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marijuana grow box diy

Marijuana grow box diy

If you’ve decided that it’s time to stop spending top-dollar for your stash and want to start growing your own herb instead, the first question to answer is where you’ll put your garden.

Not everyone has access to a suitable and secure plot of outdoor land. That’s why many gardeners will opt to grow their plants indoors, instead. But top-quality cannabis can’t be grown like an ordinary houseplant. The flowering time for most cannabis plants is dependent on a long period of darkness, so you’ll want to give them their own dedicated area. Many home gardeners use an extra room or closet, but if you can’t spare that kind of space, a grow box may be the answer.

What Is a Grow Box?

A grow box is a small enclosed space that provides an ideal environment for the plants growing inside. It’s similar to a grow tent, which is kind of like a grow box’s less sturdy cousin. A grow box can fit in a cabinet, container, or any similar item or space with an open interior and at least one side that opens for easy access.

A DIY grow box can be custom-built from scratch. But it’s a lot easier to get a build-it-yourself cabinet kit from a general retailer, like Ikea or whatnot. Another possibility is to convert an ordinary item into a grow box that can hide your plants in plain sight. The options are only limited by your imagination — I’ve seen wardrobes, refrigerators, and even steamer trunks inconspicuously conceal a thriving ganja garden.

Building Your Own Grow Box

Once you’ve decided on an area or item to convert into a grow box, you’ll have to make some modifications to ensure your plants have a healthy environment. Cut some ventilation ports in the box to cool the space and so the plants can have fresh air. You’ll also want to make sure there’s an extra, smaller hole to funnel in electrical cords, because you’ll definitely need a light fixture and ventilation fan — both of which need to be plugged in.

Note that the lights and fan should be fastened to the top of the box to ensure that all wires are safely kept away from water. To suspend the lighting and ventilation equipment inside, hooks can be screwed securely into the ceiling of the grow box. Be sure to put a large, shallow tray on the floor of the cabinet so it’s water-safe. For added security and to discourage prying eyes, a lock can be installed on the door, if deemed necessary.

Lighting: The Best Plant Food

Because your grow box will be enclosed, you’ll have to provide enough light for your plants to thrive. LED lights are becoming more efficient, popular, and affordable all the time, and their lower heat output makes them a good choice for the confines of a grow box. Many newer LED lights also let you tailor the light spectrum for vegetative growth and flowering, allowing you to provide the best light for your plants at all stages of life.

Other light sources, including compact fluorescent lights and high-intensity discharge (HID) options such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide lamps, can also be used. However, the higher heat output of HID lights, and their need for an external ballast, make these options less practical for a grow box. Whatever lighting you choose, be sure that it is hung securely. Feed the power cord for your light outside the box through the port. Plug the cord into the power source with a timer to give your plants the appropriate light cycle.

Ventilation: Plants Need to Breathe, Too

To give your plants the fresh air they need for photosynthesis, and to keep the cultivation environment from overheating, you’ll also want to make a ventilation system.

At the top of the cabinet, install a fan to push warm air out of the grow box through a ventilation port. Near the bottom of the box, install another ventilation port, which should be about twice the size of your fan to ensure a good flow of air through the plant canopy and out the exhaust port.

The cord for the fan should also be fed out of the grow box. But instead of connecting it to the timer, plug the fan cord into a separate outlet so the fan provides ventilation at all times — you don’t want it to go off. Also, note that a carbon filter may be attached to the fan for odor control.

Grow for It!

Once you’ve built your grow box, it’s time to put some plants in it! Besides the light and fresh air being provided by the cabinet, you’ll also have to give your plants the water and nutrients they need to flourish and flower. This can be accomplished through appropriate hand watering of conventional or organic fertilizers, or an automated hydroponic system that can be set up at the bottom of the grow box if desired.

If a lack of suitable garden space is the only thing holding you back from growing your own bud, consider trying your hand at cultivation in a grow box. With a little work and ingenuity, you’ll be able to grow healthy and productive plants in any room of the house.

Not everyone can grow weed in their front yard. If you want to manage a small cultivation op on the down-low, consider a DIY grow box.

Building an Ultra Stealthy Grow Cabinet

This article comes courtesy of the good folks at seattlecannabisjournal.com, and was re-edited for clarity and ease of reading. Click Here to view the original article in all its glory!

The day I got a recommendation for medicinal Cannabis was a relief. This was followed by the knowledge and urgency that I needed to get some plants in the ground immediately.

This had been a long-time dream of mine, and I fondly imagined my first harvest, curing my flowers to perfection, and collecting their resin for concentrates. I saw myself carefully journaling their progress, and eventually becoming an expert caretaker of myself and my marijuana garden.

Then reality set in: I have a small space, in a small house, in a crowded neighborhood.

Momentarily discouraged, I quickly scrapped the idea of a dedicated room filled to the brim. I began with getting clear about my intentions; I wanted to inconspicuously and autonomously produce my medicine. This was a much more respectable and realistic goal, and one that I could embrace.

After months pouring over cannabis related text and furrowing my brow at various nooks throughout my home, I saw through the problem. I would build a stealthy grow cabinet!

