Building your own growing area
There are a lot of things you need to take into account when building your own growing area. If you do it well from the start, you will enjoy a lot of advantages. Then you will be able to get started with growing the plants without having to solve all sorts of problems that emerge. It takes some time and energy, but well begun is half done.
You can build a growing area at different places: in the attic, in a bedroom, in a closet, in a basement, in a barn, etc. Choose an area of at least one square meter and a minimum height of 1.80 meters.
Advantages and disadvantages of different locations
The biggest problem of attics is the temperature. During summer they tend to be tropically warm, while during winter they get ice cold. A pitched roof can also cause a problem. In some places, the roof can be too low, which prevents you from hanging a lamp. A possible solution is to reverse the day/night rhythm. When it’s light outside, it’s dark inside and vice versa. The advantage is that temperature fluctuations are smoothed. The lamps heat the place during the colder night so that in summer the temperature stays limited during the day. In winter you will probably heat your house more, which will keep the temperature in your growing area on a reasonable level. One disadvantage of reversing the day/night rhythm is that you will have to work at night. The plants have to be left alone when it’s dark. Another problem is that the plants may get too hot at night. This may negatively affect the bud formation. Also keep into account that the lamps and fans make quite some noise and that this might be an issue for your neighbors, especially at night.
In a bedroom too, the temperature can cause a problem. In summer, south facing bedrooms can be quite warm, especially if the lamps burn during the day. In winter, north facing bedrooms can cool down a lot overnight, especially if the lamps are off. These problems can also be solved by reversing the day/night rhythm. A huge advantage of bedrooms is that they have nice straight walls and ceilings, which makes it easier to set everything up. Windows might be a problem. These have to be air and light-tight. Only use a window for discharging air if there is no other option. Because of the wind, you never know where the odors are going. You also risk air being blown inside by strong wind.
A dry, not too cold cellar is probably the most ideal growing place. However, it can be hard to supply and discharge air and also the discharge of water can be problematic. On the other hand, cellars hardly ever need to be made light-tight. It is also fairly easy to control the temperature because cellars are insulated thanks to their underground location.
Be sure the floor is insulated well (e.g. a thick Styrofoam board), because the cellar floor is too cold for the roots. This also makes the discharge of waste water a bit easier.
If you have chosen a growing place, you have to make sure it is 100% light-tight. For optimal growth, the plant needs 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 12 hours of uninterrupted light. If this process is disturbed, this can affect the yield or even cause the whole crop to fail. The plants become stressed and confused. So double check whether there are no holes or cracks where light seeps through. If this is the case, seal them with sealing or non-transparent tape.
It is important to not only make your growing area light-tight but also air-tight. For one thing, because of the odor. As soon as they are flowering and produce beautiful buds, the plants start emitting a specific and strong odor. You do not want this odor to spread outside the room. You might become used to the strong flavor of your plants, but your neighbors might not. Secondly, bugs can come inside through the tiniest of cracks and ruin the growth of the plants. Thirdly, it is important to have a well-insulated room so you can control the temperature conditions yourself. So make your growing place air-tight by sealing all cracks and crevices.
Once you have made your growing place air and light-tight, you have to think about the temperature of the room. If you create the ideal climate for the plants, they will grow well and produce a maximum yield. For optimal air circulation, you need one (or more) fan(s). By constantly circulating the air, the fan ensures an even distribution of temperature, humidity, and C02 (carbon dioxide). With a dimmer, you can set the speed of the van. If your budget allows for it, you might want to invest in a thermostat, a humidistat or a thermo-humidistat. You can use it to set the desired maximum temperature (around 28 °C).
With a humidistat or a thermo-humidistat, you can control the humidity level. If the room becomes too humid, the excess air is sucked away until the optimal humidity level is reached. All you have to do is to set the proper humidity level and the humidifier will keep the humidity of the room constant. A humidifier is especially useful during the growth period. A plant can grow twice as big if the humidity level is optimal.
You have to make sure that there are air vents on one side of the room and on the floor. This way, CO2-rich air can come in. At the other side of the room, you have to install and extraction system with a carbon filter. A carbon filter and an extraction system are essential for a good growing place.
