After an entire season of taking good care of your marijuana plants, it is easy to sit back and relax during the flowering stage of their life cycle. This is one of the worst things you could do, however, as this stage needs to be just as carefully monitored. Perhaps even more so than the earlier stages of growth. As you have already invested so much time and effort into growing your plants, it would be even worse to lose them, or ruin the harvest this late in the game.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important tips to have a successful flowering stage for your marijuana plants. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig in because following the below tips could mean a vastly better, and more potent, harvest in the end.
Adjust your indoor grow lights as needed
Many growers don’t know that during the early stages of the flowering stage, marijuana plants are prone to shoot upwards in an odd growth spurt. This growth spurt can vary in how extreme it is, according to the strain of marijuana plants you are growing. It can even continue well into the mid-flowering stage.
Because this increase in height is often unexpected, it is easy to forget that you will need to adjust the grow lights, as the plants are probably getting uncomfortably close to them after such a growth spurt. Make sure to adjust the height of the lights to keep them a safe, healthy distance from your plants so they don’t get too warm.
Keep looking for male flowers
Just because you had already identified and removed the male marijuana plants from your crop before the flowering stage began, doesn’t mean you are out of the water. In fact, it is not uncommon for a hermaphrodite to develop during the flowering stage, thus leading to male sex organs that will pollinate your precious female plants.
For this reason, inspect your plants carefully during the flowering stage. If you spot a male flower — characterized either by their clearly male pollen sacs, or the yellow banana-like shape –, you should remove the entire site of the bud to ensure that no pollen escapes, and touches your female flowers. If one pollen sac escapes your notice, it could ruin your entire crop of female buds.
As you may already know, a female plant that has been fertilized will stop focusing its resources on growing its buds, to be bigger and more potent. Instead, it will stop that type of growth altogether, and will grow seeds instead. You don’t want to smoke seeds, so it’s crucial that no males — hermaphrodite or otherwise — are present in your crop.
Go easy on the nutrients
No matter what kind of nutrients you are using — organic compost, or store-bought chemicals — overdosing your plants on nutrients is not a good idea during the flowering stage. It also leads to an unpleasant taste. The reason it is so dangerous to burn your plants with nutrients during the flowering stage is that it is their latest stage of life, and there will be no time to bounce back from the damages caused.
Unless you are seeing clear signs of a specific nutrient deficiency, and you have already tested it to make sure it isn’t masking a pH balance issue, you should never add more nutrients beyond the plants’ normal food. In fact, they need smaller and smaller doses of nutrients as harvest time approaches.
If there is an obvious nutrient deficiency, introduce more of that nutrient very gradually. Always be wary of nutrient burning your plants, and take as many precautions as possible.
Keep an eye on the pH levels
Most issues that occur with marijuana plants are actually just from incorrect pH levels, specifically in the root area. The pH level is crucial regardless of what kind of growing medium or setup you are using. You might be having a pH problem if the leaves are starting to get wrinkled or curled, or if your plant is exhibiting signs of a nutrient deficiency.
Whatever problems you have, always check the pH levels near the roots to see if that is what is causing the issue. If you are growing in soil, the pH level at the roots should be between 6.0 and 7.0 while hydroponic systems should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
The good news is that testing the pH level is quite easy and inexpensive — in addition to being useful at every stage of growing. So regardless of where your plants are in their growing progress, you should buy yourself a pH testing kit.
Keep the humidity down
Another aspect of the growing conditions that is easy to forget during the flowering stage is the humidity level. This is because, for most of your plant’s life, the humidity level is supposed to be higher. During the flowering stage, however, the humidity level must remain below 45% at all times. Use a dehumidifier, if necessary.
If the humidity of your grow room is higher than 45%, it is likely that your plants will begin to develop mold in their buds. And every grower knows that moldy buds are wasted buds. Many times, buds may even appear to be completely fine because the mold is growing on the inside, meaning that the grower won’t notice until it is far too late to do anything about it.
Flush out the nutrients before you harvest
A vital thing to remember — for your own health, as well as the quality of the buds — is that you should flush out the marijuana growing medium a week or two before you actually harvest the plants. The idea is to completely remove the nutrients you have been feeding your plants — whether chemical or organic — so that none of it remains in the consumable product at the end.
The way to flush out the system is to use neutralized water, which means it has an absolutely balanced pH level. Test it before pouring it into your grow system. This can also be utilized in the case of a pH imbalance in the soil, or if you have a nutrient toxicity issue.
Time the harvest right
One big question that many new growers ask is how long they should keep their indoor marijuana plants in their flowering stage of growth. The answer is that this only depends on the strain, what you want the end result to be like, and your own personal preferences. Most strains require between two and four months to be in the flowering stage. After that point, the harvest should be done.
The timing of your harvest also depends on what type of effects you would like your marijuana to have on the user. If you prefer a more energetic high, you should err on the earlier side. If you prefer a relaxed high with the classic feeling of couchlock, harvest a bit later. Just don’t harvest too late or too early, as it will either decrease the effects or it will change them to a type of high that is undesirable.
