by Nebula Haze
When I first started growing weed, I was completely overwhelmed by all the elaborate tutorials about growing…
Everything seemed so complicated. 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.
Growing weed is easy… especially with these 7 tips!
As time goes on, I’ve realized I worried about a lot of unimportant things 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 7 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.) More nutrients does not equal more buds
It’s tempting to try to give your plants as much “good stuff” as you possibly can.
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 base 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!
These plants are the result of following the bottle instructions with a SF-2000 LED. Easiest nutrients I’ve ever used. I just smoked some of these buds and it took me an hour to get back to this article.
2.) The grow light may be the most important tool in the grow room
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.
Small grow lights produce small buds no matter what you do
Be careful when ordering grow lights from unknown companies overseas (especially if they’re not UL-listed). These lights are almost never tested on actual cannabis plants and the results show it. In some cases, they can even be dangerous.
Many old-school or generic LEDs produce small or strange-looking buds like these ones.
Not sure which grow light to get? Check out this list of the 5 Best LEDs for Growing Weed (beginner-friendly)
One of my favorite LED grow lights is the Electric Sky ES300, pictured here. Plants stay healthy and the buds get thick. Only downside is the lamp itself is super heavy. Bud quality is top-notch.
3.) The strain makes a HUGE difference in your results
Even if you grow two strains with the same grow light, grow medium, nutrients, and care, they can grow WILDLY different from each other.
These strains were grown in the exact same conditions. The Amnesia Lemon produces big green buds of medium potency, while the Pacific Punch produced purple and sparkly buds that stayed small but were incredibly potent. I did nothing different between these plants. The differences are 100% from the genetics.
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. As long as you’re not banking your grow, bagseed and other mystery seeds can be a fun experiment, but 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.
Due to the unpredictability of mystery seeds, I highly recommend investing in a proven strain by a trustworthy breeder if you want to get superior results. Plants with good genetics are more resistant to problems, tend to get better yields, and produce buds with the exact potency you want. 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). Researching strains lets you choose the actual mental/physical effects you want instead of rolling the dice and hoping for the best.
If you look at the description of a strain, you should get a good idea of what to expect, especially with trustworthy breeders.
It’s not just the buds, the plant growth patterns of each strain can produce utterly different beasts, like these OG Kush and Sour Diesel plants grown in the same setup.
It’s helpful to take a little time when buying seeds to…
- Match strains – Try to get plants that are the same expected height and flowering length. You usually don’t want one plant to stay short while the other gets tall. It also helps if all the plants need the same amount of time in the flowering stage, which makes it easy to harvest them all at the same time. The more strains you grow at a time, the crazier things can get.
- Pay attention to potency – Some strains are “high CBD”, which means they will have less of a psychoactive effect but tend to reduce anxiety. Some strains are high-CBD with almost no THC, like Pink Kush CBD 30:1 Auto-flowering strain, which will not make you feel “high” at all. Typically strains with lower levels of CBD but higher THC will “feel” stronger. With low CBD strains (under 1% CBD), here’s a quick guide to what potency to expect: 10% THC will be a little psychoactive but not too strong, 15% THC is about average, 20% THC is medium-high, and above 25% or 30% THC are usually extremely potent. These numbers are not set in stone, but just to help guide you and give you an idea of the general ballpark.
- Research the strain – Type “[NAME OF STRAIN] grow journal” (like “Zweet Inzanity grow journal”) into Google.com and see if you can find examples of other people growing the strain. You can learn a lot from the experience of others about both how the plant grows and how the buds will turn out.
- Research the breeder – Take a look at who made the seeds, and go to their website to check them out. Many great breeders have a website with pictures and information about their strains (they may even sell seeds directly). A trusted breeder is much more likely to put out good genetics.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find much about the strain, but usually, you can find out some information about the breeder. One breeder that has been dazzling me lately is DNA Genetics in their collaborations with Crockett Family Farms such as Super Silver OG and Kandy Kush.
I grew two Critical Purple Kush plants under different grow lights (one big, one little) and although they didn’t turn purple for me, both came out amazing. Huge yields, potent smooth buds, and just super easy and forgiving to grow.
4.) Harvest buds right
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 drying and curing process. For truly killer buds, wait until the right time to harvest your weed, and take the time to properly dry and cure them.
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 the bud itself appears solid. These are signs the harvest window is open.
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.
Dry buds upside down in a space that’s not hot, humid, or dry. After small stems crack instead of bud and buds “pop” off without leaving strings, they are fully dry.
At this point, trim and jar buds. The bag here contains the “trim” (all the leaves I trimmed off before jarring the buds, which will be used to make extracts or edibles). “Burp” the jars daily for 2+ weeks. This “curing” process increases potency, smell, and smoothness.
The buds looked like at the end. Deliciously potent.
5.) 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
Don’t go overboard with fans or you’ll give your plants wind burn. Leaves should be gently rustling but not waving around.
Great airflow, especially with a fan venting out hot air, will make it easier to maintain a great environment. Keeping buds relatively cool in the flowering stage (under 80°F/27°C if possible) helps maximize your overall bud quality, bud appearance, smell, and potency.
And it’s not just buds that benefit. One common grow room ailment 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. WPM loves hot, humid, non-moving air.
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!
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 prevented 95% of the time by ensuring that you have great airflow around your plants and preventing the grow space from getting too hot or humid, especially towards the end of flowering when your buds are getting thick and dense.
Great airflow also prevents the bud killer known as bud rot. It even helps prevent some types of bugs from attacking your plants. 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!
6.) Growing weed doesn’t have to be hard
I think a lot of people want to feel like they accomplished a major feat because they were able to grow weed.
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 that last all year long.
7.) Seek out experienced growers, but always take every piece of advice with a grain of salt!
It’s not worth re-learning everything from scratch when you could get information from experienced growers to make your plants grow exactly how you want from your very first grow.
But sometimes, even the most well-meaning and experienced growers will give advice based on their genetics, environment or personal grow style, and it might not necessarily apply to your particular situation. I highly recommend to always listen to your instincts if advice just doesn’t seem right. Just like a medical doctor who seems wrong. No one knows your plants (or body) better than you.
These plants were grown together from seed in the same environment. One stayed small, the other got huge. Genetics makes a huge difference! Now imagine if they had been grown in different setups with different grow styles. Advice that works for one plant might not be good advice for the other.
All that being said, some of the most experienced and talented growers are sharing their knowledge online, and it’s worth seeking out online growing communities during your personal growing journey.
If you’re looking for a friendly and safe place to talk to other growers online, GWE has one of the (in my opinion) best cannabis growing communities!
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 are lot of choices, but learn about the marijuana seed banks we recommend here: https://www.growweedeasy.com/seeds
About Nebula Haze
Nebula Haze founded GrowWeedEasy.com with her husband Sirius Fourside in 2010. They have published hundreds of growing articles in print and online, and are dedicated to teaching people how easy it is to grow marijuana indoors.
Simplest Cannabis Growing Guide Ever! (if you want something even quicker than the basics guide!)