With everyone on social isolation, businesses shutdown, and some mild uncertainty in the cannabis/hemp industry, what better time than now to work on your green thumb and start your own home-grow?
I understand it might sound a bit daunting, and yes, it does take a certain level of work and dedication, but it’s really not as hard (or expensive) as you may think. With a little bit of planning and the right equipment, you can have your own buds in just a few months. Now, let’s get down to the basics.
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Indoor or Outdoor?
The very first thing you’ll need to do is decide if you want to grow your plants inside or outside. Of course, indoor grown CBD flowers will be of superior quality, but it takes more work and a larger initial investment. Choosing to grow inside also depends largely on if you have enough space to pull it off. A nice sized closet would work, where you can hook up some lights and the plants will have enough room to grow both in height and width, but be mindful of your electric use outside the growroom, as your utility bills will go up significantly.
If you plan to grow outside, you’ll want to get familiar with your gardening zone, this will help you determine when to plant your crop for best results. Gardening zones in the United States are listed as 1-9, with 1 being the coldest and 9 being the hottest. Typically, somewhere between zones 6 and 8 will be optimal, but you can grow quite a bit in zone 9 if you have an adequate watering source. Some areas might not be suitable for growing CBD Flowers outside at all, so bear that in mind when doing your research.
Another option that’s becoming increasing popular is growing CBD hemp flowers in a greenhouse. Greenhouses replicate the atmosphere of an indoor grow, to an extent, and will save you a lot of money in energy costs. They allow for year-round cultivation in a climate controlled environment where you can regulate the sunlight exposure as you wish. If I were to choose an option, I’d personally go with the greenhouse.
Picking a Strain
Once you’ve settled on where you want to grow your plants, you’ll need to get everything set up. That starts with deciding what strain/s you want to grow. Cultivation methods for CBD hemp flowers can vary depending on the strain you’re growing. Do you want a regular strain or an autoflowering strain? Indica, sativa, or hybrid? Any specific strains you like better than others? Let’s take a quick look at how each of these options might impact your grow-op or your final product.
We’ll start with regular strains vs autoflowering. With CBD flower plants, there are 2 main stages of the growing cycle: the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. The transition from one stage to the next requires changes in the plant’s light cycle. When growing outside, you’ll need to make sure you plant in the correct season, so your plants go into the vegetative stage when time “springs forward”. If you’re growing inside, you’ll need different colored light bulbs to replicate the changes.
With autoflowering strains, well, they switch to the flowering stage automatically without any assistance from external light sources. These strains are typically more user-friendly and would be ideal for the novice grower, but generally speaking, the quality of the buds is not quite as good as with regular strains.
The next step is to pick an actual strain. You’ll need to decide if you want indica, sativa, or hybrid – although let’s be honest, these days, nearly all strains are hybrids; but more on that another time. Also, do you want a specific CBD hemp flower strain or are you O.K. with something random and new? This is the easy part since it really all boils down to personal preference. For the record, a few easy to grow strains are Blue Dream, Green Crack, and Harlequin.
Getting Set Up
Seeds or clones? Seeds have more options but much more difficult. Clones are easier to grow but can be harder to find and sketchy to transport depending on where you live. If you choose to start from seed, the first thing you will need to do is get your plant sprouted. If you’re buying good quality seeds from a trusted seedbank, you can go ahead and put the seeds straight into the soil and let them do their thing.
If you find some seeds in your stash and want to test their viability before putting planting them directly, you can germinate the seed by putting in a damp paper towel, in a warm place with indirect sunlight. I use a windowsill in my living where there is an overhang from the roof. Direct sunlight is often too strong for germinating seeds and even for young, barely sprouted plants.
Now when it comes to actual growing equipment, that will vary based on the growing method you choose (indoor, outdoor, soil, hydro, aeroponic, etc.), or the climate you live in if you choose to grow outdoors.
That said, here are a few basic items you will likely need no matter where or how you plan on growing:
- Growing tent (with built in ventilation system)
- Lights (with different color and wattage bulbs to for the flower stage)
- Soil, coco coir, or another planting medium
- Filtration fixtures
- Pots and other basic gardening tools
You can get all of these items for about $500 to $750, again, depending on your geographic location as well as what exactly you need. If you’re growing inside, you’ll need to account for the higher utility bills as well. This all might sound a bit pricey, but keep in mind, this is just the initial investment. In the long run, you will save money not having to buy flower and you will have much more control over the final product.
For an exact list of what you’ll need, how much it will cost, and a step by step guide to get your plants to harvest, check back with us next week for Part 2 and Part 3 of our growing edition:
- A Beginner’s Guide To Growing CBD Flowers: Part 2, Growing Indoors
- A Beginner’s Guide To Growing CBD Flowers: Part 3, Growing Outdoors
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