The Ultimate Guide To Indoor Cannabis Growing Equipment
Explore this comprehensive guide to find the best growing equipment for your needs and skills as a cannabis cultivator.
- 1. Seeds
- 2. Grow tent
- 3. Soil
- 4. Pots
- 5. Humidifier and dehumidifier
- 6. Fans
- 7. Thermometer and hygrometer
- 8. Nutrients
- 9. Grow lights
- 10. Bonus tip
- 1. Seeds
- 2. Grow tent
- 3. Soil
- 4. Pots
- 5. Humidifier and dehumidifier
- 6. Fans
- 7. Thermometer and hygrometer
- 8. Nutrients
- 9. Grow lights
- 10. Bonus tip
BEST GROWING EQUIPMENT FOR BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, AND EXPERIENCED CULTIVATORS
Growing weed indoors needn’t be difficult. All you need is the right equipment. Below, we’ve built the most comprehensive cannabis grow equipment list out there—complete with everything from seeds and pots to lights and tents. We’ve even included various options for each piece of equipment suited for beginner, intermediate, and advanced growers.
The first step to growing great weed is to start with the right genetics. Cannabis plants can vary a lot, and you’ll need to take the time to research strains and find something to suit your grow room, budget, and skills as a grower.
At RQS, we pride ourselves on creating strains to suit any and every grower. Below are three strains for beginner, intermediate, and advanced growers:
• White Widow Automatic: White Widow is a world-renowned, classic Dutch strain. For this autoflowering variety, we crossed a potent, profit-yielding White Widow phenotype with a sturdy strain of _Cannabis ruderalis_. The result is a potent autoflower that goes from seed to harvest in just 8–9 weeks and produces great results regardless of your skill as a grower.
• Royal Cookies: If you want to grow top-shelf US genetics at home, this is the perfect option. Royal Cookies was bred by crossing two unique Forum 1 phenotypes to create a super potent Cookies strain with up to 23% THC, capable of producing massive yields to suit. With a flowering time of just 8–9 weeks, this is a great intermediate strain that will produce some top-shelf bud every time.
• Shining Silver Haze: If you’re an experienced grower looking for a killer sativa hybrid to add to your garden, look no further. Shining Silver Haze is our own version of the iconic Haze varieties that revolutionised cannabis around the world. With 21% THC, a 9–11 week flowering cycle, and an uplifting high like no other, this is easily one of our most beloved strains.
When growing cannabis indoors, you’ll want to ensure you have as much control over your growing environment as possible. And the best way to do this is to grow your plants in a tent where you can tightly control variables like temperature, relative humidity, air circulation, ventilation, and more.
That’s where grow tents come in. Available in all shapes and sizes, grow tents make it easy to create a dedicated space for your plants without having to renovate an entire room. Below are three different grow tent options for growers of all skill levels:
• GrowPRO 2.0 Grow Tent S Eco: This is a small tent perfect for beginners or first-time growers. It’s completely light-proof, boasts an extra-durable design complete with super-strong and stable rods, multiple air intake windows and “Superflaps” for maximum airflow, a watertight interior base and three ventilation socks. This is a perfect option if you’re tackling your first indoor grow and working with a tight budget.
• Apollo Horticulture Mylar Tent: This is a great medium-sized grow tent ideal for intermediate growers looking to step up their game with more professional gear. Apollo Horticulture is a respected brand, and its grow tents are made from high-quality materials. They are also highly reflective, meaning your plants will get the most out of their light source. All Apollo products also come with a 90-day warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee should you have any problems.
• Gorilla Grow Tent GGT59: Gorilla Grow Tents are renowned as the best horticultural indoor grow tents around. Supported by interlocking 100% steel frames, 1680D canvas density, large viewing windows, industrial zippers, and diamond-shaped reflective interior walls, these tents are literally as good as it gets. Keep in mind, however, that you get what you pay for, and these tents can be a little expensive. But for experienced growers dedicated to producing top-shelf harvests, the investment is totally worth it.
There’s a simple truth about growing weed: Your plants can only grow as big and healthy as their growing medium lets them. That’s why it’s super important to invest in top-shelf soil right from the get-go.
Remember, cannabis has different growing requirements than other plants. It likes slightly acidic soil with a pH of roughly 6–6.8 (5.5–6.5 for soilless grows). In terms of nutrients, cannabis needs varying concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium during its life cycle, as well as a rich balance of micronutrients like calcium, manganese, iron, copper, sulphur, and more.
