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A good set up to be self sufficient

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Keeno
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A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Keeno »

Self sufficient cannabis growing

A good set up to be self sufficient

A question I've seen a lot over the years on forums is "what do I need to be self sufficient". This is after all why we are here. It's a very tough question to answer, many variables come into play. How much does the average person smoke, are they making concentrates or medicines from their plants, how long is a piece of string. As it gets asked a lot I thought I'd do a write up on what I believe to be the perfect set up to cover just about anyone as a self sufficient grower. Not everyone will have room for the set up I'm about to talk about but the space per plant as well as this is relative for smaller set ups as well.

All of this is from my experiences and watching many growers over many years.

Time to grow full cycle

The one thing I see from a lot new growers is a misunderstanding on how long it will take to go rom seed to harvest. You are looking at around 4 months or 16 weeks. I'm yet to see a strain that's truly ready in under 10 weeks of flower. You then have germination, veg, drying etc to deal with too. 16 weeks is a good number for a full cycle. You can of course reduce this by having separate veg areas, drying areas but most of us struggle for space.

How much room do i need per cannabis plant?

Growing cannabis for personal consumption

This is another mistake I see from new growers a lot. People trying to cram more plants than they should in small areas, a happy plant is a healthy plant, they like room, good airflow and you want to be able to train your plants to make the most of your area. A good number for a plant is 60 x 60cm or 2ft x 2ft. This again is relative to what you are using. In a full hydro set up less plants are needed for a space given the speed of growth but for soil and coco 60 x 60cm is a nice space to grow some very nice plants.

How much light do i need for my plants?

Here is the trickiest question of them all and I'll do a write up on this as it deserves one. For now I'll go into the basics of what's needed. I'll base this on a 60 x 60cm space as that's what I'm recommending per plant in coco and soil. LED has come a very long way in recent years to the point it is easily comparing to to HID lighting in final weight and reports of better quality weed are also everywhere. High end LED lights are expensive though and many new growers will start out with HID, you see the minefield I'm trying to tread here lol.

From my experience:

100w of light per 60cm x 60cm area for veg is a good number to aim for.
150w of light per 60cm x 60cm area for flower is a good number to aim for.

The above is watts drawn from the wall, not the name or selling point of many LED's for instance. Many LED lights are stated at being 2000w but will run at a quarter of this as an example. HID lights will run at stated wattage.

So based on the above:

A 60 x 60cm tent could have a 100w light for veg and a 150w light for flower.
A 1.2 x 1.2m grow tent could have 400w light for veg and a 600w light for flower.

Seedlings and clones are different and require much less light.

How much cannabis will i harvest

The age old question... First off do not take what you read on a breeders packet as a guide, these are numbers based on expert growers using top end kit or breeders will overstate what you can expect, it's a selling point after all.

This question has so many variables its almost something I don't want to go into lol. So I'll base some numbers on what I have experienced and seen growers achieve over my years on these forums. I'm going to base this on soil and coco grows, not hydro. A hydro set up is very different for many reasons.

There are many "ifs" and "buts" when it comes to what you will harvest. If you do your research and pay attention to your plants using the right kit for the job:

Soil 3-4oz per plant is a good number to aim for.
Coco 4-6oz per plant is easily doable.

The above numbers are based on the light wattage I've recommended above. No cannabis is guaranteed at the end of the grow, there are many issues you can run into, I still after all these years growing mess a grow up. Some growers will far exceed the above numbers, I'm going on a average of what I have seen and grown.

Research research research and use the right kit cannot be overstated when growing, these 2 things will make the above much easier.

What kit do i recommend for a self sufficient personal grower

Now time for me to shoot myself in the foot if I haven't already done so in this topic... :lol:

Based on 16 weeks, which equates to 3 harvests a year, I'd recommend a 1.2 x 1.2m grow tent. With my 60 x 60cm rule for space for plants that's 4 plants. 400w grow light for veg, 600w for light. I'll get onto air circulation in a minute. Based on all of the above you can expect an average of 12 ounce in soil and 16 ounce in coco. I cant see many smoking that much but if you do or make medicines/extracts so need more all of the above rules I've set out can be up scaled to bigger tents.

