New Medical Marijuana Growers – Listen Up
The cannabis plant is called “weed” for a reason: it’s hearty and grows easily in the right conditions. This doesn’t mean that growing marijuana for medicinal purposes is super easy either, especially if you want to control the quality of your product. New medical marijuana growers, don’t be too nervous, as there’s a wealth of information out there about the best way to cultivate the cannabis plant and get the best buds, whether you’re growing to sell or for personal use. To get you started on the right foot, here’s a list of some of the top ten rookie mistakes a new marijuana grower might make. Remember, this list isn’t meant to scare you, but to empower you.
1. The first rule of growing marijuana is not talking about growing marijuana.
Sounds cheesy, but honestly, blabbing to everyone far and wide about the huge buds you’ve got going in your basement is a surefire way to attract drama. Regardless of the legality of cannabis in your area, having a bunch of people involved can only lead to problems. Even if it is legal to grow cannabis where you live, you don’t want everyone offering unnecessary advice, wanting to touch or disturb the plants, or hassling you to harvest early and share.
2. Don’t pick a good growing medium.
You want to start every endeavor out on the right foot, and growing cannabis plants are no exception. First of all, it’s best to sprout seeds in a growing medium instead of on wet paper towels because that minimizes handling, which can damage the seeds. Once you have seedlings, you want to make sure that the potting soil you’re using (because you’re not just throwing them in the ground, right?!) has good drainage and nutrient content. Your output will only be as good as the soil, so pay attention to what you’re planting in.
3. Neglect the cannabis plants.
Again, it’s tempting to leave hemp plants alone because they’re “weeds,” but growing quality cannabis takes effort. You have to meet the needs of the plants so that they produce the best buds. This means making sure they have adequate sunlight, good ventilation and CO2, the right nutrients, and enough but not too much water. Now let’s look at the various things you’ll have to do for your plants.
4. Over-watering your plants.
Like most indoor plants in pots, it can be super easy to give your cannabis plants too much water. This can lead to mold growth in the soil, causing all sorts of problems with the plant itself. Test the top inch of soil by putting your finger in, and it should feel completely dry before you water. Make sure the plants are getting enough oxygen as well by using well-draining soil and adjusting our hydroponics system.
5. Using way too much fertilizer
When you start with good soil or growing medium, you don’t need to add a bunch of fertilizer. New medical marijuana growers can also use plain old fertilizer from the home improvement store, which doesn’t deliver the right mix of nutrients. If you use too much fertilizer, your precious marijuana plants can also get a condition called nutrient burn, which can leave scars on the plant.
6. Not understanding pH balance
Soil pH balance is the level of acid or base in the soil. Some plants, like berries, need more acidic soil, while plants like lettuces need alkaline or basic soil. Cannabis needs a growing medium that is right in the middle, around a 7 for soil and a little less at around 6 for hydroponics. It’s easy to get soil testing kits at most gardening stores.
7. Keeping your cannabis plants in the dark
So most people know that plants need light, but new medical marijuana growers might think that putting their hemp plants in the window will give them enough light. A newbie cannabis grower might even throw a reading lamp on them, but that’s not enough. While you don’t necessarily need to shell out for expensive lights, getting a CFL light bulb or two will help your plants produce more buds.
8. Harvesting marijuana buds too early
The cannabis plant has a very specific growing schedule. While the buds of the marijuana plant are what you want to harvest, you have to make sure you give them ample time to develop. Harvest early and you’ll lower your yield but also affect the potency because different active chemicals develop at different times. A good rule of thumb is to harvest when the trichomes (those tiny white hairs) are mostly cloudy. Depending on when you harvest, you can get different effects because the active chemicals develop during the different growing stages. In general, harvesting marijuana buds should be done when most of the white hairs are cloudy.
9. Not knowing enough about cannabis in general
Many new medical marijuana growers think that they can throw some seeds in potting soil, treat them like any other houseplants, and then get some sweet weed buds at the end. To grow medical marijuana that will help you manage your conditions requires research into the cannabis plant, it’s growing cycles and all the little details of what makes the effects.
10, Not paying enough attention to security
It’s not enough not to talk about your marijuana growing endeavor. While that’s an important aspect of security, you also have to think about the exposure of your plants. This means not keeping them in windowsills where passersby can see them. Don’t plant your cannabis near fences where nosy neighbors can see (or smell!) them. And watch what pictures you post on social media!
When you grow like a professional, you need to store, brand, and sell your pot like a professional too. To do this, you need packaging that will preserve your hard-earned buds as well as present them in the best light possible. If you can find light-proof, waterproof, and sharp looking packaging like the products, you’ll be in business as a medical marijuana grower.
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