If you want to enjoy the highest quality cannabis, then it’s going to be organic herb. But growing cannabis organically can be a challenge. We explored organic farming techniques and put together this small guide so that you can successfully grow your own organic cannabis crop.
Cannabis consumers are becoming increasingly aware of what they’re putting into their joints or bowls. In particular, there is a growing demand for organically grown cannabis—without pesticides, artificial nutrients, or anything else unpleasant for the human body and the planet in general. Fortunately, you can produce organic cannabis at home rather easily. Here’s how to do it:
It’s crucial to comprehend what “organic cannabis” means before we get into the nitty gritty of growing it organically. Coarsely put, an organic product is one that originates from “living matter.” When discussing food or plant-based products more expressly–such as cannabis–a product can be considered “organic” when it hasn’t been exposed to pesticides, additives, chemical fertilizers, or other man-made materials.
The majority of plant nutrients are obtained from rich, fertile topsoil that includes animal feces and dead plant/animal remains that have been decayed by bacteria, fungi, insects, and other microorganisms. Biologists refer to this as the “soil food web,” which is a biosphere made up of five main trophic levels:
- Photosynthesisers (plants)
- Decomposers like fungi, bacteria, and small nematodes
- Shredders, small predators, and grazers
- Higher level predators like large insects and nematodes
- Higher level predators like birds and other, larger animals
Plants in this ecosystem have everything they need to develop and flourish as a result of its natural makeup. Instead of using a “dead” growing medium with chemical fertilizers, organic gardening entails recreating this rich soil using organic material such as compost rather than a “dead” growing medium.
WHY GROW ORGANIC?
There are two key reasons for why you should consider cultivating organic cannabis. To begin with, it creates a higher-quality product. Cannabis plants cultivated with non-organic fertilizers like Top Grow do, in fact, generate large, dense, and powerful buds. When given a thorough flush, these buds have a pleasant taste and burning properties as well. However, most cannabis experts will notice a significant difference in flavor, burn, and sometimes even psychoactive effects between bud that has been grown organically and conventional marijuana.
The second reason to begin with organic techniques is to decrease the environmental effect of your crop. Chemical runoff from any sort of agricultural project wreaks havoc on the environment, polluting rivers, streams, and damaging/killing plants and animals. Illegal growers frequently use pesticides to protect their crops as well as chemical nutrients to increase yields. In almost all cases, these chemicals are drained away into surrounding areas, such as streams, where they are devastating the natural local environment.
It’s also worth noting that organic cannabis products are more likely to be safe for medical marijuana patients because they include all of the plant’s therapeutic effects without the addition of other, potentially dangerous chemicals.
HOW TO GROW ORGANIC CANNABIS OUTDOORS
It’s a pleasure to grow cannabis outside. However, it’s a good idea to start your seedling indoors since they may be rather delicate. You can move your plants out onto the patio once they’ve grown several large leaves and a somewhat thicker stem.
The optimal planting time depends on the type of plant you’re growing. For maximum impact, start seedlings in late spring. This ensures that your plants stay longer in the vegetative stage, resulting in larger growth and harvests. When you transplant your plants outside, make sure they get enough sunlight and water them properly.
We recommend growing outdoors if you live in an area with long, warm summers because natural sunlight is optimal for plant growth. While your plants are young and vulnerable, it’s best to keep them indoors; however, once they have developed a few big leaves, acclimating them to the outdoors will be beneficial for their development. Additionally, this conserves energy which positively impacts the environment!
HOW TO GROW ORGANIC CANNABIS INDOORS
You can grow organic cannabis indoors by utilizing one of two methods- either through organic soil, or a hydroponic setup. The latter is often more expensive, but gives the growers greater control over their plants. Additionally, if done properly, hydro setups have been known to create excellent harvests . Although there is some debate among experts as to whether growing hydroponically can be classified as truly “organic”, it still adheres closely to the definition when certain methods are utilized.
If you opt to grow using hydroponics, you won’t need to ready the soil beforehand. Your plants will instead sprout in an inert medium- think perlite- and receive all their nutrients from liquid fertilizers direct to the roots. Of course, the fertilizer must be organic.
In terms of indoor plant lighting, you’ll need at least 400 watts. If that’s not an option, consider using 600 or 1000-watt bulbs to produce bigger, denser buds. Also, keep in mind that proper ventilation is necessary for your plants to grow indoors and avoid disease and fungal infection.
Another option for growing organic cannabis in a hydroponic system is aquaponics. In this method, rather than utilizing fertilizers or nutrient solutions, your plants obtain nutrients from the fish waste contained in the hydroponic water.
