How to grow Organic Cannabis !
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
* Disclaimer this is purely my opinion and my findings. Everyone can grow the way they want to! This is just what worked best for me and my plants.
So you want to grow your own cannabis! With weed being legal, we are allowed to grow up to 4 plants depending on what province you live in. refer to this handy dandy guide as to what’s legal in Canada for growing here. https://weed-deals.com/federal-cannabis-laws-101/
With this being said, I took advantage and had my first successful outdoor grow. And I did it completely free!
Growing cannabis is not as complicated as social media makes it out to be. Growing your own weed has to be one of the coolest and more rewarding processes I've experienced.
How did I do it for free? So easy. I won the seeds from a contest and I found seeds in my bags of flower.
For growing buckets, I reused empty 18L buckets I had kicking around. For soil, I used aged farm animal manure. Ask your local farmers if you can grab some, it’s what you’re buying when you’re purchasing bags of black earth from the store.
Here’s a basic supply list, And then we will get into how to start your seeds.
Smaller pots or solo cups for starting the seeds
Outdoor space with lots of sunlight
A warm place to start the seedlings( ie. a greenhouse, warm windowsill, mini indoor greenhouse.)
Starting your seeds.
Everyone seems to have a different method that works for them, this is my way of doing things.
I like to start my seeds in the soil, other people like to germinate them in a damp paper towel and wait for the root to break out the seed and then plant it. I skip this step and go directly to the soil and I have the same success rate as other growers.
What is germination? Germination is the process in which an organism grows from a seed or a similar structure.
Typically within 48- 72 hours you’ll have a root emerge, and so begins the growing process. I leave my plants in the solo cups until the leaves overhang the edge of the cup.
Then I transplant to their permanent homes until harvest. I made the mistake of starting my seeds too early and ended up losing a lot due to a lack of heat. Candian weather is bizarre in the spring months, so starting plants can be testy. If I was patient and waited an extra two weeks, I would have had a much larger crop.
I’m super lucky to live on a small hobby farm, and I already have gardening and growing knowledge from growing vegetables in the summer months. But cannabis is much more fickle and needs extra love and care.
I have several large piles of black earth around the property from having horses and other animals throughout the years. This has all broke down and been composted into beautiful black earth that’s full of nutrients and live organisms and worms! All the great things that your cannabis plants thrive in.
You can purchase synthetic nutrients or natural nutrients to help your plants grow and to feed them. I opted to not go this route and made my own organic nutrients.
You can take manure and steep it in water for over 24 hours, then use the water to feed your plants! I use my rabbit’s manure because I have lots, and I feed my rabbits the fan leaves off my plants. It’s a good cycle as the rabbits get fed and my plants get amazing nutrients.
Why is this method good?
Because manure is high in many minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, as well as organic matter.
This is basically a complete fertilizer due to all the nutrients that are optimal for your plant’s growth.
Good types of manure are;
Chicken manure, It’s lightweight and easy to move. Many cities allow backyard chicken coops now, So you could have your own manure compost! You need to plan ahead though because it takes 6 to 9 months for the chicken waste to break down.
Rabbit manure, This is my favourite! I have 14 rabbits. The beauty of rabbit manure is you don’t need to wait for it to break down, it can be added directly to your soil mixture. Rabbit manure is nutrient-packed with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with calcium, magnesium, and zinc
Horse and Cow manure. This is an option and works but it’s harder to transport and needs to be composted before you can use it. Mixing it with your soil is optimal because it contains 1-2 % nitrogen and 1- 3% potassium. When you work this into your soil, it enhances the soil’s natural texture and fertility.
Pig Manure. This can be an excellent option for your plants if its sourced from a local farmer and not an agriculture facility. When you get pig manure from a commercial farm, you’re risking the presence of antibiotics, parasites, and bacteria. Getting pig manure from a local small farm is safe and will be extremely phosphorus
Sheep manure; is another manure that can be used immediately without needing to wait for it to compost. It beats out cow and horse manure due to its high content of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It’s also packed full of organic matter that helps contribute to healthy plants
How to deal with pests?
My biggest problem was slugs. I never realized how determined those slow little critters are. They LOVE to eat cannabis leaves and buds. I don’t believe in pesticides so I looked into natural methods to preventing them from eating my plants. I found beer traps to be the best method! A shallow dish full of beer and they all went to it and left my plants alone. I set up several and had to change them out often but it worked.
Another thing I was worried about was deer eating plants, as I live in the country. I keep my plants fenced in with a makeshift fence as a precaution but the deer stayed away.
From seed to harvest this took from May to September. This is optional growing months for our weird Canadian climate. Once my plants were harvested, they were hung to dry for a minimum of 10 days, and then trimmed and put into glass jars and my Weed-Deals Budbox to cure with humidity packs to absorb any extra humidity In the last couple weeks I’ve made edibles with my own weed, I’ve been able to share with friends and I still have a fair amount leftover that I’ve been enjoying smoking.
I’ve already started collecting next season seeds and I’ve found some in my buds from Weed-Deals!
Growing cannabis doesn’t need to be complicated. I’m by no means an expert but I don’t think it’s as hard as people make it look. Growing your own weed is a fun and cool learning process. If it all works out, you’ll be smoking your own crop and feeling so badass.