Growing Cannabis Indoors
One of the benefits of growing your own cannabis crop is that you get to choose to grow your herbs indoors or outdoors. Many people enjoy the privacy and security that an indoor crop provides, along with the reduction of pests.
One of the most important decisions that a cannabis grower makes is the specific variety of seeds that will provide a hearty harvest while maintaining a modest growth habit, allowing a larger yield. Royal Queen Seeds carries a large variety of feminized seeds that are perfect for your indoor crop.
Royal Creamatic, for instance, tops off between 60 to 80 centimeters for the indoor gardener, yields 400 to 450 grams per meter-squared, and is adored for its heavenly scent and sweet candy-like flavor. Its genetic heritage consists of Cream Caramel and Ruderalis, and is a hybrid blend of Sativa 10%, Indica 60%, and Ruderalis 60%. Growers appreciate the sweet maple-like scent of Royal Creamatic, which eases the burden of disguising the scent of the crop.
Royal Dwarf tops off between 40 to 70 centimeters indoors and yields 150 to 200 grams per meter-squared. It flowers in six to seven weeks, and is ready for harvest eight to nine weeks after sprouting. Growers enjoy the compact and quick growing habit of this strain, along with a potent skunky high. Royal Dwarf has a genetic heritage of Skunk and Ruderalis, with a hybrid blend of Sativa 60%, Indica 10%, and Ruderalis 30%.
Germinating and Growing Techniques
The six main elements of growing any plants are light, water, compatible growing medium, food, room temperature, and fresh air. Royal Queen seeds are widely reported to sprout within two days of planting.
The seeds should be planted about one centimeter below firmly packed and moist soil. Many growers cover the container with kitchen cellophane to maintain even moisture, and keep the room temperature between 20 to 25 degrees centigrade, or 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil based crops will appreciate a loose soil mixed with 25% perlite or coco fiber, which encourages easy root growth with good aeration. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings, as cannabis can be damaged by overwatering. Over watering soil-grown plants will slow their development and reduce your yield and bud quality.
Growers who desire the largest yield possible will allow two to six weeks of vegetative growth before switching to flowering conditions. Growers who desire a quick harvest can utilize the "Sea of Green" method, which uses only a few days of vegetative growth before switching to flowering conditions.
The SCROG method is employed by training the plants beneath a chicken wire mesh, allowing the buds to grow vertically while the stems grow horizontally. This technique quickly produces multipe main colas with a higher yield. Some growers enjoy pinching the plants once they have achieved their fourth or fifth pair of leaves. This produces smaller bushier plants without the main stem.
Growing cannabis indoors requires the use of powerful artificial lighting that replicates the life giving properties of the sun. During the sprouting and vegetative growing stage, experienced growers will utilize lights with a blue dominant color range found in florescent and metal halide lights. High pressure sodium lights have a red spectrum range and are used for the flowering and reproductive stage.
Indoor growers achieve good results with lighting between 250 to 800 watts, or 2700 to 5000 k. Some growers enjoy using natural daylight bulbs that have a balance of blue and red spectrums, and lights that have a fan incorporated into them, as they mitigate the potentially damaging heat produced by the lamp.
The lamps should be placed about four to six feet (40 to 50 cm) from the plant. Cooler florescent lights can be placed closer to the plants without concern for heat damage. Often, the personal grower can achieve satisfactory results with a single 400 to 600 watt high pressure sodium bulb for a growing area of one to two meters-squared. Growers can intensify the effects of their lighting by creating an environment where the plants are surrounded by mirrors, aluminum foil, or bright white walls.
During the growing and vegetative stage, lights are employed from 18 to 24 hours a day, and during the flowering stage the light is reduced to about 12 hours a day.
Cannabis enjoys the gentle breeze supplied by a fan. Experienced growers have learned to incorporate carbon filter systems to mitigate the aroma of their crops and maintain their privacy. Try not to underestimate the intense aroma that an enclosed crop will create, and do filter your air before allowing it to be released from the growing area.
Air cooled lights can be found that enclose the light in a glass casing and have a fan that both cools the bulb and has a tube attached that forces the air out of the growroom. Experienced growers will many times also invest in ozone generators to mitigate odors.
Many beginning growers prefer to use a lot of boosters and extra nutrients thinking this will result in bigger yields. The oposit is true! Read our detailed article on why you should not use grow boosters.