Many cannabis cultivators have their own style of growing that comes from both experience as well as trial and error. Cultivating cannabis can be an expensive hobby, but there are certainly tricks of the trade to growing weed without equipment in environmentally friendly ways that are both sustainable and economical.
This article tackles the most common questions pertaining to how to grow weed without equipment and explores the most important tips and tricks to increase your yield, quality and consistency by mastering the best at-home cultivation practices. So without further ado, let’s get to growing and fill up those cannabis stash jars with some especially homegrown goodies!
The Bare Necessities
How to Grow Marijuana Without Nutrients
Growing Weed Without Lights
Properly Drying and Curing Post-Harvest
Proper Storing Techniques: Jars for Marijuana
Search your living space for the best places to grow your plants under optimal conditions. Though you are growing as a minimalist there are some dependent factors that won’t change: time and observation. Cultivating cannabis is said to be 10% knowledge and 90% observation, so not only should you understand the optimal growth conditions, but you MUST be present throughout the growing process which can vary greatly depending on if you are growing from seed, clone, etc.
Cannabis cultivators have been growing marijuana around the world by mastering this magical plant’s optimal conditions in correlation to these five bare necessities.
• Air: Circulation, but let’s not overdo it
• Temperature: Getting It Right
• Water: Timing and Schedule
• Nutrients: Kis Method
• Light: Its role in the plant’s life cycle
Air Circulation is a key factor that can make or break your marijuana’s quality but can usually (at least on a small scale anyway) be the simplest factor to manipulate. Providing proper air circulation while your cannabis plant is growing throughout its lifecycle will ensure proper humidity levels and prevent mold while your cannabis is in its flowering stage. A simple fan can usually provide sufficient circulation or if you have chosen to grow on a terrace or porch using the “Au naturel” power of the wind is surely the most sustainable method.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on the weather. Heavy winds are a serious danger to outdoor plants especially if they have heavy colas or are very large in height. Strong winds can severely stress your plants leading to loss of material and breakage of limbs. There are many economic ways to properly trellis and train your plants to ensure strong stem structures, bigger colas, and damage prevention.
Another key factor that a cultivator needs to be aware of to increase the quality and consistency of their cannabis is Temperature. The optimal temperature for cannabis cultivation during the vegetative phase of your plants is 25 Celsius to 30 Celsius (77 to 86 Fahrenheit) and for the flowering stage 20 Celsius to 25 Celsius (68 to 77 Fahrenheit). These plants prefer a warmer climate to thrive.
If your plants are consistently exposed to much lower temperatures outside these ranges the plant will begin to fail to uptake the proper nutrients it needs to provide you with a quality yield. Alternatively, temperatures that are much higher will stress your plant increasing the likelihood of mold, seeded buds, and susceptibility to the overall integrity of your cannabis.
Pro Tip: Want to get those beautiful purple buds? Guess what! This isn’t just a genetic trait of the cannabis plant. Usually, outdoor plants are harvested before winter around October. The chiller days that fall outside of the optimal temperature range (given above) will actually finish your buds off nicely giving them an amazing aroma, flashy trichomes, and a purple color that makes your flower pop!
Next up on the list is your water and watering schedule. This section begs the question: can you grow weed without hydroponics? The answer is yes, you most certainly can successfully yield high-quality buds and healthy root systems without the use of hydroponics. Many cultivators use organic soil, coco coir substrate, and rock wool as mediums when growing cannabis. The key is to know when to water.
First, it is important to check your topsoil daily, you should be watering every other day if you are not feeding your plants nutrients. The utmost layer of topsoil should be dry, you want your plants to be thirsty, but not thirsty to the point where the leaves are “sad and droopy”. This ensures that the plant is up taking the nutrients of the soil (or another medium) as well as the water as needed. Too much water can also increase the likelihood of stem rot, root rot, and other unwanted plant diseases.
Pro Tip: Are you using well water? Testing your water quality and pH is very important! Your water should run between a 6.0-6.8 pH when growing in soil mediums to prevent nutrient lockout and deficiencies. Get a water testing kit, they are only a few bucks and will make all the difference in growing those healthy giant buds!
The proper usage of nutrients for your plants is a delicate balancing act between science and art. A lot of this knowledge comes from trial and error, observation, and experience. There are products ranging in price, different application processes, marine-based feeds, individual plant compounds, you name it. Some growers spend a fortune on nutrients while other cultivators firmly believe in the concept “less is more”. Truthfully, there is no WRONG way to grow, but you can OVER DO IT! To put it quite plainly if you are a novice grower of cannabis I suggest the KIS Method also known as “Keep it Simple”.
Nutrient burn, detecting deficiencies, and working with ppm and pH of feeds is a knowledge that takes time, so sometimes it is best to keep it simple and rely on the bare necessities we are exploring in this article to grow and yield good quality weed that is simply: Sun grown with L O V E.
Pro Tip: That said, invest in a nutrient and nitrogen-rich organic soil medium and lean into perfecting and consistently maintaining the above key factors. Let the plant provide and pull nutrients through the water, soil, and photosynthetic process from your most important player….. The Sun!
The most important factor is light and tailoring light to maximize the yield and quality of your buds! If you are growing cannabis indoors without a tent the best space for your plants will be a southeastern and southwestern facing windowsill, balcony, sunroom, or terrace. You will need to check your plants daily and rotate the pots regularly to ensure the plants are getting the optimal 10-12 hours of sunlight that they require.
A grow journal is recommended to keep track of weather conditions, watering schedules, bug sightings, leaf deficiencies, and so on. Sunlight provides your plant with both UVB and UVA rays and better yet it is 100% free, giving you the opportunity to learn how to grow weed indoors without a light that is artificial and expensive.
The light cycle is of monumental importance to the life cycle of the plant. A rule of thumb is when your plant is in its vegetative phase (aka not flowering) it will need about 18 hours+ of light. When you “flip” your plants into the flowering phase you will need 10-12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. The darkness tricks the plant into falling asleep this forces the plant into budding or flowering! You must stay consistent with your lighting schedule. Throwing off this schedule will result in seeded buds or your plants going back into “reveg’ which will cause your buds to foxtail and never finish.
Pro Tip: Check with other cultivators about when they plant outdoors in your area, so your plants can properly grow with the sun cycle and finish at the appropriate time of year. Need longer days or more time in the vegetative phase to increase your plant’s size? Get a set of regular fluorescent string lights with big bulbs and hang them about a foot above your plants to keep them vegging, on a timed schedule, and to prevent the stems from unnecessary stretching in length.
You’ve done it! We’ve made it to Harvest! Slow your roll though (literally), it is not quite time to celebrate with a lovely rolled blunt of this season’s bounty. The drying, curing, and storing processes are the final stages to finishing the cannabis cultivation process successfully.
Find a cool dark space to hang your individually harvested cannabis plants upside down. The drying process if done correctly should take around 10 days give or take a few days. Check the humidity and temperature of your dry space daily as well as the moisture of your flower.
To cure and store your cannabis correctly you want to remove the buds from the stems and keep your precious harvest stored in room temperature airtight bags for cannabis. This will enable you to burp and cure your cannabis to curate the finest smoking experience for your buds. Humidity packs for marijuana are a lifesaver when it comes to storing cannabis flower for both short and longer periods. They keep your bud at the appropriate moisture levels and prevent mold or drying out of your product.
There you have it, a straight-up run down of growing the best cannabis with minimal equipment on a budget anyone can afford. Enjoy your sun-grown cannabis and get to growing! Tis’ the Season!