Welcome to Stage 1 of the Pot Prof’s complete guide to growing weed!

As I mentioned in the introduction to How To Grow Weed: The 3 Stages of Growing Cannabis, my name is Jerry. I am the Pot Prof and I am going to teach you how to grow marijuana for yourself, in your own home.

Stage 1 of growing weed covers the beginning of the process: buying seeds, finding the right grow system for your grow space, procuring all of the nutrients and supplies you will need, and then germinating the seeds and planting the sprouts. This first stage lays the foundation for the rest of the process of growing weed, so it is very important to complete this stage properly. If you are successful, by the end, you will have healthy, young cannabis plants ready to enter Stage 2, the main growth stage.

Growers often start with smaller budgets and work their way up to larger grows. For that reason, I have included instructions for growers with smaller budgets as well as instructions for progressing from smaller grows to larger, more advanced systems as your skills advance. If you have already learned how to grow weed and want to improve your skills, feel free to check out the instructions page where you will find detailed instructions for specific aspects of the growing process with advice from experts.

Links to go back to previous stages of this guide:

  1. The Beginning: The 3 Stages Of Growing Cannabis
  2. Stage 1: (You are here!)
  3. Stage 2: Vegetative And Flowering Growth
  4. Stage 3: When And How To Harvest Marijuana


Stage 1 is all about getting set up, buying seeds, and planting them. After the seeds have germinated and the sprouts have been planted, make sure to water them carefully and keep the PH balanced.

  • Stage 1 Covers
    • Buying Seeds
      • Where to acquire seeds
      • Auto-Flowering vs. Photoperiod
    • Building A Grow Set-Up
      • Choosing the right grow system
      • Tips and Tricks from experts
    • Buying the right nutrients
      • Organic vs. inorganic
    • Germination
    • Planting sprouts

Growing Weed For Beginners: How To Grow Weed Successfully On The First Try

The key to getting through Stage 1 successfully is to pay attention to details and take your time. This is the first stage in a long process that will last many weeks, so it is very important to take your time and complete the entire stage carefully. I have seen too many growers rush through the preparation stage in their eagerness to start growing. But doing so can lead to problems or bad results down the line: limited growth, smaller yields, and even dead plants.

First things first: make sure to find a good introduction to gardening or basic botany. I can teach you a lot about growing weed, but if you have never grown any plants before, then I suggest that you start by learning some basic gardening skills. You might even do well to stop by a gardening center and buy a few house plants to take care of for a while. You will learn a lot from this simple exercise, and it is better to make mistakes while learning how to take care of regular plants than risk hurting your precious cannabis plants.

Second, as you begin your quest for green gold, it is a good idea to keep a daily journal. Two reasons for doing this: first, it will help you remember what you did and when you did it, and if something goes wrong, you will be able to look back at your journal for clues. A third reason to keep a journal is that it is simply a great memento to have after the grow is complete!

Finally, if you haven’t already, check out Wikipedia’s epic glossary of cannabis terms. It has every term you can think of and may come in handy as you read this guide. 

Thats it! Without further ado, let’s start Stage 1.


  • Review the basics of gardening and botany

  • Practice growing other plants first

  • Keep a daily growing journal

  • Check out Wikipedia’s glossary as well as the anotomy of a cannabis plant


Stage 1: Seeds, Grow Set-ups, & Germination 

1. Buying Seeds

  • Types of Seeds
    • Feminized seeds
    • Auto-Flowering vs. Photoperiod
  • Seed banks
    • How to find seed banks
  • How to buys seeds that are good for beginners
  • Buying seed for your specific growing environment
  • How to store seeds longterm

2. Grow Set-ups

  • Selecting a grow set-up
    • How grow set-ups work
    • Budget, growth area, Indoor environment
  • Example Grow systems
    • Cheap, simple
    • Expensive, full-capacity
  • Buying Nutrients
  • How to set up a grow tent and prepare planting containers

3. Germination

  • Germination
    • How to germinate seeds
  • Planting
    • How to plant sprouts
  • Watering sprouts
    • PH balancing
    • To feed or not to feed?
  • Do-s & Don’t-s

1. Buying Cannabis Seeds: How To Buy Seeds

Seed banks, choosing seeds, and storing seeds

Buying seeds for the first time is often a stressful but exciting experience. You have decided to start growing weed and have some idea about the overall process of growing. Maybe you have already set up a growing system and ready to plant. But no matter how far along in the planning process you are, a lot of your plans will come down to the type of seeds you buy. After all, every cannabis strain is different and suited to different growing environments. Some require advanced growing techniques like scrogging and topping, while others are easier to grow in small spaces at high elevations. These factors combined will determine which seeds you buy and where you buy them from.

Seed banks are basically companies that specialize in acquiring, organizing, and storing seeds. In some cases, seed banks will also grow more seeds from their own growing stocks. There are many varieties of seed banks. Some offer the latest advanced genetics, while others are specifically organic and pesticide free. Many ship worldwide and have discreet packaging. Also, payment methods vary, and you might have to use cryptocurrency to buy from some seed banks. I recommend checking out Seedsman since they offer a wide variety of seeds offer great instructions for purchasing and acquiring their seed stocks.

Buying Cannabis Seeds Snapshot Overview

There are many reputable seed banks across the world to choose from. Many offer worldwide shipping and most offer discreet packaging. Try Seedsman if you are looking for a good place to start.

  • This section then moves on to the following topics:
    • What are Autoflowers? What are Photoperiods? What’s the difference?

