Contents

Benefits of a cheap indoor grow setup

What you need for a cheap indoor grow setup

How much does an easy indoor grow setup cost?

Best strains for your cheap indoor grow setup

How to start a small indoor grow op: Expert tips

Conclusion - Let it grow

 

Are you a total newbie with no idea where to start and not much money to spend on getting set up? Maybe you’ve just moved to a new state where weed is legal, and you’re curious about producing your homegrown crop? 

Growing weed isn’t necessarily cheap, but it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. We’ll tell you what you need to know about starting a cheap indoor grow setup

Want to grow weed on the cheap? Let’s look at some of the best ways to get started.

 

Benefits of a cheap indoor grow setup

Growing weed isn’t exactly inexpensive, but it’s possible to set up a budget grow room without spending a fortune. People say vegetables from the garden taste best, why should it be different for weed? 

If you’re a cannabis lover, having a setup at home means you can repeat the process as many times as you want. Unlimited weed!

Growing at home also gives you total control over the product you’re consuming. Don’t want chemicals involved? No problem, just don’t use them. You’ll know exactly what’s gone into the weed you’re enjoying if you grow it yourself. 

Another massive advantage is the sheer number of cultivars available. Growing your crop means you have the choice of what strain you get to enjoy. You might have to wait a few weeks until it’s ready but we think it’s worth the wait. 

 



What you need for a cheap indoor grow setup

To get your cheap weed grow setup producing plants, these are the main components you’re going to need. 

 

Seeds

Any easy indoor grow setup needs some cannabis to grow from, normally you start with a clone or some seeds. 

White Widow is a great strain for beginners to start with because it only takes 45-50 days to flower and it tends to stay short and squat. Aside from being quick and a good size for indoor grow rooms, White Widow has been a favourite of cannabis connoisseurs since she burst onto the scene in the ‘90s. 

Strains with more indica genetics are more suited for indoor grows. Indica cultivars tend to be shorter and stockier, perfect for an indoor grow setup. 

 

Growing Medium

The plant will need something to grow in and there are various options to choose from.

 

- Soil

This is a classic growing medium. ‘Super soil’ is made using a special recipe, to feed the plants all the right stuff they need to get started. Any soil which gives the plant the nutrients it needs to make it to the finish line is perfect. 

The advantages of using soil are that it’s cheap and sustainable

Disadvantages of soil are that it weighs a lot, and can be prone to pests

 

- Clay pellets

Also known as hydroton or lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) are a fantastic growing medium and they can be cleaned and reused. 

An added advantage of clay pellets is that they have less blockage and better filtration

 

- Hydroponics

It can produce crops of the highest quality, but at a price. Essentially the plants are suspended in an inert growing medium, meaning the roots can grow into the water below. The water is enriched with all the nutrients the plant needs to grow. 

Advantages of using hydroponics are that this method produces crops of the highest quality, and they tend to grow much faster.

The main disadvantage of a hydroponic setup is the cost involved.

 

For a cheap grow room, we definitely recommend starting with soil as it’s affordable and easy to set up. Check which soil mixes work best here. 

 

Pots or containers 

You’ll need a pot to put the soil in, a lot of people start off with a one-gallon and then move to a five-gallon before harvest. If your plants are bigger you might need a seven or ten-gallon pot. For the actual budget grow box setup, here are the bare necessities you need to get started.

 

Tent

A cheap grow tent setup is a must for any budget build. Good, indoor, growing environments need to be controlled. A grow tent is specially designed with indoor growers like you in mind. 

Tents are airtight to avoid stinking up the place, lightproof to make sure the plants know when to flower, and reflective to provide better energy consumption and maximize the yield. 

For watering the plants and preserving humidity, tents are also waterproof. The size of your grow tent setup is important. You can go as small as 2’x2′ for 1-4 plants or as big as 10’x10′ for 20-30 plants—it all depends on how much you have to spend and the available space. 

If you’re working with a smaller budget you can use a makeshift grow tent inside a closet. Just make sure it’s big enough to house the plants, lights, and everything else. Cut some holes to provide electricity supply, and use aluminum foil for a reflective surface. 

 

Lights

Light is a crucial part of growing cannabis. It provides the plant with the energy to photosynthesize and tells it when it’s time to flower. Marijuana grown outdoors naturally takes energy from sunlight. For your cheap indoor grow setup you’ll be replacing it with an artificial light source. 

Compact fluorescent lamps are cheap to buy and don’t produce a lot of heat. You won’t pay as much on fans and electricity to cool down the grow space. CFLs don’t always cover the light spectrum needed for the flowering phase of the growth so you may need to change accordingly.

Light-emitting diode lights can be expensive upfront, although the bulbs last so will be cost-effective in the long run. LEDs also cover the full light spectrum which means they’ll support the plant from seed to flower. 

High-intensity diodes are affordable and very effective, but they wear out quickly. HIDs run very hotly, meaning you’ll need extra fans to cool down the grow. 

LED lights are a good balance between cost-effective and energy-efficient and also provide the right light for the plant's whole life cycle.

 

Airflow

Air extraction and distribution are both important in a cheap marijuana grow setup. Cannabis plants turn CO2 into Oxygen and sugars and they need air from outside. Not providing a good supply of fresh air slows down the growing cycle. 

The lights produce heat, and that hot air needs removing from the grow space.

The smell is another factor. While some enjoy the distinct aroma of growing cannabis, not everyone is a fan. If you’re among the latter, using a carbon filter will help eliminate the smell.

