The Wonders Of Micro Growing – High Quality Cannabis In Tiny Spaces
You probably thought about growing your own weed sometimes, but concluded that it’s too much of a hassle? Look no further, micro growing has everything you’re looking for and more.
As cannabis and its cultivation is more popular than ever and it seems that trend won’t stop soon, we see more and more people wanting to grow their own cannabis. Most beginners to growing don’t have the necessary experience or knowledge to start a full-blown indoor or outdoor growing operation, so they opt for a simpler option – a micro grow. Take a couple of seeds and plant them in a cupboard or a similarly small space, trying to get the best possible results of it – or in other words – micro growing. It is a natural way for beginner growers to get that needed experience and to experiment with no fear of ruining a big and expensive operation. This article will cover the basics of micro growing and the differences between it and a standard indoor grow, so let’s get started.
THE BASICS AND THE DIFFERENCES
Micro growing would best be described as a process of growing a small batch of cannabis in a limited space, trying to get the best possible results. That being said, micro growing is a type of indoor growing, just smaller in proportions. The main difference between a micro grow and a usual indoor grow is exactly that – the amount of space. Due to the lack of space, all the other basic aspects of cannabis growing – light, water and air supply, soil, the choice of strains – differ slightly from your regular indoor grow. Almost any space you imagine can be used for micro growing, from cupboards to computer cases. The main idea (and challenge) is to create the optimum conditions for your plants to thrive in that space.
CHOOSING A SUITABLE STRAIN
When it comes to micro growing, choosing the right strain is very important due to the limited space available. One of the things to watch out for is the height of your cannabis strain. Sativas grow higher and more slender than indicas, which tend to be short and bushy.
Furthermore, during the flowering phase sativas undergo a 200-300% increase in height, while Indicas increase only by 50-100%, which shows that indicas are more compatible with micro growing.
Another reasonable option would be autoflowering strains. No matter what the conditions, autoflowering strains stay small due to their genetics (a great many of them even smaller than indicas) and aren’t dependent on the light regime, which means they will have a shorter harvest time.
Most plants you see occupy the same volume beneath the ground as above. The reason behind this is because the root system is vitally important to a plant, being the part of the plant where it takes up nutrients and water. The amount of space occupied by a plant’s root system has a great influence on the plant’s size. We can use this correlation to our advantage as micro growing is concerned. The volume of the pot you use to grow your plant in is directly related to how large the plant will grow. To give you an impression:
- Around 12 liters and more: average plant height
- Around 5 liters: height of plant up to 60cm
- Around 2-3 liters: height up to 24cm
- Around ½ liter: height up to 13cm
A thing to note is that due to the small quantity of soil your plants will need more fertilizer and water than regular plants.
You can’t grow cannabis at all without light and you can’t grow good quality cannabis without proper lighting. Choosing the optimal lighting for your micro grow is an important decision and you have a variety of lamps to choose from – fluorescent tubes, CFL (energy-saving lamps), HPS, HPI and LED bulbs. When choosing a lighting you got to keep an eye out for the wattage and the heat the lighting produces. When it comes to wattage, an average of 400W is required for a square meter.
HPS and HPI lamps are the go-to lightings of indoor growers because of their high light output and 400W is lightweight for this kind of lamps. But, the problem with this kind of lighting is that it produces excess heat, which especially won’t help with your micro grow. Due to the lack of space things get very hot very quickly and your plants will be in danger of drying out.
But, fear not, this is one of the reasons we have fluorescent tubes and CFLs. They are very similar and both have a great light output, don’t dissipate much heat and are available in different light colours. You can help your cannabis plant with different light colours – a plant in the vegetative state needs more blue light, while a flowering plant requires more red light.
And at last, LED lamps. A good choice for micro growing, because they have a wide light spectrum and virtually don’t heat at all, but they come with a hefty price and may not be suitable if you’re planning a certain budget.
AIR AND WATER SUPPLY
As with light, your plants can’t live and grow without water and air. Having a good and clean ventilation and water supply system is a necessity for any grow, including micro grows.
