Canada has officially legalized recreational marijuana and that means some provinces will allow for home grows.
As of now, the federal government set a limit of four plants per household and most provinces and territories followed that advice except for Quebec and Manitoba, which banned home growing all together.
But for those who live in provinces that legally allow it, here’s how to get your hands dirty. Master growers at 7ACRES in Kincardine, Ont., showed Global News exactly how it’s done.
So when you’re first starting out, you can either start from seed or start from a baby clone plant.
If you start from seeds, you put them in a moist paper towel and let them germinate. That’s the process of the seed cracking and allowing the root to come out. Once that’s done, you plant them into small trays.
Or you can take a cutting from what is known as a mother plant. You take a strand of the plant, cut the excess leaves and dip the plant in rooting solution that you can find at any home garden centre. Once that’s done, you place the plant into a tray, about a centimetre deep, and give it a little mist.
Then when it grows, you’ll have to transplant it into a bigger pot. At this point, it is crucial to use a soil that is moist and loose so the baby roots have room to penetrate, says Chase Schryer from 7ACRES.
So you add the moist soil in the pot, create space for the clone plant and put the soil around the roots.
Then when the roots have completely made it to the bottom of the tray, it’s time to move the plant to a larger one, at about two gallons big. Master grower Rebecca Phillips recommends using coconut coir, a growing medium for hydroponic and indoor use.
The same thing applies here. You want the soil to be nice and loose so the roots have breathing room, she added. Once the plant is in, cover the bottom of the stem with a bit of moist medium and let it grow there for about two weeks.
After that, it’s time to move the plant into a bigger pot yet again, this time about five or seven gallons. Once more, make sure to put the medium at the bottom, pop the plant in and cover the roots with soil, not to compact.
At this point, you need to start watering the plant. But be careful not to over water.
“The whole problem with over watering is that you’re depriving the plants’ roots of oxygen. Their roots need oxygen or they start to rot they become susceptible to disease and the plant doesn’t grow well,” says Ryan Taylor at 7ACRES.
So make sure your soil is a bit moist, but don’t let water accumulate at the bottom. Give or take, you should be watering the plant every couple of days.
Then there’s the propagation part. For this stage you’re going to need lights. You can buy T5 fixtures with simple fluorescent bulbs. At this point, they need a minimum of 16 hours of light a day. Make sure not to give it less light, because it can go into flowering mode, Ryan Masfrankc says.
Then, when the plant grows, it’s ready for the flowering stage. To get the plant to flower, you essentially need to have 12 hours of lights on, 12 hours of complete darkness. After eight weeks of doing this, then you start getting buds, which is the holy grail of this whole process.
To increase the number of buds, Taylor recommends removing some leaves to increase light penetration.
So then, when do you know when the buds are ready to be cut off? “A rough rule of thumb that I’ve heard is about three weeks after the hairs (pistols) start turning brown. Then the bud will be mature,” Taylor says.
The work doesn’t end there. You have to let the buds dry. In the curing process, you’ll put your product into jars, and about twice a day you’ll open those jars to let the moisture out. You repeat this for a couple of weeks, up to a couple of months, depending on the product and voila, your cannabis is ready for consumption.
*****If you want a step by step guide on how to grow at home, watch the video above, which breaks down the instructions.