Grow Your Own Cannabis with the Power of the Sun!

    Posted by Diane Campbell on May 21, 2015 10:24:00 AM


    It’s planting season in Colorado! If you like to grow your own marijuana, this is the time to get your plants out into the sunshine. Mother Nature provides us with several months of free and powerful solar energy, allowing outdoor growers to produce as much bud as three similarly-sized indoor grow cycles.[1] If you’re planning to grow outdoor marijuana at your home this year, make sure to follow these tips.


    Tips on Growing Marijuana at Home

    1. Know the rules.

    In Colorado, it’s easy to run afoul of the law if you don’t take the time to understand the legal limits. Be sure to plan your garden in accordance with the state restrictions listed below. Cities and local governments may impose additional limitations within their jurisdictions, so be sure you understand the rules in your locality as well. For example, some municipalities allow residents to grow recreational marijuana at home but restrict grow sites to indoor locations only. 

    • You may grow no more than 6 plants per person and 12 plants per household. Only half of these may be in the flowering stage, so you will only be allowed to harvest 3-6 plants per growing season.
    • Colorado residents may grow marijuana only in a fully enclosed and locked space. For outdoor growing, that means you need a greenhouse that you can lock.
    • Your plants may not be visible to passersby. Look at your greenhouse from many angles to be sure that your plants will be concealed and remain so as they grow. Remember, sun-grown plants can get much larger than those grown under electric lights, so plan accordingly! Plants may approximately double in size during flowering. Planting them in smaller pots will limit their size (estimate about 1 foot of height per gallon of soil).
    • Only adults (18 with a Red Card or 21 without one) may have access to the grow space.


    2. Think about the smell.

    As much as many of us love the pungent aroma of flowering cannabis, your neighbors may have a different perspective, and you don’t want them complaining about the marijuana smell coming from your greenhouse. It may prompt them to call in law enforcement (which is unpleasant at best, even when you’re scrupulously following all of the rules). Consider surrounding the space with aromatic herbs and flowers, and try to vent the space in a way that minimizes the smell wafting from the inside to your neighbors’ yards or nearby public areas.


    3. Give your plants a good start.

    Starting out with quality seeds or clones and excellent soil will give you the best chances of growing outstanding marijuana.

    Know your strains.

    This is easiest to do if you obtain your seeds or clones from a reputable supplier. Do your research so you know you’re getting strains that have the properties that are most important to you, whether that’s high THC, a good THC:CBD balance, your favorite scent, or specific medicinal benefits.

    If you’re starting with seeds, baby them until they’re strong.

    Seedlings do not need fertilizer for the first couple of weeks of life. Wait until the first true leaves appear, then start with a ¼- ½-strength application, working up to full strength after about 4 weeks or when they are well established. Keep them in mild temperatures until then. Your greenhouse will protect them from the elements, but be vigilant against pests and mold from the beginning and throughout their lives.

    Plant them in the right soil. 

    When you transplant your established seedlings or clones into pots, make sure you’re putting them into an environment in which they can thrive. Cannabis loves soil with good drainage, a pH of 6.0-6.5, and modest N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) values. (Don’t make the mistake of overloading your plants with nutrients; you can literally kill them with kindness.) You can find many DIY soil recipes on line, but to keep it simple, you can choose a high quality, complete potting soil such as Fox Farm Ocean Forest or Roots Organic. Don’t be tempted by cheap commercial soils; you’ll likely find that you get what you pay for.

    For vegetative growth, you’ll need more nitrogen in your soil than during flowering, when your will want more phosphorus and potassium. Watch your plants closely as they grow and consume the nutrients in their soil. Check in on them every day, noting any changes in their appearance. Use this great cannabis nutrient deficiency guide from Royal Queen Seeds to diagnose and treat many macro and micronutrients deficiencies that you may see in your plants.

    Water them wisely.

    Overwatering is a common mistake that can kill your plants. Generally speaking, water them thoroughly and let them be until the top inch or so (depending on the size of your pots) feels dry to the touch. Be alert for drooping leaves. Leaves that droop but look otherwise healthy indicate overwatering, while underwatering will cause droopy, frail-looking leaves.[2]


    Nature’s Gift Shop recreational marijuana dispensary is part of the booming legal cannabis community in Pueblo West. Pueblo County is a choice location for growing marijuana outdoors in Colorado because of its warm climate, abundant water, and availability of land.[3] If you’re in our neighborhood, come in and say “hi!”


    Want to cook up something yummy with those trimmings at harvest time? Download our free eBook for vital information on decarbing your ganja, dosing your edibles, and how to make a good basic infused oil as well as some tasty recipes to get you started.

    Free eBook: Nature's Gift Shop's Guide to Homemade Marijuana Edibles  

    The Nature’s Gift Shop blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Laws are subject to change; be sure to consult the Marijuana Enforcement Department rules for the most up-to-date information on current marijuana regulations in Colorado. Always seek the advice a qualified attorney if you have any questions regarding the law governing your area.

    [1] "The Benefits of Indoor Growing vs. Outdoor Growing for Medical Marijuana in Colorado." Colorado Medical Colorado Medical Marijuana, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

    [2] "Water for Your Cannabis Plants." The Daily Smoker. n.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

    [3] Wells, Garrison. "Marijuana growers get pushback in southern Colorado county." The Gazette. n.p., 2 June 2014. Web. 13 May 2015.

    Topics: Colorado marijuana laws, growing cannabis