Whether you’re a brand new cannabis grower or a master budsman, it’s possible that you have not yet considered setting up a grow room in your own home. Why not? What was once considered a complicated and costly investment has become quite simple thanks to modern technology and our helpful guide!
Planning Your Grow Room Setup
The most critical step to any successful indoor grow room is planning. A few extra moments spent planning can yield better results and save you money in the long run. Make sure to sketch out the general floor plan of the room you have chosen. Remember that in general, any size room will do, provided it can be heated and cooled. Things may be easiest if you have an exterior wall or door available for venting purposes. Sketch out how and where you plan to hang your lights and place your pots or beds. We suggest hanging lights from adjustable chains so that you can ensure they always remain an optimum distance from your plant.
Insulating the Grow Room
It is critical to insulate your grow room so that the temperature remains constant. Insulation also helps with humidity and cooling concerns. Roll insulation is the most commonly chosen material to use for insulation. We recommend that you paint the walls and ceiling white or use white plastic to help protect the walls and floor while reflecting light.
Controlling Your Room’s Climate
Now is also a good time to decide how you plan to handle ventilation and humidity control. In a small home setup, you can opt for a simple solution: install an opening near the floor on one side of the room, with a bent PVC pipe leading outside to allow in the fresh air. The bend in the pipe will prevent light from entering but will make sure that you and your plants have a fresh supply of oxygen at all times. In order to filter the heavily scented air that will be leaving the room, attach a carbon-filtration system to an external vent leading outside, closer to the ceiling (because of warm air rises). An alternative to this – which can work if your room does not have an exterior wall – is to modify a door to serve the same purpose.
Fans should also be placed around the grow room to assist with humidity control. Humidifiers and other equipment that automatically monitor the temperature, humidity levels, and other conditions in your grow room are available for purchase if you decide that you would like to make that investment – some even allow for you to control them from your mobile device! But know that these tools are not required in order to get started, or to grow cannabis at home, successfully.
Potting Your Plants
We recommend using 30-gallon or 45-gallon fabric pots for the actual planting of your cannabis seeds, placed upon a grate-system for easy drainage when flushing or watering. Fabric pots will obviously leak directly onto whatever surface they are placed on, so building a simple grate-topped table with a drainage system underneath, will help tremendously with cleanup and management of humidity in your grow room.
Another option is to line your floor with plastic and to place saucers underneath each plant when watering. If using this method, just remember to always remove and clean the saucers afterward, otherwise, they can become a thriving environment for mold growth.
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Controlling the Lighting
Cannabis is a photoperiod plant. This means a certain amount of light is needed for the vegetative state, and a different light period is needed for flowering. When we begin new seeds or need the plants to be in a vegetative state, most opt for 18 hours of lights on and 6 hours of lights off. Once we want the plants to begin flowering, the light cycle changes to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
With indoor growing, plants are more sensitive to these light and dark cycles, especially in flower. When your plants expect it to be nighttime, any disruption in this darkness can result in an abundance of seeds. The plants think something is wrong and automatically begin trying to survive. Female plants will produce their own pollen and begin creating seeds.
For this reason, another priority consideration when planning your grow room is darkness. Will your plants be exposed to any ambient light sources, or will any surrounding light possibly seep in around doorways, windows, or exterior cracks? Take a moment to stand in the room while it is dark. Do you see any light at all? Use electrical or “blackout” tape to cover any visible light. Be sure to keep a careful watch for glowing power strips, digital clocks, or other items that emit passive light.
Using a Grow Tent
Additionally, tents are a popular choice for some growers. We think they work well while preparing young plants not yet ready to flower. However, they are known to have light leaks, so we don’t recommend using tents for flowering. Of course, if you have a room that’s totally dark and just don’t want to put holes in the wall, a tent could be a viable option for you to flower in. Just remember to keep this in mind when planning your grow space.