Marijuana: Know before you grow |

Marijuana: Know before you grow

Matthew Bennett
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
During the vegetative state plants need 18-24 hours of light a day.
AP photo

Colorado voters highly approved of legalizing marijuana for people 21 years of age or older, and since then pot shops have flourished in communities throughout the state.

Colorado residents may also grow up to six plants themselves with as many as three plants flowering at one time, so long as they remain in an enclosed, locked space. However, no more than 12 plants can be grown per residence regardless of the number of occupants.

When local budtender Jesse Rayne got into the marijuana industry it was to combine his love of cannabis with his love of chemistry. According to Rayne, one feminized cannabis seed has the ability to produce up to one pound of actual bud.

Do not plant male seeds, as they will produce pollen, not bud.

“If you acquire your seeds from a dispensary, which some dispensaries do offer, they are typically about 10 dollars per seed, usually sold in packs of six to 10,” Rayne said.

Although not required, the entire growing process typically begins with a step called germination.

“Germinating a seed is basically popping it in a paper towel that is a little bit damp, which tells the seed that it is no longer time for it to hibernate,” Rayne said.

Rayne explained how a cannabis seed could remain dormant without moisture for an indefinite amount of time.

During the germinating phase, Rayne recommended checking on your seed in the moist paper towel daily for three days.

“There will be a small split on the very tip of the seed where the point is, and it will actually have a very tiny white tendril of a sprout coming out of it, and that is called a taproot,” Rayne said.

From here growers should place their seed in a clean, neutral pH soil to allow the taproot to find nutrients and subsequently develop a pod flower that resembles a bean sprout.

“It’s just two fat, little leaves, and as soon as those two fat, little leaves get old enough the real cannabis plant will start growing out of the middle of them, and those two leaves will fall off and die,” Rayne said of the seedling stage, which typically lasts seven to 12 days. “At the end of 12 days you will see a tiny set of new leaves starting to form in the very center, and as those get taller over the next three weeks … in a home grow that is where they will get designated as vegetative.”

According to Rayne the vegetative state should last, at a minimum, for four weeks. During the vegetative state plants need 18-24 hours of light a day.

After those four weeks of almost around-the-clock light, growers typically expose their plants to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness daily, which subsequently activates the flowering cycle of the plant.

“This then produces the fruit part of the cannabis, which is the buds that we smoke,” Rayne said. “After about six or seven weeks and your buds are looking the right size … that is when you cut the plant down right at its base. Right at the soil, chop it.”

At this point, growers separate the nuggets away from the stalk and suspend them either upside down, or lay them on a rack in a dry, arid room.

Known as the curing phase, growers should allow their bud to cure for a minimum of one month. Some growers allow up to a year for their bud to cure.

Following the curing stage, smoke up.

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