Build your Own Grow Cabinet for Cannabis – A Guideadmin
Grow cabinets are miniature greenhouses for your cannabis plants. They can be as simple as a wooden cabinet with a light fixture. Others cabinets have a dedicated ventilation system and humidity control setting for optimum growth.
What can you get out of growing cabinets for cultivating your cannabis seeds indoors and is it worth building one? We will answer these questions as well as show you how you can make your own cannabis grow box.
Considerations before Building a Grow Box
Before building a grow box, you need to know what kind of cannabis plants you plan on cultivating. This includes the size of the strains you want to breed. Sativa plants tend to grow taller than indica or even autoflowering plants, which means that your grow box will need plenty of space to accommodate sativa strains.
Lighting is the second important criteria to plan for the grow box. Plants require light to produce energy. Non-autoflowering cannabis plants also rely on the lighting schedule to determine when to enter the next phase of its growth cycle.
The fixtures will depend on how much you plan on investing for your grow box. Fluorescent lamps do the job in lighting your plants without producing too much heat. LED lamps are the best type of fixtures that give off a wide range of spectrum that is beneficial to your cannabis plants. However, LED lamps are significantly more expensive than fluorescent ones.
Another factor to consider is the dankness or odor of a specific cannabis plant you plan on growing. This is an important factor if you do not want to alarm anyone outside of your house that you are growing marijuana indoors. To conceal the smell, the grow box will need a ventilation system with a filter.
On the topic of ventilation, your cannabis plants can benefit from a good amount of air circulation within the grow box. Plants need a steady supply of carbon dioxide and oxygen to perform its biological functions such as turning sugar into energy.
Humidity levels will also be an important criterion to consider when building your grow box. Too much water vapor within the box can create a perfect environment for mold and funguses to thrive. On the other hand, low humidity levels will make the plant conserve water by closing its stomata, which can negatively affect its growth.
You can control the humidity level of the grow cabinet with an efficient duct system. The increased airflow within the cabinet can lower the humidity level.
Building a grow cabinet
If you have the size of the cannabis plant you want to cultivate, you can start making your own grow cabinet. Here are the steps to take in making one.
- Form the base cabinet frame
Make sure to pick a sturdy material when making the cabinet frame. The most common of which are wood, which is easy to form together. You can save time and money by recycling old wooden cabinets in your own home or in yard sales. Even dressers can be deconstructed and reformed into a grow cabinet.
The space within the cabinet frame should be large enough to accommodate the plant you want to cultivate and other equipment. When breeding sativa plants that can grow up to 12 feet, for example, the inside of your grow cabinet should 16 to 18 feet high. This should be enough space to fit the plant, light fixture, and fan.
- Cover the interior with reflective sheets
Line the inside of your grows cabinet with reflective sheets. These sheets will bounce the light from the fixture to allow for even exposure to nearly all of the parts of your plant. Reflective sheets are very common in most department stores. Reflective sheets are also available as emergency sleeping blankets.
Another alternative is to paint the inner walls of your cabinet with white paint. The paint can also reflect the light around the interior space and is economical than reflective sheets. On the other hand, you need to make sure that every inch of the wall has a good amount of paint coat to reflect the light.
- Cut openings for the air vents.
For an efficient ventilation system, create an intake opening at the bottom part of the cabinet while the exhaust port is at the top. This creates an updraft movement that makes it easier for the air to move in and out of the cabinet.
For better air circulation within your grow cabinet, the intake hole at the bottom of your cabinet should be twice as large as the exhaust hole. For example, the exhaust hole should have a 25 square inch wide while the intake port is 50 square inches wide. The large intake hole can optimize the air circulation within the cabinet.
Attach a screen filter on the intake hole. This will keep pests and pollens from entering the cabinet. Both of which can ruin your yields if any are within reach of your plants.
- Attach a duct system with a carbon filter
This step will be essential if you are going to cultivate cannabis plants with strong odors and do not want to rouse suspicious within your living space. Install a ducting system that comes with a carbon filter and exhaust fan. If there is still space within your cabinet, you can attach the carbon filter. Air will go through the filter and move outside through the duct system.
An alternative setup is to place the carbon filter at the other end of the duct system or outside of your grow cabinet. The fan will take in the air within the cabinet and force it out of the carbon filter to clean it off nearly any odor. Make sure to secure exhaust opening with the other end of the duct system to prevent odor leaks.
Apart from odor control, the duct system can also help regulate the temperature within the cabinet. This will help keep your plants from overheating when it gets too hot during the day. The duct system will also be essential if you are planning to use light fixtures that produce plenty of heat.
