Since your first cannabis home grow is the hardest, our expert grower Nibameca tells you how to make it from seed to harvest. The expert source on how to grow marijuana by Robert Bergman, Amsterdam. Grow successfully with our guides and helpful experts! Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use. Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
Growing Cannabis: From Seed To Harvest
Welcome to the sequel to my first post on growing cannabis at home. In it, I explained what you need to get set up for your very first weed grow. After that, you ordered your perfect seeds to work with. That means we’re all ready to roll up those sleeves and get growing! Your weed plants will go through a lot between the moment your seeds germinate and that first taste of your harvest. In this blog, I’ll discuss the stages you’ll go through before you get to enjoy the fruits of your very first cannabis grow at home!
Looking for genuine first-hand grow expertise, sleeves rolled up and boots in the mud? You’ll find plenty in our Nibameca blogs & grow guides ! Ever since discovering White Choco genetics, this cannaboss refuses to leave our AG grow program – and rightly so. This veteran grower is all about top quality, innovation and sustainability in indoor grow projects. This Amsterdam Genetics Grow Guru shares his experience with our readers to make the most out of every weed seed you’ll ever plant!
Baby Steps: Germinating Your Weed Seeds
When growers receive their Cannabis seeds, it is time to germinate. Germination is the first step of the real growing adventure: so far, everything was just preparation. Once a cannabis seed germinates, its protective shell cracks open, and the first tiny root peeps out. For the sentimental grower, this is an emotional moment – a bit like childbirth, actually. It’s also a moment, however, to be very delicate in handling cannabis seeds.
Personally, I prefer the following high success rate germination procedure. I take a glass of lukewarm water and gently chuck in the seeds. Then, I leave them alone someplace dark for 12 to 24 hours. I check them regularly: as soon as I see white tips (taproots) emerge, I carefully pick up the seed with a pincer. I place them root-down into a pre-watered grow plug. I use a water and root stimulator mix following user instructions. Then I put the plug and seed in my propagator and patiently wait for them to surface.
You’re probably thinking: grow plug? Propagator? Root stimulator? What?! No worries: germinating is 100% natural. All cannabis seeds really need is light and water. Check out my preferred germination method here, or follow this grow guide to plant germinated seeds directly into the soil. Find out what works best.
Germinated and planted: your grow is good to go!
From Germination To The Growth Stage Of Your Very First Cannabis Home Grow
After germination comes the vegetative or growth stage of the cannabis life cycle. In indoor conditions, the plants will keep on growing as long as they get 18 hours of light. This is a 16-8 lighting regime (18+6=24, i.e., a whole day). Autoflower strains are an exception; these switch from growth to flowering automatically.
Once the seeds become seedlings, with roots showing on the sides and bottom of the grow plus (usually after about four days), they’re ready for planting. I start with small P9 size flower pots. I’ll leave them for 7 to 11 days to give the roots time to develop, creating a stable habitat.
The growth stage begins.
The next step is transferring them to the full-sized grow tent. Time to repot adgain: choose a flower pot that matches your approach and available space. In my case, that’s 18 litres.
I continue the growth stage until I’m happy about plant size. It usually takes about three weeks, but my perfect size will differ from your ideal dimensions. It’s all up to you, and when you’re done, it’s time to start growing flower buds. Let’s start the flowering stage!
From Growth To Flowering
The flowering phase is where the actual magic happens. At this point, your home grow will start developing the (flower) buds containing the THC, CBD and other useful compounds. You can initiate the flowering stage by making your plants believe the calendar has moved past its midsummer peak. How, you wonder? Easy: just make the days shorter! Grab your timer and change the lighting settings from 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness to 12 hours of light/ 12 hours of dark. There you go; you’ve just started late summer in your tent! After about 8 to 12 days, you’ll see the first flowering hairs or pistils emerge. That’s a good sign: your plants have started flowering.
The transition from the growth to the flowering stage is marked by serious stretching. The cannabis plants soar up to the tent roof; some strains can triple their height at this point. Take this into account to make sure your plants fit your grow space.
Keeping Your First Cannabis Home Grow In Check
There’s all sorts of techniques to keep plant size under control.
LST, or low-stress training, simply amounts to bending and fixating your plants. This ensures maximum grow surface spread and enough light for optimal flowering across all branches.
Sea Of Green (SOG) allows you to grow more plants per square metre. You switch to 12/12 lighting early, creating a ‘sea’ of flowering buds.
SCReen Of Green (SCROG) instead accommodates fewer plants per square metre. Bending branches allows you to weave them through a screen or wire frame. That improves light distribution, allowing for SOG-like results using fewer plants in the same space.
