Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Cannabis Indoors
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So you’re planning on growing marijuana, but you don’t want to draw your neighbor’s attention and don’t want to risk having thieves in your backyard garden. Well, you can always choose to grow cannabis inside your home!
Whether marijuana is grown indoors or outdoors, you can be certain that there will be challenges to face – lots and lots of them! This is most especially true if you are a newbie. However, there are also tons of benefits.
Although having cannabis grown indoors need not leave you worrying about the weather, it’s something that requires an upfront investment to purchase equipment. But if you are willing to invest your money and time growing marijuana indoors might be a good option.
Since it’s not cheap to have cannabis plants grown inside your home, it is a good idea for you to be armed with the right information to minimize failure. Before you start to reach for that garden trowel and watering can, continue read this massive 3,000-word step-by-step guide to growing cannabis indoors.
Step #1: Decide How Many Plants to Grow
While it is a good idea for you to dream big when growing cannabis inside your home, it is generally a smart move for you to start small. This is especially true for a newcomer.
But it’s not just cannabis potentially going to waste that you have to worry about, but also the overall cost of your time and money. If truth be told, it can be a expensive endeavor! That’s because there are certain pieces of equipment that need to be purchased and installed where you are planning to grown, and some of them unquestionably do not come cheap. Skimping on cash and doing without those essential gizmos might end in disaster.
Sure, the thought of growing lots and lots of cannabis inside the comfort of your own home might be exciting. You might be dreaming of getting your hands on numerous cannabis seedlings and growing an indoor forest. However, it is a much better idea to start slow, and an even better idea to take a cannabis class – this will keep you from being overwhelmed. Cultivating marijuana in your home is no picnic.
A few topics you will want to brush up on can include pests or diseases prevention, fertilization, soil conditions, watering, and similar topics taught in a good cannabis course.
Step #2: Find the Perfect Spot
One of the most crucial steps for you to take is to dedicate an area for your plants. It can be anything from a corner of the basement, an unused room, or a closet.
Whichever place you are eyeing for your project, just make sure that there is enough space available for the equipment you will need to buy and install (fans, lights, ducts, etc.), and also for the plants you are about to grow – those babies can get really large when they mature! Since marijuana can easily grow up to 15 feet in height, see to it that there’s enough headroom.
Cleanliness matters when cultivating weed inside the home. A dirty area can invite mold and pesky insects, all of which can easily keep you from being a successful cannabis grower.
Make sure that the area you pick is free from incoming light most especially at nighttime. It’s not a good idea for ganja to be touched by light when the sun goes down because this will only cause confusion, paving the way for more male flowers, which might be useless to you.
It’s also a good idea for you to pick an area which you can easily access at any time as your marijuana plants will need careful monitoring. If at all possible, ensure your space is cool and dry, and also can be easily supplied with fresh.
Step #3: The Right Kind of Light
Since marijuana grown indoors most likely won’t be touched by direct sunlight, you will have to provide your plants with a light source. There are lots of grow light options available these days.
High intensity discharge or HID lights are some of the most revered lighting systems by indoor ganja growers. It comes in two types: metal halide or MH that produces bluish light perfect for maturing marijuana plants, and high pressure sodium or HPS that gives off reddish light suitable for flowering cannabis. HID lights may cost more than other lighting options out there, especially since you will also need other must-haves such as ballasts, reflectors and cooling systems just to have them installed, but they are more efficient – they yield more light per unit of electricity.
Light emitting diodes or LED technology has been around for some time now, but it’s just recently when indoor cannabis growers utilized it for cannabis plants. While LED lighting systems generate brighter light and less heat (plus they tend to last for a really long time) they are generally pricier than HID lights.
Another option is fluorescent light fixtures. Some might gravitate to this option because they may be cheaper than HID and LED lights, but they tend to consume more power. Opting for fluorescent lighting options can help cut the initial cost of setting up an indoor setup as it requires no cooling system since it generates less heat.
Induction lamps have been around for so many years now, but they’re relatively new in the world of indoor gardening. Not too many growers are fond of them due to their price tag and poor availability.
Before shopping for lighting fixtures for your indoor project, consider spending time reading product reviews. You don’t want to end up with a poorly-made lighting kit.
Step #4: Warm Air Out, Filtered Air In
Just like most other plants grown inside, marijuana requires fresh air in order to flourish. This is why one of the most important pieces of equipment for indoor gardening is your exhaust fan, which is something that you will need to install near the top of the room.
Because warm air rises and cool air sinks, it is recommended that you place the exhaust fan near the ceiling to maintain a healthy temperatures, which is between 70°F and 85°F (20°C and 30°C) when the lights are on, and between 58°F and 70°F (14°C and 20°C) when the lights are off. Needless to say, having the temperature controlled is essential for an indoor cannabis grower.
There are some varieties of cannabis, such as those indica strains, that prefer temperature in the lower side of the above given range, but there are also others that do not have problems surviving at higher temperatures. So before you put your green thumb to work do your research.
