Congratulations, you are ready to grow your indoor cannabis plants for the first time! But before giving vent to your green thumb, understand that growing marijuanawith an indoor system presents a unique set of challenges for your new hobby, also the huge amount of information available on the subject can be truly overwhelming.
Our guide to growing cannabis indoors will help simplify the process by breaking it down into clear and easy to understand sections. Designed to help the novice grower get started. You can also read our article “how to build a Grow Box“
Beginners guide to growing weed in your closet
Growing cannabis indoors is not for everyone, in fact it is a very delicate and patient technique. In this article you will find a very extensive illustrative guide that allows you to grow maria indoors without any difficulty.
Step 1: Designate for your Cannabis seedlings a space called the so-called Grow Room
The first step in growing your self-produced cannabis is to create a suitable space in which to grow it. This space does not need to be the typical “Grow Room”; it can be in a closet, curtain, cabinet, guest room or a corner in a disused basement.
Keep in mind that you will have to adapt your equipment (and your plants) to adapt it to the space available to you.
Start small …
When you face your first growth project, we recommend starting small for multiple reasons:
- The smaller the crop, the less expensive the configuration
- It is much easier to monitor some plants rather than a large number
- Your mistakes (and there will be) as a beginner grower will be less expensive and easily remedied.
Your mistakes (and there will be) as a beginner grower will be less expensive and easily remedied. A failed growth of two plants will put a much smaller dent in the 15 plant portfolio.
…But think big
When designing your space, you will have to take into consideration not only the amount of space needed by your plants, but also for lights, ducts, fans and all other equipment, as well as leaving enough space to move around and be able to access each single plant. Your girls can double, even triple in the initial flowering stage, so make sure you have adequate space!
If your grow room is a wardrobe, a curtain or a wardrobe, you can simply open it and remove the plants to work on it; otherwise, you will need to make sure you leave some space.
Cleanliness is crucial
Make sure your space is always sanitized; cleaning is important when growing indoors, so easy-to-clean surfaces are a must. Carpeting, curtains and rough wood are difficult to clean, so avoid these materials if possible.
Another crucial criterion for a grow room is that it is light-tight. Light leaks during dark periods confuse your plants and can make them produce male flowers.
When deciding where to grow indoor grass, keep the following variables in mind:
- Convenience: you will need to monitor your plants carefully. Checking them every day is important, and beginners will have to check it several times a day until they are familiar with the growth cycle. If your grow room is difficult to reach, this crucial step can be difficult.
- Temperature and humidity problems: if your growing space is already very hot or very humid, you will have problems controlling your growing environment. It is highly recommended to choose a cool and dry area with immediate access to the open air from the outside.
- Stealth: You will probably want to hide your growth from nosy neighbors and potential thieves, so be sure to choose a place where noisy fans don’t attract attention.
Step 2: Choose the lights for growing cannabis
The quality of light in your grow room will be the number one environmental factor in the quality and quantity of your cannabis crops, so it’s a good idea to choose the best lighting setting you can afford.
The industry in this decade has developed a multitude of products, dedicated to indoor cannabis lighting.
In some conditions it is also possible to grow mary at home without lamps but certainly the result will be disappointing in most situations.
HID Grow Lights
HID (high intensity) lights are the industry standard, widely used for the combination of efficiency, efficiency and value. They cost a little more than incandescent or fluorescent cannabis lamps, but they produce much more light per unit of electricity used. On the contrary, they are not as efficient as LED lighting, but they cost just under a tenth for comparable units.
The two main types of HID lamp used for cultivation are:
- Metal halides (MH), which produce blue-white light and are generally used during vegetative growth
- High pressure sodium (HPS), which produces light that is most in the red-orange part of the spectrum and is used during the flowering phase
In addition to bulbs, HID lighting configurations require a ballast and a hood/reflector for each light. Some ballasts are designed for use with MH or HPS lamps, while many newer models will support both.
