This article was originally published on 2Fast4Buds and appears here with permission.
1. WHY GROW YOUR OWN WEED?
If you consume cannabis regularly you’ve probably come across different flower qualities, from top-shelf weed, to okay weed to moldy weed. This happens because weed will degrade if it’s not stored correctly. This doesn’t mean that your usual weed source is not good but depending on how long and how it’s stored, it may not be worth the money. The post-harvest process (aka how flowers are packed and stored) plays a huge role in flower quality and will dictate the quality of the product that you get.
Just like with veggies where fresh produce is much tastier than frozen vegetables, cannabis should be stored in a specific way in order to keep it in good condition. If these conditions are not maintained, cannabis flowers will degrade and you don’t want to pay top money for old weed. On top of that, cannabis from unknown sources may contain heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals that not only affect the flavor and aroma but also the high experience. Then how can you avoid this?
Well, As legalization evolves, more and more consumers are getting the chance to grow their own cannabis. It doesn’t matter if you want to grow for recreational or medical purposes, home growing does not only ensure you’re getting garden-fresh top-shelf weed without leaving your home but also allows you to learn as you go, perfecting your gardening skills and taking them to the next level.
Want to go for 100% organically-grown weed? Want to adventure into the world of hydroponics? It’s completely possible, even for beginners, and easier than you imagined. On top of that, there are over thousands of different strains available in the market, so you can grow THC and CBD strains, or a specific terpene profile (responsible for aromas and flavors) you might like instead of being restricted to what’s available at the moment.
Adding to these reasons, growing your own weed gives you full control of exactly what you’re smoking. Many coffee shops and dispensaries boast extensive menus but browse any seed bank and you’ll realise that they only offer a very thin slice of all of the types of weed that are available. Eventually, as you progress and diversify as a grower, you’ll discover strains that meet your preferences perfectly, from the way they taste and smell all the way to their subjective psychoactive effects. Plus, you can ensure that the weed you consume is of truly outstanding quality. Seeing as you’re in charge of the growing process, you can hold back on toxic chemicals often used in other grows, and instead opt to take an organic approach to grow the purest flowers possible.
2. BENEFITS OF HOME GROWING
So how much money can you save by growing your own weed?
To cut a long story short, instead of buying a gram of flower for $10 you can buy a cannabis seed instead and get over 100g per plant for the same amount! It’s true that you need to learn the basics to succeed, but growing cannabis it’s as simple as growing any plant: it needs sunlight, soil, and water. This means that if you grow plants or vegetables in your garden as a hobby, you already have everything you need to grow cannabis outdoors.
Obviously, not everyone has a big backyard or an outdoor garden at their disposal but nowadays technology gives you so many alternatives to choose from that make it possible to grow indoors and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, it’s as simple as plug and play. If you choose to grow indoors the basics are the same but you’ll always be one step ahead. Forget about an unexpected rainstorm or a week-long drought, since now you’re playing nature and are in control of every single aspect. You’ll be able to provide and maintain the perfect conditions for your plants and despite the extra effort, the more you give the more you get so it’s definitely worth it.
By growing your own cannabis you’re not only getting a lifetime supply of weed but you also get the 100% chemical-free harvest that you deserve and dream about, especially those with medical needs. On top of that, you´ll be doing yourself and the world a favor because you’re not only consuming less harmful substances but you’re helping reduce part of the pollution such as packaging and product transportation; So even if you’re not doing it directly, you’re still doing your part. Of course, your cannabis plants do need some inputs along the way to grow properly and produce the best results possible. However, you can also close the loop as a grower and make many of your own, which will save you even more money down the line.
To start with, you can capture your own rainwater to avoid having to use more out of your own tap. Next up, if you have the luxury of growing outdoors, you’ll save on having to run lights, fans, and humidifiers. You don’t even need to constantly invest in synthetic bottled nutrients, although it will help you to get established during your first few attempts. You can create your own fertility by converting your kitchen scraps and garden waste into compost. By skipping tilling and adding mulch and worm casting to your soil, you’ll also create healthy soil that will have the ability to raise plants from seeds to harvest with minimal intervention required.
3. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FROM SEED TO HARVEST?
As the world evolves, cannabis genetics have gotten more advanced than ever and nowadays you can find autoflowering cannabis seeds that develop super-fast without affecting the quality and amount of the harvest. So the perception that cannabis depends on a specific season and takes 4-8 months from seed to harvest is still true, but it’s no longer the only option. This is where autoflowering cannabis comes into play.
Autoflowers are a unique type of cannabis plant that grow relatively short and flower automatically around 3-5 weeks after germination, taking around 30% less time than traditional cannabis plants without the need to change the light cycle to 12/12. On top of that, autoflowers grow perfectly in harsh weather so you have up to 4 outdoor cycles per year. This means that now you can grow in any season and have excellent harvests in as little as 8 weeks, which will eventually give you peace of mind and the extra time everyone needs.
