Tips for Growing Cannabis in a Tiny Space
A grow space can be as small as a 2’ x 2’ x 4’ grow tent or as big as a warehouse, but they all have a number of things in common.
- Adequate space for growth. The bigger the plant can grow, the larger your yields will be. Generally, you’ll need more height than width, to keep the lights off the plants. Space gets tight quickly.
- Sterilization. Dirty closets won’t suffice—you must be able to keep the space clean and contained from the outside environment. You’ll also need to be able to drain the plants properly and keep them out of standing water.
- Ventilation. Plants need fresh air. A continual exchange of air is necessary to keep them healthy and vibrant. Depending on where you live, you may need an AC unit or heater to regulate the climate.
Many small-space growers use grow tents, small units where you can grow one to a handful of plants—they can be as small as the size of a laundry hamper. These self-contained units will provide a controllable environment for your plants without the hassle of building out a big grow.
Don’t Burn the Plants
One of the biggest concerns with a tiny grow is lighting. Grow lights run very hot and need to be kept at a safe distance from your plants so they don’t burn buds or leaves. Either the plants must be kept short or your lights need to be elevated—the latter can be hard to pull off in a confined space, so usually plants need to be kept small through topping and pruning.
LEDs are changing the game for small-space growing by providing quality full-spectrum light with minimal heat. This allows plants to grow closer to the light source without damage from heat, while also reducing the need for climate-control equipment to bring down the temperature in your grow. It should be noted that LEDs can still burn your plants, but there is less of a risk than with older lights.
This will give your plants more room to grow and therefore give you a bigger return when it’s time to harvest.
Train Your Plants
With a limited space, you can also train your cannabis plants to increase yields. Some effective methods include:
- Scrogging (screen of green)
- Low-stress training (LST)
- High-stress training (HST)
Scrogging is probably your best bet for getting a high return with minimal space. This process involves weaving the stalks and branches of a plant through a screen—mesh sizes usually range from 3-6 inches square—before switching to a flowering light cycle.
This spreads out the plant’s branches, allowing all nodes to receive more light and also opening up the plant so that middle and lower branches can receive more light. This will give you a level canopy that will fill out with big colas.
Everything below the canopy can be pruned to save energy and keep the space clean and free of pests while the buds have direct exposure to light, increasing your yield.
Low stress training involves tying down parts of the plant to create offshoots that will lead to additional cola sites.
A more aggressive method, high stress training increases cola sites through topping or super cropping to promote an even canopy and increased cola sites.