We used to grow weed in our basements and closets, spare rooms and locked warehouses. We used to grow weed on small plots far up in the hills with armed guards patrolling the hillsides and watching for helicopters in the distance. We used to saunter into head shops looking for advice, but couldn’t get a word out of the guy behind the counter until we had convinced him that we weren’t cops. These were dark times, when information was scarce and you could invest all your money and effort into a grow op only to have it fail because your pH was off by a hair.
Thankfully, times are changing. Somewhere between driving and riding that change is GrowDiaries—the world’s first online community for marijuana growers. GrowDiaries works off a singular principle: sharing knowledge leads to better results for everyone.
The basic idea is you join the community and start a diary. You can post pictures and video as well as document your grow operation and the lifecycle of your plants. You can browse other people’s diaries and see, in great detail, which combination of seeds, substrate, nutrients, and lighting contributed to their success (or lack thereof). Got some AK-purple Haze hybrids and a hydroponics setup? Trying to see how those Gorilla Glue Autoflower seeds will hold up outdoors? Comparison is the name of the game and with over two thousand active diaries on the site, you are sure to find someone whose grow resembles your own.
Of course if you need some particular help, there is an active community of knowledgeable growers on the site ready to answer the call. A gander at the comments section of any GrowDiaries journal will give you a sense of the camaraderie: users congratulate each other on successful harvests, ask questions and provide answers about technique, console each other at the appearance of mold or some such unfortunate ailment, and rejoice in the simple pleasures of cannabis cultivation! And they joke and joke again, as only aficionados of the sacred herb can.
GrowDiaries fuels this budding (I had to) community with monthly giveaways made possible by the site’s numerous industry sponsors. Each month, ten diaries are selected by community vote (liking, or Reddit style up-voting) as a diary of the month, while the system chooses a grower of the month based on comments, uploads, and general participation. Each winner receives prizes made available by the sponsors. Typical prizes include a packet of dank seeds, nutrient samples, ingestion aids like vaporizers or super cool grow swag.
The site also allows users to communicate directly with prominent breeders and nutrient suppliers through these companies’ official accounts. Brands from all over the globe are signing up on GrowDiaries to advise on their seeds, strains, and nutrient lines and receive feedback from the community. You can peruse an unmatched variety of products, then dive right into a play-by-play of how they perform in actual grow situations. Reps from these companies chat with growers to provide tips, address concerns, and answer questions from their customers.
Part of this feedback cycle is the obligatory rating system built into the diary format: when it comes time to harvest, every user is required to submit a rating for their seed strain and nutrients used in the cultivation. GrowDiaries is thus amassing a huge database of genetic information on cannabis strains, as well as on the effectiveness of various nutrient products. More accessible than competitors, and supported by a huge community of actual growers, this database will become an indispensable tool for a new generation of cultivators.
So as we collectively step into this new dawn of general marijuana acceptance, with some form of cultivation legal in 29 states, and countries opening up to legal growing across the world… as we move our grow ops out of the warehouse and into the commons, GrowDiaries is positioned to become a global resource for growers. Industrial producer or industrious stoner, business person or green-thumbed enthusiast, the site is a treasure trove of information and a wellspring of discussion. Whether you’re looking for a root boost for your three-week White Widow seedlings or you just want to oogle some sweet nug shows, there is something for everyone—you just have to join the community!