Do not harvest until the pistils are at least half (preferably more) darkened, or when the trichomes are mostly white and milky, as can be seen with a microscope or magnifying glass. Patience is key when timing the harvest right.
Curing marijuana buds
Once you have removed the buds and dried them properly (again, patience is key in this stage), it is important to remember that curing the buds plays an equally important role in keeping your plants healthy during their flowering stage. Store them in airtight jars in a dark, cool environment.
Every day, open the jar and move the buds around, as well as check on them to make sure there is no mold developing. After a while, limit this to twice a week. If you do this consistently for several weeks, your buds will be even higher quality than they would have been otherwise. Longer curing is also an option (for several months, for example) if you would like to keep improving the flavor and aroma more and more.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible. For any grow related question please visit the marijuana support page.
It can be difficult to know exactly when your cannabis crop is ready to harvest. After harvesting the plant matter you’re after, you have to process it. Curing and drying are vital steps towards getting a tasty, usable product.
Harvesting your crop can be the ultimate victory for any marijuana grower, However, the key to reaping the best marijuana lies in knowing when to harvest and how to dry your plants properly.
In this section, we’ll teach you the basics of what to look for, and how to handle the harvesting process when the time is right. We will explain the drying process and give a lot of tips to produce the best buds possible. Without these steps, no one with a nose or tongue will touch your buds – so pay close attention!
When to harvest
After your plant has gone through its flowering phase, it will begin to slide into a decline in health. There are a number of different symptoms which can flag this for you. You’ll notice that the pistils of the cannabis plant are turning red. The stem might begin to broaden. Any resin on the buds will begin to brown and darken, and the leaves of the plant will start to yellow and die back. If your plant has flowered and you begin to notice any of these symptoms occur, chances are good that you are ready to harvest!
There’s some contention between growers on the precise ‘best’ time to harvest your cannabis. It depends in part on your own personal tastes. It’s not so different from harvesting other plants, even fruits or vegetables.
The best way to be able to properly see if your plants are ready for harvest is to use a magnifying tool of some sort. You should be looking for trichomes in your buds that are glittery and filled with resin. If you are seeing them this way, you will be able to harvest at the perfect time.
Magnifying Tools There are a number of different kinds of magnifying tools you can use to look more closely at your plants. Each will get the job done, but like with any aspect of growing and harvesting your marijuana plants, you need to understand what they all do and what the best tool for you is.
Jewelers Loupe A Jewelers Loupe is perfect for someone working on a budget. It’s not very high-tech, making it the least helpful in seeing the details for the stage of life your buds are in. That being said, it should give you enough information to identify if it is harvest time yet or not.
Handheld Magnifier More powerful than a jewelers loupe, a handheld magnifier of some sort will zoom in enough to give you an even better idea of your buds’ status. Such high magnification can cause some problems, however, since sometimes it makes it difficult for you to focus.
Digital Microscope If you’re someone who likes state-of-the-art technology, this might be the route for you. It’s more expensive, as these types of technologies always are, but it will give you a black-and-white answer to your question: Are my plants ready for harvest? You just need to connect it to your laptop to see the information at hand. You should read up on the methods of using it before purchasing one of these.
The latest possible harvest will net you the best results, but with cannabis, that can mean an overpowering and unpleasant flavor if you wait too long. The color of the pistils is the most common way for growers to determine when they want to harvest their plants and begin processing them for use.
Some growers harvest as soon as the pistils begin to turn red. Others wait until the pistils are almost entirely red and the resin of the plant is dark. In general, the later you harvest, the more you will get, but it is also likely to have a stronger flavor. If you wait too long, you could see decreased effectiveness of the active ingredients.
Besides the color of the pistils, examining the resin on your flowering plants is probably the best way to know if they’re ready for harvest. You will notice that the glands covered in resin become enlarged when the plant is mature, and they will also start to swell and look deformed. The resin will darken from transparent to opaque amber as it becomes more mature. When the resin is still sticky and transparent, the plant is ready to be harvest. Once that resin darkens and becomes more amber-hued, you should make sure to harvest quickly because the plant will go through a deterioration of active ingredients.
The pistils of the cannabis plant will be white before the flowering phase. When they begin to turn red, you’ll know you’ve entered the period of time during which you can harvest your crop. If all of the pistils are white, it’s too soon: don’t try to harvest. A safe bet is when anywhere from 25-75% of the pistils have turned red or are beginning to turn red. Although it’s not a bad idea to remain patient during this harvesting phase, you don’t want to wait too long. If you let the plant go too far, you’ll end up with a lower quality product. If the plant goes too long without being harvested, the entire crop could actually be ruined.
When you choose to harvest will also affect the qualities of the bud. Harvesting earlier will give the plant a more stimulating effect when the ingredients are activated, while harvesting at peak ripeness will offer a more numbing hazy effect. This is another area where it comes down to personal taste. To figure out where you stand on the matter, a good bet is to harvest some of your plants early and some late. That way you can decide for yourself which is a better fit for your style as a grower.
Watch the trichomes
There is a second method of identifying whether your plants are ready to be harvested or not, in case the pistil method isn’t quite working for you. The trichome method is actually considered the more accurate one, so read carefully for it to truly benefit your judgment around harvest time.
