Now that marijuana is legalizing all across the United States, consumers are becoming increasingly price and quality conscious of their marijuana . One of the best ways to guarantee the quality and safety of your marijuana, while saving a lot of money, is to learn how to grow marijuana yourself. Fair warning, growing marijuana for your first time can be extremely fun and rewarding, but it can also end in financial and emotional disaster if the proper precautions are not taken. Most people who want to learn how to grow marijuana for the first time, fail – that’s just the way it is. In most cases we see, failure could have been easily prevented with simple preparation and proper equipment. The goal of this post is to teach you how to avoid common failures by amateur growers and share the insider tips, tools and tricks that we have learned from experts over many years and many successful grows that result in fruitful harvests over and over again.
What to consider when learning how to grow marijuana.
There are three important things to consider when learning how to grow marijuana: your goal, your budget and your time. After considering these three factors, you will have a pretty clear idea of what type of growing set up is best for you. There are many different ways to grow marijuana. You can grow it in a closet in your bedroom, in your backyard flower bed, in a greenhouse, in a growing tent in your house or even in your bath tub. There is no right or wrong way. The important thing is that you properly evaluate your resources and skill set to find the growing method that you can be successful with. Otherwise you can waste a lot of time and money on unsuccessful attempts at growing marijuana.
If your goal is just to have some marijuana for personal use and produce 8-12 ounces every few months, you probably shouldn’t go overboard on a big, expensive growing setup. Why? Because we’ve lab tested marijuana that was grown using sunlight with minimal care and also lab tested marijuana that was grown in very expensive indoor set ups under fancy grow lights. The expensive, indoor grown marijuana might look prettier and smell fruitier, but the potency is only a little higher than marijuana grown with a much more affordable, primitive setup. On the other hand, if your goal is to sell some of your harvest to your local dispensary, then you will definitely need to plan on spending extra time and money to make sure you squeeze those extra quality points out of your marijuana.
We’ve seen successful outdoor marijuana growing set ups for 6-12 plants, done on a shoestring budget for under $300. We’ve also seen fancy indoor marijuana grows for 6-12 plants, also successfully done, and the grower has invested over $20,000 in the equipment. Yes, $20k, that’s not a typo. All for what though? A few more percentage points in potency and a flashier appearance? Yup, that’s it. Call us nerds, geeks or whatever but us growers want everything to be perfect for our marijuana plants.
How much time does it take to learn how to grow marijuana? The answer is simple. You get out what you put in. At the fundamental level, marijuana is a plant that wants to grow and bear fruit. Simply by giving it proper water, sunlight and airflow, the plant will grow at amazing rates and you may only need put in 1-2 hours per week watering your plants and pruning off any old leaves that are unnecessary. Investing only 1-2 hours per week will certainly get your plants to grow and even bear fruit, but it will not produce the huge, thick, crystally, cone-shaped nugs you see in dispensaries. To grow expert level marijuana, growers typically invest 20-40 hours per week or more depending on how obsessive they are over cleanliness and pruning techniques.
Expert Tips and Tools To Ensure Success
We’re assuming you already understand the basic theory of growing marijuana. We assume you understand the lighting cycles required to grow the plant in a vegetative state, how to bloom or flower the plant by changing the light cycle, basic nutrients the plant needs, etc. If you aren’t familiar with those topics, check out book called The Cannabis Grow Bible by Greg Green. It discusses all the basic theory you will need to know about plant growth. We’ve read the book and it is perfect if you need to get a grasp on the fundamentals. Another excellent book for beginners learning how to grow marijuana is The Cannabis Encyclopedia by Jorge Cervantes. Jorge Cervantes is an icon in cannabis growing and produces some of the most amazing growing secrets and tips in his books. The tips and tools we provide here are sly pointers from innovative growers that you won’t find in a book about the basics. Let’s get started.
Growing marijuana today is a lot easier than it used to be thanks to new technology. One of the single most valuable tech tools any marijuana grower can have is a Netatmo weather station. The Netatmo weather station monitors temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and Co2 levels, which are are critical pieces of information to a marijuana grower. The weather station charts your data over time and provides you with data graphs that show you all the critical information you need to know about the environment you’ve created for your plants. Best of all, the weather station can send alerts to any Android or iOS smartphone in case of emergency in your grow room. Example: A few years ago, we built a state of the art grow room for a client who invested about $20,000 in the project. We installed a Netatmo weather station in the room and set up alerts for temperature spikes, humidity spikes and Co2 spikes. We also set the weather station to share the alerts with us so we could also monitor for emergencies along with the client. Even though you may configure all the equipment correctly, failures happen, timers fail, air conditions fail, fans fail, pumps fail, anything can happen unexpectedly. One night at about midnight, we received a temperature spike alert, the room had gone over 100 degrees and climbing; something was wrong. The air conditioning unit had seized up unexpectedly. The client was asleep at the time and unaware that a temperature alert from Netatmo had gone off. We were able to call them to wake them up and successfully avoid total disaster and loss of all plants by quickly going and manually venting the heat out of the room. Without the Netatmo weather station, the room would have overheated and all the plants would have died costing many thousands of dollars. This is the absolute most valuable tool to have installed in your grow room. It also works great if you are growing outdoors. The Netatmo weather station can alert you to low freezing temperatures that can unexpectedly happen outdoors as well, letting you know to bring your plants in for the night.
