What Do I Need to Think About for an Indoor Set Up?

Soft Secrets
11 May 2024

So you have decided to give growing indoors a try, and as a beginner are ready to start on a small scale. You may have seen loads of grow room videos online, and have an idea of what equipment you need and why. In this article, I cover the basics of setting up an indoor cannabis grow room, cover the best substrate, pot size, plant count and many other factors that should be considered, so prepare to find out just how easy setting up an indoor grow room really is.

First, find a space

Well, the first thing you need to do is find an indoor grow space, that is suitable. Not just any indoor space will work, especially if you are serious about producing a good amount of personal flowers. There are variables that you should be aware of such as ventilation options, height and width and privacy value. If you are happy to convert a bedroom wardrobe, or large sized cupboard then this will work, but you will be restricted to only working with a small set up.

  • Large sized bedroom wardrobes work well and extraction can be easily installed.
  • An empty cellar space can be a great choice, once the area is dust free and sterile. 
  • Loft space is an ideal choice for home growers that can remove air out of the rooftop.
  • Storage rooms can also work well, as long as you can find a place to source fresh air from.
  • Grow tents are easy to set up, come in various shapes and sized, and involve no DIY.
  • A garden shed can be a great way to keep your plants indoors, whist close to the house.

What about using grow tents?

I personally love using grow tents, as they are not so expensive, last a long time and can be used for growing, flowering, mother plants, breeding projects and a dry room.  Grow tents are a fast way to get your indoor garden booming, with a 1.2 meter tent taking around 20–30 minutes to set up. The advantages of using grow tents in my opinion is the fact that they can allow you to have multiple tents at once, in the same room. 

The best grow light options

The answer to the question which is the best grow light, may not be based on how expensive or powerful a grow light is, but more on what is more practical for you in terms of budget, space and plant count. With so many different indoors grow lights out on the market, it can be overwhelming sometimes, and the last thing you want to do is invest your hard-earned money in a low quality light.

  • CFL lights are ideal for small wardrobe set-ups, or for vegging seedlings and clones.
  • Metal halide lights are best for the vegetative period, and often paired with HPS lights.
  • High pressure sodium lights are cheap, highly effective and have been used for decades.
  • The quality of LED grow lights will depend on the manufacturer and the technology used.
  • Most growers who use M.H and H.P.S lights produce a dual spectrum ideal for veg and flowering.

Deciding which genetics you want to grow

The next exciting part to tick off the to-do list is to decide which genetics you want to grow. This could be a case of planting some free fem seeds you got in the post, or having been given some clones from a trusted local grower. Deciding what strain you want, can even be the last thing you choose once the room is set up and fully complete.

Which pots are most practical?

There are pros and cons to using big or little pots, but to make life easier as a beginner grower, planting your seeds or clones into one large sized pot such as a 15-20 liter container will save time repotting. In terms of which material pots are best, plastic pots are easy to find, cheap and last a long time. Felt fabric pots can be much more expensive, however having root pruning properties. You cannot go wrong with felt pots in my opinion, and I believe they are well worth the investment. 

Soil, coco coir, or hydroponics?

Once you have chosen the pot size, you should think about which growing medium to use. Most beginners will start off with a complete soil mix, combined with organic liquid nutrients or plain water. Hydroponics is a far more complex way of growing cannabis and is best left to growers with plenty of experience under their belts. 

The job of the carbon filter and extractor

If you have ever walked into a friend's grow room and wondered why there was no smell of flowering plants outside, then this is because of the extractor and carbon filter. The role of the extractor is to suck air out of the grow room and away. As the air is sucked through the carbon filter, it becomes cleaned, releasing carbon fresh air into the street. Without a carbon filter, the aroma of your plants would quickly become problematic, causing a potential knock at the door, or a complaint from an unhappy neighbor!

The importance of fans and fresh air

Fresh air is essential to keep a healthy grow room, and to make sure that the old and hot air is quickly removed from the grow tent / grow room, whilst fresh air enters the room and is blown around with oscillating or fixed wall fans. Always try and have at least one fan that is blowing and oscillating for an even air flow and keeping the grow room temperature consistent. 

Monitor your environment with a sensor

A great bit of advice is to get into the habit of monitoring your room temperature and humidity levels. This should be done using a digital hygrometer with a sensor. It is essential to follow specific temperature and humidity parameters, and having access to a digital reading at all times of the day, and as a reference to the lowest and highest data readings.

Setting the timer properly

All you need to do is set the timer accordingly and then allow the lights to do the rest. You will be either growing your plants up meaning they require 18 hours of light and 6 hours of dark, or flowering the plants meaning you need to set the timer to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.

3 top tips for a beginner setting up a grow room

Before you go ahead and make your final decision on where your first ever indoor grow room will be, there are three top tips here to consider, highlighting mistakes to avoid and how to get the best results. 

Top tip #1 - Sterile environments are best

What I mean by this is that there is no point in converting an old cellar or loft, if the final result is a dirty and dusty grow room. Take the time and effort to thoroughly clean, beach and sterilize as the extra work you put in now, will pay off massively later on.

Top tip #2 - Get a good quality carbon filter

A top quality filter will make a huge difference in how much air can be removed and scrubbed clean with carbon. During high temperatures, carbon filters can begin to lose efficacy and not work as well, which can be a real problem if you are flowering plants. Avoid cheap and cheerful filters and go with a well known industry brand. 

Top tip #3 - Complete grow kits

You only have to look online to see some of the great offers that the grow shops have for beginner growers, complete kit set-ups include everything you would need to get the ball rolling. It can be much easier and practical to have a complete grow kit delivered to your house, and should only take an hour to fully set up.

Soft Secrets