drainage as well as the density of the soil. This refers to the root system of the cannabis plant and how the plant needs room to grow. A good tip is that you should be able to stick your finger in the soil easily without penetrating the soil too much. As a cannabis grower, it’s also important to know the ins and outs of the pH of the soil which will also be affected by the water source.
For beginners, especially indoor growers, it’s best to get high-quality potting soil as these tend to come free of pests and fungi. When using potting soil, it’s recommended that you use an 80/20 ratio of soil and perlite to make the soil less dense so the cannabis roots will have more room to grow.
If you have a bit more cash to throw around on this project, consider coco coir. Coco coir is made from coconut husks and will give you all the same benefits of potting soil but will also allow for excellent drainage.
For those who aren’t strangers to gardening and are more interested in becoming outdoor growers, consider making your own soil mix out of top potting soil and other organic materials such as worm castings, compost, lime, etc. Once you’ve chosen your soil, you will need a three-to-five-gallon container to start growing your plants.
Prepare an appropriate water source
Considering that you’re going to want to monitor the acidity of your soil, you may want to start with distilled water so that you can start with a neutral pH scale. The best way to do this is by investing in a company like a Canadian bottled waterservice.
Bottled water companies like this offer options such as a water filter that hooks to the tap water system in your home or you can order bottled spring water in 11.3-liter and 18.9-liter bottles. This way, you can rest assured that there aren’t any microorganisms in your water, and you can add enough nutrients to get the ideal soil pH when watering your plants.
Do some research to find ideal seeds or clones
Now that you’ve got your grow medium, it’s time to plant. Whether you want to go with seeds or clones (part of an existing marijuana plant), you’re going to want to do your research and find the best company.
According to a Forbes article interview with a “pro-gardener” who grows her own pot right in her garden, the best place to get seeds is from regional seed companies with “transparent breeding practices.”
Bonus tip: make sure to ask which strains are the easiest to grow for beginners as some are easier than others.
Pick the best place with the best environment
For cannabis seedlings to grow into quality plants, they require a good amount of light, the ideal temperature, and the right humidity levels. Considering all of this, the cannabis grower’s best option may be to plant indoors to keep these elements in check by using grow lights, thermometers, and a humidity calculator.
Right after you plant your seeds, they need to be kept steadily warm—not hot—but once they take off and start the process of healthy growth as seedlings, the ideal temperature is somewhere between 68-78 degrees.
Light is crucial for marijuana plants as they will reach for the light as they grow. Without good lighting, you’ll end up with long vines and just a few leaves. Grow lights are great for this or, if you’re growing in your backyard, pick a location with a good amount of direct sunlight.
Since marijuana plants require the right amount of moisture, humidity is also a factor. In warmer temperatures, your plants will lose moisture, but in cooler temperatures, they can have trouble absorbing nutrients. Therefore, you’ll need to adjust the temperature for the ideal amount of water retention and nutrient absorption wherever you decide to grow.
A note on legality: In the U.S., the laws about how many marijuana plants you can grow vary greatly. According to a 2021 U.S. News article, not only are you restricted by how many plants you can grow in the states that allow it, but certain states also require that only a certain amount be “mature.”