I thought growing my own medical marijuana indoors would be super hard. I’m not really a gardener. All plant life around my house must be self sufficient or it dies. Why in the world would I think I could grow a plant that produces hundreds of dollars worth of medicinal flower? Well, frankly, because I’m a little crazy and because I’m not afraid to try new things.
Do yourself a favor: Get your basic supplies, first. Once you have your five essentials from last week’s article — and, of course dirt, pots, extension cords — you’ll be giddy with excitement. Now it’s time to start planting your very own Okie home grow.
Step 1: Germinating
If you paid attention in science class, you might know what this means. Basically, the germinating step is to see if the seed is a viable, living plant. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to wrap that seed up like a baby in a moist paper towel and tuck it away in a dark cabinet. Way in the back. Do not let the paper towel dry out. Do not check it 10 times a day. Check on the seedling in the morning and again at night. After a few days, hopefully a little tail will pop out, and you can jump for joy. Step 1 complete!
Step 2: Planting
After the tail pops, drop that little seed in a pot of dirt. Your hole needs to be about one-finger-joint deep. This is the step where your tent, light and other supplies come into play. The light cycle should be set to 18 hours, 6 hours off to mimic the light cycle of an outdoor grow.
When I first plant my seed, I cut the top off a two-liter bottle and place it upside down over the seedling. It creates a greenhouse type effect for the little plant once it pops from the dirt (after about a day). After the plant gets a few inches tall I remove the bottle.
The seedling stage lasts two to three weeks. You know you’ve survived Step 2 when the plant develops real marijuana leaves.
Step 3: Vegetating
During this step in the process, keep the same 18/6 light cycle (see how that timer comes in handy). You’ll need to water, prune (and sing!) to your plant. Water enough so that your soil is somewhat moist but not wet; trim the sugar leaves; sing your sweet heart out.
At this stage, growth really takes off, and the plant will need a larger pot. I use 5-gallon buckets with a drainage system. During this time you will be able to tell the sex of your plant. Girls are good, boys are BAD…unless you want more seeds.
The vegetating stage can last anywhere from three to 16 weeks, depending on you. Once the plant is strong enough to hold a flower, it can produce a flower…but small plants will produce less flower. I waited the 16ish weeks. This is an exciting time when your plant grows and flourishes, and you start to feel like you might actually be able to do this!
In nature, the flowering stage begins when the sun starts to set earlier and creates less light. Change that timer to a light cycle of 12 hours on, 12 hours off. You’ll need to do some trimming occasionally, and at the beginning of this stage you can clip some bottom branches off to clone your plant, OFFSPRING.
Your plant will grow for a little at the beginning of the flowering cycle and then switch to putting its energy into producing beautiful green flowers. Allow your plants to remain in the flowering cycle for 8-11 weeks. As the flowers grow, they start to merge into a super flower; you will be so proud of yourself! But do not disturb your plants while the light is off. Don’t fuck it up now! Pat yourself on the back — you’ve actually done it! Almost.
Step 5: Harvesting
I seriously almost cried, when I hacked down my first plant. I had managed to keep the damn thing alive for this entire time, and I felt like I was crushing my very own hopes and dreams. But then, I remembered I had complete the harvest to smoke my bud…and, really, that’s the point. So I started cutting away.
Basically, you can either a) cut the branches off and hang them upside down in the tent or b) trim most everything off and place the flowers on a screen in the tent to dry. Either way, keep it dark and low humidity (you want the flowers to dry, not mold). It can take anywhere from 5-15 days to dry completely. Throw it in a mason jar to finish drying and cure up to 2 months.
It really is that easy. At this point in my home grow journey, my flower isn’t the finest I’ve ever smoked, but I grew it and it’s all mine. The plant is called WEED, after all, how hard can it really be! Give it a try — if I can do it, anyone can.
Next week, I’ll share a list of the things I screwed up on my first indoor home grow, so you won’t have to make the same mistakes.