If you’re ready to start an indoor marijuana grow, you’ll need to know how to set up your own cannabis grow room. But what do you need? There are many options when it comes to equipment, and even an intermediate grower can find it intimidating trying to decide on the right gear.
If in doubt, start with the necessities and worry about the fancy stuff once you have a few harvests under your belt. But what are the essentials? This article will fill in the blanks and tell you what you need to set up your cannabis grow room.
Table of contents
- Choose Your Location
- Set a Budget
- Start with a Housing
- Get an Inline Fan and Suitable Ducting
- Get Some Oscillating Fans
- You’ll Need Grow Lights
- You’ll Need Hangers for Your Lights
- Timers for Your Lights
- Carbon Filter for Aroma Control
- Digital Thermometer
- Humidity Meter/Hygrometer
- Ph Reader
- Pruning Shears
- Watering Can/Spray Bottles
- String and/or Stakes
- Extension Cords
- Duct Tape
- I Have my Equipment. Now What?
- A Word on Soundproofing
- Install your Grow Lights
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels for your Grow Room
- Where to Install Fans
- Start Growing Weed!
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So you’ve decided to grow your own weed – well done! Cannabis cultivation is a fantastic hobby. It can sometimes be challenging, but the rewards are worth it.
Assuming it’s legal to do so in your part of the world, you’ve chosen a great activity to put your time and energy into. More and more people are starting to grow their own cannabis to bypass the hefty prices of dispensaries and guarantee the quality of their own cannabis.
Choose Your Location
Where do you start? There are numerous considerations, but it’s best to start by choosing the location of your indoor grow room. It could be an attic, a basement, or a spare bedroom. The area you select for your grow space will, of course, have a bearing on how many plants you can grow, so choose wisely for your needs.
Stay away from rooms that receive too much/not enough heat or light. Avoid rooms that may be prone to dampness. Once you’ve chosen your space, prepare it to accommodate the necessary equipment and ensure it has adequate power outlets. Ensure floors and walls are clean and free from bugs and pests before going any further.
Let’s say you’ve chosen a spare room in your home. It’s clean and tidy, and you’re ready to start filling it up with all the toys you need to start growing weed. What comes next?
Set a Budget
How much you allocate is, of course, at your discretion. Consider a small grow as a test run if it’s your first rodeo. A bigger budget buys better equipment, but your spending will depend on your needs. If you want your set-up to be as automated as possible, it’ll cost you a bit more money for all the necessary tools to automate your grow room.
Once you have a budget in mind, research and see what it buys you in terms of lights, fans, grow tent, timers, carbon filters, pots and so on. The good news is, if you’re a DIY-savvy person, you can make or build a fair few of the necessities yourself.
Start with a Housing
If you’re growing indoors, we highly recommend an indoor grow tent. Think of it as creating a separate marijuana grow room within a room that allows you complete control over the environment in which you’re growing your plants. You can isolate your plants and regulate airflow and temperature in that space.
There are many benefits of using an indoor grow tent, including the following:
- Greater aroma control
- Assistance with light reflection
- Improved pest control
Grow tents can be purchased from any good head shop or online. They vary in size, materials, features, and cost. A good grow tent should have a door you can open to access the tent and close for privacy and aroma control.
You should choose a grow tent that meets your needs in terms of space. It has to fit your room comfortably, so get that measuring tape out! Other considerations when choosing a tent include:
- How many plants you want to grow
- What type of plants you want to grow (tall sativas, shorter, bushier indicas, or short autoflowering cannabis plants)
- Sufficient headroom for lights, fans, and other equipment
- Sufficient space to get inside and work on your plants with enough room to move around. Buying a 6ft tent makes no sense if you’re 6ft 4!
Get an Inline Fan and Suitable Ducting
Having a ventilation system in your room is an absolute must. Bringing in fresh air to your plants while removing stale air – will keep them thriving. Again, make sure you have the right size for your tent.
The good news is that some grow tents have an exhaust fan nowadays, which will remove that headache!
Get Some Oscillating Fans
If you don’t take steps to ensure good airflow throughout your plants, you run the risk of stagnant air amid your plants, causing problems with mold and rot. That will put paid to your plants quickly, so guard against it from the outset by including a couple of oscillating fans in your tent. You’ll set these to drive a gentle breeze over/through your crops once they start to grow big and bushy.
