How to grow weed on a budget

Published May 21, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Aleksandr_Kravtsov

These days everybody could use a bit of extra money, and though some people prefer to set up their grow rooms like the experts, armed to the teeth with every useful tool they can possibly get, it is entirely possible to have immeasurable levels of success, all while sticking to a relatively low budget. So, if you’re wondering how to get started, without parting with a small fortune to get going, then you’ll definitely want to check out these five tips and tricks for how to grow weed on a budget.

1. Get free cannabis seeds

There is plenty of expensive equipment that you could spend your money on, but one of the biggest investments that most growers make to start is in cannabis seeds. Good quality cannabis seeds are carefully created to offer benefits like strong genetics, higher potency, or a shorter growing period, but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on these expertly crafted goods if you can’t afford them.

Instead, write a few letters to some of the biggest companies that make cannabis seeds in your region asking for samples or discounts, ask your friends or family if they have any to spare, and if all else fails, take a look online, because you’ll never know what you’ll find. Free cannabis seeds are plentiful. You just have to show the right people that you’re interested in trying them.

2. Forget the lights

Grow lights can help by providing all of the nutrients that the sun would normally give in an enclosed and well-controlled environment, and they are very effective when they’re used properly, but they can also get expensive to buy and to run for extended periods of time. Bulbs alone for some grow lights can cost upwards of $100 each, however that kind of firepower is not needed to successfully grow a marijuana plant.

Cannabis has grown in the wild for centuries, but grow lights can certainly offer an added boost that nature can’t. Grow lights will never fade as the sun will on cloudy days, or cool down as a storm rolls in, and this species is perfectly suited to thrive under less than ideal conditions. You could scope out a great place in an outdoor garden, or keep your plants inside on a windowsill, and either option will still produce a glorious marijuana plant, as long as it is done right.

3. Feed your marijuana plant with collected rainwater

Watering your gardens can add up over time, which collects on the utility bills over the summer, so if you’re looking to save some money, then you might want to invest in an affordable rain barrel that should cost less than $20 because it will hold more than enough fresh clean water to quench your cannabis plants’ thirst without ever having to turn on a tap.

This one small change can help you to save money and reduce water waste, which is great for the environment and your pocket, plus it removes any potential exposure to chemicals for your marijuana plant from tap water. A lot of people don’t realize this, but our water is filled with harsh elements like chlorine that don’t do cannabis plants any favors, so this is a healthier long-term solution all around.

4. Make your own super soil

Some plants will do well no matter where they are, and this, in a way, is true for the marijuana plant, but it still requires some very specific nutrients if you want it to thrive, so some regular old soil from the backyard might not be enough to do this job. Though the soil isn’t typically one of the most expensive parts of growing weed, opting for commercial brands is more expensive than making your own.

To do this, you can start with a bit of dirt from the yard, but you’ll want to combine it with ingredients that will build the ideal base for the bacteria and microbe development that is essential for your marijuana plant to get what it needs. This can be done for a fraction of the cost of commercial brands using ingredients that you probably already have in your house, making this thrifty option virtually free, with the exception of a little arm work.

5. Use all-natural fertilizers

Just like it is with soil, fertilizers that are marketed to growers can easily cost you hundreds of dollars, and they are incredibly easy to misuse, which can cause long term damage to your plant, but you don’t have to go with chemical-laden combos to pull off a successful harvest. In fact, some growers swear that their crops do better using all-natural supplements that can be made at home for pennies on the dollar, or in some cases, for free, and that’s a pretty good price.

All you need are some all-natural fertilizers, which can be made by juicing or fermenting certain types of fruits or plant materials or adding manure or bat guano to the water that you use in your garden once a week. For the most part, if you do a good job of mixing up some nutrient-filled super soil, you shouldn’t have to feed your marijuana plant much else in its short span of life, for it to thrive.

In conclusion

In the end, how to grow weed is a personal decision that should be made based on numerous factors including financial constraints. You don’t have to be made of money to enjoy the beauty of raising a marijuana plant until it’s ready to harvest and then partake in the spoils. In fact, the simple act of growing one or two plants is enough to save a consumer hundreds of dollars each year, so don’t hesitate, or let a lack of funds get in the way of your plans to try your hands at cannabis.

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