how to make a grow house for weed

Don’t go overboard, though, he warns. Start with growing three plants in five-gallon pots. This way, if one dies, you’ll still have two plants, and the pots will limit their growth. A general rule of thumb is that they’ll grow one foot for every gallon of soil. He recommends mixing your own organic soil, which he explains how to do on his website and will save you the headache of adding nutrients or pH testing. “The soil is what we call alive,” he says. “It’s always breaking things down to replenish nutrients that are missing.” But if you can’t mix your own soil, or don’t feel like it, you could buy organic Pro-Mix soil, which Johnson says many outdoor growers use.

To check if your cannabis is ready for trimming, perform a break test on each branch. If it bends so much it nearly breaks, then it’s ready, and if it breaks right away, it might be overly dry, but still totally usable. Trim off the buds and seal them inside a mason jar for curing, opening it periodically over the course of about four weeks to let moisture escape. Johnson outlines a detailed schedule on his website, including instructions on how to look for mold.

Since clones come from plants that have been grown indoors, let yours chill in a shaded area for a week before exposing them to full sun, Johnson says. “The clone hasn’t tasted sun like that, and the transplant itself will be stressful.”

Planting.

That said, when your plants are fully flowering, you might find yourself watering them daily, based on these indicators. When you do water them, keep going until you see water running off the soil, to ensure the water reaches all of the soil in the pot.

Cannabis cultivation laws vary widely state-by-state. Also, we can’t stress this enough: Growing cannabis is illegal in a lot of places, and the penalties — which include steep fines and prison time — can be much worse than possession, since growing can imply an intent to distribute. Black and brown folx need to be especially scrupulous about heeding these rules, since law enforcement targets us way more than white people for weed-related charges, even if we consume it at similar rates.

When the pandemic hit, many of us turned to quaint pastimes to soothe our existential dread, whether it was baking sourdough, knitting, or doing jigsaw puzzles. If you want to expand your repertoire of distraction methods with an activity that still has that quiet, homey vibe, but with a bit more of an edge, consider growing your own weed.

Cannabis plants can be either male or female. Female plants yield the plump flowers, a.k.a., “buds,” that we know and love, brimming with psychoactive compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which gets you high), Modern Farmer explains. Male plants yield much smaller flowers, which people typically don’t consume. In other words, if you want to actually indulge in your crop, you’ll want female plants.

If you buy seeds from a seed bank, look for those labeled “feminized” to ensure they give rise to female plants, Johnson says. But if you’re a total newbie, he suggests buying clones, which are cuttings from a “mother” female plant, available at some dispensaries, as well as at nurseries. Not only are they easier to obtain, “they’re easier to grow. You get a clone, and you transplant it to some soil.”

Do your homework and read up on the laws in your state. Some states prohibit growing cannabis, while others, like my home state of California, permits anyone over age 21 to grow cannabis, but only up to a certain number of plants. NORML has a pretty in-depth guide to the laws in each state. Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Maine also allow cultivation, but again, the specifics depend on the state. Definitely clarify what your rights are before you start the glorious path to at-home bud gardening.

Your cannabis will be ready to harvest at around October. You’ll know they’re ready when the buds “start to get really, really swollen and packed pretty tight,” Johnson says. But it can be hard to tell if you’re a beginner. Many growers say that if you think your plant is ready to harvest, wait two weeks, since many newbies tend to harvest too early. Or, you could share a photo of your crop on a forum and ask more experienced growers to weigh in.

Upkeep.

While you can absolutely grow cannabis indoors, outdoor cultivation is much simpler and cheaper, says Ron Johnson, author of How to Grow Organic Cannabis: A Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Marijuana Outdoors , who also runs the website The Cannabis Gardener. “The sun is free,” he tells Mic. “You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars a month in electrical bills.” An outdoor garden probably won’t allow you to turn over product fast enough, but it’ll suffice if you just want to grow weed for yourself. Plus, it’s gentler on the planet.

There are different harvesting methods, but Johnson cuts the whole plant at the base and hangs it upside down with some twine in a dark room at a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a fan for airflow — you definitely don’t want the room to be humid, which will cause mold to grow, rendering your crop unusable. It’ll probably take around a week to dry.

Johnson notes that the outdoor grow season lasts from around April to October, meaning if you plant seeds now, they’d still yield flower, but not much. Since it’s late in the season, he suggests buying a large clone, which will have more branches and therefore yield more flower.

If you use organic soil, all you’ll really need to do is add water, Johnson says — but don’t overdo it. The number one mistake he sees new growers make is watering their plants too often. In general, “watering every day is too much. The rule is, if you pick up your plant, and the pot is heavy, then it has a enough water. If it’s light, it’s dry, then you need to water.” You could also stick your finger knuckle-deep into the soil; if it feels dry, add water.

