In Episode 1, you’ll learn the difference between closed loop growing systems and high CFM growing systems, figure out how to choose the right lighting for any given system or space, and understand the differences between hydroponic and soil growing. You’ll also learn about each of the individual elements that your growing space requires: adequate lighting, reflective walls, suitable water supply, cleanable surfaces, an organizational area for tools, ample growing space, consistent air circulation, and a device to monitor temperature and humidity. Intimidated? Don’t be – let Rory walk you through how to set up a grow.
Episode 2 introduces the steps of successful germination, breaking down the materials you’ll need to turn your seeds into cannabis sprouts. You’ll need a medium for the seeds, a pH testing kit, a TDS pen, a water basin, a seedling tray, a humidity dome, and a seedling heat mat. With your materials assembled, you’ll then learn how to alter the pH in your water supply to achieve stability, how to inspect your seeds and weed out the bad ones prior to planting, and how to ensure that your environment is actively encouraging seedling growth. In a few days, you’ll check back on the seeds to see how you’ve done.
In the interest of providing a gateway for aspiring growers to plant their first cannabis crops, SuperCloset, which offers a variety of customizable and award-winning grow cabinets, hydroponic systems, and grow rooms to suit DIY growers’ needs, has developed a comprehensive series of instructional videos covering everything you need to know to grow. In these episodes of the Grow Like a SuperPro series, Rory will cover everything you need to know in order to set up your own indoor cannabis garden and make the most of your space as you get your seedlings started.
Episode 1: Choosing Your Setup
For a plant that’s so widely cultivated and consumed, cannabis can be a tricky to coax into full bloom, especially when growing at home. Myriad factors influence the final product: lighting, temperature, air circulation, nutrients, growing methods, and many more among them. This can be intimidating for beginner growers who want to get started but aren’t quite sure how. If tools and terms like TDS pens, NPK value, pH stability, and “nutrient burn” make you want to wilt, don’t worry – for one thing, you’re not alone, and for another, you can still grow cannabis indoors like a pro.
For more information on how to grow cannabis, check out more videos in the Grow Like a Pro Video Series.
Episode 2: Germinating
Your first closet grow can be a little intimidating; however, with the right supplies, set-up, and patience, you should be able to successfully cultivate your very own ganja under the radar of prying eyes (and noses).
We suggest basing the number of plants you’ll be growing on the size of the closet you’ll be growing them in, as you definitely don’t want to overload the area. You also want to be sure that you have enough room to accommodate your equipment, including grow lights and ventilation.
First and foremost, one of the biggest benefits of growing weed in a closet is the cost. Given the super high costs that off-market dealers and dispensaries charge, becoming your own cultivator, no matter what location you decide to use, is way more cost-effective.
Seeds or Plants
The lights need to be hung up, so you need to ensure that there will be enough space for that. It’s also crucial to have enough vertical space for your plants can grow without interruption, otherwise they’ll be stunted and they won’t reach their full potential.
You’ll have a much easier time establishing and maintaining the ideal conditions in a closet, and of course, when your weed grows in the ideal environment, naturally, your buds are going to be a whole lot better.
Cannabis plants yield the highest-quality (and quantity) flowers after maturing. This usually takes about a month to happen. “I recommend planting in a five-gallon Home Depot bucket,” Lipton said. “It’s really important to have proper drainage, so you want to drill some holes in the bottom. The biggest mistake people make is that they overwater and suffocate the roots. Cannabis likes to be watered and dried out before it’s watered again.” During the vegetative cycle, the plant should be exposed to a minimum of 18 hours of light. Remember to open the closet door while the lights are on to prevent the space from heading north of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another layer to consider is that cannabis cultivation must happen “out of plain sight.” “You can’t have any odor. If it’s offending people in the neighborhood, then it’s an issue.”
Despite the hurdles, many first-time growers still choose to cultivate cannabis indoors (which is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Oregon), and there are steps to maximize a plant’s chances of succeeding. It all starts with a plant’s genetics. “For your typical closet setup, you’re going to want a plant that stays short,” Lipton said. “A lot of time that means an indica. Sativas are really tall and lanky.” (More on the difference between those two families here.)
Trigger the flowering cycle.
After 55 to 60 days, growers begin paying close attention to their plants’ trichomes — the small, bulbous fibers that develop around the flower of the female plant. “Those trichomes will turn from clear to amber,” Lipton said. “They kind of look like red hairs. You know it’s time to harvest when about 10 to 15 percent of the trichomes turn that color.” On average, cannabis plants have a five- to seven-day window of peak harvest time.
“Growing cannabis in tight spaces is not my usual recommendation,” said Stephen Lipton, the cultivation manager at The Farm Recreational Marijuana Dispensary, an award-winning recreational facility in Boulder, Colorado, specializing in what it calls “craft cannabis.” At any given time, Lipton oversees close to 15,000 plants across seven different facilities in Boulder County. “If you have a really tight space and it gets too hot or too humid, you’re going to have big trouble.”
Light: 2,200k. “For a closet set up, I would recommend a 175-watt HPS light,” Lipton said. “Some people try to use fluorescent lighting, but I wouldn’t recommend that. You’re just not going to get a very good outcome. Nowadays, HPS lights can just go right into your home outlet, and you’d just need a timer [to set the intervals]. Position the light directly overhead. They can be pretty powerful, so you’re going to want it at least two feet from the top of the canopy [to prevent the plant from overheating].”
Foster the right growing environment.
It’s important to remember that cultivating even one cannabis plant for personal consumption is felony on the federal level and punishable by up to five years in prison. Meanwhile, four US states — Alaska, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Oregon — have passed local amendments, allowing citizens who are 21 years old and over to grow a limited number of plants without fear of persecution.
For some people, cannabis cultivation is a hobby. Others a life-long passion. But it’s unique in its vast demographic appeal. “Everyone I know grows,” Lipton said. “There are people in their 20s doing it. I know people in their 60s. It’s a fun thing for people. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.” Here are Lipton’s tips on growing your first plant.