Categories
BLOG

grow marijuana indoors cheap

Budget Buds: Grow Weed Indoors for Less Than $200!

In states such as Oregon and Colorado, the cost of cannabis is decreasing as the enormous supply outstrips demand. We have heard of several locations selling marijuana for less than $100 an ounce. Moreover, it is reasonable, mid-grade weed. However, not everyone lives close to a dispensary that offers the herb at an affordable price. For most people, they are looking at $250+ per ounce.

If you are a casual user, an ounce will probably last a considerable period. Those who use cannabis regularly and medical patients may require significantly more. Suddenly, they are facing a bill of hundreds of dollars every month. There is great news if you live in a state where it is legal to cultivate at home. The price of growing marijuana has dropped significantly. Instead of paying a grand or more to get started, you can get a few ounces per harvest at the cost of below $200. This guide shows you how.

Things You Need When Growing Marijuana Indoors

A basic setup includes:

  • Seeds
  • Grow light
  • Growing medium
  • Plant containers
  • Nutrients
  • A small space to grow your cannabis

Not Strictly ‘Essential’

  • A fan for air circulation*
  • Thermostat/hygrometer combination
  • A timer for your lights

*Plenty of growers would disagree and say a fan is essential.

You could also invest in a small grow tent or reflective walls. However, this additional equipment will likely take you over the $200. Let’s go through each aspect of the above to get a ‘ballpark’ estimate.

Seeds

One of the biggest mistakes new cannabis growers make is to try and save a few bucks when buying seeds. This is the one area you can’t cut corners with. It is also needless because you can get decent quality seeds for a reasonable price in any case. Look for autoflowering genetics because they keep the total grow time to below ten weeks from seed to harvest (less than eight in some cases.)

You will save money on electricity and nutrients for starters due to the short 2-3-week vegetative stage. Also, the standard of autos has increased significantly in recent years. Autos are also compact and require minimal space to grow. There are lots of online stores that sell 3 seeds for $29 or 5 seeds for $49. Search a little more, and you’re sure to find even better deals.

Incidentally, you should learn how to clone plants. This process means that you can use clippings of your existing plants to grow new ones. You no longer need to buy seeds, unless you want to try a new strain.

Total Cost – $29

Grow Lights

This is another aspect of growing that it pays to invest in. Experienced cultivators know that the more powerful the light, the greater the yield, up to a point. If you want to save on electricity, LED lighting is your best option. These grow lights also provide a fuller light spectrum to help your plants grow. There are also HPS and HID light options that won’t break the bank.

When choosing lighting, you must also consider the size of your grow space. As a general rule of thumb, you should have four square feet per plant. If you buy three seeds, that means you need 12 square feet of space. You probably won’t require as much space if you are growing autos, however.

Another ‘tried and trusted,’ if vague, calculation is to assume you can produce a gram of marijuana per watt of light. Some autos yield up to 500 grams per square meter, which equates to 10.76 square feet. In any case, you can find 600W HPS lights for around $86 online. If money is tight, you can drop to $70 for a 150W light, though it doesn’t provide the same value. Indeed, you will get perhaps 4-5 ounces with the 150W light but 20+ with a 600W option, or 10+ if you pay for a 300W light.

We have also spotted several LED lights, from 300W to 600W, for under $100.

Total Cost – $89

Pots for the Plants

You will require different-sized pots for your plants as they grow. In general, autos won’t need more than a 1.5 – 2.5-gallon pot when they reach maturity. If you grow ‘regular’ plants, you may want 5-gallon pots or even larger when they are flowering. You can find individual pots for as little as $0.50. Therefore, you don’t need to spend more than a few bucks.

Total Cost – $5

Growing Medium

You must purchase a high-quality organic potting mix. Fortunately, standard garden-variety soil with added nutrients is more than enough. In general, two quarts is enough per one-gallon pot. You should find up to 16 quarts for approximately $20. This is ample soil for three x 2.5-gallon pots, and plenty for our small grow.

Total Cost – $20

Nutrients

It is debatable whether you need to spend any money on nutrients if you already have a high-quality organic potting mix! However, if your plants show any nutrient deficiency, you may regret not having a back-up plan. You will find plenty of options online from brands such as Dyna-Gro. An 8-ounce container is sufficient and relatively cheap.