HOW TO GROW ORGANIC CANNABIS: PREPARING YOUR SOIL
The easiest approach to develop cannabis is to start with a few plants in 15 to 20-liter pots. These give enough room for your plants to grow to maturity and yield around 100g each plant. Smaller pots are feasible, but you’ll end up with smaller, less potent plants.
The pots you purchase for your cannabis plants must have drainage holes in the bottom. Otherwise, the plant will not be able to grow properly due to a lack of well-draining soil.
You’ll then need to add your soil. There are two methods for preparing organic soil; the first is to buy pre-made soil and supplement it with coco coir, perlite, worm castings, greensand, dolomite lime pellets, guano, and other nutrients. This is more time-consuming but will result in a far more nutrient-dense mix that may be too hot for seedlings or tiny plants. To make up for it, you’ll have to wet the soil for at least 24 hours.
If you want to get the most out of your marijuana plants, choose the right soil for them. Once they’re in it, use natural and organic fertilizers to feed them during their development and bloom periods. Liquid seaweed and bat guano are two organic fertilizers that might be worth looking into. The process for preparing organic soil is similar whether you grow indoors or outdoors.
You can also construct your own compost heap at home by using food waste, tea leaves, coffee grounds, eggshells, and other organic waste from the kitchen. This process works effectively and is considerably less expensive since you’ll be adding kitchen waste to your soil. Composting, on the other hand, takes time; therefore you’ll need to prepare your soil ahead of time if you want to cultivate.
To begin your own compost, you’ll need a compost bin or bed. You may either DIY it yourself or buy one from a gardening store. To help break down the organic waste and aerate your soil, start off your compost with a thick layer of organic potting mix and some roundworms.
You may also add organic material to your compost over time. The following are some of the most typical compost materials available:
- Corn cobs
- Vegetable stalks
- Pine needles
- Wood shavings
- Dry leaves and grass
- Coffee grounds
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Fresh grass clippings and leaves
- Alfalfa meal
For the most optimal results, your compost should have more high-carbon ingredients than nitrogen-rich ones. A 3:1 ratio is often recommended by gardeners to allow for the best performance of microorganisms in your compost.
Remember, compost heats up as it decomposes—heat is a natural consequence of compost breakdown. As a result, if you apply your compost before it’s completely broken down, you’ll burn the roots of your plants.
Composting takes anywhere from two months to a few years to finish, depending on the amount of soil you’re composting and the substances you’re adding to it. However, preparing soil for a few cannabis plants should take only a few months. To help accelerate this process, you may also turn your compost every three days or so.
If you mix perlite or vermiculite into your soil when planting, it will help with drainage no matter if you’re composting indoors or outdoors. Making compost is the same process regardless of where you plan to use it.
HOW TO ENHANCE ORGANIC GROWTH
There are a variety of organic growth-boosting solutions available to you. These include:
1. COMPOST TEA
By brewing compost in water for 1-3 days, you can create a potent liquid to feed your plants – this is known as compost tea. Chlorinated water should not be used; non-chlorinated water is best. The final product can either be sprayed onto leaves as protection against pests/diseases or simply fed to the roots of your plants.
Molasses is a by-product of the cane sugar juice refinement process. It’s a black, goopy liquid that includes a variety of minerals that are removed from sugar during processing. While it’s typically utilized for cooking, it may also be used to feed your soil’s microorganisms in order to produce a much more nutritious environment for your cannabis plants.
3. ROLS (RECYCLED ORGANIC LIVING SOIL)
One of the most beneficial media for your plants is recycled organic living soil. It’s made by buying dirt and enriching it with natural fertilizers, protective chemicals to help protect your plants’ root systems, compost tea, and other additives. The information above on preparing your soil will help you create your own ROLS.
4. NATURAL PLANT CARE
Using a few basic care techniques is the best way to get your plants performing at their best. Some of these are:
- Companion planting: When cannabis plants are planted with other plants, they help to strengthen and fortify your garden. Mint, dill, basil, marigolds, coriander, and chives are a few wonderful choices for planting alongside your cannabis.
- Friendly bugs and insects: Creating a healthy ecosystem in your garden is the key to organic growth. You can do this by companion planting and introducing helpful bugs and insects, such as ladybirds, lacewings, predatory mites, and assassin bugs. These will all help shield your plants from other harmful predators.
- Neem oil: Neem oil is a fantastic tool for cannabis gardeners. Neem oil, which comes from the Azadirachta indica tree, is a potent natural insecticide that can protect your plants against most predatory insects and fungus and keep them healthy.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN GROWING ORGANICALLY
By following the organic methods described above, you can yield beautiful plants and great results. Your plants may not produce as much using chemical nutrients, but they will make up for it in quality.