If you are thinking about growing marijuana yourself, you are likely unsure or indecisive about how to begin. The first step, of course, is deciding what kind of setup you prefer. Are you going to grow outdoors or indoors? Will you grow just one plant or many? What strain should you buy, and what equipment do you need? We will cover all this and more below.
When people are first looking at growing their own marijuana plant for the first time, they generally end up reading articles and guides about how to set up a big, successful operation. While success is certainly something you should be looking for, the fact is, that growing marijuana for only yourself does not need to be a huge endeavor. Why not start out with just one plant.
While many marijuana growers are most concerned about maximizing the yield and getting the most buds out of each marijuana plant, the taste and smell of the end product are also critical factors that can be influenced during your marijuana plants’ lives. In this article, we will discuss how to maximize the smell and improve the taste of your marijuana buds
Taking your time to learn the basics
A surprisingly overlooked way to improve the smell and taste of marijuana is simply to learn how to better grow and care for marijuana plants. If you are someone who just picked up the basics of how to grow marijuana on the fly, then this piece of advice is for you. It is very easy to grow marijuana well enough but maximizing the yield and potency of the buds, as well as the flavor and aroma, takes a few more steps of learning.
High-quality cannabis starts with good genetics. If you know what you’re hoping to get out of your buds, then you’ll want to do some research on available strains to make sure you maximize your chances. As a bottom line, you want to make sure that you are using healthy viable marijuana seeds, otherwise you won’t get any crop at all! The best place to start is with a reputable seed company.
The first step for most new growers is to extract seeds from large commercially purchased bags of cannabis. This is likely the easiest way to get seeds, but be warned— the cannabis has already been heavily processed and packaged. Huge quantities of bud are dried and cured together en masse, and then snipped and stuffed into big vacuum-sealed bags.
Throughout all of this, they might go through a lot of rough handling and questionable environments. Since the legality surrounding cannabis cultivation is hazy in most parts of the world, there aren’t very many regulations that need to be followed. Instead of leaving it to hope that you might find quality seeds in your stash, read this guide first. If you want to make your own feminized seeds, read my article How to make feminized seeds.
What are quality marijuana seeds
What this means for the consumer is that it can be difficult to get good seeds. Seeds are, in fact, considered undesirable by most commercial growers, and many of the seeds that sneak into the end product never reached full maturity before being harvested. There’s just no good reason for commercial cultivators to ensure that each and every bud has reached maximum maturity and that the seeds are robust and healthy.
The only reason you’ll be able to find marijuana seeds at all is the difficulty growers have in finding and removing all of the seeds. Commercial growers have nothing to gain by offering free seeds to consumers. Another factor that can come up is freezing seeds, especially in northern latitudes. You won’t know if the seeds have been frozen when you get your cannabis, but if the seeds have in fact been frozen, they are far less likely to produce viable plants.
With moderately healthy stock, you’re likely to see about one in every three cannabis seeds actually sprout. Although relatively robust, there are many factors which can prevent sprouting: seeds with damaged husks, immature seeds, or seeds that have been damaged by environmental extremes. Additionally, seeds won’t last forever. If the seeds are too old, they are also very unlikely to sprout.
There are a couple steps to take when culling seeds to make sure you are saving the best candidates for sprouting. While you’ll never reach a perfect success rate, you can learn to discern good seeds from bad ones. Mature cannabis seeds are a dark brown, often marbled through with lighter shades or stripes. In general, you’re better off avoiding seeds that are pale green or white since these probably aren’t mature. Big fat seeds are ideal, and they should have a fairly rounded shape. You can use smaller seeds too, but as a rule of thumb, you’re more likely to develop a healthy sprout from a bigger healthier seed.
How to find the best seeds
Cannabis seeds grow underneath the buds themselves, sandwiched in between the plant matter and the parent stem. They’re difficult to see because of these and have a cushion of protection to guards against all of the drying, curing, processing, and packaging that they’ll go through before they get to you. This is why seeds manage to survive at all.
Young marijuana seeds are also protected by a white-green cellulose sheath that will wither and fall away as the seed matures. To remove them from the plant itself, the best method is to simply find them and gently nudge them free of the stems with a little finger or thumbnail. Feel free to discard any seeds with damaged or scratched surfaces. The same is true for any immature seeds with white seed coats.
Veteran growers might want to grow a mix of both male and female plants, but this is not recommended for most growers, especially inexperienced ones. There is a high risk of inadvertent fertilization, which can ruin the yield of an entire crop. Unfertilized female plants produce the biggest and best yields.
