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how to grow perfect weed indoors

How to grow perfect weed indoors

While you can absolutely grow cannabis indoors, outdoor cultivation is much simpler and cheaper, says Ron Johnson, author of How to Grow Organic Cannabis: A Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Marijuana Outdoors, who also runs the website The Cannabis Gardener. “The sun is free,” he tells Mic. “You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars a month in electrical bills.” An outdoor garden probably won’t allow you to turn over product fast enough, but it’ll suffice if you just want to grow weed for yourself. Plus, it’s gentler on the planet.

Before you get started

Cannabis cultivation laws vary widely state-by-state. Also, we can’t stress this enough: Growing cannabis is illegal in a lot of places, and the penalties — which include steep fines and prison time — can be much worse than possession, since growing can imply an intent to distribute. Black and brown folx need to be especially scrupulous about heeding these rules, since law enforcement targets us way more than white people for weed-related charges, even if we consume it at similar rates.

Planting

Don’t go overboard, though, he warns. Start with growing three plants in five-gallon pots. This way, if one dies, you’ll still have two plants, and the pots will limit their growth. A general rule of thumb is that they’ll grow one foot for every gallon of soil. He recommends mixing your own organic soil, which he explains how to do on his website and will save you the headache of adding nutrients or pH testing. “The soil is what we call alive,” he says. “It’s always breaking things down to replenish nutrients that are missing.” But if you can’t mix your own soil, or don’t feel like it, you could buy organic Pro-Mix soil, which Johnson says many outdoor growers use.

How to grow perfect weed indoors

Remember, not everyone was born with a green thumb or an affinity for setting up and maintaining equipment. But with practice, passion, and an attention to detail, you can ready yourself for an amazing growing experience that has the potential to change your views of and interaction with cannabis for good.

Even when growing cannabis legally, it’s a good idea to minimize your public visibility as a grower and take some mild to moderate precautions. Simple steps, such as not geotagging your location when you post grow pictures or hiding the glare from your grow lights when you run them at night, can go a long way in keeping your prized indoor garden secure.

Before you purchase any equipment, it is important to understand the possible limitations of an indoor garden. Consider the height of the ceiling, how much insulation your space offers, and your ease of access to electricity and water. Some local jurisdictions may also ask that indoor gardens mitigate odors during the flowering phase.

Controlling the amount of available carbon dioxide (CO2) in your garden is another aspect of growing marijuana at home . During photosynthesis, CO2 converts into sugar, which the plant uses as energy for growing its vegetation and, ultimately, its seeds or flowers. Adding CO2 to your indoor garden can drastically improve your yields. While the atmosphere naturally has an average CO2 concentration of around 400 parts per million (PPM), most indoor growers try to maintain a range of 800 to 2,000 PPM, depending on the plants’ growth stage. Levels above 2,000 PPM can damage plants, and anything above 3,000 PPM can be dangerous to humans.

Frequently asked questions

Soil can be much more forgiving and requires less precision when watering and feeding plants additional nutrients. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Hydroponic media are viable indoor alternatives to soil, but they’re considered more advanced because they bring with them a set of challenges that may prove difficult for beginners. Then again, if going hydroponic is in your plans, it’s best to learn the method from the beginning.

Hydroton is a lightweight expanded clay aggregate composed of porous clay pebbles that can be used alone in a hydroponic system or blended with soil or other soilless mediums. Hydroton does not retain water to the extent of coco coir or rockwool, but it does provide plant roots with equal levels of oxygen. Like rockwool, the biggest issue is that it can dry out very quickly, so you have to be extra careful to keep it hydrated, especially when used on its own.

Security

Cleanliness in an indoor garden cannot be overstated. Clean your entire grow room before your first grow cycle and after every harvest. The walls, floors, trays, irrigation lines, reservoirs, lights, and fans should be cleaned using a three to five percent (3%-5%) hydrogen peroxide solution, an efficient sterilizing agent that leaves no dangerous or toxic residues behind. Be careful what you bring into your grow room. Pets, dirty clothes, and contaminated clones can introduce unwanted pests and diseases.

When it comes to cultivating cannabis indoors, you need to be sure to provide your plant with the optimal temperature, humidity, air circulation, CO2, and nutrients.

If you need to increase the temperature, you can use a variety of traditional heating options, including electric, gas and other sorts of heaters typically used in homes or commercial buildings. Heat lamps and insulation are other possibilities, while heat mats underneath containers can warm the soil. In larger spaces, a fan can help circulate warm air so all plants can benefit from it equally.

Also consider humidity. Depending on the stage of growth, pot plants generally like relative humidity from 40% to 70%. Conditions that are too humid can lead to disease, molds and fungus. Extremely dry conditions can retard the growth of your pot plants.

In addition to high summer temps outside, grow lights themselves can cause excessive heat. If you are battling high heat, look for lights that emit less heat. In addition, you can use fans or portable air conditioners to cool your grow room to the proper temperature.

Whether you want to raise cannabis commercially for profit or are looking to grow some bud for recreational fun or medical marijuana for good health, setting up and using a grow room offers lots of advantages. Unlike growing marijuana outdoors, raising it indoors in a grow room allows you to control all the crucial conditions that affect its growth, like temperature, light, nutrients and water. In addition, growing weed indoors will keep it away from destructive four-legged pests like rabbits and deer who may want your crop.

How to Get Sunlight & Fertilizer for Indoor Cannabis Plants

Just like people, plants do their best in a particular temperature range. Generally, pot plants in their vegetative stage prefer a temperature in a range from about 68 to about 77 degrees Fahrenheit. When they are flowering, cannabis plants like a range of about 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They can live in lower and higher temperature, but since you can control the heat simply indoors, why not give them what they want for maximum growth and potency?

A grow room might be as small as a closet or as big as a barn. No matter the size of your grow room setup, you want to pamper your plants for maximum growth and strength.

You will also want to be sure to provide your plants just the right amount of fertilizer. Many commercial fertilizers specifically formulated for cannabis are on the market. You can also mix your own with fertilizers high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you do have a drip system set up, fertilizer injectors will help you as well.

Watering Cannabis

Water is a crucial element of life, and pot plants are no exception. They need adequate amounts to thrive. Growing plants inside, you will need to provide a steady supply of just the right amount of H2O. You could hand-water with a hose or a bucket, but that is a time-consuming and inefficient process. A good drip irrigation system can deliver just the right amount of water to each of your plants efficiently and reliably.

You can buy all the parts necessary for a drip system individually and assemble them yourself, but drip irrigation kits offer an easier and more economical option. They give you everything you need and can be assembled in as little as a few hours. By adding an automatic timer, you can even ensure your plants regular watering when you are away.