Whatever you do, don’t plant your clones in the ground. They’ll run rampant, and “you’ll have pounds of weed in your house,” Johnson says, recalling the trays of weed atop his kitchen table when his crop grew wild. “You don’t need the stress of plants getting out of control, growing over your fence.” If your neighbors can see them, they might complain about them, and having too many plants could get you arrested.

Before you get started.

Once you’ve cured your cannabis, sprinkle some bud in a bowl, or whatever your preferred method of imbibing might be, and savor your hard-earned crop.

It can be tricky getting the right balance of temperature and humidity because they affect each other—turning up your dehumidifier will lower the humidity of your grow space, but it will also increase the temperature of the area. This in turn may require you to turn on an AC unit—everything’s connected!

The two factors you need to control to dial in the environment are temperature and humidity.

Check out our Guide on nutrients for more info.

What type of container you use will depend on the grow medium, the system, and the size of your plants.

Although it’s more resource-intensive than growing outdoors and you will likely have to spend more money on utilities to power equipment, you can control every aspect of your grow environment and what you put in your plant, allowing you to dial in your setup to grow some primo weed.

Regulating Humidity.

Fluorescent light fixtures, particularly those using high-output T5 bulbs, are quite popular with small-scale cannabis growers because:

Plants in the vegetative stage maintain a low odor as they haven’t begun to produce terpenes, the plant’s aromatic compounds. As weed plants transition into the flowering phase, trichomes will start to develop and produce terpenes, causing them to smell more.

Without proper airflow, a grow space can experience rapid changes in humidity or develop pockets of CO2 depletion, neither of which are good for plant growth. CO2 depletion can lead to nutrient lockout, and areas of high humidity are prone to pest infestation, mold, or mildew.

Here are some ways to mitigate odor when growing weed indoors.

When starting with clones or seedlings, you’ll want to check your plants every day because they’re delicate and sensitive to environmental conditions. You may need to adjust temperature and humidity levels in your indoor grow space at first to hit the sweet spot for your plants.

Growing weed indoors is great because you can grow it any time of year and you’ll have complete control over the plant and what you put into it. Live in an apartment or a small house? Don’t worry, you can grow weed practically anywhere, even if you don’t have a backyard or a lot of extra space.

For a root system to develop and thrive, they will need the following:

Many growers will start plants in a one-gallon pot and then transplant up to a bigger pot as plants get bigger. A lot of growers will transplant once, from a one-gallon to a five-gallon pot, and harvest from there. If your plants get bigger, they may need a seven- or ten-gallon pot.

Controlling temperature in your indoor grow room or cannabis garden can be achieved by manipulating these factors:

Regulating temperature.

Cannabis, like all plants, prefers certain environmental conditions in order to thrive. Temperature, humidity, light intensity, and airflow are all factors that will need to be monitored and regulated in order to keep cannabis healthy through its different phases.

The main drawback is fluorescent lights are less efficient, generating about 20-30% less light per watt of electricity used; space is another concern, as it would require approximately 19 four-foot long T5 bulbs to equal the output of a single 600 watt HPS bulb.

Unless you’re growing in a large, open space with a lot of ventilation, you’ll need air-cooled reflector hoods to mount your lamps in, as HID bulbs produce a lot of heat. This requires ducting and exhaust fans, which will increase your initial cost but make controlling temperature in your grow room much easier.

One trick to avoid hot temps is to have the grow lights on during the evening, when it’s cooler outside, and leave the lights off during the day when it’s hot. This may help bring down the temps, but you’ll only be able to work on the plants at nighttime when the lights are on.

Plants need fresh air to thrive and carbon dioxide (CO2) is essential to the process of photosynthesis. This means you will need a steady stream of air flowing through your grow room, which will allow you to move hot air out of the space and bring cool air in.

These are just some examples of amendments commonly used in different types of soils. Heavily amended soils will have long lists that break down all organic nutrients they contain. Some companies create soils that offer a great structure with base nutrients, but allow you to fill in the gaps as you desire.

Watering and nutrients.

If you’re growing in a cold, wet basement, you might have to run a dehumidifier or heater to stabilize the environment. Conversely, if your space is too hot, you might need to add extra fans or an AC to cool the plants down.

Your cannabis wants a safe, healthy place for root development. Without healthy roots, your cannabis will never thrive. Roots are in charge of water retention, nutrient absorption, anchoring the plant, and they also facilitate vegetative growth.

This is easily achieved by placing an exhaust fan near the top of the space to suck out warm air—warm air rises—and adding a port or passive fan on the opposite side of the space near the floor to bring in cool air. A complete air exchange throughout the entire grow space should occur once every minute or so.

You’ll also want to take this time to check over your weed plants for pests, mold, or nutrient deficiencies.

When designing your space, you’ll need to take into account room for your plants, as well as space for lights, fans, ducting, and other equipment. You’ll also need space to work on the plants. Cannabis plants can double in size in the early stages of flowering, so make sure you have adequate head space!

