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There are a lot of things to think about when you start growing marijuana. Considering all the aspects involved in growing marijuana will help you avoid making major mistakes. Deciding to begin growing marijuana, whether for medical or recreational use, requires care and skill. This is not a decision that should be rushed. With this guide, you will learn about some considerations that should be addressed before you start growing cannabis seeds. Luckily, there are options for growers from all over the country, from Louisiana to Ohio.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Supply
As more and more states legalize cannabis cultivation, the intrigue of cultivation increases in the marijuana community. There are many benefits to growing weed at home, and many considerations to make as well. Before taking the pot-plunge, consider these details:
- One of the most common reasons people decide to grow marijuana is cost reduction. Marijuana is not cheap when you buy from a dispensary. Being able to have a steady supply of flower without the high cost is undoubtedly advantageous.
- When you grow cannabis, you control the quality. You know what fertilizers have been used and if any pest control products have been added. When you purchase from a dispensary, likely, information about how the plants were grown might not be provided.
- Those who grow marijuana themselves can take advantage of being able to use all the parts of the plant. With the leaves, stalks, and stems, cultivators can make concentrates, edibles, hash, tinctures, salves, and teas.
- Did you know growing cannabis and ingesting cannabis can reduce stress? Being able to control stress levels can be beneficial when coping with difficult life events.
- You can grow whatever strains fit your preferences the best – whether that means high THC or high CBD You may not always find the strains you like at the local dispensary, so growing your own gives you that freedom and predictability.
- Once you gain experience, it is possible to learn to create new strains of cannabis through breeding.
Planning Is Essential for Preparation
While growing cannabis is much cheaper than purchasing at a dispensary, it still requires buying the right tools, equipment, and seeds. Because of the expense involved, this is not a decision you should enter into lightly. The following considerations should help you to determine if growing marijuana is a valuable addition to your life.
Do You Have Space?
Although growing one or two plants may not require a lot of grow room, if you plan on growing indoors, space is necessary for the tools and equipment. There are options for growing indoors or outdoors, depending on your needs and the amount of available space.
If you are growing indoors, a 3 X 3 growing area should offer enough space, especially if you are a beginner. This is the minimum space the plants need, but you should also consider the space required for equipment.
Should you decide to grow cannabis outdoors, it is wise to plan on at least four-square-feet, though the area could go as high as 25-square-feet, depending on how many cannabis plants you want to grow at one time.
How Much Marijuana Do You Use?
Whether for medicinal or recreational use, it is essential you realize growing marijuana takes a big commitment and a lot of work. Do you use enough marijuana to warrant growing it? If you only occasionally use it, it may be best to stick with purchasing from a dispensary. On the other hand, if you are a prolific user, growing marijuana will save you a lot of money.
According to the experts, the average yield per square foot is around 39.5 grams. The average person smokes slightly less than a gram a day. If you only smoke a few times a year, growing cannabis is likely not going to be worth the effort. If you smoke a lot, having a steady supply available will be nice. Growers from states where growing has been legalized, such as Oregon and Nevada can really take advantage of this benefit with ease.
Have You Researched Enough?
While growing cannabis is not entirely complicated, it does take a concerted effort and a certain level of knowledge. It is wise to join cannabis farming forums and read as much material as you possibly can.
The more knowledgeable you become on the subject; the less likely issues will arise that prevent you from being able to obtain a healthy harvest. Often, new growers underestimate the work involved in growing cannabis, and they attempt to “wing it,” which can lead to failure and disappointment.
It is wise to study as much as you possibly can, for at least a month, before making any decisions. You are never wasting time while learning, and you will continue to learn and evolve with your growing techniques.
- There are three main varieties of cannabis: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis.
- It is essential to know there are autoflowerers and photoperiod cannabis plants. Photoperiod plants rely on light to determine when they flower, while autoflowerers will automatically bloom.
- Cannabis is a flowering plant that can be female, male, or hermaphroditic. Females produce flowers. If you are growing marijuana, keep the male plants away from the females, so the females do not become pollinated and seedy.
- The three most important stages of growth include seedling, vegetative, and flowering. After the flowering stage, you can harvest the plants for their sweet buds.
- Depending on the strain of marijuana, the length of the plant’s lifespan can vary greatly. Typically, plant growth lifespans will range from four to ten months.
You can grow cannabis indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses.
Do You Understand the Costs Involved?
The size of your growing operation is going to affect the cost. Although you will undoubtedly save money growing marijuana, there are some initial investment costs for equipment. You will need to purchase the following, even if you plan on a small grow setup.
