Green Report: Starting your own grow – Some things you need to know

Paul Kolinski

Since November of this year, Americans in eight different states, including Washington, D.C., decided that legalizing marijuana on a recreational level best suited their communities.

Colorado is no exception when it comes to marijuana. The weed-friendly state allows legal residents to grow up to six plants per person. This makes the law here seem quite friendly for cannabis connoisseurs, especially when compared to the contrast of other states across the country who have yet to decriminalize the plant on any level. To date, 28 states across the country have legalized and approved a variety of different medical marijuana programs, but only a handful of states have legalized the plant for recreational consumption.


 Colorado laws have set several milestones in America and across the globe, but more importantly, this burgeoning and untraditional marijuana industry opened up a whole new market in global business sectors. While tax revenues from the plant have gained since medical and recreational marijuana were legalized in Colorado, some people resort to growing their own for a variety of different reasons.

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Whether Coloradan’s grow their own marijuana for the experience, to ensure that they have a particular strain of medicine or to avoid lining another person’s pocket with money, one thing is for certain: more people are growing their own marijuana in the state than ever before. And who knows, maybe you will be on your way to growing your own after seeing just how practical growing can be.

So maybe you have an association with the plant but have no experience growing. Inexperience is not a problem, and I have heard from many growers that growing is a rewarding and enlightening experience if done properly and with some care. The first thing you will want to consider is where you will grow.

While college students usually find themselves limited on space, I suggest growing in a closet, or similar type of room, as it does not require much space and is a relatively dry and cool spot. Something that will greatly help you with your experience is a grow tent or a closed structure lined with reflective foil on the inside. A grow tent is not necessary but will help with airflow and limiting the stench of the marijuana plants. You will need to measure how much space you have readily available, as you will want roughly 3ft X 4ft X 5ft to grow a decently sized plant.

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The next step is to gather all of the necessary supplies. I would start with genetics and determining if you want to start growing with seeds or clones. I have heard from growers that starting from seed is the best and most rewarding experience, so that may be worth a shot.

When it comes to lighting, there are a variety of different lights on the market. This High Times article claims that the best light to start with is a 600 or 1000 watt HPS, or high-pressure sodium, light.

As far as soil for the plant, there are also lots of opinions on which one is best, so for that, you must do your own research. One organic grower who I know likes to use Fox Farms products. The organic mix is a great way to go, and you will want to include bat guano and earthworm castings to enrich the soil. Nutrients are also important, and some growers swear by them. Using them primarily in the vegetation and flowering stages of the plant’s life can greatly help increase the number of flowers your plant will produce.

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If you plan on trying to make this grow discreet, you should invest in a carbon filter and inline fan. The fan will help to expel the warm air out of the growing area, while the carbon filter will help to limit the pungent odor produced from your plants. A grow tent will help to keep your grow discreet by minimizing smell and light leaks.

After you have your area setup and your supplies gathered, the next step is to setup a schedule for lighting, watering and tending to your plants. Some strains of marijuana require different amounts of light, water and nutrients; an important factor to consider when planning your grow schedule. Once you have found a schedule for the photoperiod of your plants, the rest is routine.


I recommend keeping a journal next to your grow and recording daily observations, taking notes on what you did with the plants each day. Overall, do not worry too much and try to remember that this is supposed to be a learning experience and a rewarding one at that. Enjoy the process and get growing!

Collegian Marijuana Critic Paul Kolinski can be reached online at or on Twitter @paulkolinski. Read more of his content on Puffin’ with Paul and the Green Report. Leave a comment!