How to Grow Cannabis in a Small Space
Cannabis legalization is spreading like wildfire across the world which means you could make a kill if you grow the plant. You don’t actually need a big space to grow cannabis. With the right light and nutrients, a grow room of any size is feasible. Follow these tips to improve the quality and yield of your cannabis when growing it in a small space:
1. Don’t burn the plants
Whether you’re using sunlight or glow lights, you must understand the light needs of a cannabis plant to get the best bud quality and yields. Grow lights can run extremely hot, sometimes to the point of burning the buds or leaves. LED grow lights are a good lighting alternative for small spaces as they provide quality full-spectrum light with minimal heat. This allows your plants to grow closer to the light source without damage from heat, while also reducing the need for climate-control equipment (such as AC) to bring down the temperature in your grow. They are also very cost effective.
2. Train your plants
This sounds unreal but it is possible to train your cannabis plants to increase yields. Simple processes like scrogging, low-stress training (LST), and high stress training (HST) will enable middle and lower branches to receive more light. They will also help the plant to create offshoots, promote an excellent canopy, and increased cola sites. Topping is also a great way to encourage maximum growth. Some of these practices will demand a high level of expertise for optimal results.
3. Choose the right growing medium
Each growing medium that you can use has different care and watering requirements. Grow medium is the home for roots, which sends water and nutrients to the rest of the plant through absorption. A quality grow medium is especially important for a tiny grow in order to get the most out of a plant in a cramped condition. Try out complete soils or super soils because they have most of the nutrients a cannabis plant needs and they allow the plant to store water for a longer time between watering. Ensure the plants have enough soil and water them regularly for good drainage. This keeps your roots healthy. Remember: Soil isn’t your only choice – you can opt for hydroponic.
4. Control the climate
Maintain a healthy temperature and humidity. Using LED grow light to control the overall temperature is fine, but you still need a fan to pull fresh air into your grow space. Fresh air circulation is crucial to getting high yields. Ventilation is, therefore, essential. If you are growing your plants under the sun, be sure not to exposé them to more than 8 hours of direct sunlight in one day. Lastly, regularly check your soil PH to ensure that it is too basic or acidic.
5. Choose the right strain
Seeds or clones; which one should you choose? If you intend to grow your cannabis plants from seeds, for instance, Indica-dominant strains are probably the best option thanks to their stockier structure and short internodes. Those properties make the strains ideal for small spaces. Lanky Sativa, on the other hand, would be okay if you don’t mind some extra work. You will need, for instance, to trim them regularly. Some people prefer auto-flowering because they are incredibly short, but as you would expect with shorter grows, they produce smaller yields. Whichever your strain choice is, always make a point of buying your strains from a reputable breeder or seed bank.
6. Choose your nutrients
You will need to start adding extra nutrients (mostly in the form of fertilizers) to the soil once your plants reach the flowering/budding stage. Note that cannabis plants are heavy feeders so they will most likely have used up most of the nutrients in the soil by the time budding begins. Like all nutrient systems, start with a small amount and increase the daily dosage gradually. Most fertilizers can burn your plants when in excess. If you notice that the lower leaves are turning yellow or falling off, that is a sign that the plants aren’t getting enough nutrients.
7. Be present
Small grow spaces necessitate more attention than large spaces because of several factors. For starters, you must trim your cannabis plants in good time lest they outgrow the grow tent or closet. Secondly, your small tent or closet can get too hot and burn the plants, so you must constantly regulate the temperatures there. Thirdly, a small grow space can easily run out of fresh air and your plant can die.
8. Sterilize the grow space
Sterilization in a small grow space is key because a dirty space won’t suffice. Drain the plants sufficiently, ensure that there is no stagnant water in the space, and keep the grow area contained from the outside environment. While at it, just like in a big grow area, remember to disinfect the grow room to rid it from the pests that exist in grow spaces in an embryonic state and later grow to harm cannabis plants. Ensure that conditions in your grow space are never favorable for pests’ eggs to hatch. Note that even the cleanest of grow spaces can be affected by the following pests if you don’t disinfect them regularly:
- Red spider mites. These mites thrive in grow tents with high temperatures and low humidity. Those are two common problems with small grow areas. You can grow closets from these pests by disinfecting with acaricides.
- Insects such as aphids, white flies, and cochineal. You can control those using insecticides.
- Fungi and mold are also common especially when growing cannabis indoors. They propagate extremely fast, so you must prevent them from pitching tents in your grow tent using fungicides lest they fully damage the crop in no time.
9. Initiate flowering at the right time
Unless you are growing auto-flowering strains, you must be timely in initiating flowering for your cannabis plants. This is particularly important when growing a photoperiod strain (regular plant) because those can easily grow out of control. The best time to initiate the flowering stage is when the plant is approximately half its expected maturity height.
10. Pick a “short” grow style
Your plants will grow short if you adopt one of these grow styles:
- Screen of Green (ScrOG) style. This style forces the plant to grow along a screen or net, so their height is restricted to below the net.
- Sea of Green (SoG) style trains plants to thrive in small pots.
- Manifolding and Supercropping styles force the plant to form a bushy, symmetrical shape at a very young age so they don’t grow excessively tall.
Marijuana plants can grow nearly anywhere for as long as the lighting and nutrients are right. The cannabis micro-grow guide above will help you get a healthy yield even when your grow space is limited.