The characteristics mentioned above are a grower’s dream come true, but if you’re a beginner it may still be hard for you to understand why autoflowers are so unique. Besides everything you’ve read until now, autoflowers allow you to do much more:
You can find autos that grow up to 150cm but due to the shorter life cycle, most autoflowers usually stay at around 90cm without affecting yields or quality of the buds, allowing you to grow excellent weed in a small grow space while keeping your garden a secret. Also, due to the shorter size, autoflowers need less water, less nutrients, and less maintenance, so it’s a win-win situation for those who want to keep things stealthy, those with limited space, or those who just don’t want to grow huge trees.
Some growers even take things to the extreme to make sure that nobody stumbles across their herbal crop. Browse some growing forums, and you’ll see the true genius of clandestine cannabis cultivators at work. Some growers have managed to convert 5-gallon buckets and computer towers into completely growing units. These are equipped with fans and lights, yet look completely innocent to any onlookers. A less extreme, but still very effective approach, involves converting kitchen cupboards into growing spaces that are completely normal to anybody walking by. Then, we have the art of guerrilla growing. Scouting out an outdoor area, from an opening in a forest to a far-away meadow, serves many growers well. Although plants receive less love and care, they’re truly hidden away and off your property.
NO NEED TO CHANGE LIGHT CYCLE
Another great benefit of autoflowers is that they don’t depend on a different light cycle to start flowering, unlike traditional cannabis, autoflowers grow from seed to harvest under any light cycle. This means that if you’re an outdoor grower you can start your grow cycle at any moment without any issues, just remember that the more light they get, the more they give back. Or, if you’re growing indoors, there’s no need to worry about adjusting timers or changing light bulbs, just set it and forget it.
PERPETUAL HARVEST ALL YEAR LONG
And last but not least, autoflowers are the best option for those who want a lifetime supply of weed. A perpetual harvest consists of harvesting cannabis plants weekly or bi-weekly, it’s a perfect way of trying new flavors and highs, and it’s extremely easy to do so with autoflowers because you don’t need two different grow spaces for vegetative and flowering plants like you would with traditional cannabis.
Perpetual harvest allows you to have a continuous grow, this way you never run out of buds. This means that you can have autoflowers in different growth stages in the same tent without any extra equipment, so if you time it right you could be harvesting every couple of weeks, days, or months!
4. HOW MANY PLANTS CAN I GROW IN A SQUARE METER?
Now that you know all you need to know about autoflowers, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. So how many plants can you grow in a square meter and what yields can you expect?
Well, it depends on several things, mainly growing conditions and space available. If you’re growing indoors in 1m2 you’ll be able to fit up to 9 plants, with an average production of 400-600 gr/m2. On the other hand, outdoor growers usually don’t have to worry about space, so you can expect between 60-100 grams per plant.
As mentioned, growing conditions play a huge role in the quantity and quality of the weed. In order to achieve the highest yields, it’s essential you provide optimal growing conditions or at least as close as you’re able. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on growing outdoors or indoors, a successful harvest depends on quality genetics so it’s essential you start with good seeds from the very beginning.
Autoflowers have been around for more than a decade now. Thanks to the autoflower pioneers who have been breeding and understanding auto genetics, the cannabis market is able to offer excellent automatic strains for all types of growing, including outdoors, indoors, and greenhouse growing. From our experience, all autoflowering strains are perfectly suited for all types of growers but the difference is the grow space and growing conditions.
So for those with a home-made setup or limited space, the perfect autos to start are usually the smallest strains that grow faster and require less maintenance such as Blueberry Auto, Strawberry Pie Auto, and Zkittlez Auto which performs excellently indoors and outdoors, and in all types of climates.
And once you’ve established your grow setup and gained a little bit of experience, you can go for much taller plants that can yield much more such as Forbidden Runtz, Mimosa Cake, and Gorilla Cookies, which are also perfect for more advanced plant training techniques.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Autoflowers are not only perfect for different types of growers but for different consumers and different needs; There are many different consumption methods that medicinal users can benefit from, like making edibles with cannabutter, topical creams, and CBD capsules without even rolling a joint!
5. IN CONCLUSION
Now that you know that growing your own weed obviously pays off in great ways. Home growing not only saves you time, money, and effort but brings more benefits to the table, including:
- Getting a lifetime supply of top-shelf weed without paying extra;
- Growing your own chemical-free medicine on your own terms;
- Doing your part in reducing pollution and taking a more eco-friendly approach;
- Trying all flavors, aromas, and effects in the seed market instead of being restricted to what’s available.
And what if you could get all of these benefits by spending 30% less time from seed to harvest? Autoflowering seeds take only 8-9 weeks, they are super resilient to plant diseases and could be grown in all kinds of weathers making it possible to have 4 grow cycles per year and:
- Grow outdoors, indoors, or in a greenhouse all year-round in any season;
- Cultivate cannabis plants that flower automatically without switching a light cycle;
- Possibility to harvest big yields in limited spaces without extra effort;
- Get excellent weed with less hassle and with any level of experience;
Autoflowering cannabis seeds give you a huge advantage but remember that the main difference between average and top-shelf flowers is genetics. Before starting, make sure to look for reputable strains and start with the right foot!