Howdy green peeps, starting a home cannabis garden has a lot of different aspects to it. Today we’ll look at three of them in three different questions all revolving around starting up a new garden. If you want to start out growing the highest quality all-natural cannabis, I highly recommend you grab a copy of my book, True Living Organics 2nd Edition, and start your all-natural growing game right.
If you are starting up in a new growing space/room, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to put your floorplan down on paper first, to scale. This will save you a ton of potential small issues not so easy to resolve while actually doing it. You can easily run 2, 400-watt lights, and a powerful venting fan on a standard bedroom 20-amp circuit. No electrical modifications needed.
Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…
Starting a Home Cannabis Garden Question #1: Autos?
FROM: Tom, Pacifica, CA
“I have read in some of your articles how you don’t like auto strains. I am about to start up a new pot garden and I was thinking of starting off with some autos while I sort out my normal females for cloning. This should give me a constant supply the fastest and still give me the time to select my normal females to clone for the future. Does this all sound right to you Rev? I have a little fear using autos here because of how you speak of them LoL. Thank you.”
Rev’s Answer to Q1
Howdy Tom. Let me start out by saying I am a breeder, and since I personally don’t like autos, I have no use for them, myself. I don’t want to breed them; I don’t really dig the auto high type. Also, the last time I even looked into and grew some autos was like 11 years ago. I imagine they are likely better quality these days, but I don’t actually know myself. So, I don’t like them because as a rule of thumb in my experience, autos have like 1 universal resin type (high type) it’s basically like the old real deal AK47. It hits you very fast, you’re just stoned without nuances (like old world Hashplants/Kush), and it ends within an hour, and you are left hungry and tired. I only dig this kind of cannabis once in a while.
Tons of peeps dig on that type of cannabis the most, so you may well be one of them amigo. You may love autos. But if you are clone hunting for something different and epic, normal cannabis seed stock is where I would look because there is still a lot of diversity there for sure, if you know where to look. You can find some epic chit as long as you get good genetics and are willing to put in a little time and actually search the true gems out. I never even found any of the autos I grew to be particularly potent, decent at best, but that has likely changed by now too; I hope so.
Starting a Home Cannabis Garden Question #2: Seeds and Clone Hunting?
FROM: Renata, TX, USA
“Rev, long-time fan, love the book and I’m kicking ass. I’m on my 7th grow indoors and what I really want to do is hunt a few spectacular clones out to run mostly every grow. With my space I can flower about 10 to 12 plants at a time. My questions are: How many seeds should I germinate? I mean, how many each from how many strains? Does that make sense? lol”
Also, any shortcuts you could give me would be most appreciated. Thank you Rev-man 😉
Rev’s Answer to Q2
Awesome question, and let’s start with the bad news—LoL—I don’t know any shortcuts really besides being familiar with cannabis expressions in general. Being familiar with the strains/varieties you will be working with would be a pretty big shortcut(s) as well. However, the old-fashioned way works, you just need to be able to take, label, and root clones well. Run females, remove any weak plants, clone selected females and flower/harvest them. Once you are smoking the different females compared to each other, the best of those will stand out and you can keep cloning those selected female clones. “Rinse and repeat!”
In a year you can have several real killers (serious gems) starting with good genetics. Most seeds from good breeders that end up being females will normally be really good female plants. You won’t regularly get true earthshaking females, maybe 1:49 or something. But most of them will turn out ass-kicking, and healthy/hearty making you very happy. Then there are genetic crosses that are more like 1:4 (1 out of 5 females) for something epic, however, the downside to these genotypes is that the other 4:1 will basically be average or less. As a clone hunter I would suggest you look for the 1:4 varieties/strains.
F2 generation seeds are usually really good for epic female clone hunting, as long as they are not mega poly-hybrids. I would advise avoiding backcrossed, feminized, reversed, or selfed genetics if possible. Your percentages will almost always balance out with good genetics, and if you get a few average ones, look harder because epic can likely be next. My Metal Haze was exactly like that.
Starting a Home Cannabis Garden Question #3: Space and Equipment?
