Hydroponics advocates are outspoken critics of organic marijuana care. They’ll have their say but not in this article. Others push for raising cannabis in natural outdoor environments but not in this article.
You can raise organic marijuana strains at home, indoors, or in controlled environments like hothouses or greenhouses by following these organic rules.
Organic marijuana gardening rules:
Only sophisticated smokers know the difference, but they’ll line up to testify that organic weed is fresher, better, safer, and more authentic. And, that just makes sense.
When you follow organic rules, you have total control from seed to smoke. You know everything that went into it, and you can be sure it’s the best, cleanest, and purest. All its pluses and minuses belong to you.
As they sat at The Gardener Helper, “They are in a limited amount of soil, with their roots restricted, and exposed to the elements far more than if they were field grown. It is important for the plant's health that pay close attention to watering and feeding requirements of the plant.”
Get some education. Organic growing takes knowledge, patience, time, and cash. You want as much information as you can get before you start, and you need to know you have started a continuing education track.
Each of these books is available at major bookstores and on Kindle:
Green, G. (2009). The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for
Recreational and Medical Use. San Francisco: Green Candy Press.
Soma. (2005). Organic Marijuana, Soma Style: The Pleasures of Cultivating Connoisseur
Cannabis. San Francisco: Quick American Archives.
The Rev. (2016). True Living Organics: The Ultimate Guide to Growing All-Natural Marijuana
Indoors. San Francisco: Green Candy Press.
Scores of books on soils, nutrients, and fertilizers help as will the many how-to videos on the Internet.
Invest in tools. Tools and supplies are a function of your project size. Planting a flower box or a sizable greenhouse, you must adapt.
States, counties, and cities regulate the size of lots. For example, in 2014, Spokane restricted plots to three or five acres. There are also rules on property line setbacks and distance from residences.
You need spreadsheets to calendar the growth stages and to differentiate treatment per strain. Notifications and alerts keep you on schedule, too.
Organic growth requires composting, so you need a compost bin and starter. You need a pitchfork to turn compost and shovels to move it. Harvesting needs small spades and gardening shears.
Somewhere in the process, you will use seedling starters, food grade plastic buckets, LED microscope, misting bottles, paper towels, pH testing pen, Sharpie® markers, and twine.
Plants need ventilation and light, so you must install fans, lighting, and thermostats on automatic timers.
Gather growing compounds. Organic farmers build their own nutrition-rich growing materials. They compost dead leaves, pine needles, plant debris, and tree trimmings into a carbon base.
Household leavings like coffee grounds, fruit rinds, and vegetable peelings add nitrogen to the compost mix. And, eggshells bring calcium.
You’ll also stock up on supplies like Azomite, bat guano, blood meal, bone meal, coco fiber Dolomite, Epsom salts, molasses, neem oil, pH up and pH down, and rock phosphate.
But, Way to Grow publishes Subcool’s recipe for a Super Soil that, complicated as it may be, produces a medium to mix with bas soil. It creates “a well-balanced and nutrient-dense growing medium, you should never have to adjust for pH or nutrient imbalance.”
Trust your hands. Organic growing means getting your hands dirty. Genuine organic growers don’t believe in using equipment or tools when they can use their hands. This means preparing some of your own processes:
- Compost takes time. Allowing up to five months for compost to breakdown, you create a 3-foot square compost bin with chicken wire sides. Alternating layers of brown and green materials, you cap the pile with a mix of straw and blood or bone meal. At three-feet deep, you let it sit until you see it giving off steam in the morning. Throw in some banana peels for a potassium boost.
- Customize your fertilizer. Cannabis plants need Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (NPK) in different ratios at different stages of growth. Nitrogen fuels photosynthesis, Phosphorous produces fuller yields, and Potassium improves immunity. You’ll find numerous recipes for organic fertilizer online. They will blend Azomite, bone meal, Dolomite, kelp meal, soybean meal, and more in different proportions to adjust the NPK balance. You can even add your urine once diluted in water for a few days. You must cultivate soils and additives to serve the specific cannabis strain you are growing. And, if you raise several, you must create soils and fertilizers specific to each strain.
- Balance the water. You must let tap water sit in a container for at least 24-hours to de-chlorinate. Then, a pH detector pen or kit will determine the pH level. Drops of pH Up or pH Down will bring the water’s pH within 6.0 and 7.0. (You can make pH Up and pH Down yourself, but the chemical mixing presents some risk.)
Nurture seedlings. Once you have labeled clear plastic cups with their strain name, fill them two-thirds with pH-balanced water. The seeds will drop to the bottom and grow thin white tap roots within 32 hours.
Using tweezers, you can remove the seeds without touching the tap root. Plant them just below the surface in labeled 12 or 16-ounce cups of composted soil. You can keep seed and soil moist but not wet with a misting bottle.
Marijuana seedlings need light 24/7 as soon as you see stems breaking the soil. But, Tom D. of Growing Organic Marijuana warns, “Give plants less light for the first 24 to 48 hours after transplanting. You can also cover with domed lids to conserve condensation.”
Transplanting improves growth potential. Moving established seedlings to pots or beds allows room for additional root growth, stronger plants, and higher yields. But, you don’t want to handle plants more than necessary, and you do want to handle them gingerly.
Once confident that plants have taken root, you should move them to a 1-gallon container which they will fill with roots within a month. Plants will choke on their own roots if you do not move them to a larger pot.
Garden Guides suggests, “Cover the top of the root ball with ¼ inch of soil. Gently tamp the soil down in the pot, but avoid packing it tightly.” Packing tightly only creates air pockets.
Because you want a gallon space for every plant foot above the surface, you will transplant again until you will move plants to #10 pots that hold seven gallons of liquid.
Organic growth is good for you and the environment. It takes a lot more work, but users say it produces more, tastes better, and boosts your high. The water and the soil are cleaner, and you leave no metals, toxins, or pesticides in the inhale.