Materials for growing weed from seed

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors

If you’re thinking about setting up your very own indoor cannabis set up but you don’t have much experience, you probably have a lot of questions. What are the materials needed to grow cannabis indoors? How much will it cost? These are two of the most frequently asked questions regarding growing cannabis indoors.

We’ve decided to write a full post on the exact materials needed to grow cannabis efficiently and affordably for all of the beginners out there that are a bit overwhelmed.

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors | The first step

Before buying anything, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out where you’re going to set it up. Are you using a full room, a wardrobe in your house, or a grow tent designed for cannabis growing? Depending on your chosen method, you’ll have to spend more or less money.

You need to calculate the amount of space you’ll need while also keeping in mind the fact that you’ll need to be able to move about and get to your plants and devices. You’ll also need to think about where you want to place the intake and outtake lines for your extraction fan.

Once you know where you’re going to grow and how you’re going to distribute the space, you’re going to need to make a shopping list.

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors | The Shopping List

Shopping lists are highly recommended so that you don’t end up spending more than you need to spend on unnecessary or expensive things. If you take your time to have a look at the current market and options, you can save quite a lot.

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors:

  • Grow tent or reflective sheeting if growing in a room or wardrobe.
  • Lighting kit designed for growing cannabis.
  • An extraction fan to remove stale air.
  • An odor filter in accordance with the strength of your extraction system.
  • A fan for moving air around the room/tent.
  • Pulleys for raising and lowering your lights.
  • A timer for turning the lights on and off.
  • Thermos-hygrometer to control the humidity and heat.
  • 10m of pipe for your inline and extraction fan system.

There’s a longer list with more things that we didn’t mention, as they are usually things that everyone has at home anyway, such as duct tape, clamps, screwdrivers and other bits and bobs.

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors | Step by Step

We’re going to have a quick look through the items we mentioned earlier on our shopping list so that you can figure out for your own which models work best for you and which ones you don’t need.

1- Grow tents / Reflective sheeting

In order to grow cannabis indoors, your plants need absolutely no light during their “night time” which is why it’s incredibly important to use a grow tent or set up a wardrobe so that no light can get it, or even better, a whole room – but this can be a daunting task.

If you’re planning on using a grow tent, there’s no need to worry as they’re fully sealed so that no light can get in. If you’re growing in a wardrobe or in a room, you will need to cover every inch of the walls in reflective sheeting for grow rooms, making sure that absolutely no light can get in.

  • For wardrobes: you will have to cover all of the walls (not the floor or ceiling) of your wardrobe. You’ll also need to make two holes – one for each side of the extraction. It can be a good idea to compare different grow tents by size when choosing the right one.
  • For rooms: it honestly may be too expensive to fully cover a room with reflective sheeting. We recommend starting at the bottom until the height you expect your plants to grow to, which is usually around 1.2-1.5m. You’ll have to make absolutely sure that no light is getting in from the door or the window.

2- Grow lamp / Lighting kit

When growing cannabis indoors, you absolutely have to use some sort of lighting system potent enough for your plants to believe that they’re outdoors, allowing them to grow and flower perfectly.

Your choice in lighting kit also depends on the amount of money you’re willing to spend, the space you have available and the amount of cannabis that you want to grow, as well as how strong you’d like it to be. Keep in mind that you’ll also be spending more on your electricity bills; a 250w HPS light uses much less than a 600w HPS light.

Once you’ve decided where you’re growing and you know how much space you have, you’ll need to buy a grow lamp that is in accordance with what you need. We’re going to have a look at the different types of bulbs that are generally used when growing cannabis and how much space each of them can cover.

