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 possible buds.
The decision to switch from growing outdoors to simply growing indoors is a milestone for a cannabis user. In fact, growing outdoors – a popular choice for many – can be pretty easy if the weather isn’t too demanding: germinate sprouted seeds in some soil, water, harvest, dry, consume, repeat. Because of this, growers can feel overwhelmed by the difficulties that appear to come with growing them indoors.
1. Choose a location for your indoor cannabis grow
If you want your installation to be simple, you need to find a space that isn’t too limited. For those who don’t have a huge choice, there are options like Screen of Green, Sea of Green, and other micro-grow, but these require somewhat advanced, potentially expensive hardware, and can be time consuming. And that’s not what this is about! What should your priorities be?
Estimate the maximum space your plants need
Assess how far your plants will grow, at least roughly. This depends on which strain of cannabis you have chosen and what care you want to give it. Whichever place you have in mind, your plants must take up their final form, i.e. fully grown, in height and width.
For example, if your bathtub is big enough and you’re more likely to shower, placing cannabis plants at one end of a bathtub is a very popular choice. So read the product descriptions carefully, write down the average size of the cannabis strains you have selected, and pull out the tape measure.
A simple tent
Decide whether your grow space should be protected from light
Whether you opt for the tub mentioned above or any other corner of your home, your grow space needs to be shielded from unwanted light, especially when it’s flowering time. This means that during the “dark phase” of your light cycle there doesn’t need to be any light at all, including street lights coming in from windows, rays poking out from under doors, etc. Closets or very small rooms with doors are very popular with indoor growers.
If it turns out that you don’t have a huge choice on this matter, then you need to consider purchasing a grow tent. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate most basic indoor grow setups.
How many plants are you growing?
Ask yourself the maximum number of plants in your grow space / cabinet / corner. For example, if you want to buy a pack of 10 seeds of our beautiful, rich Big Bud Regular, you should make sure that your growing area can actually contain 10 plants. Yes, some of these seeds may not germinate and all 10 seeds are unlikely to produce female plants.
But what if 7 of them do and your bathtub is really a shower cubicle that can barely hold you? The cannabis community is all about sharing, and surely someone can babysit any additional female plant you find yourself with. However, if you want to keep a few seeds for the next year, invest in Big Bud Feminized instead. And in general, opt for feminized seeds or automatic seeds to control the number of fully grown plants that you will end up promoting.
2. Choose your type of interior lighting
Indoor cultivation requires plants to be supplied with light from artificial sources. There are several types of grow lights to choose from. Here are a few things to consider before making your choice.
What’s your honest budget?
The cheapest solution for indoor lighting is CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp). Compared to MH (metal halide) lamps, CFL lamps use less energy and you also have to change the lamps less often. However, if you plan on several rounds of harvests per year, the difference may not necessarily be significant, especially since using MH lamps is much more beneficial for vegetating plants.
HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lighting, which is often chosen for flowering plants, ensures a higher level of heat. This may or may not be a benefit depending on what your installation looks like. If your grow space is limited in terms of height, reconsidering to ensure your plants don’t suffer from being too close to your lighting equipment.
If you’d rather invest in something more expensive to keep working hardware that won’t need replacing or upgrading for several seasons, LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are a great way to make long-term savings. But beware! In this case, cheap isn’t necessarily a smart option. Read lots of customer reviews before making your choice
Do you have any performance requirements?
Budget is one thing, but also make sure you don’t get disappointed with your purchase. CFL is the basic option; Think of it as the “rice and beans” of grow lighting. In addition, you need to seriously consider what kind of quality you expect from the end product: LED is known as something of a revolution in growth lighting. So let’s assume that the product you have chosen is at least in the middle class, your seedlings would ensure an adequate cycle of light, which actively promotes the growth and health of the plants.
But don’t take our word for it! Click here for detailed technical information on the various types of lighting.
Consider investing in a reflector
A reflector is a device that reflects the light emitted by your grow lamps onto your plants, as opposed to the (empty) sides of your grow room. It promotes brighter and more powerful lighting without increasing power consumption or the number of lamps / bulbs. Since we are aiming for a * basic * indoor growing setup, you can skip this step if the number of plants grown is small and / or proportional to the total coverage of your basic lighting equipment.
Many growers use CFL or MH lamps during the growing season and HPS lamps during the flowering period. This is a good choice if your budget allows. If not, make sure you purchase your hardware during the flowering period and use it throughout your plant life cycle.
Certain types of builds will certainly improve the quality of your crop, but any type of lamp will allow your plants to grow and produce buds.
So don’t be afraid to start from the bottom: you will get a point of reference for your future, more advanced indoor grow setups. You will also learn how to optimize the setup and correct errors. When it comes to reflectors, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a conscious decision: look for “vegetable lighting kit” and / or “flower lighting kit” for complete packages.
3. Make your basic indoor grow setup differently friendly
There are several reasons why you might want to minimize the odor of your crops – be it for the benefit of your neighbors or your own. Because of this, you may want to invest in the following accessories.
A carbon filter
Growing tents can generally be equipped with an exhaust system consisting of ducts, a carbon filter and a suitable fan. The purpose is to channel any odor emanating from your growing plants to a safe place – that is, not directly into someone else’s air conditioner.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your filter and fan are the same sizes. When choosing your carbon filter, also consider its CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) rating, which is the volume of air it mixes. Both items should have the same CFM rating for optimal ventilation. But don’t lose your sleep over it; As with lighting, carbon filter kits are easy to find.
Air freshening products
If you don’t have the option of installing an exhaust system in your grow space, you should consider adding air fresheners to improve the situation. Many such products can be bought in grow shops and made for this purpose. If you prefer to go more natural, certain plants like lavender can be grown near your cannabis plants (but not in the grow room itself) to reduce the odor factor.
4. Go with the flow
Even if your plants are grown indoors, they will not be safe from pests, excessive humidity, and other hazards typical of gardening. However, there is no essential need to replenish every single product available. Just give your plants the best possible care and monitor their symptoms if problems arise.
Your first indoor grow setup is important. In this setup, you will learn how to care for your plants and, eventually, provide more and more for them until you have achieved a level of care that will result in the best buds possible.
If you haven’t decided which strains to grow yet, check out our Strain Focus SPECIAL on Sensi Seeds’ Feminized Mix. You might want to try a grow room that isn’t crowded and has different strains for you to try while remaining affordable!
Do you have any additional advice for anyone looking to create their first basic indoor grow setup? Let us know in the comments.
Cannabis growing laws and regulations differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly recommends that you check local laws and regulations. Do not act contrary to the law.