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Quick Start Guide – How To Grow Weed Indoors
So, you’ve finally decided you want to plant your very first cannabis garden. Congratulations! The problem? You don’t know where to start. You might have heard a lot of horror stories by advanced growers, but in truth, growing cannabis isn’t (and in most cases shouldn’t be) a complicated process. On the contrary, it is an enjoyable hobby that will educate and reward you in the end.
In this guide, we will give you a quick start guide on what to consider before starting an indoor marijuana garden. From the smallest to the biggest, all parts of a successful first grow are listed below. So, let’s get started!
Get All the Necessary Equipment
Make a budget plan and write down everything that you’ll need. In most cases, simple variations will do the trick, so don’t be easily impressed by expensive accessories.
A Secure and Stealthy Grow Tent
You can transform any dark and private spot into a grow room. However, that might take a while to set up and requires some elbow grease. That’s why we are opting for the easy and reliable solution: a grow tent or grow box. They are cheap, covered with reflective material and can be as customizable as you want them to be. Not to mention that their design is super stealthy.
There is a big range of products to get you started over at Dealzer. If you don’t want to gather all the necessary equipment one by one, you can check out the complete grow tents systems that they offer. These kits are significantly more expensive, but everything you need is included, from nutrients to pots for your plants!
Full-Spectrum LED Grow Lights
Picking a grow light for your indoor garden is one of the biggest and most important investments you’ll make. Whatever your budget may be, a significant portion should go towards buying a good quality full spectrum LED grow light. Although there are other options out there, growing with LED is the most beginner friendly option, as these lights have virtually no heat emissions and a full spectrum that will see your grow from start to finish. If the budget permits a fanless option is great with a good warranty.
There are many companies out there offering amazing LED grow lights. Lower budget options include companies like MarsHydro and Roleadro, while at slightly higher prices you’ll find more sophisticated solutions like KIND and DormGrow. Consult our thorough LED grow light guide to pick what’s right for you. When shopping for LED grow lights, be sure to:
- Check the warranty
- Check the temperature control of the unit (units that do not use fans are more expensive)
- Check the true power draw of your light fixture
- Make sure that the lights are full-spectrum
- Fanless (solid state) is awesome
Decide What Medium You Will Use
Now that you have a place to put your plants and some lights to feed them, you need to decide what kind of medium you will use. Soil is the most obvious, but not the only option when it comes to indoor cannabis growing. Hydroponic and aeroponic grows (a method involving humid air) are also great ways to grow cannabis, each with its pros and cons.
Good old soil can supply your plants with extra nutrients and enhances bud flavor. It is more prone to pest attacks. If you must have soil, buy it from a shop, it’s better, don’t dig up your garden.
Leads to faster plant growth and aids development. However, you need to manually supply your plants with nutrients to the hydo (water) system. Make sure you get the NPK correct.
Instead of soil, you use materials like coco coir or perlite. Germinate your feminized seed then place it in the perlite, add nutrients and light and away you go.
Read more about how to set up each grow type. We recommend that you start with a soilless method, as it is significantly less messy and more forgiving to beginner mistakes.
If you are not using soil for your grow, be sure to get all the necessary nutrients for your garden. You will find that all bottles have a very visible NPK count on them, that indicate the levels of the most important macronutrients for plants: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Bear in mind that if you overdo it, you might kill your plants so start slow. Using half of the recommended dosage should do the trick.
In order for your plants to absorb the most out of the nutrients, be sure to maintain the right levels of root pH. A pH kit will come in handy since different growing mediums require different pH levels. On average, a healthy root pH ranges from 6.0-7.0 for soil, and between 5.5 – 6.5 for hydroponics. Different nutrients get absorbed at different pH levels, so don’t be alarmed by fluctuating levels of acidity. We have already prepared an in-depth nutrient article, for you so you can learn all about nutrients and pH!
Cannabis Seeds (Feminized, Regular, Auto, High THC)
Getting your seeds from a reliable source is of the utmost importance. As a rule of thumb, it is better to obtain your seeds from reputable breeders, even if that means forking over some extra money. You can choose among regular feminized or automatic seeds, each one with different properties.
It is impossible to tell if a regular seed will turn out to be a male or a female. The sex of a plant can only be determined at the flowering stage. After you get to the flowering stage, it is much simpler to identify males and females. Males will produce oval pods while females will produce a round shaped calyx.
If you are not a breeder, then you don’t need male plants, so it is highly recommended to get feminized seeds. Feminized seeds are bred precisely to eliminate male chromosomes, ensuring that all plants in your garden are going to grow female.
Autoflowering strains are a completely different story and their peculiarity has to do with the development stages of marijuana. Marijuana plants start to flower at the end of summer as days get shorter and there is less light available. Indoors, this change of seasons is usually simulated manually by the grower by the proper adjustment of the grow lights. As the name suggests, autoflowering varieties do not need any light stimulation and will develop regardless. Of course, they tend to grow quite small so you might want to plant more than one.
Avoid mix seed bags like the plague and always opt for the feminized version of your preferred seed, unless you want to dabble with breeding. Here are three of our favorite strains to help you decide:
A strain with a long and complicated history, White Widow hits the perfect spot between high THC (18%+) and CBD levels. The result is a smoke that will knock your socks off and lead to an energetic cerebral high. Just be sure to go easy on it if you are not experienced.
Another strain with a mysterious history, Sour Diesel has a THC count of 19-23%. This strain was a landmark of the 90s cannabis scene and has won multiple awards from 2012 to 2015. Its taste is earthy and intense, while it should also be approached with caution, especially for beginners.
Barney’s Tangerine Dream
Barney’s is among the world’s most reputable breeders. This strain is one of the reasons the Dutch-based company reached this status. While it is essentially a Sativa, this plant is a cross between G13 and Neville’s A5 Haze which was then backcrossed with G13, which makes it bear some Indica features, like a stockier growth pattern and higher yields.
Dealing with Pests and Odors
Pests are common even in indoor gardens. As with every problem in growing, prevention is your best bet. You might consider using an organic insecticide before each cycle – even if you haven’t noticed any infestations. Hydroponic grows are a lot less likely to attract pests, since there is no place for larvae to incubate and hatch. If you choose soil, it is a good idea to sterilize it, compost it or buy pre-sterilized soil.
In case you notice pests and infestations in your grow room, we have prepared a detailed guide on pests and diseases. There, we analyze all types of pests that can show up in your garden, as well as ways to deal with them. Be sure to consult it before you start setting up your grow room.
Proper air filtration and ventilation are crucial to a stealthy and healthy grow. Plants need a fresh air supply to continue photosynthesizing, however that air is often laden with unwanted smells that can go unnoticed by growers who are used to them. Since you probably want as fewer people as possible to know about your little garden, you should take some precautionary measures.
For efficient odor control, you can either use odor absorbing gels (that should be placed near) or carbon filters (scrubbers), that are more effective, but also more suitable for larger operations. Odor absorbing gels are good for very small crops and need replacement. If you plan on raising more than six plants, then a scrubber is perhaps the best solution.
Guest Post was written by HowtoGrowMarijuana.com. Helping millions of growers every year enjoy BIG yields. Indoors. Outdoors. Soil. Hydro.
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