What You Need to Grow Weed Indoors
Nov 25, 2020 | Save On Cannabis
Anyone can grow weed indoors; it just takes the right marijuana growing equipment. You need your seeds, your grow lights, your fans, your soil and nutrients, and a few other essential accessories. We want to make it easy for you, so we’ve laid out the complete list of essential equipment along with tips for scoring the best prices.
Equipment to Grow Indoor Weed
Some strains are easier to grow than others, and not every strain lends itself to an indoor growing environment. For this reason, it’s very important to do your homework before purchasing seeds. The following strains are indoor-friendly and ideal for beginners:
Green Crack: Green Crack is a sativa-dominant hybrid that works well in indoor climates on account of its generous internode spacing (allowing for ample airflow), mold-resistant buds, and low-maintenance growth cycle. And with an average 17% THC concentration, this highly potent strain never disappoints.
Northern Lights: Northern Lights (and particularly Northern Lights #5) is one of the most sought-after strains on the market, and it’s also an easy strain to grow indoors. This powerful indica takes up minimal space (you can grow up to 500g per square meter of growing space), and it’s also a fast-growing strain with a flowering time as short as 6 weeks.
AK47: This ultra-fragrant, award-winning hybrid grows best in dry environments and does extremely well indoors since it’s accustomed to below-average humidity levels. Like Northern Lights, you get a generous yield with limited growing space.
Durban Poison: Durban Poison is a sturdy sativa that’s often recommended for first-time growers due to its generous yields, indoor-friendly grow cycle, and mold-resistant properties. Just note that the plants can grow more than 10 feet tall, so make sure you have ample height available to accommodate it.
Other great seeds for indoor grows include:
- Blue Dream
- Gorilla Bomb
- White Widow Automatic
- OG Kush
- Girl Scout Cookies Auto
You can also ask your budtender or seed provider for recommendations. We love Montreal Cannabis Seeds because their selection and quality are unrivaled. Use our coupon code SAVE10 to save 10% when you order from this leading provider.
A Grow Tent
If you’re growing in your closet, you’re doing it wrong. To ensure a successful harvest, you have to control every facet of your growing environment: the temperature, the humidity level, the light, and the air circulation. A grow tent makes this not only possible but easy.
A grow tent can range from $50 to several thousand dollars depending on what features and extras you’re looking for. For around $200, you can get a sturdy tent that includes all of the necessary ducting ports, windows, and infrared blocking technologies to ensure maximum yields.
If you’re looking for something more robust, you can purchase a complete tent system that includes pots, lights, fans, thermometers, hygrometers, carbon filtration tools, and more. This will save you from having to shop around for accessories, but be prepared to spend $1,000 or more. TrimLeaf is an excellent option if you go this route.
Hydroponics Growing System
If you’re planning to grow weed indoors using soil, you can skip ahead to the next item on the list. However, if you’re planning to grow cannabis hydroponically, you’ll need to invest in a quality hydroponic system. With hydroponics, the nutrients are fed to the roots via nutrient-rich water and solvents.
Hydroponic systems contribute to higher yields and faster growth, and they require only about a tenth of the water required for a soil grow. These types of grows are a bit more difficult to complete successfully, though, so beginners may want to stick with soil.
Any hydroponics system can work for growing cannabis, but if you’re new to this type of growing, we recommend a deep water culture (DWC) system. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and ideal for small-scale indoor grows. With a DWC system, you grow your cannabis in small buckets filled with nutrient-rich water. Because there’s a nonstop nutrient flow, DWC systems contribute to some of the fastest grows of any hydroponic system.
If you choose to grow hydroponically, consider also investing in a water purification system (such as a reverse osmosis filter) for your wastewater. If your hydroponic water contaminates local water systems due to improper disposal, you may face costly fines.
Soil for Growing Cannabis
If you’re using a hydroponic system, you can skip to the next list item. But if you’re using soil to grow weed indoors, you’ll want to invest in a light and loose soil with good drainage. Your pH should be about 6.0 (no less than 5.8; no more than 6.3), and the product should have a nutrient-rich composition with plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients.
There is one important variable. If you’re growing an autoflowering strain, you’ll want to avoid heavily fertilized soils. Autoflowering strains require no nutrients at all in the beginning, and they never require more than moderate nutrients. Autoflowering strains are easy to identify because they typically contain “auto” or “automatic” in the name (e.g. Auto Gorilla Glue, Auto Bruce Banner, Northern Lights Automatic).
If you have some experience with soils and fertilizers, you can make your own soil mixes at home using a combination of compost, vermiculite, peat moss, and perlite. Otherwise, stick with a high-quality potting soil mix.
Nutrients for Every Stage of Your Cannabis Plant’s Growth
Your soil won’t always contain ample nutrients to support your grow, and that’s where nutrient mixes come in. Cannabis requires different nutrient concentrations at different stages of growth, so it’s important to optimize your mixes accordingly.
As with soil, your nutrient mix needs to be rich in nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). Note the NPK ratio on the packaging. Different strains require different concentrations of macronutrients, and the concentration often changes throughout the grow cycle, so research the nutrient needs for your particular strain. Your mix should also contain essential micronutrients like magnesium, iron, and calcium. Reefertilizer is a great brand that makes it easy for beginner growers to use nutrients in their soil.