The concept is simple: you simply need to take a look at the trichomes on your plants’ buds to be able to establish whether or not they are ready for harvest. Trichomes are the growths that resemble mushrooms in shape. Some trichomes are known as resin glands, which have a crystalline structure or appear frosty as they grow on the leaves and buds of your plants. If you have ever noticed the stickiness of weed, this is also responsible for that texture.
The trichomes you need to be paying close attention to are the ones that have a little ball on top of them since that is where much of the THC and other fun chemicals are housed. The key is being able to determine when they are at their highest THC level, so when is the peak time for harvesting them. Since it’s difficult to see with the naked eye, you should use one of the magnifying tools listed above to get a closer look.
So when do you know that the trichomes are ready? You need to compare them with the following color and texture rules:
Clear, White Hairs This is definitely not the time to harvest. If the trichomes are clear, they won’t be potent enough for harvest, and your final yield will suffer because of it. You should wait until nearly half of the hairs are darker in color and are no longer sticking out so straight.
Half Clear or Cloudy Trichomes It is still rather early for a harvest. The buds have not reached their full-size potential, although they will still produce a high if you harvest them now. This type of high will most likely be more energetic or “speedy.” The strain’s odor will develop further if you wait to harvest.
Mostly Cloudy Trichomes Congratulations, you have reached the perfect stage for harvesting your buds! This is the point when they have the highest levels of THC, so if you want to maximize your yield outcome then you have to act fast. You will know your plants have reached this stage when 50 to 70 percent of the hairs have darkened from their original white color. Because of this peak amount of potency, the high that comes with the buds harvested at this time will give you some serious euphoria and will even relieve pain. This can be considered the most “intense” high you can get.
Amber and Cloudy Trichomes This is a bit later than the absolute peak time for the greatest amount of potency, but only because the buds have slightly less THC and more CBN. If you are looking for a more relaxing, anxiety-reducing high, then this could actually be the perfect time for you to harvest. This high is more narcotic and often results in a “couchlock” result. You will be able to identify this stage when 70 to 90 percent of all the hairs have darkened.
You can look even more into the effects of harvesting your buds slightly earlier and later, depending on the exact type of high you are looking for. You can even harvest some during the peak time and some later, giving you a variety of options. Just make sure to label correctly so you don’t find yourself extremely relaxed when you were looking for a more energetic effect.
How to harvest
When you’re ready to harvest, you’ll carefully cut off all the sticky buds from your plant so that you can finish the cultivation process that you started months ago. You’ll want a heavy duty shears or scissors to handle the thickness of the plant matter, and a dish of isopropyl alcohol on hand so that you can clean sticky resin off of your scissors and hands. You’re best off wearing gloves for the cutting process, it can get pretty gooey.
Take off any of the biggest leaves that don’t have any resin: you can dispose of these. Remove small leaves and leaves which are curled up around the buds. These will usually have a lot of resin, and if you’re being thrifty, you’ll want to keep them.
Then simply remove the remaining buds from the plant and continue with the drying process.
How to dry marijuana
Finally! You’re almost done with the cultivation process. You’ve got a bunch of buds sitting there, just waiting to be dried and processed. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet, though. The drying process is the most important part of making sure your Cannabis product has a good taste. It’s easy to ruin your product with poor practice, so dry your buds with care.
Right after you harvest, the plant matter will still be chock full of chlorophyll. Remember that you want as much chlorophyll as possible to be changed into glucose. It will taste bitter, and it definitely isn’t ready to be used. You still need to activate the tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in the plant. This only takes a few days of drying, but it’s absolutely vital that it’s done right if you want a smokable bud.
During the first phase of drying, you will need to make sure that your buds are drying out fairly slowly – between 4 and 10 days. The key thing to look out for, during this process, is preventing mold from developing while you are drying them.
It’s very important to put the same amount of care and effort into drying and curing your Cannabis buds that you did into growing them. This is where you can have the most control over what the plant actually tastes like. If the process isn’t done properly, you can easily ruin all of your hard work thus far. Right after you harvest the plant, it will still be full of chlorophyll, and activating the THC only takes a few days, so remember to stay patient until the whole project is complete. The light is at the end of the tunnel.
You’ll want to stop photosynthesis from occurring in the plant after you harvest, so put the buds in a cool dark location. This will prevent transpiration from occurring due to heat and light.
Hanging the buds upside down will help you trick the plant matter into thinking that it is still alive, as long as there is still circulation inside the plant tissue. The last thing the plant will do is use up the remaining chlorophyll in its cells as energy. You want the plant to dry relatively slowly because of this, so there is time for the plant to convert all of the chlorophyll into sugar. Don’t use fans or heaters to quicken the process.
The ideal temperature for drying is somewhere around 18 degrees Celsius. Keep the humidity moderately high, too (around 60%). Again, you don’t want the plant matter to dry out too quickly.
During this process, always remember to treat the buds gently and with care. All that sticky resin will stick to anything it touches, and will pick up dust, so don’t forget about the importance of the environment. Stay mindful!