Below are three different soil options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced growers:
• Miracle-Gro Potting Mix: Miracle-Gro is a well-established brand, and its Potting Mix is very popular among cannabis growers. It’s very well-suited for beginner growers as it contains all the nutrients your plants need in order to grow big and healthy. In fact, Miracle-Gro contains enough nutrients to feed plants for up to six months and promises to double your harvest without any extra work on your end.
• Nature’s Living Soil: This is one of the best store-bought super soils available. Nature’s Living Soil is a concentrated super soil used to enrich regular soils like Roots Organic or Fox Farm. It contains all the organic nutrients your plants need to grow big and healthy and to produce the best possible harvests. If you’re an intermediate grower looking to get a bit more hands-on in the garden, this is a great option.
• Homemade super soil: If you’re an experienced grower, nothing beats preparing your own organic super soil at home. Using natural fertilisers, compost, and other organic ingredients, you can create a tailor-made potting mix. Plus, you’ll get the added peace of mind of knowing exactly what you’re feeding your plants.
Cannabis pots come in all shapes and sizes. The exact pots you plan to use will vary more on the size constraints of your grow space than your skills as a grower. Ideally, you’ll want to give your plants sufficient room to develop a healthy root system while keeping them at a manageable size.
Most growers will usually opt for one of the following potting options:
• Homemade pots: If you’re growing on a budget, you can make your own pots out of buckets, bins, or other similar containers. If you’re growing indoors, we generally recommend using containers of about 10l. Outdoors, you’ll want to use larger containers (20l or more), especially if you’re only growing a few plants. Whatever container you use, always remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom.
• Standard flower pots: Standard plastic flower pots are cheap, easy to get your hands on, and serve their purpose. For growers with a limited budget, simple 12l nursery pots are perfect.
• Fabric “smart” pots: If you’re an advanced grower looking to help your plants develop the strongest roots possible, you can’t go past our fabric pots. Complete with our very own “Aqua Breathe” technology, these pots provide the right balance of aeration and moisture retention to ensure your plants grow strong, healthy roots.
HUMIDIFIER AND DEHUMIDIFIER
Humidity control is key when growing cannabis indoors, as cannabis plants benefit from different levels of humidity during different stages of their life cycle.
Seedlings, for example, like high humidity levels of around 65–70%. During the vegetative growth phase, you can gradually lower humidity by 5% every week. In the final weeks of vegetative growth, the humidity in your grow room should sit at roughly 40%, which is where it should stay during flowering to avoid issues with mould and mildew.
The best way to control the humidity in your grow room is with humidifiers/dehumidifiers. Below are three options to consider:
• Electric Dehumidifier with 2 l Tank: If you’re a beginner grower with a small grow tent and just a few plants, this little dehumidifier is perfect. Once the water tank is full, the device automatically switches off to conserve power. This is a really cost-effective option for growers working with a budget.
• Vornado EV200 5l Dehumidifier: If you’re working with a medium-sized grow tent (roughly 120 × 120cm), the Vornado is a great choice. With its vortex action, the Vornado fully circulates humidity all throughout a room of up to 65m² (700ft²). It also comes complete with three fan settings (low/high/auto), push-button controls, an electronic humidistat, and automatic humidity control.
• TROTEC B 400 Air Humidifier: Advanced growers with a larger grow tent will need a larger humidifier. That’s where the TROTEC B 400 Air Humidifier comes in. With 34l capacity, this beast can manage humidity levels in a room of up to 360m². Plus, the unit automatically switches off once it has reached the right humidity level. If you’re running a big grow op, this is the perfect solution for you.
Air circulation is super important when growing weed. Stagnant air not only creates hot pockets, but can also create a breeding ground for mould, pests, and diseases that could prove detrimental to your plants and harvest.
Luckily, managing air circulation is easy; just invest in some fans to keep air steadily moving throughout your grow space. Below are three fans you can use for your grow room:
• Lorell LLR49256 Wall Mount Fan: Sometimes, you don’t need equipment with fancy bells and whistles. That’s where this simple wall fan from Lorell comes in. This 40cm (16”) fan is super simple, offering three speed settings that you can cycle through using a pull-chain. While it’s nothing fancy, it’s exactly what you need if you’re a beginner grower or are working with just a few plants in a small grow space.