Type of lamp, strength, average yield and space covered:

HPS lighting:

  • 250w: 150g, covers 80x80cm at 25-30cm from your plants
  • 400w: 300g, covers 100x100cm at 40-50cm from your plants
  • 600w: 450g, covers 120x120cm at 60-70cm from your plants

LED lighting:

  • 100w: 80g, covers 80x80cm at 40-50cm from your plants
  • 200w: 150g, covers 100x100cm at 40-50cm from your plants
  • 400w: 350g, covers 120x120cm at 40-50cm from your plants

LEC lighting:

  • 150w: 150g, covers 80x80cm at 20-30cm from your plants
  • 315w: 315g, covers 100x100cm at 30-40cm from your plants
  • 630w: 630g, covers 150x150cm at 40-50cm from your plants

The yields mentioned above are the average numbers obtained under normal growing conditions. Professional growers can definitely harvest more than that, and beginners will most likely harvest less. When it comes to the lamp distance, this can also depend in the growing conditions and your plants’ health. These numbers are simply a guide.

3- Indoor extraction system

Extraction fans are essential when growing cannabis indoors for two reasons. The first reason is that your plants need fresh air; they can’t sit in the same air for too long. All plants need certain levels of CO2 and Oxygen, which they use for different processes depending on the time of day (if it’s daylight or nighttime). The second reason is that if you don’t have an extraction fan, heat will build up in your grow room which is disastrous.

When buying an extraction system you’ll need to take down how large your grow room is (in cubic meters) and how strong your grow lamps are. There are other factors that influence the type of extractor you’ll need, and it can be quite hard to find the absolute perfect extraction system. Things like the temperature in your grow room, the temperature outside, the type of lighting and many others can also influence the extractor fan. We’re going to show you a quick solution to figuring out the type of extraction that you need.

Growing area:

If you’re going to be growing cannabis in a 1.2×1.2x2m grow tent, you’ll need to use this equation:

1.2×1.2×2 = 2.88 x 60 = 172.8m 3 . This is the strength that your extraction fan will have to reach to be as effective as possible.

Lamp strength:

This calculation is done by taking into account the temperature outside your grow room and your lamp strength. In this example, the temperature is 20° and the lighting system is 600w:

600/1.28 = 468 m3/h is the extraction speed that you need due heat difference indoors and outdoors.

This calculation allows you to keep the temperature in your grow room at a 4C° difference compared to the outdoor temperature. If you’re taking in 20C° air, your grow room will stay at 24C°.

4- Inline fans

Inline fans are just as important as extraction fans, although if your extractor is strong enough it can create negative pressure which can cause air to come into your grow room without any sort of extra inline fans. This only works with Grow Tents, as they tend to come with passive breathing holes, although if you’re using a room or grow tent you’ll need to sort out air in-take yourself.

In order to calculate the inline fan strength you’ll need to calculate a fourth of your extraction strength. So, if you have a 1.2×1.2x2m grow tent and a 600w lamp, you’ll need a 468m3/h extractor. So, for your inline fan you’ll need to calculate 468/4 which is 117m3/h – this is the type of intake that you’ll need.

5- Carbon filter for indoor growing / scrubber

When you grow cannabis indoors the biggest giveaway is usually the intense aroma that cannabis plants let off during their flowering period. If you don’t want anyone calling the cops on you, we highly recommend installing an odor filter of some sort.

In order to know what type of filter you’ll need, you’ll first need to know what inline fan and air filtration system you need. We did this earlier, so let’s skip to it; we know that the 1.2×1.2x2m grow tents need a 468 m3/h fan. Now, all you have to do is find an odor filter with the same sized opening and slightly stronger.

This means that the perfect odor filter for this set up would have a 125mm opening and should be almost 500m3/h. This avoids any mishaps with the filtration system, which can happen if the filter strength is less than the actual extraction itself, causing air buildup. If this were to happen it may be fatal for your plants, especially if you don’t realize that it’s happened.

The extraction fan may break due to overexertion and your plants may get sick due to breathing old, stale air – you may even have some problems yourself, as the smell will begin to build up and depending on the legality of your situation, the police may get involved. Remember that your odor filter should always be slightly stronger than your extraction fan when it comes to m 3 /h.

