Just as with any other new pursuit, if you’re a beginner or first-time cannabis grower, you’re not immune to making mistakes. We’ve all gone through that: under- and overwatering, nutrient burns, heat stress, bud mold, pests and whatnot.
A great way to notice mistakes before making them is to learn from others. We at Herbies are happy to give you a hand with our easy-to-digest guides, but sure enough, sometimes what you need is some cannabis growing tips from a seasoned growmie based on their own hard-learned experience.
That’s why we’ve searched Reddit to learn the word on the street, carefully sorting out the best marijuana growing tips from the local community so that your first grow is a success.
1. Be Humble
This advice may not sound as practical as the other points on this list, but it may be just as useful: don’t spread the word far and wide about your grow. “Growers will always have more detractors than friends. Even if they say and act like your friend, they will more than likely screw you over the first chance they get,” says one grower nicknamed TreeHugChamp.
“The ego boost doesn't come from showing your friends your plants. The ego boost comes from smoking your own flower, or having the luxury of being your own boss and getting decent money.”
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2. First Time’s Not a Charm
One of the basic cannabis growing tips is that you shouldn’t be upset about a low yield the first time. “Your first grow is all about learning and experimenting. You can learn a lot about growing from Reddit but you will have to cross reference things you read on here in case it's someone over-confidently guessing on something,” warns another Redditor.
“Try not to overthink growing. It's easy to do too much and end up hurting the plants. Try to keep notes and google any and all terms you don't know.”
3. Grow Hydro
A soil-based garden may be easier to start with because soil is considered a simple and cheap growing medium. However, some veterans recommend hydroponics for growing the best weed due to the level of control and monitoring this technique enables.
“My first ever grow years ago was in soil, but after I accidentally suffocated the roots of my plant with a too-high concentration of SM-90 in water (a great all-around plant product for both above and below the surface when properly mixed), I performed an emergency transplant from soil to a deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic setup. That Lemon Skunk plant turned out to be some of if not THE most potent bud I've ever had to this date,” recounts a grower under the handle Reverend_Veritas.
However, they also warn that hydroponics is trickier to learn and requires more maintenance than soil, so you’ll want to do some in-depth research in the planning and pre-planning stages for your indoor garden.
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4. Choose Perlite and Coco Coir Over Water
One method of growing the best weed is to use coco coir as a standalone hydroponic growing medium or mix it with other substrates like perlite. A cannabis enthusiast nicknamed Growlame recalls: “When I first started growing I tried using Fox Farms Happy Frog and/or Ocean Forest because that is what the internet told me to do. A lot of people use it. I struggled with over/under watering as well. As a new grower, knowing when to water is one of the hardest things to learn. Once I switched to Coco/Perlite mix instead of soil, I was off to the races!”
In their words, with this mix, you don’t have to worry so much about overwatering because it doesn’t suffocate the roots as much as soil does: “A good rule of thumb for me has been, water every 3-4 days during the seedling stage, once every 3 days during veg, and every other day during flower. Some people will argue that you need to feed multiple times a day with a drip system to grow in Coco but that simply isn't true. Just need to be sure to have 20-percent runoff every time to avoid salt buildup.”
5. Prune Your Way to a Successful Crop
You might want to learn how to defoliate and prune your plants to maximize your yields. Moreover, this practice will bring you closer to the plants, helping you to better check their health. The below tips on growing the best weed may come in handy.
“When you are trimming, look for natural elbows between branches and try to end up with V-shapes. This way you can hook the branch over a drying line easily and quickly. Also, if you use gloves like I did just turn them inside out and leave them overnight in the freezer. The next day you take out the now crunchy gloves and flip them back out and sprinkle out that crunchy kiefy goodness,” a user with the handle DropTheMic suggests.
Another Redditor’s cannabis growing tips include using wet trimming: “Recently I've been trimming wet to harvest the trim fresh for hash making. When doing this, I cut a cola, cut all the fans off and put in one bag, then trim the buds and collect the trim in another, the buds go into one of those hanging multi-tear dry racks for a few day to a week, then jarred and burped daily for up to a month.”
6. Know Your Timing
If you’re looking for marijuana growing tips, remember that lollipopping and defoliating should be used at the right time.
“Lollipopping should never be done in flower. I stop lollipopping a week before I throw my plants into 12-12. It stunts and stresses your plants, especially if you don't run B vitamins,” reads a list of common mistakes in the growroom.
“Defoliating shouldn't be done until week 7 of flower as your plants store nutrients in their fan leaves and use the fan leaves to breathe. If you have a fan leaf covering a node, just bend that fan leaf straight down and hide it behind a branch.”
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7. Prepare for Harvesting
Harvesting cannabis is probably the most anticipated time for growers – this is the moment when all of your previous efforts culminate and your hard work pays off. Popular tips for growing cannabis suggest that you don’t rush it and prepare properly. “Despite the thrill of harvesting it does get VERY tedious after an hour or so. First off, do it at a table, your back will be in agony after an hour or more of concentrating on snipping whilst sitting on the floor,” reminds one Redditor.
“Secondly, organize your evenings work. The first job is to chop each branch off, and get the branches to the length of your liking and so that they’re good enough to hang for the drying process. Next [up], you go round each branch and by hand pull off all the fan leaves and any leaf that is easily removable near the bud. Only when you've done all the big leaves on the entire plant do you start the final and most intensive job, going in with the mini scissors and start manicuring the buds,” they explain.
The reason for this is that if you get bored and decide to finish the next day, the leaves will have wilted, making the rest of the work much harder. Another thing to consider is the trash bags: “When you start manicuring the buds, the little snippings get everywhere, so if you open a bin bag up and lay it flat on your table, you can work directly above it and collect all the waste bits without the ball ache of tidying up infinite tiny trimmings for days after.”
8. Drying the Buds
According to marijuana growing tips from experienced users, the drying room should be dark, dry, and cool because exposure to sunlight reduces the cannabinoid content of weed, while higher temps and humidity facilitate the growth of bacteria and fungi.
GhidrasMahout leaves buds attached to stems when trimming for ease of drying: “Hang dry in total darkness, 60-70 Fahrenheit at around 50% humidity. When the buds are dry enough to snap off stems (usually about a week), trim the buds off the stem over wax paper to save the falling kief, and place buds in sealable jars (no plastic!) to cure for at least two weeks.” This user says it’s better to store the buds in darkness and give them a gentle shake each day or fluff them with your hand, taking the lid off and letting them breathe for an hour or so before getting them sealed up and put back into darkness.
They add: “The curing process is overlooked by way too many new growers, who innocently assume dry weed means it's ready to smoke, but a few decently done cures will quickly show one just how important this final step is to achieving a gold-standard flavor with properly flushed flower. Don't rush it!”
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