Excerpt from Jorge’s Book:
The best location for a grow room is in an obscure corner of a basement, where the temperature is easy to keep constant year round. Basements are well insulated by concrete walls and soil. A basement room can be enclosed and camouflaged with junk, a double wall, workbench, or shelving.
Added security is afforded by installing a false door in a closet. The grow room is located behind the secret door. Another good secret location, except for the possible heat build-up, is the attic. Few people venture to an attic that is difficult to access. Some growers locate their gardens below a trapdoor covered with a rug.
Law enforcement cannot use the electricity bill as sole grounds for a search warrant. But, they can use it along with other “evidence” such as remnants of indoor growing visible outdoors, thermal image heat signatures, snitch testimony, etc., to secure a search warrant. As long as the marijuana grown is not sold or shown to a snitch, there should be no reason for any suspicion. Thermal image technology is easy to outwit. Just keep the lights on during daylight hours to confuse the technology. Or, cool exhaust air and expel it under the well-insulated grow house so it does not leave a heat trail.
CO2 and O2 content
Photoperiod (hours of light per day)
Growing Medium 20%
Outbuildings, garages, and barns not attached to homes are some of the worst places to grow cannabis. Thieves and law enforcement often do not regard entering a barn or garage as a crime, though they would not consider entering a home. Security is much better when the garden is within the home.
Although less common, there are even grow rooms on wheels! Some innovative growers have remodeled trailer houses and buses into grow rooms. One of my favorite grow rooms was in a tricked-out trailer. Another was in a 60-foot (18 m) sailing yacht!
The grow room’s size determines the size and the number of lamps. High intensity discharge (HID) lamps that work well to grow marijuana are available in wattages of 150, 175, 250, 400, 600, 1000, and 1100. Smaller wattages from 150-400, work well in closets or spaces with 9-21 square feet (0.8-2 m2) of floor space. Use 600-watt and larger bulbs for larger areas.
The drawings show several grow room floor plans. As the floor plans demonstrate, there are several basic approaches to grow room design and production. Most growers start out with a crop grown in a single room. After they harvest the crop, they introduce a new batch of clones. The photoperiod is switched back to 18 hours, and the cycle continues.
The most productive setups utilize two rooms. The first room is for vegetative growth, mother plants, and rooting clones. This room should be about one-quarter the size of the flowering room. When the flowering room crop is harvested, plants from the vegetative room are moved into the flowering room.
Super productivity is achieved with a perpetual crop. Several clones are taken every day or every week. Every day a few plants are harvested. For every plant harvested, a new cutting takes its place.
Setting Up the Grow Room
Set up the grow room before introducing plants. Construction requires space and planning. A grow room under construction offers a terrible environment for plants. Once the grow room is set up and totally operational, it will be ready for plants.
Step One: Choose an out-of-the-way space with little or no traffic. A corner of the basement or a spare bedroom are perfect. A 1000-watt HID, properly set up, will efficiently illuminate up to a 6 × 6-foot (1.8 x 1.8 m) room. The ceiling should be at least five feet (1.5 m) high. Keep in mind that plants in containers are set up at least one foot (30 cm) off the ground, and the lamp needs about a foot (30 cm) of space to hang from the ceiling. This leaves only three feet (90 cm) of space for plants to grow. If forced to grow in an attic or basement with a low fourfoot (120 cm) ceiling, much can be done to compensate for the loss of height, including cloning, bending, pruning, and using smaller wattage lamps.
Step Two: Enclose the room, if not already enclosed. Remove everything that does not pertain to the garden. Furniture, drapes, and curtains may harbor fungi. An enclosed room allows easy, precise control of every-11 thing and everyone that enters or exits, as well as who and what goes on inside. For most growers, enclosing the grow room is simply a matter of tacking up some plywood or fabricating plastic walls in the basement or attic and painting the room flat white. Make sure no light is visible from outside. If covering a window, do so discreetly–it should not look boarded up. Insulate windows and walls so a telltale heat signature does not escape. Basement windows often are painted to look like the foundation. Place some stuff–books, personal effects, household goods, etc.–in front of the window, and build a box around the things so a natural scene is visible from the outside. At night, bright light leaking through a crack in an uncovered window is like a beacon to curious neighbors or bandits.
Step Three: Cover walls, ceiling, floor–everything–with a highly reflective material like flat white paint or Mylar. The more reflection, the more light energy available to plants. Good reflective light will allow effective coverage of an HID lamp to increase from 10 to 20 percent, just by putting a few dollars worth of paint on the walls. Reflective white Visqueen® plastic is inexpensive and protects walls and floors.
Step Four: See “Setting Up the Vent Fan” in Chapter Thirteen. Constant air circulation and a supply of fresh air are essential but often inadequate. There should be at least one fresh-air vent in every grow room. Vents can be an open door, window, or duct vented to the outside. An exhaust fan vented outdoors or pulling new air through an open door usually creates an adequate flow of air. An oscillating fan works well to circulate air. When installing such a fan, make sure it is not set in a fixed position and blowing too hard on tender plants. It could cause windburn and dry out plants, especially seedlings and clones. If the room contains a heat vent, it may be opened to supply extra heat or air circulation.
Step Five: The larger your garden becomes, the more water it will need. A 10 × 10-foot (3 x 3 m) garden could use more than 50 gallons (190 L) per week. Carrying water is hard, regular work. One gallon (3.8 L) of water weighs eight pounds (3.6 kg); 50 × 8 = 400 pounds (180 kg) of water a week! It is much easier to run in a hose with an on/off valve or install a hose bib in the room than to schlep water. A three-foot (90 cm) watering wand attached to the hose on/off valve makes watering easier and saves branches from being broken when watering in dense foliage. Hook up the hose to a hot and cold water source so the temperature is easy to regulate.
Step Six: Ideally, the floor should be concrete or a smooth surface that can be swept and washed down. A floor drain is very handy. In grow rooms with carpet or wood floors, a large, white painter’s drop cloth or thick, white Visqueen plastic, will protect floors from moisture. Trays placed beneath each container add protection and convenience.
Step Seven: Mount a hook strong enough to support 30 pounds (14 kg) for each lamp. Attach an adjustable chain or cord and pulley between the ceiling hook and the lamp fixture. The adjustable connection makes it easy to keep the lamp at the proper distance from plants and up out of the way during maintenance.
Step Eight: There are some tools an indoor gardener must have and a few extra tools that make indoor horticulture much more precise and cost effective. The extra tools help make the garden so efficient that they pay for themselves in a few weeks. Procure all the tools before bringing plants into the room. If the tools are there when needed, chances are they will be put to use. A hygrometer is a good example. If plants show signs of slow, sickly growth due to high humidity, most growers will not identify the exact cause right away. They will wait and guess, wait and guess, and maybe figure it out before a fungus attacks and the plant dies. When a hygrometer is installed before plants are brought into the grow room, the horticulturist will know from the start when the humidity is too high and causing sickly growth.
Step Nine: Read and complete: “Setting Up the HID Lamp” at the end of Chapter Two.
Step Ten: Move seedlings and rooted clones into the room. Huddle them closely together under the lamp. Make sure the HID is not so close to small plants that it burns their leaves. Position 400-watt lamps 18 inches (45 cm) above seedlings and clones. Place a 600-watt lamp 24 inches (60 cm) away and a 1000-watt lamp 30 inches (75 cm) away. Check the distance daily. Hang a precut string from the hood to measure distance.
To read more, click here to purchase Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible