Although it can require more equipment than raising pot plants outdoors, growing marijuana indoors offers several advantages. Because you can control the climate inside a structure, you can extend your growing seasons with an indoor operation. Multiple harvests throughout the year become possible. In addition, raising your ganja plants indoors helps protect them from birds, animals and insects as well as those two-legged mammals who may decide they want to steal your crop.
If you are wondering how to grow marijuana indoors, read on for some simple tips from DripWorks about the growing gear you'll need to make your operation successful. These suggestions will get you off to a good start so you can grow the most productive and potent pot crop possible.
If you want to have a successful indoor commercial cannabis business in 2020, a long list of must-haves be on your agenda. Whether you are considering growing a small stash in a spare room, basement or garage at home or intend to raise a big cash crop commercially in a business park or on acreage, here are the main things you'll need to take care of and do.
You'll want to decrease the terpene-rich odors a pungent, skunky crop produces while supplying the room with fresh air and CO2 the plants need to flower prolifically and stay healthy. A quality extraction fan with a carbon filter is essential. These fans can pull out and filter the smell while sucking in fresh air. An extraction fan will also help keep the temperature down to the optimal 65 to 80 degrees that will help your plants thrive.
Want to maximize your grow lights' output? Seal the inside walls and ceiling and cover them with reflective Mylar or a white covering. If your goal is a seedless crop that flowers "on-demand," keeping out all light when the lights are off is essential. Cannabis plants that grow naturally outdoors react to the natural sun cycle. When the days start getting shorter, marijuana plants start flowering by putting out their white hairs. Indoor cultivation can accurately mimic this once the plants have reached optimum size by having an automatic controller decrease the amount of time each day or each week the lights will be on.
LED Grow Lights
Indoor marijuana grow lights are a must to mimic the natural light your plants need to grow. The right grow lights can simulate the sun. Select lighting that promotes plant growth and flowering. Numerous options are available, and nearly all of them will work. Many producers are developing innovative fixtures and reliable, high-output grow lights. LED lights give off virtually no heat and require little power to operate.
HID lights work well for experienced as well as inexperienced growers. HIDs are known as hot lights because they produce a substantial amount of heat. If you have a small space to grow in, be aware of this. These high-intensity discharge grow lights cover MH (metal halide) and HPS (high-pressure sodium) grow lights. Another alternative is CFL lights, which are available everywhere but only suitable for small in-home grows.
Lights can be raised or lowered to change the temperature at the top (canopy) level. There are positives and negatives for each of these types of lights. Do some more research online to choose the best lighting system for your specific situation.
Plant Fabric Containers
Fabric pots such as Smart Pots are a popular choice for indoor as well as outdoor growers who want to economize on soil and promote a strong root system where nutrients and microbes are absorbed as the system gets irrigated. We have seen for ourselves the value, performance and longer life these fabric pots provide.
Plants' roots stay cooler on sweltering days because these pots allow aeration through the sides. When the roots reach the sides of these round fabric pots, they will stop in place (known as "air pruning") and put out lateral- or side-branching roots in a very fibrous pattern ready to absorb more nutrients and water.
Indoor grow bed containers offer a viable alternative. These include plastic trays and larger plastic pots. Set the trays or pots on a grow bench, usually made of aluminum and with wheels. Some grow benches have shelves you can raise or lower so the plants can be as close to the lights as you want. These benches may have troughs to collect and reuse water too. Again, there are numerous choices to look at online.
For the beginning grower, using a rich, organic and well-balanced (N-P-K) soil is your best bet. Bags of soil will state their ingredients and the NPK as well. Soil's best benefit is that it contains microorganisms (microbes) that aid the roots in taking up nutrients and water. Optimizing this uptake will max out the flavor and size of the harvest.
Adding some high-nitrogen bat guano to your soil mix when the plants are in the vegetative stage and high-phosphorous bat guano when they are in the flowering stage is a smart way to optimize quantity and quality of production. Adding growing mediums is a great way to help in the uptake of oxygen, water and nutrients and to boost water retention and root growth. To do this, simply add some peat moss or coco coir to the soil. It is best to pay close attention to the amounts and types of nutrients you feed. You want to get just the right balance.
Organic soil is best to produce the sweet flavor of the buds you are hoping for and for the health of the consumer. Soils suited for indoor cannabis are available from your local nurseryman, grow shop or big-box store.
Clones or Seeds
When it comes to planting, clones offer a nearly foolproof choice. They are sold as guaranteed females, so you will be assured of ending up with flowers and buds.
You probably will have a choice of what variety you want. There are so many new favorites. It's all a matter of taste, so if you are commercially growing weed for specific clients, they will let you know what to purchase. These might include one of the indica varieties like OG, Sour Diesel or Lava Cake as well as Barry White, Girl Scout Cookie or Lemon Kush. Some customers might specify Blue Dragon, Stevie Wonder, Purple Kush or one or more of many other types.
The above indica varieties have the potential to help you chill out from any stresses you may have. Don't expect to remember the movie you saw last night, though.
Sativa strains may also be available. These are quite different from their indica relatives in the type of high you'll feel. Sativa will give you a stimulating and creative high well-suited to socializing and enjoying music or art events.
Briefly, if you are going to start from seed, you need to be aware of a few important steps. Are they from a reputable source? Seeds take daily care and attention for the six to eight weeks from germination in a cup or small pot to the transplanting stage. Seedlings must get enough sun or light exposure so they don't stretch and get weak and spindly. They may suffer from transplant shock when putting them in a large growing container, which can slow down development. My vote: buy clones.
An automated drip-irrigation system is a must. Underwatering or overwatering will result in plants not reaching their full potential. Shorter incremental watering a few times a day, as opposed to one longer watering, will help reduce the possibility of humidity and mold problems. It will also help the plants soak up the maximum amount of nutrients in the soil or fed to them via a fertilizer injector.
DripWorks.com offers everything you need to grow and sustain thriving plants in a large commercial grow or a small home system. We provide excellent resources, FAQs and how-to videos as well as cannabis kits, a gallery of plans and a cannabis blog category.
If you want to maximize your plants' potential, you'll need a way to provide nutrients every time the plants get watered. A fertilizer injector can accomplish this task easily by hooking right into your drip system. My choice is the MixRite injector because it is simple to install, operate and maintain. Israeli-made, it reliably meters an organic or synthetic fertilizer solution into your line and is powered by the water running through it. No electricity is needed. Other injectors are available too, like the EZ-FLO injector and the Mazzei injector for small or medium-sized grows. These injectors are easy to set up and can be a key component to the success of your crop.
Temperature and Humidity Control
It's essential to keep your crop at the right temperature, so do your research to find a quality temperature-control system. Start with a thermometer to keep an eye on the optimum heat recommended: 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is the measure of moisture in the air. As the crop grows and takes up more cubic footage in the room, the humidity will go up. During the vegetative stage, humidity should be between 40 and 70%. At flowering, it should be no higher than 50% because of the possibility of mold. A dehumidifier might very well be needed. You can duct your indoor grow area to the outdoors to control the warmth and humidity indoors. Simply opening a door and having a fan can provide the airflow necessary to help control the humidity level if it gets too high. Getting the right balance of temperature and humidity is absolutely the key to successful growing.
Finally, if you are going to set up a large grow in a big metal building and need to hire workers to pull off your endeavor, surveillance cameras like a Nest will give you a sense of security and keep an eye on the crop when you and your team aren't around. These systems are inexpensive and easy to set up. They will provide you with a sense of security and peace of mind.
Growing pot indoors offers some distinct advantages over outdoor cultivation such as security from neighboring establishments and passersby., thieves, foraging animals, and the authorities. Total control over when you'll be planting and when you'll be harvesting and having a secure place to process your finished product makes indoor growing a popular and safe way to get into this specific and safe way to grow. The guidelines are a little more rigid than growing an outdoor crop but can fit nicely and profitably into your specific situation.