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Those who consume cannabis regularly often make the smart decision to grow their own so they can control quality and cost. Grow rooms can range from simple to elaborate setups, but it is not necessary to spend an excessive amount on supplies. Grow rooms can also be set up anywhere in the country – whether you live in Maine, Michigan, or Massachusetts. Knowing how to set up a budget grow room will help you to save money and time in the process of getting started.
Understanding the Grow Room Requirements
Setting up an indoor grow room does not have to be a stressful or even expensive process. If you have decided to start growing cannabis seeds indoors, there are a few things to keep in mind. While it will take some work and time, setting up your growing room is not as difficult as it may seem. Consider the following requirements before getting started.
Before you begin growing indoors, it is wise to learn as much as possible about how cannabis grows. Having a lightproof growing area is essential for growing cannabis. Although light is undoubtedly vital for healthy growth, complete darkness is equally crucial.
Your growing room must be entirely lightproof, or cannabis will not grow effectively. There are light and darkness requirements for each stage of growth. If the plants are exposed to longer light times, they can revert to previous stages and never flower.
There are multiple ways you can set up a lightproof growing space. You can build a lightproof room or box. It is crucial to cover the walls with reflective material so the light can be entirely focused on the plants. There are lightproof tape products that can be used to effectively seal any minute cracks or openings that allow light to come in.
For a cheap alternative to building a grow box, there are grow tents that can be purchased. These effectively keep light out, and they can be purchased for around $50 or less, depending on the size and brand.
While air circulation is vital for cannabis growth, a lack of controlled air can be detrimental to plant growth. The microclimate atmosphere in the grow room needs to be carefully controlled. To achieve perfect air control, the growing room, box, or tent always needs to be airtight.
It is practically impossible to make a grow room entirely airtight, but it needs to be as sealed as possible so you can control the level of CO2 and oxygen. Although airtightness is important, cannabis plants can grow successfully indoors if there are appropriate ratios of light and dark, as well as adequate moisture.
There are tons of options when it comes to lighting, and some of them can be quite expensive. The greater amount of light a cannabis plant gets, the better it will grow. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars on bulbs and ballasts. Whether growing CBD, 420, or 710 seeds – most growers want to achieve the highest potency achievable with that given strain.
High-pressure sodium lights (HPS) typically work the best for grow rooms. The growth needs of cannabis require one HPS bulb for every 13 square feet of grow room. If you are setting up a small room, one single bulb may be all that is required. The following wattages are required with different stages of cannabis growth:
- Vegetative phase = 400 watts
- Flowering phase = 600 watts
A step up from HPS is fluorescent, and a step up from florescent is LED (Light Emitting Diode). Although LEDs can be expensive, many have 10-year lifetimes, so the cost is often worth it. There are even app-controlled LED grow lights that feature the Emerson effect.
As both your experience and budget increase, you may find it is wise to invest a large chunk of your budget on grow lights. They will pay off in the end and be worth the investment.
Reflection is an integral part of growing cannabis. The bulbs you purchase will probably emit light in all directions, preventing the light from being concentrated on the plants, which results in plant leaves not receiving the full spectrum of light they require.
To create reflection, simply cover the walls and ceiling with reflective material. Any light that hits these areas will bounce back to the plants, where it is needed most. If you are trying to save as much money as possible, it is wise to purchase a ballast kit that contains a reflector. With this kit, you can rest assured there will be a perfect level of light hitting each leaf.
In the absence of a light kit including the ballast and reflector, it is possible to get good results with a reflective wall covering. Some people even put tin foil on the walls and ceilings of their growing room, though this will not reflect as well as high-quality reflective covering.
Ballasts are an essential part of your light setup. They help to control the amount of energy that is being used. Ballasts can work with both 400 and 600-watt bulbs, and they help to ensure the right amount of light is directed to your plants. Controlling the amount of light energy is essential for healthy cannabis growth.
As mentioned above, cannabis plants need a precise amount of light and darkness during specific phases of growth. Forgetting to turn a light off or on can truly mess everything up.
It is important to note that you can grow cannabis without a timer. Timers simply make it easier because you do not have to remember to turn the lights off and on manually.
7. Air Extractors
Air extractors are beneficial because they pull the heat out of your grow room. A lot of heat can develop with certain lights, increasing condensation, especially in small grow spaces.
If possible, you should purchase an air extractor that comes built within an insulated box. This type of setup will significantly reduce the loudness of the extractor while it is running.
With a carbon filter in place, the air extractor will also prevent the strong smell of cannabis from wafting through the air, which is especially crucial if you live in an apartment or have close neighbors. Most people do not want to announce they are growing cannabis in their homes by having the smell get out.
