Indoor Marijuana Growing Guide
I tell you, I always enjoyed my weed from my hometown, that fruity smell. But now, high life in a metro sucks. The weed you get here are mostly adulterated with other chemicals and shit. Even if you manage to score some clean stuff once in a blue moon, you are sure that it hasn’t been cured well. Not to mention the amount of seeds you find, on top of a poor harvest. A lot of people say that you get addicted to weed and shit, but its the other chemicals and boot polish that is working on you, weed as known has no physiological crave it can be rather psychological which is normal when the good herb is so good to be true. So with the law being this negligent on the whole matter, and rise of the drug mafias, we are the ultimate sufferers. We don’t need no trouble man, we just need some good herb. That all you know. So what do you do ? Well, Grow them on your own. No ? Oh comeon! Its weed right, supposed to grow easy and so it does. With few things in mind and few months of effort and patience one can grow the quality buds they crave for when they see crystal buds online.
I will put together a basic startup guide for getting you started. Read on. So, the first thing that i feel is a concern is stealth. Now everyone has their own degree of privacy for say one might be able to grow one or two plant outdoor in his/her garden or terrace without that nosy neighbor bothering or some might prefer to grow indoor inside a grow box. Keeping in mind outdoor growing is a bit easier to do and privacy as a concern, i will discuss mostly about indoor growing here. Indoor growing is the process of growing your plant in a closed regulated indoor environment closely replicating the “perfect” weather required by a cannabis plant to grow. Marijuana is an Annual Plant, which means it has just one grow in its lifetime. It grows, produces buds and dies like saint. Every plant has to go through 2 stages in its lifetime. The Vegetative or the growth stage and The Flowering stage.
Male – Doesn’t produce buds.
Female – Produces the buds or flowers which is smoked or consumed.
Hermaphrodites – Plants shows the sign of both male and female plants with seed (generally happens due to any kind of stress during the growing process).
Types of seed available
Regular seeds – Could grow to be a male or a female.
Feminized seeds – Assured to be a female.
Autoflowering seeds – Feminized seed which doesnt require any particular light schedule and grows fast saving lot of electricity. These seeds can be planted and harvested in as low as 2 months time. Cannabis plant starts in the spring and are harvested at the end of the summer season. During the Spring time the days are longer and thus helps the plants to vegetate, as the time goes the days shortens and flowering initiates, this is when the plant stops focusing on making more leafs and branches and starts producing buds. This process is replicated in indoor growing with the help of switching on and off the lights at a regular interval. The photoperiod generally used for indoor growing is. Vegetation – 18/6 (18 hours of Light and 6 hours of complete darkness) Flowering – 12/12 (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness) So lets start from the top. What is required for growing good buds?
A good genetic
Trust me, this is the first thing you would like to keep in mind. This is where it all starts. The landraces are very slow. So the bag seeds (seed from your local score) wouldnt do any good, moreover when growing indoor. These takes a long time to veg and flower, perhaps somewhere between 6-7 months or even more, which sounds insane and not at all economical for indoor growing considering electricity in India isnt cheap and very irregular. For a faster and better yeild you would want to go for an Autoflowering or a Feminised seed from a good seed bank. One of the seed banks who delivers seeds to India is seedcity. They have a stealth delivery option too. You can go for popular strains like OG kush and White Widow. For a warm climate like in Delhi and Kolkata, you might wanna go for an Indica dominant strain.
A good medium
There are basically 3 popular growing medium
Soil – Mothernature gives you a better tasting buds.
Inert(Soilless) – Faster growing.
Hydroponic-Fastest growth rate and a bigger yeild. Though each has their own share of pros and cons, since we are talking about India here, lets stick to soil and Inert medium as it is easily available and are cheap to set up and maintain unlike hydroponic setups.
If using soil, you can try to get a good potting mix from amazon. Look for the content. A good mix will contain ingredients like coco, perlite, worm casting, manure, bat guano, humus, bone meal etc. Likewise you can mix your own soil and most of the mentioned items are easily available over amazon. I will also mention few websites down here where you can find your supplies. When buying a soilmix online, avoid anything that says slow release. What happens is, cannabis plants require different NPK value for vegetation and Flowering. With slow release mix the nutrients are released at a later point of time which might cause nute burns or deficiencies. If using a soilmix, a proper soilmix will have all the essential nutrients and micro nutrients required by the plant and the only thing you need to do is water you plants and keep them happy with
loads of lights.
