How to Build the Best Basic Indoor Grow Setup
What to consider when choosing your basic indoor grow setup? Read our tips here and harvest the best buds possible.
Choosing to switch from outdoor growing to a basic indoor grow setup is quite the milestone for a cannabis user. Indeed, growing outdoors – a popular choice for many – can be fairly easy if the weather is not too demanding: throw germinated seeds in some soil, water, harvest, dry, consume, repeat. This is why growers can feel overwhelmed by the difficulties that seemingly go hand in hand with indoor growing.
1. Pick a location for your indoor cannabis grow
If you want your installation to remain basic, you will need to find a space that is not too restricted. For those who don’t have much of a choice, there are options such as Screen of Green, Sea of Green and other micro grows, but those require somewhat advanced, possibly pricey hardware, in addition to potentially being time-consuming. And that’s not what we’re about here! So what should your priorities be?
Estimate the maximum amount of space your plants will need
Assess to which extent your plants are going to grow, at least approximately. This will depend on which cannabis strain you have chosen, as well as on the care you plan on giving them. Whichever spot you have in mind needs to accommodate your plants in their final form, that is, fully grown, in height and in width.
For instance, if your bathtub is large enough and you’re more of a shower person, setting up cannabis plants in one end of a bathtub is actually quite a popular choice. So read product descriptions attentively, take note of average height of your chosen cannabis strains, and whip out your measuring tape.
A basic grow tent
Decide whether your grow space will need protection from light
Regardless of whether you opt for the aforementioned bathtub, or for another corner of your home, your grow space needs to be safe from any unwanted light, especially when the flowering period comes. This means there needs to be no light whatsoever during the “dark phase” of your light cycle, including street lights coming in from windows, rays peering from under doors, etc. Closets or very small rooms with doors are very much appreciated by indoor growers.
If it turns out you don’t have much choice in the matter, you need to consider purchasing a grow tent. Several sizes exist to accommodate most basic indoor grow setups.
How many plants are you growing?
Ask yourself what is the maximum number of plants your grow room/closet/corner can contain. If you are considering buying, for instance, a pack of 10 seeds of our beautiful, bountiful Big Bud Regular, you may want to ensure that your grow space can in fact contain 10 plants. Yes, some of these seeds may not germinate, and it is unlikely all 10 seeds will produce female plants.
But what if 7 of them do, and your bathtub really is a shower cabin that can barely contain you? The cannabis community is all about sharing, and surely, someone can babysit any extra female plant you find yourself with. But if you want to keep a few seeds for next year, invest in Big Bud Feminized instead. And in general, opt for feminized seeds or automatic seeds in order to control the number of fully grown plants you will end up fostering.
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2. Choose your type of indoor lighting
Indoor growing relies on providing plants with light from artificial sources. There are several types of grow lamps available to choose from. Here is what you need to keep in mind before you make your choice.
What is your honest budget?
The most cost-efficient solution for indoor grow lighting is CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Compared to MH (Metal-Halide) lamps, CFL lamps consume less energy, and you will also need to change bulbs less often. However, if you plan on having numerous rounds of crops per year, the difference may not necessarily be significant, especially since the use of MH lamps is much more beneficial to vegetating plants.
HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lighting, often chosen for flowering plants, provides a higher level of heat. This may or may not be an advantage depending on what your installation looks like; if your grow space is limited in terms of height, you may want to reconsider in order to ensure your plants will not suffer if too close to your lighting equipment.
If you would prefer to invest in something more expensive in order to secure functioning hardware that will not need replacing or upgrading for several seasons, LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lamps are a good way to achieve long-term savings. But beware! In this case, cheap is not necessarily a wise option. Read plenty of customer reviews before making your choice
Do you have performance requirements?
Budget is one thing, but also ensure you will not be disappointed by your purchase. CFL is the basic option; consider it the “rice and beans” of grow lighting. Beyond this, you will need to seriously consider what type of quality you expect from the final product: LED is known as somewhat of a revolution in grow lighting, so assuming the product you choose is at least in the mid-range category, your seedlings would be guaranteed a proper light cycle that is actively beneficial to plants’ growth and health.
