The Marijuana Grow Checklist: 9 Things to Look for Before You Buy Your Grow Equipment

You can’t grow marijuana. You have no idea where to start or what to get first.

But you’re finally fed up with having to donate or buy your weed.

Dispensary visits are costing you more money than it’s worth. Then… after months of debating with yourself, you decide to cut the middleman out– you’re going to grow your own weed!

 

And instead of purchasing it at your local dispensary, wouldn’t you want to open the door to your secret grow room and see an ocean of frosty nugs surrounded by a sea of green leaves?

 

You’re ready to commit! But that aching question keeps coming up, “where do I start?”

To you, it’s grow marijuana or die.

Well, not die– but to some of you, you may depend on marijuana for certain ailments.

grow marijuana easy guide checklist
Your personal continually producing harvest of an endless supply of sparkling bud.

This is something that most patients and recreational users feel they can never achieve. But that’s far from the truth…

 

That’s why I’m excited to show you the ultimate grow room equipment checklist.

Whether you’re doing it for personal use or becoming a collective caretaker for others, this marijuana growing guide checklist should be important to you. You should grow marijuana if:

  • You want control over your medicine, right now.
  • You’re a dedicated person who enjoys the simple things in life
  • You have an interest in gardening and want to get started when the time is right
  • You’re educated, smart, and passionate about marijuana and the community

With indoor gardening becoming popular, marijuana is more accessible. With how easy it is to grow cannabis, now is the perfect time to grow your own weed.

This guide will teach you how to calculate the best and most affordable gear for your grow room and gain the success I had growing quality bud.

marijuana preperation quote abe lincoln

Let’s start the indoor marijuana checklist:

PREPARE YOUR GROW ROOM BEFORE IT’S A GROW ROOM

Grow Area

Figuring out your LxWxH… plus more.

This is where you decide to build an entire room for your grow operation or purchasing a grow tent to get started.

grow tent vs grow room

 

If you think a grow room is optimal, ask yourself if you’re ready to drill 6 inch wide holes on your ceilings and walls, perfectly staple mylar reflectors wall to wall and steadily drill hanging bars for your grow lights?

If you’re like me then a grow tent is more your style. Grow tents are your all-in-one indoor canopy to create a comfortable oasis for your cannabis plants.

Premade exhaust vents, 100% pre-built wall to wall highly reflective mylar, and easy-to-use grow light hanging bars in.

There’s 2 things to note about your grow room, knowing your overall grow room and knowing your canopy.

 

 

Your Canopy VS Your Grow Room

this-is-the-canopy viagrowaceblogYour canopy is the location of where your plants occupy and where your lights will be hung. You want to make sure your lights are utilized 100% just for your plants.

This is very straight forward. If you’re going the grow tent route, the grow tent will basically be your canopy space. The grow room is everything else around your canopy.

Figure out where your supplies are stored. To reach your plants comfortably think about your hallways, walking areas, exhaust and intake ports, or access points.

 

 

Grow Lights

The backbone to your successful garden. Your plants need a source of strong intense light for robust growth.

Your grow light should come from reputable hydroponic stores or online company because grow lights can make or break your desired yield.

So invest in the biggest and baddest grow light, right? No. Invest in the most efficient grow light for your canopy size.

Remember, your canopy is where your plants will occupy, and most cannabis plants in a standard size room will grow upwards to 4-5 ft tall with pots or buckets that occupy 1 sq/ft..

Before buying anything, you need to first calculate how much light you need for your canopy. The best method is this 1 simple rule: “The 50w per sq/ft. Rule.” This rule will provide you the minimum of good penetrating light to get through some thick foliage.

Figure out how big your grow area will be in square feet (sq/ft) by measuring the LENGTH X WIDTH.…

canopy measuring

Then multiply the square footage by 50. This will give you the minimum amount of light intensity for your cannabis.

 

Air Flow (exhaust, intake, air circulation)

air-circulation-for-your-indoor-hydroponic-grow-room via growace

Constantly moving fresh air through your plants does several things:

  1. Prevents stale air from building up, causing an environment for mold and mildew
  2. Prevents stunted growth with replenished Co2 in the air
  3. Strengthen branches and stems to hold up heavy colas
  4. Assists in temperature and humidity control

 

Here are a few things you should note when installing your airflow system:

  1. Exhaust from the top! Heat rises so it’s important to force the most heat collected in your grow room outside of it.
  2. The opposite is true for your Intake side. Bring cool air from the lowest possible point of your grow room or grow tent.
  3. Having a minimum of 2 oscillating fans pointed towards the bottom and top of your plant will help move air from between foliage and prevent pockets of disease-friendly environments within your canopy.

