Hello, and welcome to the Pot Prof’s complete guide to growing weed!

My name is Jerry, and I am the Pot Prof. You can think of me like a helpful grandfather who just wants to see you succeed. I will guide you through the entire process of cannabis cultivation from start to finish and show you exactly how it works.

Cannabis cultivation is an art form. Like other botanical art forms, such as Bonsai and Rose gardens, growing cannabis can bring an incredible amount of beauty into the world when it is done well. My goal is to help you get started with this art form quickly and easily.

Depending on the strain and the techniques you use, Marijuana will usually take between 7 – 12 weeks (at the fastest) to grow from a seed into a fully matured plant that is ready to harvest. The process is complicated, but I am confident that you will be able to successfully grow your own weed on the first try using the Pot Prof’s instructions if you follow them carefully. 

To that end, in order to make this guide easier to follow, I have divided it into three large sections. Each section covers one of the 3 stages of growing cannabis: Preparation & Planting, Growing, and Harvesting.

While different growers have different styles of growing, dividing the process into these three standard sections ensures that your skills steadily will develop as your plants grow.

The beginning of the process involves a lot of planning and preparation. Stage 1 sets up the rest of the grow, and while you can recover from mistakes early on, the more prepared you are in advance, the easier it will be to handle problems later in the grow cycle.

Stage 2 is where the fun really starts. The growth stage is where you will really earn your chops as a cannabis grower and hopefully produce frosty colas. If you are successful, then you will harvest those colas in Stage 3.

Like any skill, the best way to learn is to practice, so for the first grow cycle, try to follow the instructions as closely as possible. After you have successfully completed a grow or two and have begun to get a feel for how weed is grown, I encourage you to begin developing your own style of cultivation. 

Everyone has different working conditions, tools, and preferences for growing techniques, so it’s very important to find what works best for you over the course of a few grow cycles. As with any artwork, you will enjoy your buds a lot more if you enjoy the creative process of growing them!


Each section of this guide is composed of smaller guides for specific aspects of each stage in the grow cycle.

  • 3 Stages Of Growing Weed:
    • The Prep & Planting section includes guides for building a grow tent and germinating seeds.
    • The Growing section includes guides for early and late vegetative growth, as well as scrogging, training, and flowering.
    • The Harvesting section covers everything you need to know about timing the harvest, trimming buds and drying nugs.

Things To Know Before You Begin To Grow Weed

Before you begin to learn the art of cannabis cultivation, it is important to take care of a few preliminaries. Obviously, the very first thing you should do is look up your state’s marijuana laws. Growing cannabis is not yet legal in many states and laws vary from state to state.

Most importantly, as you read on, make sure to familiarize yourself with any technical terms you might not have seen before, such as ‘scrogging’ or ‘cola’ (Hint: the latter has nothing to do with fizzy sugar water!). Wikipedia has an epic Glossary of Cannabis Terms that might come in handy sometimes.

Also, an understanding of the anatomy of a cannabis plant and how plants grow in general will be immensely helpful to you in the next stages of this guide. If you have any doubts about general botany, I highly recommend doing a bit of research to refresh your memory.


The 3 Stages Of Growing Weed

1. Prep & Planting

Sowing seeds is a delicate process. Seeds are expensive and precious so its important to germinated them carefully. But first, you have to build a custom grow system and acquire the right nutrients to feed your plants. All of this takes planning and preparation.

2. Growing

The growth stage has three major phases: early vegetative growth, late vegetative growth, and flowering growth. Learn how to grow big, sticky cones on the first try. Growing weed can be easy if you have the right instructions and equipment.

3. Harvesting

Harvesting is fun if you know what you are doing and a nightmare if you do not. With clear and simple instructions, you can trim like a professional on your first try. Learn how to have fun and reduce waste while getting the most out of your plants. Then, drying and curing your buds will finish the process.

Stage 1: Preparation & Planting Weed

The Beginning Of The Journey

Those early days at the beginning of the epic quest for clean homegrown bud are often unforgettable times for many growers. There is an unmistakable excitement to learning something new mixed with the knowledge that what you are about to learn is how to grow weed, which is one of the most enjoyable hobbies one can pursue in life. 

Stage 1 is all about getting you to the starting line and then beginning the journey by taking the first few steps. By the time you are done with Stage 1, you will have a fully operational grow system and a few small cannabis sprouts enjoying their first few days of life.

Stage 1 Snapshot Overview

Stage 1 begins with a planning session. Planning ahead is one of key skills you will need to employ to have a maximally successful grow cycle the first time you try.

  • This section then moves on to the following topics:
    • How to find and choose marijuana seeds to grow: strains, autoflowers vs. photoperiods, suppliers
    • How to build a grow set-up: three options for grow set-ups tailored to your budget and needs
    • Buying the right nutrients and other supplies: how to know which nutrients to buy and why
    • Germination: the delicate art of waking up a sleeping marijuana seed
    • Planting Sprouts: putting your first marijuana plants into the soil

Stage 2: Growing Weed

The 3 Phases Of The Growth Stage

Growing marijuana is one of the most enjoyable past-times that you can learn. Watching a small cannabis sprout grow into a strong mature plant and then finish its life cycle by flowering is akin to watching a beautiful sunrise. By the end of Stage 2, you will have flowering marijuana plants ready to harvest.

Stage 2 is all about successfully growing your seedlings into healthy, productive, flowering plants. Your plants will go through three distinct phases as they age: early vegetative growth, late vegetative growth, and flowering growth.

Each phase of growth has its own considerations and requires unique skill sets. Get ready to learn a wide range of botanical skills and techniques as your plants progress through each growth phase. 

Stage 2 Snapshot Overview

Stage 2 begins with learning to implement a high quality watering and feeding schedule while also not becoming too reliant on a rigid set of rules. Remember: cannabis cultivation is an art form. Every cannabis plant is unique and has different needs that no single set of rules can address. 

  • This section then moves on to cover the following topics:
    • Early Vegetative Growth
      • How to balance nutrients and PH levels while the plant is still young
      • How to train cannabis plants: why training matters in the early days
      • Topping: what is topping and how to use this technique to maximize yields
    • Late Vegetative Growth
      • Scrogging: how to set up a scrogging net and balance out the canopy height
      • Defoliation: how to remove excess foliage and why it matters maximizing yield
    • Flowering Growth
      • How to induce flowering and how to tell when your plants are ready to flower

Stage 3: Harvesting Weed

The Homestretch: How To Harvest Cannabis Buds

The best part about harvesting is that you can finally get a sense of exactly how much weed you have grown. The pay off comes when you get to weigh those massive colas and count up the ounces that your plants have produced for you. 

Stage 3 is all about guiding your plants as they transform from frosty flowers into cured buds. Your plants will go through a few distinct phases as you process them: trimming, drying, and curing.

Each harvesting process has its own considerations and requires unique skill sets. You will learn a wide range of harvesting skills and techniques as you process your precious plants into smokable products. 

Stage 3 Snapshot Overview

Stage 3 begins by discussing how to prep your plants and workspace for harvesting. After all, your cannabis plants are about to go through a transformation from living breathing flowers into smokable buds, and this process will require a bit of planning to pull off smoothly.

  • This section then moves on to the following topics:
    • When to harvest: how to tell when buds are ready to harvest and when they need a little more time
    • Drying How to cut, hang, and dry colas without letting them get too dry or moldy
    • Trimming: tools and techniques for trimming with a complete buyer’s guide, plus a discussion of dry vs. wet trimming with guides for how to trim with both wet and dry trimming methods
    • Curing
    • Do-s & Don’t-s of harvesting

Free How-To Guide For Growing Marijuana 

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