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Wild Bill
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I wanted to point out that the poor like me who cannot work and do not get Social Security cannot afford to grow our own.” - anonymous patient

 

Many times I’ve seen statements to the effect “Cannabis is too difficult and expensive for me to grow”. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. The cannabis plant grows all over the world in some very inhospitable areas and does just fine on it’s own. Why would you think it would need extraordinary care when you grow it yourself?

 

When growing for sale you have to please your customer. Your product must look, smell and taste better than your competitor or you won’t stay in business. When you are a caregiver growing for a sick person you are responsible for the quality of their medicine so you can’t cut corners. You need to grow your cannabis under optimal conditions. You need high wattage lights, you need to monitor the ph, the ppm of the nutrients, temperature, ventilation, light cycles, light leakage and you need to have a large yield of large attractive buds.

 

Before you start to grow think about it for a minute. Do I really need twelve four foot tall plants? Do I really need colas the size of corn cobs? Does it need to be worthy of the High Times centerfold? Probably not.

 

When growing for your own medical needs the main things you need to be concerned with are quality and potency. When it’s being smoked or ingested it doesn’t matter what it looked like before you ground it up, it only matters that it has the desired effect and doesn’t contain harmful molds or pesticides.

 

Your growing conditions only need to be necessary and sufficient. You need to grow only enough high quality cannabis for your own use and don’t need to impress others with how big your plants or buds are. In fact it’s better if no one knows where those buds came from, it’s none of their business.

 

My initial problem when I started growing for my medical needs was staying within my legal limits of 2.5 ounces. By growing according to popular wisdom I was getting yields far in excess of what I could use.

 

I needed to downscale. What I came up with is going to drive many of you crazy.

 

I’m doing everything wrong!

 

Yet somehow it still grows. It grows with vigor and potency. It grows inexpensively.

Plus, it fits into my general lifestyle of being cheap and lazy.

 

Lets get some questions out of the way right now since I know they’ll come up sooner or later.

 

Q: What grow medium do you use?

A: Deep water hydroponic gardening, bubble buckets to be specific.

 

Q: What kind of lights do you use?

A: Compact fluorescent bulbs.

 

Q: What kind of nutrients?

A: DynaGro. An old standard. A one part fertilizer developed for the commercial hydroponic industry. Grow and flower formulations are available as well as additives that you may want to check into as your skills progress.

 

Q: At what ph level do you keep the water?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: At what temperature do you keep the water?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: At what parts per million level do you keep the nutrients?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: How much is your typical yield?

A: Usually 1 to 1 ½ oz of bud per plant, depending on the strain.

 

Now that we have that out of the way the expert growers will have left us in disgust and we can get started with our low budget grow.

 

First you will need a location to grow in. I use a corner of a storage room for my veg room and a closet for flowering. The space used for veg is roughly 3' x 5' and the room for flower is 4' x 4'.

 

Make sure that the room is reasonably light proof or you will end up with hermaphrodites. Some of this is strain dependent. There are strains that hermie with just a small disruption of their light cycle and others that don’t. I’ve found that minor light leaks don’t make a great deal of difference in many strains.

 

Equipment list:

 

  • Empty cat litter buckets

  • Net pots

  • Rockwool

  • Hydroton

  • Air Pump & air stones

  • Light fixtures

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs

  • Lamp timer

  • Nutrients

 

 

For my grow containers I use the rectangular buckets left over from cat litter. They could have been custom made for growing. I cut a hole for a net pot in the large side of the lid and use the small side to add water. Add a small hole for your air lines and you’re all set. Bubble bucket tutorials are plentiful on the web so I won’t bother with the details of bucket set up.

 

bucket

 

 

The thing that seems to put off newbies the most is the cost of lighting, both initial equipment expense and electrical costs.

 

My lighting system is comprised of two bathroom fixtures that I rescued from the trash. One fixture has three bulb receptacles and the other has six. The 3 light fixture has Y receptacles added so it now holds six bulbs. I built a reflector for it out of a kick plate from a discarded screen door.

 

flower lite

 

 

I had planned to do the same thing with the larger fixture but so far have found it unnecessary to do so. The plants in veg grow more slowly but that is an advantage to me because one of my problems is lack of space. By allowing the plants to grow slowly it gives me enough time to flower two plants without the plants in veg becoming too big for my room.

 

Veg lite

 

I keep four plants, each one a different strain, in veg at all times. The plants will normally be about 2 feet tall when placed in flower. A couple of weeks before I put one into flower I will take a clone. I start the clones in a rockwool cube placed in a single serve pudding container, they are just the right size for the cube, disposable and free. When I see roots on the clone I put the mother into flower and put the clone in the mothers pot.

 

cutting

 

 

I generally flower two plants at a time. This has proven to keep me in a continuous supply and lets me stay within my legal limits. This system of four in veg, two in flower and two clones also keeps me well within my plant count so if I want to try a new strain I can do so without losing any of my existing strains.

