Ready, Steady, Grow! Part 1

Learn all about the cannabis growing process, from seed to harvest and beyond, with Grow With Us Club founder, Tiffany Jordaan. 

Many old-school growers believe that growing your own medicine means the plant interacts with your DNA from day one, so it’s primed to heal you. Some even say you should pop the seed into your mouth for a few seconds before germination... This may just be an old wives tale but I think the symbolism of the union is poetic and since I’ve experienced truly life-changing benefits from growing my own cannabis, I’ll keep doing it. 

You see, I’m passionate about growing my own cannabis to take full advantage of the myriad health and wellness benefits this versatile plant offers as part of my healing journey. 

The practice, especially outdoors, is therapeutic and meditative, and sharing this knowledge with others starts exciting conversations with the most unlikely people. It also helps break down the illicit stigma cannabis suffers, caused by centuries of prohibition.  

That’s why I think it’s so important that we all exercise our newly-legal right to grow and consume in our own private spaces. In this way, we can all contribute to new knowledge and research that is finally giving cannabis the credit it deserves. 

Unfortunately not everyone is thrilled by this change. Some growers feel resentful and I’ve found the online growing community to be somewhat paternalistic and intimidating, especially for beginners and women. So, in collaboration with KushKush, I’m here to help create a safe, alternative learning space, for growers of any level of experience. 

First of all, I want you to know that when it comes to growing, everyone will have their own style. This is a good lesson to learn as it means you can choose your own way. 

Other incredible life lessons I’ve learnt on my cannabis growing journey:

  • Acceptance: learning that I’m not always in control. And that there is no failure, just continuous teaching moments.
  • Accountability: for the mistakes and problems I could have controlled, like realising that not checking under my leaves caused a bug infestation.
  • Flexibility: as nature threw me continuous curve balls.
  • Honesty: telling my friends and family about my grow and cannabis consumption.
  • Mastery: learning the power and confidence that ‘practice makes progress’ can bring.
  • Patience: as I waited for my first leaf to appear or trichomes to change.
  • Planning: to always have backups (in the garden and in life).
  • Resilience: when fighting a bug infestation for weeks.
  • Reward: when harvesting my first beautiful flowers and understanding that you get out what you put in.
  • Trust: when something felt or looked off and I instinctively changed things just in time to save a large plant in flower.
  • Vigilance: when I learned that staying on top of your grow is the key to success.

Right, now to the actual grow process. Let’s get you going on this fun journey. 

The starting point is the seed. I believe that finding the right strain is a little like finding a partner: you can decide what you want and find that one perfect match; you can see what’s available and then chase the options that take your fancy or you can take what you get and hope for the best.

Think of it this way: you could go out one night, run into a stranger, take them home and then live a dream life for years to come. In the same way, you could find a seed in the cannabis you consume and plant that seed, randomly in the garden. Perhaps you even forget about that little baby. Then one day you walk out and see a massive bush covered in beautiful flowers. This can, and does, happen, but not often. Usually you plant a seed and nurture it for months only to get something quite average. 

My suggestion is to take the time to plan your grow properly. You’ll be dedicating time, money, effort and love into this project. Like finding a partner, I believe it’s worth the effort to put the work in at the start to find the right match. (This is also why my conservative aunties say I’m too picky to ever find a partner. Side note, Aunty: did you ever consider I’m too focused on being a girl boss to worry about a partner?)

You’ll also want to keep your options open and opt for a selection of strains. When you harvest, you should get a fair yield from each plant. The human body can quickly build up a tolerance to a strain, so mixing it up with a variety will offer you a well-rounded dose for an extended period of time. 

It’s also a good idea to get a couple of extra beans (just in case). You don’t want to lose a good strain and not have a back-up so if you know someone who is growing a strain you’re interested in, ask them if you can try before you commit. Each grower will get different results (even from the same strain) but it’s always nice to know the general effects of the strain before embarking on your growing project.

Right, now let’s talk seeds. There are a few type of seed options. I made a little infographic to get you acquainted with the different varieties as well as the method I use for strain selection.

Find the right strain for you: 

I use two reliable resources to find the right strains. 

  • Strainblazer function on the GreenCamp App - lets you put in the criteria you want and then the A.I. finds the correct strain based on those parameters. I love this one!
  • Leafly.com - the biggest online cannabis directory and a great resource

My suggestion would be to peruse the “Strainblazer” feature based on your criteria then see if you can find those seeds locally. You can also go the other way around and find the seeds available and then use Leafly to get info on the strain to see if it fits in with your needs. 

Of course, it’s still highly illegal to buy, or sell, seeds so we can’t give you advice on where and how to get your hands on cannabis seeds but we know you’re a resourceful bunch and will more than likely figure it out by yourselves! 

Good luck in finding the perfect partnership. Leave any questions you may have in the comments section and we’ll get back to you with guidance. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Don’t miss Part 2 of the Ready, Steady, Grow Series, which will be published next month.

Words: Tiffany Jordaan
Image: David Ragusa

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