Preparing for a Soilless mixture
Unlike using soil which contains some nutrients in it, most of the soilless mediums do not have any nutritional values, thus they need to be fed nutrients throughout their life. Some good
soilless mediums are:
I prefer a good 50-50 mix of coco peat and perlite. This makes a good airy medium for the root structures to grow and also helps to retain moisture and drainage. If you prefer you can also
enrich it with worm casting.
One of the methods used under hydroponics is DWC (Deep Water Culture). Here the roots are submerged in the water and the water is fed all the nutrients. This helps the plant to grow faster. Since we are not going to discuss much about this until and unless it is affordable and we have a batch of experienced growers.However if you wish to give it a try, here is a simple bubbleponic setup which you can make easily at home with some helping hands maybe.
A good climate
A good climate is utmost necessary for a good and potent yeild. You mights ignore this factor and get away with a good amount of buds but with a good climate you can have that higher potency and resin you have always dreamed of. So what do I mean by a good climate ? Every cannabis plants need to have a certain level of temperature and humidity for the best yeild and growth. Optimum level of temperature during the photosynthesis period is anywhere between 24°-27° C and 19°-21° C during the dark period. This variation in the temperature replicates the process of night and day where the temperature drops
during the night hours. Humidity is another important factor. During Vegetation plants prefer humidity around 60%-70% and during the flowering period it requires low humidity of around 40%. Make sure the humidity is low during flowering to avoid rotten or bad bud. A good digital hygrometer and a room thermometer would do the job indoor. They are available online and are cheap.
Nothing can beat the sun light. But when you don’t have the comfort of growing under the natural sun, science comes to work. Now lets understand this, Lights as we humans see, the intensity is calculated in lumen. While the same when comes to plant it is known as PAR (Photosynthetically active radiation). For the sake of simplicity lets say for a basic grow 7000-8000 Lumen can be considered optimal. More lights better it is,
but there will be heating issues too and too much of light can cause light burn a.k.a Heat Stress. These lights comes in various spectrum. The higher spectrum (written as 6400k) provides a cool natural daylight glow which has the blue light spectrum which is required for the Vegetative stage of the plant. The lower spectrum (written as 2700k) provides a warm yellowish glow which is required for the flowering part of the cycle. For indoor growing we have few different options to choose from.
If you ask me, without any doubt CFL is the best option in India unless you choose to go for LED which we will come to later. CFLs are an excellent choice keeping in mind the heat, electricity consumption and availability. These are easy to setup and comes with various consumption ratings. Every CFL bulb in the market comes with a lumen rating for e.g a 30 watt CFL would have around 2000 lumen. It is the value that you have to obtain and add up for an optimal lighting. These lights comes in both Cool and Warm Spectrum. These lights runs a bit warm but CFLS are excellent options since the can be setup anywhere near the plant without any heat stress and at the same time providing better light penetration for the whole plant.
HID (High Intensity Discharge)
These lights are like the Golden standard of indoor growing. For the Cool Spectrum MH (Metal Halide) is used and for the warm a HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamp is used. These runs with a ballast and comes in various consumption ratings. Not going too deep but when Lumen/Watt is kept in mind HIDs over 450 watt should be considered. Even though they produce a lot of heat and consumes a heck lot of electricity, they make it up with the big fat buds! Since they run really hot, you need to invest in a good exhaust system and also have a big grow space so that the lights are at a safe distance from the plant tops.
LEDs are relatively new to growlights but they do work like a charm. These LEDs provide better Lumen/Wat conserving on electricity. These also run very cool therefore heating is never an issue. You can keep these close to the plants without a problem providing better light penetrations to the leaves. At the end our aim is to provide the right amount of light to the plant which is around 8000 lumen for about 2×2 sq feet grow area.
A Good Nutrient Solution
There are basically 3 things a
cannabis plant requires as nutrients.
