Growing cannabis can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable hobbies you can have. But, there is a lot of information out there, and it can sometimes be overwhelming for new growers. In this new growers guide to starting a cannabis grow, we will take you step by step through everything you need, and everything you need to know.
If you are new to growing cannabis, you must have a lot of questions, so feel free to ask for help in our cannabis growers forum
Before Starting Your First Cannabis Grow
There are somethings you need to consider before starting. You should plan properly before doing anything. This will make sure you make less mistakes, and the whole process will be more enjoyable.
Legal Status of Cannabis in Your Country
This is important, in most places around the world, cannabis cultivation is still illegal. Even for personal use! If you abide to the three rules of Percy growing ( don’t tell, don’t sell, cover the smell), even in an illegal country, you will have no problems growing a personal amount of cannabis. Security is priority! Do not put yourself at risk. Follow the rules!
How Much Cannabis Do You Need to Grow?
You are only here, in Percys Grow Room, because you want to grow a personal amount of cannabis. So you will not need a huge grow room, that can supply you with massive amount of cannabis. Only grow what you will need to cover your personal supply, until the next crop is done.
Usually, for most percy growers, a 1m x 1m x 2m Grow tent is plenty. You will yield around 16-20 Ounces of dry buds out of a tent this size if you follow our grow guides.
If you are growing cannabis with the idea of making extracts and oils, you may need to grow a little more than that. A 1m x 2m x 2m Grow tent may be best for you. But this is the maximum size grow room you will need as a percy grower.
How Much Space Do You Have
You will need a space for your grow tent to fit. This is a big part of the decision. You need the grow room to be out of the way, where no one will see or hear it. Usually, growers set aside a room to grow in, but some people do not have that privilege.
If space will be a problem, consider growing in a small cupboard and converting it into a grow room. Alternatively, you can buy a 60cm x 60cm grow tent, and you will be able to grow a couple of plants in there. Work with what space you have, you may have to set up your grow room in your bedroom. If this is the case, you can reduce the sound of fans and other equipment. It will never really be silent, but eventually you will get used to the noise.
What is your budget
Starting your first cannabis grow isn’t cheap! You have to buy all of the equipment, all of the nutrients and medium, pay all of the energy bills ( DO NOT STEAL ELECTRICITY!), the costs can add up. And for most cannabis users, money can be tight, especially if you are still buying cannabis from the streets, or dispensaries.
You need to make a realistic budget, on how much you can spend on your first grow room. Even if you have to save for a little while, it will be worth investing as much as you can in your first set up. After harvest, you will not be buying cannabis any more, and this will save a lot of money. You can then reinvest in your set up and get better equipment. You do not have to spend a fortune straight away.
If you have a low budget, start out with a small set up. When your crop is finished, you can use the money you have saved from not buying cannabis, to buy a bigger set up. The important thing is to get started! You can upgrade as you go. Once the plants are growing, you are on your way to smoking your own, essentially free, cannabis.
Available Fresh Air, and Exhaust Vents.
Your grow room will need a good supply of fresh air, and a place to exhaust hot humid air from the grow room. This is a crucial factor in growing. Without fresh air, your plants will suffer from many issues, and mould can easily form if you’re not exchanging the air often.
Find a place you think would be suitable for your grow room. Then look for places for air, and power intake. You need to be able to draw fresh air from outside preferably. And also, exhaust the air via a carbon filter, outside of the grow room.
Summary of Grow Space
Look for a place that is out the way of any visitors, with access to power, and fresh air. Measure the size of the potential grow space, and if possible, buy a 1m x 1m grow tent. Again, if you have space for bigger, then go ahead. But the bigger setup you buy, the more money it will cost.
To help you decide what grow tent is best for you, see our grow tents guides. But it is highly recommended you go with either a 1m x 1m grow tent, or a 1.2m x 1.2m grow tent. A tent this size should easily cover your personal needs.
Starting to Grow Cannabis
So, you’re going to do it. You have space, and you have ordered your grow tent and equipment. Maybe you have it already and now you would like to get started. Safety, is priority! Even if you grow legally, you still need to keep it quiet. People will try and steal your crop, tell no one!
Do not give anyone any reason to expect that you might be growing! If you smoke cannabis outside, and they know, this all has to stop. You need to give the impression that you have quit. It’s fine being a smoker, but if you start growing, you have to be a little more cautious about who knows about your cannabis habits. Especially when living where cultivation is illegal!
Be cautious when moving anything grow related into or out of the place you’re growing, and always ALWAYS use a carbon filter!
Be cautious of light leaks too, not only coming into your grow room, but coming out. If your neighbours often see a bright orange/ blue glow coming from a room, they might figure out what’s going on. Get black out curtains and blinds the ensure no light leaks outside.
Your Grow Room
After choosing what grow room you’re going to use, and finding out where it needs to go, you should set it up, and run it with lights on to check out the environment before putting any plants into it. Get the temperatures and humidity dialled in first, so you don’t have to do it with plants in there.
Ensure you have adequate intake and extraction. You should also ensure that you have “negative pressure” in the grow room. This is when more air is being pulled out, than being pulled in. Doing this will prevent smells from leaking out of the grow room. Make sure all air is pulled through a carbon filter, and then extracted away from the grow room.
