Is there a "best" way to grow for a small home setup?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by abqjt, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Can of worms I'm sure... I'm hoping some of you will indulge the question. I'm just the messenger here. My father was recently declared disabled and has his medical card. Since he can't do much else, and bud is exceptionally expensive, he wants to grow for himself. I'm trying to get some solid answers for him since I have the tech skills and he struggles to find even just the youtube icon on his phone. I operate a business as well as have a regular job, so I don't have much time to devote to this, otherwise I would gladly research and read for hours myself. So I'm hoping you guys will give me a pass and help me out. I'll try and lay out what details I can and what I think I know, and hopefully you good folks can set me straight.

    He comes from a different time with different knowledge. He knows a good bit about the plants themselves, but all his experience is with outdoor grows based on the harvest season. Where we are living now, that isn't an option, so he needs to shrink his goals to fit in a small portion of a back room in my shop. Realistically no more than 4'x10'x8', but preferably a bit smaller so I don't have to give up too much work space.

    The room is usually not climate controlled. I can run a heater or small AC to stabilize temps, but getting it cooler than 75 in the summer and hotter than 75 in the dead of winter probably isn't realistic. I've seen things about fridge grows, and things of that nature, but I don't know how efficient all that is. I even thought about going to an auction and trying to find a broken walk in freezer to repurpose if it would fit the space, but I don't know if dollar-wise, that direction makes the most sense or not.

    We would like to go relatively inexpensive up front, but he likes the idea of LED for cost savings long term. He doesn't understand hydroponics. But he/we are willing to learn whatever is needed if we can just be pointed in the "best" direction. He was a plumber by trade and I'm a fabricator with general construction experience, so putting together just about anything shouldn't be an issue, except when it comes to the tiny tech part, like working inside controllers, computer stuff, etc.

    He really wanted to order seeds out of Amsterdam. I told him that most likely that would be an issue with customs, although admittedly I said that not having any first hand experience. So seed there a best? Best overall or best USA based? I can drive to Colorado in just a couple hours, or California within a day if that is the best way to go instead of ordering online.

    He's mostly a stoner. He smokes for pain, but not because it takes the pain away, just numbs his brain to the point where he doesn't think about the pain. Any suggested strains with high yield and reasonable flowering times? Also, relatively durable so that if he doesn't get it perfect right off the bat, it won't be a total bust?

    Any particular YouTube channels to watch? I'm quick to learn and if I can passively watch videos in my down time, I can learn how to help him. But everyone on YouTube is an expert, except all the people that aren't. So I'd rather not waste time sorting through bunk experts.

    I realize all this is very long and very broad, so I genuinely appreciate any knowledge you all would be willing to share. I'll gladly return the favor if I ever end up with anything to offer.
  2. Hey, I'm the queen of "long" on here. LOL Did medical transcription for years and still can type like the wind. LOL

    But what you need is going to depend on what kind of yield you're looking for. First of all...make sure you order a photo strain of seed. There are "autos" out there now and until you learn how to grow the regular old normal seeds, leave those alone. The easiest way to go, in my opinion, is with a soil grow because it's the closest thing to growing naturally we get doing it inside. The biggest thing about equipment is lighting. LEDs are great lights but have a few things about them that don't always make them so great. For instance...most of them are very small bodied lights that only sine straight down. Part of getting good production out of a plant during the flower cycle is by keeping light and plant as close as possible...without causing light burn. If you have to raise a light high just so it will cover 4 plants, you're running too many under it and they all will suffer and result in stretching. If they aren't getting the light they need, they'll start stretching to try and get to it. You remedy that by giving each plant you have in flower the best wattage of correct spectrum lighting with good even coverage for all plants and space between each plant to allow them to spread open so light can penetrate down into the plant and develop out the buds inside. Otherwise, you only get good bud development out of the tops. If you have lighting that is too weak to get the job done, you'll get a long lanky plant that has spent it's life stretching and the buds are wispy and thin and not dense and fat like we shoot for.

