Todd Brennan, the Director of Horticulture Products at GrowLife, Inc. is a grow at home expert. In this short video he discusses the basic requirements for growing cannabis at home.
The primary components needed to grow at home are a suitable environment, proper lighting, reliable source of water, chosen growing medium, and nutrients.
First you need a space big enough for the size of tent you choose, your tent size is determined by how many plants you want to grow, figuring 2 sq ft per plant..So your 4’x4’x8’ tent grows 4 plants easily and 6 if you work at it. You should also be able to walk around at least two sides.
It should be close to water and have at least two electrical outlets – on different circuits if you can get them..
Light is one of the most important things you can do for your plants. This is where I would spend the bulk of my money. A proper light source, putting out the right type of light, in the proper spectrums will do more for your garden then all of the top of the line equipment combined.
Many people spend $250+ for a name brand tent when they could have bought a much less expensive tent and put that money into a top quality light.
There are more than a few lights that will do great in a small space. One of the things you will have to consider when choosing your lighting is heat. HID bulbs put out a ton of heat and need to be cooled, you can use an air cooled system to draw off the heat, or you can cool the room with AC or some other active or passive system.
If you are using HID lights you may have to use a combination of the three, to properly cool the space. If you choose a CMH/LEC your cost of operation, electricity usage, and heat will all drop significantly.
By far the best solution to combat these three things is using LED lighting. One of our favorite brands is Kind LED lights, made in California. Besides operating at cooler temperatures using less electricity and generating significantly less heat many modern LEDs are equipped with the ability to adjust the light spectrum (UV, Red, Blue).
If you’re just doing an indoor home grow, water is important but typically tap water will work just fine. You need to test your tap water for pH, hardness/softness, and PPM.
Always let your water sit for 24 hours to off gas any chlorine or other unknown chemicals. Y ou may need to buffer your water to get it to the appropriate pH, Hardness/softness. T ypically the period in which it sits and off gasses the PPM will reduce on its own. You don’t need RO water for home grow. It’s expensive and then leads to waste water that you have to deal with. If you want to use distilled water you will need a distillery and that will add another expense to your grow.
There are two basic choices for a growing medium, hydroponics or soil. There are other mediums, but those are the two most common found for home growers.
Hydroponics is more expensive to start because you need more equipment (buckets, pumps, reservoirs) and often times, though not always, nutrients are more expensive than standard nutrients.
There’s also more care because of cleaning/maintenance. Also more expense maintaining the equipment.
Soil on the other hand is readily available at your local garden store, in many different formulas and sizes depending on your preferences and needs.
Both methods have waste that you need to deal with and may not necessarily be easily disposed of at home. So when picking your medium you need to take into consideration how much maintenance and work you want to put into the process.
Nutrients are arguably one of the most important decisions you will make when starting your home grow.
The first thing you have to decide is do you want to use a multi part nutrient or a one part. Do you want to use organic or non-organic? Do you want to use liquid or powder? Once you’ve determined which style of nutrient you want to use you need to determine the brand.
This can be a daunting task because there are so many different nutrients and supplements by a variety of manufacturers.
To begin with I would choose one of the major brands from the category that you want to use, i.e., Earth Juice Organics or GHF powder. The cost of nutrients varies by brand and organic status. If you use a multi part nutrient with bloom enhancers you can expect to add $150 per crop to your cost. If you use a one part powdered nutrient that may contain synthetics your cost could go down to less than $50 per crop. Inexpensive nutrients may give you a fine yield but tend to leave a certain amount of the nutrient in the plant even after proper flushing. Whereas with an organic liquid the plant absorbs it naturally and a short flush at the end of your grow tends to eliminate waste nutrients from the plant.
I’m going talk a bit more about the balance of these things (in future videos). We have come up with a few solutions like the GrowLife Cube Pro where you can buy all sorts of models from basic to advanced with all sorts of automation and everything in between. We have balanced what’s in different cubes for a variety of reasons and we will talk about most of them in future videos.