Why Grow At Home?
Apr 10, 2019 04:58PM
To kick off my column on home cannabis cultivation, I’m taking on a fundamental question: Why should you grow your own herb at home? With weed now legal in California since the passage of Prop 64, more and more licensed dispensaries are opening all the time, and quality, lab-tested flower is easy to find in most urban areas. So even though the legalization initiative includes provisions to grow up to six cannabis plants at home, is there any point in doing so?
The most obvious advantage is cost; legal pot comes with high taxes and a markup at every step in the supply chain between you and the grower. But beyond saving money, maintaining your own cannabis garden offers elements of choice, control, and satisfaction you won’t experience at the dispensary.
While it’s true that a good cannabis retailer can have dozens of strains available, online sources and seed catalogs offer hundreds, if not thousands, of choices. The selection may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little research you can find a strain or two that fits the bill for the effect you’re looking for, be it a light and creative head buzz, a deep couch-lock high, or a specific medical benefit.
Home cannabis cultivation gives you complete control over the inputs used to produce the flower you enjoy. If you’re concerned about chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you can grow organically and avoid them completely, relying on natural nutrients and pest control options instead. If you would like to avoid the carbon footprint associated with conventional indoor grown cannabis, you can cultivate with efficient LED lighting, in the sun in a secure greenhouse or outdoors in full sun, depending on jurisdictions.
Growing cannabis, like any kind of gardening, gives a sense of satisfaction from working with nature to produce your own harvest and can be an engaging hobby in its own right. Though cultivating on your own, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the plant and a deeper appreciation for its magic as you gain more knowledge. Nurturing a young seedling or clone into a large, mature plant packed with tight clusters of flowers is a deeply rewarding experience for those with a taste for fine cannabis. Once the fragrant buds have dried and cured, smoking your harvest with like-minded friends strengthens the sense of community and camaraderie that cannabis so famously inspires.
In the months ahead, Green House will explore the ins and outs of growing your own cannabis at home. We’ll dig into the details about different growing media, including soil and hydroponic systems. We’ll learn about the differences between male and female plants and how to induce the ladies to produce flowers sticky with resin and devoid of seeds. We’ll cover how to harvest, dry, and cure the buds to enhance and preserve flavor and effect. Along the way we’ll discuss challenges you’re likely to face in the garden such as pests, disease, and strategies to confront them.
That said, don’t wait to get started. The best teacher for cannabis cultivation, like many other endeavors, is experience. So, get yourself a grow guide, visit your local hydro store, talk to any friends you have who grow, and get your hands dirty. Start gaining and sharing the skills and knowledge needed to grow fine cannabis and check each month as we continue the journey.