The key difference between autoflowering and regular flowering cannabis is how (and when) the plant’s flowering cycle begins. Simply put, autoflowering cannabis automatically starts its flowering cycle, while photoperiod waits for the correct light vs. dark period (12 hours light / 12 hours dark) to flower.
Growing marijuana outdoors, this specific lighting need is why photoperiod plants flower in the fall and can grow to such staggering heights. They grow all summer long in a vegetative stage until the start of fall, when there is less light, which triggers them into flowering. Indoors, a grower needs to control this light cycle to avoid confusing the plants. Addling light when the plant thinks it is nighttime can ruin a whole crop. Light leaks are a common mistake. If it’s your first time growing cannabis, this will be a bit more of a challenge to keep up. It’s also going to be a bigger investment to start growing, as well as a lot more work.
Steps to Growing Your Own Pot
So, you wanna learn how to grow your own pot? Well, you’re in luck! Despite popular belief that cannabis a hard plant to grow, there’s a reason cannabis is called ‘ weed ’! Soon, you will be growing your own recreational or medicinal marijuana easy.
This guide was written for marijuana enthusiasts who want a cheap way of growing cannabis plants without the tents, timing, and grow lights . It’s a small step towards greater accessibility for marijuana home growing. So, flip a middle finger to big corporations, break up with your dispensary, and step into the world of DIY weed growing at home– OG style. Growing sticky, smelly cannabis buds is easier and way more rewarding than you think!
Step 1 – Pick the Best Marijuana Seeds for You
Before flowering, these plants savor what is known as the vegetative stage. This is when the plant enjoys more hours of light than darkness. Indoors, this is typically 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. During this phase and light cycle, a photoperiod plant will continue to grow in size without flowering.
During the vegetative phase, plants need more nitrogen in order to create the roots and leaves that serve as the base for flowering. During the start of the flowering cycle, the plants will require more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. Towards the end of the flowering cycle, once the majority of the nitrogen has been depleted, the plants will focus their attention on using the remaining nutrients. The lack of nitrogen is largely responsible for the vibrant purple and orange hues that can be seen on large fan leaves and throughout the plants’ colas.
Outdoor cultivators take what Mother Nature gives them and turn it into the best possible harvest. Many cannabis consumers prefer marijuana grown outdoors under the full spectrum of natural sunlight. That unique spectrum creates a greater variance of cannabinoids and terpenes than artificial lighting.
The amount of water a plant needs largely depends on its size, the size of its container, the soil type, and general environmental conditions such as the weather and the intensity of the sun. Larger plants in warmer environments tend to use more water than smaller plants in cooler weather. The amount of water needed will change throughout a plant’s life cycle.
The three primary nutrients required for cultivating marijuana are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Beneficial insects, fungi, and bacteria can also be used to protect your plants from their parasitic or predatory counterparts. Jumping spiders, ladybugs, and other native, beneficial predatory insects can clear your crop of insects such as aphids and whiteflies. When sourcing beneficial insects, fungi, or bacteria, it’s important to research those which are native to your region.
How to grow marijuana outdoors
Avoid all-in-one fertilizers as they can be too high in nitrogen for the flowering cycle and damage any beneficial microorganisms that may be present in the soil. Instead, choose a line of nutrients created specifically for cannabis, and use its suggested feeding charts to avoid over- or under-feeding. Organic sources of nutrients are best, as they are a great source of beneficial microbes, but they may take longer to break down and become available to the plant. Both types of nutrients can be found in dry, pre-blended powders or liquid emulsions, but can also be made from scratch with the right ingredients. Organic compost tea, which includes nutrient-rich ingredients, like molasses and earthworm casting compost, is a popular homemade brew for cannabis farmers.
Avoid clay pots as they can be costly, heavy, and retain heat that could dry out the plant’s soil and roots. Fabric pots are the least expensive and most effective solution, as they allow for ample drainage and plenty of oxygen to get to the roots. Plastic containers are also light and inexpensive but tend to retain more heat than fabric pots. Flowering plants need a container that is at least 5 gallons (18.9 liters) to prevent them from outgrowing their containers and becoming rootbound.