    • What to expect when you buy cannabis seeds: payment methods, packaging, delivery times, etc.
    • How to find and choose marijuana seeds to grow: strains, high CBD, high THC, yields, etc.
    • How to find seeds that are good for beginners to grow for the first time
    • Buying the right seeds for your growing environment: altitudes, height restrictions, low odor, etc.
    • How to store seeds properly for later use: how to store seeds so they are viable for years

2. Indoor Grow Systems: Buying & Setting Up Grow Set-ups

How to set up a grow room: grow tents, grow lamps, & more

Setting up a grow room can be a huge challenge for growers who are working with limited space. Thankfully, technology has advanced far enough that many of the challenges that previous generations of growers faced are no longer issues if you have the right equipment. These days, it is very straightforward to set up a simple, low budget grow room in a closet or small room that will not disturb your neighbors or break your electricity bill.

Of course, to get the most out of your growing space, you will eventually need to upgrade to higher quality equipment. The most important part of any grow room is the grow light, so it’s worth investing in a high quality grow light first. While there are fantastic budget grow lights that are perfect for entry level grower who are just looking to grow a few autos in their closets, more professional level grow lights will last longer, lead to higher yields, and can be used to grow more plants at the same time. Higher quality grow lights also tend to be more energy efficient which means lower electricity bills long term.

Indoor Grow Systems Snapshot Overview

Setting up a grow system is an exciting time. Depending on your budget and the number of plants you will be growing, the type of grow set up you choose will either be simple and small or complex and large. We will discuss several options for you to consider.

  • This section then moves on to cover the following topics:
    • How grow systems work
      • Temperature, humidity, lighting, construction, storage, air flow, odor control and ventilation
      • How to grow weed in your closet: tips & tricks for best results
    • Recommended high quality grow setups for 2 budgets: low budget and high budget
      • Cheaper grow set ups: basic necessary equipment, advice for cutting costs
      • Large budgets: how to create a professional grow set-up, high quality equipment
    • Constructing a grow set-up
      • How to build a grow system with basic equipment with tips for advanced growers
      • How to prepare for planting sprouts and launching your grow system

3. Buying Supplies: What Nutrients Do You Need?

Mycorrhizae, Fertilizers, Hormones, & PH Balancers

A grower’s philosophy of growing can often be surmized from a quick look at the types of nutrients and supplements they feed to their plants. The amount of care that a grower puts into selecting the proper nutrients for their plants often directly translates into the quality of buds their garden produces. An all organic, naturally fertilized cannabis plant might not have the same level of explosive growth as clones that are fed with artificial fertilizers, but the buds will be clean, healthy, organic products of the Earth that will not give you the lasting health effects that can come from smoking or ingesting industrial chemicals. That being said, organic fertilizers are often more expensive, require more work to create yourself, and don’t always produce the best possible results. So there are trade offs to either approach.

There are also many ways to use a combination of natural and artificial nutrients and supplements to keep your plants clean and healthy while also boosting yields. If boosting yields is your goal, then consider a range of both organic and natural products for a combined effect. In addition, there are many artificial supplements available that are specifically designed to increase yields. Of course, there are also a range of natural products that you can make on your own at home, such as worm tea and natural pest control agents, which will benefit your plants enormously. It all depends on how you want to feed your plants as they mature. 

Buying Nutrients & Supplies Snapshot Overview

The world of nutrients and supplies for growing marijuana is vast and ever expanding. The nutrients and supplements growers use are often tied to their personal philosophy of growing. We will discuss these philosophical differences and then get into specific supplies you need.

  • This section will cover the following topics:
    • Growth media: soils, clay pebbles, coir, and other growth media
    • Three types of nutrients
      • Basic necessities for growing plants in general and cannabis specifically
      • Organic nutrients: how to buy organic supplies or create your own at home
      • Yield boosters: specific supplements that can help increase the productivity of your plants
    • Specific nutrients and supplements
      • FertilizersPH up/down, CAL-MAG, Pest Control Spray, PH Calibration Liquid
      • Extras: microbes, hormones, fungi, and teas

      4. Germination & Planting: How to germinate seeds and care for young sprouts

      How To Wake Up A Sleeping Seed

      Germinating cannabis seeds is a delicate process. There are several methods to germinate seeds, but all of them are easy to follow. The main goal of germination is to jumpstart the growth process of a dormant seed by giving it an environment that is wet, dark, and somewhat warm. These environmental factors simulate the natural conditions a seed would find when it germinates in the soil. Whether or not you actually germinate the seed in soil or growth media is up to you so long as these three criteria are met.

      Once the germination process is well underway and the seed has produced a main root that is around 3/4 of an inch long, it can be planted in soil or growth media. For the next week, your seedling will grow up out of the soil and its first leaves will appear. There are several precautions that need to be taken when you feed your young sapling during these delicate early days. For instance, it is important to not over water or over feed the seedling in order to avoid drowning it or burning it with too much nutrients. Also, make sure to water it gently so that you do not damage the seedling with the force of the water.

      Germination & Planting Snapshot Overview

      Let the growing begin! There are several different ways to germinate seeds and grow sprouts for the first week or so. Most of them work well, but some of them require more effort than others.

      • This section will cover the following topics:
        • Germinating seeds: basic methods for inducing seeds to start growing
        • Planting sprouts: what containers to plant sprouts in, feeding schedules for young sprouts
        • Lighting for the first week of growth

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