I’m starting a file cabinet closet grow. It’s pretty big: about six feet tall and about two and a half feet in diameter and has four drawers. I’m going to remove everything inside but still make it look like a filing cabinet with the drawers looking like they’re still in place. What’s a good soil mix to make for my plants? What kind of lightning should I be installing in my cabinet? Also what kind of nutrients should I be using? I’m a sativa cat but I kinda want short-to-medium-sized, bushy-as-fuck plants with a lot of colas. I know indicas are relatively smaller in size and just wanted to know what would be a good strain to start off growing? — The Smoke Tree aka Dopesmoke
Micro-growing is a fun hobby as long as you keep a few things in mind. The most important factor in any grow space but especially a small one, is environmental control. Heat builds up quickly and can destroy plants in a short amount of time. Air movement is important in order to remove hot spent air and replenish the area with fresh, cool CO2-rich air.
Lighting considerations for a micro-grow should take environmental conditions into account. If you can’t foresee yourself being able to remove the heat generated by HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting such as HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) or MH (Metal Halide), then you should consider using LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs or compact Fluorescent lighting.
My recommendations for soil mix and nutrients is to go with organic varieties from your local nurseries in favor of anything you can get at the hardware store or low-cost big-box emporium. Mild oxygenated compost tea is great for everyday feeding along with the occasional supplement such as seabird or bat guano or liquid seaweed.
As for strains, if you prefer sativas, don’t waste your time growing indica-dominant plants just because they may be easier or take a few weeks less to mature. Indulge yourself and grow the variety that makes you most happy and the one you’d like to return to time and time again. For me, it’s Strawberry Cough or Guava Chem but for you it might be something entirely different. Learn the strain and you’ll be able to train it into any shape you want it to grow in.
Have a grow question? Ask away at email@example.com
Don’t miss our previous Grow Q&A: What’s the Best Grow Light for Big Yields?