Within a few days, the leaves of your Cannabis plants will have bent around the buds, curling up over them. Some growers advocate removing these leaves before drying the plant, but there are a number of disadvantages to doing this.
If the big leaves have been removed, the plant will have less mass and a smaller quantity of chlorophyll. Having less mass means it will dry more quickly. Again, just because you want the plant to dry doesn’t mean you want it to dry quickly.
When the leaves are present over the buds, moisture has to evaporate through them. In addition to slowing the evaporation process, this will help lower the risk of mold developing on the buds. Plus, it will help protect against dust and other negative factors.
After a couple weeks, the leaves will be totally dry, and the buds and stem should still be a little bit flexible (and likely very sticky). Keep handling them carefully so that you don’t lose any of the precious resin. If the plant matter has become brittle or easily crushed into powder, it’s too dry. The bud should be sticky and have a sweet fruity flavor.
Fast drying buds
If your final product is bitter, it’s very likely that it was dried too quickly. Keeping humidity up in the drying room will help prevent this. It’s important to remember this. Sometimes it can be tempting to use fans or ventilators or dehumidifiers to speed the process along, but you’ll only do yourself a disservice by doing this.
The one time you are ok using these extra tools is if the environment you’re drying is naturally too moist. Also, if you’re in desperate need of accelerating the drying process, you’re better off using a dehumidifier than a heater.
Throughout the drying process, make sure that you’re keeping a weather eye out for mold. Don’t let the plants touch or crowd each other during the drying process. If some of the buds are just too big to dry at the center, cut them up into smaller pieces and dry them on a sieve or filter which allows air to circulate.
How to cure cannabis
There are a number of reasons why you should cure the buds right after you’ve harvested them. There are even more (and more important reasons) for why you should make absolutely certain that you’re curing them the correctly.
Curing is the best way to make your buds taste good. It’s as simple as that. This is because curing them breaks down the chlorophyll. It allows the most subtle flavors that make your harvested buds taste unique to come out. The smoke itself will be smoother and less likely to cause you to cough or have a headache.
Curing even makes your buds smell better. Instead of smelling like fresh hay or newly cut grass (which is typical in buds that have just been harvested), they will have a more unique and enjoyable scent. They even will have a better smell and taste for turning into edibles, in case that is what you would like to use some of them for.
Enjoyment aside, curing your buds is useful from a purely practical perspective. When you cure your buds, they are less likely to develop mold. Their potency increases, giving you “more bang for your buck,” and the response to them will even be different – you probably won’t feel as anxious or paranoid, nor will you develop racing thoughts. All in all, curing your buds just makes them better.
If you are still not convinced, you should try it out for yourself. Smoke some weed that comes straight from the plant, then compare it to smoking a cured or dried version of the same harvest. You will certainly see a distinct difference, and this is all it will take to convince you.
How to store buds
The final step is safely storing your cannabis harvest after it’s been dried and cured and processed. Above all else, remember that it will keep longer if it isn’t exposed to oxygen, heat, or light.
Before you put the buds away and seal them, make sure that they haven’t gotten too dry. It should remain flexible, soft and supple. Without a little moisture, it will crumble into an unpleasant dust.
The best bet for storage is air-tight jars. Some growers favor vacuum sealing the end product in plastic, but the jars are sturdier and less susceptible to being torn open or letting pressure be applied to the plant matter itself.
Check the buds 24 hours after you first store them and make sure everything still looks and smells right. If it smells strange, let it air out. Repeat this step as many times as necessary until the cannabis has a pleasant smell, rather than smelling of leaves/freshly mowed lawn.
Using smaller jars will help the buds last longer since they won’t be exposed to as much oxygen over the long term. If you’re trying to maximize the amount of time you store the buds, you can also use a freezer.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible
For marijuana growers in the northern hemisphere August is the last chance to start an outdoor grow. Autoflower marijuana seeds are special seeds that grow within 10 weeks from seed to mature plant despite the light schedule. August and September are often very sunny months so your plants get plenty of light to create some big fat quality buds.
How to get a pound of cannabis in the next 10 weeks
Regular marijuana plants grow when they get 18 hours of light (summer) and flower when they get 12 hours of light (fall). As the amount of light starts to decrease the plant understands that winter is coming and starts to produce buds and seeds to reproduce. Marijuana is an annual plant that does not survive the winter.
Autoflowering marijuana plants start flowering immediately and also grow for only a month. This gives you a nice sized plant that can produce some quality buds. Because they create little side branches you can easily put a lot of plants close together. 10 plants in 4 gallon pots on 10 ft2 can produce a pound of marijuana. In just 10 weeks!
Make sure you order your autoflower marijuana seeds today from ilovegrowingmarijuana.com and surprise yourself and your friends with some nice home grown marijuana in only ten weeks. Autoflowers are available in the strains Amnesia Haze, White Widow, Super Skunk, Northern Lights, Blueberry and AK47. All beautiful Strains. This week we have a special offer on White Widow Feminized Autoflowers; all orders are doubled! So buy 10 seeds and get 20! Click here for the white widow offer
White Widow feminized autoflowers are one of the most popular strains because it is a very strong plant that is suitable for both beginners and advanced marijuana growers. The yields are always very high and of good quality. Also among medical users it is one of the most popular strains. The seeds will only produce female plants that will not focus on the creation of seeds for reproduction but only on the creation of THC.