Total Cost – $10-$20

Other Equipment

Though these are not ‘essential,’ the following can help you enjoy a successful harvest:

  • A fan
  • Thermostat/hygrometer
  • A timer

Air circulation is essential, no matter how small your crop is. As your lights are continually releasing heat, the temperature of the room is likely to rise. Also, your plants transpire daily. Therefore, it is essential to ensure fresh air is continuously flowing in the room. If you are stuck for cash, you can find cheap second-hand intake and exhaust fans. It is also possible to create a DIY carbon filter to mask the smell of cannabis.

The thermostat/hygrometer combination measures heat and humidity. If you allow the temperature and moisture to go out of their ideal ranges, your plants could experience problems. The timer is necessary to control the lighting in your room. It enables you to ‘set and forget.’

Total Cost – $40

Overall Total Cost – $193-$203

The above is a rough estimate, and you may find even better deals. Conversely, you may live somewhere that doesn’t provide these offers. In any case, growing cannabis for under $200 is theoretically possible. However, you also have to consider electricity costs. It is possible to ‘get away with’ no more than an extra $10-15 per month. For a two-month autoflowering crop, that’s a maximum of $30. It may prove significantly cheaper, depending on the type of lighting used and the deal you have with your utility company.

You may also elect to purchase a pH meter, and reflective walls or a grow tent if you have a little extra money to spend. The pH meter ensures that your flowers remain in the 5.8-6.5 range that is suitable for most cannabis strains. You can create ‘reflective walls’ using sheets of mylar or even by painting your walls white!

Finding a Space to Grow Your Cannabis Indoors

Those willing to spend more money may decide to invest in a grow tent. It is a convenient location that enables you to keep the crop under control. When choosing a tent, you must also take into account the likely final height of the plants. There is a wide selection of autoflowering strains that remain below three feet in height. Examples include Rhino Ryder, Fastberry, and Grapefruit.

This means you need 4 x 3 x 3 feet of space or 36 cubic feet in total. Yet when growing autoflowering plants, you only need enough space for three x 2.5-gallon pots. As a result, you don’t require four square feet per pot, after all! There are numerous grow tents easily capable of fitting more than three auto plants, and they cost around $60.

Otherwise, you’ll need to be creative when finding a place to grow. In theory, you can cultivate your plants in any location that enables you to hang the grow lights. You also require access to air and fresh water. Therefore, you can put your plants in one of the following places:

  • Spare bathroom
  • Spare room
  • Closet
  • Garage
  • Basement
  • Attic

We have read about some great innovations when it comes to finding a suitable spot. No matter where you choose, make sure you have a means of measuring the temperature and humidity.

It’s Time to Grow!

Believe it or not, once you have all the necessary equipment setup, the process of growing cannabis isn’t that challenging. As long as you are prepared to check your crop regularly for signs of trouble, you shouldn’t have many problems. If you see that something is amiss, you can always check online for troubleshooting guides. Check out our beginner’s guide to growing cannabis indoors for more information.

If you have a grow tent, it is time to follow the setup instructions. Hang your grow light and fill your plants with the soil. We recommend switching on the lights up to 24 hours before seed germination. Keep the temperature between 70 – 85-degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The humidity level should be lowered slightly as the plant gets older. Begin with 60-70% and gradually reduce it.

Let’s Begin

Here is a quick outline of what to expect when you grow marijuana:

  • Germination: It is wise to grow one extra seed in case there is a dud. If you buy three seeds, it is okay if only two of them make it to the vegetative stage. We have a guide on how to germinate seeds that’s worth reading.
  • Vegetative Stage: One of the many great things about autos is that the vegetative stage is 2-3 weeks. At this point, make sure you water your plants regularly and add some nutrients if necessary. When in doubt, give your crop half the recommended nutrient dose as stated on the package. If you have a little growing experience, you may want to try a plant training method to boost yields.
  • Flowering Stage: Autos begin flowering within a few weeks of germination. Otherwise, you need to switch the lighting to a 12/12 cycle. You can reduce the level of nutrients and monitor your crop closely. When your plants begin blooming, make sure the plants are only growing white hairs at their joints. It proves that the plants are female and creating buds. If you spot bunches of little balls and no hairs, it means you have a male plant. Remove from the room before it pollinates the females!
  • Harvest Time: When at least 70% of the pistils begin turning a dark color and start curling in, you can get ready to harvest. You will get more accurate results by using a magnifying glass and checking the trichomes. These glittering beauties turn cloudy at the point of the buds reaching the greatest potency level.
  • Dry & Cure: Hang the buds up to dry for a few days, and cure them in mason jars. You can read this guide to drying and curing cannabis buds for more information.

