The best weed is the one you grow yourself, you can ask any cannabis grower, and they’ll most likely tell you the same. And indeed, what’s better than getting blazed with the fruits of your own labor? Whether you use it recreationally or medically, there is something empowering about it, which is why many marijuana enthusiasts are starting to grow their own weed.
Some of them have large and complicated setups, while others keep it simple. Growing marijuana plants can work with anyone as long as you provide the plants with a suitable growing environment.
Sometimes, all you need to produce some high-quality buds is a closet. Don’t be surprised, many growers cultivate cannabis in small spaces, and they get some decent yields with good THC and CBD content.
If all you have is a closet and enthusiasm for growing cannabis plants, say no more. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the basics of closet growing to give you a head start.
The Basics of Growing Marijuana In a Closet
Many people with limited space choose to give closet grow a try. It’s a great way to learn how to grow cannabis, and if you end up liking it, you may expand your grow space someday, who knows?
As an indoor grower, you should remember one thing – you must simulate the natural conditions in which cannabis normally grows out in the wild. The two most important aspects of this are getting the lighting schedule right (because cannabis is a photoperiod plant) and getting the temperature right. Everything else is more or less adjustable.
Below, we discuss all of the elements of the growing process and how you can accommodate your plants to grow comfortably in your grow space.
Pick Your Cannabis Seeds
First things first, you have to pick your cannabis seeds. This involves choosing whether to grow from regular seeds, auto-flowering seeds, or feminized seeds. There are major differences in the way these types of seeds are cultivated.
Regular seeds are produced by breeding male and female cannabis plants, and the seeds will produce both male and female plants. Since female plants are the ones that produce the buds for consumption, the male plants are removed at the start of the flowering stage to prevent getting the female plants pollinated. Regular seeds are not the best for an indoor grow because it’s a waste of space to have to throw half of your crops that you spent time cultivating.
Auto-flowering seeds don’t depend on a change in the light cycle. They begin their flowering process automatically a few weeks after germination. They are a very good choice for beginners as they’re not as demanding and are a great introduction to growing cannabis.
Finally, feminized seeds are just like regular seeds, but they produce solely female plants. They are a great option because they’re cost-effective. Since you already have a small grow room, you’ll want to take advantage of every inch of your space. With feminized seeds, you won’t have to throw any crops away and you’ll get resinous buds every time.
Choose the Growing Medium
Choosing a growing medium is the basis of growing cannabis because it’s the home of the plants and where they get all the nutrients. The most common choices for growers are either soil or hydroponics.
Soil is an organic growing medium that has its own ecosystem made up of naturally present microorganisms that contribute to a healthy growing environment. Healthy and balanced soil will have all the nutrients that a cannabis plant will need during its growing cycle. Your only job, as a grower, would be to continue improving the health of the soil so that your plants could thrive.
Soil is the ultimate growing medium, but be careful when you make your purchase. You don’t want soil that’s loaded with chemicals and heavy metals as they will all end up in your plant. Make sure you buy high-quality organic soil that’s free of toxins. Later, you can add your own compost to enrich it.
While soil is an organic and alive growing medium, hydroponic systems are not (they’re inert). There are many types of hydroponics, but the one thing they have in common is that they’re not self-sufficient like soil is. With hydroponics, you get to control every single variable of the growing process, including the pH, the concentration and ratio of nutrients, how much and how often you water, etc.
For experienced growers, this might be a plus, and many potent buds have been grown in hydroponics. However, growing in a closet can be an investment and time-consuming. If you’re a beginner, choose hydroponics only if you can make the commitment. On the other hand, if you have some experience, then hydroponics shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Set Up Your Grow Space
The size of your grow closet will dictate the amount of cannabis plants you can grow as well as what strains will thrive the most. That said, you’ll need to choose strains that don’t grow very tall and that flower sooner. Having enough room to grow and thrive is vital for cannabis plants, so you don’t want your grow space to restrict them.
For example, Indicas are usually shorter and more stout, and they tend to flower sooner. Sativas, on the other hand, grow quickly and very tall, and if your closet isn’t big enough, their growth can be stunted. This isn’t the case with all Indicas and Sativas, but with the majority. If you’re not a fan of Indicas, you can look for some nice balanced hybrids, or Sativas that don’t grow that tall.
That said, to set up your grow space, you may need a grow tent or a grow box to encase your plants. This will be their designated “dwelling place” around which you will place all the other needed equipment. Some grow boxes even come already equipped with hydroponic systems and grow lights.
Get Some Grow Lights
Light is essential for cannabis because it’s a photoperiod plant. To simulate natural growing conditions, you will have to follow a strict lighting schedule during the different phases of growth. While the seeds germinate, you need to keep them in complete darkness. After that, they need plenty of light. Cannabis grows best with a lot of direct light.
For example, cannabis needs more hours of light during the vegetative stage in order to grow and photosynthesize. As it approaches the flowering stage, the hours of light and hours of darkness should slowly start to become even so that cannabis can flower. In nature, the buds start appearing when the seasons change from summer to autumn, and that’s also when the days get shorter and the nights longer, hence the light change.
Which Grow Lights Do I Need?
There are a lot of different grow lights, such as high-intensity discharge lights (HID), compact fluorescent lights (CFL), and light-emitting diodes (LED), and they can all do a pretty good job. However, they’re not all ideal for a closet, and here’s why.
CFL and HID lights emit a lot of heat which is not good for such a small space. It may cause heat exhaustion and light burn, and increased heat also increases the chances of mold formation. Therefore, for closet grow, LED grow lights are the best option. They emit very little heat plus are cost-effective because they don’t drain a lot of energy. They’re also much smaller and can fit anywhere, and they come in full spectrum to mimic natural sunlight.
Get Equipment for Air Circulation
Finally, another important factor for successful cannabis cultivation in a closet is having proper air circulation. Fresh air exchange allows the plants to thrive. If the air becomes stuffy and all the available carbon dioxide is used up, the growth of the plants will be stunted. On top of that, stale air allows for moisture buildup which encourages mold and bacteria overgrowth.
Since a closet has a very limited amount of air, installing additional equipment for airflow is integral. This can be a simple oscillating fan, or if you want to get fancy, an exhaust fan is also a good idea. You can combine the exhaust fan with a carbon filter to minimize the smell if you want to remain discreet.
The Takeaway – Keep it Simple for the Best Results
Closet-grown weed can be just as good as those you buy at dispensaries. The upside of growing in a small grow space is that everything is much more manageable. Sure, you won’t get tons of weed, but for personal use, it will be more than enough. Plus, it’s very rewarding when you finally see the sticky trichomes once harvest season comes.
Since everything is on a smaller scale, keeping it simple will produce the best results. You don’t need large setups, just get the basics and make the most of them.