Updated: Jul 23, 2021
When growing cannabis or hemp from home watching your plants grow from seed germinating to beautiful, delicious buds is incredibly fulfilling!
Once you have germinated your seeds for a few days you can begin to check their progress. On day two I checked the seeds and they were just starting to sprout their taproots. One day later, the taproots had grown substantially (see image above). Now it’s time to get down to business!!
Fill a Dixie cup 3/4 of the way with soil meant for growing hemp or cannabis. Soil like Fox Farms Ocean Forest is perfect for the job (the link above comes with gloves and I get a few cents for being an affiliate).
If you don’t have access to specialty soil, you can use nearly any soil, as long as you add the proper nutrients. Kyle Kushman, who, in my humble opinion is one of the best growers in the world has a video on YouTube about this. Make sure you use organic nutrients and not chemical ones.
Then all you have to do is this:
1) Poke a small, shallow hole in the center of the soil, and carefully plant the seed with the taproot facing down. The hole should just be deep enough for the seed to barely be under the soil.
2) Gently push the soil to cover the seed. Then cover the cup with plastic wrap. Keep the plastic wrap in place with a rubber band around the cup and poke about five holes into the plastic and place in a nice warm place.
3) In about a day or two your seeds will sprout through the soil. When that happens, remove the plastic and place the cup in a window for 4-5 days until they are about 3 to 4 inches tall and have 3 to 4 baby weed leaves. Once this happens they are ready to be POTted outdoors.
By the end of week 2 (or sometimes towards the end of week 3), your plants should be about 3-4 inches tall. This is the perfect time to transfer them to a larger pot and bring them into their new outdoor environment.
For this stage you want to transfer them to a small outdoor pot. 4 inch square
form pots are ideal for this stage. Fill the bottom of each pot with about 2 inches of potting soil, then place your hand on top of the plastic cup, allowing your plant to come through your fingers between the third and fourth finger, turn upside down and gently remove the plant with its roots and soil from the small cup. Transfer the plant to the 8 inch planter with drainage holes and carefully secure the plant by filling the pot with more soil until the soil comes just about to the top of the pot. Carefully water your plant ensuring that it is standing straight in the center of the pot and place in an area where it will get direct sunlight but not too much heat.
Make sure that you are using a nutrient rich organic soil throughout this process. I have always had the best results with Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil. It’s great for growing cannabis and hemp outdoors.
Water every 2-3 days. A good way to test whether or not your plans already for water is to stick your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle if it is dry what are your plans if it’s still damp, wait another day.
Between six and eight weeks your plants should reach 10 to 12 inches high. When you reach this size it is time to repot them in their final home. 5 gallon planters or grow bags are ideal.
Fill the bottom of each pot with about 4-5 inches of potting soil, then place your hand on top of the plantwe, allowing your plant to come through your fingers between the third and fourth finger, turn upside down and gently remove the plant with its roots and soil from the planter. Transfer the plant to the larger planter or grow bag and carefully secure the plant by filling the pot with more soil until the soil comes just about to the top of the pot. Carefully water your plant ensuring that it is standing straight in the center of the pot and place in the same area where it will get direct sunlight but not too much heat. Pay careful attention to how much you are watering them. At this stage I usually water them every 2 to 3 days.
Cannabis plants need a very specific set of nutrients and ratios to thrive. These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nutrient rich soil’s will usually contain enough of these nutrients in the right ratios to feed your plant for about three months. After three months though, you might notice the leaves of the plant starting to turn yellow or the stems on your leaves turning red or different colors on the leaves. These are usually symptoms of some sort of nutrient defficiency.
At the 12 week mark, I start adding organic nutrients to the soil. Thankfully there are several organic nutrient companies that have created the perfect formulations for each step of your grow. At this point in your grow, you’ll want to give the plants nutrients specifically formulated for the grow or vegging stage of the plants. There are several great brands out in the market now, Kyle Kushman’s Veganix and Fox Farms.
Unfortunately between weeks 8 and 12, you may start to notice teeny black flies (fungus gnats), or white flies buzzing around you plant, small groups of bugs on leaves and stem (aphids), thin web strands and small white spots on the leaves that look as if some tiny little insect is trying to chew through from the underside of the leaf (spider mites). You may also see something that looks like white powder on the leaves or stalk (powdery mildew) or bite or chew marks on the leaves (caterpillars), or small “silver” “roadways” or dots on the leaves (thrips).
You MUST treat these as soon as you notice them.
The best remedy for all of these pests is to remove the infected leaves and spray your plant completely (both the top and bottom of the leaves as well as the stalk and stems etc.) with an Organic natural pest control agent called NEEM Oil. Insecticidal soap works well too but I have found that NEEM oil works best for me.
Additionally, Fungus gnats and white flies are usually because your plans are overwatered. For starters let the soil dry out for a bit then treat the soil because their larva are in the soil and they do the most damage to the roots. I have found that the best way to treat the soil in this instance is to first spray it with Neem Oil and then put a light coating of Diatomaceous earth on the top layer of the soil.
Your plants will either be autoflower or photo-period plants. Auto flower plants will usually begin to flower within the first 8 weeks. Photoperiod Flowering Begins when the light cycle begins to get closer to 12/12 meaning 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
When your plans begin to flower you will need to change the nutrient makes you are giving them. It’s very easy to do this. As I mentioned above, there are some great organic nutrient companies that offer premixed nutrients that you just add to the water when you are watering them.
An important thing to remember is that once your plans begin to flower it is a lot harder to treat them for pest control so do your best to get any pest issues under control before your plan speak into flour. You do not want to spray NEEM oil or any other type of insecticide or insecticidal soap on your buds.