Small Scale Success – Still Success
Now that cultivation of cannabis is legal for private use in South Africa. People are investing in growing setups, like those found on the Marijuana SA shop. What happens though if you do not have access to the Marijuana SA store or you have a limited budget?
Many growers you speak to would have probably, at one point or another, grown inside a cupboard. A clothing cupboard with a rack for hangers makes a great environment to grow.
Growing in a small space, such as a cupboard has its drawbacks. The amount of plants you grow is dependent on your lights. Lighting that is available here is limited, so sticking to one or two plants per light is recommended. The use of an HPS would produce too much heat and would require sufficient ventilation or cooling, and on a tight budget could be breaking the bank. In order to cut costs the use of standard CFL lighting has been used by amateur growers with varied results.
A Better Alternative
Instead of buying twelve standard 20W CFL lights or a ‘cheap’ Amazon LED grow light, consider the Marijuana SA E150 COB LED grow lights. While a bit of DIY is involved, with the correct finesse you can create a high quality, powerful grow light on the cheap; that will out preform Chinese Amazon lights and last significantly longer.
Compared to, CFL, HPS lighting, and Amazon LED’s, the E150’s produce significantly less heat, less heat as we know is a good thing.
Nail The Basics
Amateur growers can also cut costs by using old buckets with sufficient added drainage, make sure to use the correct soil. If you do not have access to feminized seeds, seeds from friends and bag seeds have the chance of being male. Consider starting plants outside until they you are ready to flip them, after which you will be able to tell their sex, and their worth in your micro grow.
Even in a DIY project, make sure everything is right for your ladies. Correctly pH your water and nutrients, pH up and down fluid and a pH pen are expensive and a good pickup, however not necessary. By using bromothymol blue as an indicator of pH. Either add a few drops of lemon juice to decrease your pH, or a couple grams of bicarbonate of soda to increase your pH until your solution is between 6-6.5 pH.
Make sure that you do have some sort of airflow and keep track of humidity and temperature. The more powerful your light the more plants, or the bigger plant you can grow under it so keep this in mind, growing smaller plants takes a bit more experience in training and trimming.
Back in first year of university, I removed everything from an old computer case and fitted four CFL lights into it. I grew a seedling inside until it got too large. I moved it into my cupboard and once if was ready to harvest I was left with 10g of homegrown flower. For a plant that was 40cm tall, it was what fueled a fascination for growing. These kinds of grows are so common and rewarding as an amateur.