How to Start a Small Indoor Grow Op
We’ve already addressed how to choose the ideal space for growing marijuana. Now I am going to explain what equipment is required to actually start growing cannabis at home! This is by no means an exhaustive list but rather the bare minimum. There are million other optional items you can incorporate but this article will address the nine basic items needed to grow premium weed indoors on a budget.
Tent or Liner
You’ll need to make sure that the inside of the room or tent is as reflective as possible (to maximize your grow light’s output). You’ll also need to ensure that no outside light can penetrate into the room or tent (mandatory for seedless flowers). The easiest way to satisfy both of these requirements is with the use of a grow tent or a room liner. Grow tents and liners are typically made of canvas, Mylar and/or black & white poly film. In addition, these films provide a truly separate environment that will help keep bugs and mold out of your grow area.
Since you are growing indoors, you’ll have to select a grow light to replace the sun. There are several different types of grow lights and unfortunately, there is no ‘best’. Choosing a grow light comes down to the dimensions of your space, your budget, your growing goals, and your power limitations. The good news is, lighting technology has improved over recent years and nearly all lights – HPS, CMH, LED, and DE will work. I’ve written a more in-depth article on how to choose best grow light for you.
An extraction fan is essential for keeping temps down and supplying the plants with the fresh air (C02) they need to thrive. Note that you do not necessarily need an extraction fan if you are running a sealed room – but you will need an A/C and CO2 generator, which is a significantly more expensive alternative. I’ve written a more in-depth article that explains why you might choose a sealed room over a vented room.
As the plants enter the flowering phase, they start to give off that pungent odor we all know and love – unless you’re the neighbors. Carbon filters are the answer to that terpene-rich, skunky weed smell. You definitely don’t want to get a cheap carbon filter – make sure you stick to reputable brands when it comes to this essential piece of equipment!
Although not glamorous, ducting is a crucial item in your garden’s ventilation system. For smaller grows, I recommend flexible, insulated ducting – the insulation helps keep the heat (caused by the hot air) from radiating into your growing area. I recommend using 6 inch ducting at a minimum; larger grows will benefit from larger diameter ducting.
Circulating fans simulate nature’s gentle summer breeze. The more the merrier here, just make sure they have adjustable speed settings – you’ll notice I said gentle breeze, not gusting tornado.
You’ll need containers to grow the plants in. You can use plastic pots, fabric pots, buckets, totes, or planter beds. Just make sure you have a container(s) to grow your plants in. If you’re growing in soil (which would be my suggestion), use the largest containers you can fit in your grow space – your plants will thank you for the added root space.
As I mentioned above, I am a huge proponent of living organic soil. You can read my full article on selecting a grow medium here. If you want the short version – nature got it right, you don’t need fancy hydro equipment or synthetic nutrients to grow quality cannabis.
The final piece to the puzzle is ensuring you have access to clean, filtered water. The sad fact is that most city water is less than ideal for growing cannabis – its full of contaminants, chlorine, chloramine, fluoride – the list goes on. You don’t need an expensive filter, and if you can’t afford one, you still have two other options – go to the grocery store and fill a 5-gallon jug with RO water for 25 cents per gallon, or get some air stones and bubble the water for a minimum of 24 hours.