Leafly’s cannabis homegrow | Leafly


April 7, 2020

Welcome to Leafly’s cannabis homegrow! Watch as our writer Johanna Silver grows a set of marijuana plants from seed to harvest in her backyard in Northern California. Check back every week for a new post, and be sure to follow #Leaflyhomegrow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Also, check out her book, Growing Weed in the Garden: A No-Fuss, Seed-to-Stash Guide to Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation.


Putting seeds in the ground (4/7/20)

cannabis, homegrow, Leafly

Hello fellow weed growers!

I grow weed in my Berkeley, California, backyard, along with veggies, fruits, herbs, and cut flowers. While info resources abound for the other crops I grow, sensible, accessible, outdoor only, garden-scale, weed-growing info is hard to come by.

So, I’m here to help. My goal is to give you regular updates (weekly at first because so much happens early on!) on how to grow weed outside, in your garden, with as little extra fuss as possible. I’ll tell you exactly how I do it.

Today I started my seeds. Could have been anytime between late March and late April. I chose today because I had a spare moment, the sun was shining, and the toddler was sleeping.

I’m growing three cultivars this year:

Freakshow

Genetics by The Humboldt Seed Company.

Chosen because it has crazy looking leaves that don’t resemble that classic cannabis leaf.

Sweet Annie

Genetics by The Humboldt Seed Company.

Chosen because it also has beautiful leaves, albeit more classically cannabis. I met this plant in person a few years back at a pheno-hunt and it looked so unique. Much more ornamental. It’s also 1:1 THC:CBD and mama could use something calming.

Cherry Pie x Chem Lemon

Seeds given to me by a friend and expert East Bay grower who has a seed collective.

Chosen because he told me it is beautiful and smells great.

If it isn’t glaringly obvious: I choose plants based on smell and looks. After all, I’m a gardener more than a weed connoisseur. Oh, but weed connoisseurs tell me my weed is legit. So, you’re good learning from me. Promise.

I’m only growing three plants total this year—two in the ground and one in a pot. The legal limit for homegrowing cannabis in California is six plants, but I want to keep some room for my veggies. I’m only starting four seeds of each cultivar. I trust that at least one of four seeds of each kind will turn out to be a female (we’ll get to sexing plants in a few weeks, but you always want to start off with 3-4 times the number of plants you’ll end up with).

I grow entirely outside. No lights, no mats. I’ll tuck them in a small plastic greenhouse to keep them safe and just a little warmer and cozier.

I start my seeds in fresh potting soil, scooped into 4-inch nursery containers I’ve amassed over the years. Seeds needn’t be planted deep—twice as deep as the seed is wide, is the rule of thumb with most seeds.

Absolutely crucial: labels. Don’t make the mistake of swearing you’ll remember. You won’t. Pro tip: Get a Sharpie Extreme. They’re the only ones that are actually permanent in outdoor conditions.

I’ll keep the soil moist through germination, which likely means a daily splash of water from a gentle setting (not “mist,” but like, “shower”) on the hose nozzle. Strong enough to drench it, but not so hard as to blast the seeds away.

In past years, I’ve pre-sprouted seeds in wet paper towel—a great thing to do if you have old seeds and want to test their viability before using unnecessary soil. I’ve also soaked them in water for 24 hours, something that can speed up germination. But, my seeds are good. I am in no rush, so straight into the soil they went.

Check back next week to see these seeds start to pop out of the soil!

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Check out Leafly’s growing section for answers to all your growing questions 

Johanna Silver's Bio Image

Johanna Silver

Johanna Silver contributes regularly to Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes & Gardens. She’s also the former Garden Editor of Sunset Magazine. She lives with her husband and young son in Berkeley, CA. In her garden she grows fruits, veggies, a little weed, and as many cut flowers as she can possibly fit.



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