Fertilized females can still provide a crop, but the end yield will inevitably be much smaller and the buds filled with seeds. Mainly they can provide the seeds necessary for the next generation. Multigenerational breeding is extremely complex, however, and extends beyond the scope of what we’ll talk about here. For now, consider purchasing feminized seeds from a commercial distributor. This will simplify the process, and make it much easier to get started if you’re new to cannabis cultivation.
Keep in mind that if you do end up purchasing feminized seeds, you will get only female plants. With no males in the area to pollinate the female plants, you won’t get very many seeds if you get any at all. Over the long-term, this can be something of a drawback for a home grower since it’s impossible to harvest seeds for the next crop. It also means you won’t be able to reproduce the same crop, which can be frustrating if you find a strain that you really like. Read more in the article What are regular, feminized and autoflowering marijuana seeds
Buying top shelf seed
It takes a lot of trust to buy cannabis seeds. There’s no way to know what strain you’re getting by looking at the seeds themselves. You won’t know anything about the genetics, except the information you’re given by whomever you’re purchasing from. This is one of the biggest reasons why you’d want to purchase your seeds from a reputable company or seed bank. Random dealers won’t necessarily know any better than you what strain they have.
When you buy seeds, try to choose a seed bank or company that offers some client support. Cultivating cannabis isn’t too difficult, but because of the nature of the plant, you can’t just ask friends and family for help and support. Usually seed banks and commercial companies will be available for some troubleshooting since it’s in their best interest to help customers and maintain a positive reputation.
It takes a lot of experience and expertise to produce high-quality seeds. The entire process of selecting, testing and producing a batch of seeds can take up to a year or more. Still, it’s worth it to know you have the right strain, and in a feminized form.
The knowledge and ability to make marijuana clones is an added bonus for any successful grower – as well as growers of any type of plant. Cloning is a reliable way to have a better harvest and yield without risking certain important factors such as potency. As long as you know which of your plants are the healthiest and most successful, as well as which are males and females, you will be able to clone correctly. If you don’t know these things at this stage in the growing season, you may want to take up a new hobby.
You might even have a specific favorite plant already, which will make the decision process quite easy when it comes to cloning. Cloning is about as close to a guarantee as you can get in the marijuana growing business, so proceed with confidence because it has a very high success rate.
You have to know that depending on the type of marijuana plant, there are easier ones to clone and there are harder ones. Cannabis Sativas, for example, are easily cloned unlike the early Indicas which are very stubborn and you will have to take careful care of them. Here are some useful tips on how to do this.
Firstly, you have to figure out how to promote the root grow. Think about the exact place where the root will start growing before cutting it. This part of its stem has to be kept in a dark place covered by a certain wrapping. This method is the so called etiolation and it encourages the rooting process. The cutting should be made with sharp scissors of a pruner. The stems should be made sterile after each time they are cut. Do not use a dull instrument because it can crush the stem and make the formation of the roots harder. You can use a razor blade as well but be careful not to hurt yourself. A cut in an angle will make the absorption of water easier by providing a larger surface.
Secondly, the process or root formation requires air; however it shouldn’t be let close to the stem because it will cease the action of the capillaries and make the growth hard. You can prevent this from happening by immediately putting the cut under water Moreover; you can also make the cut under the running water of the sink. Then it has to remain in the rooting solution for some days. Do not just leave it in the water. It needs oxygen to sprout the roots. You can use an airy medium to make passive aeration.
Furthermore, breathing also makes the process difficult for the cutting. You can make some kind of a dome of plastic in order to lower the levels of transpiration and keep the water in the cutting so that it does not go dry. Another idea you can use is to cut a half of every leaflet in order to limit transpiration. In this way you will still have the some leaves on your stem but with a smaller surface area.
Thirdly, you have to maintain a good lighting. Do not use direct sunlight because it will heat the cutting in the dome way too much. However, a dark environment is not good for growing as well. This leads us to the conclusion that fluorescent lighting is the best solution. You can use an HID but not very close to the rooting system. Indirect sun from the window is also a good idea if the cutting is kept in a warm place.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check the pH of the soil and the nutrient concentrations for your fresh marijuana clones. When the cutting is beginning to grow this means it has developed roots and you can remove the dome. Have in mind that at first the cutting may easily die so you have to give some mist to it to make it stronger. More on marijuana clones here.
Want to know more about growing marijuana? Check out the FREE book Marijuana Plant Care for more information!