When you’ve grown an excellent batch of marijuana, there is nothing more depressing than returning to your plants to find that they’ve become so heavy that branches have snapped right off under the added weight of the beautiful nugs. In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, literally. A snapped branch could result in hundreds or thousands of dollars lost in a single moment. Staking and tying off your plants branches with old school twist ties takes hours to do and often gets neglected because it is quite an arduous process. This plant tying tool was introduced to us by an expert grower and wow does it save time. First, you’ll need some quality fiberglass stakes like these. There are cheaper stakes available made of bamboo but they rot, crack and break often so don’t cut corners and buy cheap stakes. The fiberglass takes will last forever. The plant tying tool comes as a kit with the plant tape and staples needed. Simply, squeeze the handle to start a tie around the plant branch, then squeeze the handle again to cut and tie the tape into position holding the branches nice and firm so they won’t break off. Cuts hours of tying work down to minutes and will save you a lot of money and emotional agony.
This tool is a must have for any grower who needs to keep the smell down. During final weeks of flowering, the skunky, pungent aroma will begin to permeate the air. To some, this aroma may be pleasant, but if there are neighbors nearby it’s best to stop the odor from wafting through the whole neighborhood. These carbon filters work like magic. They are made of special carbon that can stop the skunky smell dead in its tracks. This carbon filter kit comes with everything needed: an electric fan, the carbon filter and a short piece of ductwork to connect the two. It’s available in 4” size and 6” size depending on the size of your operation. The 4″ size is perfect for a closet sized grow. The 6″ size is perfect for a small room sized grow. After running the carbon filter for just an hour, it will reduce the smell to almost nothing. We’ve stood just outside of large marijuana grows and thanks to these filters, there is no smell outside the room at all. These are an incredibly affordable tool for any grow room given the protection and anonymity it provides.
An enclosed grow tent can be a great way to grow marijuana in a small space. They come in all shapes and sizes to fit in any space in the house. Benefits include protection from airborne diseases and pests that can damage your plants, containment of water and dirt spills, protection from accidental damage due to passers by and they make it much easier to regulate the environment since they are sealed up very well.
LED lights are the best tech advancement in marijuana growing in recent years. This 1000 watt LED light produces 1000w of power while using a fraction of the electricity of a traditional grow light. Originally, LED lights didn’t produce the quality light necessary to yield quality marijuana buds. With recent developments in LED lighting that now provide full spectrum light, growers can produce expert quality marijuana with all the added benefits that LED provides. Benefits of using LED light are decreased heat output and massive energy savings. LED lights put out much less heat which means in the event of a fan failure, the temperature of the grow area won’t rapidly spike to lethal temperatures like it would under an old school grow light that runs extremely hot. The energy savings are the best part of LED lights. They use only a fraction of the energy of old style lights while still providing full spectrum light to the plants. We’ve seen some impressive buds coming from LED lights lately.
Just like parents to a newborn baby, you should feel that same sense of concern for your plants. You should be thinking about them and their safety at all times. So much so that you want to watch them even when you are not there. Installing a baby camera, or in our case plant baby camera, can provide peace of mind for yourself and safety for your plant babies. Your plant babies wear their emotions on their sleeves. If they are hot, tired and thirsty, you will see it in their emotions. They will droop and sag slowly over time and then wilt and die. Keeping a camera on them will allow you to peek at them throughout the day, even in the dark, to make sure they are healthy and happy. This Zmodo Pivot Camera actually pivots to record motion when sensed in any direction, records 1080p clips in light or dark using infrared technology and saves them to the smartphone application.
How to grow marijuana like a pro: Conclusion
You can do this! The best advice is to get the fundamentals in place first to set yourself up for success. Having the right tools is the secret to any craftsman’s work. Never take shortcuts to try and save time and money or you’ll likely regret it. Start small and simple so you can experiment with your tools, refine your methods on a small scale and then expand once you’ve got the confidence to go big.