6- Ducting

If you have an extraction system then you’ll also need an inline fan systems need ducting which needs to be durable, flexible and fully opaque, and obviously the same width as your inline fans and other devices such as filters.

For your inline system to pull as strong as possible, your ducting will need to be as straight as possible. Every bend in your ducting system means that you’ll lose a bit of strength, around 50%, which can reduce your carbon filter and end up stinking up your building as well as being quite bad for your plants, providing them with less fresh air than they need to successfully grow.

7- Fans

Having a fan in your grow room is an absolute must when it comes to the materials needed to grow cannabis indoors. Two of the biggest factors that fans affect are plant breathing and the heat in the room or tent.

Breathing:

Proper ventilation is incredibly important for plants to breathe, and an oscillating fan does wonders for rustling your plants’ leaves which induces breathing. If you grow plants with absolutely no fan or any sort of air movement in the room, your plants will grow super weak, as a slight breeze helps them to get stronger and hold up more flowers. Plants grown indoors without a fan are also more susceptible to insect and fungi infestations.

Heat:

Fans can also help to remove some of the extra heat in your grow room generated by your lighting system. Excess heat near the tips of your plants can cause them to grow thin and wiry and their flowers may end up opening up and losing quite a lot of terpenes.

8- Pulleys

Pulleys aren’t really that incredibly important but they are super practical. Pulleys allow you to raise and lower your lighting kit and reflector whenever you want. Many people set up a rope system to save a bit of money, but honestly pulleys aren’t that expensive when it comes to how much easier they make it to get stuff done around your grow tent or room.

9- Timer

Having a timer in your grow room means that you don’t have to manually turn the lights on and off every day in order to keep your plants in the growth or flowering periods. It’s pretty impossible to do for so long, anyway. Timers aren’t that complicated, just make sure to get a decent one; if you decide to cheap out and get a bad or faulty timer, it may not work correctly and end up completely ruining your plants.

10- Thermos-hygrometer

Thermos-hygrometers are designed to give real-time readings of the relative humidity in your grow tent or room, as well as the temperature. These devices are vital when it comes to giving your plants the right parameters to grow in – cannabis plants need a specific temperature and relative humidity during each period in order to develop properly.

Most thermos-hygrometers also keep a record of the highest and lowest of both readings, so you’ll know if something is wrong when it comes to your plants’ night cycle. This makes it much easier to know exactly what it is that your plants need in as far as their environment.

Materials needed to grow cannabis indoors | Conclusion

As you can see, the materials needed to grow cannabis indoors are varied but not that complicated. You essentially just need 10 things to successfully grow cannabis indoors. The only things we left out of this post are the seeds, substrate and nutrients. Well, what are you waiting for? Get to it, make your shopping list and take your measurements. There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own plants from start to finish. See you next post!

10 Best Marijuana Growing Supplies

If you’re a first-time cannabis grower, check out our list featuring the 10 best marijuana growing supplies to maximize your yields. We’ll show you what equipment you need to start planting your cannabis seeds or clones. Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, our guide lists all the tools you need to feed your marijuana plants with the right water and nutrients.

1. Cannabis Seeds or Clones

Seeds are the single most important part about growing healthy cannabis plants. A lackluster seed will produce lackluster results. A high-quality seed will grow resin-coated nugs under its optimal conditions. Of course, you can always skip the germination phase and purchase a clone from a licensed retailer, although there are considerations for growing these as well.

When sourcing seeds, your best bet is to buy them from a licensed retailer or a reputable seed bank with years or decades of experience and tons of customer positive reviews. Also, consider what type of strain you want. Seed banks may offer different categories based on your needs such as medical grade seeds, CBD seeds, fast growing seeds, short growing seeds, and many more unique categories.

