New Year, New Grow Room
Grow with Little Lebowski
It's the start of the New Year and your green fingers are starting to get itchy. You're not alone; plenty of new growers have made it their resolution to sack the dealer off and give growing at home a try. But what to start with and how will it cost? Maybe you've grown in the past and want to know what's new?
We spoke to a couple of UK shop staff; one from the North West - let's call him Manc - and one from the Midlands - let's call him Brum - to get their opinions on what's popular in the UK at the moment, what to buy to get you started up again and, more importantly, how much a closet grow room will set you back. Let's go shopping!
SSUK: Guys, thanks for helping us out with this. Can you let us know what kind of set up you are going to put together for us?
Manc: One light set up with pots and coco, nine plants, nice and cheap and simple.
Brum: I'm gonna go for a hydro set up, one light over four plants, all potted up in their own bubbler buckets. Bit more effort than hand-watering pots, but a quicker grow, less plants and, I reckon, the same yield.
SS: OK, let's start with the basics... lights.
The light is the heart of the grow room and to get some worthwhile results, you'll need to invest in a HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting system. Unless heat is a serious issue, forget LED's and fluorescents, you just won't get the same yield or quality of bud.
Unless you have money to spare, get a dual spectrum HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamp that can be used for the vegetative and flowering phases.
Manc: For a 600watt set up on a budget, I'd recommend our value lighting set up; magnetic ballast, euro reflector and a dual spectrum bulb for £65. Bargin!
Brum: I'm the same. There's plenty of competition between UK shops on 600w set ups and those with a decent bit of buying power behind them have got a £65 set up deal on. You can spend an extra £60 on a reflector if you want to.
SS: OK, so that's £65for the basic light. Let's move onto the second most important thing... extraction.
|Stop dreaming, start growing. It's cheaper than you think|
Your home garden needs cool fresh air, laden with CO2 in order to effectively process food, grow healthily and produce buds. An extraction fan will pull warm, stale air out of the grow space and replace it with fresh air. You need a fan that is capable of exchanging all the air in the room between 30-60 times per hour - depending on humidity and temperature variables.
A carbon filter will also be required to make sure that the fragrant scent of your crop doesn't escape out; a major consideration - if not a necessity - if you have neighbours or visitors to your house!
Manc: For this set up, I'd recommend a 5-inch fan, filter and ducting kit. We've got a budget set up going for £115, this should cover you for a couple of grows... the cheaper filters will only last you for about 6 months.
Brum: Our budget kit is pretty much identical for the same price. I've seen some really cheap extraction kits going online, but you don't really want to cheap it out on your filter.
SS: So, light and extraction sorted for £180, pretty good so far. What about your actual grow set ups?
Manc: Under a 600w light I'd do nine plants in 6.5L pots. Start them off in some small 10cm pots and then pot up into the bigger ones. Sit the pots on some saucers to catch the run off when you water. For that many pots you'll need a couple of bags of coco too. For all the pots, saucers and coco you'd be looking at about £35.
Brum: I'd do four bubbler systems running off one four outlet air pump. Start the plants off in some rock wool cubes and then sit them in the baskets of the bubblers with some hydroton pebbles to hold them in place. For the rock wool, 20L of clay, four buckets, air stones and the pump, it'd cost £90.
SS: What about the nutrients?
Manc: I'd keep it pretty simple and go for 500ml of Root Stimulator to get the girls going. You'd get away with 1L of Grow nutrient, because you'll be keeping the veg cycle short. Then you'll need 5L of Bloom nutrients and a couple of litres of Bloom Stimulator - just a straightforward PK 13/14. Total cost £120.
Brum: My set up is pretty similar as far as the actual base nutrients and additives goes, but I'd make sure that my customer walked away with a basic pH test kit, some pH down and a budget EC meter. You've got to keep your eye on your levels, especially in bubblers when the roots are in constant contact with the solution. If you don't check and regulate, you can fuck the roots up. Same nutrient
package as Manc, with the extra bits, would be about £160.
SS: Sounds good, let's total up....
Manc: Light, extraction, nutrients, coco and pots. A decent nine plant set up for just £300!
Brum: The four bucket bubbler set up, including light, fan, filter, nutes and meters would be £450.
SS: A couple of bargains, but aren't we forgetting something? What are we growing? Those girls don't come for free!
Manc: Haha! Don't look at me mate!
Brum: Can't help you there!
SS: OK, I'll enlighten the readers. Unless you have a very good and trusted friend to give you some clones, they'll set you back around £4-£8, depending on what they are and where you are in the UK. A pack of 5 seeds will run you anywhere from £20 to £40, just double that for 10 seeds.
So, taking the cost of plants into consideration, if you're doing a few less plants in hydro it goes some way to balance out the cost difference to the coco grow.
Either way, it's cheaper than you think to get started!Tags: Indoor growing | Dummies Edition: Soft Secrets 2012 - 1