Growing Quality Cannabis Buds, Quick Start Guide
Have you ever wanted to get started growing quality cannabis buds? Have no idea how to get started cannabis cultivation quickly without reading an entire book? In this guide we will teach you how to get your cannabis garden up and running as quickly as possible, where you can get equipment for a great value.
We will also discuss the basics of getting your grow set up quickly and running as well as getting your first cannabis seeds. No matter where you are or your cannabis cultivation skill level this guide will help you get up and running fast!
Step #1: Getting your growing equipment
Getting your first growroom cannabis equipment can be a big task to get started when you first decide to start growing quality cannabis buds. There are so many things to pick from, lighting, soils, growing mediums, should you grow organic with soil or hydroponics, ventilation, rooms and grow tents. So many things you will need to pick from to get a great start.
Equipment for Germination of Cannabis Seeds
First things first you will need to get something to start your seeds in and some optional equipment. Depending on how many seeds you intend to start you will need to purchase a small container for each plant. If you have solo cups these will also work great for starting your seeds in. In fact solo cups will be your cheapest and easiest option to find. They are sold at pretty much any dollar type store.
You will need seed starting soils, you can find these as well at many dollar stores for a few dollars a bag. Make sure they are listed for seed starting. You will want a good sterile starting mix with lots of oxygen that is light and fluffy.
Also pick up a good sterile source of water, to water the seedlings. (if you don’t have access to this from your tap).
Getting a quick start Grow Space for Growing Quality Cannabis Buds
To get started quickly we highly recommend getting a good quality grow tent to start your first grow in. These come in all shapes and sizes to start your cannabis cultivation. They come with vent holes, windows and zippers to access your plants. When picking a grow tent we recommend getting one that can be accessed from as many sides as possible.
This will make it much easier to access all sides of the tent for plant maintenance. A window is also very nice to have, this way you can quickly check on your plants without disturbing the environment in the tent.
Equipment for your Growroom
At the bare minimum you will need a few things for your growth space. First, the most important item you will need is some form of ventilation. If budding cannabis smell is going to be an issue we also recommend purchasing a carbon filter to match your ventilation fan.
Depending on how big your space or tent is you will need a bigger filter. For any tents 4X4 and greater we recommend no less than a 6 inch ventilation fan and filter. For smaller tents a 4 inch will work just fine. For any spaces larger you may want to look into an 8 inch or 10 inch to keep your space or tent well ventilated.
Other things that we recommend when getting set up are a thermometer to keep track of the space temperature, and also a small fan to move the air around the room. Plant breath through their leaves, so keeping the air moving over them is important.
Pretty much any grow light will get you started growing cannabis. The real trick is to get enough light when growing quality cannabis buds. Cannabis needs more light than most plants to grow large flowers and a great yield. The type of light should be a grow light, but more importantly is getting a strong enough light.
For example if you are buying smaller cheaper light say from Amazon you may need to buy more than one of them. It is a good idea to check the prices, if you need to pay for many cheaper lights that have less output you may be better off just buying a larger light as it may end up costing the same. Lighting comes in all sizes, shapes and types.
Personally if you are just getting started we recommend an LED growing light. These lights come a little more expensive, however they are far more energy efficient and have a great spectrum of light for your growing plants. Most of them can also be dimmed as the plants need during their growth cycles.
Putting it all together for growing quality cannabis buds
So now you have all the basic needs to get your setup running. First you will want to set up your growing tent in the space. Growing tents are very easy to set up and take down and will come with instructions on how to do this quickly. Make sure they are all supported well you don’t want a crash in the middle of the night!
Next you will want to find the best exhaust hole in the tent to run your ventilation fan from. It is better to hook the carbon filter and ventilation fan inside the tent and have it push the air out of the tent. You can do this outside into the room or outdoors (preferred). This way you will be pulling air from outside the tent into the tent and will have no extra costs.
Lastly, find a place high in the tent for your small fan to move the air. Install this so there is a gentle breeze blowing lightly over the plants. It doesn’t need to be strong just enough to move the plants slightly.
Now your tent is ready to start growing quality cannabis buds!