2. Cannabis Grow Lights

Whether you’re starting off with a clone or a marijuana seed, all indoor gardens and some greenhouses with periods of low lighting require grow lights to replicate natural daylight. Now, as a first time and budget grower, you may choose the low-cost fluorescent lighting with weak results. Energy-saving LED lighting has a higher upfront cost, although it may pay for itself in the long run. Finally, you can also use high-powered HID lights although this uses a lot of energy and may require extra ventilation to manage high light temperatures.

3. Cannabis Growing Medium

Growing mediums are the root’s support system and where they will pick up the necessary water and nutrients. There are many different types of grow medium including soil and hydroponics. If you’re going with soil, you can choose from pre-made potting soil. You can also make your own soil medium with organic ingredients and compost. If you have a hydroponic system you’ll be using substrates made out of coco coir, clay, rockwool, perlite, or vermiculite. Soil and hydroponic mediums have different nutrient requirements.

4. Cannabis Nutrients and Supplements

Like all plants, cannabis plants need a specific nutrient ratio during different growth stages. The type of nutrients you buy will depend on whether you grow hydroponically or in soil. If you’re growing in soil, the type of nutrients you need will depend on if you’re growing in organic or regular soil, although organic is highly recommended. Organic mediums have many of the nutrients built into the soil, requiring less nutrient solution during the vegetative and flowering stages.

In a hydroponic system, the nutrients are provided through the water. You will have to purchase and add your nutrients into your water supply creating a nutrient solution. When buying nutrients for hydroponic gardens, go with chelated minerals to improve absorption rates. Mixing the nutrients properly according to the directions is key to creating a homogenized solution.

5. Cannabis Containers

If you’re growing indoors, you’re going to need growing containers such as a pot to put your growing medium and plants. Smart pots are great for beginners because they reduce the risk of root rot, over-watering, and low-quality soil. While they can be a bit pricey compared to regular pots, they can get you started on your journey. Also, consider the size of your grow space and how tall your plants intend to grow before buying your pot. Generally, you want to go for at least a 5-gallon pot.

If you’re growing in a hydroponic system you will likely need a bucket (instead of a traditional pot for soil) to hold your inert growing medium. The substrate is usually suspended over a container full of your nutrient solution. Buying a hydroponic kit will usually come with all you need for your set-up including all the buckets you need.

6. Grow Room Ventilation

Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

Proper ventilation is critical for indoor marijuana plant health. Continually pumping in fresh air is necessary to stimulate photosynthesis. During this process, plants convert the light, water, and carbon dioxide into energy. Additionally, without proper ventilation equipment, your room is vulnerable to fluctuating and high temperatures. Hot and humid climates can increase the risk of mold and pest infestation.

When buying your ventilation equipment, you must know the size of your grow area or grow tents. If you want to get a fan to create an air flow make sure it can handle your garden size. A small clip-on fan can work for small gardens, A medium-sized or big floor fan can provide greater air circulation for large gardens.

Besides airflow, you’re going to need to replace the air of your indoor garden. An air exhaust system pumps out more air than it’s allowing in. This creates a slight negative pressure and brings in fresh and cool air. In the system, you have an exhaust fan, a filter, and ducting to push air out of your garden space. Look for systems with cubic feet per minute (CFM) ratings to determine if it can handle your garden space.

7. Thermometer

A thermometer helps control the temperature within your grow tent. It’s important to know the temperature because every strain has a different optimal temperature. Thermometers are not very expensive. If you have a hydroponic system, you’ll need a thermometer that measures the temperature of water. If needed, a hygrometer can measure humidity levels in your garden.

8. pH and PPM Testing Tools

If you’ll be growing cannabis, it’s crucial to keep an eye on its pH and PPM levels. For instance, pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of your growing medium or nutrient solution. A pH imbalance can lead to nutrient deficiencies, affect the structure of your soil, increase the risk of bacteria, and reduce the number of nutrients available. All in all, it’s a bad idea to overlook pH. For a hydroponic grow, the optimal pH levels are between 5.5 to 6.5. Soil-based grows should have pH between 6.5 and 6.8.

