If you've never grown cannabis, your missing out on one of the truly fun, divine, simple pleasures life has to offer. With a little knowledge, time and tender loving care, you will be rewarded with the simple joys of growing cannabis.
Whether growing for recreational or medical reasons, it's important for your health to know how your plant was grown, and what it contains.
Sadly, most people on this planet do not currently have access to laboratory testing of the cannabis they consume. This needs to change. Until that day comes, the only way to guarantee the quality of the cannabis you consume is to have first hand knowledge of how it was grown.
www.SCLabs.com is a premiere testing facility in California with lots of interesting information on cannabis and testing. SC Labs tests for pesticides, microbiological contamination, cannabinoids and terpene potency profiles, and residual solvents (chemicals used in extracting cannabinoids).
The City of Palm Springs, California, requires all cannabis sold by dispensaries to be extensively tested to ensure safe public access.
As a novice grower, the first question you should ask yourself is what goals you wish to achieve by “growing your own”? Thanks to the efforts of many breeders, you have a host of seed options. Take time to research and choose carefully what genetics you will grow for your first attempt. Remember: you’ll be spending your valuable time and efforts, so choose carefully.
The most (or least) expensive genetics are not necessarily the best match for your personal goals. Don’t be swayed by marketing hype. Kudos to www.Mandalaseeds.com attempts to “raise the bar” informing and educating potential buyers of their genetics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_strains
I prefer to start growing with seeds. Seeds have tap roots, and little chance of carrying diseases (which can happen with clones obtained from others). Once these plants are a minimum of two months old, you can then clone (take cuttings) from these plants to increase the number of plants being grown without worry of contamination. It’s worth noting that there are a number of methods to germinate seeds.
Google “choosing cannabis genetics to grow”, “germinating cannabis seeds” and “how to clone cannabis” for a wealth of further information on the topics. I personally prefer liquid rooting concentrate when cloning plants. I’ve had good success using www.dipngrow.com
Growing indoors requires expertise and expense beyond what a first time grower should normally attempt. However, with outdoor growing you are subject to the elements (weather, insects, animals, diseases) over which you will have little control.
Personally, I prefer to grow in greenhouse conditions. You have more control over the environmental growing conditions without the expense or expertise required of indoor growing. Plants generally love greenhouses over outdoor conditions.
Greenhouses need not be expensive. With a little research, and a few simple “how to” skills, you can easily fabricate an inexpensive greenhouse to suit your personal needs, from simple and compact to something larger or more elaborate.
Google “cheap greenhouses” and “greenhouse plastic film”.
All of my personal experience has been growing in dirt, be it in ground or in pots.
There are a wealth of web sites on choosing soil types and determining aeration (supplying oxygen) of soil for growing cannabis. Google “choosing soil for growing cannabis” and “aeration of pots and soil”.
I usually grow in 15 gallon plastic pots that I have drilled numerous 1/8″ holes about every inch to aerate the soil and stimulate root growth. I also drill extra holes in the bottom of the pots. I place the pots about 2″ deep in the soil of the greenhouse floor so the roots can continue to grow beyond the bottoms of the pots.
Earth worms are one of Mother Nature’s wonderful natural means of improving/fertilizing your soil for growing cannabis or any plant. Introduction of these creatures will only increase your growing success. Google “earth worms”.
When it comes to man-made fertilizers, my motto is “keep it simple” (and inexpensive).
Cannabis has two basic stages of growth (growing and flowering). In the vegetative (grow) stage the plants require Nitrogen and in the flowering stage they need Phosphate.
Plants in their flowering stage love sugar. It’s the “secret sauce” to many very expensive fertilizers to increase flowering. I use Grandma’s Molasses mixed with water for this purpose. http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/
Google “how and when to fertilize cannabis plants”, and “how and when to water cannabis plants”.
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) first coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”. If you grow cannabis, sooner or later your plants will come under attack by animals (including Muffy the cat or your dog Trixy), insects, and diseases.
Inspecting your plants closely every few days is the best advice I can suggest when it comes to pests and diseases. The quicker you react and take measures to correct the problem, the better off your plants will be.
Google “cannabis pests and diseases” and “natural neem oil insecticide for pests”.