Your nutrient mix is especially essential if you’re using a hydroponic system, as it works in place of soil. Just make sure to purchase a nutrient blend that’s designed for hydroponic systems, as the pH requirements are a bit different.
Cannabis-friendly Grow Lights
You must have lights to grow weed indoors, but not just any lights will work. You’ll need to choose between LED, fluorescent, metal halide, or high pressure sodium (HPS) lights that are designed for an indoor grow environment.
LEDs are best for small grows (up to one ounce of cannabis per month). They’re incredibly easy to set up, they’re energy-efficient, and they’re virtually maintenance-free. You can stock up on LED lights at the LED Grow Lights Depot. Use our coupon code 5PLANT to get 5% off your order.
If you’re looking to support a larger grow environment, you can use fluorescent lights for seedlings and clones, metal halide bulbs for the vegetative stage, and HPS lights for the flowering stage.
Fans are essential for any indoor grow space. Improper air circulation can stunt the growth of your plants, contribute to weak branches, and even allow for mold growth. Fans prevent stagnant air, ensuring that the plant is able to absorb adequate amounts of carbon dioxide on a constant basis.
A basic ceiling fan may be adequate for a small home grow. If you want greater control over the direction of the air or you need to redirect air over a large number of plants, you can invest in an oscillating stand fan or tower fan.
You also have to be mindful of the fan placement. Make sure to plug all fans into a protected GFCI outlet, and avoid placing them directly in the path of spraying water. Water can damage the fans and even present a fire hazard.
An Exhaust Fan & Carbon Filter
With an exhaust system, you have a fan that pulls in hot air (as well as the airborne compounds) and feeds it through a purifying filter before redirecting it away from the grow environment. This is essential for any indoor grower, as those airborne contaminants otherwise have no place to go.
As marijuana grows, it naturally produces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the form of terpenes. VOCs are natural toxins that can inhibit your indoor air quality and harm the environment. And then there’s the smell.
If you use a well-insulated grow tent, you’ll be able to contain the VOCs, but they won’t disappear. That’s why you need a carbon filter that controls odors and neutralizes VOCs. For a small-scale grow, a 4” carbon filter and exhaust fan should suffice. You can purchase these as a kit, complete with the necessary exhaust tubing.
Successful cannabis growth requires precise humidity control. You’ll typically start with a high humidity level—between 60% and 70%—during the seedling phase and then gradually reduce the humidity level by about 5% per week. During the flowering phase, you’ll typically keep your humidity around 40%.
The required size and strength of your humidifier and dehumidifier will depend on the size of your grow space. Measure the size of your room or tent (in square feet or meters), and ensure that you invest in equipment that’s labeled to cover a space of that size.
There are a number of small, inexpensive accessories that you’ll need to complete your indoor marijuana grow. These include:
- Pots: You don’t need anything special; just a container with enough space for all your buds, branches, and leaves. Some growers will save money by drilling drainage holes in standard buckets and bins. Many growers use 9-12L flower pots, which you can purchase inexpensively at any nursery or home supply store.
- Thermometer: Temperature control is important. Seedlings and clones need an environment close to 68-77°F, and this temperature range works well for the vegetative stage as well. During the flowering stage, it’s okay to go as high as 82°F. When drying and curing, you want cooler temperatures again, as low as 64°F. A thermometer will help you to remain on target.
- Hygrometer. Just like your temperature, you need to watch your humidity level. And since you don’t typically want your humidifier or dehumidifier running 24/7, you’ll need a reliable hygrometer. The good news is that you can pick up a combination thermometer/hygrometer for as little as $10.
- Trellis Netting. As your plants grow tall and dense, you’ll need a sturdy support structure to get them upright. The netting should attach to the poles in your grow tent.
- A Gear Board. If your tent is short on space, you can attach a gear board to your tent poles and use it to hang your fans and any other loose equipment that usually takes up valuable floor space.
- Bud-Trimming Scissors: Standard garden scissors can also do the trick, but high-quality bud-trimming scissors are specially coated so that you can more easily remove the resin that collects on the blades. Look for a set with spring-loaded blades. This will make trimming much easier.
Most of these accessories are extremely inexpensive, except for the gear board. A good gear board can run between $50 and $100, but you might not need one if you’re managing a small grow. If you do think you’ll need one, try shopping for a grow tent that includes one.
Where to Purchase Marijuana Growing Equipment
A number of excellent online retailers offer premium, affordable equipment to grow indoor weed. Trim Buddies is a world leader for high-quality, affordable grow tents and growing equipment, and their prices are incredible. If you spend more than $100 at the Trim Buddies website and use our coupon code USAVE5 at checkout, you’ll even get an additional 5% off your entire order.
If you’re considering a hydroponic grow, Trimleaf has one of the widest assortments of premium-grade hydroponic systems at affordable prices. They also carry tents, lights, nutrients, and other essentials. Use our coupon code SAVEHYDRO5 to save 5% on your order.
The cost for all of this equipment may initially seem high, but once you have your grow room set up, it will pay for itself time and time again.
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