The movement of air is necessary to a grow, because CO2-rich air is quickly depleted and that is a requirement for your plant’s photosynthetic process, which causes new plant cells to grow. The heated air due to the lighting needs to get out of the grow too, as it dries out the plants. Usually, table fans are used in indoor grows, combined with ventilation systems, but that is probably not practical for your micro grow. A neat solution is a computer fan. You put one at a low point that will act as your intake fan and put another one in a higher position to act as an exhaust fan. This way, as heat rises, the hot air will come out first, replacing it with cooler and fresher air. Don’t forget to use some kind of filters on the fans which will help you battle unwanted pests and odors.
Watering your micro grow becomes tricky after a while, as the plants become bushier and expand in width. You will need to use a small water system or make the grow accessible from the side to water your plants from the bottom. Don’t forget that plants in micro grow need more water than plants in regular grows, as they have less root space.
It was mentioned before, that space is the main difference between micro growing and a regular indoor grow. This lack of space usually calls for shorter and bushier plants, which is shown in the choosing of the right strain. There are other ways to influence a plants growth, such as various growing techniques: topping, super cropping,screen of green (ScrOG) and low stress training (LST).
Topping is the process of cutting off the very top of the plant, which stimulates the plant to grow new secondary branches. This way, the plant grows in width and not height, growing in a bush-like shape and creating more buds. Super cropping (or HST – high stress training) on the other hand, requires you to break the stem of the main branch. This technique needs to be done carefully. You need to break the stem in such a way, that the plant thinks it is gone for good and starts growing side branches, but not completely, so that the main branch can recover and grow to a smaller height.
The ScrOG technique requires you to put a mesh wire screen between the soil and the light source. Once the branches grow through the screen, you can tie them to the screen to force them to grow horizontally, hence the name. With ScrOG you manage the height of the plant and all the tops get the same light. LST is a somewhat similar technique, where you tie your plants higher branches to the soil, forcing the plant to grow side branches and more colas, with the end result being a higher yield in a smaller space, perfect for micro growing.
Beginner growers need to know that a micro grow isn’t a worthy substitute for a real indoor or outdoor grow. But, it is perfect as a starting point to develop that green thumb and to learn about the important things you need for a good cannabis grow. Feel free to try out and experiment with new strains, techniques and instruments, as long as you treat your plants with care. The whole process of growing a plant is a reward in itself, not to mention the harvest, so what are you waiting for?
3 GREAT STRAINS FOR MICRO GROWING
1. ROYAL DWARF
Royal Dwarf truly is a miniature cannabis specimen that can remain at tiny sizes of 40cm tall when trained in the ways mentioned above. This plant was bred for one reason and one reason only: stealth. Growers can easily cultivate multiple Royal Dwarf plants in their home without a single suspicion being raised. She can easily be grown within modified kitchen cupboards, wardrobes, boxes, and computer towers. Small LED lights can also be used within these tiny spaces to avoid giving off too much heat. Royal Dwarf is essentially the autoflowering version of the legendary Skunk, and was made using a Skunk strain along with a specific ruderalis cultivar. She offers stimulating but subtle sativa highs fuelled by THC quantities of 13%. She can therefore be smoked all day long whilst allowing the user to stay on top of their game and not get too high. Her small yet compact flowers offer sweet and citrus tastes.
Royal Dwarf will be ready to harvest a mere 8–9 weeks after seeds have been germinated. Plants grown indoors will provide yields of up to 200g/m² and won’t exceed 70cm in height. Plants grown outdoors within garden beds or guerrilla grow spots will produce harvests of 30–80g/plant and reach heights of between 50–90cm.
You want to start your own cannabis grow? Micro growing is a perfect way to start learning about growing cannabis and experimenting on your own terms.
How to Grow One Cannabis Plant at Home
by Jen Keehn – May 3, 2018
If you live in a weed-friendly state and consume cannabis on the reg, the idea of growing your own has likely crossed your mind. Growing your own weed is on par with one of the most amazing experiences ever, and once you’ve done it you’ll likely want to do it again and again.
If you’re interested in growing some quality ganja, you don’t need to cultivate an entire crop to do so. You can grow one weed plant in your house and still have a successful harvest. Growing certain strains could even allow you to yield a pound or more on just one plant.
If you’re ready to get your green thumb on and grow your own weed, growing just one plant in your house isn’t just rewarding, it’s also extremely easy.
Prepare for Your Grow
Before you get things started, you’ll need to choose your container, soil, and any nutrients you’ll need along the way. Because you’re only growing one plant, you’ve got plenty of options that won’t break the bank.