Final Thoughts on Growing Budget Buds

It doesn’t cost a small fortune to get started. Indeed, you can grow a handful of plants for under $200. The size of your yield depends on a myriad of factors. First of all, genetics plays a significant role. An Afghan auto strain, for example, could yield up to 17 ounces of bud per square meter.

However, this will only happen if you spend extra on high-quality lighting and have enough space for the plants to grow. You must also embrace ‘training techniques’ to maximize yield and potency. If you are intent on producing a crop for under $200, likely, the yield will not exceed 4-5 ounces, and that is if you have some experience. Even so, most users would suggest that $40-50 an ounce is a good deal!

Once you have a few grows under your belt, you can perhaps save extra cash to try and cultivate a larger crop. Plenty of cannabis growers are capable of producing 50+ ounces, though the cost of their setup is many times higher than your budget attempt!

Growing cannabis indoors doesn't need to cost a fortune. In fact, you could do it for under $200! Learn how in our complete guide.

How to Grow Weed on a Budget: Indoors and Outdoors

Growing cannabis doesn’t have to be a huge investment. With the right tips, you can reduce the cost of your cannabis grow room/garden and grow top-shelf weed on a budget.

Explore our in-depth guide to growing weed on a budget.

Contents:

Growing cannabis on a budget can seem outright impossible to the uninformed. The cost of setting up and running a grow room, plus feeding and caring for your plants, can easily seem out of reach for the hobby grower. However, there are, in fact, many ways you can reduce the cost of your next grow-op to suit your financial constraints. In this article, we share our top tips for growing cannabis on a budget, both indoors and outdoors.

General Money-Saving Tips for Cannabis Growing

Cutting the costs for your next grow can be a lot easier than it might seem. Below are a few simple tips to help you save money when growing weed, indoors or out.

Choose Your Seeds Wisely

While it might seem counterintuitive to buy seeds when you’ve got the chance to grow bagseed for free, investing in quality cannabis seeds from the get-go has the potential to save you money (and stress) in the long-run.

When you buy seeds from a respected seed bank, you’re paying for guaranteed quality. Established seed banks have teams of dedicated breeders and growers constantly working to improve their genetics. That means, after germinating your seeds, you can rest assured the plants in your garden will grow strong and healthy (given the right care, of course) and reward you with good yields of top-shelf bud.

Buying autoflowering seeds is another great way to save money. Today’s auto strains have the potential to produce great yields and excellent buds, with the potency and flavours to stand up to any photoperiod strain. If you’re a budget grower, make sure to go auto for your next grow.

Grow From Clones

The cost of buying new seeds after every harvest can add up, especially if you’ve got a big garden and grow several plants at a time. Cloning can offset some of those costs, giving you the opportunity to reproduce your favourite strains without having to invest in new seeds every time.

Keep in mind, however, that cloning also comes at a cost. In order to get good results, you’ll want to take your clones from a robust, healthy mother plant, which you’ll need to keep in constant vegetation. Keeping a mother requires space, a constant 18/6 light cycle, and plenty of fertiliser. But, in return, you’ll get the opportunity to take numerous clones from your mother every few weeks, potentially for years to come.

Note that, over time, the yield potential of mother plants tends to go down. To deal with this, most growers renew their mother plants every 6–12 months. In general, we recommend buying seeds, keeping the healthiest plant from your seeds as a mother, and cloning it for 6 months before repeating the process. This will help ensure you’re always working with healthy plants.

Use All Parts of the Cannabis Plant

Cannabis is an amazing plant with tons of uses. Unfortunately, many growers forget that at harvest time. The stems and leaves many growers misprize post-harvest can be used to make tea, cannabutter, infused cooking oils, lotions and topicals, and much more. Make sure you hold onto these parts of the plant next time you harvest to reduce the waste of your grow-op.

Reuse and Recycle

Let’s be honest; chances are you’re going to conduct more than one cannabis grow in your lifetime. Hence, make the effort to reuse and recycle as many of the products/tools you use in your grow room as possible. Some obvious grow tools you can reuse include:

  • Pots: Unless they are broken, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to reuse your cannabis pots for multiple grows. Just make sure you fully sanitise each container before planting a new specimen.
  • Soil: Quality soil is one of the biggest costs of a cannabis grow room/garden. Luckily, you can reuse old soil pretty easily. Just know that you’ll need to supplement some new material into your old soil to boost its nutritional value and structure.
  • Hoses, pruning shears, gardening gloves: If you’ve got gardening equipment you use for other plants, don’t go out and spend more money on extra tools for your cannabis garden. Simply sterilise your tools before each use (where necessary) to avoid spreading pests and disease from your cannabis plants to the rest of your garden, and vice versa.
  • Try composting: If you want to take things a step further and save even more, consider composting the organic waste from your house (such as vegetable scraps, paper, and cardboard). Composting is very simple and, while it takes some time, produces an excellent, nutrient-rich growing medium for your plants. Best of all, composting is virtually free. All you need is a compost bin (any old bucket, bag, or pot can work), time, and some composting worms (technically optional; composting without worms just takes a little longer).