1/2 cup marijuana butter (or margarine if vegan), melted
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs (egg-replacer or one cup applesauce if vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Marijuana-infused banana bread is loved by many. It is delicious, not overly rich and sweet.
The best way to make banana bread is to use cannabutter, however it can also be made using extremely finely ground Cannabis.
This recipe for the moistest marijuana banana bread that you’ve ever tasted. It’s also very easy to make! This recipe makes 1 – 9×5 inch loaf
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the melted marijuana butter and sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the marijuana butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Then cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.
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.
It is a product of many names: BHO, honey, erl, hash oil, honeycomb, honey toast, wax, shatter, glass, whip, comb, ‘tane, and more. As its popularity increases, more and more people are learning about butane hash oil (BHO) made from marijuana. There’s a reason it’s becoming so popular in recent years.
BHO sounds scary but can be extremely enjoyable when it is prepared correctly. Many people choose to make it themselves so they know exactly what is in it, and can rest assured that it was made safely.
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.
Because the popularity of growing marijuana is growing, in general, the amount of interest in using a greenhouse to grow marijuana is growing as well. There are plenty of advantages to growing marijuana in a greenhouse instead of a grow room, although it comes with its own fair share of drawbacks as well, of course. In this article, we will cover some background information on greenhouses as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using a greenhouse to grow your marijuana.
Why you should consider growing in a greenhouse
The beauty of using a greenhouse to grow your marijuana plants includes the removal of the tricky complexities of an indoor grow room setup. It is also considered by many to be superior to growing outdoors, as it is more secure yet also more consistent and predictable than growing marijuana plants outdoors. It takes the best parts of the natural elements and combines it with protection against the worst parts of the elements, making it the perfect situation especially for growers that are located in northern areas.
Although they heat themselves naturally to a certain extent, greenhouses can be heated further when necessary. If you are interested in having a marijuana growing operation to supply your recreational and/or medical marijuana needs, and a greenhouse is a feasible option for you, then you should definitely consider using it.
Marijuana that is grown in a greenhouse is particularly well-known for being more potent, so as long as you grow your marijuana from seed with strong genetics, you will find yourself with a very high-quality bud at the end of the growing season. This is precisely why more and more people are switching to greenhouse growing setups instead of indoor grow rooms or outdoor setups.
Outdoor or greenhouse? It is sometimes difficult for growers to decide whether they would like to grow their marijuana plants in an outdoor setup or from within a greenhouse. This is especially the case for people who have been growing their plants outdoors with a relatively “hands off” kind of care schedule. In other words, they let nature do its thing, and their marijuana plants generally are successful without too much grower interaction.
For these growers, buying and using a greenhouse may seem like a major commitment. Why do that when you could simply let the plants practically grow themselves? When considering this question, try and think about all the negatives that come with growing outdoors. Unexpected weather changes, exposure to pests and diseases, and the even more dangerous — human marijuana thieves — could all ruin your crop any year. Wouldn’t you like to ensure that your marijuana plants are successful this year?
When growing marijuana in a greenhouse, you are more likely to encounter pests like small insects rather than deer, rabbits, pets, and birds. This will already ensure the safety of your plants far more than if they were exposed outdoors.
A greenhouse is also safer, using the “hiding in plain sight” logic. You can easily have a thriving garden of other plants while intermixing marijuana plants in with them — no one will suspect or see a thing. If you are living in a more rural area, you could even get by with growing more than just a couple marijuana plants here and there among your “regular” plants. The key thing to think about in this situation is the smell, which will be stronger.
Greenhouse growing 101
Marijuana grown in a greenhouse can be set up in one of two ways. Either you will grow the plants in separate containers or pots, or you will plant them straight in the ground. There are pros and cons for both options, but ultimately it comes down to what fits best into your lifestyle.
If you choose the container route, you will enjoy the fact that it makes it easier to move the growing plants whenever necessary. This is particularly handy if you are frequently visited by people (who you likely shouldn’t share your growing operation with), as you can simply move the plants elsewhere so as not to attract attention. Another reason to move your container-grown plants might include extreme weather coming in.
If you decide to plant your marijuana directly into the ground, on the other hand, they will fare much better when they are left alone for a longer period of time (such as a week). Of course, this is only if the soil they are planted in is high quality; if not, replace the old, poor quality soil with better quality soil. A third option does exist for some particularly innovative greenhouse growers: hydroponics. People who have tried it in a greenhouse have had big success, making it a potentially good idea if it suits your lifestyle and experience.
No matter what you do with the following information, the most important piece of advice is this: buy high-quality marijuana seeds. It is worth the extra money to rest assured you are setting yourself up for a successful growing season. If you buy cheap, poor quality seeds instead, then you simply cannot achieve the same level of success, no matter how much effort and time you put into caring for your plants.
Additionally, be sure to plant these high-quality seeds in high-quality soil. This will give your plants the perfect boost at the very beginning of their lives to build a foundation for healthy growth up through the flowering phase. If you don’t have these two elements, your plant will never reach the monster size that greenhouse plants are well-known for.
