In one of the not-so-surprising election results this past November, California voters passed Proposition 64, which legalizes recreational use of marijuana and allows for the personal cultivation of up to six plants per adult. But considering that existing medical marijuana dispensaries still require prescriptions and retail locations for recreational marijuana will not be opening until January 2018 at the earliest, home-growing is expected to surge in the meantime.
While there are several options available to the home grower, hydroponic systems will provide higher yields and shorter grow cycles compared to soil-based systems because there’s more control over the nutrients. Instead of getting nutrients from soil, hydroponic plants grow in a “neutral” medium, such as clay balls, and get all their nutrients from the water supply, which is mixed with nutrient concentrates. Both soil-based and hydroponic systems rely on quality equipment, especially buckets (available in a variety of sizes at San Diego Drums & Totes), for the best results.
The equipment and supplies you’ll need to set up your own indoor operation will depend on how many plants you want and how much time and money you’re willing to invest in the set-up and maintenance of your crop. Here’s a quick materials guide for two popular options: a simplified one-plant “Space Bucket,” and a more involved system to produce maximum yield.
Space Buckets for ultimate space efficiency
Not counting downtown penthouses or ocean-view lofts in La Jolla, apartments in San Diego are not known for being spacious. That’s why grow systems that can fit in a closet are so popular, even now that there’s no need to be stealthy. Space Buckets only take up a square foot or two of floor space, and they’re easy to make with readily available materials.
The most important element of a Space Bucket is, of course, the buckets. You’ll need four heavy-duty 5-gallon buckets and one lid (San Diego Drums & Totes has sturdy food-grade buckets in a variety of sizes). You can use more than four buckets if you choose. A taller Space Bucket will allow room for bigger plants and thus higher yields. Other materials you’ll need aside from a grow medium and nutrients:
Six 23-27 watt CFL lightbulbs and corresponding E27 sockets
Two computer fans and a 12-volt power supply
Reflective material, like Mylar
Power strip and 24-hour timer
For a detailed tutorial on how to construct your Space Bucket (total cost is around $100-$200 and construction only takes about 2-3 hours), check out this step-by-step guide.
Garage garden for maximum yield
If you have a garage or spare room to accommodate your growing operation, you can grow those six allowed plants as large as you want. While Prop 64 limits public possession to one ounce, there’s no limit to the amount you can legally possess from your private, homegrown harvest, as long as you keep it locked up.
Taking maximum advantage of your legal grow-limits depends on two key supplies: buckets and light. For plants to grow as large as possible, their root systems need a lot of room. 5-gallon buckets will work well, but you can go even bigger with 6-gallon, 7-gallon, or 12-gallon buckets (an uncommon size, but we have it available at San Diego Drums & Totes) if you want a seriously impressive yield.
As for lighting, it’s best to use different bulbs for different purposes: metal halide (MH) lights for the vegetative stage of growth, and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights for the flowering process. Bonus: buy hoods and ballasts that can easily switch between the bulbs.Other materials you’ll need (aside from grow medium and nutrients):
Other materials you’ll need (aside from grow medium and nutrients):
Reflective material (Mylar)
Air conditioning/temperature control (MH and HPS bulbs get very hot)
Also, consider buying plastic 5-gallon jugs to store your pre-mixed water/nutrient solution. Having supplies on-hand and ready to use will make your operation run much smoother (we carry food-grade 5-gallon jugs in three colors).
Get buckets, jugs, and more for growing at San Diego Drums & Totes
Now that you can set up a legal personal growing operation in your home, you might as well do it right. San Diego Drums & Totes has all the high-quality buckets and jugs you’ll need for your hydroponic grow system, whether you’re keeping it small in your closet or maximizing your yield in the garage. Check us out today!