• Hurricane Super 8 Oscillating Fan: This oscillating fan by Hurricane is a step up from the previous model. It oscillates in a figure 8 pattern, offering maximum air circulation around your grow space. It also has three speed settings and features a strong build for extra durability, making it an ideal mid-range option for intermediate growers.
• Oscillating Wall Mount Fan: A 72cm (30”) fan is ideal for more advanced growers working with large grow rooms. These industrial-strength fans are designed to efficiently keep air circulating around large spaces, like commercial kitchens and warehouses. While the airflow from these fans will be far too strong for small grow tents, it’s well suited for large, professional grow operations.
THERMOMETER AND HYGROMETER
To grow the best weed indoors, you need to have complete control over your plants’ environment. Two of the most important variables are temperature and humidity, so you’ll want to monitor both of these closely using a thermometer/hygrometer.
Below are three different thermo-hygrometers to consider for your grow room:
• ThermoPro TP50: This digital thermometer/hygrometer is perfect for beginner growers or anyone working with a small number of plants in a small grow space. It’s got a 3-year warranty and provides accurate readings of roughly ±2/3% RH and ±1°F.
• ThermoPro TP65A: This is the TP50’s big brother. It comes complete with a large backlit touchscreen, remote control range of up to 60m (200ft), and an extra weatherproof design that’s capable of resisting extreme temperatures as low as -35°C. The TP65A also comes with a 3-year warranty if you register your device with ThermoPro. This is a really comprehensive device built to last.
• Ambient Weather WS-3000-X3: If you’re looking for the most comprehensive thermometer-hygrometer combo, this is it. Complete with three wireless sensors, the Ambient Weather WS-3000-X3 is great for growers who have separate grow rooms for seedlings, vegetating, and flowering plants. The device also has a comprehensive data logger that graphs and logs data from all three sensors for temperature, humidity, dew point, and heat index. If you want maximum control over the environment in multiple grow spaces, you can’t go past this device.
If you want to harvest big, you need to feed your plants right. And when it comes to cannabis nutrients, you’ve got a lot of options.
Cannabis needs three macronutrients to grow: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Different nutrient formulas will carry these compounds in different concentrations. But beyond standard NPK formulas, you’ll also want to feed your plants micronutrients like calcium, sulphur, zinc, boron, manganese, copper, and iron. Give your plants a healthy combination of all of these nutrients, and you’ll be well on your way to producing some killer harvests.
Below are three different nutrient solutions to try on your next cannabis grow (if you’re not using them already):
• Fox Farm Nutrient Trio: Fox Farm is a well-respected brand among cannabis growers. And this 3-pack of nutrients gives you all the basics you need in order to grow big, dense buds at home. Complete with a growth booster and two bloom boosters, this complete kit is perfect for beginner growers who want to keep things simple.
• Technaflora Recipe for Success Starter Kit: If you’re looking for a more advanced approach to feeding your plants, this kit by Technaflora has everything you need. It includes regular veg and bloom fertilisers, plus some micronutrient solutions including magnesium, calcium, iron, essential carbohydrates, and amino acids to really bring your buds to the next level.
• Biobizz Starters Pack: If you want to grow organically, this kit is perfect. Biobizz is another well-respected brand, and this box contains its iconic Bio·Heaven™, Bio·Bloom™ and Bio·Grow® nutrients, as well as their Top·Max™ (to improve the size of your flowers) and the Root·Juice™ to encourage root development.
- Royal Queen Seeds Easy Nutrition: this range of organic nutrients provides cannabis plants with everything they need to survive and thrive. Easy Grow meets all of the demands of the vegetative phase, whereas the specialised flowering formula in Easy Bloom encourages fast and healthy floral growth. Easy Boost fills the growing medium with vital macro and micronutrients, and Easy Roots introduces beneficial fungi that assist plants in absorbing their food.
No list of growing equipment would be complete without mentioning lights. Grow lights are the heart of your indoor grow room and easily have the biggest impact on the quality and size of your harvest.
Lights come in many different shapes, sizes, and at varying price points. Below, we’ve hand-picked three of the best grow lights currently on the market for beginners, intermediate, and advanced growers:
• Advanced Platinum Series P300: This is an unbeatable light for beginners. It offers 300W of LED power and a 12-band light spectrum ranging from UV to IR, offering one of the best spectral outputs on the market. The P300 also has two ultra-quiet fans and an aluminium cooling element to help keep temperatures as low as possible. Finally, the P300 has a veg and flower switch to make it super simple to flip your plants once they’re ready. While there are other beginner lights out there, the P300 is well worth the extra cash.