    You need the basic understanding of how to tend a plant in soil in an indoor grow which basically just means getting the right sol mix. I would invest in good formulated grow soil because it takes a lot of the chemical end of things out of it. Those soils are well with the price because they are a superior environment for the root system of the plant and contain all the goodies that the plants need to eat well and grow strong. But nutes are nothing more than plant food and unless your plant has grown and mature to a place that it is actually hungry, giving them can easily burn your plant. Using a good quality grow soil and understanding when and how to pot the plant, you can grow it all the way through on the soil alone. Most of the time a plant gets deficient when it's been in the same soil for an extended period of time. It uses up the nutrients in that soil and then begins to use sugars stored in the plant for energy if it isn't fed. But if the overall coloring of the plant is the rich blue/green we associate with a healthy plant, your plant is probably just fine at that particular time. Getting hungry usually also goes along with being root bound. But a more mature plant will drink water at a faster rate and it will also consume food at a faster rate as well, but you'll figure all this out. Just take the time to read up on nutes...what they are and which ones are needed and different points in the cycles of the plant. Using them properly will up your production by a good bit. But using them wrong can fry your plants. Nutes feed the plant but LIGHT is the all important element which will determine the growth and production of the plant. With strong enough lighting you get those big fat buds that are thick and dense and powerful.

    To start off with you need a veg space...basically just an area to get some seedlings going or clones...whichever, and grow them to the point they're ready for flower. We run a 10 week flower/veg cycle here and don't keep mother plants. I take my clones off the shoots from the bottoms of the plants growing to replace the ones we harvest next. I've discovered that the young tender weak-looking shoots usually around the bottom of the plant will clone faster than any other part of the plant. Seems as though the more woody the cutting, the longer it takes to actually put on roots. But keeping mothers takes up space...always at a premium here, and there's no point when I can get them from material I would've normally cut off and tossed anyway. We use a bedroom closet as our veg space and use it to supply two flower rooms that are approx 10 x 14" running 4, 1000 watt HPS air-cooled lamps. Only run 8 or 9 plants at a time and I run a perpetual grow harvesting a couple plants every few weeks instead of running a whole room at a time. It just works out better for me that way. It takes hours to trim plants and knowing you have a whole room sitting there waiting on you can be quite depressing and time consuming.

    Find a good source...recommend NPK University on YouTube for good info about the growth of the plant and it's nutritional needs. There are lots of other grow video options on YouTube as well where you can get the very basics of caring for the plant. The biggest no no is overwatering. Just remember...if you can lift the container the plant is growing in and feel any weight at all, it's not time to water. Only when the container feels light as a feather do you water again. You water slowly, saturate the soil well and put it back under the light doing nothing until it reaches that same point again. They hate roots sitting in wet soil all the time and need defined wet/dry cycles to stay healthy. So always use that rule when deciding whether to water your plants. I could rattle for days about all kinds of things, but keep it as simple as possible to start with. Get a veg area together when you can handle a couple of plants to start out with and give her a go. It's not rocket science or I wouldn't be doing it. LOL Good luck! TWW
    • Like Like x 3
  3. I'm not going to lie, I expected zero response, simply due to my long winded post. The fact that you responded in such detail in less than 15 minutes is nuts. You are a saint.

    He buys about a gram a day from the dispensary. I'm sure he'd probably smoke about double that given availability and cost being a non issue. So if from a grow he could yield enough to keep him in two ounces a month, I think that would suffice. More might be better as technically we have two card holders in the home, but my grandmother is 87 and only has hers for the CBD oil. She won't use anything else, though we've tried to talk her into edibles or tea for her neuropathy and sleep issues. But maybe if it were here and we could make something for her to try without having to spend a huge sum of money, she might give it a go. I believe legally, he can only have 4 adult plants and 6 juvenile for himself. Or something like that. Being that I'm not the card holder, I've never paid much attention to the particulars.

