Auto flowering Cannabis strains don´t require a switch in daylight times, so you don´t need to change the light cycle from 18 hours per day to 12 hours. The auto flowering strains are all breeds which contain Cannabis Ruderalis genetics. Many growers criticize that the plants remain small, most auto-flowering strains don´t even reach 1 meter and through that have a low yield. But it has to be said that the plants are ready to harvest very quickly, you can get your Cannabis ready in 2 to 3 months. They are also perfectly suited for indoor and outdoor. When grown outdoor you can bring the small plants out late, to catch the time of the summer with the highest amount of daylight. And you always can be sure you get your harvest before days might become cold.
Germination of the Auto-flowering Cannabis seeds
The germination is done like with any other Cannabis seeds. Take a plate and put a wet paper or cloth on it, now spread the seeds over it and cover all with another wet paper or cloth. Be sure all is covered well and than take another plate you put on the other one upside down. The first seeds could germinate within the first 24 hours, so keep checking for open seeds often, but it also can take several days until all are open. If the small seedlings reached a size of a few mm, quickly plant them in small flower pots. Therefore just fill them with soil, make a hole in the middle that is around 5 mm deep and place the seedling in it. Carefully cover it with soil. After a few days your seedlings are already small plants.
Handling of the small plants
Now hurry and place them into your grow room or take them outside to your growing spot. The vegetation period is quite short and therefore they should grow as much as they can. The vegetation period is often only 2 to 3 weeks long and than the plants start the flowering period themselves.
The vegetation period of Auto-flowering Cannabis
As said, the vegetation period is very short, so ensure good light, no matter if indoor or outdoor. You should also fertilize your plants, following a strict plan, so that you have the chance to get the maximum size. Depending on your strain, the plants will have a height of 30 to 100 cm when the flowering period begins.
As with all grows, keep watering them so that the soil is always wet and don´t forget to spray water on them daily.
The flowering period of Auto-flowering Cannabis
As soon as it starts, keep track of the gender, so you can sort the males out quickly, this time you don´t have a pre-mature state for an early selection. Additional when you grow indoors, you don´t have to switch from 18 hours light to 12 hours, but you still have to switch the lamps. Because only that the flowering period starts by itself, they got the same needs as regular Cannabis. So the different light spectrum is essential to get a good yield. Also switch to fertilizers suited for the flowering period. As before, keep the soil wet and spray water on your plants daily.
Another major difference is, that you don´t have to give them 12 hours light per day, you can keep giving full light for 18 hours a day. Some growers even experiment with more extreme methods and give full flowering light for 24 hours, 7 days a week. That way you can get a really large bud with a large amount of resin. So that the yield per plant measured on its size and growing duration is still excellent.
Preparation of the harvest
Stop fertilizing at least one week before the harvest. Regular you can also stop fertilizing 2 weeks before the harvest, but here time is very limited and therefore every day without fertilizer could mean a loss in yield and quality. Continue watering your plants and spraying them with water. With other strains you would be advised to stop watering 2 days before the harvest, but again time is yield and quality, you can not give these 2 days away. So keep watering until the last day before the harvest. But you still could turn out the lights 2 days before the harvest, so that your buds get a small booster at the end.
Getting more harvests per year
If you are not using feminized auto-flowering cannabis seeds, you should choose one male and one female plant to produce seeds. So you can harvest a large amount of seeds within 2 to 3 months, that way you can make it possible to gather several harvests per year. Even in colder regions of the northern hemisphere you might get up to 3 harvests per year, while other strains only give a chance to one harvest. That is because they are only flowering when the daylight times become shorter and with auto-flowering seeds you live without that problem.
There are tons of fertilizers out there, specially made up for the needs of cannabis plants. But they are not only available as nutrients for Cannabis but they can be used for other kinds of plants. It depends on the method you are choosing what fertilizers are made for your grow. There is a huge difference between them, because there is a huge difference between regular soil, hydro culture, cocoa substrate and similar. A few of them are also set up to fit for all cannabis growing techniques. But it might be better to choose a set of fertilizers specially made for your technique.
Just keep in mind, soil offers are wide range of nutrients already, while there are no ready to use nutrients in hydro cultures. So the cannabis hydro culture needs more nutrients and another relation of them.