• California Lightworks Solar System 550: This 400W light is perfect for intermediate growers running larger grow rooms but still operating on a budget. While it’s a little pricey, the Solar System 550 has to be one of the best mid-range lights out there. It combines 50,000 LED lights in a single unit, draws 400W at full power, and can cover a 1.1m² (3 × 4ft) area in bloom and up to 2.2m² (6 × 8ft) in veg. It also boasts really low heat output, so you might even be able to get away with not using ducts.
• G8LED 900W MEGA LED: High Times named the Mega LED the best grow light of 2017 and 2018; and with good reason. This light offers amazing wattage and incredible penetration of up to 1.5m (60”) past the canopy. If you’re an advanced grower who doesn’t mind investing in real top-shelf equipment, then this is the light for you.
For an extra easy start to your next grow, make sure to check out our very own Feminized Starter Kit. Complete with a tray of seedling pots, a pack of Bacto (bacterial mix to promote strong root growth), a Propagator Pro (enclosed tray for faster germination), perlite, lighting, and three RQS Critical feminized seeds, this kit literally has everything you need to kickstart your next harvest.
Once your seeds are germinated, plant them in soil mixed with Royal Queen Seeds’ Easy Boost Organic Nutrition mix. Simply mix 25–50 grams of pellets into every 10l of soil and water as usual. Our pellets are designed to continue feeding your plants for a full 10–12 weeks, helping you to avoid any problems associated with over/underfeeding.
Remember, this list is by no means exhaustive; there are countless options out there when it comes to cannabis grow equipment. That said, the list above represents a selection of our favourite options tailored to growers of all skill levels. If you’ve found a piece of equipment that works great for you and isn’t on this list, make sure to share it with us in the comments below!
Are you daunted by the thought of setting up your indoor grow room? Don't be. Here's a checklist of everything you need to grow great weed indoors.
10 Essential Supplies for Growing Marijuana Indoors
If you’re new to growing marijuana, it can sound like such a huge and expensive undertaking…
That even though the idea of it interests and intrigues you…
You quickly get overwhelmed by the idea of having to spend into the $1000s, plus the huge amounts of information on the topic…
…and eventually put the idea on hold.
But the truth is:
Growing your own marijuana is far easier and cheaper than you might imagine…
All you need is a few basic supplies and it doesn’t have to cost you more than $600 for an indoor grow, and much less even for an outdoor grow.
It will save you HUGE amounts of money after the initial investment, because you’ll produce more buds than you can smoke…
And they will be so potent and tasty…any herb you had before will pale in comparison.
Which is why in today’s post you will learn:
- The first steps on how to grow your own marijuana;
- The different growing setups, and;
- A list of basic, marijuana growing supplies to get you kickstarted…
First, you have to decide on…
Growing Marijuana Indoors vs Outdoors
While the general consensus is that indoor growing is ‘better’…
The fact of the matter is, whether you should grow in- or outdoors, all depends on your specific circumstances .
Growing indoors takes more skill, maintenance and is less forgiving…
But if you know what you’re doing, the quality of your nugs will be out of this world in terms of:
- Flavor, and;
That doesn’t mean the quality of your yield will be bad in an outdoors grow…
It’s just easier to get those bomb-ass nugs in an indoor grow.
On the flipside:
If you’re going for quantity, an outdoor grow will out-yield an indoor grow by a pretty large margin, with the same number of plants.
In an outdoor grow, your marijuana plants will be larger and full of vigor, producing insane amounts of yield.
So as a general rule of thumb:
- Growing marijuana indoors takes more skill and maintenance, but will produce a higher quality yield ;
- Growing marijuana outdoors takes less skill and maintenance, will produce lowerquality yield , but a much higher yield with the same number of plants and is much cheaper .
But these are not the only differences you should consider…
If you want a year-round harvest and are not living in a tropical climate…you only got 1 choice: growing indoors .
Now, growing indoors does actually bring some extra benefits with it:
- Your marijuana plants will be much less vulnerable to thieves and animals pecking away at your babies. Keep your plants for you and you ONLY .
- It’s much easier to clone your plants. To get yourself free and extra crops of your best plants.
