Tools for growing cannabis range considerably based on the type of cultivator you want to become and how large of an operation you want.
Minimal tools are required to have a successful cannabis grow cycle. Your knowledge is your most useful tool. Basic tools include light, soil, water, fan, climate monitor, nutrients, etc. Advanced expensive tools can help you automate & optimize production to increase yield & potency.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the basic tools to start a functional grow operation. Then we’ll take a look at a more extensive list of more advanced tools to optimize and automate your cannabis cultivation project.
How Do I Start A Small Indoor Grow Op -- Minimal Tools To Get Started?
Your first step in starting a small indoor cannabis grow op begins with choosing the seeds that will provide you with the desired outcome.
Once you’ve identified the best seeds for your needs, getting started with your first time smaller indoor grow operation can be as simple as -- just starting with what you have available.
It can be easy to overthink and over plan, whereas the reality is you’re just putting seed in the soil with a few lights above while watering it and occasionally adding nutrients.
Sounds simple enough, but as you get more advanced, you’ll begin to learn and see a lot more subtle nuances in what it takes to produce a hearty yield than you originally thought was possible.
But, before you begin, there’s one main piece of critical information that will determine the future of your grow operation -- the law.
If the cannabis growing laws are in your favor, it’s much more simple and comfortable to begin your indoor grow operation for long term enjoyment without worry.
Before you actually get started, it’s wise to double check your local laws and regulations to verify you're not accidentally doing something or planning something too big that could get you in trouble.
Now that you know the laws and your legal limits, it’s time to start designing your small indoor grow op.
Basic tools you need to get started growing cannabis include:
- Seed genetics
- Seed starter
- Seedling tray with a dome
- Different grow pots sizes
- Oscillating fan
- Power strip
- Several extension cords
- Temperature & humidity gauge that monitors the high and low thru 24 hours
If you’re growing outside, you “can” get away with even less equipment and just simply plant your quality seed strains in fertile soil.
By first identifying the basic tools and required equipment, you're on your way towards making your first bare bones system functional.
After you've collected most of the basic items, it's time to put it all together and get started.
While there's a near endless list of potential cannabis growing tools and equipment for basic and advanced operations, there is a much smaller list of absolute necessities required to make a small indoor grow operation successful.
One of the most important first parts of growing cannabis indoors, is to identify the best location that’s out of the way, safe, and secure.
This location will include easy access to electrical outlets and the ability to hang lighting & oscillating fans, as well as having plenty of room for your plants to grow in larger pots.
For your first few grow cycles, the size of your grow location doesn’t matter too much.
You’ll soon realize what’s possible with what’s available.
As a new grower, your job is to get the hang of mastering the fundamentals without killing your plants.
New growers can have a tendency to try and do too many complex things with advanced tools and techniques that can cause you to quickly make a potentially irreversible error.
After you get the hang of growing a few cannabis plants, you may then want to start exploring how to utilize more advanced tools and larger grow spaces.
What Are The Basic Tools For Growing Cannabis?
Depending on the type of indoor cannabis growers you want to be will determine your basic tool requirements.
The two basic types of indoor growing mediums are either hydroponic or soil.
While hydroponics and soil are the most basic and common types of indoor growing methods, there are a handful of other methods available to explore once you've mastered the basics of a more simple (user friendly) operation.
If you're on a budget, the most cost effective method to get started is growing with soil or using the simple Kratky hydroponic system that only requires a jar, water, nutrients, and your plants.
Besides the Kratky hydroponic method, growing cannabis with hydroponics can require a much more complex and extensive list of equipment such as a nutrient tank, water filtration, water treatment, water pump, air pump, specific nutrients, delicate balancing of all the equipment, and much more.
After you've determined your grow method, the next most critical element in the entire grow operation is selecting the specific strain of cannabis seed that will best suit your desired outcome.
Cannabis seed strain genetics are available in a nearly endless variety, with each yielding distinct end results.
Not only will each seed strain produce a different end result, most strains will require a slightly different balancing of tools and equipment throughout the grow cycle.
Selecting the right cannabis seeds is arguably the most important part of your small indoor grow op.
What makes seed selection a critical element in the grow cycle is your seed genetics will lay the foundation for how your grow cycle will be conducted and what potential tools, equipment, and nutrients you may need.
Tools You Probably Don’t Need When You’re First Starting
With the near endless cannabis growing tool options available, it can be challenging to determine what you actually need to get your first grow operation going.
