By Johnny Green
Growing your own marijuana can be one of the funnest things that you will ever do. I grew marijuana for several years in the 2000’s, and I’m just getting back into it again. I have named my small garden ‘No Consideration Farms.’ Expect more articles about it moving forward (we are on this journey together folks!). I wanted to grow my own marijuana because it saves money, it’s rewarding, and it makes it to where I know exactly what goes into my marijuana, because after all, I’m the one that grew it!
More and more people are deciding to grow their own marijuana, and understandably so. As states continue to reform their outdated, harmful marijuana laws, it’s allowing more people to cultivate. Unfortunately not every state allows home cultivation, even in states where both recreational and medical marijuana are permitted (here’s looking at you Washington!). Make sure to know the laws in your state before cultivating marijuana to stay out of trouble.
Getting a garden going can be a daunting task to many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Having the right mindset, and taking the right approach makes all the difference. Below are ten tips that I offer up to newbie marijuana growers, or even some seasoned growers if they ask me for advice.
Do as much research before starting as possible
It’s inevitable when you are starting out that you will forget something along the way when cultivating marijuana. That’s fine, it happens to pretty much everyone.
Make sure to do as much research as you possibly can before starting out. Once the plants are going, the only way to stop is to kill the plants. Once you start the journey, you can’t really stop, so knowing as much ahead of time is important.
Set realistic goals for your garden
One of the most common mistakes that I see new growers make is setting astronomically high expectations for their garden, both with yield and quality.
I get that everyone aspires to be the greatest grower in the history of marijuana, and maybe you will get there someday, but when starting out set the bar really low to avoid disappointment. After all, it’s your first time!
Don’t get overwhelmed
Cultivating marijuana can be overwhelming at times with all of the juggling that has to occur with feeding the plants, staying on top of issues, rounding up stuff that is needed during the cultivation process, etc.
It doesn’t help that everyone and their grandma ‘knows the best way’ that you should be doing it, and offer up advice whether you want it or not. Make sure to breath, handle one thing at a time, and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Start from clone instead of seed
If you are growing for the first time, or even if you are coming back from a hiatus like I am, I strongly recommend starting from clone versus starting from seed.
Seeds take longer to get them to the point where they are ready to plant, and require a special skill set to get a seed to that point. Clones are ready to plug and play once they have a strong root base, which speeds up the process and is easier to work with. Work your way up to seeds.
Get good mentors
I have been blessed with some amazing cultivation mentors, including legendary grower Jorge Cervantes. Getting advice from someone that has ‘been there, done that’ is incredibly invaluable.
Not everyone has a Jorge Cervantes that they can ping ideas off of. My advice is to find someone that is walking the walk, instead of just reading about stuff on Reddit but possessing no actual cultivation experience. When it comes to cultivation mentors, the proof is in the pudding, so go with someone who’s plants you like!
Start with soil
I prefer soil over hydroponics, but even if you don’t, I’d urge you to start with soil versus a hydroponic setup. Not only is a soil setup cheaper, it’s also a lot more forgiving. If you mess up with soil, you can ‘flush the plants’ with water. If you mess up with hydroponics, it takes a tremendous effort to get the plants back on track.
Start with an indica strain
Sativa strains have long branches, and the plants take up quite a bit of room. Indica strains are shorter and squattier, making them easier to work with since they take up less space. This tip isn’t vital, as I like sativas too, but dealing with a smaller plant your first time is better if you are willing to go that route.
Anticipate having problems
There are three plagues when it comes to growing marijuana in my opinion – heat, bugs, and mildew. Chances are when you are growing marijuana for the first time, you will deal with one or more of these issues.
If for some reason you are lucky enough to dodge the three plagues, you will almost certainly run up against some other hurdle. Know that it’s going to happen, be prepared for it, and you will be better suited to get past the issues. Growing quality marijuana involves experiencing issues, and learning from them. It makes you a better grower.
Don’t compare yourself to others
There will always be someone with a bigger, better garden. There’s just no way around it. But rather than focusing on how much better your neighbor’s garden is than yours, be proud of your own garden and focus on it.
Envying someone else’s garden doesn’t make your own garden better. If someone harvests more than you, it doesn’t mean that your harvest is worthless and your time was wasted. Which leads into my next point…
Celebrate what you are doing
Celebrating the victories and small achievements of your garden is perfectly acceptable, and encouraged. If you are passing off your garden as the next Cannabis Cup winner, then maybe you’re laying it on a bit too thick.
But there’s nothing wrong with having pride in your plants. When you are doing something fun and exciting, especially when it involves wellness and compassion, it’s understandable that you want to share pictures and stories with the world. There’s nothing wrong with that!
Those are some basic tips for new marijuana growers. Once you knock out a couple of harvests, you will get more confident in what you are doing, and will be ready to take your garden to the next level. But when you are first starting out, measure success by the experience, and not by the size of the harvest. Maybe you only get a handful of grams of finished flower. That’s fine!
It has been my experience that even inferior harvests are worthwhile. There’s just something about the satisfying feeling you get when you are consuming marijuana that you grew yourself. Obviously, if there is something I missed or there’s a tip that you think others would benefit from, by all means put it in the comments section so that others can learn from your experiences. Happy gardening!!!
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