Growing weed isn’t as easy as brewing a cup of tea, but it shouldn’t be like explaining relativity theory either. There seem to be some common mistakes among those who are (relatively) new to growing cannabis. If you think you know how to grow weed, make sure you read this article and avoid making rookie mistakes!
I remember the first time I was ever growing weed. Suddenly, a world of possibilities opened up. Well, mainly the possibility that my friends and I would be smoking for free. It’s exciting, until the moment you realize that you have no idea how to grow pot.
Thanks to the internet, which is just about the world’s best university, there’s no real need to know how to grow marijuana. You’ll learn right? Well, of course – but not without making some mistakes first.
The thing about growing marijuana is it’s never going to be perfect the first time. The world’s best growers became the best by doing it a million times over, correcting their mistakes and making all the necessary amendments to bring it to perfection. I don’t mean to make growing cannabis sound like rocket science, because it’s definitely not.
But we’ve noticed that there are some token mistakes that first-time growers tend to make. And thanks again to the world wide web, you’ve found yourself at this article, so you can be one of those first-time growers who doesn’t make these top ten mistakes of first timers.
1. Neglecting to prepare
So, you impulsively decided to buy some good quality cannabis seeds and now you think you’re ready to get planting. Rookie mistake. Growing weed is a full-blown botanical venture! You wouldn’t even plant a veggie garden unprepared. But lo and behold, this is one of the most common mistakes of newbie growers.
Growing weed means preparing beforehand. You need to prepare the environment, whether it’s going to be indoors or outdoors. What nutrients are you going to need and how much of them? Do you have light bulbs? Have you got a good soil mix? How do you plan on dealing with pests – certainly not with pesticides!
As you can see, there are a few things to think about before you jump straight into growing. Having an idea of what you need before you start prevents you having to run around every day collecting all the items you need and potentially ruining your crop.
2. Starting with a bad seed
If you’re thinking about starting your cannabis empire with a seed that you found floating around in some buds that turned up at your most recent smoking circle, you’re up for some disappointment. Every successful grow is going to start with the very same thing: a good quality seed.
It is easy for first time growers to think that all cannabis seeds are created equal. A weed plant comes out of all of them, right? Wrong! Any seasoned grower knows that the genetics make a lot of difference at the end of the day. Start with a good seed and yours from WeedSeedShop!
- Northern Lights Automatic: Can’t go wrong with this classic autoflowering strain
- Master Kush: This strain is pretty robust and won’t immediately die on you when you make some minor newbie mistake
- Top 44: This one is hardy and on top of that it grows incredibly fast: the 44 stands for 44 days, meaning it can flower in a little over 6 weeks!
3. Telling everybody in sight
One of the number one rules of a successful grow op is don’t tell anybody! And of course, it’s something that rookie growers often miss. It is extremely tempting to run around bragging to all your friends about the potential of smoking free weed. But don’t get carried away and start posting updates about your garden on Facebook or Twitter. People knowing about it can be your biggest obstacle.
We definitely aren’t advocating illegal grow operations here. But even in places where growing marijuana is legal, there can still be somewhat of a stigma associated with it. So, to avoid disapproving neighbours intervening, keep it to yourself.
It doesn’t hurt to keep your grow room discrete, which means sewing your lips about it and keeping the smell under control!
4. Using incorrect soil
Another common mistake of beginners is to choose the wrong soil or potting mix for cannabis. Remember, cannabis needs different nutrients than regular house plants, which means it needs different soil. A lot of the soils available at your local garden store just won’t do.
The soil needs to have the correct pH, and it needs to have the correct nutrients in it. The ratio of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus in the soil is extremely important for your cannabis plants to flourish. Make sure you’re choosing a soil that’s appropriate for growing marijuana!
5. Neglecting to manage pH
New growers are busy giving their plants nutrients, pruning, watering and counting the centimetres of growth – of course they’ve completely forgotten all about the pH. If the pH of the soil goes too much out of whack, you can risk losing your plants if not seriously compromising the harvest.
Keep an eye on the pH! Actually, acquiring a tool to measure the pH of your soil is something you should have done during the preparation stage. Make sure you’ve got some pH up and pH down solution lying around too, just in case your soil becomes too acidic or too alkaline.
6. Letting plants get rootbound
If you are growing your marijuana plants in pots or containers, it’s important to periodically “upgrade” the container it is in. For a seedling, it makes sense to grow in a small pot. But what happens after a while is that the roots grow all the way out to the pot. After that there’s nowhere to go, so the plant’s growth gets stunted.
Don’t make this mistake, and buy all the pots you need before you start growing. Periodically (and very gently) transplant your plants into bigger pots or containers to give them more space for root growth. Once they exit vegetation stage, the roots won’t get much bigger, so there will be no need for repotting.
It’s hard to believe that you can overwater a marijuana plant. Water is good for them, isn’t it? Well, yes, except that just like humans, if you drown them, they hate it. This is another token mistake of newbie growers.
First-time growers don’t usually overwater by giving too much water, but by giving it too frequently. You’ll know when your plants are thirsty by sticking your finger in the first inch of soil. If it’s dry, your plant is thirsty. If it’s still moist, no need for watering!
8. Overdosing on plant food
This mistake ties in with the previous one. Newbie growers sometimes think that the more nutrients they give their plants, the more they will flourish and the better they will grow. Oops!
Think of your plants as human beings. You wouldn’t just keep feeding and feeding your child, would you? They would probably have cholesterol issues, diabetes, obesity and the list goes on. You can’t give your plants obesity, as much as some growers would like to (the bigger the buds the better!) But you can give them nutrient burn!
When plants get too much food (in the form of nutrients), it can damage them. Start off by giving your plants a quarter of what is instructed on the schedule of the nutrient product you have purchased. If they become nutrient deficient, slowly increase the dosage of nutrients.
Relax on the pruning if you’re growing for the first time. There’s really no need to carve out a masterpiece with the scissors like you would do with your hedge. When it comes to pruning, less can actually be more. Yes, pruning can encourage more growth, but if you do it too much, you can completely shock your plants.
Be moderate with pruning and observe how your plants respond to it. Let your plants tell you whether it’s too little, too much or just right.
10. Harvesting too soon
Ahh the end is so near when those buds are starting to look so luscious you just want to…. Cut them all down far too soon! The sad part is that you’ll know you’ve done this once you smoke it and realize it isn’t nearly as powerful as it smells. Well, most trichome production takes place in the final stages of growth. So, don’t get out those scissors too soon!
Use a magnifying glass to have a look at the trichomes. If they still look clear or transparent, they haven’t reached full potency yet. When most of them a cloudy in colour and the majority of the hairs on the plant have turned dark, you’re almost at full potency.
There really is a perfect moment for harvest, which can take a long time to master. But don’t get overexcited and cut your plants down prematurely!
Once you’ve outgrown the “newbie” grower mistakes, you’ll start encountering the “advanced” mistakes – we promise! At every step in the adventure of growing weed, there will be some things to learn through making a few mistakes.
After you’ve mastered basic growing methods, you might want to move on to hydroponics, vertical growing and an organic cannabis garden. Every grower faces challenges at every step of the way – that’s what makes growing weed fun and engaging!