    Since he has been relegated to home duty, he is trying to pick up hobbies. He started a regular garden and loves it. Spends hours every day toying around in it. So I don't think an entire room full of herb would bother him in the slightest lol.

    I know very very little about growing anything, especially bud. But I'm willing to learn if it helps him and saves money. Have to do some looking for nomenclature as well so I can keep up with videos and reading.

    He did mention something to me about buying soil, and I told him I'd look into it. Is there anywhere specifically that you would suggest soil from? How long does the soil last?

    I know nothing about nutrients, so I'll definitely have to do some reading up on that.

    Do you think it would be better to start with clones, or seeds? I know the dispensaries around here will sell clones, but I don't know how reasonably priced they are.
  4. start with clones you can try sprouting seeds while the clones are growing (nothing like waiting a month and nothing pops up just found a clone of my liking be a few days till they get another )
    so in four months I should have bud from it .

    2 cabinets are best one for veg and one for flower

    for soil: fox farms ocean blend
    for lighting t5's and hps
    for the cabinets metal ones that lock they range in price have to look around but look for free shipping.
    and there is a few auto watering devices you can get so he won't need to water daily (this can be a chore for some)
  5. I got seeds out of amsterdam last week. Dont worry bout customs
  6. which seed bank ? and I would disagree about the worry part any seed buying there is a chance they will be stopped, So when buying seeds keep this in mind in other words don't spend 500 dollars on one seed order.
  7. So your father will be smoking about 2 ounces per month. Every grower is going to recommend the grow method and nutes that they use, some may even diss other methods - so you'll have to make a decision. If your father is looking to have a hobby and has the time to put in, I would recommend coco - I grow in coco and yield over a pound with just 2 plants, and 1 light, with only a 5 week veg. I only do one grow a year because that's all I smoke, but if he does 3 grows a year - that should be plenty to supply his needs. Of course his yield would be more if he grew more plants with more lights. The most I would grow under a 650w (actual) light would be 4 plants - increasing the amount of plants and not increasing light would be counter productive.
  8. I'm not a grower so I can't offer much advice there. I did try to buy seeds in Colorado. I couldn't find feminized or auto flowering seeds there. Could only find regular seeds there. So if you are looking for feminized or auto seeds , I would suggest calling the dispensaries and asking them before you make the trip. Might be easier to find in Denver. I didn't try there.
  9. Thanks for the responses. I haven't had any time to do any digging for info today. I realize that everyone has different methods and they probably all think that their way is best. I kind of expected that asking the question. I was sort of hoping for a bunch of responses (although not counting on it) so that I could sort of take an average.

    I do think that he would like things to be as automated as possible to eliminate the human error portion as much as we can. I know he would like to be able to tend to it, but his memory isn't stellar, so timed and automated would probably be best for the plants.

    2 plants, 5 weeks and a pound sounds great lol. That would more than supply his need and give him extra to toy around with edibles and what not. And if he didn't want to grow all year, he wouldn't have to. When you say coco I'm assuming you mean coconut husk substrate? I've used that stuff for animals before, but I used to buy it in a local hydro supply store, so obviously it is for growing.

    So multiple suggestions for HPS lights. Any reason nobody uses LED? What I've read all says LED is better overall, better yield per watt, longer life and obviously cheaper to run. I'm not settled on anything, but if the upfront cost isn't astronomical then I think going with LED to save money on the power bill and having to replace it less often would be the way to go. Or is that simply not the case?

    Being that I don't know much about growing, I'm trying to grasp the different types of seeds. I believe he has more of a grasp of what to shop for as far as auto flowering, feminized, etc. I just don't know where to go. I'm not opposed to driving to Denver if need be, but I'd definitely like to find out if there are any specific places I could call in advance to see if they have what we need.
  10. before you decide on anything, read the stuff at
    Then using the Grass City search box .search for will find tons of info to make a decision on where to get your seeds from (USA or UK or NL, etc:)
    So much to learn and to enjoy now and forever after..enjoy our hobby:)
    • Like Like x 2
  11. #11 MickFoster, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
    I have a step by step tutorial thread on how I grow in coco in the Hydroponics/Coco Coir section - titled: Mick's Coco-KISS-Scrog Method. You may find it helpful.