Pots and Soil Set up in the Grow Tent
Now that the tent is set up and you have a spot to start growing it is time to get something to grow your cannabis plants in. To get started growing quickly you can buy two different size pots to get started. First you will need small pots, like solo cups or square pots, they should be small as they will be used for starting your cannabis seeds. We have a guide here that will cover everything the grower needs to know about germinating cannabis seeds.
Growing Soil for your Plants
Of course you will need some soil to grow in. We recommend picking up a good growing soil, as well as a good seed starter soil. If you have a good quality seed starting soil you can plant your seeds directly into the soil and they will start growing if the seeds are good.
If you can pick a soil that is created for growing cannabis, this will make your job of growing much easier. The soil will come tuned in with everything that plant will need from start to finish. This is one of the most important things for growing quality cannabis buds. This is the plant’s home till the buds are harvested.
Transplanting into a larger Container
Once your plants have four true sets of leaves it’s time to transplant it into a larger container. This article will help you with picking the right container for your cannabis plants. Any container will do, however if you are planting in this container and will also be flowering in the same container it is recommended to use at least a 5 gallon container.
Gently remove the growing plant from the container, the root ball of the plant should be grown in enough that it will hold together without falling apart. Fill your larger container with the quality growing soil, make a small hole for the root ball of the plant you just removed. Take the root ball of the plant and place it in the hole. If the plant looks slightly root bound, you can break the root ball up just a bit, being careful not to damage it.
Fill the soil in around the plant’s root ball and then fill the soil in around it. After it is filled with water around the plant.
Trimming your Plant for best growth
Now that your plant is transplanted it’s time to make the best of the vegetative cycle of growth before you turn your lights back. Trimming is a very important part of growing quality cannabis buds even though we haven’t got to this stage yet.
There are many ways to trim your plants, however the most basic way is to top your plant to create more than one cola, at the top of your plant. Cannabis will grow tall and like a christmas tree if it is not trimmed. For this reason we recommend topping it two to four times over the next few weeks. This will not only keep the plant from growing like a christmas tree it will also give you more top colas (large budding sites at the top of you plant). Everytime the plant is topped it will grow two new top growing tips. As a beginner we recommend having four growing tops on your plants before flowering. If you would like to learn more about trimming with LST we recommend that you read this article.
Your trimming is complete yet though, next you will focus on the bottom of your growing plants. It is a good idea to remove all the bottom growing tips as well as leaves. Once flowering of the plants has started these leaves and growing tips will receive very little light. They most likely will turn yellow and die from lack of enough lighting. We recommend removing them about half way up from the bottom of the plant.
While the plant is in vegetative growth keep the bottom of the plant free of leaves and growing tips by regularly trimming. You can read more here about defoliating cannabis plants.
Supporting your Plants
Another important part of growing cannabis will be supporting your plants. While they are in the vegetative growing stage, they may not need any or much support. This will change once the plant is flowering especially in the final weeks of flowering. Budding cannabis plant branches can get very heavy and start to fall over during this time. Once you have finished trimming, look for ways to support your heavy branches from falling over. There are many things that you can do to keep them upright, such as growing nets, staking them, or tying the main branches to the top of your tent.
However you do this it is important to do it before they are fully flowering it will be much more difficult once the plants have reached that stage of growth.
Humidity and Temperature for Vegetative Growth
While your plants are growing in this stage it is important to watch over the tent’s humidity and temperature. These are two important factors not to be overlooked by a new cannabis grower. While your plants are in this stage of growth you will want your temperature to remain consistent. This means keeping the temperature in the daytime at or around 70 F (20C) to 77 F (24C). At night time growers can lower this by about 5 degrees for best results.
Humidity has more lead way in vegetative growth but should still be kept in the range of 55% to 65%.
Switching to Flowering it’s time to start growing quality cannabis buds
Once your plant has enough growing tips, and are at least a month old, it’s time to start flowering. They are in large enough pots from transplanting, and in good soil to grow for the next 8 to 12 weeks.
