This is the third episode in our series about growing your own weed. We give you tips about how to feed your cannabis plants with things you already have in your kitchen, explain what happens next when your buds are ready, and talk about how much weed you can expect to get from your plants. Plus, one experienced grower helps us all feel better about asking questions about cannabis, even if you feel like you should already know the answer.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Kendra Stocking (00:06):
Being able to smoke your own weed is just such a triumph. You’re like, I got to the end and I’m actually going to get to smoke it right now. I think we had a bong or something, we probably all smoked it together. It was like, we made it happen. Like this is our stuff.
Kelsey Ledezma (00:21):
Tasted like shit. Like lets not cross hairs about it. It was not good. But we did it ourselves.
Kendra Stocking (00:32):
It was super satisfying.
Kelsey Ledezma (00:34):
It was super satisfying.
Kendra Stocking (00:36):
We’re not professional growers, you know? No, it was Palmdale Air.
Kelsey Ledezma (00:42):
Palmdale closet situation.
Kendra Stocking (00:45):
It got the job done.
Kelsey Ledezma (00:46):
It did. Totally, yeah.
Kendra Stocking (00:47):
We got high.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (00:50):
Welcome back to How to Do the Pot. A podcast de-mystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Kendra Stocking and Kelsey Ledezma, two sisters in California who took on a growing project and made it happen. While Kelsey and Kendra aren’t technically pros, two of today’s guests are professional growers and they are women. You’d be surprised, there aren’t that many women growers. We have a list on our website, DoThePot.com, that highlights women growers in legal states. And please reach out. If you have anyone to add to our list. We always encourage you to learn about the companies you get your weed from and to buy from women growers when you can.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:35):
Today’s episode is the third in our series on growing weed at home. Today, we’ll give you tips about how to feed your cannabis plants with things you already have in your kitchen, explain what happens next when your buds are ready, and talk about how much weed you can expect to get from your plants.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (01:54):
Are you on the list for How to Do the Pot’s newsletter? We send it out twice a month on Fridays, and you can sign up at DoThePot.com. If you want updates on new episodes and some behind the scenes with our guests, follow Do the Pot on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for updates. And as always, if you like How to Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps more people find the show.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (02:22):
Michellee Fox is a chef and farmer currently based in Washington state. A few years ago, she was living in Humboldt county in California and got into the cannabis business there.
Michellee Fox (02:33):
As a female it was kind of always yeah, you can trim. Yes, you can be the house mother, which means all the trimmers, you can take care of them. Yes, you can this, but never be a grower. So I had to really fight my way into being a grower which personally I think, and I don’t care if the guys don’t think so, I personally believe that females are better growers because we are mothers. It’s the same. Mothering a child is kind of the same as mothering and plant. So I think that we are just better at it. But just like everywhere else, the industry is very male dominated and so it takes a minute for people to respect you. But you know, I got there. So it’s possible for everyone.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (03:17):
Michellee is a regenerative farmer and she really believes in sustainable slow food. She has some great tips for being kind to the earth and to your wallet, with what you feed your cannabis plants.
Michellee Fox (03:30):
So you don’t need to go to the store and be like, oh, I’m starting to grow some plants or whatever, right? Any kind of plants. And I need to feed my plants. What would I use? The three things that you can start to feed your plants. One is your eggshells. Very important step: you want to dry the eggshells. Put it in the oven if it’s the summer. If its the winter I’ll just put it on my wood stove, because you want to dry out that the little goo inside of it, it’s very important. And then from there I put it in the blender and blend all the way to a fine powder. So that is a calcium bomb. And you use that when it’s time to grow the plants, because like humans, what we need when we’re growing and young, we need calcium.
Michellee Fox (04:15):
Now the second one is banana peels. And most people have bananas in their house. So you just save the banana peels in a jar for about a week. Buy one or two bunches of banana and try to make something with it so you have enough. Chop it up in pieces, cover it up, the banana peels with brown sugar, and let it sit. Depending of where you’re living, and if it’s too hot, like really hot, I’ll say three, four days. If it’s a colder place, I’ll say about a week and you let that kind of ferment. After that, you strain that juice out and use that juice mixed with water, like one to 25 and feed that. That’s your phosphorus. You want to use that when is the flowering time.