You also need an extraction system with an activated carbon filter. Cannabis plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow. They get this CO2 from the air. If you fail to provide the growing area with fresh air, the plants will use up all CO2 in the air. Growth will slow down and plants will become less healthy. An extraction system sucks the CO2-depleted air outside, which automatically brings CO2-rich air inside. The system also removes the typical odors that are released during the flowering phase. A carbon filter is a large tube filled with carbon. The carbon absorbs the chemicals responsible for the odors and neutralizes them. Carbon filters do not last forever, so I replace mine every year.
A cannabis plant needs light to be able to grow. If you want to grow cannabis indoors, you will, therefore, have to purchase a lamp. The length of the night is very important for cannabis plants, so always use a timer switch to ensure a regular cycle. You can choose lamps of various wattages for growing cannabis. You can choose from 400 watts, 600, and 1000 watt. The more light, the better the yield will be. Ideal for indoor growing is high-pressure sodium (vapor) lamps. I replace my lamps, just like my carbon filter, every year for optimal light intensity.
Start with the cheapest and simplest set up Air or water cooled variants can always be purchased later. First try if the basic equipment is sufficient.
A reflecting screen in your growing space makes sure that the plants can profit optimally from the light. Light = weight. The amount of light a plant gets will greatly determine the final yield. Mylar film is the best you can use to make a screen. It reflects about 99% of the light on your plants.
I put my plants in a container so I can easily clean up the place. I made it myself using wood and plastic. It’s not that hard. I succeeded and I’m not really a handywoman. All waste, such as potting soil, dead leaves, and wastewater remains in this container. As soon as you have harvested, you can easily remove everything and clean the place, so it is ready for the next batch of plants. A container is also useful when you water your plants. By giving your plants lots of clean water, you remove the excess nutrients and fertilizers. When they are in a container, you can easily water the plants without making a mess. You can also fill the whole container with nutrients, so all plants can profit from them. They can decide how much water and how many nutrients they want to absorb.
When I leave for a weekend, I fill the container with water and the plants decide for themselves how much water they need.
Ready for use
Your growing space is now ready for use! You can read more about the next steps on our website.
There are some things you need to consider when building your own growing area. Then you will be able to get started with growing the cannabis plants without problems.
Where Should I Grow In the House?
By: Grass Master J (with contributions by Nebula Haze)
Hello there, fellow growers! I know that a major concern for a lot of you guys is and always has been strategic and stealthy growing.
Regardless of how many plants you grow, what sort of lights you use, whether you’re growing in soil or a snazzy hydroponics system, your biggest priority should always be to grow stealthy! After all, who would want all their hard work to go down the drain because some neighbors see your lights or a guest finds your growing room.
In this article, I’m going to tell you how to keep your little garden secret and secure. These quick, simple precautions and strategies will keep you growing strong without constantly worrying about those nosey neighbors or having a panic attack every time you have a house guest.
Location, location, location. I cannot stress this enough my friends, location is KEY. Putting your garden in the wrong place is the easiest way to get caught, and in some instances leads to a less bountiful harvest (See: The Attic). Here’s a list of good places to put your cannabis, with some of the pros and cons that come with the territory.
1a. The Attic
- Nobody else is going to go in your attic but you! It’s not included on a tour of the house, and isn’t visible to neighbors.
- Your grow room is going to be bright and attics have less places for light to leak out and alert neighbors.
- Plenty of room.
- Some attics are difficult to get to.
- If your attic isn’t well insulated, you’re going to need lots of fans to keep it cool during the summer and some way of heating it during the winter or your plants won’t produce as much bud as you want. They could actually die from too much heat (or not enough heat).
- Possible lack of outlets for your equipment.
[If you have windows in your attic, make sure to cover them up with something like panda film.]
1b. The Basement
- Generally basements have few or no windows, so no light is going to get out.
- Remains at a steady temperature throughout the year.
- Plenty of room.
- Some people have living areas, playrooms and the sort set up in their basements, and if this is the case, putting your garden there can attract some very unwanted attention.
1c. An Unused Closet
- Well-defined space, you may not even need a grow tent. Cover it in Mylar or panda film, make sure no light leaks through the door and you’re good.
- Temperature will be roughly the same as in the rest of your house, so other than some fans, you won’t need to get too fancy.
- Unless there’s a lock on the door, anybody looking for a bathroom or some paper towels could accidentally stumble into your grow room. This is why a very out-of-the-way closet is preferable.
- Not as much room to grow.
- Sirius: Another problem with growing in closets is that there is no ventilation. So if your closet gets hot and stuffy, it’s going to stay hot and stuffy unless you intervene! With that being said, closets are still great grow areas.
