Alongside Darrell and Mike, we took it upon ourselves to jokingly act on the what if. What if we really grew Cannabis? How would it turn out?
Now that the inaugural grow is complete and shared amongst the team, we can now answer this question. I figured now is the time for a genuine retrospective to revisit the strengths and identify what to improve when the next grow comes to fruition.
Do note, my main source of mentorship came from a free pdf I received from an email sign-up called Grow Bible from I Love Growing Marijuana. Using that as my knowledge base, I decided to run an indoor grow.
Let’s break down what happened through grow stages.
Gearing up for this challenge came with an initial upfront cost for tent, materials, seeds and time. After 3ish hours of mapping out this effort from unboxing to soil, my setup was to grow two 5 gallon pots with 5 seeds each. Tending the fields for an advised total of 7 consecutive days, my mission was to simply keep the soil moist (spray bottle in hand). Lighting was designated for 16 hours per day with 8 hours of darkness.
Right out the gate, I was combatting temperature issues. The tent was housed inside of my garage and here in Southern California summer never really goes away during the “Ber” months. I clocked the tent as high as 93 degrees fahrenheit. Ouch! I went with the basics but realized over time my tooling would need to expand.
3 days in and germination quickly turned into seedling stage. I committed to 18 hours of light at this stage with 6 hours of darkness and a strict protocol of watering every other day. The goal wasn’t to flood the pot and drown the seedlings but again to just keep the soil moist.
6 weeks in and it was clear that vegetation stage was happening. Heat was still an issue but I figured out how to temper that over time. Every other day was a time to water the pots. Adjusting my LED grow light was part of this era of growing. You need to keep in mind the distance between light and the top portion of each plant’s canopy.
Also, realizing that growth was for real I realized a made a mistake. I’m sorry Grow Bible but you’ll have to make amendments here on your advice because throwing 5 seeds in a pot was not good. Over time, you could literally see the plants competing for both space and nutrients. Not fun. Also, the first sign of bugs became evident so handling that in a non-toxic way required a bit of Home Depot consultation.
It’s true from multiple readings that this stage of growth is where you can actually determine the gender of your plant. You’ll have to look in between the nodes of each plant to determine this. Females are prized whereas males are not since they yield the most THC. In my case, I really didn’t care. Whatever it was, I was going to light it up regardless 🔥.
That said, if male and female plants are together you risk pollination which would effectively shut down the females from producing THC, slowing down and essentially terminating the grow.
The fun part. First off all, the scent is infectious. So either enjoy it or find a ventilation system which can muddle it on the down low.
It took roughly 10ish weeks to get to the initial stage of flower. Every other day was a water feed, a temperature check, some neem oil to deflect any bugs and a nitrogen soil boost when needed. pH balance was heavily compromised at this point leaning towards a base and Grow Bible advises that the pH balance of soil be between 6.0 to 8.0 – lesson learned.
Honestly, I chose to harvest based on the fact that it really looked like my plants reached max capacity in terms of grow space and the shared space between each 5 gallon plant. I wanted to keep these plants alive but at the same time I had to keep my eye on the prize. This was approximately 12 weeks worth of work that was in transition to its finish line.
Harvesting required pruning shears and a drying basket. At this point is where I appreciated this entire process a bit more. For those of you who grow as a profession I tip my hat off to you. Clipping fan leaves and ancillary nodes are a task!
Once that was done, some advice I Googled around the Cannabis world was to simply hang each clipping upside down. In my case I just purchased a drying basket.
What was the overall grow total?
What needs improvement?
First, I made the mistake of not paying attention to temperature at the onset of this challenge. Also, throwing 5 seeds in a pot is not the right call. One seed, one pot is the way to go. Next, embrace the fact that if electing for an indoor grow, the utility bill will go up. There’s really no way to dodge this unless you have solar. Drying at the harvest stage was too long. I should have dried the buds for 5 days rather than 15 days. And finally, pH balance is key.
I will align my efforts to what I noted above in order to properly set for Series 2 of The Puff Provisions Grow. Yes, another grow is already in mind. I might also get another LED light. Maybe…🧐
Have you ever grown before? Better yet, have you ever done an indoor grow? If so, leave a comment or a piece of advice down below and I might just apply some of your knowledge on the next round.