How to Grow Cannabis Indoors on a Budget

Growing cannabis indoors is generally more expensive than growing outdoors. In order to achieve healthy plants in a room or tent, you’ll need grow lights and fans to recreate the conditions cannabis naturally flourishes in outdoors. Below, you’ll find a list of ways to cut the cost of setting up/running an indoor grow room.

Build a Grow Room Out of an Old Cupboard or Closet

Rather than forking out top dollar for a grow tent, consider transforming a spare cupboard or closet in your house into a grow room. Just remember that you’ll want to cover the walls of whatever space you use with a reflective material (white plastic or Mylar film work best). This will reflect more light onto your plants, making for a more efficient grow room.

If you’re really short on space, consider building a micro grow room using an old computer tower.

Build Your Own Grow Tent

If you haven’t got a cupboard, closet, or old computer tower to refurbish into a grow room, consider building your own grow tent using basic materials like PVC pipe and panda film.

If you’re not the DIY type, try shopping around for a budget tent online. There are many grow tents on the market for as little as €50; just don’t expect them to be packed with features or have the best build quality, but they should last you at least a couple of harvests.

Utilise the Right Lighting

There are a ton of lighting options on the market, and finding the right solution for your grow room can be quite a task. If you’re growing on a budget, however, we generally recommend investing in a quality LED lighting panel.

While LED lights come at a higher outright cost than HID lights, they are much more efficient and cheaper to run, making them more cost-effective in the long-term. Not only that, but LEDs tend to run much cooler than HIDs, which is an important factor given the spatial limitations of most indoor budget growers.

Ventilate Your Grow Room

Ventilation is something growers shouldn’t skimp on, regardless of their budget. Extractor fans help pull old, stale air out of your room/tent so it can be replaced with fresh, oxygen-rich air from outside, while oscillating fans help keep air moving throughout your grow room. Both are super important for supporting the growth of your plants and keeping your room/tent free of pests and pathogens.

To reduce the cost of your ventilation system, make sure you buy an extractor fan with a m³/h rating that will ensure the correct air circulation. m³/h (cubic metre per hour) is an indicator of how much air an extractor can pull out of a space every hour. For proper ventilation, you’ll want to invest in a fan with a m³/h 70 times higher than the volume of your room/tent. This is because the average number of air exchanges required in a grow room is around 70 per hour.

For example, if you’re growing in a tent that measures 1m × 1m × 2m (with a total volume of 2m³), invest in an extractor fan with at least 140m³/h. You’ll want the smallest possible extractor that can effectively maintain an optimal, consistent temperature in your indoor garden. The smaller the extractor, the less power it’ll use, and the more money you’ll save.

Properly ventilating a small indoor grow space isn’t rocket science, but it’s essential nonetheless. If you can avoid the occurrence of pests, plagues, and inferior results for little money and effort, why not make your life easier?

Pro tip: We also recommend outfitting your extractor fan with a carbon filter to help reduce the smell of your grow-op.

Keep Temperatures Down

If you’ve followed our recommendations up until now, you shouldn’t run into any issues with heat. Remember to use small oscillating fans to move air around your plants and keep old, warm air from getting trapped inside the room. You can also opt to run your grow lights during the night if you live in a very hot area.

Choose the Right Growing Medium

Soil is by far the most budget-friendly growing medium. If you want to further cut the costs of your grow-op, consider making your own super soil using compost, vermiculite, and organic fertilisers. As mentioned earlier, remember to reuse your old soil, if possible.

Grow With or Without Nutrients

While most growers opt to feed their plants with chemical fertilisers, there is a strong trend towards organics in the world of cannabis cultivation. In general, we always favour using organic fertilisers as they work with the soil to slowly deliver nutrients to plants.

Today, there are plenty of organic fertilisers on the market, and many of them come at a similar cost as their non-organic counterparts. However, using organic fertilisers might actually lower the cost of your grow-op in the long-run.

Want to reduce the costs of growing cannabis? In this article, we share our top money-saving tips for growing cannabis both indoors and outdoors.