Don’t Wake The Neighbours
Well, you’ve made it: at this point, your cannabis plants are in full bloom! Some strains have a 7-week flowering phase, while other flower for up to 14 weeks. Decide what you want before you start. Keep a tight grip on your grow climate in the flowering phase. If it gets too cold, bud development stagnates. High air humidity invites bud rot, mildew, and other pests to ruin your harvest.
Personally, I just love the flowering stage. You can watch the buds develop, rewarding your hard work so far. Still, the flowering stage comes with its own particular risks. As your budding colas flower, the lovely aroma of fresh weed spreads. Of course, we don’t want to share that with neighbours and passers-by. That stresses the need to use proper filtering with exhaust fans and carbon filters. Here’s a helpful tip in case you can’t control the stink, or if your power blacks out: always have a bottle of vinegar handy! In case of emergence, put a pan of vinegar on the cooker. Yes, it smells awful, but the vinegar stench will also neutralize the odour of your weed!
Harvesting And Trimming
Indeed, we’ve been saving the best for the last: harvesting those plants to find out how much they yield! It’s almost time to start trimming. At this point, keep the air humidity n your tent between 30 and 45% to prevent fungi and bud rot issues. You don’t want to lose all that hard work right before the finish line!
Can I Trim Yet?
As the flowering stage draws to a close, keep watching your trichomes. Trichomes are the little ‘crystals’ glittering on the buds and the small sugar leaves around them. In fact, they’re not crystals, but resin glands. They hold all the active compounds we’re after. Trichomes clearly indicate when it’s harvest time.
A small, cheap USB pocket microscope or a jeweler’s lens are great for determining trichome maturity. Clear transparent trichomes are a sign to wait some more. Once they turn milky white, with a few amber-coloured trichomes among them, you’re ready to cut the flowers. Harvest time is finally here!
Trimming And Drying Your First Cannabis Home Grow
Harvesting and drying your buds can be done in various ways as well. You can let the buds dry first and trim them later, but some prefer to do it the other way around. In that case, branches loaded with buds are hung upside-down in the tent to dry before trimming. The downside is that your precious trichomes dry out, making them brittle and easy to lose while trimming.
That’s why I prefer to trim first, and then drying the buds in a drying net in the same room where I grew them. I allow fresh air into the tent and keep it flowing to cut mold risks. The buds take two to three weeks to dry.
With the lights off, drying net in place, and exhaust fan running at 50%, air humidity slowly drops. Your buds are dry as soon as bending branches makes them snap.
Curing Your First Cannabis Home Grow
Now comes the last stage: curing your cannabis and processing the trimmings. Never just dump your trimmed leaves in the bin; use it for good. You can make hash or delicious edibles from what’s left over: this plant has more to offer than buds alone!
After drying, I carefully remove all the buds from the nets and place them in glass mason jars to cure. The buds cure gradually, improving their taste and ‘maturing’ them until they are perfect for smoking. Curing buds is a straightforward affair: simply stick them in a jar and wait. Give them time to ‘burp’, though: open them for a few minutes to refresh the air inside and return them to their dark storage location. How long you cure is matter of personal taste. I personally cure my weed for one month before that sweet day arrives: time to smoke those fabulous Amsterdam Genetics! Let’s not kid ourselves here: this is what we’ve been working so hard for, isn’t it?
Let me conclude with a personal warning: try to curb your enthusiasm! Of course you’re proud of your results, and you should be! Still, avoid the mistake of telling taal tales to your friends. Keep your hobby to yourself, just like back when you started out. Oh and another thing: you now probably have more weed lying around than ever before. Don’t go and smoke your brains out now; handle your harvest responsibly. Well-cured cannabis will last for a long time. Enjoy your crop, but enjoy it responsibly.
Nibameca’s Final Thoughts
I hope I helped you make the best start at managing a first ever cannabis home grow! I wish growers all the best and lots of fun, as well as heaps of homegrown weed of course. Should anything go wrong along the way, then don’t despair. I’ve run into some minor setbacks myself – and major ones too.
My biggest mistake ever was leaving the lights on after flowering in the room where I set up my tent. Sadly, the tent wasn’t light-proof, so my plants got stressed out and turned into hermaphrodites. The result: a whole harvest full of seeds that was no use at all… Fourteen weeks of work down the drain! I also made the mistake of pumping out my entire 60L nutrient mix tank in one go once. Pretty bad for plants capable of handling 10 litres at once max…
The germination of cannabis seeds is illegal in most countries. Amsterdam Genetics cannabis seeds are exclusively sold as collectable souvenirs to customers living in countries where the cultivation of cannabis is illegal. All information on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to incentivize people to engage in illegal activities.
