With industrial pot farms popping up in four legal states, are closet grows becoming obsolete? Absolutely not! Everyone started small at one point, meaning each small-scale grower has the potential to become a front-runner in the industry.
So where should you begin? I’d start with the Internet. Great videos like Nico Escondido’s Grow Like a Pro will give you the essentials to get started. Also, look around for DIY guides and check forums for more specific questions you might have. And, of course, keep up to date on High Times’ grow articles for tips on how to maximize your yield.
To start, you will need to figure out a few essentials, like where in your house you should grow. Generally basements work best because they stay cool for most of the year; however, be weary of damp environments that promote mold. Garages or sheds also make good spots, but bare in mind that light leaks should be shored up if you are concerned about security, which you should be—even in legal states.
The main focus when growing on a scale should be airflow. You will need to ensure that you have a steady flow of cool air coming in and the ability to exhaust the warm air out. Vents, either for dryers or for heaters, are the best way to mask your grow room ducting. These work well, but are a telltale sign of a growroom… So set it up wisely.
The next choice you’ll have is whether to buy a tent or to build a small, closet-like structure. Usually if a person is handy, I’d recommend building your own room. For those who aren’t the DIY type, a tent with silver foil on the inside is generally the way to go.
After that, you’ll need to get light and exhaust kits. To calculate how much ventilation you will need, first figure out the volume of your growroom—multiply height by width by length. You will need an air exchange once every three minutes, and you can calculate how many cubit feet per minute (CFM) of air your fan needs to move. All fans come with info on their CFM rating, so make sure to buy the right one.
If you need one air exchange every three minutes, then the fan needs to move a full third of the air in the room every minute. So, take the volume of your room and divide it by three to get the exact CFM you need. The fan’s CFM should be close to this value, but it doesn’t have to be exact.
For a hotter environment, especially if you have a big lamp in a small space, increase your target CFM by around 45 percent. Remember that the carbon filter will drop the pressure of the air going through the vent.
Once you’ve got your room together and your airflow worked out I would look at getting a simple lighting setup with either a 600 or 1000 watt HPS light. The light bulb is going to need to be in the closet but try to have the ballast outside so it doesn’t contribute to the heat.
For a grow medium, I would then stick to either dirt or sphagnum and moss, as those two mediums are the most forgiving when it comes to nutrients and pH. When choosing nutrients I’d stick to a simple organic program for your first time in order to minimize mistakes. One good combo is Iguana bloom/grow and Mother Earth Tea from Advanced Nutrients. They are both organic and work well together. Then, all you need are some pots and some clones or seeds.