Some fertilizers come in 6 up to 12 different packs, so that you can always ensure the best nutrients and the best relation of them for your cannabis plants. Since fertilizing can be so complicated, the packs with the various fertilizers are normally delivered with a schematic when to use which of them.
For example right after the germination of your cannabis seeds you give enhancers for the root growth, the fertilizer has instructions in the manual how much you have to use per liter of water.
Some fertilizers add another one during the second week, to not only enhance the growth of the cannabis plant roots, but also already enhancing the plant growth.
And so it goes on during the cannabis vegetation period and the cannabis flowering period, most fertilizers fully stop 1 or 2 weeks before the harvest. Of course the root growth hormone is regular only given when the cannabis plant is small, but especially during the early and mid flowering stages it can be possible that you add up to 4 different fertilizers at once.
When you want to make a decision for a fertilizer, be sure the time frame on the fertilizer fits to the times given to your cannabis strain. Cause many fertilizers have a 8 weeks cycle in their manuals and it will become difficult for you to adjust it properly when you got a cannabis strain with 12 or more weeks.
If you can´t follow the instructions of the fertilizer properly, it can easily happen that you give your cannabis plants too many fertilizers. That can be the death of your grow, as fertilizers are highly concentrated nutrients and could even burn the cannabis plant roots.
But there are also some natural ways to boost your plant growth, neem oil to keep off vermin or horse dung instead of artificial fertilizers. So for a natural fertilizing you can use similar methods you´ve seen in the professional agriculture. Some growers replant their Cannabis plants several times and not only once after the seedling reached the right size to be planted in its final sized pot. So they can replace the soil several times and so ensuring a natural way of high nutrient content. Additionally mixing dung into the soil is the replacement for the fertilizers.
But be aware, natural fertilizing also raises the risk of vermin and other bad stuff to reach your cannabis plants. So in the point of safety, the chemical way is by far better. If you have to keep your purse in mind, than of course the natural way is much cheaper, cause in most cases you don´t have to pay anything at all. Artificial fertilizers can easily cost a small fortune, if you buy a complete set of fertilizers for all stages, than you can quickly spend several hundred Euros. Sure it also depends on the amount of fertilizer within each pack or bottle.
Using the correct fertilizer at the right time is necessary for optimal results on your cannabis growing!
There are many different techniques to harvest, cut and dry your Cannabis plants. But the problem is that the drying process and how your harvest also has a big influence on the later quality of your weed. First you have to prepare your plants for the harvest in the last days of the Cannabis flowering period. The next step is the harvest and how to cut your plants to prepare them for the drying process. The last step is the drying itself; even here mistakes can be fatal.
Preparing your Cannabis plants for the harvest
As written in the previous posts about growing cannabis, you should stop fertilizing and spraying neem oil 2 weeks before the harvest. Just keep watering your plants and keep spraying water on your plants daily. Stop watering your cannabis plants 2 days before the harvest, as this will speed up the drying progress and so lowering the risk of mold during the drying. You can also turn OFF the light during the last 2 days, as this gives the final touch to the resin production and can greatly enhance the quality of your Cannabis flowers!
The harvest of your Cannabis plants
Here there are several methods available, commercial cannabis growers who have a really large amount of plants, often just cut of the buds and than start drying them. But this way you don´t get the best out of your plants, instead you minimize your chance to further enhance the quality of your Cannabis Buds. Especially when it comes to the taste and smell of the weed.
To get the best out of your weed, you should harvest one cannabis plant after the other. Cut the plant off just a few cm above the soil, now take away the big leaves of the plant, but be sure to also rip off the stems of the leaves. The leaves will just soak up energy of the plant, which otherwise would go directly into your bud. You have now the choice to keep the plants how they are and hang them upside down in your dark and dry room or wardrobe for drying.
But you can also continue to take away the cannabis plant leaves, since the big leaves are gone now, take some scissors and cut away the small and medium sized leaves. Finally you can also take small scissors to even cut away the leaves on the buds. When your cannabis plant is finally free of leaves, hang them upside down in your drying room.
Some growers also decide to cut away the larger branches to make the handling easier, but that won´t make a big change in your weed quality.
The drying phase of your Cannabis Buds
This is the process where the smell and taste gains it last touch and the decision is felt if you have a nice and tasty weed or an average street dope.
