As cannabis and its cultivation is more popular than ever and it seems that trend won’t stop soon, we see more and more people wanting to grow their own cannabis. Most beginners to growing don’t have the necessary experience or knowledge to start a full-blown indoor or outdoor growing operation, so they opt for a simpler option – a micro grow. Take a couple of seeds and plant them in a cupboard or a similarly small space, trying to get the best possible results of it – or in other words – micro growing. It is a natural way for beginner growers to get that needed experience and to experiment with no fear of ruining a big and expensive operation. This article will cover the basics of micro growing and the differences between it and a standard indoor grow, so let’s get started.
What Is Micro Growing?
Micro growing would best be described as a process of growing a small batch of cannabis in a limited space, trying to get the best possible results. That being said, micro growing is a type of indoor growing, just smaller in proportions. The main difference between a micro grow and a usual indoor grow is exactly that – the amount of space. Due to the lack of space, all the other basic aspects of cannabis growing – light, water and air supply, soil, the choice of strains – differ slightly from your regular indoor grow. Almost any space you imagine can be used for micro growing, from cupboards to computer cases. The main idea (and challenge) is to create the optimum conditions for your plants to thrive in that space.
Using mini grow spaces can not only save you valuable space, but they can also help maintain a discrete grow. They’re easy to hide in a tiny space, and because you are growing fewer plants, the aroma is not as strong as what you’d find at larger grow sites.
Micro grows can be anything from a shoebox to computer cases. Some growers even use cupboards and plastic storage containers. Keep the growing conditions optimal, and it can be done!
Choose Your Strain
Different cannabis strains vary massively.
Because space is the primary variable, you must choose the right cannabis strain to maximize your micro grow yields. In general, there are two main options: Sativas and Indicas. Sativas tend to grow tall and slender, while Indicas tend to grow to be bushy and short.
If you don’t want to use much vertical height, most Sativas will be problematic at best. This is because they tend to increase in height by 200-300% during the flowering phase. On the other hand, Indicas only increase by about 50-100%, taking up less space but delivering high yields.
Want to know the easiest way to grow cannabis plants in a tiny space? Use autoflowering strains. These naturally small weed plants are perfect for a cannabis micro grow room. The genetics of these strains makes them remain small under all conditions, and they are ready for harvesting just 10 weeks after planting.
Plus, autoflowering varieties switch between the vegetative and flowering stages automatically. Unlike other strains, they don’t require a specific ratio of light hours and dark hours to thrive. Therefore, there’s no need to worry about using specialized lighting – your LEDs will work just fine.
Now it is recommended you start you’re seeds in a solo red cup(You know the ones you party with). It allows the roots to fill up the entire pot/container and use up all the nutrients and soil in the pot/container. Simply said BIGGER roots equal BIGGER yields or more buds after harvest! Then later when your plant gets pretty decent in size you transplant to your chosen pot, TRANSPLANTING ISN’T MANDATORY! Also you don’t want to VEG for long since you’re attempting a Micro Grow, keep in mind when plants get to the flowering stage they grow 2x bigger!
Space is the main difference between micro growing and a regular indoor grow. This lack of space usually calls for shorter and bushier plants, which is shown in the choosing of the right strain. There are other ways to influence a plants growth, such as various growing techniques: topping, super cropping,screen of green (ScrOG) and low stress training (LST).
Lighting Considerations for a Cannabis Micro Grow
Every plant requires light to grow. That includes marijuana plants. But you need proper lighting to grow cannabis plants that thrive and produce high yields in a mini grow or tiny space. The first consideration is wattage. You want an average of 400 Watts for each square meter of micro grow space.
You’ll also need to decide on your light type. There are various light sources to choose from, such as HPI, HPS and CFL lamps when growing marijuana, but the best choice for a micro grow setup is LEDs.
LED lamps are very effective and efficient when growing small weed plants. They have a full light spectrum that will cover the entire growing cycle and gives off very little heat. Their low heat also lowers your chance of needing equipment (such as AC) to keep the temperature down.
Keep in mind, LEDs can still burn your small weed plants, especially if they’re placed too close to them. A small space allows the area to get hot very fast, and your leaves and buds could be burnt. However, the risk of burning your plants is much less with LEDs than when using alternative such as HPS, just remember to keep your plants a safe distance from the lights.
Once your seeds are germinated and planted into whatever container/pot you’re starting your grow in you can either have them under light for 24 hours straight until flowering stage or if you want to let your babies rest or save some money from that electricity bill. You can also have a schedule of 18 on/6 off or 20 on/ 4 off any of those times are fine it’s your decision for the Vegetation stage, but When in flowering lights HAVE to be on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours no and’s if’s or but’s!
What Your Tiny Space Needs to Grow Marijuana
With marijuana, it is less about space and more about conditions. For a healthy, thriving cannabis plant, you need the following:
- Sufficient height space –Focus on height more than width. You can always train bigger plants to grow upward as opposed to outward.
- Ventilation – All plants need fresh air to thrive. A few fans can do the trick.
- Proper temperature – A heater or AC with an automatic thermostat can help keep the indoor grow room’s climate regulated.
- Sterile environment – Indoor plants must be protected from molds, mildews, bugs and pests. Also, stay vigilant for standing water.