WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 5: Tess Kelly tends to her marijuana plant named ‘Obama Junior’ in her home in Columbia Heights on August 5, 2015 in Washington DC. Kelly, a paralegal for Paul Zukerberg by day is a amateur pot grower by night. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
More and more people are choosing to grow their own cannabis. Since apartment dwellers are a big chunk of the population, that means lots of people are growing weed in their apartments. Many of them are achieving successful harvests through apartment growing. It isn’t extremely difficult; it’s just a matter of being familiar with a few tips and tricks. We’re here to help.
You may be lucky enough to have mellow neighbors and a cool landlord. We’re talking about folks who don’t mind the smell of growing cannabis. If so, that makes things a lot easier when you’re apartment growing.
But the rest of us must worry about the scent of a pot garden stinking up the whole apartment complex. That can get you evicted or even busted if you live in a state where it’s illegal to grow pot. That’s why having a plan to deal with the weed smell needs to come first when apartment growing.
The good news is, there’s a relatively easy solution. You need an exhaust duct equipped with an active carbon filter. An exhaust fan pulls the odor-laden air through the duct and filter, and the carbon helps eliminate the smell.
Plants, like humans, need to breathe. The only difference is they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, which is the opposite of us.
Ventilation ensures not only that the air is fresh, but also that the temperature in the grow room is cool enough. If your grow room gets too hot and stuffy, it can stress out your plants and even cause them to stop growing. Consistent airflow helps the plant stay healthy.
Humidity control is also a crucial component of apartment growing. High humidity can cause dreaded mold and mildew on your plants, which can destroy your crop. Many growers put a dehumidifier or a humidifier in the grow room for this reason. Humidity levels should be between 50 percent and 70 percent for vegetative growth, and between 50 and 60 percent for flowering.
While high-intensity metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights certainly have their place in indoor cultivation, LED lights are best for apartment growing. This is because LEDs don’t produce nearly as much heat as high-intensity lighting.
Happily, LEDs also use much less power than MH and HPS lights. This helps offset the somewhat higher initial cost of buying them. The fact that LEDs run more quietly is also a big plus for stealth apartment growing.
Yet another reason LEDs are ideal for apartment growing is that they’re safe to leave much closer to your plants than high-intensity lights. When you’re growing weed in a closet, grow tent, grow box, or other limited space, that can be important. Few things are as heartbreaking as accidentally scorching one of your plants with a hot lamp.
The three main options for apartment growing are closets, grow tents, or grow boxes.
As spaces which are already defined, closets are usually one of the first places prospective apartment growers think of. They provide privacy from prying eyes. They can also be lined with flat white paper or reflective mylar to maximize lighting.
Closets, however, can present challenges when it comes to airflow, temperature and humidity. Exhaust systems are a near-must. And you’ll need to think about how to duct your exhaust through an existing window or dryer vent.
Grow tents are a second option, and for many apartment dwellers, a good one. Many grow tents are reasonably priced and aren’t too difficult to set up. A big advantage of tents over closets is that they are specifically designed for growing. Grow tents also help prevent the kinds of wall and floor damage from humidity and spills which can occur in closets.
Grow boxes may be the best option for apartment growing. These self-contained grow spaces can even come pre-equipped with what you need to grow weed. That means you can invest in an all-in-one grow box complete with lighting, ventilation, and, if desired, even a hydroponic setup.
Growing in a limited space requires that some thought is given to strain selection. Whether in a closet, grow tent, or grow box, you’ll ideally want to select more compact varieties for apartment growing.
Practically speaking, this means the typically smaller profile of indica plants may be a better match for your grow space. Another factor to consider is the ease of growing a strain. If you’re a newbie grower or are working with a less than ideal grow space, don’t select a finicky strain.
Auto-flowering strains are a good option if you don’t want to stress about photoperiod. These strains start flowering without changing the lighting cycle. They typically start flowering at about five weeks old and remain compact in size. They’ll be ready to harvest about seven weeks later.