Tips & Tricks: A Guide to Growing Your Own Cannabis
With nationwide inflation rates to consider, Virginia residents are having to pay more for their medicine than ever before. The quickly rising cost of living and transportation makes it harder for people to afford medical marijuana products, and inflation is even affecting dispensary prices.
We have published articles on ways to get the most out of your marijuana supply, but if you are looking for another way to save, growing your own medicine is a great option.
If you’ve thought about having some of your own marijuana plants before, now is a great time to get started. In this article, we will give you some tips on starting your very own cultivation garden!
It’s important to note that in Virginia, the legal limit for the amount of plants you can grow at your residence is three. Make sure you don’t exceed this limit.
How to Get Started
Starting off with the right supplies is very important when you want to grow your own marijuana.
Some of the things you’ll need may depend on where you want to grow your medicine. For example, indoor and outdoor cultivation can look very different.
For indoor cultivation, you will need more supplies, and indoor growing tends to come with a higher cost than outdoor.
However, there are many benefits to indoor cultivation, due to the fact that you can control all environmental factors to ensure your plants are getting everything they need to flourish.
First, you will need a tent or a grow box. You could also grow out of your garage or use a bin of some sort to save on supplies. But a tent or grow box are specifically designed for marijuana cultivation, so these are probably the best option if you want the best care for your plants.
Lighting is arguably one of the most important factors for a successful marijuana garden. Similarly to house plants of any kind, marijuana plants need lots of sunlight. If you are growing indoors, LED lighting is usually the best option.
As far as seeds, beginners may want to start with feminized autoflower genetic seeds, since they are almost guaranteed to be female. For those that don’t know, female plants are the best for cultivation across the board.
You will also need pots and soil, though you can use plastic buckets that you may already have on hand to save a few bucks. As far as soil goes, loam soil is best suited for marijuana plant cultivation.
A fan of some sort is also important in order to control humidity in your plants’ environment.
Most people swear by testers and readers to check your environment for optimal growing conditions. You can buy things like pH testers, humidity gauges, and thermometers in order to ensure your plants are getting everything they need.
Nutrients are also important for cannabis plants. You will need different types of nutrients for the different stages of the plant, such as the vegetative and flowering stages.
Outdoor cultivation can be much more cost-effective than indoor cultivation. You will need to buy a lot less for outdoor cultivation, because you get free light and more!
If you plan on using your marijuana for making edibles or concentrates, outdoor growing is the way to go. Outdoor cannabis plants produce cheaper-by-weight cannabis and are known to have higher yields.
All you need for outdoor cultivation is a good location, soil, pots, and seeds!
Germination is just the process of growing in which your seeds start to sprout. Here are some easy ways to start the process:
Drop your seeds in a glass of filtered water, and change out the water every other day until you see the seeds sprout
Soak some paper towels in water and put your seeds in between the layers. Re-moisten the paper towels when they start to feel dry, and check on them once a day until you see them sprout
Drop your seeds in moist soil and wait for them to sprout
Transplant Your Seeds
After your seeds sprout, you will need to move them to wherever you plan to grow them. This part of the process is pretty straight forward, just make sure the root is facing downward and bury the seeds in moist soil.
The seeds should be covered, but not super deep down in the soil.
If your seeds have not breached the soil within two weeks, chances are they have died. This happens sometimes even if you do everything right. This is why you should always start with a couple extra seeds.
Make sure the soil has no added nutrients at this stage, due to the sensitivity of young plants. Soil is all they need.
If you’re growing indoors, make sure the lights aren’t too hot for your plant. If you hold your hand under the light at the same height as the plants, and it feels hot after 10 seconds, chances are it’s too hot for your plants as well.
The vegetative stage is when your plant grows in mass. You can expect to see your plant stems growing thicker and leaves starting to form all over.
Here is what you will want to do during this stage:
Provide strong light for 18-24 hours per day.
Provide water when soil is dry to the touch, or when the bucket or pot feels lighter than usual.
Provide vegetation nutrients.
If you are using auto-flowering seeds, no lighting changes are required. If not, you’ll want to adjust your lighting schedule for the flowering stage.
Your plant will need 12 continuous hours per day of darkness to send it into the flowering stage.
After a few weeks, you will see buds start to form all over your plant-which is what we are all here for!
So how do you know when it’s time to harvest your marijuana? Here are the tell-tale signs:
The most important factor when you want to harvest is your plant’s trichome coloration. Trichomes are small resin glands that will grow on your bud, and sometimes leaves. They are one of the main sources of cannabinoids in your marijuana plant.
Look closely at your trichomes with a magnifying glass and check for coloration. Trichomes start out clear, then age to milky-white, and finally they turn amber. Most experts agree that the best time to harvest is when 30-50% of your trichomes have turned amber.
Drying & Curing
After you harvest your plants, it’s time to dry and cure them.
Hang your plants in an area with very little or no light and dry humidity. Trimming off excess leaves before drying is recommended, but not mandatory. It just makes the trimming process much easier in the long run, and can help your buds dry faster.
Usually after one to two weeks, the branches should snap off cleanly. This means your plants are dried to perfection, and you can start curing your plants.
To cure your marijuana plants, you will need to trim the buds off their stems and remove all of the leaves. Then, you’ll want to put them in air-tight containers. Pack the jars about ¾ of the way full for optimal airflow and to reduce the risk of mold.
These jars should be stored in a dark place and opened about twice a day for 15 minutes each time.
You should cure your cannabis for a minimum of two weeks, but it is really a matter of preference. The longer they are cured, the better they will taste and smoke.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card and Cultivation License Today
If growing your medicine seems like something you want to try, there is no better time to get your own medical marijuana card and cultivation license.
If you don’t already have your card, let us help with that!
Schedule an evaluation online today, and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors. Not only will you discuss your condition and options during a virtual appointment in the safety of your own home, but if you reserve an appointment online today, you’ll also save $25 off the cost of the appointment!
We’ll even refund the total appointment cost if you and your doctor conclude that medical marijuana isn’t right for you. You have nothing to lose, and a world of potential health benefits to gain!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!