 

Constant air movement will help with strong branches, stems, and prevents mold and mildew growth.

Note: Make sure you don’t intake from the same room you’re exhausting from.

Environment Control (temperature, humidity, smell, sounds, Co2)

From here, you need to know where you’re going to exhaust your stale air and heat and where you’re going to bring in fresh clean air.

 

Temperature & Humidity

Being in the dark about your temperature and humidity levels is a risk for poor growth, stressed out plants, mildew, mold, pests, and DEATH of your yield.

Keep yourself informed by measuring all the factors of your grow room environment. Once you figure out the ideal temperature for marijuana in your grow room, you will need to purchase a thermometer.

To get a reading for humidity and temperature reading, a thermo/hygrometer with a built-in memory will help. It will read the maximum and minimum temperature in a 24 hour period.

It’s always good to keep your temperature difference between day and night to be 10ºF (5ºC).

 

Smell & Sounds

Smells from cannabis plants can linger to unsuspecting parts of your home. But this smell may not be appreciated by guests or neighbors.

Especially during the flowering stage, your grow room will smell dank (and delicious). If smell is a worry, then adding a carbon filter to scrub the air will leave your grow room undetected by sensitive noses.

Noise generally comes from the use of high output exhaust and intake fans. Loud fans can make your house sound like a freight carrier.

fan and filter diagram via growace

You can reduce the sound of these fans by doing the following:

  1. Add more ducting and bends that narrows the soundwaves and reducing noise.
  2. Installing a fan muffler to reduce sound, similar material from professional sound studios are used in fan mufflers.
  3. Control the speed of your fans with a speed bully fan controller. Lowering the speed of a fan, lowers the CFM, but also lowers the noise.

 

 

 

 

Controllers (scheduling, timers)

This goes beyond weed. Plants require light but they also need a dark period to simulate “night time”. Cannabis has 2 stages of growth: Vegging and Flowering.

A 24 hour mechanical or digital timer can schedule your light schedule to simulate light for specific cannabis growth stages.

You can use timers for your intake and exhaust fans as well since you don’t have to have them on 24/7. Depending on your temperature and humidity levels, you can have them run at any schedule that works for you. Doing it this way will save you on your electricity bill.

 

Measuring Supplies (pH Meter, PPM Meter, etc.)

Over feeding or locking out important nutrients for your weed plants is a serious concern. Keep a tight watch on your pH and PPM with pH and PPM meters.

Then know what the best pH and PPM (EC) levels for your marijuana plants are. Cannabis becomes easier to grow once you know the basics on feeding and watering your plants.

Nutrient_Chart via 420magazine

 

pH effects cannabis

Not absolutely necessary but useful to have: a jeweler’s microscope. Usually 75-100x zoom so you can watch your trichome production and know when’s the best time to harvest.

 

Grow System (soil or hydroponics)

Stressing out on how you’ll grow your cannabis plants is another reason why many marijuana enthusiasts don’t grow. But don’t stress anymore because we created a video explaining the 3 best ways to grow and why you should choose one over the other:

 

 

Picking a grow system will also determine the type of nutrients and pest prevention you’ll have to purchase.

STARTER SHOPPING LIST (BUY YOUR EQUIPMENT):

Below you will find a series of kits with their shopping lists. I’m only going to list from GrowAce.com for the sake of consistency (and shameless plugging).

You may be able to find slightly cheaper prices on Amazon or another source in some cases so be sure to always check around for the best price on all these items before you make your purchase.

The brands we recommend come with better warranties and offer slightly better performance than the cheap options. Spend the extra money if you’re serious about doing this long term.

NOTE: These kits are, in my opinion, what is needed to grow high quality cannabis. Opinions may vary, use your best judgement on what’s right for your situation.

These kits will only include the basic setup for a tent, light and ventilation, you will need to figure out how much ducting you need depending on setup.

Don’t forget you also need pots, soil, nutrients, pH meters, TDS (PPM/EC) meter, trichome microscope, ties to train your plants, and other extras.