If you can’t afford both MH and HPS bulbs, start with HPS as they provide more light per watt. Magnetic ballasts are cheaper than digital ballasts, but they develop much more heat. Digital ballasts are generally a better option, but they are more expensive. Beware of cheap digital reactors, as they are often not well shielded and can create electromagnetic interference that will affect radio and WiFi signals.
Unless you are growing in a large open space with lots of ventilation, you will need hoods for the reflector, air-cooled to mount your cannabis lamps, as HID bulbs produce a lot of heat. This requires intake and exhaust fans, which increase the initial cost, but make it much easier to control the temperature in the growing room.
Fluorescent progressive lights
Fluorescent lamps, especially those that use T5 high power (HO) bulbs, are highly appreciated by growers in small hobbies for the following reasons:
- They tend to be less expensive to install, as reflector, ballast and bulbs are included in one package
- They do not require a cooling system since they do not generate heat significantly.
The main disadvantage is that fluorescent lights are less efficient, generating around 20-30% less light per watt of electricity used. Space is another concern, as it would require approximately 19 four-foot-long T5 HO bulbs to match the output of a single 600-watt HPS bulb.
LED progressive lights
Light emitting diode (LED) technology has been around for some time, but only recently has it been adapted to create super efficient lighting fixtures for indoor growing. The main disadvantage of LED lights is their cost: well-designed fixtures can cost 10 times compared to a comparable HID configuration. The advantages are that LEDs last much longer, consume much less electricity, create less heat, and better designs generate a wider spectrum of light, which can lead to higher yields and better quality.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of substandard LED lights produced and marketed, so do some research and read product reviews before spending your hard-earned money.
Induction Grow Lights
Induction lamps, otherwise known as fluorescent lamps without electricity, are another old technology that has recently been adapted to meet the needs of indoor growers. Invented by Nikola Tesla in the late 1800s, the induction lamp is essentially a more efficient and longer lasting version of the fluorescent bulb. The main disadvantage of these devices is their price and poor availability.
Step 3: Give air to your cannabis plant
Plants need fresh air to thrive and carbon dioxide (CO2) is essential for the photosynthesis process. This means that you will need a constant flow of air flowing through your growing room, easily reached by means of an exhaust fan placed near the top of the room to remove warmer air, and an air intake. filtered on the opposite side near the floor.
You will need to make sure that the temperatures remain within a comfortable range for your plants, between 20 ° and 30 ° degrees when the lights are on and between 15 and 20 degrees when they are off. Some cannabis strains (typically indica strains) prefer the lower side of the range, while others are more tolerant of high temperatures.
The size of the exhaust fan will depend on the size of your growing space and the amount of heat generated by your lighting system. HID systems emit a ton of heat, especially if they are not mounted in air-cooled hoods. People who live in warmer regions often turn on their lights at night in an attempt to keep temperatures low.
Finally, it’s a good idea to have a constant light breeze in your growing room as this strengthens the stems of plants and creates a less hospitable environment for mold and pests. A wall-mounted circulation fan works well for this purpose: just don’t point it directly at your plants.
Step 4: Switches and Timers
Once you have selected your lights and climate control equipment, we recommend that you automate their functions. While there are sophisticated (and expensive) units available that control lights, temperature, humidity and CO2 levels, the beginner will generally need a simple 24-hour timer for the light and an adjustable thermostat switch for the fan. drain.
The timing of the light / dark cycle is very important when growing cannabis; Generally the lights come on for 16-20 hours every 24 hours while the plants are in vegetative growth, then they switch to 12 hours of light every 24 when you want them to bloom. You need the lights to turn on and off at the same time every day or you risk stressing your plants, so a timer is essential. You can also use a timer for your vacuum cleaner, investing a few euros on a thermostat will prove to be a wise choice.
With the basic models, simply set the thermostat on the device to the maximum desired temperature for your space and insert the exhaust fan into it. When the temperature rises to the set level, it will turn on the fan until the temperatures drop a few degrees below the set threshold. This saves energy and maintains a constant temperature.
Growing marijuana indoors is easy if you know how to do it.
