April 24, 2019

What Budget Do You Need for Growing Marijuana at Home?

April 24, 2019
Image of growing weed: learn how to grow marijuana inside your home.

Growing your own marijuana is a gratifying experience. However, many people take a step back due to the high cost involved in the whole process and wonder to themselves if it is even possible to successfully home grow cannabis on a tight budget. The answer is a resounding yes!

With a surge in home grows due to states continuing to implement legalization measures, the prices have dropped to some extent, and it is possible to grow cannabis using simple systems that require less money than you might think. In this blog, we will inform you of the basics of how to grow marijuana on a budget.

Growing marijuana at a cheap price indoors can turn out to be a great investment if you do it in the right manner. Once you discover the value of cultivating your own marijuana on a budget, you may find yourself inspired to expand and explore more advanced systems and tools.

Planning How to Grow Your Own Weed at Home

Picture of marijuana you can grow marijuana in your home on a budget, you just need to learn your financial means and how they translate to an efficient weed grow room

Though it is certainly not rocket science, successfully growing cannabis does involve conceptualizing some basic scientific and horticultural principles. The more you plan beforehand, the less likely you will be to backtrack, bleed your wallet, and rethink your cannabis home grow plans. For starters, you should begin plotting out your plans for hygienic grow environments, environmental controls, and timeline for harvest cycles.

Hygienic Environment

Growing marijuana indoors tends to be the most reliable way to ensure a hygienic cannabis grow space when compared to outdoor environments. Consider that it is much more difficult to account for harmful external agents, such as fungus, parasites, and other microorganisms while maintaining an outdoor marijuana grow, which can compromise the health of your garden. You should plan to be available to monitor your indoor garden several times throughout the day to water, prune, and trellis, observing any slight changes in the health of your plants.

Climate Control

One of the most reassuring aspects of growing cannabis indoors is you will not have to stress about unexpected changes in the weather compromising your operation. Unexpected dry spells, frost, or even unreasonable humidity can wreak havoc on an outdoor grow, so proper climate control measures truly make all the difference and increase the likelihood of a high quality harvest. You must ensure your weed grow space is thoroughly cleaned and is sealed off entirely, including from sunlight. The amount of hours of darkness is equally as important as hours of grow light and should be strictly regulated during the vegetative and flowering stages (Generally plan for 18 hours of light during the vegetative stage and 12 hours during the flowering phase)

Multiple Harvests Per Year 

Since an indoor setup allows you greater flexibility for managing your plants and plotting out consistent harvest cycles, there is no need to be dependent on the seasonal changes in order to successfully plan consistent harvests. Theoretically, it is possible to get 6 harvests in a single year, and this translates to a massive amount of weed for a single person to consume, regardless of how large the space is. Keep this in mind, so as not to grow more marijuana than you can smoke (or legally possess under your state’s law)!

How to Get Started Growing Marijuana at Home

An appropriate indoor grow space will require the following elements be considered implemented thoroughly and effectively: 

Water

Water is obviously the life-blood of your plants, but you will want to fully think through your watering schedule. Your watering schedule will be dependent  on the plant strain, your soil-fertilizer mixture, the age of the plant, and the container, among other factors. Depending on the size of your operation and experience, you may be best served to use a water pump connected to a time switch. However, this is typically preferable for larger and hydroponic operations. Smaller weed home grows tend to only require you to use a simple watering can.

Temperature Controls

To grow a healthy cannabis plant, you must have a clear understanding of the temperature needs. The plants need a gentle heat for the formation of the root, but temperature needs fluctuate throughout the cycle and throughout the day to achieve optimal marijuana plant growth. When hotter than ideal temperatures, the plant might lose moisture, putting stress on the plant. However, temperatures that are too low might cause the plant to stop absorbing and circulating vital nutrients. Furthermore, some growers fail to consider the reduction in temperature after shutting off the grow lights can negatively impact the grow process. It may be necessary to use a heater to supplement for this temperature decrease throughout the night / dark hours.

