Tips On Growing Marijuana

The marijuana industry has been starting to take off over the last few years with some states in the United States making it legal and Canada is set to legalize marijuana July 1st 2018.  Since I am Canadian I am more interested in Canada legalizing marijuana than the United States.

tips on growing marijuana
canadian flag

Having said that, in Canada medical marijuana became legal in early 2001.  However you can only  legally obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes.  You need to be approved by a medical doctor, which is chosen by the government and then you must see this doctor on a regular basis.

I live in the province of Ontario so other provinces might be different.  If so I would love to hear from you.

You also need a licence to grow medical marijuana for yourself.  You can choose between ordering it from the government or growing a certain amount of plants.  The amount of plants is dependant on your prescription from the doctor.  How much marijuana you order and the percentage of THC in the marijuana is also dependant on the doctor’s prescription.

As with any new business trying to attract new customers, certain deals are offered in the beginning.  Prices were low, there were no taxes and special discounts were offered to low income customers.

Today prices are higher, customers are now paying tax and the discounts for low income customers has been altered.  Before you got a discount based on your income, now some of the suppliers are basing it on family income.

tips on growing marijuana
medical marijuana

I think because of the rising cost of buying medical marijuana more people are trying to learn how to grow marijuana.  They  are looking for tips on growing marijuana.  

There are various ways of growing marijuana.  How you grow marijuana may depend on where you live.  If you live in an area with a long growing season you may choose to grow your marijuana outside and if you live in a cooler environment where the growing season is short you may have no choice but to grow inside.

Growing Marijuana Outside

Before you plant that tiny marijuana seed in the ground you need to do a bit of research.  Things you need to be aware of are as follows:

  • Do I just put the seed in the ground?
  • How long does it take to grow a marijuana plant?
  • Should I grow it in a pot?
  • How big should the pot be?
  • What type of fertilizer if any should I use?
  • How much sun or shade does it need?
  • Does a marijuana plant attract certain harmful bugs?

Do I Just Put The Seed In The Ground?

To answer the first question whether or not you just put the seed in the ground the answer is No.  Before you plant your seed you need to germinate it which means you need to make your dormant seed sprout.  In order to do this you need three things and they are warmth, moisture and darkness.

One popular method of bringing your seed to life is by using a damp paper towel.  Cut your paper towel in half and then fold each half in half.  Place one moisten half on a dish.  Place seed on towel and cover with other half of damp towel.  If trying to open up more than one seed make sure they are spaced about ½ inch away from each other.  Place a similar dish on top.  This will keep the seed in the dark and it will help keep the humidity high.

Check every 24 hours.

Once the seed case has opened and the root is visible you can plant your seed in the ground or a pot.  At this stage they are very fragile so do not force them into the dirt.  Make a hole and drop the root in and lightly cover it up.  They should be planted about ½ inch deep.  

There are other methods that can be used also to germinate your seed but the above seems to be the most common.

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Marijuana Plant?

There are many factors that will affect your plant’s growth but the average grow time is around 3 to 4 months.  

Should I Grow My Outdoor Marijuana Plant In a Pot Or Directly In The Soil?

tips on growing marijuana
marijuana plant in pot

There are pros and cons to both of these methods. Lets first take a look at growing outdoors in a pot.  The first obvious advantage of growing your marijuana plant in a pot outdoors is that you can move your plant to different locations.  Sometimes if you are having bad weather such as high winds or hail you can move your plants to a more protected spot out of harm’s way.  Not so with a plant planted directly in the soil.

You can control the size of your plants if they are in pots.  When the roots run out of room they will cease to grow whereas plants planted in the ground can grow to their full potential which can sometimes exceed six feet in height.  Hope you have a high fence!

Another advantage of growing in pots is you control what is in the soil.  Also if you are having what you think is a soil problem you can just transplant your plant to a new pot with new soil.

Although there are advantages to having your plant movable there is also a disadvantage.  If your plants are visible you may have them stolen.  I have seen a couple of episodes on cops where people growing legally in pots outside had their plants stolen.

A disadvantage of an outdoor plant in a pot is it will require more care.  The one task that will need to be done on a daily basis is checking the moisture in the soil.  A potted plant will dry out much more quickly than a plant that is directly planted in the soil.

Also when your plants get to a certain stage they need so much light and so much dark.  Having a plant in a pot allows you to move your plant to artificial light if necessary.

So as you can see there are pros and cons to both of these scenarios.

How Big Should The Pot Be?

As with any plant it needs a pot big enough so the roots will have room to fully develop.  The roots of the marijuana plant are long and winding so most growers try and use a 3 gallon pot.  If you have the room to use a larger pot then by all means use a larger pot.  Your pots should also have holes in the bottom of them.  I mentioned earlier about checking the soil’s moisture on a daily basis as the soil can dry out quickly.  On the other end of the spectrum, you do not want to drown your plant.  By placing a plate under the pot you are allowing the excess moisture to drain away from the plants roots.

tips on growing marijuana
various sizes of pots

What Type Of Fertilizer Should Be Used?

More experienced growers prefer to make their own fertilizer.  This way they know exactly what their plant is getting.  First time growers or newbies will often purchase a suitable fertilizer.  You need to be aware of a couple of things when purchasing.  Do not buy anything that is labelled slow release or extended.  Know what your plant needs in terms of fertilizer.  If planting in soil your cannabis plant will need soil that has the proper amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  We will get into this topic in much more detail later on.

