Assess Your Lifestyle BEFORE Growing Cannabis
The first thing to think about before deciding whether or not you will grow your own medicinal plants is to assess your lifestyle. Plants are like pets, so if you travel or leave town for extended periods of time you’ll need a sitter. While companies like Plantsitter (not real) are probably on the way, they aren’t in cities like Chicago just yet, so consider ahead of time who will be responsible for watching your crop. The last thing you want to happen is to get 2 weeks into flower and your friend overfeeds, overwaters or neglects your plants, stressing them out and causing a decrease in quality and overall yield.
The inexperienced sitter is also not going to know how to detect pests or fungal infections early enough to treat them. Scouting for pests and pathogens is critical to the success of your grow, because it allows you to gain experience interacting with your plants as they grow given the light, environment and nutrients you’ve provided. This will allow you time to research and address any changes in plant health as you go along.
Consider the Space You’ll Use to Grow Cannabis
The next factor you want to consider is space. You typically aren’t going to need any more than 16 sq.ft. (~112 cubic feet or 4’ x 4’ x 6’11”) to satisfy a state’s 5 plant limit and less than that if you want to start out with a single plant (check here for each state’s plant growing rules). You can grow single plants larger than expected if you learn to use low stress training techniques.
High stress training techniques can be learned when you are ready. Remember that your medicinal plant is genetically designed to grow either short or tall, but training techniques are your best option early on when your plants are malleable (bendy). You’ll want to learn how to train your plant(s) in order to produce as much flower as possible; growing from high-quality feminized seeds to bountiful flowering beauties in just a matter of weeks. This will maximize growth by allowing more of the growing buds to receive light.
**Tip: No plant likes a dungeon, so a cold and damp space like a basement or attached shed will need additional preparation to maintain a suitable environment. For grow spaces, both large and small, temperature and humidity are critical to plant health. Make sure your fan has a hygrometer or you purchase one to monitor the elements when you’re not around.
There are also fixed and variable costs to consider to get your garden in the ground. For your fixed costs, you’ll need equipment such as a tent, carbon filter and fan (4″ is fine for that space), ducting, aluminum tape, adjustable rope clip hangers, grow light (minimum 1000W LED recommended), propagation station or party cups, pocket pH and TDS meters, pots (fabric or plastic), watering system or can, plant trellis netting, 1-2 classic clip fans, soil or your choice of grow media, and nutrients if you are using an inert media for hydroponic growing. This is going to be an investment of approximately $1000-1500 for the home grower to max out the operation. This will allow you to control your environment and produce high quality medicine at home year after year. Variable costs will relate to the draw on your home electricity bill, your time and effort and what your mistakes will cost you along your growing journey.
**Tip: Start with soil instead of shooting for the hydroponic stars. Soil is much more forgiving to the beginner gardener and you’ll learn more from watching how your plants grow naturally and before diving into a sea of salt-based nutrients. Plus, you’ll be saving the Earth from excessive plastic jugs. You’ll also want to purchase an autoflowering strain such as MOSCA seeds feminized Blue Hindu or Piña Colada and get that dialed in before you take on the challenge of photoperiod lighting schedules.
One more factor worth mentioning before you get started on your magnificent indoor garden is safety. This includes making sure that your indoor garden is built safely and securely with electrical considerations in mind, but also making sure your pets and family are kept away from the plants. Remember, this is a medicinal plant that needs to be kept discreetly away from site and locked up tight. Each state has its own set of Laws and Regulations for home growers and the public policy is churning both at the local and federal level.
We have a “ How To Grow Cannabis” section on our site where we’ll be exploring each of the above mentioned considerations in more depth.
MOSCA Seeds specializes in quality cannabis seed genetics and best growing practices to produce top quality marijuana seeds so we want to make sure our home growers are finding success and growing happy plants.