Commercial growers again go for the quick way, as speed is most essential to get the space free for starting the new grow phase in their cannabis plantation! So the cut off buds are just dried in a room with very low humidity and high temperatures. But this way your plants don´t have the chance to transform the last nutrients into taste, smell and resin.
It is better to hang your cannabis plants which are free of the big leaves or all leaves in a row and upside down, but be careful that they don´t touch each other and they got some space between each other. Otherwise you risk that mold is ruin your harvest during that final step on your cannabis plantation. Humidity shouldn´t be too high and proper ventilation should be ensured. Average room temperature will do nicely, under these conditions it will take around 2 weeks until your cannabis plant is dried and ready to use.
Oh one last thing, the room should be dark, so that really no energy and nutrients are used anymore for the photosynthesis. That way everything goes into the buds, forming a thick, dense, tasty and nice smelling cannabis of high quality.
How to be sure when the cannabis buds are ready to use?
That can be done if you try to snap the stems. If the stems from the buds easily snap, your cannabis buds should be ready to smoke. If they are still elastic and bend instead of snapping, than your cannabis plant still needs some more time to dry.
Light is one of the most important things we have on earth, some say water is the most important thing, but without light, there wouldn´t be liquid water on earth. So what is more important, light or water? Well, that´s like the question, what existed first, the hen or the egg?
We humans also need sunlight, without it our body wouldn´t be able to build vitamin D. For cannabis plants it is even more essential, as they need sunlight for the photosynthesis, that’s just the word for the ability of the plant to build Chlorophyll and thus be able to suck out nutrients out of the soil.
If you had been reading our blog about “how to grow cannabis” or at least some of its postings, than you already know that you will need different lights for your cannabis plants, depending if they are in the vegetation period or in the flowering period. Here you will find the explanation why the number of Watt is not the most important factor for lamps, as it doesn´t tell you how much of its light can be used from the cannabis plants.
You will also find out what is behind measurement unit PAR and what nanometers are. For sure you will also know than everything else you need to know about light and how plants can use it. And finally you will also achieve the information what kind of lamps you should use for your indoor cannabis growbox or growroom.
What are phase wavelength, PAR and nanometers?
The spectrum of light has a range from ultraviolet to infrared. The phase wavelength is always measured in nanometers; the shortcut for nanometers is nm.
But for plants, including Cannabis, not every phase wavelength is useable. Plants for the photosynthesis can use everything between 400 and 700 nm only.
That brings us to the measurement unit PAR, it is the unit that tells you how much of the light is useable for the photosynthesis.
It sounds complicated now, but it isn´t. Just keep in mind, nm tells you the wavelength and that only 400 to 700 is useable and PAR fits it together, so that you don´t have to count around.
PAR also stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation.
Why doesn’t a high Watt amount mean better light?
As you can see above, Watt just tells you how much power the lamp uses to produce light. But just because the light is stronger, it doesn´t mean that it produces more light that can be used for the photosynthesis.
Now you should know what to look out for, for a high PAR-Watt number, as this is the amount of power that fuels your cannabis.
What light to use for the cannabis vegetation period?
For sure you should use neon lights for the “Cannabis Vegetation Period”, they need not much power, don´t cost much money when you buy them and they have a low heat production. But watch out to not just buy any neon light from the home improvement store, because they got a wrong light spectrum in most cases it is under 300 nm.
The best idea is to check what´s in stock in a head- and growshop, so you can be sure that the material offered is in the right nm area for your cannabis plant growth. For each square meter of grow room, you will need around 2 neon lights. Neon lights can be bought for just a few Euros; if you need also the fixture it costs a bit more. But in total you will be at around 90€ per square meter.
What light to use for the cannabis flowering period?
A HPS sodium vapor lamp is required for this period. Modern sodium vapor lamps even offer the ability to switch between the light spectrums and therefore can be used for both cannabis growing periods. But that can be expensive, as they need really much power to run. Another problem is the heat they produce, because this makes a large space between the cannabis plants and lamp necessary. Since you got not much space in your grow box, you should maybe check for a cooling system, so that your cannabis can grow closer to the lamp without being burned. You can find here more information about the “Cannabis Flowering Period”.
Are there alternatives to these lamps to grow cannabis?
