by Nebula Haze
This tutorial is Part 1 of our “how to grow weed for beginners” series:
Part 1: Get Your Cannabis Garden Set Up > Part 2: Your 10-Minute Seed-to-Harvest Grow Guide
Table of Contents
Step 1: Choose Your Place to Grow
Step 2: Choose Your Grow Light
Step 3: Choose Your Growing Medium
Step 4: Get Cannabis-Friendly Nutrients
Step 6: Start Growing!
Where to grow in the house?
- Closet – Private but big grow lights can be hard to keep cool with the door closed
- Edge of Bedroom – Use a grow tent to contain light and smells so you can still sleep
- Spare Room – Ideal if you have one
- Spare Bathroom – Another great option because of easy access to water and a drain
- Garage, Attic, Cellar or Basement – Private but may be difficult to control the temperature
Many growers (myself included) start growing weed in a spare closet. However, if possible I recommend investing in a cheap grow tent (usually under $100) because it’s like a portable closet that’s waterproof with reflective walls. Plus, a grow tent + carbon filter = no smells.
- Where to grow in the house? https://www.growweedeasy.com/where-in-house
- Learn about grow tents: https://www.growweedeasy.com/cannabis-grow-tent
- How to smell-proof your garden: https://www.growweedeasy.com/smell
- Comfortable for you, comfortable for your plants. How to create a great plant environment: https://www.growweedeasy.com/perfect-growing-environment
A grow light has a huge impact on your bud quality, density, and yields. These are the most popular cannabis grow lights:
- Fluorescent grow lights (T5s and CFLs) – Fluorescent lights are great for short spaces because they can be kept just inches from your plants. Buds are potent but may be airy without careful plant pruning. Fluorescent lights produce more heat per watt than other grow lights, so a bunch of CFLs or high-wattage T5s can get surprisingly hot. Best suited to height-limited grows. Average yields are 0.25-0.5 grams per watt.
- LED grow lights – Some LEDs get poor results, but LEDs designed for cannabis produce outstanding growth, bud quality, and yields. LED fixtures come in a variety of sizes and form factors. Small LED fixtures don’t produce much heat but the bigger models (above 300W true electricity draw) can get pretty hot. Average yields for good models are 0.5-1+ gram per watt.
- MH/HPS grow light combo – This combo consistently produces fast plant growth, dense buds, and excellent yields. Start plants under Metal Halide (MH), then switch to an HPS bulb when buds start forming. Most fixtures can do both, so you just switch the bulb. MH/HPS fixtures tend to cost less than other grow lights. A 150W or 250W HPS doesn’t produce a lot of heat overall compared to other grow lights (though bulbs get hot). The bigger models (400W and above) produce a lot of heat and hot air must be vented. Average yields are 0.5-1 gram per watt.
- LEC (CMH) grow lights – LEC and CMH describe the same type of light (LEC is a brand name). The technology is basically halfway between an MH and HPS grow light. Bulb spectrum makes a big difference with LECs. When a 4000k or 4200k color bulb is used while buds form, plants produce a remarkable amount of trichomes and decent yields. Buds grown under a 3000k or 3100k color bulb get significantly bigger yields and fatter buds, but produce less sparkle. Average yields are 0.5-1 gram per watt.
Many newer LED grow lights are designed specifically for growing cannabis
Note: Estimated yields are based on true power draw. For CFLs, ignore the “equivalent” wattage numbers (true watts are also listed on the label). You need to pay extra attention with LEDs because the details can be confusing. An LED may be labeled as “600” or even “1000” but the actual power draw is only 200W. In that case, you would base the yield estimates on 200W (the actual power draw) for a total estimated yield of 100-200 grams.
View detailed setup examples with yield estimates: https://www.growweedeasy.com/setup
There is no best way to grow pot! Each option has its own pros and cons.
- Super Soil – Composted and amended soil that’s “alive” with helpful organisms, just like in nature. Produces complex bud smell and flavor. When set up properly, you just add water from seed to harvest (no added nutrients) so it may be the easiest grow style. However, you need a clean source of water, plants tend to grow a bit slower than other mediums, and watch out for bugs!
- Regular Potting Soil – Most common grow medium. Any organic potting soil should work but look for soil with a light, fluffy texture that drains well. Cannabis plants are heavy feeders and can quickly use up all the nutrients in regular soil. That’s why many growers start giving nutrients after a few weeks unless regularly transplanting to fresh soil. Can also attract bugs.
- Coco Coir – Coco is made of ground coconut husks but looks a lot like soil. It tends to be the most forgiving grow medium so it can be a great choice for beginners. However, coco is inert so you must give nutrients (usually in the water) from seed to harvest. Plants grow a little bit faster than in soil. Unlikely to get bugs.
- Hydroponics – Setting up a hydroponic reservoir takes more work than soil or coco, but hydro-grown plants grow extremely fast. Unlikely to get bugs but you must set your reservoir up properly to prevent root rot (which can kill plants if ignored).
If you’re not sure, I highly recommend coco coir. Fast growth, no bugs, and coco is forgiving if you make mistakes.
- Super soil: https://www.growweedeasy.com/super-soil
- Regular soil: https://www.growweedeasy.com/soil
- Coco Coir: https://www.growweedeasy.com/coco
- Hydroponics: https://www.growweedeasy.com/hydro
Nutrient needs depend on the grow medium:
- Super soil – No need to worry about adding nutrients
- Regular soil – Achieve the best growth and yields by adding nutrients after a few weeks. Use nutrients made for soil.
- Coco – Must provide nutrients from seed to harvest. Use nutrients made for coco or hydroponics.
- Hydroponics – Must provide nutrients from seed to harvest. Use nutrients made for hydroponics.
What Nutrients to Get for Each Stage of Life
- Vegetative Stage – In this stage, use “all-purpose” or vegetative nutrients. These nutrients are high in Nitrogen (N), which helps plants grow fast and healthy. Almost any general plant food will work.
- Flowering Stage – Plants need a low-Nitrogen (“Bloom”) formula that is high in Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) once plants start making buds.
Learn more about nutrients: https://www.growweedeasy.com/nutrients
If you don’t have access to live plants or seeds, the best way to get started growing is to order seeds online. Seeds are delivered anywhere in the world, including Canada, Australia, the UK and every state of the USA.
Where to get seeds:
- Seedsman (recommended): https://www.growweedeasy.com/seedsman
- Additional recommended seed banks: https://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds
Cannabis seeds are often dark with tiger stripes. However, if that outer coating gets rubbed off, they’re tan underneath. Seed color doesn’t determine quality.
- Learn how to choose the best strain for your needs: https://www.growweedeasy.com/find-strain
- Grow an auto-flowering strain to harvest as fast as possible (only 2-3 months): https://www.growweedeasy.com/autoflowering
Now that you’re completely set up to grow weed, it’s time to start growing! Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the process from seed to harvest in Part 2 of this beginner grow series.
Check out our 10-Minute Crash Course in Growing! https://www.growweedeasy.com/10-minute-guide-to-growing-cannabis
Are you ready to start growing? Today is the day!