But growing outdoors, brings some additional benefits with it as well:
- It’s much cheaper. All you need are some pots and quality soil.
- You’re growing your plants how Mother Nature intended it to be, which probably has some benefits that are yet unknown.
- If you use a greenhouse, you eliminate many typical outdoor problems like pests and dust pollution.
For most people growing indoors just seems to be the more practical method. Not everyone has a private garden and marijuana thieves are a serious problem.
Next up we have another one of those age-old debates…
Hydroponic Marijuana vs Soil
Is hydroponic growing better, or soil?
Again, there is no ‘better’ method.
But here’s the deal:
When you’re just starting out, I highly recommend you start out with soil, because:
- It’s cheaper;
- Easier to maintain (costs less time), and;
- Much more forgiving than hydroponic growing.
Besides these main benefits growing in soil has a few added benefits like:
- Your marijuana will taste better;
- It’s better suited for small spaces (if you’re short on space);
- It’s more natural, so probably has more hidden benefits (I don’t believe we are smarter than nature).
Reading all these benefits, you might be wondering:
Are there any reasons to choose hydroponic growing over soil?
If you’re prepared to invest your time and learn hydroponic growing properly and accept that maintenance time will be high when you’re learning the ropes of hydroponic growing…
Hydroponic growing actually is an extremely rewarding growing method.
Because it’s easier to control the whole growing process, especially the amount and pace of nutrients, oxygen and CO2 your plants receive…
You’ll receive some benefits over soil:
- Quicker harvest cycles because of reduced vegetation times. Which means more total yield for you;
- Increased yields per grow;
- Easier to get more potent yields;
- Higher density planting leading to increased yields per square foot.
Hydroponic growing essentially is ‘ power growing ’ and is the highest yielding grow method…IF you apply the techniques and maintain your grow PROPERLY.
There are different types of hydroponic growing, which you can learn about here:
Next up is a list of growing supplies you’ll need to get started growing indoors…because let’s be real: indoor growing is what 80% of you will do.
Growing Indoors: 10 Essential Marijuana Growing Supplies
Any marijuana plant needs 4 essential elements to grow:
- Nutrients, and;
What this means is that the growing supplies which provide these 4 elements are absolutely essential .
But to grow marijuana properly indoors, you’ll need a few more extras that support these 4 elements.
Without further due…here’s what you’ll need for a proper indoor growing setup:
- Marijuana Seeds;
- Grow Lights;
- Medium to Grow (Soil, Hydroton, etc.);
- Nutrients and Supplements;
- Pots or Buckets;
- pH and PPM Testing Tools;
- Carbon Filter;
- A Grow Tent.
You might be thinking:
Those are a lot of supplies and the list sounds expensive.
Well, here’s the deal:
If you’re going to grow in soil and going for a 4ft x 4ft space with 1-5 plants, you can easily stay under $650. And your lights will be the main expense here.
In such a grow-setup you can easily yield 4 pounds (1800 grams) of smoke-able high-quality herb.
And if you didn’t know already…
$650 for 4 pounds of quality herb is more than 10 times cheaper than what you would pay at a marijuana dispensary or pharmacy (where you would pay 4 x $1750 = $7000 for the same amount).
Now, if you’re going to grow hydroponically…depending on which system you go for, the cost can add up quickly to over $1000. Because you’ll need more supplies.
But still…even this is 7 times cheaper than buying your marijuana at dispensaries.
Now let’s dive deeper into each item on the list…
1. Marijuana Seeds
Captain obvious speaking:
You can’t grow marijuana without seeds (unless you clone, but I assume that’s not an option for you at this time).
And the quality and strain (genetic make-up) of your seeds will have a MAJOR impact on your results.
How you ensure the quality of your seeds is by buying them from a reputable seedbank with lots of positive and trusted reviews.
But your specific strain is also a topic to think about.
If you’re looking for a specific effect, of course, go for a strain which is known to produce that particular effect…
But with your first grow, you will want an easy grow and a large yield.
Indoors, Indica-heavy strains are easier to grow , flower much faster and will produce a larger yield than Sativa-heavy strains.
Indica-heavy strains are much more compact, which means they need much less space and are more forgiving in case of growing mistakes.
