How to grow weed in Belgium
We won’t lie to each other, cultivate and smoke our own weed, it’s even more satisfying than making your grandmother’s tarte tatin recipe a success. As an occasional consumer, I got tired of having to spend my money at the dealer around, not even knowing what was inside. Not to mention the fact that half the time the weed either sucked or hurt me. So I decided to get my hands dirty, and started growing my own cannabis in the most natural way possible.
As a reminder, the law in belgium tolerates one plant per adult for personal consumption.
Let’s start with the most important. Having quality seeds is the basis for hoping to have a decent harvest. Knowing that the Belgian climate is temperate oceanic, our summers are relatively cool and humid. The easiest way to start is with so-called “autoflowering” seeds. These seeds are not dependent on a light cycle and grow faster than classic feminized seeds. With these autoflowers you can count between 60 and 90 days from germination to harvest. Classic feminized seeds, on the other hand, are dependent on a light cycle and can take up to 6 months to finish flowering. The other major advantage of these auto seeds is the ease of plant care. They are the toughest and most versatile cannabis plants of all. In short, this is the best option to start with. Best in Belgium for autoflowers is to start growing in late May/early June, but you can very well start in July if you choose fast growing seeds.
Laugh or sleep, you have to choose
Another important thing to know before buying its seeds is the effect you are looking for. To put it simply, there are two varieties: indica or sativa. The difference between the two lies in the sensations. Sativas provide a cerebral high and uplifting and energizing effects, while indicas produce a body stone and a feeling of relaxation. You should also know that indicas grow more easily and take less time than sativas. But there are also strains that combine the two like White Widow or Pineapple Express.
The substrate is king
OK, I’m playing it off using this term, but it’s important to be rigorous. The substrate, or the “nutrient base”, is the soil that you will put in your pots, and it must contain several elements. The top of the top is to have a mixture in three parts:
– Potting soil with perlite and/or coconut fiber which will allow aeration of the substrate and the roots to manage the humidity of the earth.
– Peat, which increases the amount of organic matter in the soil and allows plants to grow quickly.
– Compost, homemade or not, which will help improve the quality of the soil and promote plant growth thanks to certain elements such as phosphorus, nitrogen, or potassium.
For my part, I have always used terracotta and plastic pots to be able to move them easily. The advantage of these pots is that they are inexpensive and come in many sizes. Speaking of size, the best, from what I have seen over the years, is to have pots between 15 and 20 litres. It is the ideal size slice to have a robust plant that will grow well. If you want to be discreet, or just want it to take up less space, get smaller pots. To prevent water from stagnating at the bottom of the pot, use clay balls that you will therefore put before the substrate. There are geotextile bags which allow very good aeration of the roots and evacuation of excess water, but technically, if you do not water your plants too much and you put the clay pebbles, the roots do not will have no problem.
Another tip: do not repot your autoflowers. As it has a short life cycle, if you stress the plant by changing pots, it could suffer growth paralysis. This paralysis leads to a decrease in the production of the plant, and in extreme cases, kills it. So, put your sprouted seeds directly into the final pot.
To start the serious things, you will need paper towels and two plates, or a Tupperware that still has its lid (I know, it’s not won). The first step is to put a piece of paper towel in the bottom of the plate or box creating a sort of mat to accommodate your beautiful seed. You will then moisten it (be careful not to overload the paper with water or you risk drowning the seed), and place the seed on it. Finally, cover the seed with a second piece of paper towel and moisten it in turn. Place the second plate above the first to make a kind of dome, or close the Tupperware. Place everything in a dark place where it is more or less 20°C. After 2-3 days the seed will have germinated – sometimes it takes longer but no problemo.
All that remains is to put it 0.5 centimeters below the ground (putting the stem down and the seed shell up) and you’re done. The stem will come out of the ground 2 to 5 days after you put it in a pot. I also strongly advise you to leave your plants indoors for the first 10 days, under a lamp, to avoid day/night temperature changes and the sun’s rays, which are still too powerful.
If there’s one thing to watch out for, it’s watering. Cannabis plants need a lot of water, but don’t tolerate overwatering very well. Not everyone agrees on this, but for autoflowering plants, it’s better to water a little every day than to pour a lot of water, like with photoperiod plants. Otherwise, a fairly simple technique: push your finger 3-4 centimeters into the ground. If it’s still damp on your fingertip, don’t water.
100% organic fertilizers
If you want to stay in an organic vibe, I recommend that you hydrate well because you will have to drink coffee and collect your urine. Coffee grounds are indeed a good natural fertilizer, just like urine. But be careful not to overdo it, because it could screw up your precious plant. You can put the coffee grounds above the ground, at the base of the plant. the mark actually provides a nutrient boost and mild repellent effect, but use in moderation. As for urine, just collect the precious fluid and dilute it with water. The ideal is to mix 1 liter of urine with 10 liters of water – not necessarily from a jet, of course. Water your plants 1-2 times a month with the solution during growth. As for flowering, I advise you not to fiddle too much with all that is fertilizer if you don’t know much about it.
Cut your plants at the right time
Once the flowering period has started, it will be necessary to pay attention to the evolution of the color of the trichomes. These are the small white “drops” that will appear on the fruit of the plant. To be really pro, you have to get some sort of magnifying glass/microscope to scrutinize them daily towards the end of flowering. There are several signs indicating the end of flowering. The pistils, kind of hairs attached to the buds (which are the heads of weed that you have in your pax), start to turn dark. The fan leaves, which are the largest, also begin to turn yellow and wither, which is completely normal at the end of flowering. And the last sign to take into account is the transition from white to milky white of at least half of the trichomes.
Drying and curing
The last and most satisfying step is drying. After these months of hard work, you can finally visualize these beautiful heads, but it will still take a little patience. There are two schools for drying cannabis plants. Some will tell you to put the whole plant upside down, hanging by the stem, to allow the resin to flow to the buds of the plant. The other solution is to cut all the leaves before drying the buds. The advantage of this technique is the time saving: the buds will be totally dry in a week. But the best alternative is to make a curing. Basically, you let the buds dry for more or less 5 days and then you put them in an airtight jar that you open every day for 15-20 minutes for more or less a month.
This guide is obviously not exhaustive. And don’t forget that it requires years of practice before arriving at a perfect symbiosis of the different elements. But basically, what you have to remember is that your plant especially needs a lot of love.