1d. The Garage
- If you’re using a grow tent, it won’t be hard to hide or camouflage as something innocent like a tool cabinet.
- Stays cool in the summer and (reasonably) warm in the winter.
- If your garage isn’t attached to your house, you probably shouldn’t grow there. You want your grow room as close to you and accessible as possible since people will get suspicious if they see you lugging a whole bunch of lights and growing supplies in.
1e. Camouflaged Grow Boxes (Stealth Boxes)
One way to keep a grow of 1-2 small plants stealthy and hidden is to build a camouflaged grow box. This basically means you use something that you would have in your garage or your basement that doesn’t stand out as odd (It looks like it belongs there), and turn it into a grow box. Here are some things you could use to make stealth boxes:
- Lockers (like a school locker, they’re a bit expensive)
- Tool Cabinets
All you really need to do with these is line them with Mylar or panda film, make holes for all your wires and extension cords, and make sure it’s properly ventilated (and no light leaking of course).
There are websites that will sell you pre-built stealth boxes, but they end up being on the expensive side.
Sirius: Also, check out some of our past newsletters on homemade stealth boxes!
- Ultra-Stealthy Grow Cabinet
- 400 Watt Stealth Box
- Grow Tents (alternative) – Get a perfect growing environment that you can set up in an afternoon! Highly recommended.
These are all good places to build your grow room, but almost any room in your house can be a grow room as long as there is privacy, a way to stabilize the temperature, people won’t go in accidentally, and you don’t use the room or space for anything other than growing.
So now we have a good set of options for our grow room, but now we run into some problems. Cannabis plants often have very strong and distinct smells, so you’ll NEED some way of dealing with those. I personally recommend a carbon filter to control smell in the grow room, as it requires little to no maintenance and does a great job of getting rid of the smell.
DO NOT spray your plants or grow room with aerosol based air fresheners, or use a product like ONA gel near your plants. The chemicals can hurt your harvest quality, and your bud will more than likely taste terrible when you smoke it!
If you don’t want to have to struggle with intense smell control, you can find strains that have a very neutral smell while growing. Blue Mystic and Northern Light are relatively scent-neutral and great strains for beginners or people working with limited amounts of room.
The more equipment you work with and the more powerful that equipment is, the louder it ends up being. You don’t want people to come investigate what sounds like a tornado ripping through your house, and you’ll have a pretty tough time sleeping. Make sure you get equipment that is quiet as possible, and walk around the outside of your house to see if any sound is easily noticeable.
It may seem like overkill, but I really recommend getting a lock on the door to your grow room. You should be the only one with a key, and don’t make more than two! Your keys should be hidden somewhere only you will be able to find them, so no fake rocks or doormats. If people ask you why you keep the room locked, just say that you have some utility stuff that you don’t want anybody messing with, or just say it’s none of their business.
I know one person who went so far as to use a fake bookcase door entrance for his grow room (Of course by showing it to me, he sort of defeated the point of using it, but I digress). Do not go into your grow room or leave it unlocked when you have company in your house, and if you are going away for an extended amount of time, don’t ask people to tend to your plants!
Last but not least, there is one thing which this site has already mentioned in their “how to not get caught” article which I feel is worth repeating….
DON’T TELL PEOPLE – loose lips sink ships my friends, and this is not a good ship to sink. If the ship goes down, you go down with it, and that can mean anything from a loss of a harvest to jail time. Nobody cares as much about keeping your garden a secret as you do, and if somebody else lets it slip; they aren’t the ones who have to deal with the consequences.
With all this being said, I wish all of you the best of luck in your grows. I really hope that this article helps some of you out when you’re planning on how to set up your grow rooms!
Peace, love, and happy growing you guys!
Get the Right Tools To Grow Like A Ninja!
Low Odor Marijuana Strains – These Strains are known for producing low/non-marijuana-like odor:
- Auto Duck is an example of an auto-flowering strain that is great for stealth growing due to its smell (or lack thereof)
- Northern Lights Auto
- Northern Cheese Haze Auto
Quiet Electronic Devices – Get devices that work without making noise:
- Carbon Filters
- Odor Neutralizers – for living spaces only, don’t use near plants!
I know that a major concern for growers is and always has been strategic and stealthy growing. There are good and bad places to grow, learn what works best!