The conventional wisdom about how much room is needed to produce excellent cannabis plants in limited spaces at home is being challenged by the new trend of micro-cultivating weed.
Micro growers are able to produce excellent harvests in incredibly small places because of new and improved grow equipment (particularly grow lights) and an increase in knowledge about the cannabis plant.
This blog will teach you everything you need to know about micro growing and prepare you to produce excellent marijuana in (nearly) any location – of course, don’t forget that, in Malta, you can only grow in the comfort of your own home!
Knowing the Fundamentals of Micro Growing
Micro growing is based on a smaller scale than your typical indoor growing. It all comes down to creating top-shelf marijuana in small places while maintaining the desired flavour, aroma, and strength (such as small DIY tents, cupboards, bar fridges, or even hulled desktop computer towers). Some growers choose to purchase pre-made stealth grow boxes as an alternative.
The bare minimum space required to produce marijuana in a micro setup is 35 x 35 x 75 cm. You’ll need to make modest tweaks to your lighting and ventilation, the strains you choose to cultivate, your medium, and your watering/feeding schedule to account for the limited area in a micro grow.
The Appropriate Amount of Soil
Due to the difficulty of installing a soilless or hydro system in an area as small as a mini-fridge, the soil is typically used for micro-growing. You should therefore use less soil to prevent your plants from outgrowing the little chamber or tent that makes a micro grow possible.
The size of the root system, a vital component of the plant whose size greatly affects how tall it will grow, is very important. The majority of plants typically take up the same amount of area above and below ground. This relationship between the size of the root system (and, consequently, the volume of medium) and plant size can be used in a micro grow to regulate plant growth and accommodate space constraints.
You can observe how various pot sizes will affect the height of your cannabis plants below:
- 1 to 1.5m in 12l pots
- 60 cm for 5l pots
- 24 cm for 2-3l pots
- 13 cm for 500 ml pots
Be aware that the size of your cannabis plants will vary based on their genetics; these numbers are only approximations. Remember that plants grown in small containers will require more frequent feeding and watering than plants grown in larger containers with access to more soil.
We normally advise sticking to 3l pots for micro growing. However, we have observed some growers using up to 9l pots in slightly larger spaces. The size of your pots is entirely up to you, however, bear in mind that using larger pots will probably limit the number of plants you may grow (although more plants won’t always result in a higher micro grow output).
Selecting the Proper Grow Light
For micro growth, you should first and primarily use LEDs. Simply put, these little grows are not suitable for HPS and HPI lights since they generate far too much heat.
We advise using LED panels for the best outcomes. A 15W panel may provide up to 3000 lumens while emitting almost no heat and using almost no room (the panel only measures 130 110mm).
Alternatively, for your tiny growth, we advise utilising any small 60W LED panel. You may never need to keep this panel operating at full capacity, depending on how little space you’re growing in. To help your plant’s stretch throughout veg, we advise keeping it at 25–50%; during bloom, depending on the plant’s stretch, we advise cranking it up to 50–75%. The controller, which is app-operated, can also be used to adjust the lighting schedule for the panel.
Ventilation and Smell
Even though it might seem like a minor consideration, your cannabis micro grow needs to be adequately ventilated. Air can soon become stagnant in such a confined area, which will cause a lot of issues for your plants. This is due to the fact that plants use CO2 from their surroundings in photosynthesis. Proper ventilation is essential for healthy plants because your plants’ access to fresh, CO2-rich air is severely limited when they’re growing in such cramped areas.
We suggest using a small outtake fan. It might not look like much but it can remove old stagnant air from your space. You can also consider a small handheld fan if you have the space.
Due to the limited space, watering cannabis plants in a micro indoor setup might be challenging. Consider this when creating your own micro arrangement, and try to leave enough room around the base of your plants so that you can comfortably water them. Keep in mind that water splashing up into your plants’ leaves and buds might result in fungal problems, so you should prevent it at all costs.
As with any cannabis grow, it’s crucial to have reasonable expectations about the quantity and quality of your harvest as well as the length of time it will take you to complete the entire process from seed to harvest.
You can typically expect to harvest between 25 and 45g while growing in a compact 35 x 35 x 75cm area with an approximate average of 30W of light during your entire grow, depending on the strain, your feeding schedule, training methods, and skill. Depending on your light cycle and the genetics of your plants, you can often go from seed to harvest in 3 to 4 months.
The price to set up your micro grow box or area will also be very variable. You might be able to construct your own micro grow area for a reasonable price (keep in mind that your LED panel will easily be the biggest upfront cost).