FROM: Timothy, CA, USA
“Hi Rev. I recently moved and I have a single bedroom to work with. If you were in my situation what would be the bare minimum in equipment that I would need to pull off an all-natural garden in that room? I only have a standard 20-amp breaker in that room, and I can vent out a window, so I am good there. Thanks for all you do, you have helped me a great deal over the years.”
Rev’s Answer to Q3
Howdy amigo. Well for any cannabis garden you have several things to square away, in a bedroom or a warehouse they’re the same. Using a single extra room (I’m assuming it is at least like a 10-foot by 10-foot room) you will want to have some sort of division for workspace and growing space. For this reason, I would advise you to get grow tents, good ones, like either 3’ x 3’ or 4’ x 4’ Gorilla tents. Myself, I would use 2 tents to keep things rolling steady—lemme ‘splain…
Using two tents will allow you to stagger your harvests so you are harvesting about once every 5 weeks or so, which is very sweet for a home garden indeed. Cover the whole bedroom floor with a good quality tarp, first thing. Optimally you can use the bedroom closet to clone in. Here’s a basic checklist I would go through in your situation bruddah.
The Check List
- Water: This is the first thing I would always consider when starting a garden in a new location. Dial in your water source. A dual carbon filter for chlorine will set you back about $100.00 and if you need a reverse osmosis filter it will be about $200.00.
- Venting: Sounds like you have this already figured out. I would use overkill on my exhaust fan, and I would also advise you have one with multiple power settings. This keeps you flexible. Figure around a couple hundred dollars for a fan and venting equipment.
- Lights: Here’s your real spendy part, however, if you are using tents, you can get away with a couple good lights. I would recommend either the Core, or the 420h series LED full spectrum lights by NextLight LED Grow Lights. Or, for HID lights I would use 400-watt metal halide Eye Blue Hortilux. Great flowering and vegging bulbs. Heat would make my choice here because HID lights run very hot; but you could vent the lights directly as another option. LEDs run cool. $600.00 to $1,500.00 roughly for your lights.
- Cloning: A space to clone and some working space for things like aerating plant water, meters/tools, and top dressing. Get a decent cloner like a 36-site Clone King—Under $100.00.
- Temperature: I would vent the tents in the room rather than the room itself; better control this way. A heater may be needed. Using the bedroom heater works fine but shield any heater light carefully. A fast-cooling method may also be needed. So, figure out what you need to open, or use, to cool it down if it gets too hot. Those LED lights by NextLight have multiple power settings which is handy if it gets too hot.
Let me expand a bit on that whole 4:1 thing above. When starting a home cannabis garden and you are choosing which genetics to run, you must think about what you want here. If you are into production where basically every female from seed will be killer, either aim towards F1 hybrids made from 2 parent plants that are either IBLs (inbred line) or parents that are also true F1 hybrids that are themselves made from two IBL lines/genetics (4-way F1 hybrid). Or you could go for proven IBL genetics. Polyhybrids are kind of hit and miss. F1 hybrids (true ones) and long proven IBL lines both will normally give you uniform females for the greater part.
I mentioned the Metal Haze clone above I found out of like 5 female plants from 10 seeds. 4 of these females were either just okay/average, or below average. But The One female was truly epic with sublime terpenes and resin properties. Hard core cat-pissy with an intense level of potency. The kind that will spin some peeps out. Nature balances out, so when you get some sucky or average females, look harder, at more. Those are the kind of genetics to use clone hunting in my opinion/experience. Somewhat unstable/non-uniform ones, or F2s.
See Ya All Back Here Next Tuesday
Over at Kingdom Organic Seeds check out the Chunky Cherry Thai. While she is an F1 hybrid and a true one (3-way), she also spits out a pretty wide bandwidth of phenotypes. It’s a good thing too, the best of both worlds. I have never seen an average or below quality female, they’re all killers. But some, especially the longer flowering ones, are very much like real deal old school Thai baybee! Just a little looking is all it takes. Check out the MILF on her: MILF Rev’s Rave: Chunky Cherry Thai. L8r G8rs…
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.