The key is to think about each individual seed as an individual investment. Just a few seeds could actually feed your marijuana needs for an entire year if grown properly. When thinking about it like that, it provides the proper motivation to prioritize the needs and care of each seed as much as possible.
One of the best things about really intricate greenhouse growing setups is the fact that it can be highly automated. In other words, it can be much easier for the grower because they don’t need to do as much day-to-day care for their plants. One such automated system is a watering system that delivers water to the plants automatically, or with little effort on the grower’s part.
You may want to consider installing some automated systems of your own if you are the type of person who enjoys planning such things ahead of time, if you have a high enough budget for it, and if you don’t enjoy the daily tasks of marijuana plant care as much as the setting up process.
Security One good way to keep your marijuana plants safe from detection if the greenhouse is not located in an inconspicuous or private location is to paint the exterior with white shading paint. You can find this at a garden center, and it serves the dual purpose of preventing the greenhouse from getting far too hot on the warmest days during the summer. When you have a painted greenhouse, people will not be able to peer inside and identify what you are growing.
An additional idea for people who just want to grow one or a couple marijuana plants is to actually grow tomato plants and use green plastic plant mesh so that they can have a secret one or two marijuana plants growing in the corner or amongst the tomato plants.
Start growing earlier in the season To truly take advantage of growing your marijuana plants inside a greenhouse, try starting the growing season early this year. This is possible because greenhouses will get much warmer than the outside temperature once the sun comes out.
When you start the growing season earlier, you have more time for the vegetation phase of your marijuana plants. When you have more time for the vegetation phase, your marijuana plants will be bigger and stronger for the flowering phase. As a result, your harvest at the end will be much better.
The key to doing this successfully is not to allow the greenhouse to get too cold at night during the early part of the season. You can do this by installing greenhouse heaters, found at your local garden center, to be run during cold nights.
This ability to lengthen the growing season for marijuana plants is one big reason why and an increasing number of marijuana growers are opting to grow their plants in a greenhouse instead of an indoor or outdoor setup. These plants have the opportunity to grow far greater in size than their outdoor counterparts, assuming the seed genetics, soil, and other care aspects are sound.
Believe it or not, some growers have even opted to grow just one big plant in their greenhouse setup — and that plant gave them hundreds of grams of high-quality buds at the end of it. If the plant starts getting too out of control, it could actually start growing out through any open windows that might be in your greenhouse, and therefore steps need to be taken to “tame” the plant. This is best done via tying techniques.
It is a good problem to have, but growing gigantic marijuana plants is not necessarily an easy thing to deal with. Properly grown, fully maximized marijuana plants cultivated in a greenhouse will be tall and extremely bushy. This is particularly true if you have been giving your plants huge amount of space in the soil for their roots, good quality soil to begin with, land lots of sun. Make sure you are prepared for the “worst.”
Using a darkening system Many greenhouse growers will opt to use what is known as a “darkening” system which, when set up correctly, should be dark enough that there is a complete blackout within the greenhouse — even during the middle of a sunny afternoon. The point of installing a darkening system is to simulate shorter days and longer uninterrupted nights, thus spurring your marijuana plants into an early flowering phase.
This is an expensive addition, but it will certainly ensure that you acquire your weed much faster than if you waited for the natural sunlight conditions to change over the course of the season. The way to “trick” your plants into entering the flowering season early is to have 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of sunlight every day without fail. The darkness is the most important part of this process — you must not allow any light in at any point, even for an instant. After a couple weeks of this, you should start seeing signs of flowering.
Extending the end of the growing season A greenhouse can also be the perfect environment for manipulating the length of the end of your marijuana plants’ growing season. Many growers choose to use this to their advantage and lengthen the end of the growing season. The main reason why a greenhouse is beneficial in this way is that it keeps the air around the plants (in other words, the air inside the greenhouse) toasty warm when it is sunny while the colder temperatures of the fall are creeping in.
General good care for long term success If you are just looking to do your best by your marijuana plants, you are going to need to remember a few pieces of advice that will lead to happier and healthier marijuana plants year after year. First of all, make sure to add new, healthy, high-quality soil every new year of growing. Buying it once and reusing it over and over simply will not do.
Just like if you were growing in an indoor setup, make sure you keep your greenhouse as tidy as possible at all times. This will help keep things like pests and diseases at bay in case they do come in contact with your marijuana plants.
For the safety and security of both you and your plants, you could try using fencing that has been placed in strategic locations (keeping it as inconspicuous as possible) to keep people who shouldn’t be there away from your greenhouse. It will additionally help anyone discovering it accidentally simply by looking at or into your greenhouse, and that means better security for you.
If you are buying the greenhouse now, you can make a strategic decision about which type of greenhouse to purchase. Some of the newer polycarbonate greenhouses, for instance, are already opaque and often come with doors that have locks on them. This will keep both people and eyes away from your precious marijuana plants. You can buy any size or shape of greenhouse you like, and you will luckily find that they are relatively inexpensive.