When shopping for an exhaust fan, the size you opt for should be able to properly vent the amount of heat given off by your lighting system and the size of the room. Ideally, there should also be an opening on the opposite side of the room where filtered air can come in, replacing warm air that the exhaust fan sucks out with cool air.
Since it’s also good for indoor cannabis to be subjected to a constant light breeze in order to help strengthen their stems (and also to fend off mold) there should be circulating fans installed in the room, preferably the kinds that are mounted on the wall. Avoid having those fans pointed directly at your cannabis plants as it can leave them with windburn.
Step #5: Having the Climate Automated
It’s virtually impossible for you to spend 24/7 in the area where you are cultivating your plants. When it comes to maintaining a climate that is ideal for growing weed grown, there are pieces of equipment perfect for the job, and investing your money in them could help.
These days, so many sophisticated devices are available for automated climate control. While these devices might be great, it is perfectly fine for a starter to opt for simpler and cheaper alternatives. In time when you feel like advancing you can always have your devices upgraded.
For starters, a simple 24-hour timer for the lights is very helpful and usually affordable. This is something that allows you to switch on and turn off your lighting fixture at the same times on a daily basis, saving your plants from becoming stressed.
It’s of utmost importance for marijuana plants to get the right amount of light they need depending on which part of their growth cycle they are in. For instance, you will have to provide your plants with 16 to 20 hours of light in a single day when they are in the vegetative phase, which is the time when they have already grown leaves and start to undergo photosynthesis for food production. But when it’s time for them to bloom, they should be provided with only about 12 hours of light daily. Such task can be simplified with the help of a 24-hour timer.
But it’s not just the lights that need to be automated. There are other automations that can be helpful such as temperature, humidity level and pH level of the water. When on the hunt for them, it’s a good idea for you to go for those that are easy to install and use.
Step #6: Pick the Right Grow Medium and Container
Currently, there are several different grow media that an indoor marijuana farmer can choose from. Each one of them has its own set of pros and cons, and right one for someone cultivating cannabis will depend on his or her preferences or needs.
While there are numerous options out there, most growers opt for soil and soilless, which is also referred to as hydroponics. Pick the right one according to your particular liking and you’re golden.
The most traditional medium used for growing marijuana indoors is, of course, soil. This is the most recommended grow medium for newcomers because it can save them from having lots of medium-related headaches. One possible choice what’s known as super soil, which is perfect for unfussy indoor gardening. It is basically soil that is pre-fertilized using organic components such as bat guano and worm castings. You can purchase super soil pre-made for you or you can choose to make it from scratch.
However, more and more indoor cannabis growers prefer the soilless way of gardening. Just like what the name says, this medium does not consist of or contain any soil. Rather, it is composed of materials such as clay pebbles, rock wool, perlite, vermiculite and coco coir. There are also soilless mixes that consist of two or more of these materials.
When it comes to containers, there are many different options, too. Your choice should be based on certain factors such as the size of your marijuana plants and grow medium that you prefer. Indoor ganja containers can range anywhere from plastic or cloth bags that are perforated, repurposed buckets or other plastic containers with holes at the bottom, to kind of expensive smart pots designed specifically for cannabis that are cultivated inside the home.
Step #7: Provide Much-Needed Nutrients
The minute that cannabis starts to flower, it’s important for you to supply it with all of the nutrients it needs. Using the right fertilizers during this stage of growth is important.
At least once a week – this is how often you should be feeding your plants while it is bearing flowers. Throughout their life cycle, marijuana plants need certain nutrients that can be divided into two parts: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those that are required in large quantities, such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. On the other end is micronutrients. Micronutrients are those that are necessitated in smaller amounts, but nonetheless still needed. These nutrients include iron, magnesium, copper and calcium.
Your growing plants require different blends or concentrations of the above mentioned macronutrients and micronutrients, depending on the stage of their life cycle. For instance, they need more nitrogen during their vegetative stage, while they call for more potassium and phosphorus the minute they start to produce buds.
One very important matter to bear in mind when fertilizing cannabis is that you should always opt for a diluted mix as the plant can easily end up burned. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always much better to supply plants with thrifty serving of fertilizer. As you get the hang of things, you will find it easier to determine whether or not you are providing your marijuana plants with the right amounts of fertilizer needed.
Step #8: Watering
One of the many perks of growing cannabis inside your home is that it can be very easy to control how much water your plants are getting. Outdoors, especially during inclement weather, can cause conditions where plants might drown.
How often you should be watering will depend on certain factors such as the size of your plants, temperature in the room where you are cultivating them, and also the medium you have chosen.
Overwatering is a no-no because roots can be highly susceptible to fungal diseases, and the risk of them showing up is higher if the medium conditions are simply too wet for your plants.
If you can drink the water, then you are likely thinking it must be fine for watering your plants. Well, not all the time. You see, some water in some locations contain high amounts of certain minerals, and some of those can accumulate in the roots. Overtime this might impede proper absorption of nutrients.
Starting a Career in the Cannabis Business
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