A good starter kit would be:

1.2 x 1.2m grow tent.
400w light for veg, or equivalent LED
600w light for flower, or equivalent LED
4 plants
6 inch high power rvk fan for extraction
Carbon filter to match the air flow of your extraction fan
5-6 inch rvk fan for intake (must be less power than your intake fan).
Ducting to connect your air system up.
Clip on or oscillating fans for air movement inside your tent.

This is a very basic list covering the main components of a grow. There are many more items needed depending on if you want to grow in soil, coco etc. I'm only covering the main kit as a good average to show you what you can achieve. As your experience grows you will do better, you will have bad grows to, it's all part of the fun.

What actual kit do i recommend

First off do not buy the kits you find on ebay, they use cheap fans and filters and the other kit is not up to scratch either. Buy cheap buy twice but that doesn't mean you need to spend a lot of money either.

Tent:

As far as tents go I'm yet to see anything that comes close to Green-Qube, built to last and full of features, I'll never buy any other brand.

Lighting:

Depending on what you want to use, HID or LED I'll list a couple of options.

HID - A digital dimmable ballast is a great tool as it allows you to switch between 250w, 400w, and 600w. 250w is perfect for starting seedlings or clones, 400w for veg, 600w for flower. There are different bulbs you can use also. Metal Halide some like to use for veg, HPS some like to use for flower, Dual spec some like to use full cycle or combinations of them all. The one bit of advice I give with this is to use the correct wattage bulb for each setting. A 600w bulb will dim to 250w but these lights achieve the spectrum they are designed for by reaching certain temperatures so use the correct bulb for each setting. Lumii Black digital ballast have not let me down. Sunmaster bulbs are tried and tested over many years.

LED - This isn't my strong point but Invisible Sun LED grow lights are proving equivalent to HID lights like the above. These lights can also be dimmed so are perfect for different stages of growth.

Fans:

Ive used a few fans over the years. Systemair are by far the most reliable fans I've used, I've got some I've had for 5 years +. They are not as noisy as other makes. You can get much quieter fans if this is something you need but the cost goes up.

Carbon Filter:

Rhino Pro are about as well known as filters go but over recent years they have had issues, a few growers here have had them fail much sooner than they should. Viper filters are what many are now using including myself.

That sums up the main kit and my recommendations on them.

Summary

Growing is easy and hard. The best growers in the world hit issues from time to time. It's best to research every aspect of a grow, medium/system, strains, the kit you will be using etc. Nothing is certain which has made this write up difficult. That being said with the right knowledge and dedication you can achieve the above. Keep it simple and keep it fun and the rest comes together nicely.
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by trid »

Hi Keeno,

This is a very informative article. When you are considering time to grow full cycle, are you talking about autoflower or photo period? Thank you!!
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TommyT (Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:04 pm) • Keeno (Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:42 pm)
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Momma bear »

Good read sir😊
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Keeno (Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:44 pm)
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Minty »

Great post Keeno, very informative and a good reference.

I think the setup I am building is kinda within what you are recommending:-
2 x Plants
2x2 Tent
480W LED

My concern after reading your post is with my air flow. I have a 6" extract and a 4" intake but both are vented via 4" roof outlets so the 6" is effective restricted. There is nothing I can do about it but wondered what you thought about the ratio and if this is going to cause a major issue?
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Keeno (Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:44 pm)

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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Keeno »

trid wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:44 pm
Hi Keeno,

This is a very informative article. When you are considering time to grow full cycle, are you talking about autoflower or photo period? Thank you!!
Mainly photoperiod but tbh autoflowers are not far behind this on time frame. Most will take 12 weeks even if stated otherwise, germination, drying, you are talking a couple of weeks difference. Its why im not a fan of autos at all. You can train and get a photoperiod to do so much more.

