Sundberg described living soil, which has active microorganisms in it, as a major game changer. Compost, mulch and worm castings can be found at the Arizona Worm Farm in Phoenix.
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People can grow plants from seeds or cuttings off an existing plant, also known as clones. Sundberg said cuttings are a gray area because it’s unclear whether a cutting that hasn’t taken root yet is counted as part of the six or 12 plants Arizonans are allowed to grow.
Where is the best place to grow my cannabis plant?
The Arizona Republic asked two experts to share their tips for beginners: Noah Wylie, master grower at The Mint Dispensary based in the East Valley, and Josh Sundberg, farmer and co-owner of Community Roots AZ in Cornville, southwest of Sedona.
Once planted, the cannabis plant needs a ratio of about 18 hours light, 6 hours darkness to grow in what’s called the vegetative stage, which doesn’t produce flowers. How long you let the plant grow in this state depends on your space constraint, but Sundberg recommends beginners start small.
Both Wylie and Sundberg said the key items you need to grow cannabis are nutrient-rich soil, water and light.
How long does it take to grow cannabis?
While it may be tempting to spray your plants in the middle of a burning, sunny day, the water droplets on the leaves can act like tiny magnifying glasses. As with other types of plants, it’s best to water early morning. If you have to water in the middle of the day, first discharge the hot water from your hose if that’s what you’re using, and water the soil around the plant, not the leaves, he advised.
People can also purchase cannabis seeds on websites such as Leafly. Sundberg warned that quality seeds can be pricey. Seeds are also a gamble because only female plants flower, and there’s no guarantee how many female seeds are in a packet. Feminized seeds are genetically engineered to grow only female plants, but tend to cost more.
That’s probably a few years off though.
Allowing it, police say, enables criminals to hide in plain sight. For law-abiding growers it could invite burglaries, since their stash is worth $1,000 a pound and easy to resell. Firefighters worry about the blazing hot lightbulbs growers use and their elaborate electrical set-ups.
Conversations about variation in soil substitutes, light spectra and humidity are frequent and achieve Warholian feats of boredom. They’re also potentially very important. As a high-value crop, cannabis may attract investment into lighting, water management and other agricultural technologies that might go ignored when the crop is $2 heads of lettuce. These new technologies are environmentally friendly and potentially earth-shattering politically, since they could transfer agriculture to cities.
How to grow your own weed
For the home grower, this matters much less, and Graf says it helps someone develop their appreciation for the plant. Amid rising interest in home grows, companies have developed home grow pods controlled by smartphone apps and other more modest growing kits and accessories. With strong weed no longer hard to find, home growing is a chance for connoisseurs to grow for CBD, a chemical commonly associated with the plant’s medicinal properties, or for a plant’s terpene profile (bouquet).
Marijuana growing can be relatively straightforward or “as complicated as you want to make it”, Graf said. Like so many aspects of cannabis, this is a culture advanced largely by solitary men, deeply invested in their competitive world.
“It’s not rocket science,” she said, but it does involve some knowhow.
“There’s an empowerment that comes from being able to do it yourself,” said Nichole Graf, who left New York City with her partner in 2013 to start a marijuana farm in Washington state. Growing, she said, would also be useful if the administration went after the industry and pushed the drug back to the illegal market. With her business partners, she co-authored Grow Your Own: Understanding, cultivating and enjoying cannabis, a nicely illustrated and eco-minded introduction.