Here are some tried and tested Indica-heavy strains:
- Northern Lights Autoflower Fem.–(CropKingSeeds – Worldwide / Seedsman – UK)
- Purple Kush Feminized–(CropKingSeeds – Worldwide / Seedsman – UK)
Now, if you really want to grow Sativa-heavy strains, I recommend you take a hybrid. Because 100% Sativa strains are really not that well suited for compact indoor growing setups.
Here are some tried and tested Sativa-heavy strains, that are actually pretty well suited for indoor growing:
- White Widow Fem.–(CropKingSeeds – Worldwide / Seedsman – UK)
- Sour Diesel Feminized–(CropKingSeeds – Worldwide / Seedsman – UK)
Next up we have your piece that will have to replace the sun…
2. Grow Lights
Since you’re growing indoors…
You’re going to have to replace sunlight, which is by no means an easy task.
And most beginning growers are extremely scared of the electric costs of a grow light…thinking it will quickly add up into the hundreds.
While this is true for certain types of grow lights, covering large spaces…
A high-quality LED light will hardly add something to your electric bill.
- Spider Farmer SF – (EpicLEDGrowLight > 3% off coupon code: HERBONAUT/ Amazon)
There are many more options when going for a LED light and I cover the 5 best of them here:
Now, the initial investment is higher if you go for a LED light though.
The other option you have is an HPS light, which is a cheaper initial investment but will be more expensive in terms of electricity and replacement costs (you’ll need to replace it every 1-6 months, depending on the quality of your HPS light).
Do realize that ventilation will be more important with an HPS light because it generates way more heat than a LED light…so don’t cut corners when buying an exhaust fan if you decide to go for an HPS light.
To operate, an HPS light will need a ballast for power and hood/reflector which reflects all the light to your plants.
If you’re just starting out, an easy option is to get a full HPS grow light kit which includes both the ballast and the hood.
- Apollo Horticulture 400 Watt Grow Light Digital– (Amazon)
A general rule of thumb with grow lights is to get 50 watts per square foot.
Let’s say you get a 4×4 tent. Then you will need 16×50 = 800 watts.
You have 2 options here:
- Get 1x 1000W light, or;
- Get 2x 400W lights.
Getting 2x 400W lights will be better for your plants because you can position them more easily and optimize the spread of your light…
But, if you’re going for an HPS light at least, getting 1x 1000W will be cheaper.
If you buy pre-made lights you won’t need any hanging ropes.
But if you go for a DIY light, you will definitely need a way to hang your lights.
The most secure and flexible (flexible as in easily adjustable height) to hang your lights is with:
- Rope Ratchets– (Amazon)
Next up we have your…
3. Growing Medium
Since plants can’t float around in the air…
You also need a growing medium to support your plants.
What type of growing medium you use, is fully dependent on whether you’re growing in soil vs hydroponics .
If you choose to grow in soil, you’ll need (surprise, surprise) soil as a growing medium.
An easy way to get started is with pre-made soil which is ready for use straight out of the bag .
- FoxFarm Ocean Forest– (Amazon / Grower’s House)
If you choose a hydroponic system, you’ll need an inert medium like hydroton or lava-rock.
- Hydroton– (Amazon)
Another important to note here is that soil actually is a supplier of nutrients and an inert medium like pebbles isn’t, it’s just there to hold your plant in place.
And that’s why the nutrients and feeding schedule of soil is different than a hydroponic system…
As you will learn when we talk about the building blocks of your marijuana plants…
4. Nutrients and Supplements
Nutrients When Growing in Soil
Just like every living organism, your marijuana plants need nutrients to grow.
Without nutrients, no plants. It’s that easy really.
But what kind of nutrients you need depends on:
- Whether you’re growing hydroponically or with soil, and;
- If you’re growing in soil: whether you’re growing in organic super-soil, organic high-quality soil or just normal soil (normal soil is not recommended).
If you’re growing in organic super- or high-quality-soil, you might need a small amount of nutrients to adjust nutrient-strength levels or work out a deficit after the first few weeks when you’re plants are deeper into their vegetative stage and/or start to enter their flowering stage…
But most of the nutrients will already be in your soil, and you might even overfeed your plants by adding extra nutrients.
Still it can be helpful to add small amounts of organic nutrients to your plants once they get into their flowering stage.
Classic example soil-based organic nutrients:
- Fox Farm Big Bloom Fertilizer– (Amazon / Grower’s House)
Now, if you’re growing in regular soil, you’ll definitely need a good set of quality nutrients.
