However, if you can’t turn to your local gardening centre for advice – or even seeds or seedlings – there is absolutely no shortage of know-how that first-time growers can tap into across the country. “There is a long background of cannabis cultivation in Canada and the United States,” says John Fowler, CEO of the Supreme Cannabis Company and a long-time home-grow advocate.
Fowler says two sets of home horticulturalists will more than likely emerge after legalization – certainly one of which will grow the plants as a curiosity, another for quality and consumption. “You will find those who are performing it cause it’s novel and they’re probably only going to accomplish it once and (will) put a few seeds in next to the tomato plants,” he says.
“And I hope that a lot of (these) Canadians get to take advantage of the beauty that is the marijuana. Having said that, the percentages that you will get something worth consuming or should consume at the end of that is relatively low.” Quality herb is hard, Fowler says and needs much equipment and attention – beginning from seed selection.
Seed selection is a point of first choosing a strain, in which you can find hundreds if not thousands, says Keith Kwong, owner of Calgary’s Upper Canada Seed Bank. Kwong says seeds may be selected for plant size – to suit individual growing constraints – and for the concentrations of intoxicating THC or medicinal CBDs they will likely produce.
He places his seeds on wet paper towels for round the clock so they will sprout before planting. Growers looking for a buzz from their product need to get female seeds, says Bjorn Dawson, founder and CEO of Waterloo’s Grobo Inc. Only female plants make the buds where the active ingredients accumulate in a plant, says Dawson, adding that “feminized” seeds can be bought but that there is no guarantee even these will all be the identical sex.
And Fowler cautions that some seeds will surely produce inferior highs. “Every seed is like a sibling which means you don’t know. You could have one (be considered a) doctor or you might have one (be a) inactive,” he says. Will Hyde, a topic matter expert at Leafly Canada, says growers may be more certain with their product by using clones – or cuttings – from plants which have a successful quality.
These can be accomplished through taking a branch from a grown-up plant, placing it in water along with a growing medium until it forms a root, says Dawson, whose company sells hydroponic systems. For anyone in a rush to start their home production in October, the only option is to get it done inside. This means either potting the pants or utilizing a hydroponic system.
Potting them in soil is the cheaper of the two options says Dawson, but he fails to recommend using the same varieties of garden centre soils you’d buy to your spring tomato planting. “I’d recommend likely to one of many hydroponic shops where they are able to take you step-by-step through it a bit better because you are going to need to then add nutrients as time passes,” he says. Dawson says the types and timings of fertilizer use depends on the soil you start with as well as the stain of cannabis you decide on.
“You will find a whole ton of factors that could get into that, and that’s one of many challenges about trying to start growing cannabis by yourself, it takes a lot of research,” he says. For hydroponic systems, plants are placed in ground-up coconut-husk pods which hold them steady higher than the water whilst the roots dangle into the liquid. That liquid is balanced for ph levels and has shifting levels of nutrients depending on the plant’s development stage.
“If you’re searching for the easiest way to start out it’s going to be in soil. If you’re trying to find the easiest grow times and ideal results it’s going to be in hydroponics but it’s harder,” he says. If you’re thinking about growing it inside your home this fall, you have to know this: cannabis is not really an excellent roommate. First of all, it needs the lights left on for many hours on end. And second of, it stinks. Thus experts say, it’s nearly essential which you have a location to grow you pot in isolation.
This may be a room of it’s own, a high-end system like Dawson’s, a purpose built-grow tent or perhaps a jerry-rigged container of your own device, says Jason Makuch, chief product officer at Leafly Canada. Plants, he says, need 18 hours of continuous light per day throughout their growing or “vegetative stage and 12 hours when they’re in flower. The sunshine, which provides the plant its menkzs and fall cues on growth and flowering, can be produced by either high pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide bulbs.
LED lights will also be used more and more, Makuch says. And even though they can be more expensive to buy, they suck up less electricity over their lifetime. An easy Christmas-light timer can be installed to change them on and off. When it comes to smell, which grows increasingly pungent since the plant matures, special carbon-pellet filter boxes can be purchased which can be put into venting outlets on the plant container. There are also masking products which can be found in spray and gel form. Fowler cautions that home growers living in condominiums should check board rules regarding cannabis growth and that all should ensure their electrical circuitry is up to code.