Do you love cannabis but hate the price at the dispensary?
Interested in growing your own cannabis flower?
It may seem like a pretty daunting task. Buying seeds can feel a little “dirty” the first time. Finding the right tools can be overwhelming. Staying safe can be a consistence worry in the back of the mind.
Still, go for it! Just start with the basics of growing cannabis at home. Stick with what’s necessary to get up and running with your very own — and very private — grow process.
Let us take you to that next step, because, it’s worth it! Nothing more gratifying than after that first toke — or bite — of home grown cannabis.
Why Setup Your Own Grow Space?
These COVID lockdowns are dragging on… so we are digging in. Digging into learning how to grow cannabis at home.
We are fielding more questions on growing weed and guessing these extended COVID lock downs are adding to that interest.
Perhaps, we can now call it the COVID cannabis revolution! (Trying to put a positive spin on pandemic, sorry if that’s “too soon”)
As the saying goes…
“Smoking weed isn’t addictive, growing it is!”
… and boy howdy they are correct!
It’s such a fun hobby, pretty easy to get started, and the better you get, the better your cannabis gets.
But, there are some other benefits and challenges to growing your own cannabis at home.
- Quality: You are in control of your product 👩🏼🌾. Just like a healthy diet for yourself, you’ll know exactly where the cannabis comes from and how it was cared for — from seed to bowl!
- Price: Yup, you can save some scratch 💸. After the initial equipment fees, and a few cannabis plants later you’ll be ahead of the game compared to your local dispensary
- It’s fun: If you’ve come this far, just keep going 🎉. We are certain you’ll fall in love with it.
- Starting up: There’s a lot of info on the web and it’s hard to know where to start. Hopefully we can help!
- Equipment fees: One of the biggest barriers is buying all the equipment. Hard to know exactly what you’ll need based on your current situation. Best bet, just get started with the essentials and build up.
- Your first plant: Mostly joking here, things have gotten better. With more tools, information and ways to buy everything it’s getting better. But, our first few attempts were not the best quality outcomes. Now that we’ve learned a thing or two, we wouldn’t go back.
Best Cannabis Tools and Environmental Setup for Growing Weed at Home
Don’t make it hard on yourself! The best marijuana grow set up is the one that works for you.
From building it all yourself to finding an automatic cannabis grow box, it’s all possible based your wildest cannabis grow dreams.
Check Out Our Favorite Cannabis Grow Cabinets and Boxes
We believe multiple solutions (large and small) to be the best. We have a beautiful grow box for public display and larger tents for any additional needs.
Cannabis Grow Environment
Lighting: Your plants need to be both guarded form the light (replicating night time) as well as “blinded by the light” (more light, bigger harvest). When growing indoors, your plants need darkness — just like they would growing at night in nature. No leaks, no cracks — just darkness.
Humidity and Temperature: Your grow room needs to be warm and humid — but if it’s too warm and humid, you are going to have fungal issues. You should shoot for around 50-60% humidity with good circulation. Make sure you choose an area that receives plenty of adequate ventilation.
Temperature: Temperatures should be maintained between 70-85° (21-29° Celsius) when lights are on and 58-70° (14-21° Celsius) when they are off.
Air Quality: Without plenty of fresh air, you are going to have issues growing pot indoors. Good circulation and ventilation are key. You’ll want fans, and a nice carbon filter to circulate out the bad odors.
Watering: Try not to overwater your plants, hard stop. Cannabis plants are prone to fungal rot when they get too wet, especially if there isn’t adequate ventilation.
Think carefully about where you are sourcing your water. If you have treated water, you need to filter before you put water your cannabis plants. High levels of chlorine, or other dissolved minerals, can harm your plants or even build up in the root and block absorption of nutrients. Some water can even contain pathogens or fungus that can cause root disease.
Space: A grow space can take the form of a bedroom, closet, garage, or spare room in your home. This is more of a DIY solution, with no need to buy a tent.
You can set up a grow space by purchasing some cheap reflective material and fans. These will use the space you already have so you won’t need to spend much money.
We suggest, to start, getting either an all-in-one cannabis box. Or starting with some tents and adding on features and space as you increase production.
Cannabis Grow Tools
Lights: Grow lights for cannabis range from LED to HID as well as fluorescent and induction lights. We favor LED and HID because of their price, efficiency and easiest to get your hands on.
LED grow lights have evolved over the years and have updated their “tech stack” providing significant benefits to any type of cannabis cultivation, either personal or commercial. HID have been the standard tool used by many horticulturalists, but we are favoring LED lights these days — especially for beginners and small batch, at home growers.
Timer: The timer for your lights is key to growing your cannabis plants through the varying stages of growth cycles. The accuracy of your light timing is important because you risk stressing your plants otherwise.
Fan: Two types of fans: an exhaust fan and a circulating fan. Having both fans is key to keeping the air quality and cleanliness nice and pristine. All for your lovely cannabis plants.
Filter: You’ll definitely need a carbon filter for your exhaust fan. It will keep those odors to a faint amount — don’t wanna scare the neighbors. We’d also suggest a filter for your air inlet (or intake) if you have the set up. That way you are in complete control of the air within the growing environment.
