The word homegrow is apt to draw two simultaneous reactions: intrigue and confusion. With more patients and adult-use consumers choosing to grow their own cannabis, there is no shortage of interest in this area. That intrigue, however, is often overshadowed by doubt: how does one even go about growing their own cannabis?
The answer isn’t easy. With cannabis being one of the hardest crops on the planet to successfully produce, it isn’t surprising that homegrow comes with a set of its own specific challenges. Of course, most of these can be circumvented with a little education. Particularly, one will need to apply five elements – genetics, location, substrates, fertilizers and basic plant maintenance – to the process.
Finding good genetics
The very first thing homegrowers must consider when looking to start a crop is genetics. Cannabis genetics can come in the form of a clone, usually sourced from the mother plant of a trusted cultivator, or seed. Because clones are often tricky to procure, many growers start from seed. Cannabis seeds can be purchased online or in many head shops. Once germinated, these seeds can be propagated and serve as the first step to setting up a grow.1
Choosing a location
Where the environment permits, cannabis can be grown nearly anywhere. This explains why cannabis cultivars have evolved in places where the plant grows well and wild. Most homegrows can easily be set up outside, though this is not the best way to mitigate variables like pests and pathogens. To minimize these factors, many homegrowers find a place inside – a room or closet – to grow. But one of the most popular options is a grow tent, which will allow one to hang lights and feed their plants without creating a mess, or a risk to a home investment.
Selecting a substrate
After genetics are procured and a location is picked out, the next thing homegrowers need to figure out is what medium, or substrate, to grow in. These options span from the simple, like soil, to the incredibly complex, like aquaponics. For the most part, homegrowers use a substrate made of coco, hydrocorn, a mix of the two, or some formation close to that. Other growers, still, use more traditional substrates like rockwool, which remains popular in this day and age.2
Fertilizers and feeding
Equally confounding as substrates for most homegrowers is choosing a fertilizer and learning to feed the plants. Many fertilizers, or nutrients, come in two or three-part solutions that typically include a vegetation and bloom feed. There are quite literally hundreds of fertilizers available to homegrowers, and it does take some trial and error to determine what nutrients work best for the environment, and what the feed schedule and cycle for the plant looks like.3
The last thing that needs to be factored in when starting a homegrow is plant maintenance. After the genetics have been procured, fertilizer and substrate selected, and an ideal location to grow has been found, plants can now begin sprouting. One need only take care of the plants’ watering, feeding and pruning, to attain a successful crop. But, again here, a little trial and error may be needed to dial in best practices.
1. “Why are cannabis genetics important?” https://zenpype.com/why-are-cannabis-genetics-important/
2. “Substrates for growing cannabis.” https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/substrates-growing-cannabis/
3. “How to use cannabis nutrients.” https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-how-to-use-cannabis-nutrients-n329
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