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Getting started with growing cannabis

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Traditionally I get started selecting and germinating sativa dominant seeds in mid-April estimating that my plants will be under lights for 6 weeks, outdoors at the end of May, flowering late August, harvested, appropriately at Thanksgiving. This year was totally different and an incredible learning experience that I’m happy to share.

Changing up the strategy

This year I was away for the month of May hence unable to start my annual process until June 1, not enough time for sativa dominant plants to germinate, grow to their large size, and flower – about 6 months. My plan was to grow a 100% autoflower crop, a decision I made without extensive research or expert consultation, except to confirm via the web that the vegetative stage for an autoflower plant is very short and the entire process, germination to flowering is about 3 months.

One of my great and very experienced sources pointed out to me that these would be very small plants with what can be a tiny yield, (yikes!) and that I have time to grow Indica dominant plants that can be finished in 4-5 months. I ran to the nearby seed store where by now I am very well known, and bought some Indica seeds.

Wanting to make my germination process less stressful I also bought some new equipment, a heating mat and a table-top greenhouse that I set up in front of a south-facing window, and a sheet of growing blocks that accommodate one seeds each.

This turned out to be an excellent choice, total cost about $60.  With good light it was easy to germinate seeds in 5-6 days. I wish I had done this before, it makes the germination part of the process stress free.

My Learnings

Seed selection needs to be done early in the year in relation to growing environment, time frame available, and desired end result. A new home grower should decide on Sativa or Indica dominant cannabis, both are available in autoflower or regular seeds, all fully feminized. Seeds are available on the web or at your local cannabis retailer.  There is a ton of information about seeds on the web. Considering that an amateur new grower can legally grow 4 plants and that seeds come in packages of 5 (some web companies  give samples), it’s good to know how to properly store the left over seeds from one year to the next. This info is readily available on the web.

My experiences with growing this year moved me out of my haphazard one-variety growing habit into a growing world I didn’t know existed, like moving from black and white television to the coloured version, or from using a typewriter to using a computer. Next update coming soon!

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