If you are one of the 20 million in the United States who use marijuana, or possibly one of the 220 million worldwide, getting your hands on reasonably priced cannabis can be a struggle. While legalization is slowly becoming the norm, limited availability of shops or even the illegality of commercial sale all together may get in the way of purchasing.
Because of these factors, making use of your own grow room can save you money and hassle in the long term. Below we will discuss how to grow weed in a shed, and what steps and equipment you will need to get started.
Pros of Growing in a Shed
Obviously, the most impactful benefit of growing your own cannabis is how much cheaper it ends up being down the road. While there are initial start-up costs (which we will explain below), the long term savings are immense.
An ounce of weed can reach nearly $400 depending on where you live and the strain, so being able to cultivate your own crop will undoubtedly save you money over time.
In addition to having cheaper access to your favorite strain, the reliability of access is another important factor. You’ll no longer need to worry about running out or even running to the shop to purchase more for that matter.
Having a renewing supply, especially if you are a medical patient, is a crucial benefit. If you are suffering from one of the numerous illnesses remedied through cannabis, the risk of not having access to your strain isn’t an option.
Being your own supplier completely remedies this issue and can help put your mind at ease.
Aside from the satisfaction of growing your own weed, being able to monitor the quality is completely in your hands. You’ll no longer be unsure as to whether what you’re buying is legitimate.
There is nothing worse than buying (potentially overpriced) weed to only find out it is subpar or a different strain. All these doubts get thrown out the window when the process is at your fingertips.
Downsides of Growing Your Own Cannabis
There are a few cons to growing your own weed, the most obvious being the upfront cost. While long term it will save you money, it can be quite pricey to get your feet off the ground in the meantime.
This also means an investment in time, as the upkeep does require a bit of know-how and hard work. Pests, mold, and accidental unhealthy plants are all growing pains that you don’t experience when buying over the shelf.
In addition to maintenance, the legality of growing your own cannabis is another factor to consider. While it may be legal to own and grow currently, the constant battle between state laws and federal laws in America can be a point of hesitation.
Luckily it seems to be swaying in the pro-marijuana direction, but it is a component that should stay in the back of your mind.
What Equipment Do You Need to Grow Your Own Cannabis?
There is quite a shopping list of materials to consider when learning how to grow weed in a shed. We’ll touch on the essentials below and the best practices when putting together your grow room.
Maintaining the climate of your grow room is pivotal when growing healthy plants. Excessive humidity and heat, or on the contrast too little, can hinder plant production by blooming too early or creating mold around the enclosure.
Have thick walls for your shed and make use of insulation materials such as foam to regulate the temperature. This is especially important in climates that can see big drops in temperature at night or throughout different seasons.
Efficient growth requires a warm (not hot) climate, so ensure there aren’t any swings in temperature in your enclosure.
Locating the right seeds is both an important but tricky process. The first step is to understand which strain you are looking to grow and finding a reputable breeder to source them from.
Many of the largest seed banks are located in European countries that are unavailable to Americans, but you can also legally purchase seeds from online stores or dispensaries within your state. As a last-ditch effort, you can also try collecting seeds from cannabis you’ve purchased from dispensaries.
Soil and Pots
After germinating your seeds, the next step is to pick the proper soil and pot to plant them in. In terms of pots, there are a couple of variations:
- Standard Pot- The most typical, these pots are readily available at most stores and are used for a wide variety of plants and flowers.
- Air Pots- These have perforated sides and allow more airflow into the roots of the plant.
- Fabric Pots- These prevent excess water from staying in the pot, and also increase airflow.
The higher you’d like your plant to grow, the bigger your container should be. Whatever container you choose, ensure that it has proper drainage and airflow for fast and healthy growth.
Purchasing soil is relatively straight forward, as any store-bought gardening soil will suffice. Making use of bottled nutrients can expedite the growth of your plants, but requires proper pH monitoring.
There are a few different options when picking light sources to implement in your shed. Although you could use natural light via roof lighting, lamps will be a more reliable source year-round.
- HID Lights- HID (high-intensity discharge) lights have become the top tier choice for lamps. These lights are easy to set up and have a lower starting cost, but produce large amounts of heat so they will require proper ventilation.
- LED-The most energy-efficient lights, LED bulbs will lower your overall electric costs month-to-month. In addition, they produce far less heat, so climate management is easier.
- Fluorescent- The most widely available, fluorescent bulbs are similar to the ones used around your house. Because of this, they use the same socket as normal lamps and are energy-efficient. Fluorescent bulbs, however, have significantly less light output. Placing the bulbs closer to the plants can help increase heat absorption.
Lamps will significantly increase the temperature in your shed, so managing this through ventilation is the next step.
As mentioned before, proper airflow is key to the health of your plants. Not only does this regulate heat, but it will also limit excess humidity. There are three main components:
- Fans- Although industrial style fans are best for air circulation, smaller fans can also be integrated into your ventilation system.
- Filter- Filters will purify incoming and outgoing air from your shed. These can be a great way to prevent an embarrassing conversation with your neighbor about any smells originating from your shed.
- Ducts- Air ducts simply direct the air to and from the fans and filter. These are often bundled with filters when purchasing.
Pest Control Products
After you have started the growth process, managing its health requires more than just proper water and airflow. Your plants will naturally attract pests, especially when using a shed that is exposed to the elements.
Neem oil is an organic product that can act as a pesticide for your plants. Surprisingly only affecting the harmful pests, it also acts to reduce unwanted fungus growth.
Expected Total Cost
At the end of the day, how much will this all cost you? While there isn’t a steadfast price, there is a range you can expect to invest in your grow room.
- Seeds- Depending on the source, a pack of five (which accommodates five plants) will cost between $50-$100.
- Pots and Soil- The quality and type of pot will dictate the price, but you can expect to pay between $75-$150 for all five plants. Soil is relatively cheap, usually costing less than $20.
- Lamps- The priciest component, lamps can range between $400-$600 depending on the wattage and type of bulb. Not included in this will be your electricity cost, which will vary on your location.
- Insulation- The price on whether you install the ventilation yourself, or if you have a contractor install it, will vary. Foam boards would be the cheapest option, running around $20 per 4×8 foot sheet.
- Ventilation- You can expect to pay around $150-$200 for the filter, ducting, and fans together.
Obviously these are all loose prices, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $750-$1200 for the entirety of the build.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Learning as much about the process of healthy cannabis maintenance is vital to ensure a return on your initial investment. Growing isn’t as simple as the flowers you keep in your garden, so regular upkeep and diligence are important to properly yield enough weed to justify the cost of the build.
Keep in mind the cost of electricity and other upkeep products like nutrients and pest control that you’ll need for proper care long term. As long as you are conscientious of your plants, the return on your investment will show dividends in due time.