Canada’s Cannabis Act will allow households to grow up to four plants at home…
Despite the fact that legalized cannabis in Canada means that you can now buy your product easily from dispensaries, there is an undeniable beauty about growing your own cannabis plant indoors in Canada. By raising a plant from seed to flower, you can control all aspects of its growing environment, from the nutrients to the pest control methods, and even manipulate it in order to get your bud according to your preferred taste.
Indoor cannabis growing comes with its own set of challenges and the massive volume of information on the internet can discourage beginners from growing their first cannabis plant indoors in Canada. Our short guide will hopefully simplify things and shed light on the things that matter the most, helping you avoid unnecessary costs. So, in the following article, we’ll look at what you need to know before you begin growing your very first cannabis plant indoors!
Location, Location, Location
The very first thing to consider when starting your own cannabis grow is location. When choosing the correct space in your house, bear in mind that both your plants and your equipment will have to fit in. You’ll need enough room for lights, ventilation and ducting but also some maneuvering space, as you must be able to reach your plant at any time. Lastly, remember that especially the early stages, cannabis plants can triple in size.
You don’t need a proper “grow room” if there is not enough space in your house. Instead, you can use a specialized cabinet, a basement corner, a grow tent or even a closet.
Built indoor grow tents, are an easy way to start. They are light proof, strong and adequately equipped, with air extraction and cable holes, while easy to assemble. Basic built indoor grow tents cost around $100 and can be easily purchased online.
You’ll want to start small; consider your first grow attempt as a learning process. There is a chance of failure, but mistakes on a small scale are less costly. Setbacks or even losing plants to disease and pests are not rare, especially in the beginning. A few plants are easier to set up, monitor and less painful for your wallet in case of failure.
The grow mediums for cannabis plants are either hydroponics, soil mixes or compost and soilless mixes (especially Coco & Perlite). Each category has its pros and cons and bears its own particularities.
Soil or compost is natural, easy to find, and easy to use; and that’s why it is one of the most popular growing mediums. Quality compost soil contain high levels of nutrients which are very important for your plants, especially during the first weeks.
If you choose to use soil, try non-peat based, sterilized, loose potting compost often listed as “organic potting mix”. You can make your plants grow faster with soil mixes such as perlite. The contained soil conditioner (about 20-30% of volume) preserves higher amounts of oxygen in the soil and provides drainage. Soil-grown cannabis plants tend to have a stronger taste and smell than those coco or hydroponically grown plants. Soil doesn’t require you to add extra nutrients, as the organic mix contains all of the necessary compounds to sustain plant life.
Soil might seem like the only way to go, but hydroponics is actually easy to set up and maintain. So, if you don’t like the smell of composted soil in your house, try using hydroponic growing mediums like coco coir and perlite. This method usually involves placing the roots directly in the water and feeding it with liquid nutrients manually.
The most popular form of Hydroponic cannabis growing is referred to as Deep Water Culture (DWC) and can support really large plants. “Bubbleponics” or top-fed Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is another popular variant.
Let There Be (Grow) Light
One of the most important factors when setting up your indoor cannabis grow is light intake. Remember, the more you spent on equipment the better cannabis yields you will get both quality and quantity wise. The most popular grow light types are the following:
HID (high-intensity discharge) Grow Lights
Although a bit more expensive, these lights are still popular. For many years, they have been the industry standard, as they can generate far more light per electricity unit compared to other lights. There are two main categories of lamps used, the Metal Halide (MH) and the High-Pressure Sodium (HPS).
While the first generates a bluish-white light and is usually used in the vegetative growth process, the second produces a red-orange light and is generally used during the flowering period. Though powerful, these lights generate a lot of heat, so for a complete HID setup, you will need some air cooled reflector hoods to control the rising temperature and ballasts for MH and/or HPS grow lights.
LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights are still a relatively new technology in cannabis growing, but they are steadily gaining in popularity among growers. LEDs produce less heat, use less energy and offer better light quality than other types of lighting. For example, an average quality LED grow light and some proper plant care from your side, can significantly increase your yields to about 1g per 2 Watts of power.
The best LED grow lights allow you to change the mixture of red and blue light to optimize the vegetative and flowering cycles. We recommend you look for lights with this feature for best results. Full spectrum LED grow lights can help you raise a plant from start to finish without the need for supplemental light fixtures.
CFL Grow Lights
CFL’s are one of the best choices for beginners; fluorescent lights are cheap, efficient and cool running. Ideal for plants in the vegetative stage, their low heat emissions allow growers to place them very near the plant without the risk of burning the leaves. Although it is possible that you can complete a grow from start to finish using only fluorescent lighting, you will need an exceptionally powerful unit to do so.
It is generally advised to use LED or at least a mixture of CFL and LED for your first grow. There are cheap full-spectrum LEDs on the market for as low as $80. Of course, don’t expect the best quality, but it will be more than enough to carry you through the first grow.
Growing Your First Cannabis Plant Indoors in Canada Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive!
All the components for growing your first cannabis plant indoors in Canada can cost as little as $300, seeds included. Grow tents and gardening equipment are available at hardware stores everywhere, while quality grow lights are cheaper than ever. Focus on what matters the most and don’t fall for the marketing hype!
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