The more plants you grow, the more air circulation you’ll need. If you’re growing 40 plants, two desktop fans won’t cut it, so plan your fan considerations around your plant numbers.
You’ll Need Grow Lights
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – choosing cannabis grow lights is akin to navigating a minefield. With so many different types of lighting, different power, different sizes etc., shopping for grow lights can cause stress that would put some off altogether.
We recommend LED grow lights for your cannabis plants to get you over that hurdle. These are perhaps more expensive to buy than HPS, HID lights or Metal Halide lights, but they’re cheaper to run, easy to install, don’t require much maintenance, and tend to be reliable.
As a bonus, they don’t put out much heat as high-pressure sodium (HPS) grow lights do. In a confined space like a tent, this is a wise choice from a safety standpoint.
Choose full-spectrum LED lights – they don’t need changing as the plants move through the phases (vegetative to flowering). Better yet, they use less energy than other grow lights, meaning less cost. As a cheaper option, fluorescent lights can do an excellent job for first-time cannabis growers on a budget.
You’ll Need Hangers for Your Lights
Measure first to ensure you get the correct sized hangers for your lights. Hang your lights from the ceiling of your tent and make sure they’re adjustable so you can raise them if necessary. You don’t want your plants getting too close to the lights.
Timers for Your Lights
If you want to take a little of the legwork and labour out of the equation and have a more automated setup, you may want to budget for timers for your cannabis grow lights. The good news is that they can be purchased cheaply and are easy enough to operate.
Simply plug your lights into the timers and run the setup through the power supply. This means your light/dark cycle is fully automated and will switch precisely when you need it to, without setting the alarm and hot-foot it to the tent to switch manually.
Carbon Filter for Aroma Control
Cannabis is an aromatic plant, and if you’re growing indoors, you may need to keep those wonderful but telltale aromas on the down low. In that case, you need a good carbon filter for your operation.
Install your carbon filter, and as air is removed from inside the tent, the carbon filter will handle a great deal of the skunky odours. Finding a carbon filter that’s 100% effective is a tall order, but most carbon filters will do an excellent job of cutting down marijuana plant odours significantly.
Is your room too warm? Too cold? Either of these can spell trouble for your crops. Include a digital thermometer to allow you to monitor accurate temperatures and take appropriate action if the mercury rises or falls to undesirable levels.
As with temperature, high humidity levels can lead to all manner of plant problems, so have the means to monitor the relative humidity levels in your grow tent. Then you can introduce humidifiers or dehumidifiers to the site if necessary.
This is another essential piece of kit that a beginner might overlook or be tempted to skip. Without one, you’ll have no idea about your soil’s health, and you need to maintain a soil acidity level of around 6.0 and 6.5 to produce healthy cannabis plants.
Throughout your grow, some defoliating and pruning will likely be required. Whether you’re aiming to practice training techniques, keep the height down, or ensure sufficient airflow as your plants become bushy during flowering, pruning shears are a must. Toss a bottle of isopropyl alcohol in your basket while you’re at it to sterilise your shears before and after each use.
Watering Can/Spray Bottles
Remember, your plants need to drink. Choose a watering can sizeable enough to allow you to water several plants at once but not so big as it’s cumbersome to use in the tent. Remember you have electrics in there, so you want to avoid spillage.
A spray bottle is a good idea to give your leaves an occasional spritz of water. Set the bottle to deliver a fine mist, and occasionally give your plants a frugal scoot of water to keep those humidity levels right – especially during the vegetative stage.
String and/or Stakes
Those plants can get big and start to lean over. You want to keep them upright as much as possible, so string and stakes are ideal tools to keep your girls standing like good sentries.
You need something to put your plants in, right? Choose good-sized pots to ensure plenty of room for root growth throughout the plant’s lifecycle. Fabric pots are highly recommended these days, allowing the root zone to breathe. They also offer a degree of flexibility once your roots start to spread.
Choose a good soil, preferably one specifically for cannabis plants. These are available online and are relatively inexpensive. Order more than you need, just in case of spillage or accidents. If you’re adventurous or somewhat green-fingered coming into this, you could make your own soil with these recipes.
