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Growing cannabis at home can be lucrative and worthwhile, not to mention satisfying when you harvest your very own yield.
Growing cannabis is always tempting – free product and a side hustle – but it often requires more attention and equipment than many realize. If you’re serious about growing cannabis at home, you’ll need the equipment we’re looking at today.
In this article, we’ll be looking at everything you need to acquire before growing cannabis to ensure great yields, quality, and happy customers. Let’s get growing!
Checklist Of Equipment Needed To Grow Cannabis
- Photoperiodic cannabis seeds
- Feminized cannabis seeds
- Autoflowering cannabis seeds
- Fluorescent lighting
- High-intensity discharge growing lights
- LED lights
- Soil mix
- Coco coir
This sounds like a lot of equipment, and it is. You’ll need to have an impressive starting investment to begin this venture, but the final result is often lucrative enough to pay this back.
Now we’re going to look into these equipment items in more detail so that you know exactly what you need.
It should come as no surprise that when you’re growing cannabis, you’ll need the correct seeds. You can buy these anywhere from the internet, but we would recommend purchasing from reputable sellers and seed banks.
This will ensure that you are getting the correct seeds that are most likely to grow and thrive. Using unreliable sources to locate your seeds might leave you with expired seeds that don;’t grow at all, or different strains than you were anticipating.
Photoperiodic Cannabis Seeds
This type of seed can produce both female and male plants. The flowering stage of these plants begins when the lighting schedule changes from 18-6 hours to 12-12 hours of light-dark settings.
If you’re growing the plants outdoors, the plants will start to flower once the days begin to get shorter. This usually happens between September and October, in the height of Autumn.
Feminized Cannabis Seeds
These seeds produce female-only plants. They’ll start flowering once the lighting indoors changes from 18-6 to 12-12 of light-dark settings.
Much like the Photoperiodic cannabis seeds, these cannabis seeds will flower outdoors when the days begin drawing shorter towards the end of the year.
Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
This final type of cannabis seed grows female plants that don’t require a photoperiodic turn from their vegetative state to flowering.
These plants are specially bred to flower for a fixed period of time, no matter the environment or lighting conditions.
This is the best cannabis seed to choose from for beginners. You don’t have to concern yourself with determining whether a plant is female or male, and you don’t need to learn how to change the photoperiod.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds have shorter overall life cycles that are fixed between 3 and 4 months. This means that they’ll grow and develop quicker than other strains, allowing you to get a better yield from them.
Creating Your Optimal Growing Environment
Once you’ve obtained your cannabis seeds, you need to create the best environment for them to grow and thrive in. Growing cannabis outdoors is much easier since it can grow under sunlight all day, every day.
But indoor growing is more convenient. So, how do you grow cannabis indoors?
You’ll need an enclosed space to grow your cannabis so that you can monitor the growing conditions. This could be a tent, bucket, entire room, plastic box… anything that you can open and close to monitor conditions, you can use to grow.
Just remember that the size of your growing environment will affect how large your plants become. Smaller growing spaces might stunt the plants and affect your yield.
This enclosed space also requires enough light and airflow to allow the plants to grow. Cannabis will need artificial light to thrive, but luckily there are plenty of options on the market for you to choose from.
You should also get a ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Room Thermometer and Humidity Gauge with Temperature Monitor , which is a thermometer and hygrometer rolled into one.
This will often come in useful for regular checks of the temperature and humidity levels. They’re small and portable and are invaluable for not having to guess your environmental conditions.
Best Grow Lights For Growing Cannabis
When starting your cannabis growing space, the most important thing to look for is lights. You cannot underestimate the importance of artificial light when growing marijuana.
Try to grow your plants without artificial light, and you’ll be disappointed with tiny plants with very little yield.
Your plants need artificial light as soon as they appear from the soil, so continue checking on them regularly. We know they say a watched pot never boils, but your plants need to be closely monitored so that you don’t inadvertently stunt them.
However, new baby plants aren’t yet able to process high-intensity lights, so you should use lower-wattage bulbs only during this stage. We recommend you use a blue spectrum light during this stage as it promotes vegetative growth.
Once the first few weeks of growth have been completed, you can start to use fluorescent (CFL) lights. This will start the germination process within your cannabis plants, and you still won’t need to use your potent growing lights.
However, you will need to use them soon after the CFL, so get them ready.
