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7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I First Started Growing Weed
by Nebula Haze
When I first started growing weed, I was completely overwhelmed by all the elaborate tutorials about growing...
Maybe you know what that's like.
But after I started growing for real, I realized how easy things can be when you just know what to do.
As time has gone on, I've realized that I worried about a lot of things that weren't very important in the beginning and didn't pay nearly enough attention to the fundamentals.
Back then, I didn't even know what the fundamentals were!
If you want to learn from my mistakes, you'll love today's article, because it breaks down the 7 most important things I wish I'd known about growing weed when I first started!
You may also want to check out the simplest cannabis grow guide ever!
1.) Growing weed doesn't have to be hard
But truthfully, if you just need medicine for personal use, growing can be incredibly easy. Even if all you're doing is a simple hand-watered grow, you can easily end up with several ounces of buds off your first plant, even if you make lots of mistakes!
Each grow after that, you'll learn more and more about what works for you. For many people, just growing 1-2 plants at a time is all they'll ever need to keep a regular medicine supply.
If you can dedicate a weekend to setting up, ten minutes a day to care, and then a few hours at the end of each grow to dry and cure your buds, that's all you really need to faithfully grow an abundance of super potent buds each year!
2.) More nutrients does not equal more buds
When I first started growing I remember the thoughts frantically rushing through my head when choosing nutrients, "Which nutrients are the best?! What supplements do I need to use so I get great yields?"
But I've realized that as long as you give your cannabis the basic nutrients needed to grow, you really don't need to know a lot about nutrients. In fact, if you ensure your plants are growing in a perfect environment, you can get incredible results using just basic nutrients, without any special supplements whatsoever!
So for a lot of first-time growers, the most important lesson about nutrients might be that LESS IS MORE.
Going Overboard With Nutrients & Supplements Will Burn Leaf Tips, Not Make Buds Grow Faster!
3.) Light is probably the most important part of the growing equation
Honestly, if you really want to get the biggest yields indoors, the best thing you can do is get the best possible light setup for your grow space.
Questions about grow lights? You're in luck because we have a grow light guide that breaks down the differences between each different type of grow light for growing cannabis!
4.) The strain makes a HUGE difference of your results
It's often worth it to choose a particular strain that best fit your needs. Being able to choose your strain gives you a lot of power over the final effects! That being said, some great buds have been grown from mystery seeds.
If you buy a seed of "Northern Light" strain by a particular breeder, it should grow very similarly to other "Northern Light" seeds from the same breeder. This is most true with trustworthy breeders.
However, a Northern Light seed will grow WILDLY different from a Chocolope seed, or even a Northern Light seed from a different breeder.
For example, while a Northern Light plant (by Nirvana) will stay short and may be ready to harvest in just a few months, a Chocolope plant (by DNA Genetics) tends to grow tall and may take several weeks longer to mature before being ready for harvest, even if the two plants are grown in the exact same conditions!
When you're starting out, if you have a lot of room to grow and if it's not what you're banking your whole grow on, bagseed or other mystery seeds can be a fun experiment.
But if you're serious about growing your own supply, you might not want to wait for months (and pay for electricity all that time!) with the possibility of harvesting subpar quality bud and/or tiny yields at the end.
Because of the unpredictability of mystery seeds, I highly recommend investing in a proven strain by a trustworthy breeder if you want to get superior results, because plants with good genetics are more resistant to problems, often get better yields, and produce more potent buds! Plus you can make sure every single plant produces buds by getting feminized seeds (as opposed to regular seeds where half the plants are male and don't produce buds), and you can also choose the actual mental/physical effects you want instead of rolling the dice and hoping for the best!
This Blue Thai plant was able to produce big yields even though it was ready to harvest just 60 days after it started making buds. This quick flowering time combined with huge yields is only possible because of its fabulous genetics!
5.) For truly killer buds, wait until the right time to harvest your weed, and take the time to properly dry and cure them
After months of waiting, it's easy to jump the gun and harvest your plants too early. It's also easy to get caught up with life and neglect your newly harvested buds during the curing process.
I've created a complete guide to harvesting, drying and curing your weed but here's the long and short of it:
Wait until the buds on your plants stop growing new white "hairs" (pistils). At this point you probably still have a few weeks left. When 90% of the pistils have darkened and started curling in, your buds should be fat and ready for harvest. You can get even more accurate results by looking at the glittery "trichomes" on the buds under a magnifier, as these turn cloudy white when the buds have reached their highest potency!
This bud is ready to harvest. All the white hairs have darkened and curled in and if you click the picture and zoom in close, you can see that nearly all the sparkly trichomes are milky white, indicating that this bud has reached the highest levels of THC!
6.) Proper airflow prevents a host of problems
- can help plants grow faster
- strengthens stems
- helps prevent mold and bud rot
- defends against certain bugs like fungus gnats and spider mites
- like most things, just don't go overboard!
One of the more common grow room ailments is known as White Powdery Mold. It's particularly common when indoor growers put a plant in a closet or cupboard without really doing anything else to enhance the environment, because this often leads to hot, stagnant air near your plants.
When you have bad airflow, you may come across this. WPM actually looks like someone may have accidentally dropped some flour or other white powder on the leaves of your plant!
Easily remedied with SM-90 if caught early, a bad case of White Powdery Mold can ruin a whole crop if it's left to go out of control. It is NOT safe to consume or smoke cannabis buds that are covered in WPM.
But WPM is EASILY prevented 95% of the time by ensuring that you have great airflow around your plants and preventing the grow space from getting too humid, especially towards the end of flowering when your buds are getting thick and dense.
And that's not the only benefit, having a nice breeze going around your plants can actually make them grow faster overall!
Great air circulation makes cannabis plants happy!
7.) Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt! Just because someone says something is true on the internet, it doesn't means that they actually know what they're talking about
I remember hearing some people say "Oh you can't do this," or "If you do that it will kill your plants!"
And they were DEAD WRONG.
So take things said in the forums with a grain of salt. In fact, I encourage you to question everything you hear about growing on the internet, even from me :)
The key is being able to spot a good grower who will be able to help you and show you the ropes.
Here are a few tips to spotting a helpful grower online:
- They have pictures or video from at least a few different grows, including what their buds looked like after harvest.
- Be very wary of advice from someone who doesn't have any pictures or video to prove what they're capable of! Unfortunately lots of people online will give growing advice even if they've never actually harvested a plant before.
- Helpful growers are nice when they answer questions. People who are mean make for extremely frustrating teachers even if they personally have great growing skills!
All that being said, some of the best growers are hiding out online and it can be worth your while to seek them out as long as you follow the above tips!
If you're looking for a safe place to talk to other growers online, GWE has one of the (in my opinion) best growing communities, and the growers are not only nice but experienced and accurate at answering questions!
I hope that helps you as much as it would have helped me when I started growing!
If you haven't started growing marijuana yet, today is the day!
Wondering where to buy marijuana seeds? There's lot of choices, but learn about the marijuana seed banks we recommend here: http://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds
About Nebula Haze
Nebula Haze founded GrowWeedEasy.com with Sirius Fourside in 2010. They have published hundreds of growing articles in print and online, and are dedicated to showing others how easy it is to grow marijuana indoors!
Simplest Cannabis Growing Guide Ever! (if you want something even quicker than the basics guide!)