Before you germinate your first 4 seeds, you’ll need a new home for them once they’re ready. If you haven’t created a basic, yet ideal environment to plant your new seedlings, they could very well die waiting for you to set one up!
Whether you choose a brand new grow tent, or have an empty room you plan on converting, you must set it up for growing cannabis before germinating your first four seeds. In this post we’re going to show a simple, yet effective way to set up a new home within your home for your first four—and give you a sneak preview of how easy it actually is to grow amazing Buds! Let us take out all the guess work for growing the wildest cannabis of your dreams. We will show you just how easy it is to “dial-in” all the key environmental factors for growing perfect pot as we show you how to set up the optimum growing environment.
Here’s the basics you’ll need to understand in order to get your growing area up and running:
- Fresh Air is a combination of ventilation, air temperature, humidity & circulation.
- Optimum Lighting for both veg & flowering stages.
- The perfect growing medium that’s both a good fit for you AND your plants.
Become a “natural” Green Thumb with our secrets for the ideal Cannabis feeding and watering schedules.
Perfect cannabis just doesn’t happen. Especially gardening in the great outdoors. There are just too many variables Mother Nature will throw at the novice cannabis grower. High winds, torrential rains, hail, scorching heat waves, freakish drops in temperature, drought and countless pests will stop you, the novice grower, dead in your tracks. Experienced growers agree that the best way to learn how to grow awesome cannabis is actually indoors!
Even better than “The Great Outdoors”, is your new grow tent or fully converted grow room. For many novice growers, having a whole room to grow in is too much information. Grow tents provide the perfect solution for new growers where space is tight in their residence. But if you don’t like the idea of working with your plants in a confined grow tent area, and have an extra room to spare, then a whole grow room could be just the best fit for you.
The best way to learn anything is to start small and start simple. Growing cannabis is no different. So, what do you do first?
You’ve come home from your local friendly neighbourhood grow shop, or hydroponics store with your new grow tent and all the equipment you’ll need to set up your tent or grow room. Now what? Lets start from the ground up.
A Plant’s Environmental Foundation Is The Growing Medium
The general name for anything you use to grow your plants in is called, “Medium” or the, “Growing Medium”. Scientifically, the growing medium is known as the, “substrate”.
What do you intend to grow your first Cannabis plant IN? Most newbies make the mistake of running out to the nearest garden supply or hardware store to buy a bag of potting soil. Potting soil is the WRONG choice because it holds on to too much water. If over time potting soil is allowed to dry, it compresses into a cement-like substance no roots can survive in.
First time growers are notorious for either drowning their first plants or frying them to a crisp…or both! We recommend using a safe, inert, easy draining peat moss and perlite combination.
Most mammals have a dual set of lungs. So do plants! A plant’s first “lung” occurs in every leaf. During daylight hours plants “breath” in carbon dioxide through their leaves. But their second “lung” is in their roots. Roots are like long stringy sponges that soak up water and breath in the dissolved oxygen they absorb from the particles of “soil” and from the water they soak up.
Plant roots use oxygen to help metabolize the nutrients found in water and/or the substrate for growth energy. Straight potting soil maybe OK for houseplants but not for cannabis. Potting soil holds on to too much water. Cannabis roots will quickly absorb the oxygen out of the water. But if the water cannot drain thoroughly, the stale water with no oxygen left in it, suffocates the roots and kills the plant.
This is why we recommend growing mediums like peat moss/vermiculite mixtures for beginners simply because this medium is very forgiving and lets water drain easily out through the drain holes in the planting pot. It prevents plants from drowning in their own water. There are other excellent growing mediums we will cover later in our Blog series, but for now we’re keeping it simple!
- Since most cannabis seeds are relatively expensive, (one high-quality seed=$10-350!) we recommend you learn to grow one plant at a time. This way, in case you ignore one too many important steps, you only lose one seed. But if you follow closely, you won’t even do that! So whether you start cautiously with one seed, or bravely start four at once, the following guide will get you started on the right foot!
When starting out, always buy “Feminized” seeds. This way you should have a 90% to 100% success rate of sprouting FEMALE seedlings. The last thing you need, is to discover you’ve wasted all your precious growing time on a male plant—and we’ll explain this “sexist” comment in a moment…
- If you start with a water-tight bucket, you’ll drown your plant before it even gets a half foot tall! Find an old bucket between 5 and 10 gallons in size and drill out several 1/2 inch holes just above the bottom base of the bucket. But that’s only if you know for sure, that your old bucket wasn’t previously used to carry any toxic chemicals. Play it safe and buy a new, 5 to 10 gallon food-grade planting pot or high-tech fabric planting pot. It’ll have the drainage holes already pre-made. Fabric planting pots have no holes but their fabric material is excellent for excess water drainage and allowing complete air exchange into the growing medium.
- Fill your new planting pot up to 3” from the top lip with growing medium. Place it in the middle of the floor spill tray. Using another leak-proof bucket of 48hr-aged tap water, slowly moisten the peat moss mix. Fresh dry peat moss mix out of the bag takes a while to fully absorb the water you add. Go real slow until you see water coming out the bottom drain holes.
As the water begins to drain, scoop the water up and re-pour it into your pot. Only do this the first time you need to uniformly moisten your new growing medium. If you re-use drain water after you’ve added your growing nutrients, over a short time period, salt build up will kill your first plant!
After you think you’ve thoroughly activated your new growing medium with water, stick your finger, hand and whole forearm in to be sure. If it feels nice and moist to the touch, you’re ready to plant your first sprouted seed!
- Make sure your sprouted seed has its baby tap root sticking out at least an eighth of an inch. Between 1/8 and 1/4 inch of tap root protruding from the seed is ideal. Never longer.
If the prospect of planting your first seed scares the dickens out of you, never fear! We’ll be devoting two special blog posts next exclusively for germinating and planting your first seed like a pro! But for now, just know that many different seed companies have their own unique sprouting instructions for seeds which can get very complicated, but we’ll be making it simple!
(Don’t be discouraged if your seed turns out “dead in the water” and doesn’t sprout after 8 days. No matter the quality of the seed and the company you bought it from, some “dead” seeds simply refuse to sprout. Start over with a new seed. Excellent seed banks will replace dead seeds free of charge!)
Make sure your grow light is near the grow tent or grow room ceiling so you don’t burn your seedlings. Start up your light and your ventilation system, close the grow area door and you’re off to an excellent start.