How Much Sun Or Shade Does A Cannabis Plant Need?

This is a good question and we have to look at it in two different ways.  First we need to look at the plant being grown outdoors.  If you are growing your plant outdoors and you live in a place that has 4 seasons then you need to plant in early spring so you can get as much sunshine as possible.  Try and plant your marijuana where it is going to receive at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day.

As important as light is, darkness is just as important.  Darkness signals to the plant that it is time to start growing buds.  It is important not to have the dark stage interrupted by light.  It could actually cause the buds to stop growing.

tips on growing marijuana
outdoor plant in full sun

Controlling how much light or darkness the plant gets is much easier to control if you are growing your plant indoors.

In short the light and the dark control each growing phase of your marijuana plant and again we will be getting into it in much more detail.

Does A Marijuana Plant Attract Certain Harmful Bugs?

Like any plant cannabis has bug enemies.  I would say the biggest enemy the cannabis plant has is the spider mite.  The best way to get rid of spider mites is to put in play safe practices not to get them in the first place.  One way to prevent spider mites is to use organic compost mulch.   Another way is to not bring outdoor plants into your grow room inside.  Also keep pets away from your plants.  Also before going into your grow room make sure you wash your hands.

tips on growing marijuana
Spider mites

If you decide to use a pesticide to rid your plant of any unwanted bugs make sure it is organic.  A good rule to follow is if it is safe for humans it should be safe for your plant but always double check.

As you can see there is a lot to growing marijuana.  It is more than just sticking a seed in the ground and waiting for it to grow.  This article was just a quick look at some of the things necessary to grow marijuana.   For more information download the following free book.

Free Marijuana Grow Bible

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    • Karl
    • 11/30/2017

    I like your site, you have a lot of helpful information. I have a few questions however. First, is it okay to have direct sunlight throughout the day time? Second, I have seen some plants that grow like 10 feet tall, how do they get that big when there are only so many hours in a day? Third, would it be better to use fabric pots outdoors or regular pots? I thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing your response.

      • brownie
      • 12/01/2017

      Hi Karl As for your first question about direct sunlight.  Yes direct sunlight is OK.  The more sunlight the more buds.  As for your second question are these plants outside or inside? Usually when a plant grows tall they are looking for light so your plants probably needs more light. One way to stop your plant from getting too tall is to use a method that some refer to as bending.  I will be getting into that in a later article.
      As far as your last question fabric vs regular pot, both have their good points and bad points.  Fabric pots are often referred to as Smart Pots.  The advantage of a smart pot is they do provide better oxygen and drainage than the regular plastic pot.  The oxygen and drainage tend to promote healthy root growth. 

      A worry with the plastic pots is heat.  Too much heat in a pot is very stressful for the roots of the plant.  Smart pots tend to stay cool and ventilated adding to the healthy growth of your plant.
      One thing bad about the smart pot is they can be difficult to move around and another bad thing is you will need to water more frequently.
      What pot you use depends on your preference and your setup.  Growers have had great success with both types of pots.

    • Brooks
    • 12/02/2017

    I really enjoyed reading this post, but I have a few questions. First, if you were to make your own fertilizer, how would you do that?
    Also, you talked about pots vs the ground vs indoors and I was wondering, which option would you personally use? This post was very informative and easy to understand, thanks!

    • Daniella
    • 12/03/2017

    Hi Brownie,

    Great article!
    One of my neighbors has grown marijuana in his garden, but without any permission:) Anyway, where I live marijuana is not allowed, and cancer patients can only get marijuana under prescription. He did grow this plant because he was pushed to do it. He was suffering from hard disease, and he wanted to decrease his pain naturally. I wish that marijuana would be permitted all over the world so that people can use it a bit more freely:). I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times to visit some family members, and it’s not unusual to see people use marijuana in coffee shops. It’s entirely legal there.

    I have bookmarked your article so I can read more of your useful articles:)

    Thank you for this excellent post!

      • brownie
      • 12/03/2017

      Where I live you can grow or buy marijuana for medical reasons.  You need to be approved by a doctor then after being approved you are required to go back after a certain period of time.  The doctor wants to know certain things like how it is affecting you, are you sleeping, are you eating OK, are you smoking it or vaping it or eating it.  They want to know how much you are consuming etc.  Then if every thing seems OK they will renew your licence.  So your licence is only good for a certain length of time thus you have to keep going to the doctor for licence renewal.

      Also you cannot do both.  If you buy then you cannot grow.  If you buy you can only buy from a  government facility and you can only buy up to the amount the doctor prescribes. 

      This is suppose to change in July 2018 when marijuana will become legal for everyone over 18.  People will be able to buy it for recreational use.

      I agree with you, people should be able to have access to marijuana.  Sure there will be people that abuse it just like there are people that abuse alcohol.  

    • brownie
    • 12/03/2017

    Hi Brooks Thanks for dropping by my site.  I have never made my own fertilizer but you can do it.  There is a grower by the name of Subcool who has a recipe for Super Soil.  When you see you may understand why I haven’t tried out the recipe.  You can find the recipe here at Subcool  Scroll down the page a bit until you see the heading “ How to Compost Your Own Super Soil!”  

    As far as the option of indoor or outdoor the option taken depends on the time of the year.  Living in a country that experiences winters growing outside is not always an option.  As far as in the ground versus a pot the pot will always win.  You never know when you may need to move a plant.

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