Michellee Fox (05:03):
Another one that’s really amazing is nitrogen. Because plants need nitrogen to survive. So if you drink coffee, you have endless because most coffee drinkers are drinking a lot of coffee, right? Over a period. After you brew your coffee, get the little coffee filter with coffee inside. And what I do is I have a baggy, like a triple brown bag, one inside of the other, under the sink. And I just kind of shake it off and dump that coffee grounds in there and let it dry in a brown bag. And you can, after it’s really dry, because you don’t want it to mold, if it did mold start over. And then you use that to sprinkle on your plants. And that is again, a nitrogen bomb.
Michellee Fox (05:46):
If you buy your banana organic, your coffee’s organic and your eggs are organic. Then you know for a fact that your food for the plants is going to be organic and it’s completely free because those are just byproducts in your house.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:01):
If you haven’t yet, listen to our last episode about the decisions you need to make about growing indoors or outdoors, and whether you choose to start from a seed, a clone or an auto flower plant. I’m going to skip ahead a bit here because everyone’s actual growing process will be different.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (06:19):
There is a word you should get familiar with. Tricombs. Tricombs are the tiny sticky hairs on the cannabis flower. It can be helpful to have some type of magnifying glass because you’ll be watching the tricombs for color change. Each strain has its own flowering time, but you should start paying attention to the color of the tricombs at the eight to nine week mark. Michellee has a tip for how to know when your plants are ready to harvest.
Michellee Fox (06:47):
My rule of thumb is about 75%, 85% of all the little hairs have to already be whatever the color they are. Orange, red, pink, be that color. And you start not finding as much white little hairs around. That means that she has stopped growing and she’s ready to be harvested.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (07:07):
There are lots of photos of strains with tricombs online. They kind of look like sea anemones. So check those out to know what color shows the optimal harvest time for your plants. Once your plants have buds that are ready to be harvested, first you’ll dry your weed, and then you will cure it. This is the time that mold can start to be an issue so be sure the room where you’re drying is clean and temperature controlled. I like to hand wash some of my clothes and I hang them to dry on a laundry drying rack. Think about that kind of setup for drying your weed. And Michellee shares her tips.
Michellee Fox (07:45):
What I like to do is like, if you have one plant or two plants, I just get a hanger and I start chopping her from the top and make sure that that middle stock, that doesn’t go into the hanging process because there’s so much water in there. It will take forever to dry. So I just cut and there’s a long string where all the buds are in it. You use the main stock to kind of cut and make a little hook. So then you can hook that into your hanger and leave it in a dark place. And people like to put like heaters in there and things like that, the longer and slower the drying process is, the better for your cannabis.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (08:25):
If you have specific questions, we love the book Grow Your Own for it’s many details about the growing process. Nicole Graf is one of the authors of Grow Your Own and co-owner of the Washington based organic farm Raven. And she shares what you need to know before you start drying and curing.
Nichole Graf (08:43):
Your biggest smell part is going to be the initial drying process. So definitely making sure you’re in a safe space for you to be off-gassing cannabis and letting your neighbors know that you’re doing that. If you’ve already been growing, they already know based on smell. But maybe it’s the difference of you, were able to grow outside at your parents’ house in the country, and now you have to bring the weed back to your apartment in the city to dry and cure, and just making sure you have a safe space to do that. There are two methodologies for trimming and drying. One is to trim wet and dry afterwards. The other is to hang it to dry on the stem, which definitely requires a little bit more space. And then to trim it dry and then put it in its space to cure.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (09:36):
A few things to note here. Trimming the weed can get messy. So get some gloves. The stickiness of the tricombs will get onto everything. Nicole mentioned off-gassing, which in practice means opening up the jars where you stored your dry weed for a set period of time. It’s also called burping. And curing is the process of drawing the moisture from the flower to the outside, and it’s what creates an even consistency in the buds.
Nichole Graf (10:05):
The actual curing portion doesn’t take much space because you seal it up into your buckets or your jars and you just stash it away. And you burp them periodically to release those off-gases, and that’s really it. I would say the best thing for a home grower is to find a resource that will really specify dates. Our book has a great little resource section for curing with a timeline. Really you want to get yourself a specific timeline that someone else has made for you for your first time. Print it out and put it in your little area. And you can, depending on how Type-A you are, you could put that into your calendar, and so you remind yourself every three days to be burping your buckets, or whatever it is.
