Even amongst long-time regular ganja smokers, there can be a certain stigma when it come to growing your own weed. Whether it’s a paranoia thing, or just societal norms creeping in, it’s hard to say, but the implication always seems to be that starting up your own little indoor home-grow is somehow taking things to the next level. After all, who really decides to grow their own cannabis, unless they’re planning on selling it? Take that one small step, and before you know it your whole house will have transformed into a dingy UV-lit dungeon, with hookers snorting blow off the kitchen table and a jive-talking Gary Oldman lurking in the shadows in a comedy dreadlock wig. Or, you know, something bad could happen.
The thing is, if you think about it (minus the wild flights of cinematic fancy), setting up a home-grow makes an awful lot of sense. People grow their own vegetables, and growing your own marijuana is essentially the same thing, with the same range of benefits. It allows you to know exactly where your weed comes from. You’ll know exactly what and who has been involved in the process. And, best of all, you’ll always have a full stash, rather than having to rely on your dealer for a fix. You can always go into dealing yourself, if you want, although that’s a matter for another blog. But by keeping just a couple of plants, you can be completely self-sufficient, producing just enough weed to keep you and your mates happy. Think of it as less Breaking Bad, and more The Good Life.
Growing your own cannabis indoors is pretty simple, too. But it never hurts to take on board a few tips and tricks before getting started, and so with that in mind, here are my basic guidelines for setting up your own indoor home-grow:
- Seeds. The seeds that you plant are going to have the biggest effect on how your weed turns out. Trying out any old unknown seeds will get results, but if you want good results, it’s best to seek out quality seeds from a reliable and trustworthy source.
- Soil. Most cannabis strains will grow best in a soil with a pH level of around 6.5. It can vary though, so it’s best to ask whoever you get your seeds from if a higher or lower pH level will be more suitable.
- Water. Obviously, plants need water, and weed is no exception. Too much water can be bad for your plant, however. To test if your plant needs watering, simply to stick your finger into the soil a couple of inches. If the soil is dry, go ahead and give it a good watering. If the soil is moist, leave it be.
- Nutrition. An indoor grow generally won’t need any additional nutrients added to the soil, but if your plant just isn’t growing as it should, you can use nitrogen or phosphate supplements to boost growth. Added to the soil every other watering, nitrogen can be beneficial during the vegetative stage of growth, while phosphates can be used when the plant is flowering. As I say though, you really only need to do this if your plant is struggling – adding extra nutrients to a healthy growing plant is more likely to hinder than help.
- Environment. Cannabis benefits greatly from a consistent, stress-free environment. Changes in air circulation, temperature and humidity can cause problems for you plant. Keep all these things constant, and your plant should remain healthy and happy.
- Patience! It can be pretty exciting the first time you see your labour starting to pay off in the form of those first tantalising buds, but don’t be too eager to reap what you’ve sown. When it comes to harvesting your buds, wait a little longer. A bit of extra time will give your buds a chance to grow larger and heavier – and the result will be more weed for you to enjoy.
Of course, things aren’t always going to run smoothly, especially for first-time growers, and results won’t always turn out quite as you expected. But as with anything in life, practise makes perfect. So if you like the idea of living the good life and fancy a stab at self-sufficiency, give an indoor home-grow a go. Provided it's in line with the laws of your country that is.