Adding nutrients to your soil at the proper stages of growth is highly beneficial to optimal plant growth, health, and, ultimately, yield. You’ll need a good NPK mix (Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous), and you may want to consider including some soil amendments to maximise your plants’ potential.
You’re running a few electrical items in your tent. Fans, Lights and so on. Ensure you have an adequate power supply for each piece of equipment and that it reaches the electrical outlets in the room.
Never underestimate your need for a roll of duct tape, especially in this situation. Yes, it’s handy for repairs in a pinch, but it may be especially useful for sealing gaps in your tent – more about that later.
I Have my Equipment. Now What?
Now to put it all together! First of all, you’re going to erect your tent. Stop sniggering.
Where you position your tent in the room is important. You want it close enough to a wall that your power cables reach the electrical sockets – but bear in mind that your fan will produce some noise that will reverberate through walls. For that reason, you may not want it flush against a wall (if you have neighbours), but that’s where your extension cords come in handy.
Your tent should have flooring, too. You’re dealing with soil and water, so you don’t want your plants sitting on the carpet. This is more for your plants’ sake than your carpet – carpets hold a lot of bacteria, and spilt water will lead to mold.
If your tent has a separate groundsheet, lay it down before installing your plants. If it doesn’t have a ground sheet, put down some plastic sheeting or a hard surface.
A Word on Soundproofing
Depending on your living situation, you may need to keep the noise from your grow to a minimum. If this is you, we have a great article on soundproofing your grow room. You’ll find all the information you need to keep the hums and vibrations to a minimum.
Install your Grow Lights
Get them in, get them up, turn them on. Carry out this test when the room is dark. Now, step outside and walk around your tent – is there any light spilling out from the tent? If so, grab that duct tape and seal up any cracks you see because failure to light-proof your tent will cause havoc with plant growth. Interruption to the light/dark cycle will cause problems for your plants, so get cracks plugged before your plants go in.
Step inside the tent and switch the grow lights off. Is any light leaking into the tent from the room outside? If so, get to work with the tape. No light should leak into or out of your tent.
The good news is that cannabis grow tents are designed to be sealed so that there are no such problems but run your checks just in case.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels for your Grow Room
Cannabis plants have an optimal environment for growth and survival, so you want to ensure you meet those needs. You have your monitoring equipment, and you’re aiming to have the temperature in the tent between 20 and 30. Make sure to test this while all the equipment is running. Aim for 25 degrees during the day and between 17 and 20 degrees and night.
The humidity level is a delicate balancing act but can have a noticeable effect on plant health. Too dry, and your plants will be too dry. Too moist, and your plants may succumb to mold.
And it’s a good time to note that you can’t compensate for low air humidity by giving your plants extra water – this is termed ‘overwatering’ and can drown the roots of your plant, meaning root rot, meaning dead plants.
The type of plant you’re growing can make a difference in humidity tolerance. Indicas can usually handle it slightly less humid, and sativas can cope a little bit more. Autoflowering cannabis plants are bred with Ruderalis genetics, tend to be a bit more robust, and may easily handle fluctuations. Check the needs for the strain you’re about to grow, and set the humidity level accordingly.
Here’s a rule of thumb that you may find helpful:
- Seedling Stage: 65-80% humidity
- Vegetative Stage: 55-70% humidity
- Flowering Stage: 40-50% humidity
Where to Install Fans
Those oscillating fans are essential to creating healthy airflow once your plants get big and bushy. Without a cool breeze shimmering over and through your crops, they risk problems like mold, especially during flowering. But you have to be careful – setting your fans too high can cause damage to the plants.
Set your fans to a light breeze, choosing a low setting for the job. Your plants should rustle slightly as the currents pass over and through them.
If you have floor space, you may want to position your fans at ground level. Aim them to point through the plants and deliver that nice breeze into the heavier foliage. Depending on your grow and setup, you may want to add one or two smaller fans and hang them from the tent ceiling to deliver more airflow to the top of your plants.
Start Growing Weed!
Not sure what to grow? Hop over to Seedsman.com and browse our extensive stock of superb cannabis seeds. All our seeds are from top-quality genetics, and we have one of the most impressive collections of seeds available anywhere today.
Once you’ve got your seeds, germinate them, and when they’ve sprouted, get them in soil or your preferred growing medium. Then, get them under the lights and start growing your own cannabis!