For as much time as I’ve spent browsing the shelves at local pot shops and reporting on industry trends, you’d think that I would have a pretty good idea on how to grow my own marijuana — especially because it’s legal in Michigan to harvest up to 12 plants at home.
But since that’s not the case, I figured we could all learn together with the help of some local experts while I attempt to kickstart my own home-growing operation over the next few months, beginning with some of the best, locally grown weed in Greater Lansing from Pure Options.
And who knows? We may all be spending a lot more time at home over the next few months.
1. Get your grow room ready.
Before anything, get your grow space ready. Whether it’s in a basement or a closet, find an area that can be totally sealed off from sunlight with adequate ventilation. At the most basic level, you’ll need some soil, nutrients, a light source and some fans to help regulate temperature and humidity levels in the room. Remember: Growing weed can be a stinky affair.
The goal here is to eventually trick indoor plants into thinking they’re outdoors by recreating natural soil conditions and carefully adjusting the amount of light to mimic sunlight. I’ll have some more advice on those parts over the next few months. But first, let’s get some weed.
2. Acquire the clones.
Pure Options made state history this month when it became the first provisioning center in Michigan to sell cannabis plant clones to the public. And that means we can skip germinating seeds altogether and head straight into growing our own baby marijuana plants.
In addition to having the largest cannabis sales floor in the city, the company also houses a 3,600-square-foot clone nursery and flowering room with about 83 different marijuana strains.
The staff there spent several months clearing the state licensing hurdles to make it all possible — with the eventual goal of being able to wholesale their clones to cultivators across Michigan.
In the meantime, anyone over age 21 can tap into their strain library and get started right away.
Up to three pre-wrapped clones — which are already 4-7 inches tall — can only be ordered online at pureclones.com and picked up in-person from the Frandor location. They’re $50 each. (A coupon code that once appeared here is now expired.)
3. Get them home safe.
The clones from Pure Options should look healthy. Still, inspect them before you leave the store. Wilting, drooping and any discoloration could be signs of pest or chemical contamination. Also, make sure your car is warm for the drive home — ideally around 65-70 degrees. If you’re driving longer distances, pop open the top of the bag and let the plant get some sun too.
When you get them home, try to avoid any extreme temperature and humidity variations. Pure Options recommends set points of 75-80 degrees with a 70% relative humidity. Then, just leave them alone to slowly adjust slowly to their new environment; three to five days should do the trick.
4. Transplant them.
Check the roots of the clone to see if visible roots have formed, pop them into a larger pot and get ready for the fun to begin. Be sure to take care to completely submerge the original root ball inside the new container, keeping the clone centered and standing upright to promote uniform growth as it gets bigger. It’s also important for the first watering to fully saturate the pot.
Balancing moisture in your soil is an important component to outward root growth. Weight is a good indicator of soil saturation. Routinely lift the pot as it dries to know when it needs water.
5. Watch them grow.
Expect a few more columns over the next few months while my home-growing operation gets up and running, but this should be enough to get you started. As the staff at Pure Options rightly points out, there are a million different ways to grow, but it’s best to keep it simple when you start.
Pure Options recommends picking up a nutrient line with as few bottles as possible — like General Hydroponics’ Flora Series, a three-part nutrient system consisting of FloraGro, FloraBloom and FloraMicro to keep plants fed through every stage of their growth cycle.
You’ll also need a light or two, with a timer, to artificially guide your indoor plants through the vegetation and flowering stages. More on that to come later, but Pure Options recommends picking up LED bulbs, which generate less heat and can be more cost efficient in the long run.
State officials have warned that growing 12 plants at home can nearly triple your electricity bill.
And depending on how seriously you want to take your new hobby, local grow stores — like GrowGeneration — also sell small grow tents that are regulated by portable air conditioners and even include a built-in light source, making it much easier to control the growing environment.
Kyle Kaminski is City Pulse’s managing editor and a cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Editor & Publisher Magazine has also labeled him as “arguably, the state’s authority on everything you need to know about cannabis.” Have a suggestion for a cannabis product? Email email@example.com.
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