Now that you know why pH is such a big deal, it’s important to invest in a pH meter. Keep in mind, you’re going to need a different meter for soil and a different one for a hydroponic system. Hydroponic pH meters must work well in water.

If you’re growing hydroponically, you will need an EC/PPM meter. Soil-based growers don’t really need one but hydroponic growers need to assess the nutrient strength of their nutrient solution. With hydroponic nutrient solutions, the nutrient levels fluctuate. Having a good quality meter helps you assess whether your solution has too much or too little nutrients.

9. Carbon Filter for Growing Weed

If you have a particularly pungent cannabis strain, you may need to invest in a carbon filter to control some of its aroma, especially if you don’t want any roommates or neighbors smelling your garden. A carbon filter can remove nearly all of this smell. A carbon filter is essential to keep your garden from bothering others. When buying a carbon filter, make sure to get one that has a CFM rating equal to or exceeding your garden’s volume.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

Essential Cannabis Growing Supplies

T here are many different ways to grow cannabis, from indoor to outdoor, from greenhouses to space buckets. But regardless of what path you choose, there are some essential tools and items you can expect to use along the way.

In this article, we review the essential marijuana growing supplies, as well as decisions growers can expect to make as they build their first (or next) setup.

Grow Room/Area

Before a single seed is planted, the growing environment must be determined, and prepared if necessary. Many states implement laws requiring grow operations to be out of public sight or even secured under lock and key, so consult your local laws to help determine where you will grow.

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A good indoor grow area should be clean, ideally even possible to sanitize. Grow tents are great options for indoor growers because they offer mostly self-contained environments that are easier to clean than whole rooms with a couple plant in the corner.

Consider access to electricity for lights, and at least a window with a box fan for ventilation. Remember that you will be examining your plants from every angle, so account for room to work as well.

Outdoor growers are liberated from many of these constraints, but will need to assess their climate for potential weather risks, and position plants for maximum sunlight (remember the path of the sun will move over ten weeks!).

Grow Lights

Any indoor grow operation will require a dedicated light, and growers have several options to choose from. Your choice of light will be determined by some unique factors like electrical consumption, efficiency relative to the size of your grow, and light color.

Grow Light Options

High Intensity Discharge Bulbs (HIDs): For a time, HIDs were the standard in professional grow ops. Their bright, penetrating light can produce some stunning colas, and heat a large area. But on a smaller scale they can quickly overheat a space. They also require some assembly because they are often sold without the ballast necessary to regular power, and they require two different kinds of bulbs—metal halide and high-pressure sodium–for the vegetative and flowering stages respectively.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes): LEDs are most popular among home growers because of their convenience, and costs have also fallen in recent years. LEDs burn cooler than high-intensity bulbs and come equipped with a full spectrum of light for vegetative or flowering phase, changed with the flip of a switch.

Fluorescent Bulbs: Fluorescent lights including CFL bulbs and T5 lighting offer a full spectrum of light, but do not achieve very deep penetration, making them a weaker option for growing cannabis. However, this gentle light does make them a viable, low-cost option for seedlings and clones.

Grow Medium

Grow mediums are primarily divided between soil and hydroponic systems. Soil is usually better for beginners because it requires less maintenance and has a more forgiving margin of error. Hydroponic systems require more equipment, and while they can be regulated with automated timers and switches, the pH and nutrient levels can change much faster than in soil, and demand more attention to detail.

Even in hydroponic systems, the plants are usually suspended in a net cup with a more solid medium to carry them when they are young, and to nourish the root ball.

Grow Medium Options

Soil: Soil is not mere dirt, but rather a living environment full of beneficial microorganisms, fungi, and nutrient-rich organic matter decomposed into fluffy humus. Loose, living soil has excellent aeration, water retention, and can retain viable nutrients for weeks. Soil also has a more stable pH than water-based mediums.