These are quickly becoming the standard. Roots in fabric pots grow to the outer edges and attempt to bypass the porous fabric wall but are cut back, allowing new growth to occur. This process, called “air pruning,” results in a denser root composition which promotes healthy growth and development.

That’s a big variance, but it really depends on how big you want your plants and how often you want to harvest—you can have multiple harvests of smaller plants, or less harvests of bigger plants.

The amount of lights and their wattage has a direct impact on the strength of your extraction fan and inline fan.

When working in such a large space you’ll need to add humidity to the air somehow , and the best ways to do this is by using a humidifier, or maybe even a few. During your plants’ first few weeks, relative humidity needs to be a bit higher than usual – if it’s not, your plants may not grow to be the best that they can be.

One of the first steps of any grow step is making sure that everything is properly clean . This is done when growing using both grow tents and growing in a room – you need to clean the room and disinfect it before you can start growing your cannabis. We recommend using a product called Purolyt to clean your grow room.

Grow Room Reflective Sheeting.

Once you’ve set up your ventilation system and everything is in its place , you’ll need to add a carbon filter. You can do this when preparing the grow room or wait until your plants are flowering. It’s much easier to set it up at the start, although you’ll be using it more than you need to. If you wait until the flowering period the filter will last much longer.

In order to attach it to the ceiling you’ll need to use rope and eyebolts. You’ll also need flexible aluminum ducting in order to connect the filter to your extraction fan. If you want the best possible ventilation, try and center the filter as much as possible.

You need to block any and all light from getting into your grow room. You’ll also need to get proper reflective sheeting in order to cover the walls, floor and ceiling of your grow room. You can cover the walls to about a meter and a half if you want to save on materials. We recommend using a stapler to attach it to the walls and ceiling , as double-sided tape can easily come unstuck once the room heats up.

Many people think that the best way to set this up is by placing the extraction duct at the top of the window and the inline duct at the bottom. This is a major mistake – most likely you’ll end up taking in the exact same air that you’re trying to ventilate out of the room. One of the most simple ways to do this is to use the window to extract air and then make a grid on the door to the room. This is called passive intake and doesn’t require any sort of inline fan.

Extractors can be noisy and cause vibrations that can travel through the wall and floor, which can be heard from other rooms and floors. You’ll need to use a soundproofed box in order to avoid this. It’ll have to be attached to the ceiling, and you can use a frame designed for this purpose or a chain system using rubber rings which stop vibrations from travelling up through the ceiling.

For the best results, you should place the humidifier in the middle of the room alongside a fan , which helps to distribute humidity evenly. If you can, try and move it to the other side of your plants after a few hours in order to avoid the plants closest to it getting a bit too much humidity, which can end up causing fungi.

Thermo-hygrometer.

If you have an inline fan it’s not that hard to attach the ducting , the difference is the size of the intake fan, which is usually smaller than the extractor. You can also do this using clamps to make it easier.

The best way to do this is to keep your ballast outside of the grow room due to the amount of heat that they generate. However, this may be an added benefit when it comes to growing during colder months , although during the springtime and hotter months it’s not a good idea. If you can’t keep it outside of your grow room, you’ll need to place it on a wooden shelf up high and as far away as possible from your plants.

Although you have a ventilation system, you’ll still need a way to move air around your room . We recommend using standing fans or clip-on fans on the wall if you have the space, although the choice is yours. You’ll need to place them strategically in order to help distribute any new air you’re taking in so that you don’t end up with stagnant air pockets. Cannabis plants need constant fresh air to survive.

In order to hang your lights correctly , you’ll need to measure out how much space each light is going to cover and find the exact center of the bulb in order to make the right hole in the ceiling for your plants.

How to Build a Grow Room | Deciding your set-up.

If you clean your room thoroughly before you start growing, you’ll be able to keep insect and fungi infestations at ba y for much longer, which is incredibly important – if your indoor grow room becomes infected it can be quite hard to get rid of it for your next grow.

Like we said before, you’ll need to connect the filter and extraction fan in order for them to work correctly. Use clamps to attach the ducting to your filter, and do the same with the other end to the extractor fan. Try and keep the ducting as straight as possible to keep the airflow strong. Lastly, you need to connect your extractor to wherever you’re planning on extracting hot air.

When growing in a wide open area such as a grow room, you’ll need to know how many grow lights you’re planning on using. In this case, we’re going to use two 600w HPS grow lights in a 2 x 2 x 2.2m room . If you want to follow this method, you can also use three 315w LEC lights for similar results.

You should try and place it somewhere that you can get to easily while also keeping all of the cables in order . We recommend installing a fire extinguisher above the controller in case of emergencies.

The most important things to keep in mind are that nothing should be seen from outside the room and your extraction system and filter should be working properly; if not, you may get in trouble.