 

Since CFL’s do not have the penetration power of HPS lights you need to keep the light closer to the plant. This is possible with CFL’s because they don’t generate the heat that the standard grow lights do. I recommend the book Marijuana Buds for Less by SeeMoreBuds. It explains how to grow with CFL's.

 

Low stress training helps to encourage budding sites as does topping or SCROG. These techniques are also easy to find on the web so I won’t bother with these either. I have also found that different strains react differently to these techniques so what you use will be somewhat strain dependant.

 

My electrical costs are minimal. All together I am supplying power for 3 air pumps, 12 CFL’s , 2 lamp timers and 1 small fan in my flower room. There seems to be enough air circulation in my veg room that the fan is not needed.

 

I hope that this tutorial will encourage those who have not grown their own medicine because they thought it would be too difficult or expensive to give it a try. Start with some bag seed until you get the hang of things and then take some of the money you’ll be saving on meds and spend it on some good genetics.

 

This method will not give you a showcase crop or large yields but it will keep you in affordable, high quality medicine.

 

flower

Edited by Wild Bill
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Thanks for posting this. I say this all the time.  And yes,... your ways are questionable, but as long as it is effective and takes care of you with the least amount of effort possible.... boooyah!.

 

 Let me say, the ppm thing and not checking ph was questionable.

 

 The CFL's and buckets and everything is spot on.

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 Let me say, the ppm thing and not checking ph was questionable.

 

That's the beauty of the cannabis plant. It grows in the harshest conditions. If you do pay attention to those details it will grow even better for you.

 

The whole point of this is to show what you can do with an absolute minimum of money, space and skill.

 

This obviously won't supply enough for a cancer patient for example, who might need enough for a large supply of oil, but it will at least get those patients who don't need more than their allotted 2.5 oz an inexpensive alternative.

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I would say it can, but i must say , a 400w ballast and cheap reflector can be had for like $109 nowadays.

 

400 Watt system

 

Just to show it is out there people.

 

 Toss in a few CFL's for veg, cost of a few pots and soil or what Wild bill showed here; register a caregiver to give ya clones- a little instruction and .... there ya go.

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Totally.  That one i showed even comes with a bulb for $107.   And Hangers!

 

Heh. :-)

 

 And that is all the vast vast vast majority of patients need.

 

 Most cancer patients only use it for nausea too.  The percentage that need large amounts is very very very small.  1%?  Maybe 2%?

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Exactly.

 

So yea,... thanks bill for posting this.

 

When i say i can setup someone for $250 + $50/month, i really mean it.  I mean that is for everything including a small air conditioner for the summertime. :-) And that is producing at least 4 oz a month, minimum.

 

So yea,... there are ways, and i wish more people would teach em.

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I've used orchid food in the past, and found it effective and easy to use. It is also more cost effective. It is not absolutely required that Fox Farms, or for that matter any nutes specifically geared toward cannabis growing, be used. Garden centers are bringing in their spring and summer stock now. They carry many nutes that work just fine. Pots, growing media, and organic pesticides are found in their inventories. Watch for bargains.

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I would say it can, but i must say , a 400w ballast and cheap reflector can be had for like $109 nowadays.

 

400 Watt system

 

Just to show it is out there people.

 

 Toss in a few CFL's for veg, cost of a few pots and soil or what Wild bill showed here; register a caregiver to give ya clones- a little instruction and .... there ya go.

 

This thread is aimed at low income patients. The CFL's use about $20 to $30 a month. How much does the 400 watt use per month?

 

It's better to use more light if you can but if you are on a fixed income you use what you can.

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Well, of course it depends on local electric costs, but the 400(after your first veg stage) is only running 12 hours a day.  I will place electric cost at about .12/kwh and it is around $21.00/month.  The veg CFL's would be the same cost as you.  The wattage adds up slowly and is probaly what $8/month for your veg lights?  I add in the cost of a very small window air conditioner at around $20 a month in the summer. A circulating fan is $4 in electric?

 

 Much of this electric can be compensated for by actually turning off your computer and tv's and lights and such too. Lower wattage bulbs in your house lighting etc.  :-)

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That's the beauty of the cannabis plant. It grows in the harshest conditions. If you do pay attention to those details it will grow even better for you.

 

The whole point of this is to show what you can do with an absolute minimum of money, space and skill.

 

This obviously won't supply enough for a cancer patient for example, who might need enough for a large supply of oil, but it will at least get those patients who don't need more than their allotted 2.5 oz an inexpensive alternative.

 

Im all for the free grows!

