When starting out growing cannabis there is a long list of items you will need to succeed. I’m sure you know all the big stuff like grow lights and grow tents but what about all the little things? We are going to make you a list and explain why you need each item. Some items are must haves, and a few are nice to haves, you really should try to have the complete list for best growing results. You can read our full tutorial on growing cannabis indoors is here.
A full step by step grow guide for cannabis is located here.
Dark Growing Soil
There are several options that can serve as your grow medium but most of you will choose soil. You could use Perlite or Coco Coir. My first choice is always soil and compost, that’s just what I’ve always grown with and it’s what I’m comfortable with.
Grow Light Timer
This item is a cheap but very important option. If you need to play God over your growing environment, you’ll need to control light. In this case you need to be able to switch your lights on and off at specific times to support the plants healthy growth. So, let there be light with a digital timer. Just set the on and off time for your lights, plug it into the wall and your lights into the timer.
Nutrients to Feed Your Cannabis Plants
All plants require nutrients of some sort. Healthy new soil contains higher levels of nutrients which are slowly used by the plant as they are absorbed. It is a requirement that additional nutrients to be added. These mixes of nutrients are specific to the growth stage of the plant. There are Vegetative and blooming nutrient mixes and yes, they are different.
Cannabis plants like all plants have a specific pH balance that they require their water/nutrient mix to be. Ideal growth only happens within a specific pH band, if the water/nutrient mix has a higher or lower pH balance it could kill or stunt the growth of your plants.
To know the pH of the plants soil, pour clean pH balanced water into the plants soil. Pour in enough that some water will run out the bottom of the pot. Now measure this water that’s come from the soil and that will tell you the actual pH of your soil.
When you make your water/nutrient mix it’s important to check our pH balance after adding the nutrients.
PH Up or Ph Down Base and Acid
If once you’ve tested the pH of your water or nutrient mix and found that the pH is too high or too low for your cannabis plants, it’s time to spring into action and adjust the pH Balance. To do this you will use either pH Up or pH Down liquid. If your mixture is too acidic you add a tiny bit of pH Up which is a base. If the pH is too low, you’ll need to add pH Down to increase the acidity.
Charcoal Filtered Ventilation system
Here are two inevitable issues. Your plants are going to smell fantastic but pungently strong and your grow lights even LED are going to heat up your grow area. These two issues are solved together by adding a charcoal filter into the ventilation system. The system will take in air from your grow area through the charcoal filter and then out a vent hose that takes the hit moist air out of the grow area and exhausts it outside.
String and Stakes
You know that cannabis is an actual weed, right? In the wild these plants thrive on their own. This is because as a weed the are extremely hearty plants. When growing cannabis your plants are going to tend to get over grown or grow too large for your grow space. You are going to need to use String to tie the plant off to control its growth. You can use targeted string placements to hold the plant in a specific shape. You also may need to use stakes to tie too. As the plant grows large buds they can become very heavy. You’ll need to use a stake for support.
When growing indoors using any form of light as powerful as a LED or HIP light you should be protecting your eyes with wide spectrum UV protection. Repeated exposure to these lights can cause Permanent eye damage and cause your eyes to grow cataracts.
These are very important items for mixing your nutrients. It is easy to over fertilize your plants and kill them so take this seriously. When measuring nutrients to add to your water supply double check your calculations and measurements, this will help you avoid a disaster.
Simple Weather Station
Your growing space is your domain and you are in control of every aspect of it especially if you are growing in a smaller closet or tent. Inside your grow area it’s very important to control the humidity and heat of your grow environment. A simple weather station will tell you the relative humidity and temperature of your grow area. Too much humidity you’ll have issues with fungus, molds and other pests, too hot and your plants will simply wilt and die
Besides keeping your plants at a comfortable healthy temperature fans create constant movement within your grow space. This movement of air moves your leaves and stems allowing the plant to make them stronger.
The only way to know if your plants are ready is by taking a very up close and personal look at your buds. You’ll need far more than a spy glass, I recommend the Carson Electronic Magnifier as this system can zoom in 100Xs or more to get a real close look at the color of your trichomes. Even better the Carson allows you to plug into your computer via USB so that you can upload the images to your computer. You can’t do that with a jeweler’s loupe which is the other option.
You’ve managed to successfully grow a pile of weed, now the next round of hard work starts. You need to clean up the buds and remove all the other plant mater from the buds. This is a pain taking process that require top quality clippers that will allow you to cut and manipulate your buds gently. Shear with a thin tip are best as they can reach inside the buds to trim leaves.