Welcome to the forum.
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trid (Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:36 pm)
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Keeno »

MintyMods wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:45 pm
Great post Keeno, very informative and a good reference.

I think the setup I am building is kinda within what you are recommending:-
2 x Plants
2x2 Tent
480W LED

My concern after reading your post is with my air flow. I have a 6" extract and a 4" intake but both are vented via 4" roof outlets so the 6" is effective restricted. There is nothing I can do about it but wondered what you thought about the ratio and if this is going to cause a major issue?
Hey Minty,

If you mean 2 foot by 2 foot you can get 2 in there but id recommend 1. A little bit of training and 1 will will 2 x 2 in no time. a real good example of using that space is below:

https://www.growroom420.com/viewtopic.p ... ar#p103443

As for the roof outlets its not ideal but the fans are different power so in theory if both are on the same size outlet the more powerful fan will move more air.

Have you thought about drawing cool air in from the 4 inch hole as a intake, having your tent just extract into the loft and then have another 4 or 5 inch fan pushing air out of the loft itself. This would allow your actual extraction to work full power while still circulating air in the loft.
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Keeno »

Momma bear wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:59 pm
Good read sir😊
Thank ya maam.
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by GMO »

great write up dude. thanks for the buckets of info :D
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Keeno (Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:11 pm)
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by kbag »

Very good write up k as you say keep it simple and you will not go far wrong.
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Keeno (Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:11 pm)

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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Minty »

Keeno wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:49 pm
Hey Minty,

If you mean 2 foot by 2 foot you can get 2 in there but id recommend 1. A little bit of training and 1 will will 2 x 2 in no time. a real good example of using that space is below:

https://www.growroom420.com/viewtopic.p ... ar#p103443

As for the roof outlets its not ideal but the fans are different power so in theory if both are on the same size outlet the more powerful fan will move more air.

Have you thought about drawing cool air in from the 4 inch hole as a intake, having your tent just extract into the loft and then have another 4 or 5 inch fan pushing air out of the loft itself. This would allow your actual extraction to work full power while still circulating air in the loft.
My bad, it's a 2.0mtr x 2.0mtr tent (should have made that clear). The location is very similar to that post you just mentioned but the grow area is divided by joists so only parts of the area are usable.It basically fits two plants easily (front to back) but not two side to side.

I had never considered your idea for venting the tent into the loft area and then extracting out from there. Interesting idea for sure. My initial concerns would be the additional noise (the fan extracting into the loft would sound louder than if it continues out of the roof via the acoustic ducting - but this is just air movement noise) and the smell as I am not sure how well the carbon filter will work. It is rated for the fan so it might be OK? Definitely an alternative if the current setup shows any issues but would need to get another fan.

I do notice in a few of the pics, people seem to have the extract fan duct-ed down to the floor level. What is the reasoning behind that approach? I currently have mine mounted up with the lights.

Thanks

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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Minty »

MintyMods wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:49 am
My bad, it's a 2.0mtr x 2.0mtr tent (should have made that clear).
FFS still can't get it right, I have no idea what I was smoking but it's actually a 1.2mtr x 1.2mtr x 2.0mtr Tent.

It was a cheap one from Amazon as I knew I had to cut it up to fit so didn't want to spend the cash on a good one.

Gardeners Corner Small Indoor Growing Tent Grow Bud Box Room (1.2m x 1.2m x 2m)

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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by Tictok »

Brilliant article.

This place never ceases to amaze me how helpful everyone is. It saved my first grow, probably going to save my second (thanks to Marcus and Grumpy).
This article alone will probably get me finally dialled in.

Thanks Keeno.
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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by hempologist »

great post helped alot 👍 I'm planning on using coco would a 10l pot be a good size or too small?

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Re: A good set up to be self sufficient

Post by kbag »

10 liter pots are fine but i would advise to use Air pots.

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