You have your medical marijuana doctor’s recommendation, now what? You go to your local dispensary and buy some cannabis. But suppose you don’t live near a dispensary, or you don’t want to pay the dispensary prices, or you’re just plain not comfortable going inside. All are great reasons for taking up the rewarding hobby of cannabis cultivation.
Before you jump right in though, take a deep breath. There are a few things to think about before adding cannabis cultivation to your life. Growing marijuana can be a lot like winning Goldie the goldfish at the State Fair. It’s fun and interesting at the start, you’re enthused for a few weeks, then the next thing you know you forget to feed her or clean the aquarium and Goldie is belly-up in her fishbowl.
Neglect your plants and you just might end up flushing them too. Cannabis cultivation takes time, energy, and a little luck as well, if you expect to grow dispensary quality buds. Dispensaries buy from growers who do this for a living. It was most likely a hobby for them too in the beginning, then they got good at it and decided to pursue it full time. If you’re about to do your first experiment in cannabis cultivation, you don’t need to go to the same fuss and expense of the professional farmer, just as a home vegetable gardener doesn’t need a tractor to grow a few tomato plants.
Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation Considerations
Growing outdoors requires no more growing skills then growing tomatoes, so if you can do that, you’re halfway there. If you enjoy outdoor gardening as a hobby you will enjoy outdoor cannabis cultivation as well. Here are some things to consider before you get going:
- Do you have enough time to devote? You will be planting in April or May and harvesting in Sept or October. Will you, or someone you trust, be around to care for the garden during that entire time?
- Do you have the right space? The idea outdoor growing space get a healthy dose of direct sunlight.
- Can you keep it safe? The most difficult part about growing outside is keeping your garden a secret from the worst predictor of all, the cannabis ripoffs, an ingenious species that will devour entire gardens in a single night or when you’re away from home.
Indoor Cannabis Cultivation Considerations
Growing indoors is a bit more tricky. Not only do you need a green thumb, you need to create an entire indoor ecosystem. You’ll have lights and timers in a sealed room (except for air filters and vents) that requires almost daily monitoring to be successful. Hobbyist indoor growers are part McGyver and part Martha Stewart. An entire new industry of hydroponic stores is thriving to support indoor gardening activities, be it hydroponic or soil growing so look for one near you if you do decide to go this route.
- Do you have enough time? Each indoor crop takes at least 3 to 4 months to complete, time in which you or someone you trust will needs to watch and monitor the garden.
- Do you have the right space? An indoor garden must not be disturbed during its dark cycle, as allowing light into the room for even a few seconds and seriously negatively impact your plants. You need a well ventilated room that can stay undisturbed or a specially made grow tent. You also need a room away from nosy visitors or kids, just like an outdoor garden, your indoor garden is still subject to being ripped off, although it is not quite as vulnerable.
- Do you have enough electricity? You will need to insure your indoor grow has adequate electricity to handle the higher loads of lights and fans.
- Do you have enough money? Maintaining an indoor grow is significantly more expensive that outdoors. Be prepared to spend well over $1000.00 to build it and get it up and running, then you will have additional ongoing costs for nutrients and a bigger electric bill. Budget and plan accordingly.
- Do you like to tinker? Indoor gardens need constantly monitoring, testing, and tinkering. If you are more a set it and forget it type of person, an indoor garden may not be right for you.
In the upcoming months we’ll be posting step by step articles on cannabis cultivation and how to grow dispensary quality buds at home. So, ask yourself those questions and if you find you do in fact have the time, desire and passion to grow your own, we’re behind you 100%. If you answered no to many of them, cannabis cultivation may not be right for you and we’re afraid your garden will go the way of poor old Goldie.