There are not much alternatives, you could use energy saving lamps for the cannabis vegetation period. But they are not suited perfectly, so they are only the perfect option for the first third to half of the vegetation period. It can be said you can forget about them, as your neon lights already don´t use that much energy.
A way better and newer method is the usage of LEDs for growing cannabis; they are now also available with a light spectrum that fits to the photosynthesis. The problem is that LEDs are very expensive, but since electricity becomes more and more expensive, it is worth to think about it. But be careful to find a long lasting and good quality, because LEDs are always expensive, yet not always of good quality. The growing LEDs are only a few years old and therefore the producers are still gathering information to make high quality grow LEDs.
Now you understand a bit more about the lights used to grow cannabis at home! Seriously, is not that difficult to grow great cannabis flowers in your house for your own personal or medicinal use!
Outdoor growing has to be separated into several steps as well; in that chapter it is not about growing a few plants in flowerpots on the balcony, it is about growing larger amounts of cannabis plants outside. That kind of growing is also known as guerilla growing. It is a highly cost efficient way of growing, with the risk to loose some plants cause the growing placed had been spotted.
First you have to search for a good place, a place that is invisible to other people, where sunlight can reach the cannabis plants the whole time and where other people can´t smell it. The next step is to choose the strain, germinate the cannabis seeds at home and grow the seedlings to small plants and get them ready to be brought outside. Ensure the soil at your spot is prepared and in good condition for your cannabis plants. Take care for your plants and many more will be explained here, step by step to make it easy for you to get started.
Finding the right spot
The right spot is as said a place where nobody can see your cannabis plants, also it is far away enough from places or ways where many people come across, so that smell can´t cause trouble. It also offers sunlight from all directions, all the time. In many cases these are forest glades or some even choose to make “holes” in cornfields, so they cut away the corn, to make place for their plants. Corn suites quite well, as it grows high, but be careful that the corn harvest is not earlier than your own.
Also your spot should be easy and fast to reach for yourself, because you have to look after your cannabis plants from time to time. And not only look after them, you also might have to bring water, fertilizers, pesticides and more to them. So if the spot is difficult to reach or far away, you will reach the border of what is possible for you to carry.
The right time to start your grow
In colder regions of the northern hemisphere like Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, France and similar, you have to pass the right time to bring out your plants and use the summer to the fullest. For you there will be only one chance per year for a harvest, so do this properly. Depending on your cannabis strain you have to take out your small plants during the end of April until the beginning of June, your harvest will than be ready during September and October. That means a good time to choose your strain and start germinating the cannabis seeds is at the end of April, so that your plants are ready to be taken outside within May.
Choose your Cannabis strain
Depending on your spot, you should choose a smaller or taller cannabis strain. If you have forest glades you can pick tall strains, no matter if they grow as high as 4 meters, the trees in forests are regular much larger and therefore hiding plants of all sizes. A cornfield on the opposite is somewhat more limited in its ability to hide plants, so you maybe shouldn´t choose cannabis strains which don´t grow higher than 1,80 to 2 meters. Additional keep track of the time when the crop of corn is done, so that you pick a strain that finishes flowering early enough to be ready before the corn. In forest glades that is also not a problem. Additionally you should check that your cannabis strain is really an outdoor strain or your plants will most likely not survive the climate.
Germinate you Cannabis Seeds
Some people just throw their Cannabis seeds over their growing spot, but that isn´t the best idea, it doesn´t give you the chance to pick out the male plants nicely, you will loose many seeds cause they don´t germinate or are eaten by animals, distance between plants is not perfect so that they bother each other during the grow and so on. The best idea is to germinate the cannabis seeds at home, plant the germinated seeds into small flowerpots and let them grow to a small plant. The small plants are than ready for outdoor cannabis growing, as they can prevail much better against vermin, mushrooms, animals and threats through days with bad weather. See our entry “Cannabis Seeds Germination” for more information about germinating the seeds, handling the seedlings and how to time everything properly.
