Hay Bale Gardening Method
If you’re looking for a simple, cheap, and straightforward way to grow your own cannabis, the hay bale gardening method may be just right.
This method is for outdoor growing, so be sure you’ve got a spot with lots of sun. Also make sure it’s a spot that won’t attract any unwanted attention.
The best thing is that you don’t need a lot of space for hay bale gardening. That makes it a really good option for people trying to grow without a lot of land.
What you definitely need
- Hay bale: you can buy these from garden centers and livestock feed stores; they should be pretty cheap.
- Meat thermometer: a cheap, basic one will work just fine.
- Marijuana seeds: you’ll need a female seed of whatever strain you’re trying to grow.
- A little bit of potting soil: with hay bale gardening, you don’t need very much; just a couple handfuls will do.
- Plant food: try to pick up some good organic plant food to keep your herb healthy.
- liquid fertilizer
….Get Started First
Step 1: Choose the right spot
Look for a sunny, discreet, out of the way spot for your hay bale.
Once you’ve found the ideal spot, put your hay bale down so that the strings holding it together are on the side and the “cut side” of straw is facing up.
Step 2: Condition the hay bale
The straw will naturally decompose.
The decomposition process will eventually feed your plant as it grows, but early on, too much decomposition could burn your plant.
To avoid this, you need to condition your hay bale. This is a 10-14 day process.
Water the bale thoroughly for three days. For the next six days, water it with a liquid fertilizer (optional) — Be sure you use a fertilizer that has nitrogen in it if you go this route.
On day 10, go back to just water. Put your meat thermometer into the bale.
Keep watering it until the temperature inside the bale matches the air temperature.
At that point, the straw inside the bale has decomposed enough that it won’t burn your plants.
The bale is also nutrient-packed, ready to feed a baby cannabis plant.
Step 3: Sprout your seeds
While you’re conditioning your hay bale, start sprouting your seeds.
Once you’ve got a sprout, transfer it to a small container filled with potting soil.
As soon as you’ve got the first couple sets of true leaves, you can transplant it to your hay bale.
Step 4: Transplant to the bale
Make a hole in the top of your hay bale that’s about as deep as your baby plant’s root ball.
Very gently place the plant into the hole.
Gently pack your organic soil around the sides of the plant, holding it into place.
Step 5: Water and fertilize regularly
Throughout the vegetative phase, continue watering your plant and feeding it with the plant food.
Step 6: Harvest flowers
As the summer draws to a close and the days get a little bit shorter, your plant will naturally move into the flowering phase.
When the flowers’ trichomes are all milky white, it’s time to harvest.
Carefully clip off the flowers at the base of the stem.
Step 7: Dry the bud
The easiest way to do this is to hang your clipped flowers upside down inside a well ventilated room.
When you can snap the stems in your fingers, your bud is ready to cure.
Step 8: Cure the bud
Place the dried nugs into clean glass jars. Screw on the lid and place them in a dark, cool place.
Check on the jars once a day to be sure they’re not too humid or moist. If they are, unscrew the lids and let them air out for a bit.
Once the buds have hit that sweet spot of being semi-dry but still nice and sticky, you’re ready to light up.