Cannabis as they new garden plant? Maybe not
Growing marijuana in the backyard or on the balcony has taken the gardening world by storm! Whether for the obvious recreational use or the medicinal side of pain management…pot is hot. Many new gardeners admit to wanting to grow this herb so that they can share it with their guests!
Just to be clear, no one should be rushing out to invest in marijuana for their property without first understanding the rules and the expectations that come with these taboo garden plants. There are medicinal licenses for home growers; however, you need to do the research to fully understand the laws governing pot growing for your area
That said; this could all change in the near future, as more states and countries around the world look to join Canada and legalize the green weed. Much of this is because of the research being done on the benefits of this plant in pain management, epilepsy, glaucoma, anxiety, arthritis and diet. Marijuana is grown primarily for the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that is the psychoactive element in the plant which makes you ‘high’. The level of THC present in available varieties of plants has increased over the years through breeding programs, making today’s marijuana significantly stronger than plants in the 60’s…the boom of pot usage. Also present is CBD (cannabidol) which affects the brain without the high.
Marijuana is a flowering plant that has both male and female sexed plants with the females producing the buds and seeds. It is treated like an annual in northern climates. These plants smell strong...really strong… like ‘Oh HELL NO!’ strong. Planting on a patio or in the backyard is going to piss off your neighbours because of the intense skunk-like funk of these budding plants. To grow these plants well, you need about 16 hours of sunlight a day, even though plants are generally harvested in the fall when light levels begin to drop. There are many strains which are auto-flowering that will set flowers earlier in the season even when the days are long.
When it comes to choosing plant strains, there are some terms you should be aware of. Sativa plants are tall and scraggly and prefer hot and moist as they are commonly found in Mexico and southern Asia. These plants can grow between 8 and 12’ tall, easily towering over everything else in the garden.
Indica are shorter, bushier plants and better suited towards growing in colder and harsher climates. Don’t let their stature fool you, indica is known for the strength of buzz from the THC.
Both varieties need some special care when it comes to planting in the garden. The roots of the cannabis plant are very important. They need to be cared for with good, loose soil. They do not do well in heavy clay situations. When container planting, provide LOTS of space for heavy root development. Also ensure that your containers have adequate drainage. Pot plants need significant watering however the roots are susceptible to drowning. Also consider fertilizing with a soluble solution high in Nitrogen.