Preparing your growing spot
Cannabis requires a fluffily soil without pollution. That means you have to loosen the soil, especially when you are growing cannabis in a forest glade. The soil here can be pretty tight and not the stuff Cannabis loves. Also some areas of forests are often polluted through people who get rid of their trash, you will be surprised, and you can find there everything, from old syringes over car tires up to washing machines. So it can be possible that small areas of the forest are polluted with old oil and similar, these pollutions have to be avoided. The best way is to bring fresh flower soil with you and prepare a nice thick layer of it for your cannabis plants. For sure it won´t be thick enough for the plants during all growing periods and the roots will dig through it quickly, but it gives you the guarantee that your plants have the best soil during the first weeks. After the first weeks the plants are already quite big and aren´t very fragile anymore. The preparation of the growing spot can be done a few days before bringing the small plants to it.
Bringing out the young plants
The cannabis plants are just taken out of their flowerpots and placed in the soil; if possible watering with fertilizers is a good idea. But most important is to have a solution with neem oil ready, that solution is sprayed all over your plants. Neem oil is a natural protection against most vermin and without it you will quickly end up in trouble. The neem oil solution is sprayed on the plants every 2 to 3 weeks. When you already got trouble with vermin, they are sprayed with it every 10 days.
Taking care about your growth
As said before, spray your plants every 2 to 3 weeks with neem oil. Also fertilize your plants properly, see that you use the right fertilizer during the growing period and the right one during the flowering period. Come back to your plants every second or third day, look out for vermin and other stuff that might harm your plants. Check your plants for signs of pre-maturing, so that you can take away the male cannabis plants early. Keep an eye on the soil, if it seems dry, you have to bring water to water your plants. Don´t spray water or a neem oil solution on your plants during full sunlight, as the water drops can work like a magnifying glass and burn the leaves.
The cannabis flowering period begins
If it starts, you have to switch the fertilizer, but keep in mind to stop fertilizing around 2 weeks before the harvest. Otherwise fertilizer residues can ruin the taste of your weed. Come back daily to spray all your plants with water, to ensure a good final growth and to get rid of the last fertilizer. You should also stop spaying neem oil around 3 to 4 weeks before the harvest, it is not really dangerous for your health, but it will also adulterate the taste of your weed in a very negative way. Keep checking that the soil is always wet, that is very important during the flowering period, as a low water supply can slow down the production of the buds and the resin. Stop watering your cannabis plants completely 2 to 3 days before you harvest, that speeds up drying and won´t affect the quality.
Indoor growing of Cannabis has to be spread into several steps. First you need to buy a grow box or build it yourself. When you got your grow box ready, including lamps, ventilation system and so on, you also have to decide which strain or strains you want to grow. The next step is the germination of the cannabis seeds, the handling of the seedlings and when to put them in the grow room. Now it is time for the vegetation period where your plants start to grow big, keep an eye open for the pre-maturing to see when you can sort out the males and also to know when you can send them into the flowering period. When the flowering period begins you have to change the light, the fertilizers you use and so on. During the flowering period you have to pass the right moment to harvest and earn something for your hard work. During the vegetation period you can also make cuttings to shorten the time until your next crop. Except you want to grow another cannabis strain, than you have to start from seeds again or get cuttings from other growers. Let´s start with a step-by-step guide.
The Cannabis Growbox | Growroom
Depending in which size you want to grow cannabis, you can choose to make a whole grow room to get large yields or you make a grow box (cupboard size). The grow box is the most popular way of indoor growing. Most people just grow Cannabis for their own use and for a few friends or just to get in their costs and also always have something to smoke.
For a grow room it would be required to make sure the humidity can´t damage the walls, that also means that mold don´t has a chance to attack the walls. That would be bad for your home and the mold otherwise also could be bad for your plants. That means the room should be tiled, since most people don´t have such a room, it is necessary to seal the ceiling, the walls and the floor with a strong foil or similar. Another thing you have to prepare is the ability for water that falls down to the floor, to get away. Depending on the size of the room, it might become necessary to have separated water tank in it, or you have to carry all water in it every day. A water tank can hold water for several days and can be filled with a garden hose.
Ventilation could be done through a window, but that is critical, since temperature and humidity can be lost fast and has to be replaced with the use of much power. Lamps have to be chosen depending on the size.
The grow box is normally build with a frame of aluminum tubes, covered with a light, air and water tight material. The average height of these boxes are 2 meters and come with various square meters, depending on how much space you got or how much you want to grow. To build it yourself, you just need a few planks from the home improvement shop, a water proof foil and an electric screw driver. For each square meter you need 2 plant growth neon lamps for the growing period, a 400 watt sodium vapor lamp, a ventilation system, a charcoal filter, a thermometer, a hygrometer, one or two time switchers, stripes or a device for measuring the ph levels and also stripes or a device to measure nutrition.
