First-time cannabis grower? Here’s what you need to know.

Have you ever considered growing your own cannabis? If you live in Canada, you are allowed to grow up to four plants for your own use and you don’t need a license to do so.

If you’ve never grown cannabis, but think you’d like to give it a try, there are a few things you need to take into consideration—each with its own pros and cons.

But there are some differences in what you need to think about when you’re considering the indoor/outdoor question.

Growing indoors

Growing indoors means that you have total control over the environment in which your plants grow. You don’t have to worry about frost or storms or even marauding animals. This control means that indoor flowers are usually superior to those grown outside.
Sounds pretty good so far.
First, are you going to grow indoors or outdoors?
For both indoor and outdoor growing, you can grow from either seeds or clones. You will also need to feed your plants, treat them for pests, stake them for support and defoliate them (removing leaves to allow better air flow and light penetration). All plants need a little love.
The down sides are that you will have to contend with smell and the potential for increased power costs if you have to use artificial light for your plants. Additionally, certain substrates can be messy to work with.
There is also an issue of space.
How much space you will need depends on how large you want your plants to grow. We’ll get to this in a moment.

Growing outdoors

Wherever you live, climate and weather are going to play a big role in the success of your harvest.

When you move your plants outdoors, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them to be sure they are hardy enough to handle the outdoor elements. The ideal time is usually end of May or early June. You’ll be harvesting between the end of September and end of October. Canadians know that both times of year harbour the possibility of frost, so you’ll need to monitor the local weather forecasts carefully.

The earlier you get your plants outdoors and growing, the larger your plants will be.

You’ll also keep a watch on your plants’ water needs and be sure to water regularly during dry summers.

Space

Now for the issue of space.

How much space you need depends on how large you want your plants to grow before they flower. Larger plants produce more flowers, but take more space. There is no right or wrong size. Larger plants need more maintenance like adding supports, de- leafing and so on.

As a side note, many growers opt for using a grow-tent, which comes in various sizes and has pre-punctured holes for venting.

The growing cycle

During the grow phase, your plants need 18 to 24 hours of continuous light each day. While they receive this amount of light, they will grow without flowering. You can stay in the growth for as little an amount of time or as long as you wish. This is up to you and that issue of size versus time.

When you want to trigger your plants to set bloom your plants, change the lighting to an equal 12 hours of light and 12 of darkness. Depending on the variety, the plant will continue to stretch (vertical growth) for about two weeks and then the plant funnels all its energy into flowering.

Controlling light is obviously easier inside than out.

Although there’s a lot more to learn about growing cannabis, making some decisions up front about where you’re going to grow and how much space you’re going to need will help you to decide if growing is an option for you.