How does it work: the cultivation of cannabis
The number of hemp varieties has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. This is because new breeding methods have been developed to greatly simplify the development of new varieties. Genetic engineering was also often cited by the media as a reason for the relatively high THC content. But the correct cultivation of hemp seeds is not as complicated as it appears.
Once the right seed has been purchased, there are various things that have to be taken into account during the cultivation of cannabis.
1. Before buying and growing
It is important to find out exactly what is legal and what is illegal in your country. You can find out about the legal situations on our website.
2. The right sex
Since the hemp plant is diocesan, i.e. sexually separated, it is important that both the female and the male components are present in the cultivation. This is the only way cannabis can reproduce and form cannabis seeds, since the plant depends on the fertilization of female inflorescences by the male pollen.
3 Environmental conditions
The hemp plant grows best in tropical, mediterranean and temperate climate zones. In regions such as Central Europe, it can also grow outdoors from spring to autumn. The light should also be suitable. The basic rule is: the more light the plants get, the more harvest you get. Through photosynthesis, light becomes the “food” of all plants – including the hemp plant. For indoor cultivation it is therefore important to ensure sufficient lighting, if you don´t have natural light you will need artificial light.
Furthermore, the CO₂ content, the maximum and minimum day and night temperature as well as the relative humidity must be taken into account during cultivation. In the different growth phases of the flower these aspects vary immensely.
4. Preparations to be made
Basic things, like having enough pots, the cultivation material (here you can use earth, wool or similar things), preparation of the growth place as well as all things, which could be needed otherwise, should be prepared. The condition of the soil also plays an important role. When growing outdoors, it is important to ensure that there are sufficient nutrients in the soil and that the space is not overshadowed by tall trees and other large objects.
When growing cannabis seeds, you still have a little time to prepare the cultivation system during the germination phase (the Homebox Growbox is well suited for this).
5. When should you grow?
Cannabis plants should be germinated and kept inside for a bit and then be allowed to grow outside. This is best done in a greenhouse. For the vegetative growth phase, apart from self-flowering varieties, hemp plants need at least 18 hours of light per day. If you decide to plant cuttings (these are also the better choice), they should be kept inside 3-4 weeks and then be planted outdoors. Outdoor cuttings should be kept inside first. They must reach a height of 30-50 cm before they can be planted outside. However, this should only be done when the night frost is over, as it is deadly for the hemp plant.
The little Cannabis Plants should also not be kept inside longer than 4 to 8 weeks; outdoor cuttings 3-6 weeks.
6. Cultivation of cannabis outdoors
6.1 The right place
First of all it is important to find a suitable place for your hemp plants, which is on the one hand easily accessible for you, but also not visible for strangers.
6.2 The soil
The choice of the soil condition is also an important factor. For example, it is not advisable to use soil from the forest, as it is very acidic and low in nitrogen and also allows too little light for the hemp plant. But it is important to buy the soil from Growshops, as it already contains the right minerals and nutrients.
6.3 Preparing the soil
The soil must be loosened, large stones should be removed and a hole dug.
6.4 Sufficient light
Light, in this case the sun, provides the energy for photosynthesis. Hemp is a needy plant and needs a lot of it for its growth. Be careful not to choose a shady place.
7 Important things when growing hemp indoors
7.1 The light
Depending on the size of the cultivating area, more or less light is required. During the vegetative phase the plants need less light output per plant, because the plants are a little smaller and do not yet have many leaves. For this reason, it is not possible to determine the general need for light.
For 0.5 m² approx. 250 W and for 1.5 m² approx. 600 W are needed.
In a growroom it is also important to use the floor and background as reflectors in order to use the light as efficiently as possible. Dark surfaces absorb the light and little to nothing is reflected from the surface. White surfaces, however, reflect the light very well and thus the light that does not directly hit the cannabis plant can be reflected and hit another part of the plant. This increases the efficiency enormously and it is therefore very advisable to use this.
7.2 Air supply
Because there´s wind outside, it must of course be simulated in a grow box. An air system with dirt particle trap is suitable for this.
The pH value of the water used should not be lower than 5.5 and not more than 6.5, the temperature should be 20-25 °C. It is very important never to water the plants if the light is shining directly at them, because the sun could burn the plants this way.
7.4 The vegetative phase
This describes the growth phase of the hemp plant and the period from germination to the beginning of the flowering phase or the end of the growth phase. (In the wild, this is the period from April to the end of August) After which the days become shorter and the hemp plant develops its flowers. If you have decided to grow in a covered environment, you will of course have to simulate these conditions.
Once the hemp has formed enough roots and leaves, it is ready for the growth phase. Now small leaves should have formed and it is ready for repotting (after approx. 2-6 weeks)
9. The productive phase
The productive phase, also called flowering phase, is controlled by the daily lighting. Depending on the type of hemp seed, this lasts 5-12 weeks. Since the plant mainly needs phosphorus in this phase, the right fertilizer should be selected now.
The last 7-14 days before the harvest, you should only water the hemp plant with clear water to rinse off any residues from the plant. The ideal harvest time is reached within a time window of 5-7 days and it is very important not to harvest the buds too early.
We hope you enjoyed our take on the cultivation of cannabis.