HPIM1967.jpg

 

HPIM1968.jpg

 

Free hill billy grow if you have no neighbors and leo dont see it from the air lol, and if you have the nads, I gave these one gallon of water a week, the rest of the week they got dew at nite, I doubled the height of the hill billy grow before some one started stealing them, but look locked secured facility,, :yahoo-wave:  :judge:

 

Peace

Jim

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i think jims got the best idea....While I agree this is cool idea, not real sure how good it would work for a heavy use pt. How much rso can you produce with this idea.... in general i ALWAYS tell newbies to run from doing hydro. some may get lucky, hell i did my first time, nothing but problems every time i tried since then. Also in the long run i think organic soil might be cheaper and better....

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Well done, WB! I know you recommended the dynagro to me, but after reading this I am amazed you don't pH adjust or anything. I would add more watts if not for the monthly add-on cost.

 

I know folks say HPS provide more lumens/watt, so wanted to mention I found a burned out 70 watt HPS on my back porch and put a replacement bulb in it. With my white PVC fence and some snow on the ground, it lights up my entire back yard! If you can get a decent price on a fixture for these, it might be a good alternative to cfls.

I wanted to point out that the poor like me who cannot work and do not get Social Security cannot afford to grow our own.” - anonymous patient

 

Many times I’ve seen statements to the effect “Cannabis is too difficult and expensive for me to grow”. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. The cannabis plant grows all over the world in some very inhospitable areas and does just fine on it’s own. Why would you think it would need extraordinary care when you grow it yourself?

 

When growing for sale you have to please your customer. Your product must look, smell and taste better than your competitor or you won’t stay in business. When you are a caregiver growing for a sick person you are responsible for the quality of their medicine so you can’t cut corners. You need to grow your cannabis under optimal conditions. You need high wattage lights, you need to monitor the ph, the ppm of the nutrients, temperature, ventilation, light cycles, light leakage and you need to have a large yield of large attractive buds.

 

Before you start to grow think about it for a minute. Do I really need twelve four foot tall plants? Do I really need colas the size of corn cobs? Does it need to be worthy of the High Times centerfold? Probably not.

 

When growing for your own medical needs the main things you need to be concerned with are quality and potency. When it’s being smoked or ingested it doesn’t matter what it looked like before you ground it up, it only matters that it has the desired effect and doesn’t contain harmful molds or pesticides.

 

Your growing conditions only need to be necessary and sufficient. You need to grow only enough high quality cannabis for your own use and don’t need to impress others with how big your plants or buds are. In fact it’s better if no one knows where those buds came from, it’s none of their business.

 

My initial problem when I started growing for my medical needs was staying within my legal limits of 2.5 ounces. By growing according to popular wisdom I was getting yields far in excess of what I could use.

 

I needed to downscale. What I came up with is going to drive many of you crazy.

 

I’m doing everything wrong!

 

Yet somehow it still grows. It grows with vigor and potency. It grows inexpensively.

Plus, it fits into my general lifestyle of being cheap and lazy.

 

Lets get some questions out of the way right now since I know they’ll come up sooner or later.

 

Q: What grow medium do you use?

A: Deep water hydroponic gardening, bubble buckets to be specific.

 

Q: What kind of lights do you use?

A: Compact fluorescent bulbs.

 

Q: What kind of nutrients?

A: DynaGro. An old standard. A one part fertilizer developed for the commercial hydroponic industry. Grow and flower formulations are available as well as additives that you may want to check into as your skills progress.

 

Q: At what ph level do you keep the water?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: At what temperature do you keep the water?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: At what parts per million level do you keep the nutrients?

A: Don’t know never checked it.

 

Q: How much is your typical yield?

A: Usually 1 to 1 ½ oz of bud per plant, depending on the strain.

 

Now that we have that out of the way the expert growers will have left us in disgust and we can get started with our low budget grow.

 

First you will need a location to grow in. I use a corner of a storage room for my veg room and a closet for flowering. The space used for veg is roughly 3' x 5' and the room for flower is 4' x 4'.

 

Make sure that the room is reasonably light proof or you will end up with hermaphrodites. Some of this is strain dependent. There are strains that hermie with just a small disruption of their light cycle and others that don’t. I’ve found that minor light leaks don’t make a great deal of difference in many strains.

 

Equipment list:

 

  • Empty cat litter buckets

  • Net pots

  • Rockwool

  • Hydroton

  • Air Pump & air stones

  • Light fixtures

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs

  • Lamp timer

  • Nutrients

 

 

For my grow containers I use the rectangular buckets left over from cat litter. They could have been custom made for growing. I cut a hole for a net pot in the large side of the lid and use the small side to add water. Add a small hole for your air lines and you’re all set. Bubble bucket tutorials are plentiful on the web so I won’t bother with the details of bucket set up.

 

 

 

 

The thing that seems to put off newbies the most is the cost of lighting, both initial equipment expense and electrical costs.