Yes, growing cannabis your first time is very exciting, and it can be extremely tempting to go out and buy any and every little potential tool you can get your hands on.
However, until there's an actual precision technical need for a new specific tool, you typically don't need much more than the basics.
When first getting started, you probably don't need all the tools that take measurements of the light intensity, water amount, nutrient levels, etc.
Tools new growers don’t necessarily need for the first cycle:
- Eye protection
- Pocket magnifier
- pH reader
- PPM meter
- Drying rack
- Trimming scissors
- Kief collector
- Plant Yo-Yos
- Water transfer pump
- Rope ratchets
- Carbon filter
- Nutrient syringe
- Sticky traps
- Heat mat
- Plant labels
- Measuring cups
- Light meter
- Reflective material
- Grow tent
- Plant identification tags
- And more
If this is your absolute first indoor cannabis grow operation, you almost definitely don't need to start with the entire list of tools.
Even though most of the listed tools aren’t that expensive, a lot of little things start adding up quite fast and can make your “simple” grow operation rather costly.
The best basic indoor grow advice is to start by using what you have available and only purchase extra tools and equipment as you become more committed and serious about growing for the long term.
Try not to get caught up in the cool looking and sometimes gimmicky tools, because it can be super easy to get heavily invested, only to find out growing cannabis actually takes a bit more intelligent and consistent work that you originally may have thought.
What Are The Advanced Tools For Growing Cannabis?
Advanced cannabis growing tools begin to make more sense as you gain a little bit more experience.
Once you've completed a full cannabis grow cycle or two, you may begin to notice a few areas you can improve on that will make your growing experience easier while producing a larger yield with higher quality.
The good news about cannabis grow tools is that there’s a large inventory and potential options you can learn about and expand towards.
After noticing the several potential areas you can improve on, there's typically always a tool to help your optimization or ease your efforts while improving your quality and yield.
One of the first advanced pieces of equipment new growers start getting excited about is in automating the day to day care taking requirements, such as advanced large scale commercial artificial intelligence systems.
Besides the incredibly complex artificial intelligence cultivation technologies, a few of the simpler advanced indoor grow operation tools start with calibrating automatic timers for your lighting, water, and nutrients.
Automatic timers can be used to precisely measure the exact amount of light, water, and nutrients your plants will need to produce a larger and higher quality yield.
Other more advanced grow tools can help you measure the intensity of your lights, how much water the plants have, nutrient contents, environmental monitor (temperature and humidity), pH monitor, and much more.
While this is a short list of some potential advanced indoor grow tools, the most important part in first getting started is making sure you understand the basics of what your seed genetics require.
Once you understand the basics of growing cannabis, as well as understanding what your seed strain genetics needs, you can then start designing and fine tuning your more advanced automated indoor operation.
Are There Tools To Make Growing Cannabis Easier?
Your most effective tool is your knowledge and understanding of the entire grow cycle.
From seed to smoke, there are passionate experienced indoor cannabis growers that are constantly identifying shortcuts and interesting new optimizations to smooth out the entire process.
Every stage of growing cannabis has its own new set of tools and environmental calibrations to continuously enhance the ease of operation.
With as many potential growing tools available on the market, some situations will involve a certain level of tool improvisation.
Depending on what's going on with your plants at the grow phase they're in will determine the necessary tool to help facilitate more ease.
Occasionally, you may encounter emergencies potentially requiring you to take immediate action that doesn’t give you the luxury of waiting for the proper tool for the job.
If you ever, for example, had your oscillating fan fall off the wall and land directly on your plants (with the fan blade still spinning), you may need to quickly respond with improvising a better method of hanging your fans -- as well as finding something to fix your bent (cut up) plants.
When first starting, less is typically more, and slower is usually better when it comes to designing and setting up your indoor grow operation.
About the author: Joe Powers
After an incident in the military, in 2011, Joe Powers began investigating cannabis by talking with industry leaders. In 2016, Joe launched Hemp Writer with its first publication in clarifying disinformation on specific updates to certain federal CBD laws.
Upon calling out a leading cannabis law firm spreading dis-info, Hemp Writer established itself as an authority in clarifying updated information emerging from the cannabis industry. Joe continues charging forwards with increasing momentum to continue fulfilling his vision of SHARING ACCURATE CANNABIS INFORMATION.