Of course you need small flowerpots for the germination and large pots for the growing and flowering period. As soil you can use average plant/flower soil.
Getting the Right Cannabis Seeds
It is important to not pick a cannabis strain that produces to large plants, as your space is limited. When using a grow box you only got 2 meters, where you have to take away space for the lamps and additional space from the lamps to the plants. Especially during the flowering period you use lamps, which produce enormous heat and so they could easily burn the plants. For a 2 meter high grow box your cannabis plants shouldn´t grow higher than 1,50 meters.
Also choose wisely how much you think you can handle, as beginner you also should choose a strain that is labeled or known as beginner cannabis strain. But if you want better and more complicated strains, cause of higher quality, pick a quick flowering strain at the beginning. A good choice for a beginner could be the strain called "Cannabis Top 44”, as it starts flowering within 44 days and you quickly done your first grow and got enough experience for a strain with better quality.
Germination of Cannabis Seeds and Handling of the Seedlings
See our entry “Cannabis Seeds Germination” to find a full detailed instruction how to get your seed to a seedling and the seedling to a ready to grow Cannabis plant.
Vegetation Period of the Cannabis Plants
When you replanted your cannabis plants into their final sized flowerpots, they are ready for your grow box. First you have to use the neon lights, they can be hung close to the plants, as they do not produce much heat, your plants are safe and won´t burn. A few cm between plants and neon lights are enough. The cannabis plants require 18 days of light per day. The humidity in the grow box should be 50 to 60%, keep watering the plants every day, so that the soil is always wet and never dries out. Don´t forget to spray water on them every day, as this enhances the growth and ensures a good water supply. Another important thing is fertilizing, indoor growing requires additional fertilizing as the soil in the nature has much more nutrients to offer and supply of nutrients never ends. But in the flowerpot they soil is sucked out and there is no way of natural nutrients supply, so it is up to you to do this. But see that you take the right fertilizer for the vegetation period, because the plants want different relations of nutrients during the vegetation and flowering period.
Flowering Period of the Cannabis Plants
Be sure to keep your eyes open for pre-maturing, as you have to get rid off the male cannabis plants as soon as possible and this is your only chance to get them early. Additional it is the sign that your plants are ready to be send in the flowering period. If they already reached the limits of your grow box, it is time to take out the neon lamps and put in the sodium vapor lamp. But be careful when hanging in the lamp, as you risk burning your plants if the lamp is too close to them. Now you also only give 12 hours of light per day.
If you had pre-mature plants but still space left in the grow box, you can keep them growing for another couple of days up to a week.
Don´t forget to switch the fertilizer you are using, as your plants now need other nutrients than in the growing period. Depending on the cannabis strain, the flowering period varies; common are 5 to 8 weeks. During week one the changes are only small, the second week will show larger changes and you should do a final check to sort out the male plants. After around 5 to 6 weeks the first hairs become brown, but the plants aren´t ready to harvest yet, it is just the final phase during the flowering period. Watch out for bud mold as it is the phase where the buds become dense and thick and so become fragile to it.
Preparing the Cannabis Plants for the Harvest
Stop fertilizing your cannabis plants 1 to 2 weeks before harvesting, as you don´t want residues of the fertilizer in your plants. Spray them with water every day, so that they can fully use all rests of nutrients and to wash away possible fertilizer residues. Completely stop watering your plants 2 days before harvesting, as this will speed up the drying process and won´t lower your yield or quality of your buds. You could also turn off the lights the last 2 days to enhance resin production.
We hope that with this article we were able to teach you more about how to grow cannabis indoor. Enjoy your buds!
Cannabis growing can be difficult and easy at the same time, also it depends on how much money you want to invest or you can invest. Outdoor growers always have to calculate, that other people could their spot growing places. And so loose all their plants in that location. On the opposite indoor growers have high costs and if they are spotted, there is no way to avoid that they are connected with the cannabis plants. Another important fact is of course the region where you live and if outdoor is an option at all. The next question is the amount you want to achieve per harvest, is it only for personal usage or in large quantities, if only for personal use, is it for occasional usage or for daily use?