 

My lighting system is comprised of two bathroom fixtures that I rescued from the trash. One fixture has three bulb receptacles and the other has six. The 3 light fixture has Y receptacles added so it now holds six bulbs. I built a reflector for it out of a kick plate from a discarded screen door.

 

 

 

 

I had planned to do the same thing with the larger fixture but so far have found it unnecessary to do so. The plants in veg grow more slowly but that is an advantage to me because one of my problems is lack of space. By allowing the plants to grow slowly it gives me enough time to flower two plants without the plants in veg becoming too big for my room.

 

 

 

I keep four plants, each one a different strain, in veg at all times. The plants will normally be about 2 feet tall when placed in flower. A couple of weeks before I put one into flower I will take a clone. I start the clones in a rockwool cube placed in a single serve pudding container, they are just the right size for the cube, disposable and free. When I see roots on the clone I put the mother into flower and put the clone in the mothers pot.

 

 

 

 

I generally flower two plants at a time. This has proven to keep me in a continuous supply and lets me stay within my legal limits. This system of four in veg, two in flower and two clones also keeps me well within my plant count so if I want to try a new strain I can do so without losing any of my existing strains.

 

Since CFL’s do not have the penetration power of HPS lights you need to keep the light closer to the plant. This is possible with CFL’s because they don’t generate the heat that the standard grow lights do. I recommend the book Marijuana Buds for Less by SeeMoreBuds. It explains how to grow with CFL's.

 

Low stress training helps to encourage budding sites as does topping or SCROG. These techniques are also easy to find on the web so I won’t bother with these either. I have also found that different strains react differently to these techniques so what you use will be somewhat strain dependant.

 

My electrical costs are minimal. All together I am supplying power for 3 air pumps, 12 CFL’s , 2 lamp timers and 1 small fan in my flower room. There seems to be enough air circulation in my veg room that the fan is not needed.

 

I hope that this tutorial will encourage those who have not grown their own medicine because they thought it would be too difficult or expensive to give it a try. Start with some bag seed until you get the hang of things and then take some of the money you’ll be saving on meds and spend it on some good genetics.

 

This method will not give you a showcase crop or large yields but it will keep you in affordable, high quality medicine.

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I think this is what is mounted on my back porch, except mine has a wellbuilt Robin's nest on top!

 

IF anyone knows how to activate the night sensor, I would love to learn, so I shall search for that tidbit next.

 

You might want to take the diffuser off, but might be a good grower, very bright and mail order bulb was less than $14, and I saw for like $21 in Lowes yesterday.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Lighting-W-70-H-PC-Pressure/dp/B0013AV8BQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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You can also veg and flower under the same 400 watt light. You should be able to do 4 plants under one light. Just turn them 1/4 turn everyday so they grow uniformly. I have flowered under 400 watt ceramic metal halide bulbs and there isn't much difference between the buds from the 400 and ones grown under 600 watters.

 

Also, you can run the veg cycle lights only 13 hours a day using an "on 12 hours, off 5.5 hours, on 1 hour, off 5.5 hours" schedule to save a little more. I have been using this technique in veg for a couple of years and it works great.

 

Like Wild Bill says, you don't need picture perfect buds in order to get good meds. I have effed up innumerable plants and nursed them through to finish and I couldn't tell the difference between them and the ones I grew picture perfect. I killed one one time when it was 2 weeks away from finishing. I made hash out of the carcass and it was gooood. The plant seems to want to do its job despite how badly it gets treated.

 

Growing in organic fortified peat is probably the easiest way to grow. However, don't skimp on the peat. I have tried every cheap peat/soil mixture out there. It is the reason I effed up so many plants. Pro-Mix Bx is the best I have ever used. I mix in organic nutes and then water with mycorizae and Liquid Karma fortified water to which I occasionally add molasses. The plants love it. They look stunningly healthy. I also will add some Espoma Garden Tone Organic dry fertilizer before they go into flower in order to give them an extra boost for "the stretch". I just sprinkle a few tablespoons on top of the pot and work it in. I have heard that you can use the Espoma line of organic dry nutes to mix into the Pro-Mix instead of the usual blood, bone, and kelp meal, but the meals work so well for me that I haven't tried using the Espoma stuff.

Edited by Chauncy Gardner
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 You should be able to do 4 plants under one light. Just turn them 1/4 turn everyday so they grow uniformly.

 

Thanks for adding this. I should also have mentioned that it is sometimes necessary to turn the plant when using this technique. Just to make sure the whole plant is getting what it needs.

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I think the key here is that there are many ways to produce medicine very inexpensively.  These people, that you teach inexpensively, learn how to grow and can sometimes then become a CG and help other patients. Make a few bucks and help another poor patient. The cycle becomes perpetual and we become a self sufficient community.  It is just a matter of getting it started in your area. 

 

Patients helping Patients.

 

Patients=Caregivers=Patients

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