- Grow lights average between $200 – $600
- Fans can cost anywhere from $80 – $200
- Air filters will likely cost around $85 – $120
- Light-reflecting materials cost around $25/roll
- A pH meter ranges from $10 – $200
- Timers can cost up to $1,000, depending on the type
- Ventilators range from around $50 – $500
- Soil or grow media costs start at ~$15/bag
- Pots and containers range from $3 – $30/ea.
- Growing trays or materials for a hydroponic systems cost ~$50
- Fertilizers and nutrients vary in cost and hover between $10 and $50 or more.
- Marijuana seeds ~$19/ea. Clones run $30 to $40/ea.
The average cost of growing marijuana hovers around $1,950. Your costs could be more or less, depending on the size of the growing operation. If the above makes you feel overwhelmed, it is vital to step back and consider the benefits, while assuring you are prepared for the costs.
It is also important to note that you will not need to purchase the above each time you start growing another crop. The initial purchases can be staggering, but the routine investments only involve seeds, clones, and nutrients, along with energy usage.
The costs of growing marijuana typically revolve around the type of grow lights you are using. Consider the following information for preparedness.
- CFLs typically cost around $25 a month.
- LEDs will usually cost around $10 – $20 a month.
- MH/HPS will cost around $33 a month.
- LEC will cost around $43 a month.
To figure out how much you will be paying per month to grow cannabis, you will need a recent electricity bill. You will also need to know the type of bulb and wattage of the grow bulb and how many hours it will be used each day. The formula looks like this:
Cost of your electricity X the number of hours of usage X (Watts/1000) = your total cost each month
In addition to the grow light energy expenditures, you will also need to consider the energy usage of all electrical equipment, including fans and ventilators.
Do You Understand the Commitment Level?
Some new growers start very naïve and mistakenly believe they can simply plant a few plants, water them each day, and wait for an abundant harvest. Once you plant a crop of cannabis, you will need to be devoted to its care for 4 – 10 months, depending on the strain and how long it remains in a vegetative stage.
Most growers are going to spend an average of 10 – 20 hours a week taking care of their plants. The time you spend will depend on the strain of cannabis you are growing, and the grow room and the equipment. It is possible to go mostly automatic when growing cannabis, and this can save you a lot of time and stress.
If you lead a busy life, growing cannabis may not be for you. At the bare minimum, you will need to spend about an hour a day caring for your growing cannabis plants.
Do You Know Growing Cannabis Is a Seductive Experience?
There is just something genuinely seductive about every aspect of growing cannabis, and it can become a captivating experience.
If you are not careful, it is possible to find yourself spending way too much time obsessing over plants. It is crucial to be prepared to keep a level head while growing cannabis so you will be able to take care of other life responsibilities.
Tips for Growing Marijuana
Once you have asked the above questions and are fully prepared, it is time to start growing weed. Although it requires a lot of resources and time, investing in the growth stages will end with a healthy amount of cannabis for you to enjoy. Consider the following tips to ensure you take the right steps when growing marijuana for personal use.
- Genetics plays a huge role in the end product of cannabis. How well your plants thrive will depend heavily on the seed. Seed selection is an integral part of growing cannabis. If you want to feel energized after smoking, choose Sativa. If you prefer a sedating experience, choose Indica.
- You have the option of choosing between clones and seeds. While some growers prefer using clones, thinking the plants will be easier to grow, there are some disadvantages. A clone is a complete DNA copy of the mother plant, flaws and all. If you do not know the history of the mother plant, growing from seed may be more advantageous in regard to expected outcomes. When purchasing seeds, it is beneficial to select feminized seeds.
- If you are growing indoors, the cannabis plants are going to require a lot of light. During some stages of growth, you may need to run the lights up to twenty-four hours a day.
- Macro and micronutrients are both essential for healthy marijuana plant growth. Your plants must receive the right ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K) for each stage of growth.
- Monitoring the health of your plants is key. You will need to check the pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and temperature, along with the humidity levels. This is where having solid knowledge becomes so important.
Make sure to carefully consider all the above before you commit to growing cannabis. If you are fully prepared financially, physically, and mentally, growing marijuana will be a rewarding experience.
Yes, growing cannabis takes a lot of time and effort, but it is well worth the work involved. As you continue gaining experience, the process will be less stressful and more rewarding. Enjoy each moment of the growing process and patiently wait for a healthy and happy harvest. Starting with high-quality seeds from an online seed bank is also a good idea. Visit Weed Seeds Illinois to see a cannabis seed catalogue!