As soon as you spot your plants reaching the vegetative stage, make sure that your entire growing environment is reading, complete with lights, a thermostat, airflow, and more.
CFLs are some of the cheapest and most effective growing lamps you can get for your cannabis. These lights require less energy to run, so your bills will be lower.
This means that they produce less heat, and this will either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your growing environment.
Fluorescent lights also have a decent light spectrum so can be used for plenty of different applications.
These lamps are great for younger plants as they won’t get burned easily thanks to the lack of heat being emitted. Using these lights will produce a smaller yield, but they’re much cheaper than LED lights.
We would recommend using these lights in your initial growing and experimenting days but then save for some more expensive LED lights in the future.
Some people find that they prefer fluorescent lights to LED, but we think the latter is better for regular growers.
High-intensity Discharge Growing Lights (HID)
There are plenty of HID lights on the market, but the most popular among cannabis users are Metal Halide (MH), which can be used for the vegetative stage, and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), better used for the flowering stage.
HPS lighting can be used for both vegetative and flowering states to create a great overall yield.
The lights will come with a reflector and a ballast to ensure that all of your plants are achieving even coverage.
This makes this the best type of lighting for lots of cannabis plants all in one room.
These lights are more expensive, though, and they provide a lot of heat. It is vital that you have good airflow when using these lights to prevent the heat from drying out your cannabis plants or burning them.
Don’t just choose these lamps because they are expensive and appear to be good quality. These are great lamps, but only when you have enough room to deal with the additional heat.
Growers with small growing spaces have no reason to use HPS lights. It will hinder your yield rather than help it.
If you’re unsure whether your growing space is too small for this kind of light, you can always ask the manufacturer for the optimal coverage area where this light should be used. This will give you a better idea of whether you should be using it or not.
Finally, LED grow lights are the most popular when it comes to cannabis growers, and this is the lighting you will most commonly see when inspecting popular growing techniques.
LED lights come with an entire spectrum of light that you can use for the entire cycle.
This means that you won’t need multiple different growing lights for the different stages of growth. You can save money by only maintaining one light. Plus, LED lights tend to have lower running costs than other types of growing lights.
LED lights have been known to provide better yields than other alternatives. They also provide less heat and noise than the other lights, and they are incredibly long-lasting.
While this type of light certainly requires a higher initial cost, it will pay for itself with larger yields and better quality final product.
You can find LED lights in all kinds of forms, and it’s up to you to find which setup works best for you. Each panel of LED lights will be different so it will lead to varied growing formations and more.
If you’re unsure about all of this, ask the manufacturer how their lights will affect your growing space.
A reputable seller will tell you the truth while an unreliable one might spin you a perfect story about how their lights will transform your life. Opt for the former.
No matter where you’re growing your cannabis – in a tent, room, box, or bucket – it is vital that the plants have a constant flow of clean air.
The best way to do this is to add an exhaust pipe at the top of the growing space, attached to either a fan or cooler. This will then allow fresh air from the outside space to passively enter throughout the artificial environment.
Remember that the exterior growing space should also be well ventilated. We assume that your growing bucket or box will be in another indoor location, and many people forget to give this space enough ventilation, too.
Make sure that you’re leaving windows and doors open to the room where your growing space is located. This will maximize airflow and offer better ventilation for your cannabis plants.
Best Container For Growing Cannabis
You might still be slightly confused about the growing space of your cannabis, and that’s fine. You can get as creative as you like when it comes to where you grow your cannabis plants, and everyone seems to choose a different base.
From massive plant pots to buckets, soda cans to chips bags, if you put your mind to growing cannabis in something, you can do it.
Just bear in mind that drainage holes are vital at the bottom of your chosen container to prevent root rot. Fungi and other ailments can come from a lack of drainage holes, so don’t forget to cut plenty out of your container.
When considering your container, remember to think about your growing space. The tent, bucket, or box needs to be able to fit over your container with enough additional height to account for the growing leaves.
If the plant gets too close to the growing light there is a chance that it could burn or die. So, keep at least 30 centimeters between your container and the top of the growing space (if this is where your lights are kept).
This 30 cm will then also account for the height your plant should be growing to.
You cannot grow any plant without a growing base, and cannabis is no different.
You’ll need a reliable growth medium that can physically support the plant, offer respiration to the roots, and hold passive water and nutrients until the plant requires them.