But I don’t recommend growing in regular soil as it’s just much easier and more natural to grow in organic super-soil packed with nutrients.
Nutrients When Growing in a Hydroponic System
When you’re growing hydroponically, it’s your water that provides the nutrients.
And since water naturally doesn’t have the nutrients your marijuana plants need…
You will definitely need nutrients.
When you mix water with nutrients, that’s what’s called your nutrient solution. And you will feed your plants with your nutrient solution.
Classic example nutrients for hydroponic systems (you need to combine all 3):
- Jacks Hydroponic 5-12-26 Jack’s Professional– (Amazon)
- Jacks Calcium Nitrate 15.5% Nitrogen 18% Calcium – (Amazon)
- Pennington Epsom Salt– (Amazon)
Remember that your plants will need a different nutrient profile per growth stage (vegetation vs flowering). Check out this page for a guide on nutrient profiles for marijuana when growing hydroponically.
Next up we have…
5. Pots & Buckets
Since we’re growing indoors and can’t make use of the ground…
We’ll need something to put our growing medium and plants in like pots, buckets or containers.
Now, if you’re growing in soil smart pots are great to start with.
Because they really do protect you from some common mistakes like:
- Bad soil;
- No root binding;
- Root rot.
They are a bit more expensive than regular pots but well worth the price.
The size of your pots depends on your grow space, but if you want decent sized plants go for at least 5-gallon pots.
- Smart Pots 5 Gallons– (Amazon / Grower’s House)
If you’re growing hydroponically you don’t need fancy pots.
Usually, you’ll use buckets.
And if you get a pre-made hydroponic system (which is highly recommended if you’re a complete beginner to hydroponic growing), the buckets usually are included with your system.
Next up we have the lungs and cooling mechanism of your grow environment…
If you’re going to replicate nature…
Your plants are going to need a steady flow of fresh air with CO2.
And the best way to provide them with fresh CO2-rich air is through proper ventilation.
But there’s another very important reason why you want proper ventilation…
High temperatures can quickly destroy your crop. And proper ventilation keeps the temperature in your grow room / grow tent in check.
Proper ventilation consists of 3 parts:
- Active air exhaustion;
- Passive or active air intake, and;
- Air movement.
For proper ventilation, you need all 3 of these elements to be present.
Depending on your budget you have many options to buy ventilation supplies…
But when you’re starting out, there are 4 essential things to keep in mind:
- Know the volume of your grow area / grow tent (4x4x6 ft. = 105.6 cubic ft.);
- Get a fan which has AT LEAST a Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) rating that is equal to the volume of your grow area / grow tent;
- If you’re going to get a carbon filter (to filter unwanted smells) add 25% to that number;
- Get a centrifugal inline fan;
- An exhaust fan is more important than an intake fan.
For beginners, I recommend using a passive intake (a hole or 2 on the opposite end of your exhaust fan in your grow tent) and an inline exhaust fan that satisfies the above requirements.
If you’re going for an inline intake fan, make sure to get a fan that’s 10-15% less powerful than your exhaust fan. This is because you want to keep negative pressure in your grow space. Negative air pressure ensures all the air passes through your carbon filter.
- Hurricane Inline Fan 4 in 171 CFM – (Amazon / Grower’s House)
Here’s how you hang your fan:
- Rope Ratchets– (Amazon)
Every plant has an optimal temperature level at which the maximum level of photosynthesis takes place.
But with marijuana it’s even a bit more complicated:
Different strains have different optimal temperature levels at which they produce the most potent buds.
To create the perfect environment for your particular strain it’s important you keep the temperature in your grow room / grow tent at this optimal level.
And since, unless you have some special powers, you have no clue whether the temperature in your grow area is at this optimal level…
You really need a thermometer.
Now, a basic thermometer is cheap, and all you need when starting out.
- AcuRite Indoor Humidity Monitor – (Amazon)
Next up are the essential tool-kits…
8. pH and PPM Testing Tools
Marijuana plants not only have an optimal temperature to grow…
It’s ESSENTIAL that you keep the pH levels (acidity or alkalinity) of your soil or nutrient solution (when growing hydroponically), at an optimal level as well.
Because pH affects:
- Nutrient availability;
- Nutrient leaching;
- The bacteria in your soil, and;
- Your soil structure.
Get your pH wrong and your plants will suffer severe malnutrition and it will be very hard to save a crop of prolonged cases of malnutrition.
