In Ontario, at present, you can grow up to four plants per residence, with seeds from the OCS. If the idea of growing your own cannabis plants seems interesting, but you’ve never managed to make a houseplant thrive, you don’t have write off the prospect entirely. People who have virtually no gardening experience can have success with growing cannabis from seed – it’s just a matter of having the right equipment, and some know-how.
We asked Katy Perry from Growop Hydroponics (1332 Bloor St. W), Toronto’s first education-based hydroponic shop, a few questions about growing cannabis at home.
WDBX: What key points do you address in your store weekly drop-in sessions?
KP: We address many things. We usually cover the basics of growing cannabis and general cannabis education. Some of our topics include: germinating seeds, vegetation and bloom phases, lighting, harvesting, pests and problems you may encounter in the grow tent / room. Our classes cover everything you need to know to be a successful grower.
WDBX: What kind of space and equipment does one ideally need to grow a few cannabis plants at home?
KP: It really just depends on how much you want to yield. Our most popular models are 2X2 tent – 4X4 tent, (and in terms of equipment), you’ll need a tent / closet / room, lights, pots, soil or other growing medium, fertilizer and pH equipment.
WDBX: What kind of budget would you recommend be allotted for growing a few plants?
KP: Again, it really just depends on how much you want to yield. We have basic tent starter kits for between $319.00 – $855.00.
WDBX: What should an aspiring grower know about temperature needs and humidity for plants?
KP: To grow your cannabis in optimal conditions you should adjust your temperature / humidity levels according to four different stages. To ensure this is done correctly you should buy a thermometer / hygrometer.
The different stages are seedling, veg, flowering and curing. For the seedling phase, the humidity should be between 65% – 70% and temperatures should range from 20°-25° C. But it really is just a preference – humidity can be as high as 95% in this stage.
For the veg phase, humidity levels should be between 40%-70% and the temperatures can range from 22°-28° C. During the flowering period, humidity levels need to be lowered to about 35%-45% and the temperatures should be between 20°-26° C. Keep in mind that your temperatures should be about 5°-10° lower with the lights off during all phases.
When you are curing your cannabis plants, make sure your drying room is well ventilated and dark. A drying area needs a temperature range of 18.3°-23.3°C. And the humidity should be between 45%-55%. If your temperature is above 26.5° C you can evaporate the terpenes and cannabinoids from your plant.
WDBX: How do you know the plant is ready for harvesting?
KP: There are a couple ways you know when your plant is ready to harvest. The first is when the hairs (pistils) of your plant have curled in and turned from white to an orange-brown colour. The other method is by looking at the trichomes (the resinous coat covering the buds) with a loupe or microscope. If you want more of a speedy high, harvest when the trichomes are half clear, half cloudy.
If you want the highest amount of THC, harvest when the majority of the trichomes are cloudy. If you want more CBN and a bit less THC, then harvest when the trichomes have turned amber, yellow, purple or pink. After you harvest you will need to dry your plants. You can trim them before or after drying. Drying them while wet is usually the preferred method, it is more precise. Dry your buds on a drying rack and once they are completely dry and can break without any struggle then they are ready to be cured.
Place the dried, trimmed buds into glass jars about 2/3 full (you need some air to prevent mold) and keep them in a dark area. Open the jars for 10-15 minutes a few times per day for the first week. This allows you to properly check for mold and provide fresh air. After that, open the jars once every few days for at least 2-3 more weeks. The longer you cure, the smoother the finished product will be.