You also need to help the growing base by providing regular aeration. This simply means to keep the soil light and airy so that the roots have space to breathe.
To do this, take a blunt object (like the back of a pencil or a chopstick) and carefully make a few holes in the soil.
Push your stick gently into the soil to ensure that you don’t snap any of the roots.
Provided that your roots have space and the correct amount of water, is routinely aerated and full of nutrients, your cannabis plants should grow healthily.
If one of these areas is lacking, though, you’re more likely to see growth issues in your plants.
A great growing base is essential for growing cannabis so that the roots can thrive. Here are three of our favorite options for a growing base to ensure that your plants have the best conditions.
Firstly, soil mix is a great substrate for growing cannabis. It offers a healthy balance between solid materials, like organic and inorganic matter, and aerated spaces where water and air can reside.
One important thing about soil mix, however, is that if you water it from the top, the water will push the soil down and compact it around the roots, removing these aerated spaces.
This is why it is essential to routinely aerate your soil. You can also add materials like coco coir and perlite to help create pore spaces around the roots.
If you use a soil mix with organic matter in it, such as worm castings or compost, this can offer nutrients to the plants as and when they need it. Peat moss works well too, but some dolomite will be needed to balance the pH levels.
Soil mix is recommended for any beginners looking to grow cannabis for the first time.
Coco coir, otherwise known as coconut husk fiber, is a great growing base. It can be used on its own or as a mix with soil and perlite, which will offer better aeration.
Coco coir is excellent at avoiding root compaction, yet it still retains water well without leaving the roots susceptible to root rot and fungi.
There are plenty of benefits to using coco coir, but it requires time and patience to work out the best way for you to use it. You’ll need to take the time to measure pH levels, EC, take notes on your trials, and more.
Coco coir is an inert medium, so you need to ensure that you’re adding the correct nutrients to your plants throughout the life cycle. Make sure that you use it per the manufacturer’s instructions, as this will remove deficiencies.
We do not recommend using coco coir if you are a first-time grower.
Hydroponics is becoming an increasingly popular way to grow cannabis, and it involves the roots being exposed to nutrient-infused and air-pumped water. The lack of soil makes it great for anyone wishing for a cleaner way to grow cannabis.
There are plenty of different setups that you can choose when exploring the hydroponics route. Some of these include the deep water culture, drip system, or ebb and flow.
You’ll need a substrate for the cannabis plants to latch to, which could be perlite, clay, or rockwool.
Hydroponics is often considered one of the most effective methods to grow large yields in a short period of time. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. Beginners should stay away from this method until they have mastered growing with soil mix.
Fertilizers are liquids that have been specifically formulated to provide essential nutrients to a plant at each stage of its life. Many plants require different nutrients and therefore have their own range of fertilizers to purchase online.
The same can be said for cannabis, so make sure that you are using a fertilizer specifically for cannabis plants.
The manufacturer will state the correct amount of fertilizer to give your plant on the back of the bottle, but we would recommend lowering the dose slightly from this.
Plants, including cannabis, can die from the stress of too many nutrients, so we want to be careful not to over fertilize.
Start off with a small amount of fertilizer and slowly work your way up to the correct dose. This will give your plant enough time to adjust to the nutrients levels without getting too stressed or uncomfortable.
Finally, we cannot stress enough the importance of water for cannabis plants. This might be an obvious requirement, but you need an accessible water source.
Some people use tap water and have no problems, provided that it is not hard water. This has lots of minerals in it which can alter the growing process of your plants.
We recommend using water with a pH of between 6 and 7 for growing cannabis in soil.
If your tap water has a different pH level, there are products that you can use to adjust it.
There are also plenty of things you can do to alter the water before giving it to your plants. For example, chlorine is a common issue in tap water. Leave the water in a bucket so that all of the chlorine can evaporate before giving it to your plants.
Chlorine can harm plants, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.
Thanks for reading our list on everything you need for growing cannabis at home. You’ll need a growing space that you can alter the environment, like a tent or a bucket. You could even use an entire room in your house if you had the space.
As long as it’s large enough to accommodate adult plants and have growing lights and ventilation added to it, it’ll work.
Do plenty of research on growing bases, nutrients, and water before sowing your seeds. Good luck!
A rotating team of writers and editors dedicated to providing reliable information for the readers of American Promise. We’re all passionate about cannabis and actively engaged in this “budding” industry.