Hygrometer: You will also need a hygrometer to keep track of the humidity level in your grow room. If you want to save some money, you can buy a combination thermostat/hygrometer.
Thermostat: You’ll be running your environment 24 hours a day, you’ll be asleep for at least 7 of those. This will keep your temperature from rising above/below a preset level, saving energy and maintaining a consistent temperature.
Picking Marijuana Seeds and Nutrients Growing Cannabis
Similar to looking at your buds, you can identify how good a marijuana seed is by its appearance — saving you before attempting to grow marijuana and investing your time in a dud.
What Makes for a Good Cannabis Seed to Grow
Appearance & Color
Good and bad seeds are pretty easy to tell apart. Look for brown or tan seeds that indicates it’s maturity.
Shape & Size
Look for larger seeds with noticeable symmetry. Signs of quality and properly matured seeds. Small and asymmetrical seeds signal that they are immature.
The seed should have a hard and solid shell with no visual damages.
Types of Cannabis Seeds
The primary types you need to learn include; Indica vs Sativa, and, standard vs feminized vs autoflowering seeds. Depending on which type of seeds you use, you’ll have to adjust your light timer during different grow stages.
Check Out Our Guide to Buying Quality Cannabis Seeds to Grow at Home
A Simplified Cannabis Grow Guide for Beginners
Environment: Humidity 70-90%, Light on 18-20 hours, Temperature 71-90° F (22-32° C)
Time of stage: 1 week
To summarize the environment; keep it warm, and keep it very damp.
You’ll discover about 5 different techniques to germinate your seeds when using the all so helpful google search.
You can use:
- The paper towel method (we’ll give a quick summary on this one)
- Direct planting into soil
- Starter cubes
- Overnight soak in warm water
- A germination station (for those of us who wanna be fancy)
Paper Towel Method
Step 1) Dampen two sheets of paper towels with purified water
Step 2) Place each paper towel on an individual plate
Step 3) Place seeds about an inch apart on one paper towel
Step 4) Place the other paper towel lightly on top of the seeds and lay the second plate on top
Step 5) Check the seeds the next day and look for a stem starting to bud out
Environment: Humidity 70%, Light on 18-20 hours, Temperature 71-77° F (22-25° C)
Time of stage: 1 day
Alright, you’ve made it this far! That’s a big step because you know you found yourself some quality seeds.
Now that your seed has a root (around 2-3mm in length) you will need to carefully transfer it to your medium.
Make sure all your tools and the new medium are at equal temperatures to your seed. Be delicate as you don’t want to shock the seed.
Common Medium for Growing Cannabis
- Hydroponics – highest yield, hardest to grow and needs the most equipment.
- Dirt – easy to grow, earthy smell and a little messy if you are not used to dirt.
- Coco Coir – this is the natural fiber from a coconut tree and has become very popular. Some mix with dirt to help with nutrient absorption.
All that’s left to do is to plant your root about 10mm deep into your medium and continue to keep it damp as we move into the vegetative state.
Environment: Humidity 50-70%, Light on 18-20 hours, Temperature 70-85° F (21-29° C)
Time of stage: 3-6 weeks
The next stages are the most enjoyable part of the process and often the most difficult. If you didn’t use a feminized seed, this is the stage you will discover if the plant is male or female (remove those males, since they don’t produce the flower you are looking for).
There are some special techniques called “training” your plant. This allows more growth in the flowering stage, such as; Scrog, Topping, Lollipopping and a few more.
Also, you’ll need to monitor your pH balance and be sure to add nutrients weekly to keep your plants happy and healthy.
You’ll continue with running your lights for at least 18 hours a day if not more.
Different seeds do very in this stage. We like to keep them about 15 – 20cm away from the light source. So, having a light that can move as the plants grow is key.
Environment: Humidity 40-50%, Light on 12-14 hours, Temperature 70-85° F (21-29° C)
Time of stage: 6-8 weeks (includes flowering, ripening and flushing)
If you are not using autoflowering seeds, this is where you need to change the light cycle to 12 hours a day — imitating earths circadian rhythm.
Phase 1: Energy focused on growing flowers. Plants will grow about 50% more here. Hairs, buds, trichomes and those lovely resin glands between to grow now
Phase 2: Energy is focused on growing buds. Buds begin to grow white hairs. Trichomes are produced and this is when the odor begins to release.
Phase 3: Plants have reached full flowering stage. Buds become thick and produce even more odor. White hairs become darker and trichomes begin to whiten.
Phase 4: Flushing — the final phase. Stop giving nutrients a this point. Flush everything out with pH balanced water.
…and on to our last stages. We are so close!
Harvest & Cure Stage
Environment: Cut/trim and jar your flower
Harvest your flower when buds darken and curl in. You can use a microscope to check if the trichomes have turned to an amber color. If so, good to go!
- Cut the main stem
- Hang plants on lines in a dry, cool and dark place for ~1 week
- When stems bend but start to slightly break, you can trim and place in mason jars.
To cure, we prefer mason jars for ~5 weeks. Be sure to open them twice a day to exchange the air within.
Can be smoked by week one, but the quality improves as you let them sit and “burp” the mason jars.
Light up, breath out and stay groovy!