Light Distance

As we previously mentioned, the duration of exposure your plants get to light is crucial, and the distance between the plants and the grow lights is just as important. When the light is too far from the plant or too weak, the plant will quite literally stretch out to reach for the source of light, eventually weakening. However, too much light or light that is too close may also burn and weaken the leaves. Hence, utilizing adjustable light fixtures will help you avoid these sorts of issues with your indoor cannabis grow. 

Ventilation

A well-ventilated weed grow room is a necessary aspect of climate controlling. Since your grow room is sealed off, the carbon dioxide present in the room can be quickly used up and slow down the growth of your plants. You will want to plan for creating some sort of hole or air flow system to nourish your plants. Furthermore, you can maximize proper air distribution by using a running fan to promote consistent carbon dioxide and temperature distribution in your grow room

Grow Room Cost Calculator: How Much Does an Indoor Weed Grow Room Cost? 

An indoor weed grow room isn't too pricey if you plan your costs correctly

Grow Tent Cost

If you decide to grow your plants inside a grow tent, you will find a wide array of size and dimensions available to you online. Most home growers will plan to grow between two and six plants, and it is important to measure the dimensions of your intended grow area to get the best size. Grow tents generally range from between $100 – $200

The Cost of Grow Lights

Along with the tent, lighting and electricity will usually run up your cost the most. Fortunately, you’ve got some options when it comes to lights available: HPS (High Pressure Sodium), MH (Metal Halide), and LED (light-emitting diode). Your available space and budgetary needs will be indicators of which light is preferred for your marijuana home grow. MH and HPS emit more heat and will require a ballast as well as a fan. LEDs are more energy efficient, but will tend to be bit pricer than the two former lights. It’s possible for lighting to run you anywhere from $50 – $500 with a lot of variance depending on size of space and preferred lighting style.

Soil Costs

The higher your quality of soil, the more likely your cannabis will grow to yield dense and dank buds. If you start off with a low-quality soil brand, you run the risk of compromising the health of your plants and would be best advised to look for soil that has a balanced pH level, superior drainage, and advanced nutrients, and macronutrients. A quality medium grade soil should cost you approximately $30.

Nutrients Costs

Some of the key nutrients you should be budgeting for include Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, though if your soil is top-notch, you may not necessarily need all these. You can expect to spend $100 or less on nutrients per cycle.

How Much Does a Weed Plant Cost?

You should expect to pay about $25 for clones of high quality strains, totalling about $100 or less, depending on the size of your weed grow operation.

Approximate Cost: How Much Does it Cost to Grow Weed?

Calculating the cost of growing cannabis in your home can be difficult to precisely predict, but it’s certainly possible to set up a home grow space for under $500. Using our estimated grow room costs, we’re looking at approximately $300 on the low end and $850 on the high end. This does not include electricity cost. After you get your upfront costs paid for and have a viable, repeatable system, your setup should easily pay for itself in reduced spending at the dispensary. There may be some pain points if you’re not experienced in setting up a grow operation, but your wallet shouldn’t be too much worse for wear—if you follow some of these budgeting tips! Happy growing!

FAQ: Additional Questions on the Cost of Growing Cannabis Indoors

How much does it cost to run a 1000 watt LED grow light?

Including the cost of your setup, you can expect that a 1000-watt light setup will come out to cost you about $300-$400. This will include the cost of your ballast, hood, and HPS bulb. This estimate does not include the cost of clones. How much this will run you a month will vary drastically depending on where in the country you live, but plan for between $80 – $120 added to your electricity bill for the added light alone.

How much does it cost to grow a pound?

There are a wide array of variables that can impact your cost and yield (ie. experience level, strain), however consider the most important factor in your process to be your light wattage. Experienced growers tend to yield 1 gram per watt while less experienced growers see about half as much. Either way, with a 1000-watt setup, you could grow a pound in a single harvest for a total of $1,000.

How much does it cost to grow 12 plants?

If you factor in the average setup cost of about $500 for setup plus the additional approximately $300 cost for the 12 clones, as well as 3 months of electricity bills, you would see a cost amount to roughly $1,100.

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