On Craigslist I found a cabinet kit still in the box for only $35. It came in at 24″ L x 30″ W x 70″ H. Next, I purchased a 6″ inline fan for another $100. The fan combined with a 400 watt light and Cool Tube from a previous grow gave me something to design around.

My sights set, I loaded Google’s 3D rendering freeware, Google SketchUp, and got to work.

Sirius: Google SketchUp can be pretty tough to use without training, especially if you’ve never used it and you just want to design one thing. Rest assured: some paper, a pencil, a little math, and careful planning will work just as well!

The first thing to deal with was the Intake and exhaust – a clean environment and fresh air for my plants.

A rule with any grow space is to have the intake’s opening twice the open area of the exhaust’s.

Important: The opening for your intake hole should be about twice the size of your exhaust hole.

My inline fan with had 6″ opening (28 square inches) so I would need 56 square inch opening. I went with two louvered grills that were 5″ x 8″ which gave me 80 square inches – 30% for the louvers = 56 square inches. Perfect!

Sirius: This is a great point! In any enclosed grow area such as a tent or grow cabinet, it’s important to have a larger opening for intake than for exhaust. This will maximize the efficiency of your fan in addition to keeping it working for longer. Plus, this will keep tents from “bowing” in, reducing your grow space.

Of course I wanted to filter the intake air to keep out dust, pet hair, pollen, mold and the like.

Next, I faced the issue of providing my plants their light.

I chose a High Pressure Sodium bulb. Since these produce more light from the side(the long side as opposed to the plug and tip of the bulb), light coverage could be maximized by positioning them front to back. Some creativity was required to install the Cool Tube to keep my HPS bulb from becoming too hot.

We learned above that the cabinet is 24″ deep. Now this Cool Tube was 20″, hardly enough room to attach two 6″ flex ducts for ventilation without having to keep a door open.

Keeping a door open is not a viable option for the stealthy gardener like me! I decided to use some creativity.

The solution I came up with was to place the duct work outside of the cabinet.

I built and installed 4″ x 10″ x 48″ wooden housing for the duct work for the exhaust of the Cool Tube (picture 3rd down). Next, three 6″ duct flanges into the back wall of the cabinet leading into the duct work spaced vertically 9″ apart.

This allowed three different height settings for the light. The unused two positions are capped off. Take a look…

I installed a sealed fan room to house the 6″ inline fan mentioned above. This sat in the top inside of the cabinet, pictured below.

Now that my fan room was set up, I allowed the exhaust to escape upward into a carbon filter. I mounted the filter inside a Rubbermaid tote to make the whole setup more discrete.

A fan speed controller and light timer are mounted on the outside of the fan room.

Next to the fan room is space for other more technical things. Here we find the ballast and command switching station.

Also, I installed a “Kill-a-Watt” device to monitor my electrical usage so I can easily calculate the total extra cost to my electricity bill each month.

I vented this area with a 4″ opening that opened into the fan room.

When all was said and done I harvested 264 grams (9.3 ounces).

Final Harvest Weight: 264 grams (9.3 Ounces)

Cost: $1.64/gram

The final bounty boasted nine ounces of dried and cured cannabis flowers.

After the initial investment, $1.64 was my total cost per gram when I factored electricity, carbon filter, and nutrients.

Affordable medicine is a right, and medicinal Cannabis sets a standard for patient autonomy. Enjoy producing your own medicine.

Sirius: This is definitely an advanced method of creating a grow box, but he makes sure to include a lot of things one needs to consider when creating one, such as ventilation and making sure to leave room for everything you need. Do you have a better/more practical/more efficient design? Let us know so we can share with the world!

See Another Stealth Grow Cabinet in Action and Build Your Own!

Was the cabinet in the above article a little too much for your sensibilities? Then check out these pics by one of our awesome readers!

Make sure to click each one to see the full size picture.

These pictures were sent in by one of our readers who has taken a far more simple/easy approach to making a grow cabinet than G.D. Bud. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“1st time grower. Plants are 1 month old, and 12″ tall now. Set up for less than $250. Used cab.w/4 bulb, 24″ T5’s, 4″ elec exhaust, Thanx for great info.”

Use the following items to make a stealthy grow cabinet just like his:

  • Old cabinet
  • Line inside of cabinet with mylar (reflective material)
  • Hang T5 grow light to inside-top of cabinet with rope rachets
  • Cut 12″ hole in back (near bottom) for cool air intake
  • Attach air filter to your intake hole if the outside air is dusty (and to protect your grow cabinet from any stray bugs)
  • Cut 4″ hole out the top to use as an exhaust hole (cut a bigger exhaust hole for a bigger cabinet, or if you’re going to intall more/bigger/hotter lights)
  • A 4″ exhaust hole uses 4″ ducting with fan to pull out hot air (drawing in cool air in through your intake).
    Remember, fan should be pointed up, to pull hot air out of your cabinet!
  • Now you just add plants!

See how one grower built his own stealthy grow cabinet (in pictures), then learn how to build your own!