Most growers have to ask this question to them before starting to grow.
All these questions have to be answered before starting to grow cannabis. But if you are in no hurry, it can be a good idea to first start with one or two plants you keep on the balcony. That way you can experiment with different techniques for different grow periods; also you get a feeling for the whole thing. Also one or two plants on the balcony do not produce large costs and don´t need you to invest a fortune. One further important thing is that one or two plants are no big deal if you get busted, in most countries the plants are just taken away and get destroyed. In some others you are charged depending on the amount the plants currently represent, so you have to pay money. Only in very few countries you get hard penalties like prison for such a small amount.
Let´s try to put all questions in order and let´s take a look at the indoor and outdoor cannabis growing techniques to find out what is right for you.
What environment has your location to offer?
That is the first question to ask, to determine if outdoor growing is an option at all. If you live in an area where most days are sunny and there is no real hard winter at all, than it is for sure absolutely no problem. If you live in regions where winters can be hard and sunny days are limited, like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and similar, than you can only make one time the cannabis outdoor grow season per year. Further you have to bring out your small plants between the end of April to the beginning of June. Depending on the used strain, they are ready to harvest after 4-5 months. So they are ready around September or October.
Does your location offer a good spot for growing?
Important facts about Cannabis are the smell, the visibility and the soil. You need a spot where other people can´t see it, but where they still get full sunlight, often used are forest glades. So it is important that it is a bit of the regular ways and streets, to avoid unwanted guests. But also it should be fast to reach, so that you don´t travel an hour yourself to get their. The distance to other people is also important because the smell can become really a problem and depending on the direction of the wind, it could be blown to people you don´t want to know about. Next to check is the soil, cannabis requires a fluffily soil without much pollution. Or you have to bring your own soil with you. That means you have to carry a quite large amount of potting soil to your growing spot.
That brings up the next thing to check, it might become necessary to water your plants, if there is not enough rain during the hot summer days. So be sure to be able to reach your plants quite easily.
What is more important to you, Cannabis quality or quantity?
If you want the highest quality possible, than you should choose indoor growing, as you can control everything and every day. Outdoor you are committed to the natural weather. But that doesn´t mean outdoor Cannabis is always low quality, it just means that the high end quality is made indoor. Some outdoor cannabis strains are also made for large yields and can produce extraordinary large amounts of good weed. For example there are cannabis strains where plants can grow as high as 4 meters and can build up to 2,5 kg of buds per plant! So for a large quantity, outdoor will be your option.
What´s your desired yield?
Do you only want a small amount of cannabis because you smoke a joint from time to time? Or do you need larger amounts for you and your friends for daily usage? Or do you want to make the big money with big amounts of weed?
For large amounts, worth selling, the outdoor growing is the best choice, as it offers low costs and large amounts of weed. If you want to grow enough to bring in your costs and also always have something ready for yourself, than indoor is the better choice. Because here you can decide which strain to use and therefore how much time has to pass from yield to yield. Additional you can harvest you cannabis plants several times a year and not only once.
Is your home suited for Cannabis indoor growing?
And here we are at the most important questions for indoor cannabis growing. Do you have the possibility to grow unseen and without others to smell what is going on? Regular a so called grow box or grow room is used, it is in most cases a cupboard sized “chamber”. It is perfectly suited to imitate the natural environment for cannabis; it is completely dark and made of material that can´t rot from humidity. The light comes from different artificial light sources for each growing period, air cycling systems, watering systems, temperature control and timing systems are used. So the smell is still transported outside of the grow box and that means other still could smell it. For example if you have a police dog nearby, because someone of the police is living in the area, you could get in trouble.
Can you afford Cannabis indoor growing?
Cannabis indoor growing can quickly become a problem as soon as the bill from the electricity company arrives. So the worst things are the ongoing costs of it, not the amount you have to invest for the equipment you need. But even the cannabis growing equipment can cost a small fortune. You can decide to buy a ready to use grow box or build one yourself, some ready to use grow boxes are delivered with all equipment needed; even including different lamps for different cannabis grow periods. So it can be easier to buy a fully equipped and ready to use grow box, but for sure that is the most expensive way to get your stuff. Depending on the size of the grow box, you quickly have to pay up to 800€ or more for it. If you build it yourself, you can make your grow box out of material from the home improvement store. That will easily safe you 100 to 300€, but therefore you have to buy all other parts like lamps, filtering systems and so on. So the one way or the other, the equipment will make several hundred Euros to get you started.