What Medium is Best for New Growers
Most growers would suggest coco. And I personally would suggest the same. It is a perfect medium for growing cannabis, and very easy to learn from. It is more forgiving than other mediums. if you have nutrient issues, a flush and refeed can fix things up in 24 hours.
You will learn alot from growing in coco, but it comes with extra expense of things like EC and PH meter. If you’re growing on a budget, you may be better starting a grow in some soil. This will not only reduce the need for expensive pH and EC meters, but feeding is also cheaper.
Soil will hold onto nutrients, and can feed your plant for weeks without having to add anything extra, just water. With the right potting up technique, you may not have to buy and nutrients at all until you plants are into the flowering phase of their grow cycle. You will still need to monitor ph of the soil, but you can use a cheaper model. Soil has a bigger Ph Buffer than coco or hydro. So it’s easier to manage without meters.
If you’re brand new to growing, avoid full hydroponics setups. Learn the basics first, how a plant grows, what to expect. Then step into the hydro world if that’s something you would like to do.
Choosing a Strain for Your First Cannabis Grow
This will be partly personal preference, but most growers, on their first grow, need something done quickly, so they can save money, and have safe access to cannabis.
Because of this, an indica dominant strain is probably best for your first grow. Indica dominant strains usually have a flowering period of around 8 weeks. So growing indica will ensure your grow is done quickly.
Some cannabis users prefer a sativa high. Sativas can take up to 16 weeks to complete their flowering cycle, that’s without including the vegetative stage of growth. If you prefer sativa, and it’s your first grow, I would recommend growing a sativa dominant autoflower. This plant will be done in around 10-12 weeks from germination, which is still shorter than the flowering cycle of the sativa.
You can of course also grow an indica dominant auto if you prefer. But bear in mind, auto flowering plants should be left under lights for at least 18 hours a day. Photoperiod plants need just 12/12 for their flowering cycle. Growing autos may increase energy consumption, but it can balance out overall because of the time saved. If any of this seems confusing to you, then please see our guide on cannabis seeds:
What Nutrients to Use
There are two main types of nutrients used for growing cannabis. Salt based nutrients, and organic nutrients. Salt based nutrients are also known as chemical nuits. They are synthetically made, and immediately available to the plant when in the root zone.
With organic nutrients, they are natural, broken down minerals. This can be from compost, feaces, animal bloods, many things. They are delivered to the medium (soil) and then broken down by the microbes. They will take a little longer to be available to the plant than salt based nutrients. Growing organic is said to bring your cannabis a better flavour, and it is better for the environment. It is also preferred when growing cannabis for medicines.
If you’re a new grower, just starting a cannabis grow, it is recommend you start with salt based nuits for the first couple of grows. This is mainly because problems are easier to fix. When you get a grasp of how growing works, move into organic growing.
Best Nutrient Brands for Growing Cannabis
There are so many, it is hard to tell you which one exactly to buy. They all pretty much have the same active ingredients, so you should consider your budget when buying your nutrients. Go with a well known brand, like Advanced nutrients, Canna, Dutch Pro and or Old Timers.
See what is available to you. If you need some verification that the nuits you’re buying are good enough, head into the forum and ask. Some one will be able to confirm if you’re making a good choice or not. This way, you can make a well informed decision on what nutrients will be best, before starting your cannabis grow.
PH and EC Meters
An important aspect of growing cannabis, is the PH of the medium. No matter what medium you’re growing in, the pH needs to be at ideal levels for the plant to eat properly. A pH meter is vital to your grow, especially if you’re growing in hydro, or with salt based nutrients.
EC is important if you are growing with chemical nutrients too. This will tell you how much food is in your water before and after you have fed your plants. Measuring EC will not only tell you if you are over feeding your plants, it will tell you if you’re underfeeding too.
For you plants to have the best diet, get good PH and EC meters. They will last a longtime, and be accurate for many grows. Invest in a good one.
Learn to Grow!
With these things being considered. You can decide on what grow space you need, what strain to grow, in what medium, with what foods. These are the most essential things you should know before starting a cannabis grow. Plan properly before hand, have everything in place so your plants can move happily into their new home.
Once you have everything you need, you need to germinate your seeds. You can do that, by following our guide to germination. We have guides for every step of your cannabis grow. Research as you go, you only need to be a couple of weeks ahead of your plants. This will take a few months, you have plenty of time to learn as you go
Final Thoughts on Starting Your First Cannabis Grow
The best thing you can do for your plants is sign up to a forum! In our grow room, we have many experienced growers. Who have grown in all different setups. You do not have to do this alone, we can help you every step of the way, all you have to do is ask for help.
If you’re completely new to growing, then there are questions you don’t even know to ask yet, that are important to the growing process. Keep researching through the site, learn as much as you can. Ask for help in the forum any time you need it. It is better to ask for help now, and prevent a problem, then ask for help after the problem has occured.
Growing your own cannabis is the safest way to be a cannabis user. You know the product is clean, how it was grown, and you don’t have to go to the black market to get it. If you are a cannabis user, then you really should consider making that move towards growing your own cannabis.
Our Cannabis Growers Forum
Thanks for reading! You can find more information on anything related to growing in our cannabis grow guides. All of our guides are written by experienced growers, and members of our cannabis growers forum. If you have any questions, sign up. It is free, and we are always happy to help!