How to

16 June 2020

Basic steps for your first cannabis grow

If you have never grown your own cannabis indoors, creating your own grow room might sound like a lot of hassle but it’s not. If you follow these 10 basic steps, you’ll see it’s actually quite easy. The only things you really need are: a room you are not using, to establish a budget and find some free time.

To keep things simple, I will break down the process into basic steps. Start at the beginning and work your way down the list and your project will come together. Bear in mind that this is a simple guide to get you started.

Choose your location

Begin by asking yourself where in your house the best place to grow your plants will be. This could be an unused guest room, the attic, basement or a (built-in) large closet in a spare room.

What’s most important here is that you consider all the basic necessities and utilities you’re going to need to grow your plant. Think about an accessible water source and how to drain the water. Is there a sink nearby? How can you create airflow? Is there enough ventilation? Do you have enough room to grow the kind of plant you want? Do you have enough room for the number of plants you want? The best thing to do is to consider all these things beforehand and maybe sketch out your basic plan. Where are you going to place your air and water system?

Clean and prepare the grow room

It’s important to have a clean working environment. Not only is it easier to work in a clean and tidy area to install the necessities, but it’s also important for the plants themselves. You want to minimize external contaminants like dust, dirt and most importantly mould. Having a clean growing area minimizes the number of bugs and particles that can carry potential plant diseases

Make it dark

Whether you are using a (built-in) closet, a ready-to-go grow tent or if you are transforming a room into a grow area yourself, you need to make it dark! There are two reasons for this; firstly, nosey neighbours. Secondly, external light sources might stress out your plants in multiple stages of you cannabis plant and might even prevent them from flowering at all.

Choose between HPS or LED lights

After the darkness comes the light. A crucial step in creating the perfect growing conditions is choosing the right lighting for your plants. First, you need to decide if you want to go with HPS lights or if you are going to use LED as your light source.

After you’ve made a decision on what kind of light source you want to use, you want to determine how many lamps you are going to need and what strength they should be. Because you don’t need a 1000 Watts lamp for three plants.

Use chains or adjustable hooks to keep your light source at the right height above your plants throughout their entire growing cycle. Keeping your plants in the ‘sweet-spot’ will bring the highest yield and potency in your cannabis strain.

Reflection for optimal use of light

If you are going with a grow tent, you can skip this step, because most (if not all) grow tents come with light-reflecting walls. For a closet or custom room, you’ll need to have walls that reflect the light of your light source as efficiently as possible.

The easiest way to achieve this is by painting the walls of your grow area white. But for the best reflection you could opt for specialized reflective sheets (get it at your local DIY store). Don’t use regular tinfoil, that stuff doesn’t reflect light as well as you might think.

Ventilation in the grow room

Continuous air circulation is key for a healthy and happy plant, in all stages of the growing process. There are many different ventilation systems out there but you can start with one or more simple desk ventilators and an opening at the bottom of your grow area for the intake of cool, fresh air and an opening at the top as an exhaust point for the warm air. Just make sure there isn’t any external light coming in through these openings.

You also want to keep in mind that there is a point where too much direct airflow can have negative effects on the growth of your plants. Lastly, you might want to consider a carbon filtration or scrubber system at the exhaust point to get rid of any strong odours.

Control the humidity throughout the stages

Throughout the growing cycle, you want to control the humidity of the room / grow area. Every stage in the growing cycle demands different levels of humidity. There are a ton of different dehumidifier systems out there, so your choice of the system might depend on your budget.

What kind of pots and how big should the pots be?

Choosing the right sized pot for first-timers might sound a bit tricky but it’s not that hard. Just measure or estimate the amount of available room and how many plants you want to grow. Keep in mind that the size of the pot you use will also determine the size of the plant. The bigger the pot, usually the bigger the yield.  At Marijuana Grow Shop we recommend using square pots and not round ones, this way you can use the space more efficiently.

When it comes to soil, you as a beginner are better off with a ‘pre-fertilized’ soil mix. Later on, when you get more comfortable with the growing process, you might want to choose a ‘light mix’ soil, so that you can control the number of nutrients.

Recommended tools for growing

Depending on your budget you might want to consider getting some extra diagnostic tools like a thermometer (preferably one that can measure the minimum and maximum temperatures in your grow area), a humidity meter or a PH meter and if you are using nutrients an EC meter.

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