Growing Marijuana On A Budget
Lots of people would like to grow marijuana, but it often seems daunting because of the financial aspects involved. The fact is, however, that even people who don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend can grow marijuana indoors -- it’s just a matter of planning it right. Don’t give up! Let’s look at some of the ways that you can grow marijuana on a smaller budget.
Surprisingly, buying seeds for a lower cost is not going to help you get more for your money. This is one of the few areas of growing marijuana that you absolutely should not avoid spending extra money on. The best way of saving money here is to order fewer seeds -- just five should do the trick, and that can easily be kept to a price that is under $50 altogether.
If you try growing marijuana plants from seeds that you just came across when buying weed, you are certainly going to be disappointed in the results. Genetics are everything in the marijuana growing world, so doing the proper amount of research in order to choose genetics that will work for your lifestyle and setup is the best way to ensure that the money that you do put into growing marijuana ends up with a strong harvest.
The Grow Area
Of course, your grow space is one of the most important aspects of planning a marijuana planting setup. The good news is that marijuana can be grown just about anywhere, especially if you are only growing a few plants. Whether it is a closet, an old wardrobe, or a cabinet space of some other kind, you can grow a marijuana plant in it. Think creatively and look around, or get something on Craigslist or Freecycle to save money with it.
The key is simply to choose something that is large enough for a plant (or however many plants you are growing), tall enough to hang a light over your plant without burning it, and able to have holes put into it for some ventilation, it will work for growing marijuana. If you are handy with construction, you can even build something from scratch or put multiple cabinets together to make a bigger space.
Some key attributes should be added to the space. For example, use material that reflects light so that the light you do have is maximized, thus increasing the efficiency of the system (and how far your money will go). Even simply painting the interior with white paint (matte or flat, not glossy) will do the trick. Even though glossy paint appears to be more reflective, it actually is not as effective when reflecting light. Don’t use aluminum foil because it will heat up your grow room too much.
The Growing Medium
The next important aspect of growing marijuana in a budget space indoors is your growing medium. The best results come from hydroponics systems, of course, but those will be highly expensive and therefore don’t make the most sense for a budget marijuana grower or even someone who has the money but is trying to grow marijuana for the very first time.
Instead, go for soil or coco. If you use high-quality soil, that already has the starting nutrients that you need for the entire beginning stages of your marijuana plant’s life. If you use coco, you will have to provide all of those nutrients yourself from the start.
This is another area where it is not worth it to cut costs. Ventilation is critical, especially when it comes to mold prevention and the general well being of your marijuana plant. It needs to work effectively and efficiently. The good thing about top quality ventilation systems is that they are built to last, so perhaps the best way to save money when you buy one is to simply buy it secondhand on eBay or a similar site.
The key is to be aware of the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of the ventilation system and what you need for your particular space. If you really need to save money, you can at least do so with the carbon filter (which filters out the potent smell of marijuana). You can check online for ways to build your own carbon filter without spending very much money at all.
Much like when you buy a ventilation system, paying for lights in your grow area can also be cheaper when you do so secondhand on eBay or another similar website. This works best for the actual lighting system and any fixtures involved, but always buy brand new light bulbs. This is because the intensity of the light will dim over time, so buying it secondhand after it has already been used will not be a wise or practical investment.
If you are using a high-quality potting soil for your marijuana plants, you won’t need to worry about nutrients for the beginning of your marijuana plants’ lives. That being said, it will become quite important as soon as your plant has matured somewhat, so it’s a good idea to think about what nutrients your plant needs and how you will supply them with the proper nutrients.
If possible, buying nutrients that are custom designed to work with marijuana plants is going to be the most effective way to maximize your harvest and the overall health of your plants. If you don’t have the time or money to do that, instead head to your local garden center and check out the options. Make sure that, whatever you do, only purchase nutrients that are for other edible plants, such as tomatoes or strawberries. This ensures that the fertilizer will be safe for human consumption (which is, of course, critical when talking about marijuana).
You can also consider boosters, which are supposed to increase the amount of THC in your marijuana plants. But ultimately the base nutrients are the most important: Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Your plants will need more nitrogen when they are in their vegetative phase, but during the flowering phase they will require more potassium and phosphorus.
It will be obvious when your plants don’t have enough of a certain nutrient, as they will display signs of poor health that are specific to the type of nutrient they are lacking.
One good way of saving money on nutrients is to mix molasses with the water you are going to feed your marijuana plants. You can find molasses for far cheaper than any boosters designed specifically for marijuana, and they will serve a similar function.
Another aspect that you should not skimp on is the thermo-hygrometer. Knowing the temperature and humidity of the space is essential for giving your marijuana plants the best care possible. You could survive without pH or EC meters if you would like to cut those out.
Creativity is key when it comes to saving money. Bungee cords can be useful for hanging a fan or carbon filter, kitchen racks can be repurposed as drying racks after the harvest, desk fans can be found for very cheap, and so on. The sky's the limit when it comes to saving money!
Robert Bergman, founder of ilovegrowingmarijuana.com.
Robert has been growing cannabis passionately for over 20 years and shares this insight to educate growers avoid mistakes and to fully capitalize on a bud's potential and get the most out of a marijuana plant.