If you’re a first-time cannabis grower, check out our list featuring the 10 best marijuana growing supplies to maximize your yields. We’ll show you what equipment you need to start planting your cannabis seeds or clones. Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, our guide lists all the tools you need to feed your plants with the right water and nutrients.
1. Seeds or Clones
Seeds are the single most important part about growing healthy cannabis plants. A lackluster seed will produce lackluster results. A high-quality seed will grow resin-coated nugs under its optimal conditions. Of course, you can always skip the germination phase and purchase a clone from a licensed retailer, although there are considerations for growing these as well.
When sourcing seeds, your best bet is to buy them from a licensed retailer or a reputable seed bank with years or decades of experience and tons of customer positive reviews. Also, consider what type of strain you want. Seed banks may offer different categories based on your needs such as medical grade seeds, CBD seeds, fast growing seeds, short growing seeds, and many more unique categories.
2. Grow Lights
Whether you’re starting off with a seed or a clone, all indoor gardens and some greenhouses with periods of low lighting require grow lights to replicate natural daylight. Now, as a first time and budget grower, you may choose the low-cost fluorescent lighting with weak results. Energy-saving LED lighting has a higher upfront cost, although it may pay for itself in the long run. Finally, you can also use high-powered HID lights although this uses a lot of energy and may require extra ventilation to manage high light temperatures.
3. Growing Medium
Growing mediums are the root’s support system and where they will pick up the necessary water and nutrients. There are many different types of grow medium including soil and hydroponics. If you’re going with soil, you can choose from pre-made potting soil. You can also make your own soil medium with organic ingredients and compost. If you have a hydroponic system you’ll be using substrates made out of coco coir, clay, rockwool, perlite, or vermiculite. Soil and hydroponic mediums have different nutrient requirements.
4. Nutrients and Supplements
Like all plants, cannabis plants need a specific nutrient ratio during different growth stages. The type of nutrients you buy will depend on whether you grow hydroponically or in soil. If you’re growing in soil, the type of nutrients you need will depend on if you’re growing in organic or regular soil, although organic is highly recommended. Organic mediums have many of the nutrients built into the soil, requiring less nutrient solution during the vegetative and flowering stages.
In a hydroponic system, the nutrients are provided through the water. You will have to purchase and add your nutrients into your water supply creating a nutrient solution. When buying nutrients for hydroponic gardens, go with chelated minerals to improve absorption rates. Mixing the nutrients properly according to the directions is key to creating a homogenized solution.
If you’re growing indoors, you’re going to need growing containers such as a pot to put your growing medium and plants. Smart pots are great for beginners because they reduce the risk of root rot, over-watering, and low-quality soil. While they can be a bit pricey compared to regular pots, they can get you started on your journey. Also, consider the size of your grow space and how tall your plants intend to grow before buying your pot. Generally, you want to go for at least a 5-gallon pot.
If you’re growing in a hydroponic system you will likely need a bucket (instead of a traditional pot for soil) to hold your inert growing medium. The substrate is usually suspended over a container full of your nutrient solution. Buying a hydroponic kit will usually come with all you need for your set-up including all the buckets you need.
Proper ventilation is critical for indoor garden plant health. Continually pumping in fresh air is necessary to stimulate photosynthesis. During this process, plants convert the light, water, and carbon dioxide into energy. Additionally, without proper ventilation equipment, your room is vulnerable to fluctuating and high temperatures. Hot and humid climates can increase the risk of mold and pest infestation.
When buying your ventilation equipment, you must know the size of your grow area or grow tents. If you want to get a fan to create an air flow make sure it can handle your garden size. A small clip-on fan can work for small gardens, A medium-sized or big floor fan can provide greater air circulation for large gardens.
Besides airflow, you’re going to need to replace the air of your indoor garden. An air exhaust system pumps out more air than it’s allowing in. This creates a slight negative pressure and brings in fresh and cool air. In the system, you have an exhaust fan, a filter, and ducting to push air out of your garden space. Look for systems with cubic feet per minute (CFM) ratings to determine if it can handle your garden space.
A thermometer helps control the temperature within your grow tent. It’s important to know the temperature because every strain has a different optimal temperature. Thermometers are not very expensive. If you have a hydroponic system, you’ll need a thermometer that measures the temperature of water. If needed, a hygrometer can measure humidity levels in your garden.
8. pH and PPM Testing Tools
If you’ll be growing cannabis, it’s crucial to keep an eye on its pH and PPM levels. For instance, pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of your growing medium or nutrient solution. A pH imbalance can lead to nutrient deficiencies, affect the structure of your soil, increase the risk of bacteria, and reduce the number of nutrients available. All in all, it’s a bad idea to overlook pH. For a hydroponic grow, the optimal pH levels are between 5.5 to 6.5. Soil-based grows should have pH between 6.5 and 6.8.
Now that you know why pH is such a big deal, it’s important to invest in a pH meter. Keep in mind, you’re going to need a different meter for soil and a different one for a hydroponic system. Hydroponic pH meters must work well in water.
If you’re growing hydroponically, you will need an EC/PPM meter. Soil-based growers don’t really need one but hydroponic growers need to assess the nutrient strength of their nutrient solution. With hydroponic nutrient solutions, the nutrient levels fluctuate. Having a good quality meter helps you assess whether your solution has too much or too little nutrients.
9. Carbon Filter
If you have a particularly pungent cannabis strain, you may need to invest in a carbon filter to control some of its aroma, especially if you don’t want any roommates or neighbors smelling your garden. A carbon filter can remove nearly all of this smell. A carbon filter is essential to keep your garden from bothering others. When buying a carbon filter, make sure to get one that has a CFM rating equal to or exceeding your garden’s volume.
10. Grow Tent
While many growers have certainly gone without a grow tent, a grow tent can contain your garden and more accurately recreates its optimal conditions. Growing in a bare room, garage, or closet can meet your basic needs. A grow tent offers many benefits including keeping out pests, reflecting light back onto the plants, isolating smells, and allowing you to create a climate controlled space.
Online Cannabis Cultivation Training
Now that you know what equipment and tools you need to get your indoor garden set up, it’s time to put it to the test. Learn how to set up your equipment and grow cannabis from home. CTU’s online cannabis training gives you the knowledge you need to learn how to take care of a cannabis plant and harvest bountiful buds. Sign up for cannabis college here.