Rockwool: Rockwool is made by spinning melted volcanic rock into a cotton candy-like fluff then shaping it into its final form which is often a small cube. You will rarely see a whole cannabis plant grown in a pot of rockwool, but it’s great for seedlings or net pots in hydro systems. Be advised that it does come with a naturally high pH, requiring treatment in a solution of about 5.5 pH. These spongey little cubes can even be cleaned and reused.

Coconut Coir: Coco coir is another hydroponic medium made from the fibrous husk of the coconut. Coir has excellent aeration and water retention that make it a practical choice for hydroponic nets, but it can also be mixed into soil to improve hydration.

It should be noted that coconut coir often comes infused with Trichoderma, a fungus intended to aid plants’ roots and defend against pathogens. And they do! But they may also compete with other fungi including mycorrhizae, which aid nutrient uptake.

Nutrients

Nutrients include any fertilizer, plant food, or bloom booster used to keep the plant healthy or optimize growth. Specialized nutrients can be purchased online or in some head shops, while more generic nutrients can be found in any garden store.

The primary nutrients, or macronutrients, in any fertilizer are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), presented on most labels as an N-P-K ratio (i.e. 2-6-4). Cannabis consumes larger amounts of nitrogen in the vegetative stage, then more phosphorus in the flowering stage.

Throughout the plan’s life, it will also require an array of micronutrients including calcium, iron, and manganese. These minerals keep the plant healthy, fortifying it against disease.

Ventilation

Any cannabis plant will benefit from ventilation, even if it’s only a small fan clipped to the rim of the pot. Comprehensive ventilation systems serve to oxygenate the plant, regulate temperature, and sometimes deter pests and minimize odor. Growers using tents indoor should strive for this kind of circulation, but failing that, an oscillating fan is better than nothing. Even a simple fan will keep air moving around your plants and deter many flying insects from getting too comfortable.

When using fans that blow directly onto the plant, be sure to move them every couple days to prevent wind burn, which can curl and permanently distort leaves.

Cannabis Seeds or Clones

Once the space has been blocked out and the equipment procured, all that’s left to begin is a source of cannabis itself, either from seed or a clone.

Cannabis seeds can be purchased online, and are usually offered, regardless of strain, as either autoflowering or feminized photoperiod seeds. A photoperiod plant is a standard plant with a life cycle determined by the sun. These plants grow vegetation during bright summer light, and switch to flowering under amber, autumnal light.

The seeds are bred to be female because only female cannabis plants produce the flowers where trichomes develop. Male cannabis plants only produce pollen, and pollinated female plants produce fewer flowers and more seeds.

Conversely, the life cycle of an autoflowering plant is determined by time, not light. So regardless of what color light shines over an autoflowering plant, they will switch from veg to flowering after a genetically determined amount of time.

Autoflower yields are often lower than optimized photoperiod yields, but the convenience is tremendous for novice growers or those growing in small spaces, as auto flowering plants are almost always smaller.

Clones are the larger cuttings of cannabis plants, usually the lower branches, which are then planted and nurtured to grow into another full plant—and a genetic copy of its source. Clones can be bought online, but cannot be mailed across state lines while national prohibition remains intact, so finding one is more difficult. But once you have your own plants, clones can be harvested at a regular pace.

Additional Cultivation Supplies

Most growers can only benefit from tracking environmental data with thermometers, hydrometers to measure humidity, and pH meters, particularly in hydroponic systems where water pH can change more quickly.

Growers in any medium will also use pruning shears to trim excess bulk, but those growing in soil should prepare to work the dirt with trowels and gardening forks.

Are there any must-have cannabis growing supplies we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Author

Trevor Ross is a writer, medical marijuana patient and cannabis advocate. He holds an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has previously worked as a copywriter, a teacher, a bartender, and followed Seattle sports for SidelineBuzz. Originally from Washington state, you can find him now working in his garden or restoring his house in Scranton, PA, and he can be reached through LinkedIn.