If you are growing more than one or two marijuana plants, you are going to need to deal with the potent smell. It will be stronger with many marijuana plants packed into a greenhouse, and unlike an indoor marijuana setup, you cannot simply use a carbon filter to get rid of the smell because the humidity will be so much higher here. If it is really a problem, the only way to get rid of the small will be to extract it via an in-line ozone generator.
If you have decided on a greenhouse but aren’t sure where to go from there, rest assured that the next step is simple. You simply need to choose the type that you would like to invest in.
Is cheaper better? The short answer is no. When it comes to greenhouses, cheaper is not better. If you pay very little for a greenhouse that is inexpensive, flimsy, and portable, you will not have the best results you could. If the wind picks up, the greenhouse could actually fly away. If the heat on a summer afternoon is too much, it will absolutely roast your marijuana plants. Don’t try cutting costs in this way.
Attached greenhouses The most common type of attached greenhouses are lean-to greenhouses. Just like their name implies, lean-to greenhouses are greenhouses that lean up against the outside of your house or another building. These greenhouses are particularly efficient because they get any of the heat that leaks through the wall of your house, keeping your plants even warmer without any extra effort, and they are half the size of a normal greenhouse.
Lean-to greenhouses could be perfect for someone who does not have the lawn space for a full-sized free-standing greenhouse, or if you only want to grow a couple plants. They also have lower materials costs because one wall of the greenhouse already exists. One downfall with attached greenhouses is that they are limited in their position to where the wall of the structure is that they will be leaned up against.
Freestanding greenhouses Greenhouses that stand on their own generally come in the shape of an apex (such as a house). Their frames are often made of wood or aluminum, which brings up an important point: remember that the sun cannot shine through wood or aluminum, and therefore shade will be created. If the frame is particularly thick, there will be more shade in your greenhouse. More shade means less sunlight for many of your plants, so avoid really thick frames if you buy a free standing greenhouse.
Freestanding greenhouses, also known as detached greenhouses, have the major advantage of being able to be placed just about anywhere. They are not limited by a permanent structure like attached greenhouses are, meaning you can position them for optimal conditions. You will often hear free standing greenhouses referred to as A-frames or even-spans, given the fact that those designs are most often found on the market.
Connected greenhouses A connected greenhouse is one that includes multiple greenhouses that have been attached to each other. They work well for commercial operations so that one large space can be formed for many plants to grow. It maintains one controlled climate for temperature and other environmental elements, making the operation and energy and cost-efficient as possible.
Polytunnels Most commonly found in commercial farming, polytunnels can also be bought in a smaller size more suitable for domestic uses. Their frame is curved and made of aluminum, with a stretch of a polythene sheet draped over it so it is a solid form. This is one way of cutting the short-term costs of your greenhouse marijuana growing operation, as polytunnels are generally cheaper than other types of greenhouses. That being said, you will need to replace the polythene sheet once every three to five years.
Cold frames Serving as one of the smaller and more temporary counterparts to the other types of greenhouses, cold frames are climate-controlled and inexpensive, often made at home by the grower. It is formed by using a cheap plastic or wooden structure that is then covered with clear plastic or glass. If using glass, it should be thin plate glass; plastic should be thick so it doesn’t tear and can maintain the climate control. Cold frames are heated only by the sun — which makes them a worse choice for locations with unreliable or extreme weather.
Hotbeds If you add a heating system to a cold frame, it is now called a hotbed. Hotbeds, like cold frames, can be whatever size the grower wants them to be. Either it could be a large box that fits just one plant, or it could be a large structure that is big enough for the grower to walk and move around in. If you are looking to have a large, climate-controlled structure, however, it is often better to choose one of the above, more permanent and reliable options instead.
Sizing The second thing you need to think about is what size greenhouse you would like to go for. Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb to remember is always to get a size of a greenhouse that is one size larger than the one you originally wanted to purchase. It will help you have a little extra space to maneuver in, and it can be used to store equipment and other growing supplies if you have enough extra space.
Diffused or clear coverings or panels Another aspect to consider when purchasing your greenhouse is whether to get one with diffused or semi-diffused coverings or panels or if you should opt for clear panels instead. It is usually a good idea to choose diffused or at least semi-diffused, despite what you might think is common sense.
Clear paneling allows more direct sunlight to hit your plants, a fact that is of particular importance in their earliest and most vulnerable stages of life. However, it will also keep your greenhouse a bit warmer than diffused paneling. Still, it is better to choose diffused or semi-diffused. This is because light that is being diffused is less likely to be competed for amongst the plants when they are older, and will keep any hot spots from starting to develop within your greenhouse. It will help even out the light that is hitting your plants, thus encouraging even growth, and will help your yield have a higher average yield.
Don’t forget: ventilation in the greenhouse One of the toughest aspects of greenhouse marijuana growing is keeping the temperature at a steady and healthy level. This is especially true for those who have never done any type of greenhouse growing before, as the temperature is completely different from an indoor marijuana grow setup or an outdoor grow area.
The key is to keep your greenhouse warm when the weather is cool, and cooler when the weather is too warm. When you are deciding on a greenhouse, you should, therefore, think long and hard about ventilation. Essentially there need to be vents in the glazing if you want to keep a healthy growing environment for your marijuana plants.