    I use an LED. Most people use HPS because of the cost compared to a quality LED. Beware of the cheap $89 LED's on amazon - they say 300w but are actually only 140w - it's a marketing ploy that a lot of LED companies use to mislead the public. A good LED is expensive - and when you compare HPS to LED base your selection on actual watts - not what the LED companies claim their lights replace. A lot of LED people are going to DIY Cobs - I don't have any first hand knowledge, but people who have them swear by them.
    Regarding seeds - use feminized seeds from a good breeder and DO NOT use autos.
  12. #12 chasejordon, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
    a good seed bank is, their prices aren't ridiculous and they disguise the package. if you go with soil, make sure to mix in at least 20 or 30% perlite, i learned the hard way they like an airy soil with good drainage. some good soils you can find at a local hydro store are Happy Frog, Ocean Forest, and Roots Organic. i have a hps light system and the temps are an issue, it brings my tent up 20 degrees even with two fans blowing at the light. ideally want your temps at 78 so you'd probably have to invest in some good ass ventilation if you go down that road. i have one 400watt light running right now plus two fans, it only brought my bill up about $30 or so a month. if i could do it again i'd probably go with an LED because of the issues with temperature.

    Sent from my iPhone using Grasscity Forum
  13. I was talking briefly about this with my dad today. He mentioned the HPS lights being hot. The room that this will be done in has literally zero exhaust vents. I used to use it as a breeding rack room for ball pythons, so I sealed everything off and put in an air conditioner and heater to keep temps stable around 80-90 degrees year round.

    I took a brief look at the DIY LED cobs. Still haven't been able to figure out what cob stands for. Though in that search I did come across a growing specific forum. THCFarmer. Anyone have any experience on there? Or are there any other grow specific forums I should join? Or do you think I can find most of the info that I need here?

    Unfortunately, between work, after work work, and trying to sleep enough to survive, I haven't had the time to do much more today. I appreciate everyone's input and would gladly accept more opinions. I'll try and take a look into the seed banks and soil type suggestions tomorrow or Saturday.
  14. Lol! Good lord that is the longest post I've see. On here
  15. Lol - that's her average response. She cuts and pastes them regularly - I don't even read them anymore because they are usually filled with wrong information.
  16. Well good to know. I always try to take all advice given and do my own research on it, not just take it as fact right away.

    I tend to be pretty long winded as well. I like to be as detailed as possible and clearly convey my thoughts/questions/etc so that I get the most accurate response. Force of habit from writing copy online for websites. Clear and redundant drives the point home. I'll try not to drag it too far out

    How legit is that website? I took a look, and it seems pretty straight forward, but almost elementary in design.
  17. is the most comprehensive cannabis grow site you will find - every good grower references this site and many of them use it as their bible. When I have a question - that's where I go.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. When getting into growing for the first time, I think there are two main factors to your success. 1: money. 2: ability to research.

    There are many different ways to grow. Countless variations of teks.
    Its simple: water, light, seeds soil...
    But complicated : advanced growing Teks, nute schedules, grow room design, 'needy' strains...
    And then add in the newbie factor: want to fuck with every little thing lol
  19. Well that is good to know about that site. I'll spend time on there reading then.

    I like to think that I don't really have any expectations going into it, but those that I do have, I feel are reasonable. I'd like for us not to waste money on a setup now that we will grow out of or have to change soon. I'd like for it not to be a total dud on the first run.

    As to how much it will cost to setup, I hope that it is relatively reasonable, so that the initial investment can be made back in a decent amount of time. I'd like to not spend so much that it'll take a year or two to end up in the black on it. But I don't want to go so low budget that I'll have to be buying new things for him in the next 90 days.

    Does anyone here have a pulse on the best place to buy clones in either NM or CO?

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