A good ventilation setup will have an intake, and an exhaust to provide the plants with the fresh air they need. Good airflow also prevents your budget grow room from overheating. Use a fan to ensure that the fresh air is evenly shared between your entire grow. 

 

Automation

We’re talking about a timer for your power outlet, to automate lights. To make sure your plants get the correct amount of light, even the cheapest indoor grow setup needs a timer. The light cycle is what makes the plant start to flower and produce those buds we all know and love. 

Plants need 12 hours of darkness to flower, so automating the lights is essential for a decent yield. Mechanical timers are a bit more affordable but can be more fiddly to set-up. Most people find it easier to control digital timers using WiFi and apps. You should note that these setups are more costly.

 

Climate metering

The three main elements of a small indoor grow setup to measure are the temperature, the humidity, and the CO2 levels. This means anything from a simple thermometer to help keep the temperature around 68-77°F (20-25°C), and a hygrometer to measure humidity which will ideally be between 40-70%. 

There are lots of affordable options for low-budget growers which measure both temperature and humidity. The right CO2 levels are normally provided naturally, but in a budget grow room plants can work through CO2 quickly. If plants don’t get CO2, they won’t grow so it’s important to keep an eye on your levels. 

 

How much does an easy indoor grow setup cost?

You don’t need to break the bank to get started with a small indoor grow setup and there are different options for different budgets. You could start growing in the garden for a few dollars if you have the weather and the space for it. 

For indoor growing, here are a few ideas for starter setups. Products are available from a hardware store or a grow shop online. Prices may vary.



Indoor Beginner Grow

Total: $210

1, 125-watt CFL light

$60

24"x24"x48" grow tent

$49

3 x 2 size gallon container

$9

Soil

$7

Fan

$30

5 x beginner seeds

$55

 

This beginner setup weighs in first at a total of just over $200, not a bad price to get started. You can always substitute the grow tent with a closet if your budget won’t stretch. 

You would need to prepare the closet by adding ventilation, reflective lining, and access electricity for the lights beforehand but you’d save $49. A great budget grow room setup for growing a personal stash.



Indoor High Yield Build

Total: $975

48"x96"x84" grow tent

$370

600w HPS bulb

$49

600w ballast

$100

600w reflector

$30

500 m3 exhaust fan

$135

500m3 carbon filter

$60

Fan controller

$50

Time switch

$15

12 x 2 gallon pots

$35

3 x miracle grow soil

$22.50

12 x beginner seeds 

$109

 

A high yield build can be achieved for under $1000 and you can expect to get much more bud from 12 plants. This cheap grow room build would be more suited to someone looking to supply other people

If you have the money and space for this indoor grow, there will be plenty of weed to go around come harvest time. 

 

Best strains for your cheap indoor grow setup

Marijuana is a powerful, and helpful plant and it’s important to find a strain that’s right for you. If you have a lower tolerance, a strain with higher CBD and lower THC will be more suited to you.  Plants with higher THC levels will produce more psychoactive effects and get you ‘high’—this can be overwhelming for beginners or people with a lower tolerance.  

Personal preference is the most important factor. Building a cheap grow room is much better if you’re going to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Choose something that you love the taste and the high of. 

The climate will determine how well the plant will grow. You’re controlling the climate of the grow but outside factors make that more difficult. Ideally choose a cool, dry space. 

The grow space you have means you’ll want a plant that grows to the shape of your garden. You wouldn’t grow a giant plant in a very small indoor grow setup. Just account for the plant’s final size — sativas grow taller, while indicas tend to be wider. 

We have lots of hybrids available for any size area, so find something that’s going to suit your growing space. 

The difficulty is the final thing to think about. Cannabis plants are all unique and different strains have more complicated needs.

Strains which are more sensitive to climate might be more difficult to start with for example. If you don't know how to start, check out the top 5 indoor marijuana strains.

 

How to start a small indoor grow op: Expert tips

Listen to the experts 

Do plenty of research until you’re comfortable about getting started. There’s a wealth of information available about growing weed so read up a bit before you jump into growing weed indoors

 

Be realistic about your expectations

Don’t disappoint yourself by setting the bar too high straight away. Setting up a cheap indoor grow setup and producing your own cannabis from seeds isn’t easy. Don’t panic if something goes wrong.

 

Choose the right equipment based on your budget and requirements

Is it worth waiting and saving up a bit extra to buy a bigger grow tent? Consider investing in quality equipment that will yield more cannabis in the long run and may be more cost-effective.

 

Pick a strain that works for you and your grow room

The strain you choose depends on your growing skill level, the flavors, and the effects you seek. If you’re after a relaxing buzz, a strain with a high THC content is not ideal. Before you purchase your seeds, familiarise yourself with the strain information and choose the best match.

 

Maintain a healthy environment for the plants 

From seed to bud. It’s one thing to set up a budget grow box but your plants need to be looked after for their whole life cycle. Take into account that beginner strains are more resilient to sudden changes in climate and more resistant to mold. Two important considerations. 

 

Enjoy the process 

Remember that cannabis is a weed, something that helps it to grow a lot. You might not always get the results you anticipated. Like everything, practice makes perfect, and if you persist you could soon be sharing some of your delicious homegrown with your friends. 

 

Let it grow

Whether you’re thinking about growing a single plant or a larger crop, you now have the information you need to get started. Your cheap indoor grow setup isn’t going to set itself up, so what are you waiting for? 

 

If you want to learn more on how to get started, check our beginner's guide to growing weed indoors.

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