The Key Ingredients Of Indoor Growing
If you are going to grow cannabis indoors you need to get the most from every crop. This guide will help you to tune your grow-op for high performance.
The Must-Haves For Indoor Marijuana Growers
Ever since the late 1980’s indoor cannabis cultivation has been evolving. New more efficient growing techniques and technologies have made it possible for home growers to achieve marijuana self-sufficiency. These days the stickiest green is cropped by ordinary decent home growers with perfectly tuned grow-ops.
Whether you cultivate cannabis for recreational or medicinal use, 5 critical factors must be controlled for a successful indoor crop. The following are the 5 components common to every well run grow room from covert cabinets to deluxe grow tents.
Your choice of illumination will have a huge impact on both the quality and quantity of your cannabis crop. Old school HID lighting is tried and trusted grow room tech. If you decide to grow with a HID kit you must also consider the extra heat that MH and HPS bulbs will output in the grow-op. In order to keep temperatures within the optimal 25-29°C range, you may need to invest in a more powerful set of intake and outtake fans too. Also, electricity bills will be high for the duration of cultivation.
LED is 21st century grow technology with many advantages over legacy ballast, bulb, and reflector kits. The advantages of LED over HID are twofold. First LED is far more efficient than HID lamps running cooler and emitting a spectrum of light more similar to natural sunlight. Less heat makes it easier to maintain optimal temperatures and allows for closer positioning to the plant canopy. Secondly, LED’s won’t run up utility bills like HID. They may have a higher purchase cost but are far cheaper to run and less maintenance.
2. Grow Space
In general 400-600W of HPS or 200-300W of LED is the average light coverage per m² of growing area. How many plants you decide to grow in this area depends on your grow style. High volume cultivation like the SOG method or lots of pruning and training a few plants using the scrog method, it’s up to you.
You can build, buy, or customise a grow-op. Most home growers will cultivate in grow tents or convert a wardrobe/cabinet into a grow room. If you buy a grow tent you don’t need to worry about reflection as the interior of virtually all grow tents are lined with highly reflective Mylar.
However, if your grow-op is a DIY job then you will need to line the walls with Mylar sheeting yourself or paint them matt white. Most important of all the grow-op must be light tight, meaning no light entering from an external source and no light escaping through cracks and tears.
2. The Right Genetics For Your Grow Op
These days both medicinal and recreational growers are spoiled for choice. You can get your hands on your favourite strains with ease. But if you want to get the maximum yield from your grow-op you need to grow the strain best suited to the environment you create.
Large grow spaces with plenty of vertical and lateral room allow the grower to cultivate any strain he or she pleases. Smaller grow spaces and even micro grows can produce impressive crops too. But if you have limitations like less than 2 metres (6 feet) of vertical grow space stretchy late blooming sativa’s are probably not the best option. Unless you are a practiced plant trainer with experience in LST and/or the Scrog method. Heavy indica strains or rapid blooming autoflowering hybrids are better suited to the confines of cabinets and wardrobes.
LED’s open up more potential strains for successful cultivation in the grow space. If you have a large grow room then you can add many more watts of LED illumination. Without the dramatic temperature increase typically associated with adding additional HID lamps to the grow-op. Similarly, in a small grow space an economic LED unit is often the only viable option. Even lower power HID 250W bulbs may generate too much heat and insufficient coverage for the micro-grower.
4. Nutrients and Water
Soil growers need to ensure watering and feeds of nutrient solution are applied at a water pH of 6.0-6.5. Coco and hydro growers must be even more specific and aim for a 5.5-5.8 pH range. Organic nutrients and supplements or chemical fertilisers and boosters it’s really a matter of taste and convenience. Most growers will try to strike a balance between the two with the aim of harvesting a heavy yield of flavoursome buds.
Another benefit of growing with LED is the reduction in fertiliser doses. Most growers observe that cannabis cultivated under LED requires only 75% of the fertilisation a standard HID crop requires. You still need to flush with water for the last week or two. Flushing with a light solution is highly recommended if you heavily fertilise with chemical nutrients.
5. Air Flow
Air is the last factor to be discussed but by no means the least. Every grow-op needs fresh air in and hot air out. Plus cannabis plants need a mild breeze to stay healthy and grow strong stems. Air exchange and air circulation must be controlled. Your choice of lights and the size of the growing area will dictate how powerful your intake and outtake fans need to be.
A simple oscillating fan is all that is required to keep the air circulating. A clip on fan or wall mounted fan will work if space is very limited. Using powerful hot HID lamps and noisy fans running at maximum capacity is not very covert or efficient. LED’s won’t generate the excess heat that pushes extractor fans to the limit.
Odour control goes hand in hand with air-flow. Most growers these days prefer the no-nonsense carbon filter attached to the extractor fan via ducting for grow rooms of all sizes.
SHORT: Every indoor cannabis grower wants to harvest the fattest stash of dank buds. If you keep can dial in the 5 critical factors of cultivation you will. This blog will give you the knowledge you need to grow great Marijuana at home.