- Install your grow lights
As mentioned above, lighting will be an important factor for your cannabis plants. If you decide on using fluorescent or LED bulbs, you do not have to worry about the heat coming from the fixtures. Connect the light fixtures at the top of the cabinet’s interior space to have the light shine down on the plant.
If you decide on using high-pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) grow lights, you will need to consider the amount of heat they produce. You will need to install additional fans to keep down the temperature to a safe range for your plants. These fans can be a simple as the ones used for computers. The duct system with air duct system can efficiently transport hot air out of the cabinet and draw in cool air.
The reason why breeders utilize HID lamp is its red to orange light hue, which is useful for plants that are in the flowering stage. On the other hand, MH lamps emit a blue hue that can help in the development of the plant’s growth during the vegetative phase. Unfortunately, each of the lamps requires its fixture since both are not compatible with one another.
If you are growing regular seeds that rely on the photoperiod schedule require, It is a good idea to connect your lamps to a timer. Photoperiod plants require a light schedule of 18 hours daytime and 6 hours night time throughout its vegetative phase. When it is ready to enter the flowering phase, you will need to switch the light schedule to 12 hours of day and night. With a timer, you can accurately set the right amount of daylight to your plants and avoid premature flowering due to the lack of daylight hours.
- Make a potholder floor
As the name suggests, the potholder floor will secure your cannabis container in place while cultivating it within the cabinet. Use a wooden panel for the floor and cut it to fit the inner space of the cabinet. Cut out several series of holes where you will fit the planters to the floor. Attach two wooden slots near the edges of the floor. These will provide space for the bottom of the pots.
- Attach a thermometer and hygrometer
It is important to know the temperature and humidity of your grow cabinet at all times. You can achieve this by attaching a decent thermometer and hygrometer to the inner space of the cabinet. A good type of measuring device will give you the reading through an LCD or digital screen, which are easier to read.
The readings from the measuring device will tell you if you need to increase the airflow to bring down the humidity level or if you need to use a humidifier if the level is too low. Fortunately, there are many compact humidifiers that can bring up the humidity within your cabinet when needed.
Reasons for Building your Own Grow Cabinet
The main reason for making your own grow cabinet is control over what goes into it. You can customize the size of the growing space within the cabinet to accommodate most type of cannabis strains. You also have full control of the intake and exhaust ports that can fit with the surrounding space within your own.
Another reason for building a grow cabinet is to have full control over the budget. You can source your materials from various sources such as used cabinets or reclaimed wood, which are inexpensive than fresh lumber from hardware stores. Even the component of your grow cabinet can be made of repurposed ones such as computer fans and light fixtures.
On the other hand, you have the freedom to use the best component to create an efficiently grow cabinet. This includes the use of LED light fixtures, high-end ventilation systems with odor filters, and AC equipment for temperature control. You can also experiment with different configurations to make a unique grow cabinet for specific cannabis strains or with the use of various grow lights.
Reasons for Buying a Grow Cabinet
While we have made a case as to why it is better to make your own cabinet instead of buying a pre-made one, it is still important to look at the reasons to buy a grow cabinet. The most important of which is saving time and effort. Buying a grow cabinet lets you skip several days of working on a miniature garden to cultivate your cannabis plants. This is a major factor for you if you have a limited amount of free time for DIY projects and would rather invest it in producing marijuana buds. Building a grow cabinets requires plenty of time to plan its construction and researching the different components you want to add.
DIY cabinets need to go through various trial and error to determine if there are any hitches during its construction. This includes testing the efficiency of the air current within the cabinet and close any leaks. If you do not feel confident with the build of your cabinet, you may end up giving your plants a subpar environment to grow.
On the other hand, pre-built grow cabinets have a near guarantee of working when it arrives at your front porch. These take out the guesswork in creating an optimum enclosed environment for cannabis plants. High-end grow boxes utilizes built-in fans to create a steady air circulation within the grow space and give you control on the surrounding temperature. Others have a separate compartment for germinating your seeds that share the same air circulation as the main compartment where your cannabis plants can grow. You can even find grow cabinets for hydroponic cultivation.
You now know the basics on how you can create your own grow cabinet at home to cultivate cannabis plants in any space within your house. The decision in building or buying your own cabinet comes down to your preference in what you want out of your mini grow space. If you aim for full control of the budget and component of your cabinet, building one is the best option for you. On the other hand, the pre-made cabinet will let you skip the time and effort to constructing one so you can cultivate your cannabis seeds immediately.