Prices for electricity change every year and from company to company, but regularly become more expensive each year, so for an average cannabis grow room you can quickly count in an additional 100 to 250€ per month.
What cannabis growing method is easier and better suited for a beginner?
That mainly depends on the cannabis strain and how much care it requires, so it can´t be finally said one way is easier than the other. Outdoor might seem easier at first, but here vermin, mushroom spores and similar can be a large problem. For example snails can quickly eat away your cannabis plants in no time. That means root growth hormones, fertilizers and pesticide might be required as well, at least fertilizing can´t be bad.
As written at the beginning it can be a good idea to start with cannabis growing outdoor or balcony grow with a small number of plants. Also choosing a cannabis strain that is described as “easy to grow” is recommended. That way you get a feeling for the plant, its different grow periods and you will find out easier what is the right thing for you.
The vegetation period is the time where the Cannabis plant growth in height and size, it stops when the flowering period sets in. It can also be shared into a few steps that have to be followed to get a large, healthy plant, which will give you a large yield of high quality buds. It makes a difference if you grow your plants from Cannabis Seedsor from cuttings. Cuttings already got a stem and a few leaves, while the seedlings also have to build everything from zero and therefore take some more time.
Making a Cannabis Cutting
A cutting comes in quite handy to speed up the growth process of the Cannabis plant and to ensure you only have female plants. Every female plant which is around 2 months old will do fine. Choose healthy side shoots with an average length of 10 to 15 cm and with 2 pairs of leaves.
Keep a glass with water ready, as the contact from the wound and the air should be as short as possible.
Use a very sharp knife to cut them away, to avoid unnecessary large or irregular wounds. Cut the side shoot off in a 45 degree angle and quickly place it in the water.
When you got the desired amount of cuttings, cut the lowest end again in a 45 degree angle and put some root powder on it, now you can stick it into the earth.
The cuttings already require 18 hours light per day and will grow new roots within a few days. Important is to spray them with water every day and keep humidity high.
When they start growing again and the roots have developed, don´t immediately place them in the grow room, slowly lower humidity every day a bit until you reach 50%. Now your Cannabis cuttings are ready to grow!
Preparation of the vegetation period
If you grow your plants from Cannabis Seeds, see our chapter for seed germination. When you got your small seedlings in the flowering pots, you should water them every day and never let the earth dry out. It is important to not fertilize the Cannabis plants yet, it would only lead to too much nutrition and to mutated and malformed plants. The only thing you could do, is adding a very small amount of root growth stimulator. When your plants are big enough to be planted in their large flowerpots, you can start fertilizing.
When growing Cannabis from cuttings, make sure the roots are developed and regular growth has started. Also as seen above, make sure they are adapted to a humidity of 50%.
You can now place your plants into their growing room.
Starting the vegetation period
For a perfect growth the Cannabis plants require 18 hours of light per day and 6 hours of darkness. Ideal growth additionally requires a humidity of 50 to 60%. Since you need different lights for the growing and the flowering period, you need to pick a special neon light, suited for plant growth. Neon lights don´t produce much heat and therefore it doesn´t matter if your plants get close to it.
Keep the soil always wet and never let it dry out, spray the plants with water from time to time. The Cannabis plants are not only taking up water through the roots, they also can take up some water through their leaves. That means when the humidity fits and they get sprayed from time to time, you support the plant growth.
Pre-maturing and identifying gender
It is yet unclear why this phenomenon occurs, but it is a helpful tool to identify the gender early and to know when your plant is ready to be taken into the flowering period.
The pre-mature can occur every day after around 4 weeks of growing and will fade again within a few days. Therefore keep an eye open, to not miss your chance of early gender identification.
The signs of pre-maturing are visible at the base of the leaves, near the main stem; it can be easily misidentified as new pair of leaves.
The female pre-mature is visible as pair of tiny leaves, which have a small white hair in the middle, male pre-mature is visible as small green knob.
After the pre-mature period you can start to change the time of daily light and start the flowering period, but to get most out of your Cannabis plants, you can also let them grow a little bit longer. That way your plants are larger and your yield can be higher.