Why grow cannabis at home?
At the heart of it, growing cannabis is just like growing any other plant. You need to learn how to grow it, water it, protect it from pests, etc.
Perhaps you want to grow cannabis at home to save money. Or, perhaps you are interested in getting more hands-on with the plant, or you want more control over the process and knowing exactly where the weed you’re smoking came from, or maybe, you just enjoy growing things! No matter your reason, it’s not difficult to grow cannabis at home.
To grow cannabis at home, indoors or out:
- Research what type of cannabis you want to grow.
Just like with peppers or pumpkins, cannabis varies depending on what strain you are growing. Before making a choice on a particular strain or seed, research it, especially if you are planning on growing outdoors (some strains do better than others in Michigan).
2. Brush up on your laws.
Besides not being able to control the climate outdoors, there are other factors to determining if you want an indoor garden or an outdoor, for instance, legality.
Michigan law states that cannabis can’t be visible from a nearby property, you can’t grow it on property that’s not yours (renting doesn’t count), and it must be in a secure structure that can be locked.
You can grow up to 12 plants for personal use legally, but more than that and you’re facing civil penalties and fines (or potential incarceration if you exceed it in excess and try to sell commercially without proper licensing).
3. Get or cultivate the right soil.
You’ll want a high quality potting soil, which you can purchase at a local nursery or make yourself by using worm castings or other components.
4. If you don’t want to turn over entire garden beds with new soil, you can use potting containers that you bury in the ground after filling with nutrient-rich soil–you’ll want five gallon pots for small or medium plants.
For growing inside, you’ll likely be looking exclusively at potting containers.
5. Determine your growing space. If inside, determine if you want to purchase fans or lights or a small greenhouse, and plan your space accordingly.
You’ll almost definitely need a grow light since cannabis needs 18 hours a day when it’s vegetative and 12 hours a day when it’s flowering. The change in lighting dictates when the plant moves toward flowering mode, so you may also want a timer if you’re not able to control this manually.
6. Plant your seeds, making sure that the garden beds or potting containers have excellent drainage–root rot is common for cannabis.
7. Care for initial plants: seedlings want their temps between 75-85°F.
When they’re in the vegetative state, it can dip a bit lower to 70°F. When they’re flowering, they prefer 65-80°F.
If they’re outside, they’ll get what they get (thanks Michigan).
If they’re inside, this is what you’re aiming for. Cannabis is also sensitive to humidity, with needs varying between 70% humidity in their early stages and 50% in the later ones.
8. Don’t overwater. Cannabis needs less water than many plants do.
9. As they grow, monitor for pests, disease, or any potential issues. Look at all sides of the leaves, the branches, and the stalks. It’s also helpful to check the soil as well.
10. Flowering! In 8-9 weeks, most cannabis strains will start to flower. The female flowers will have stigmas. If your plants are outside, excess rain can cause the flowers to rot, so you may want to shake off water after a rainfall.
To harvest the flowers (ready when the branches snap), use shears and put the trimmed flower bud into mason jars. You want to leave space so they can rid themselves of excess water, keep them in a cool dark place, and make sure you open the jar several times a day.