Disclaimer: Think carefully when choosing a kit. Consider the amount of heat it will put out for your space and make sure you buy all the accessories you need whether you need to order them or get them locally. This is just a basic guide to get you started, some additional research is required on your part to make sure the setup will work for your situation. When I was running 1600w, I was heating my house with it for the winter, in the summer I had to run my AC 24/7.


 

Basic HID Starter Grow: The “Calvin and Hobbyists” Cultivator

The Good

  • HID lighting gives great yield and quality
  • Enough room to grow 3-4 3ft. plants
  • Can produce several ounces every 3-4 months (depending how seasoned you are)
  • Pretty easy to conceal

The Bad

  • Height is an issue– you have to keep your plants around 3ft for the grow space
  • Heat, you will need some cool intake air to cool it
  • You’ll want more space

Final Price: ~$440


 

Mid Grade HID Grow: “The Bud Tender”

The Good

  • 600w is the most efficient HID in lumen per watt
  • Can be hidden in a laundry room
  • Intake Booster Fan for active air flow and temperature control
  • Easily fits 4-6 plants
  • Able to produce a half pound or more every 3-4 months (depending how seasoned you are)

The Bad

  • Height, you have to keep your plants to around 3’ of grow space
  • Fan noise if you have to turn it up due to heat issues
  • You will have weed coming out of your ears, this is the point where you start to grow more than 1 person can consume without being wasteful

Final Price ~$557-$627


 

High Grade HID Grow Setup “The Skywalker”

The Good

  • Dual 600w gives you the best lumen per watt and the best tent coverage
  • Can grow 6-8 plants or more
  • Can grow full size 4’-5’ plants easily
  • Able to produce a pound or more every 3-4 months (depending how seasoned you are)

The Bad

  • Hard to hide
  • Noise from all the ventilation needed to cool everything
  • Produces a fair amount of heat

Final Price: ~$687-$897


 

Mid Range LED Grow “The Cloud 9”

The Good

  • Grow 6+ oz every 3-4 months with LED (depending how seasoned you are)
  • Better performance and less heat than CFL
  • Good heat management
  • Small footprint, easy to hide
  • If you ever upgrade you can use it as a veg tent

The Bad

  • Small grow space if you don’t flower early enough
  • You’ll want more space
  • Expensive initial cost

Final Price: ~$840


 

Premium HID Grow Setup “The O’Bud-Wan Kenobi”

The Good

  • 2000w provides wall to wall light coverage
  • Can grow 10-12 plants or more
  • Able to produce a pound or more every 3-4 months (depending how seasoned you are)

The Bad

  • Hard to hide
  • Noise from all the ventilation needed to cool everything
  • Produces a fair amount of heat

Final Price: ~$1147


 

Premium LED Grow Setup “The Richie Rich”

The Good

  • Built in fans help keep the temperature down
  • Works well for veg and flower
  • Able to produce a Pound or more very 3-2 months (depending how seasoned you are)
  • You’ll be cool with your purple glowing tent #nugporn

The Bad

  • Expensive initial cost

Final Price: ~$1951


 

 

The Last IMPORTANT Step: Electricity cost

How much electricity would these kits cost?

It all depends on the wattage of your lights, the wattage of your high output fans,  how long they’re running, and the cost of electricity where you live.

For example, in the flowering stage your light schedule will be 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Let’s say you’re using a 600w grow light system. That’s going to be 12kwh (kilowatt-hours) per day, ~31 days in a month so 12kwh x 31 days = 372kwh per month to run that light.

Where I live, my power is ~$0.09 per kwh so it would cost me $33.48 per month extra. Some people’s power rates are as high as $0.19 or more per kwh in some areas. This example should help you figure out what costs would be like in your area.


 

The Indoor Marijuana Checklist – BREAKDOWN:

  • Figure out the size of your grow room
  • Figure out the size of your canopy. Using a grow tent makes finding your canopy easy.
  • Calculate how much light you need for your canopy (50w per sq/ft)
  • Figure out how much air movement you need for your grow room size (Match CFM with your LxWxH)
  • Figure out your grow system (soil or hydroponics)
  • Pick a grow room package from the list above (or customize your own)
  • Purchase the rest of your equipment that supports your package (ducting, timers, power strips, meters, soil, nutrients, etc.)
  • Calculate and budget your monthly electricity cost.
  • Happy growing!

 

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