Choose Your Container
Most experienced growers use fabric pots that offer breathability and allow for roots to stretch and grow. A 3-gallon fabric pot will only cost you a few dollars and is a container that will keep your plant extremely happy. Growing in traditional plastic or clay pots can cause your plant to become root-bound, stunting her growth and reducing your overall yield. Let your plant breathe and grow to her fullest potential by choosing a small fabric pot.
Decide on Your Soil
When choosing your soil, opting for an organic option is your best bet. Coco or peat-based mediums are also good choices. Many organic potting soils will come with nutrients already mixed in them. This allows you to feed your plants less, reducing the nutrients you’ll need to purchase throughout the grow cycle of your plant. One bag of quality organic soil should do the trick if you’re only growing one plant.
Select Your Nutrients
When it comes to nutrients, organic is always best. There are several options for affordable organic nutrients that will ensure your plant grows healthy and strong. While common, synthetic nutrients are easy to find (think Miracle Grow), they’re not the best for growing weed. Not only are they artificial, but your plant will need different nutrients in various stages of its growth.
Take Miracle Grow. Its soil blend has poor drainage and contains time-released nutrients that contain high levels of nitrogen. This slow release of nitrogen can not only harm your plants but can reduce your overall yield.
There are several organic nutrients available on the market that make it extremely easy to grow one plant in your house. Many are designed for each stage of your plants growth, ensuring she is getting the proper amount of the nutrients she needs when she needs them.
Understanding the Light Cycle
You’re likely aware that marijuana is a flowering plant. Those dank, sticky, dense nugs you’re smoking are the flower that weed produces. When grown outside in natural sunlight, these flowers begin to bloom when the days begin to get shorter.
When growing indoors, the trick is to manipulate your growing environment to mimic what happens naturally. To keep your plants from flowering too early, you’ll need to keep them under a grow light for at least 12 hours a day.
Before a cannabis plant begins to flower and is still growing, it is in what is known as the vegetative state. You want to let your plant stay in veg under 16+ hours of light for at least 4-6 weeks. The idea is to let your plant get as big and healthy as possible before they begin to flower so you can get the highest possible yield when they’re done.
Many indoor growers will give their plants 24 hours of light while in vegetation to ensure their girls grow as big as possible. Ideally, leaving a pot under light for 18-20 hours a day for 4-6 weeks during veg is perfect for growing a nice, healthy plant.
Once your plant has grown big and strong, its time to manipulate your lighting again to trick it into producing those famous flowers. To do this, you will need to switch the light cycle to an even 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Your plant will need the 12 hours of light to produce the energy it needs to bear that luscious fruit.
It’s important that when the lights go out, however, that she’s in a completely dark room. You’re looking to reenact nature indoors, remember? Any light that reaches your plant during the “dark” hours can upset your plant and disturb the natural flowering cycle. This can lead to a less-than-quality harvest and seriously lower your yield. In the worst-case scenario, it can cause confusion and make her to hermaphrodite. This will result in heavily seeded bud that could have easily been avoided.
Selecting Your Light Setup
Now that you understand a bit about the light cycle, it’s time to talk lights. The lamp you use to grow one plant in your house is going to be the costliest part of the entire process. Good news is, when growing just one plant you only need one light. And you’ve got several options to choose from.
If you’re growing in a spare closet or a space where your plants won’t receive any natural sunlight, a 250-watt HID (high-intensity discharge) bulb will work best. These bulbs will cost you around $25 but will require a special HID light fixture or ballast because they don’t safely fit into a regular light fixture. The additional fixture can run $200 or more, but is worth the investment in the long run, especially if you plan on growing weed again.
Growing One Pot Plant in Your House
Growing one plant isn’t just the easiest way to keep you smoking for free all year long, it’s an extremely awesome experience. Besides, weed is now legal in over half the country in one way or another. In several states you can legitimately grow your own without having to worry about a thing. And even if you don’t live in a legal state , the chances that the cops come breaking in your door over one plant are pretty slim.
Growing anything is a way to connect deeper to nature and enjoy all the gifts she has to offer, cannabis included. Enjoy the process as you develop your ganja green thumb. The rewards are certainly something to celebrate.
If you’re interested in growing some quality ganja, you don’t need to cultivate an entire crop to do so. You can successfully grow one plant in your house.