N-P-K Nutrient Ratios
Medium or High
Medium or High
Medium or High
During the vegetative stage the plants will require more Nitrogen and Phosphorus than Potassium whereas during the Flowering stage it will require more Potassium and less of Nitrogen. There are NPK nutrients available in the nursery shops and online stores. Whatever you choose never go for cheap solution. One more thing, it is always good to go for a mild combination of NPK. Every NPK nutrient pack will give the value in the ratio N:P:K for e.g 6-2-4. Always start with half power treatment, meaning if the bottle feeding list says 1 tbs of the solution in 1 litre of water, its a good idea to start with 1/2 tbs maybe even less and then slowly increasing to the original feeding value. This way you can save yourself from Nute Burn. Here in India it is hard to find a nutrient solution specially made for growing cannabis except few which ill list
the below as well, one can simply go for any nutrients for tomatoes during the vegetative stage and something for the cactus during the Flowering stage. Though it is always recommended to ensure the NPK value. More N than P&K during Vegetation and Less N and more P&K during flowering There are other micro nutrients that a plant needs for optimal growth. People growing in coco and other soilless medium and using Reverse Osmosis water might need to add CAL-MAG (Calcium and Magnesium) to the plant. Using tap water can solve this problem in most area.
A balanced pH
Maintaining the pH of your water is very necessary. Optimum level of pH will ensure that the plants can absorb all the nutrients properly. Most of the problems in indoor growing can be solved by maintaining the optimal pH level. The optimum pH level is different for both Soil and Hydroponic.
Soil 6.0 pH – 7.0 pH
Hydroponic 5.5 pH – 6.5 pH
Now how to make an indoor growing Possible?
Using a Grow Box
The first thing you need to start your indoor growing is a growbox. A growbox is simply a box with favorable climate and light made possible through various instruments like lights and fans. A very Basic DIY growbox is what we are looking forward to at the moment unless you want to import one. Here is a diagram showing a basic setup of a growbox. It isnt rocket science. Check the youtube link for a quick guide, just make a google search DIY Growbox and you can find many step by step instruction on making one.
List of items required to make a basic growbox
- Cardboard Box
- 4xPC Exhaust fans
- 1xD.C Adaptar (to power the fans)
- 4X27 watt (cool daylight) + 4×30 watt (warm) SPIRAL CFLs (HPS/MH and LED could also be used)
- 8xBulb Holders (Try to find a Y fixture)
- Growing Medium (easiest to get and grow is soil or soilless such as in coco peat)
- 1x Hygrometer with a thermometer for both indoor and outdoor (Some devices have an extra sensor that sits outside the box to monitor outdoor temperature and humidity while for others you better buy two of them to measure the outdoor and indoor temp and humidity)
- Reflective Material (Aluminum Foil or better Mylar)
- Good Seeds from a seed bank.
- Pot (number varies with the growing area size)
- And loads and loads of tapes.
To say a few things, cannabis plants love to grow big roots therefore larger the pot the bigger the plant and bigger the buds, therefore try to get the biggest size pots possible for your indoor space. I recommend earthen pots or fabric pots which are excellent since they have a good air exchange that keeps the roots healthy.
I personally built my growbox and below are some of the pictures.
These photographs are from my first grow which went pretty bad, and i had nute burns in almost all the plants. Plus they were landraces and took long to grow so decided to stop the growing and wait for better feminized seeds.
If you have come upto this point, you are pretty much ready to start your own grow at your place. No more smoking that shit, let the good herb guide you. Below are all the links and other details you require to carry on.
Also, make a point to read more about indoor growing. The more you know the better you grow. There are also few techniques to train your plant which are really a plus one if growing indoor in a limited space. Training methods such as Topping, Fiming, SCRoG, SOG and LST (Low Stress Training) can really help you to get more buds than just one tall main bud.
Online Nurseries and Shops
For nutrients, I’ll suggest you to go for General Hydroponics Flora Series (Bloom, Micro and Flora). The combo comes for Rs 2500 for 1/2 liter bottles and a pH test kit. This is all you will need for the complete growth. For coco soil growers, buy any CAL MAG available or epsom salt. Alternatively you can also buy the Micro and Flora only and follow LUCAS FORMULA. This will save you another 800 bucks.