Measure the vents and take the combined area of all of them. If this is not equal or greater than one-fifth of the area of the greenhouse floor, you are going to need to get more vents. It is very important to maintain the entering and extraction of air in your greenhouse, or else your plants will be absolutely overheated during the hot days. An ideal greenhouse would include vents at the top (for air to leave the greenhouse) as well as at the bottom of the structure (for air to enter the greenhouse from outside).
You can have manually operated vents as well as automatic vent openers, the latter of which will provide you with a better growing experience. It is a relatively simple device with wax inside of it that expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold. This causes the vent to open and close according to the appropriate temperatures. It will let you rest assured that your greenhouse will remain the proper temperature, even without you running back and forth to open and close all the vents.
Exhaust fans are also a possibility for certain types of greenhouses, allowing for an added layer of heat defense.
There are plenty of environmental aspects you should consider when deciding where to place your greenhouse. In an optimum environment, your greenhouse will sit in a place that allows your plants to be hit with between five and seven hours of direct sunlight every day. This is best achieved by facing the greenhouse southwards. Generally speaking, more direct sunlight equals a higher yield, so think about this part carefully.
Additionally, direct sunlight as early as possible in the morning has an added benefit: it helps prevent mold from developing. In the morning, dew can easily get trapped in your marijuana plants’ buds, causing a buildup and then the formation of mold over the course of several days or weeks. If you have direct sunlight early in the morning, however, it will help keep these moisture levels down to a minimum — but of course, this needs to be combined with proper greenhouse ventilation.
Now, the actual growing part of the greenhouse marijuana setup. You will need to choose an appropriate strain, (depending on your location and climate), gather your top quality soil, and your setup is complete.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, your seeds will need to be sown in April. This allows them to be moved to your greenhouse by the middle of May. Begin growing them indoors with a propagation light, and move them outside for several hours per day to help get them used to direct sunlight. This works similarly to a person tanning in preparation for a sunny vacation, or a mountaineer doing small, high-altitude hikes in preparation for climbing a mountain with minimal negative impact.
You can expect your plants to be in their vegetation stage throughout May and June, and will start entering the flowering phase after the longest day of the year has passed. This is because the sunlight will decrease every day, and when the plant “notices” this it begins to flower in an attempt to fertilize and produce seeds.
You can expect your marijuana plants to flower for eight or twelve weeks (unless you have applied a method of lengthening or shortening one of the lifecycle phases). In other words, the harvest time will roll around between the end of September or beginning of October and the beginning of November.
Accounting for the weather If you have a climate similar to England (less sunlight, more rain), then you may want to look into buying autoflowering marijuana seeds rather than regular photoperiod ones. In case you are not already familiar with autoflowering plants, they are the type that begin flowering after a certain amount of time has passed rather than once the light conditions change in a certain way.
Autoflowering marijuana plants for climates like these are particularly useful when grown in a greenhouse. Simply choose a time when the weather is warm enough, grow them for 60 or 90 days (depending on the variety you purchased), and rest assured that they will flower properly. That being said, you can expect smaller plants. But of course, with a tricky climate like that, you couldn’t expect monster buds in the end anyway.
An additional benefit of growing autoflowering marijuana plants in a greenhouse is that, due to their shorter life cycle, you could actually get in more than one harvest during a growing season. If timed correctly, you could harvest once mid-summer and once a the normal harvest season — or perhaps you are particularly ambitious and want to try for three harvests. In this way, your greater number of harvests can make up for the smaller plants and yield.
Adding extra lighting Greenhouse lighting is considered any kind of lighting that comes from a source other than the sun. Generally speaking, this lighting is going to look similar to an indoor grow room setup. Your greenhouse may or may not need supplemental lighting, so it is important to understand the potential reasons for installing it.
First of all, extra lighting can prove useful if you need to have a longer period of sunlight for certain plants (i.e. seedlings or clones), or to keep a group of plants from flowering quite yet when the natural sunlight has gone down to a short enough time that it would naturally flower otherwise. If you are adding extra lighting due to the former, you will also need to be able to create a partition between the plants you want to give the extra light to and the plants that are continuing with the natural sunlight growth.
Another reason to add extra lighting is if you are growing marijuana plants during the off-season when the natural light (such as the short winter sunlight) will not be adequate to complete a growing cycle. The more growing cycles you can get out of a year and a greenhouse, the more harvests you will get. And that, of course, means that your pricey investments (including the cost of the extra lights, not to mention the greenhouse itself) will pay off in a shorter amount of time.
If you want to add lighting to your greenhouse setup, you should try hanging HID lights over your marijuana plants. When the sunlight has dropped below 10 hours per day, begin using the HID lights so that your marijuana plants can get their 12 total hours of light per day.
Because you are growing in a greenhouse, you are doing the more economical and efficient method of growing during the winter. This is because you are utilizing whatever sun does exist in the winter, and that means keeping your lights powered down for longer amounts of time every day. The less you use your lamps, the lower your energy costs (and bulb replacement costs) are going to be. Using that logic, it’s hard to understand why more people aren’t growing marijuana in greenhouses throughout the winter.
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