Cannabis growers become experts after several trials and failures. After learning the hard way and correcting their mistakes, they find utter joy in harvesting their yields, and with time, even you can become an expert at it. However, it never hurts to get some extra help and since this article will help you understand the changes taking place in the plant, you’ll be able to master the art faster. Let’s take a look at the transition of a seed to bud.
The first step of growing cannabis is the germination. Whether you want to soak the seeds overnight or simply sow it in the soil is up to you, but since seeds are a tad expensive, you need to ensure that most of the seeds germinate successfully. The best method is to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours and later wrap them in moist tissue towels. The towels are placed in ziplock bags to ensure that the moisture is not lost. Remember to lightly moisten the towels or you’ll end up with rotten seeds.
- Planting the seeds
Assuming that you’ve germinated the seeds in paper towels and got the best led grow lights, the next step is to plant them. Remove the seeds carefully from the tissue and take care not to bruise them. While some growers plant the taproot upwards, others push the tap root down and you can go with either of them.
Basically, no matter how you plant them, the seeds will position themselves and emerge in a few days. Now, you can plant them in small pots and transfer them later after 2-3 weeks if you’re growing photoperiod plants, but autoflowers must be planted directly in the final container that will last until harvest.
- Vegetative Stage
Depending on the strain and the type of plant (photoperiod or autoflowers) you’re growing, you can expect different durations for the vegetative stage. To put it simply, the vegetative stage is the stage where the plant completes its growing period. If you’re growing photoperiod plants, you can let the plant grow for as long as you want while providing at least 18-24 hours of light every day.
Remember that the bigger the plant, the more the yield, so once you’re satisfied with the growth you can continue to the next stage by switching the light cycle. If you’re growing autoflowering plants, you can’t control the vegetative or the flowering stage as the plant will continue with its cycle irrespective of your interference. Whether you provide 12 or 18 hours light per day, the plant will finish its cycle and will be ready for harvest within 2-3 months.
- Flowering Stage
Cannabis plants are a sight to behold when they are flowering. Your room will smell delicious and at this stage, you’re probably tempted to pluck the buds and start smoking right away! Yeah, we all go through that, but only patient growers will be rewarded with amazing buds at the end of it. So, now that your plant is in the flowering stage, you’ll need to supply light for only 12 hours (regardless of whether it’s autoflowers or photoperiod plants) and the plant will now double in size.
You’ll soon notice that the plant will shoot up as if reaching out to the sky and with the help of magnifying glasses you can also see the production of trichomes that are responsible for the “high” you derive when you smoke buds. If you’re growing photoperiod plants, the flowering time can extend up to 2 months, depending on the strain.
Most cannabis growers get confused about when to harvest their plants because you can harvest it whenever you want, depending on your requirements. Once the plant has progressed to the flowering stage and you see most of the leaves turning yellow, you can stop feeding nutrients and prepare for harvest.
After the flowers turn a little amber in color, you can harvest them, but remember that if you harvest too early, the buds will give you an extremely psychological head high and if you harvest too late, the buds may make you feel sleepy and groggy. So, it’s best to wait until the pistils are 70:30 (amber: white), but you can also use a jeweler’s loupe take a good look at the trichomes.
If the trichomes are clear, you can wait until at least 70% turns cloudy. If you don’t have magnifying glasses, you can simply wait until 70% of the plant turns amber. Of course, you can’t smoke the buds right away because they need to be cured, and if you’ve waited this long, be a little more patient and wait until the buds are completely cured.