Either the potency and taste of your buds will SUCK or your plants will flat out die.
The optimal pH-levels:
- Hydroponic grow: pH 5.5-6.5 or game over;
- Soil-based grow: pH 6.5-6.8.
It literally is a matter of life-and-death for your plants…
Luckily there’s a very handy tool that will help you keep the pH in check: a pH-meter.
Now, soil and water (hydroponic growing) have different pH meters. So don’t buy a pH-meter before you’ve decided on soil vs hydro.
Classic example pH-meter SOIL :
- Dr.meter 3-in-1 PH Acidity Tester – (Amazon / Grower’s House)
Realize that when growing hydroponically it’s important you get a quality pH meter that works in water. Because your pH will be more susceptible to fluctuations than when growing in soil. Plus, as you’ll read below…when you’re growing hydroponically you want a quality PPM- / EC-meter as well. Which means it’s best to immediately get a combo-meter (pH and PPM).
A high-quality pH- and PPM- / EC-meter isn’t cheap and one of the reasons why growing hydroponically is quite a bit more expensive than growing in soil.
Classic example pH- and PPM- / EC-meter HYDRO:
- Bluelab Combo Meter – (Amazon / Grower’s House)
It’s also important you actually have an easy way to adjust your pH when it’s off.
Again, this is especially true if you’re growing in a hydroponic system because of the potential swings in pH values.
Soil actually acts as a natural buffer, as long as you feed your plants with a slightly alkaline nutrient solution (above 7 pH).
You can easily do this with a pH control kit:
- General Hydroponics pH Control Kit – (Amazon)
Then the EC/PPM/TDS Meter…
The question is: do you really need one?
If you grow in the soil it’s useful but not necessary.
But if you’re growing hydroponically, you will definitely need one.
Your nutrient-strength-level is less variable when growing in soil than when growing hydroponically.
When growing hydroponically, your plant’s roots are directly exposed to your nutrient-solution and small fluctuations in strength-levels can have a huge impact on the growth of your plants.
Combine this with the fact that your marijuana plants need different nutrient strength-levels at different stages in their growth process…
And you’ll quickly understand why a PPM-meter is important when growing hydroponically.
If you give your plants fewer nutrients than they need, you’ll severely stunt their growth. And if you give them more nutrients than they need, you risk burning your plants.
With a PPM-meter, you can actually measure the nutrient-strength of your soil or nutrient solution, and keep the nutrient-strength at the optimal level.
- Bluelab Combo Meter (pH and PPM) – (Amazon)
For a chart with a general overview of recommended nutrient-strengths per growth stage, click here.
9. Carbon Filter
Even though I absolutely LOVE the smell of weed…
I don’t really want my whole house smelling of marijuana.
But when you’re growing indoors, this really can be a problem.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to eliminate 95% of the smell: a carbon filter.
So although this is not an essential tool to grow your marijuana, it is essential if you care about odor.
In the ventilation chapter, you learned that you should get an exhaust fan that has a CFM rating that’s at least equal to the volume of your grow area / grow tent.
Your filter should be the same or close to the CFM rating of your exhaust fan.
- Phresh Filter– (Amazon / Grower’s House)
Do realize that choosing an isolated spot for your grow is much more effective than any filter.
10. Grow Tent
Although a grow tent isn’t absolutely essential…
If you’re growing indoors a good grow tent is highly advisable.
The other option you have is to grow in a room or closet.
And while it might seem unnecessary to get a grow tent, if you have a spare room or closet…
A grow tent will ease and support your growth process in many ways:
- Easier to control pests;
- Light reflection (helps your plants grow stronger and faster);
- Lightproof environment (prevents stress on your plants);
- Isolation (of smell and infections);
- Easy temperature and humidity control (prevents stress on your plants).
With a properly setup room or closet, you’ll have exactly the same benefits…
But if you’re a beginner, getting a grow tent will save you loads of time and effort.
Besides a quality grow tent is easy to move, very affordable, and will last you at least a couple of years.
These are the best grow tents I recommend:
- Apollo Horticulture Grow Tent – (Amazon)
You now know which supplies you need for a basic indoor growing setup.
But this is only half of the story.
Now you need to know how to set up your growing space…
And how to actually grow your marijuana.
Which is what we will cover in the next post:
Learn what supplies you need to master your first grow, get the best setups for beginners and amazing tips to maximize your yield!