Nichole Graf (10:49):
It’s also going to vary a little bit based on the humidity in your space, how long you need to be drying for in San Francisco versus in LA. San Francisco in the winter versus LA in the summer. That’ll fluctuate. While you’re curing, just making sure you have space that’s out of sunlight, is the other big thing. And UV rays are pretty damaging to any sort of herbal or plant medicines that you’re drying and curing, and cannabis is no different. It’s just like any other plant medicine in that you’ll actually start to degrade the chemical constituents by overexposure or any exposure to UV.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (11:24):
Back to why we love to talk to women growers. Nicole shares her experience with the patience required for curing.
Nichole Graf (11:31):
To get a good cure, the same way that to get a good garden, it takes patience and it takes doing your homework to make sure you read all of the instructions first. You know how much time you have ahead of you. Funnily, not to throw men under the bus here, but I always get the most resistance from men on this. Where they’re like, “okay, well, it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m going on vacation for two weeks. It’s just weed and it’s already grown and it’ll be fine when I get back.” And it’s like, well, it won’t be. It’ll definitely be worse than if you had just stayed and done the work, but that’s fine. You know, you’re prioritizing going on your vacation, so your weed isn’t that good this year. It’s okay.
Nichole Graf (12:11):
But putting in the extra time and the extra effort to make sure you have a full cure, so that full five weeks, is pretty ideal. You can cheat it down to four. You know, you can also, if you let it get too dry, they’ve got really great humidity and moisture control packs now that you can add to your buckets the same way we used to add like a little bit of citrus peel to our baggies back in the day, to make sure our joints didn’t get totally un-smokeable. It’ll help regulate you to a good moisture range that’s more of an enjoyable consumption experience.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (12:45):
Now that you’ve gotten through all these steps, just how much weed will you have at the end? Nicole says it depends on the type of plant you’ve chosen. This is where classifications of Sativa, Indica and Hybrid really do matter. And episode 77 of How to Do the Pot goes over that in more detail.
Nichole Graf (13:05):
It really just depends on square footage of your plant and the strain for how much spacing there is internodally between your buds, for how many are going to get within that plant. If you’ve got a Sativa, a true Sativa, and you triggered it into flowering in week three of veg, you’re going to wind up with this itty-bitty plant, just a few buds sites that are pretty spread apart.
Nichole Graf (13:29):
Versus if you have Landrace Indica strain or have a really strong hybridized Indica strain that you let veg for like five weeks outdoors before you trigger it into flowering, or weather triggers it into flowering and then it’s in the ground so it’s got no root constrictions and it can really grow up and out. And that’s obviously going to give you a much bigger yield than one little plant.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (13:51):
One last thing to think about. If you’ve listened to all our Grow Your Own episodes, you have learned so much more than most people know about growing weed. Whether you decide to grow or not, I hope it’s been fun and you feel more confident about this very foundational part of the cannabis industry. If you want to learn more, we’ve shared resources that I know will be super helpful for you. And if you’re not ready to grow, that’s cool too. Nicole shares a story about talking with her coauthors of the book Grow Your Own that I think we can all relate to. There are just some parts of cannabis that you feel like you should know, or that it feels too late to ask about. We are here to help you on your personal weed journey and you can always reach out with any questions. We really love hearing from you.
Nichole Graf (14:41):
This is one of my favorite things about cannabis is it’s such a beautifully humbling social experience. With cannabis it’s like all the walls fall down and you’re able to be fallible. So we’re sitting there and it’s like, you know, what are the words you wish you would’ve known the definition of. And finally, Liz, I think, spoke up and she’s like, “I got a list of things I don’t know about right now.” She’s like, “Can you guys just explain to me what these are because it’s embarrassing, and I’m writing a weed book and I don’t know what these mean.” And we’re like, sure.
Nichole Graf (15:12):
It’s great. You know, everyone comes to the table and for a long time, I didn’t know the difference between hash and kief. And I was like, I should know the difference. I think, are they kind of, kind of the same? No, not the same. No, uh, you know. It’s that whole thing where it’s like, we’re all figuring it out together. That’s part of our main ethos in doing what we do is just this demystifying and this equalizing of the industry in general, where there used to be so much gate keeping.
Ellen Lee Scanlon (15:42):
Thank you for listening to How to Do the Pot. For lots of more information and past episodes, visit DoThePot.com. And that’s also where you can sign up for our newsletter, which comes out every other Friday. And if you like How to Do the Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps more people find the show. Thanks to Madi Fair, our brand manager, and our producer, Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How to Do the Pot.
So you must be legal, too. Age 21+ invited to continue.