8. Air Intake
Installing an air intake will help to ensure your cannabis plants receive the fresh air circulation they need. The fan model you choose should be half the capacity of the extractor. Air intake systems run from around $60 up to thousands. As your setup grows, the amount of equipment that is needed will increase.
There are many items advanced indoor growers use for growing cannabis. If you are on a budget, it may not be affordable to purchase every possible item that might be needed. It is wise to first get the essentials.
Yes, there are fancy watering systems, including hydroponic setups. No, they are not necessary if you have a simple setup and are trying to go budget friendly. A cheap watering can is all you need for watering cannabis plants.
If you are just getting started and have a small setup, there is no need to purchase an expensive water pumping system. If you eventually choose to expand the growing operation, further purchases can be made.
Putting Everything Together
If you have researched growing cannabis indoors, the stress of it all may be already beginning to set in. It can seem overwhelming having to purchase so many different items to produce a single plant. As you already know, cannabis is not just any plant.
Yes, some growers spend thousands of dollars, but for most people, this is not sustainable. If you are on a truly fixed budget, the following setup will be just fine for ensuring a small and healthy cannabis crop. Consider the following setup just about anyone can afford.
- Growing light (price around $60)
- 1-2-gallon sized containers ($3-$5 each)
- 1 bag of potting mix ($7-$10)
- 1 fan (around $30)
- The finest cannabis seeds you can afford (around $19 each)
As you can see, it is possible to have a very basic setup and see healthy cannabis growth. The setup above would be best for growing a couple of plants at a time. Depending on the strain, it is possible to grow a crop up to four times a year.
How to Save Money While Operating Your Grow Room
Once you have all the necessities, it is crucial to understand how to cut costs while growing cannabis. While you will not be able to eliminate all costs of running a growing room, it is possible to reduce the expense significantly. Consider the following tips to keep your growing room efficient and working as it should, without so much cost.
- It can help to run your growing lights at night instead of during the day. Because you are growing plants indoors, there is no set time of the day when lights should be used. Using them during the night, when temperatures are cooler, will help to decrease the amount of heat in the room, which means less time running the AC.
- You should remember, during the vegetation stage, there is no need to run the lights twenty-four hours a day. Eighteen hours is enough and will keep your plants growing healthy and strong. Running the lights twenty-four hours a day will lead to increased energy costs that can become expensive, depending on the wattage and number of bulbs being used.
- Upgrading to more energy-efficient options will also help you to save money. Although these will cost more upfront, they can save you exponentially overall, eventually paying for themselves.
- It is essential to check with your energy provider to determine if they charge more for peak hours of usage. There are certain times of the day when energy companies actually charge more. Once you know this time, it may be possible to rearrange the light usage times to non-peak hours, so the costs are less expensive.
- Properly maintaining your equipment is necessary for saving money on operating costs. Improperly maintained equipment will often expend more energy than equipment that has been cared for regularly.
- Because one of the significant expenses of growing cannabis is purchasing seeds, you must work diligently to avoid pests and diseases that can destroy your crops. Keeping your plants healthy will help to prevent needless expenses due to destroyed crops.
- Plant propagation can also help you to reduce growing costs. There are multiple ways this can be accomplished, including using cuttings to grow more cannabis plants. It is wise to wait to try propagation until you have mastered the basics of growing for the best results.
How to Get the Most Growth for Your Money
Now that you know how to set up the grow room and keep energy expenditure manageable, it is vital to learn how to maximize your plant growth. A more significant yield, for less money, is always beneficial for indoor cannabis growers. These tips will help you spend less and grow more.
- Use full-spectrum LED lights for less cost and better growth rates.
- Only purchase feminized seeds—just one male plant can ruin your crop of cannabis.
- If you grow Fast Flowering strains of cannabis, it will take less time and energy to produce a crop.
- Make sure to research training tips for training your plants to grow in specific ways. These methods can significantly increase yield.
There are growing room options that are available for just about any budget. Thanks to the controlled climate of indoor grow room – you can now grow anywhere in the United States, including Alaska and North Dakota. You do not have to spend an excessive amount of money to be able to assemble an effective growing room either.
Researching your equipment options and the associated prices is an essential part of developing a low cost grow room. Another great way to save money on your growing costs is to purchase affordable cannabis seeds from weed-seeds.com. We carry a wide assortment of autoflower seeds and CBD seed options as well. Imagine the savings from growing cannabis at home. By purchasing our wholesale seeds in bulk, you can even save a great deal more money!