How To Grow Marijuana
You came to the right place! Maybe you’re here because you’re tired of paying way too much for overpriced weed. Or perhaps marijuana helps relieve ailments. Regardless of the reason why you want to learn how to grow marijuana, we’re here to help!
Our Grow Guides section is divided into several topics: Beginners, Plant Biology, Grow Stages, Indoors, Outdoors, Grow Mediums, Plant Care, Troubleshooting, and Advanced Guides
Buy Marijuana Seeds
Good grows start with great seeds! We’ve got you covered with our high-quality marijuana seedbank.
Commonly, growers look for Feminized seeds, but if you’re starting out, you may want to buy Autoflowering seeds instead. If you’re looking for diversity, our Mix Packs provide a seed variety pack for everyone. Don’t want to think too much and just get growing? Grab a complete Grow Kit and you’ll be sprouting in no time!
- Grow With My Quick Start Guide
- Discover Secrets To Big Yields
- Avoid Common Grow Mistakes
Keep track of your grow! Combine details like grow stage, temperatures, feeding and more to get a good perspective of your plants. Not growing yet? Learn from other people who are growing the same seeds that you will receive.
Since the sixties, hippies have trailed across the Hinu Kush mountains to Thailand and beyond to bring heirloom indica and sativa strains to Amsterdam. Every since, thousands of marijuana strains have been developed. Find our take on the best marijuana strains out there.
State by State
A lot has changed in past decades. Many states have decriminalized marijuana or allow medical use and more states start to allow recreational use. Here you’ll find the current situation in your home state. Additionally, we explain how to handle an outdoor grow in your state, or how to set up a commercial venture.
Growing a Single Plant
A good place to start is with simply growing a single weed plant. No high-tech grow room. No massive expenses. Just you, a pot, some soil, and a high-quality seed. In this guide Robert Bergman takes you by the hand to take those first steps into the hobby and sharing his love for growing marijuana.
Outdoor Grow Calendar
Growing outdoors means you’re dependent on the weather. Climates vary from place to place and from time to time. With our grow calendars for the northern and southern parts of the USA, we remove the guesswork and give you the tools to properly plan out your outdoor grow.
How Much Can I Yield?
Still considering your grow? Or are you having trouble getting the most out of your plants? With the proper preparation, equipment, skills, and knowledge, you too can grow a massive yield. Don’t just wing it, turn your hobby into a science and fill up those mason jars with gloriously heavy nuggets.
Even the best growers out there can have a stroke of bad luck. Airy buds, stretching stems, hanging or yellow leaves, I’ve seen it all! With my Symptom Checker, you can easily match what’s wrong with your plant and find an appropriate way to fix it. No matter if you’re having trouble with pests, environment, or nutrient deficiencies, we’ll help you get through it.
Besides growing marijuana, we have loads of other cannabis related content, like cannabis lifestyle blogs. The usage of marijuana. Setting up a canabusiness. Grow diaries. Repices for edibles, and much, much more. Find all our latest articles below
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Hello! I’m Robert Bergman. I’m a marijuana growing enthusiast and the founder of ILGM. I’ve spent the last 25 years learning everything there is to know about growing marijuana. When I started growing I was in a home-based setup where 5-plants were all I had space to grow!
I’ve grown a lot since then (pun intended). I’ve run industrial-sized plantations and labs where we bred newer,
better, and more reliable strains. Then, after years of large scale growing, I had an idea. I wanted to share my knowledge of growing weed-and I had a lot (nearly two decades worth). In that time I’ve dealt with every issue imaginable. Now it’s time to share everything I’ve learned with you!
We ship marijuana seeds daily to all of the United States. No exception. For FREE!
If your marijuana seeds don’t arrive, we will ship your seeds again. For FREE! It’s only fair.
We stand by our weed seeds and want you to have the best experience possible.
Robert’s grow guides and our Support Forum will help you every step of the way!
Home grow laws
Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use.
Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.
Don’t forget that counties and municipalities can pass stricter laws. For example, Denver limits a home grow to 12 plants, even if there are three or more adults over age 21 in the residence. Be sure to check your local laws for specific details.
The laws are different for medical marijuana consumers.
Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly. This means the plants can’t be outside.
At homes with residents under 21, any marijuana grow area must be enclosed and locked in a separate space that minors can’t access.
At homes without residents under 21, extra precautions must be taken to make sure any visiting youth don’t have access to marijuana plants.