It is also advisable to have a PH Tester or test kit handy so that you can check the pH level of the water, nutrient solution or soil. Cannabis prefers a pH between 6 and 7 in the soil and between 5.5 and 6.5 in hydroponic media. Letting the pH come out of this range can lead to nutrient blocking, which means your plants are unable to absorb the nutrients they need, so be sure to regularly test the water and soil and make sure that the nutrient mixture that feeds your plants is within the desired range.
Step 5: Decide on the method of growing cannabis
Indoor growing also means having many different methods to choose from, whether it is beautiful old-fashioned pots filled with soil or a stone wool slab in a hydroponic tray, each medium has its advantages and disadvantages. Here we will examine the two most popular methods and the tools they employ.
Soil is the most traditional way to grow maria indoors, as well as the most forgiving, making it a good choice for novice growers. Any high-quality potting soil will work, provided it does not contain prolonged-release artificial fertilizers (such as Miracle Gro), which is not suitable for growing cannabis.
An excellent choice for beginners is the preferred organic soil that can grow cannabis plants from start to finish without adding nutrients if used properly. This can be done by you by combining vine scraps, bat guano and other components with good soil and letting it rest for a few weeks, or it can be purchased already packaged by different suppliers.
Without Earth (Hydroponic Technique)
Indoor growers are increasingly turning to landless hydroponics to grow marijuana plants. This method requires feeding with concentrated solutions of nutritious mineral salts that are absorbed directly from the roots through the osmosis process. The technique for faster nutrient intake that leads to faster growth and larger yields, but also requires a higher order of precision as plants react more quickly to excess or undernourishment and are more susceptible to burns and nutrient blockage.
Several materials used include rock wool, vermiculite, expanded clay pebbles, perlite and coconut fiber, to name a few. Commercial mixes for hydroponics are widely available and combine two or more of these materials to create an optimized growth mix. The supports can be used in automated hydroponic systems or in individual hand-watered containers.
Step 6: Determine what to grow your cannabis on
What type of container you use will depend on the method chosen, the cycle and the size of your plants. A hydroponic system with pots and drainage can use small net pots filled with clay pebbles or just a large slab of rock wool to grow many small plants, while an “In Earth” cultivation can use 10 gallon nursery pots to grow the biggest plants.
Step 7: Nutrients for your cannabis plants
Growing high-quality cannabis flowers requires more fertilizers or nutrients than most common crops. Your plant needs the following primary nutrients (collectively known as macro nutrients):
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
These micronutrients are also needed, albeit in much smaller quantities:
If you are not using a pre-fertilized organic soil mix, you will need to feed the plants at least once a week using an appropriate nutrient solution. These nutrients are sold in liquid or concentrated powder form intended to be mixed with water and generally formulated for both vegetative growth and flowering. This is due to the fact that cannabis has changed macro nutrient requirements during its life cycle, requiring more nitrogen during vegetative growth and more phosphorus and potassium during bud production.
Most macro nutrients are sold in a two-part liquid to prevent certain elements from precipitating (combining into an inert solid that is unusable by the plant), which means you will need to purchase two bottles (part A and part B) for veg , and two bottles to grow, in addition to a bottle of micronutrients. In addition to these basics, the only other nutrient product that you may need to buy is a Cal / Mag supplement, as some strains require more calcium and magnesium than others.
Step 8: Water your cannabis plants
Most novice growers won’t think twice about the water they use on their plants; if you can drink it, okay, right? Well, it may not be a problem, depending on the location, but some water contains a high amount of dissolved minerals that can accumulate in the root area and affect the absorption of nutrients, or it may contain fungi or other agents. pathogens that are not harmful to people but can lead to root disease.
In addition, some places may have high levels of chlorine in the water supply, which can be harmful to the beneficial microbes of the soil. For these reasons, many people choose to filter the water they use in their gardens.
The most important thing to remember during this phase is not to overdo it. Cannabis plants are very sensitive to fungal root diseases when conditions are too humid and overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by the novice grower. How many times you water your plants will depend on the medium used, the size of the plants and the ambient temperature. Some people will wait until the lower leaves of the plant begin to sag slightly before watering.