Indoor Growing

Pros

 

With indoor growing, the weather and the season doesn’t matter. You can adjust your indoor environment to reflect exactly what your plants need throughout the entire grow cycle. This also means an indoor grower can produce multiple harvests per year if routated and timed correctly. 

 

Some cannabis strains may be better for indoor growth where conditions can be closely monitored. Using grow lights, indoor growers can not only closely mimic the sun, but also recreate the specifics of the sun’s light according to the origin or landrace of the particular plant they are growing.

Cons

 

The costs associated with setting up and maintaining an indoor grow can be pricey depending on what the growers needs are. When growing cannabis indoors, you become responsible for everything the plants need to survive.  Some of the costs to consider are lighting, temperature control, water, soil, and nutrients.   

Along with cost another consideration is the time and attentiveness needed when growing indoors. Paying close attention to the health of your plants will help prevent disease and pests.

Helpful tips for Growing Indoors

Understanding Lights

 
LED Grow Lights

 

If cost isn’t a consideration, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is the good option for growers. They use little energy and create very little heat. The drawback is that they cost nearly ten times more than a decent HID setup. If you’re serious about getting into growing and have money to spend, however, give serious consideration to LEDs. Do your homework to avoid ‘scam’ LEDs online.

 

HID Grow Lights

 

The most commonly used lights for growing are probably HID (high-intensity discharge) grow lights. They typically represent the best overall value in terms of cost, efficiency, and ease-of-operation.

The main drawback is that they require numerous accessories to run correctly. As a consequence, the overall cost can ramp up pretty quickly, depending on how much you’re willing to splurge.

 

For example, most growers use one of two main types of HID lamps/bulbs. Metal halide (MH) bulbs are best during vegetative growth. High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) is the preferred option for the mature flowering stage. If you can only afford one, choose HPS as they are more efficient on a ‘watt-to-light’ produced scale.

 

HID lights produce a substantial amount of heat. Therefore, you must invest in a ballast and hood/reflector for each light. This is almost mandatory for controlling the temperature in your grow room. Connect the hood to your ventilation system to flush out excess heat and maintain an average ambient temperature.

 

Fluorescent Grow Lights


Fluorescent lights are generally much cheaper and easier to use than the other options. They represent an excellent option for those not planning long-term operations. They don’t require a connection to an external ventilation system. Fluorescent lights are a little less efficient than the other options. However, for growers with a single plant or two, they’re likely your best bet.

Vegetative Cycle

 

Before your plant begins to produce buds, it begins with vegetative stage. This stage allows your plant to grow big, before it produces flowers. Keeping your plant under lights for at least 18 hours a day allows your plant to stay in its vegetative stage. During this stage your plant will also develop a stronger root system. 

 

Flowering Stage

 

When you begin to give your plants 12 hours of light a day and 12 hours of darkness, it begins it’s flowing cycle. This is the stage in which your plant begins to produce flower. Depending on the strain of your plant, it can take anywhere from 7 to 12 weeks to finish flowering. Stronger lights are recommended during the flowering state (HPS, LED, or Halide).

 

 

 

Preventive and Pest Control

 
 

Make sure that your cultivating space is sanitized and clean all around. There is an inherent risk posed by disease or pests. A messy space invites pathogens and harmful bacteria and mold. Cannabis plants are “bioaccumulators,” which means they “suck up” everything around them (both in the air and the soil). Make sure the area surrounding the plants is clean to keep potential contaminants out.

 

Spraying your plants with preventatives is one way of keeping plants healthy in an indoor environment. We generally use different regimens for specific issues. We treat our plants weekly to lower the chances of any unhealthy plants. Some of those treatments include Green Cleaner, Plant Therapy, and Sulfur sprays. Additionally, using beneficial predatory bugs is commonly used in most indoor farms today. 

Watering and Feeding

 

Whether you’re using an organic soil mix, amending your own soil, or growing hydroponically, your cannabis plants need the “super seven” macronutrients.

 
 
Nitrogen (N)
Potassium (P)
Calcium (Ca)
Phosphorus (Ph)
Magnesium (Mg)
Iron (Fe)
Copper (Cu)
 

The nutrients you give your plant can vary. You can either have enriched soil, or enriched water. Most soil for growing in containers is nutrient rich, so adding more nutrients to your water isn’t necessary until the soil is depleted of nutrients usually by the time the plant begins to flower. 

 

When watering your plants, timing plays a big role. Allowing your plants to fully intake the water it’s given is vital, because over watering can cause growth issues. Touch around the soil to feel for moisture in between watering sessions. If there is little to no moisture, give your plant a light soak making sure there is adequate drainage. Depending on how big your plant is and the size of the container your house in, you should expect to water your plant at least once a day. 

 

We also recommend investing in a pH meter to check on the quality of your water and soil regularly. If you’re growing in soil, try and keep the pH between 6 and 7. If you’re growing hydroponically, 5.5 to 6.5 is an appropriate range.

Temperature

 

Having the ideal temperature in your grow area will increase the quality of your plant growth as well as lowering the chances of your plant contracting diseases such as powdery mildew. 73-77 degrees fahrenheit is ideal for your plants. When your plants experience darkness, make sure the temperature doesn’t go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

Controlling the humidity is equally important. A dehumidifier and having good air circulation will keep your temperature and humidity properly regulated. Since warmer air rises, an exhaust fan sucks out the hot, stagnant air. The portable fan provides an excellent supply of cooler, CO2-filled fresh air. This technique allows for a constant supply of fresh air for your plants. It also helps keep temperatures to a manageable level.

 

Develop a self-monitoring system to control it all. You need a 24-hour timer and an adjustable thermostat. Together they allow you to set your exhaust fan to switch on once temperatures go above or below a certain degree. The result is a relatively stable temperature range and humidity level while saving energy and money.