It’s now time to switch your lighting back to 12 hours of darkness. A great tip once you start your cannabis flowering cycle is to add some organic flowering nutrients, Bat Guano is great if you can get some. Put some all around the top of the soil in the pot and spread it out evenly. This will slowly water into the soil in the next few weeks to give the plants a nice quick shot of flowering nutrients. We have a great article here all about cannabis nutrients.
Importance of keeping your flowering space dark
When flowering one of cannabis growers main concerns is making sure your grow tent or space is dark, during the dark period each day. If you can go inside the tent with the lights out and check for any light issues. After a few minutes your eyes will adjust to the light and you will quickly see any pin holes of light getting in.
Light getting in can cause issues like plants growing male flowers and pollinating your crop and creating unwanted cannabis seeds. If the light issue is bad enough the plant may not even start to flower as expected. If you see that the plant is not starting to produce flowers after a couple weeks you could be having a light leaking issue in your tent. Seal any pin holes of light with duct tape or another light proof tape.
First 4 Weeks of Cannabis Flowering
After the first 4 weeks of turning the lighting back to 12 hours of light and darkness you will start to see more flowering growing on your plants. This will happen at every growing tip of the plant. If you removed all the growing tips at the bottom of the plant this will not be any issue. When growing quality cannabis buds you want the plants to put the most amount of energy into the tops of the plants that receive the most amount of lighting.
You should also start to see some trichomes forming around the budding (flowering sites) areas of the plant. These will look like little white balls forming on the leaves and buds. Depending on the strain you are growing it may also be starting to smell. This is a good sign that your plant is growing healthy and happy.
4 weeks of flowering is also a great time to add more high phosphorus flowering nutrients to the plant once again.
The final stretch of Flowering before harvesting
Great news! You are now on the home stretch of growing quality cannabis buds for the first time! You have put a lot of work into getting to this point so you will want to finish up your plants and most importantly buds strong.
Over the next 4 to 8 weeks depending on the flowering time of your plants, you will start to see them “bulk up”. This means that they will start to get larger and denser cannabis flowers. Cannabis will put on the most weight in the final weeks of flowering. This is where the plant supports will come in very useful as we discussed earlier in our article. Whatever you used to support them will keep the buds from flopping over under the weight of your flowers.
Weeks are only a General Idea of when to Harvest
Most cannabis seeds breeders will list how many weeks you should allow your plants to flower before harvesting them. This is only an estimate of how long they will take to finish growing buds before harvest. There are much better ways to know when your cannabis plant is at peak ripeness to harvest. Your plant may look ready, however growing quality cannabis buds means harvesting at just the right point in time.
They importance of Trichomes for growing quality cannabis buds
Trichomes are what is important, as it is what contains the cannabinoids, these are a group of terpenophenolic compounds that are contained in the trichomes of the plant. Some of these are responsible for the high that users get from using cannabis. These do not come in the trichomes until the last weeks of flowering. Growing quality cannabis buds, you will need to harvest at the best time by understanding when they are at peak potency.
Using a Jeweler’s Loupe for Prefect Bud Harvesting
A jewelers loupe is used for looking at jewelry close up to find any imperfections. They only cost a few dollars but are invaluable to cannabis growers and especially ones that are ready for harvest time. Using one, the grower can look at the plant’s trichomes close up. You can view the little balls covering the upper leaves and your buds.
You want the trichomes to not be clear as all. When viewing them though the jeweler’s loupe they should all be mostly milky white, with about 10% amber. When the trichomes reach this point under your jeweler’s loupe it is time to harvest.
Finishing Up Your Not finished yet
Now that you have cut your plant for harvesting comes another and last important part of your basic growing. You will need to dry your cannabis plants and then cure them to finish the job and have the highest quality cannabis buds that you can. This is a part that some new growers overlook but it is very important to do this correctly or you may be wasting your hard work and first crop. We have a guide we recommend here that will help you with all the ins and outs of drying and curing your cannabis crop.
Well you made it! Your first basic cannabis garden walk though is completed and now it is time to enjoy your hard work and dedication. There are so many great things you can do with cannabis buds once they are harvested, if you would like to learn about cannabis gummies this is a good article to get you started.