What equipment do you need to grow?
To grow your plant indoors or indoors, you will need equipment. We consider all the elements that are required for growing at home.
Why do you need equipment at all? It is necessary to create and maintain the specified microatmosphere parameters that a plant needs for successful growth (vegetation) and fruiting (flowering).
As you have hopefully learned from the previous chapters of this book, growing is a technology. There are no free artists here. Each grower strives to ensure that the growing conditions are suitable for cannabis.
We will definitely talk more about the conditions, but for now we will review the necessary equipment for growing at home. It's about amateur cultivation. A professional setup for industrial scale growers will be slightly different, so we don't cover it.
This is the basis for growing. A grow tent is needed so that the light from the lamps does not scatter, losing efficiency (and cannabis requires quite a lot of light), and the necessary temperature, humidity, air inflow and outflow, light and dark cycles are created in the tent.
It is much easier to do this in limited volumes than to equip an entire apartment for growing. Although it happens that growers create entire grow rooms (rooms for growing). But this is the lot of professionals who cultivate a significant number of plants. And this requires a very large investment, because the equipment for growing is quite expensive.
The grow tent is a prefabricated structure made of aluminum tubes on which a fabric awning with technological and ventilation openings and sleeves is stretched. You can assemble this tent in a few minutes, it is specially designed with the utmost simplicity.
Growents vary in size based on the specific needs of the grower: will he grow one small bush or expects to “raise” several powerful and branched plants at once.
The price of the grow tent depends on its size. The larger the tent, the more expensive it is. Also, the cost varies by manufacturer. The most popular tents are manufactured by Secret Jardin, HomeLab, Home Box, Pro Box.
You can also order on Aliexpress, but it is important to remember that grow tent is bought for years, and a cheap thing will not last long. So if you plan to grow for at least a few years, it’s better not to be stingy and take a tent from the top manufacturers listed above.
Lighting is, without any exaggeration, the most important element in growing. If you really need it, you can save on grow tents, fertilizers and other components, but it’s better not to save in the world. Almost everything depends on its power and spectrum: growth rate, proper development, plant health and, of course, yield.
LED boards are considered the most popular and basic lighting these days. These are LED panels, the spectrum of which is specially selected for growing plants, and specifically cannabis.
In addition, the old guard grows on high-pressure sodium gas discharge lamps - HPS lamps. A few years ago, such light was considered the main one, but with the rapid development of LED lighting, it is gradually becoming a thing of the past. However, among growers you will still find quite a few fans of these lamps. The best performance is shown by the combination of HPS lamps and LED panels, as professionals do.
Lighting power is selected according to the area of \u200b\u200byour tent. A square meter will require a LED board with a power of 450-500 watts. Or 600-1000 watts for HPS lamps. The light level (PPFD) should be at least 500 µmol/sec/m².
Light is a very big topic, we will talk more about lighting for cannabis in our later chapters.
During operation, the lamps in the grow tent generate heat. Ventilation is designed to remove its excess so that the temperature meets the desired parameters (from +20 with the lights off and no more than +26 with the lights on).
But this is not the main purpose of ventilation. Much more important is the factor that plants need a constant supply of fresh air for proper growth and development. Also, the bushes release moisture in the course of their life. Ventilation is also required to remove it. The grow tent should undergo 10 air exchanges per hour.
For these purposes, the grow tent is equipped with duct fans for air inflow and outflow. In addition, you need a separate fan to blow the plants themselves. With its help, the bushes are cooled and the moisture they produce dries on them. With well thought out ventilation, the risks of your crop being affected by mold are reduced to zero.
Ventilation requirements are not as critical as those for light. Here you can save money and buy the necessary items at the nearest hardware store. The main condition is the quality of fans in terms of fire safety. We would not recommend installing cheap Chinese ones, because in the event of a short circuit or other breakdown, trouble is not far away. The most efficient, in our opinion, fans are from Soler and Palau, they are very quiet and productive. In general, fire safety should be considered at all times when purchasing and assembling grow tent equipment. Your life and well-being is more important than any grow!
In fact, cannabis grows easily at normal indoor humidity levels. But still, it is more correct to observe the parameters, because they directly affect the yield! Moisture conditions are as follows: 60-70% during the vegetative phase, 35-45% during the flowering phase. With a humidifier, you can control these conditions.
Another purpose of a humidifier is to lower the temperature in the grow tent if the lamps heat the air too much.
There are no special requirements for a humidifier. Any household item from the hardware store will do. However, it is better to take a humidifier with a large water tank, it decreases quite quickly during operation.
These devices are needed, respectively, to control temperature and humidity. For growing, it is important to choose devices that measure the readings most accurately! There are no other requirements for these elements.
TDS Meter and pH Meter
If you grow on soil with organic fertilizers, then you will not need these devices, but in all other cases, without them, as they say, nowhere!
The TDS meter measures the number of particles dissolved in water per million particles of water. Based on this indicator, the grower determines the amount of fertilizer salts in the solution or water for irrigation. For each phase of a plant's life, its own indicator is needed and it is difficult to determine it by eye. Although there are some growers who have been growing on the same setup, fertilizers and soil for a long time and already know almost by heart what is needed and when. But while you are a beginner, it is still better to have a TDS meter or an EC meter.
Another important device is the pH meter. It is needed to measure the acid-base balance in a fertilizer solution or irrigation water. This balance should be between 5.5 and 7.0 units. If this indicator is violated, then the plants simply do not absorb nutrients. That's why it's so important to have a pH meter. When growing on soil, the pH level is not necessary to control.
These include pots in which your plants, soil and fertilizers will grow.
There are no special requirements for pots. You can grow in anything. However, quite a few growers prefer to grow in growbags or fabric pots. Their advantage is that the roots of the plant breathe in them, and excess water for irrigation pours out freely. Also, they do not require drainage to the bottom, as it should be done with ordinary plant pots.
Another popular growing container is the so-called Air Pot. In fact, a plastic tape with a characteristic corrugation-cell and holes. Once in such a cell, the root receives an oxygen burn, which stimulates the growth of other parts of the root system.
In general, there is not much difference in what to grow. Growers successfully use both types of pots.
We will talk about soil and fertilizers in the following chapters, the topics are voluminous and require separate consideration.