But don’t take our word for it! Click here for detailed technical information about the different types of lighting.
Consider investing in a reflector
A reflector is a piece of equipment that bounces light emitted by your grow lamps towards your plants, as opposed to the (empty) sides of your grow space. It promotes brighter, more powerful lighting without any increase in consumption of electricity, or number of lamps/bulbs. Since we are aiming for a *basic* indoor grow setup, you may skip this step if the number of plants grown is low and/or proportional to the total coverage of your basic lighting equipment.
Many a grower uses CFL or MH lamps during the vegetation period, and HPS lamps during the flowering period. This is a sound choice if your budget allows it. If it doesn’t, cater your hardware purchase for the flowering period, and use it during your plants’ entire lifecycle.
Certain types of setups certainly improve the quality of your harvest, but any kind of lamp will make your plants grow and produce buds.
So don’t be scared to start from the bottom: it will give you a point of reference for your future, more advanced indoor grow setups. It will also teach you the basics of tweaking said setup, and of troubleshooting. Regarding reflectors, this does not necessarily have to be a conscious choice: look for “veg lighting kit” and/or “flowering lighting kit” for complete packages.
Your first basic indoor grow setup will teach you how to nurture your plants to harvest the best possible buds. Read more here.
Indoor Grow Room Setup
Indoor Grow Room Setup
Whether you’re a brand new cannabis grower or a master budsman, it’s possible that you have not yet considered setting up a grow room in your own home. Why not? What was once considered a complicated and costly investment has become quite simple thanks to modern technology and our helpful guide!
Planning Your Grow Room Setup
The most critical step to any successful indoor grow room is planning. A few extra moments spent planning can yield better results and save you money in the long run. Make sure to sketch out the general floor plan of the room you have chosen. Remember that in general, any size room will do, provided it can be heated and cooled. Things may be easiest if you have an exterior wall or door available for venting purposes. Sketch out how and where you plan to hang your lights and place your pots or beds. We suggest hanging lights from adjustable chains so that you can ensure they always remain an optimum distance from your plant.
Insulating the Grow Room
It is critical to insulate your grow room so that the temperature remains constant. Insulation also helps with humidity and cooling concerns. Roll insulation is the most commonly chosen material to use for insulation. We recommend that you paint the walls and ceiling white or use white plastic to help protect the walls and floor while reflecting light.
Controlling Your Room’s Climate
Now is also a good time to decide how you plan to handle ventilation and humidity control. In a small home setup, you can opt for a simple solution: install an opening near the floor on one side of the room, with a bent PVC pipe leading outside to allow in the fresh air. The bend in the pipe will prevent light from entering but will make sure that you and your plants have a fresh supply of oxygen at all times. In order to filter the heavily scented air that will be leaving the room, attach a carbon-filtration system to an external vent leading outside, closer to the ceiling (because of warm air rises). An alternative to this – which can work if your room does not have an exterior wall – is to modify a door to serve the same purpose.
Fans should also be placed around the grow room to assist with humidity control. Humidifiers and other equipment that automatically monitor the temperature, humidity levels, and other conditions in your grow room are available for purchase if you decide that you would like to make that investment – some even allow for you to control them from your mobile device! But know that these tools are not required in order to get started, or to grow cannabis at home, successfully.
Potting Your Plants
We recommend using 30-gallon or 45-gallon fabric pots for the actual planting of your cannabis seeds, placed upon a grate-system for easy drainage when flushing or watering. Fabric pots will obviously leak directly onto whatever surface they are placed on, so building a simple grate-topped table with a drainage system underneath, will help tremendously with cleanup and management of humidity in your grow room.
Another option is to line your floor with plastic and to place saucers underneath each plant when watering. If using this method, just remember to always remove and clean the saucers afterward, otherwise, they can become a thriving environment for mold growth.
Whether you're a brand new cannabis grower, or a master budsman setting up a grow room in your own home is simple with this guide!