Growing cannabis in small spaces
Marijuana crops in small spaces
Lots of people can't grow marijuana at home because they don't have enough space to do it. In this way, growers must be more creative when planning their grows, since, as we'll see, any corner of our house can be used to grow cannabis for our own supply if we use the correct lighting system: CFL's, LED panels, HPS lamps, LEC CMH lighting kits...
As we mentioned, spaces like the stairwell, under a desktop, inside a wardrobe, etc. may be suitable for growing marijuana at home, we only need to adapt a bit the available space.
Choosing the correct cannabis strain to grow
If we are going to grow cannabis in a small space, choosing which strain to grow is crucial. We'll have to avoid Sativas if our space is short or if we don't have air cooled reflectors like Cooltube, since these plants reach high heights during the flowering period. Using this type of reflectors allows us to have the lamp closer to the plants, so we have an available space slightly higher for our plants to grow.
Thus, in the case of having low spaces, we should grow mostly Indica strains or autoflowering plants rather than Sativas. Indicas and autos develop more compact and chunky plants, but yields are not compromised since they are good producers. We can try to grow Sativas by using different techniques to control the height of the plants, although it'll be more difficult than growing mostly Indica hybrids or autoflowering varieties.
If we have a standard grow tent we can try any genetics, since height should not be a problem in most growing cabinets available in the market.
What growing technique to use in mini cannabis grows?
Let's suppose that we don't have much height in our grow and we know what seeds to use. Now we only need to know how to grow them. There are several growing techniques suitable to be used in our case, so we'll explain the most commonly used ones in indoor growing spaces.
The Sea of Green (SOG), the Screen of Green (SCROG) and the Low Stress Training (LST) techniques can be very useful in our case. We can also use different pruning methods like the FIM, Super-cropping, etc. Basically, any technique that helps us to control the height of our plants.
We should also remember that cannabis plants usually stretch less if we use MH lamps during the pre-flowering stage (first two weeks into flowering). Something important when plants have to remain short and compact.
What light to use in mini marijuana grows?
Normally, all indoor growers must choose the correct lighting system for the available growing space. The larger the space, the more potent these systems can be, since the heat produced by the bulbs can raise the temperature of the growing space drastically.
If the height of our growing space is around 1.5 metres or less, we should choose 250W HPS lamps (even 400W if we use air cooled reflectors and a potent air extractor), CFL's or LED systems, otherwise the heat emitted by the lamp will raise too much the temperature, affecting our plants. We can also combine two different types of lamps (for example, a 250W HPS on the center and LED strips/bulbs on the sides), whatever meets our needs best.
Appart from the lighting system, we should also take into account the required air extraction system for the space/lamp we are using, as well as the chosen pots; pots vary in sizes and shapes, so if we don't have much height for our plants we should get low and wide containers, while if height is not an issue we should use taller and narrower pots.
LED technology for growing cannabis in small spaces
Over the past years, LED lighting systems have gradually improved their performance in indoor crops. New optics, motherboards, more watts, better spectrums and enhanced light penetration are some of the improvements achieved in LED systems.
Since they produce little heat, they are perfect for using in small cannabis growing spaces, but we must remember that we have to keep a distance between the lamp and the plants of at least 20cm, so the different colours are mixed and plants receive the correct light spectrum. Otherwise, plants won't perform photosynthesis correctly, showing discoloration on leaves.
As we already mentioned, LED systems produce almost no heat, what enables us to use more light output per surface area, resulting in higher yields. We can find different models in the market, just remember to use the same lamps (Watts) in case of using several systems in the same growing space.
Indoor micro cannabis grows
If we don't have enough space for a small growing tent, we have a last option: micro cannabis grows. If you don't need high amounts of buds and don't have the required space at home to have a grow tent, then micro grows are one of the best options for you.
In this case, we have used 18L containers to build up a micro growing space for autoflowering plants (we could also use an old, empty computer tower or anything similar). We prepared a small greenhouse for pots with the needed air intake/outtake, lamp and also light reflecting film to avoid light leaks.
We have a small Sunnon fan acting as air extractor and a LED system, everything we need to successfuly harvest our small plant. As you can see, you can grow marijuana almost anywhere, it is all up to your imagination and skills as grower.
Happy mini grows!