This below question and answer were taken place between CheapHomeGrow and Husky from Husky Gardens.
Husky is a perpetual home cultivator. He has a 4x6x10 veg room and a 4x8x7 bloom tent. He started growing marijuana in Massachusetts when it became recreationally legal to grow your own. He offers practical advice to a first time home grower but an amateur can implement his helpful tips and tricks.
This is the result of studying for many hours a night, watching countless YouTube videos, while communicating with several well-experienced growers on other social networks such as Instagram. This is Husky’s simple ‘how to grow guide’ and his message to new growers, keep it simple stupid, no roots, no fruits.
How To Grow Your Own Cannabis Indoors
My goal with this interview is to help people that are currently or thinking about growing there own cannabis. Some of these questions are geared towards a bigger outdoor grow but I asked Husky about growing indoors, and he politely answered my questions.
We understand their’s many different ways to skin a cat, but this is his unique perspective on growing. I’m sure a lot of what he says below can be applied to your own grow.
When did you first get involved in growing your own? What made you want to get into the business? Do you do this for a living?
Realized how much I was spending on my own free choice of medicine. Also, there are so many beneficial uses for drug abusers trying to recover. Then shortly after realized it keeps me very busy and I’m always learning things I can apply to both my garden and everyday life. I don’t do this for a living though, but I certainly would love to and would excel at it!
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced while growing?
Plant counts. 6 is just not enough. Talking seedlings, clones, saving phenos, etc… Impossible with a low plant count.
What do you enjoy about growing?
The relaxation from both growing and consuming. Also, the community is amazing. But really, I love to pop beans.
Growing Cannabis Indoors:
Is there a particular season/time of year to grow cannabis indoors?
Since we are creating earth behind closed doors, any time of year is acceptable. I do prefer to grow indoors during the cooler seasons. The lower humidity and temps outside make it loads easier to efficiently and effectively regulate and monitor a steady indoor environment. Generators, dehumidifiers, a/c, etc all have to work harder during warm seasons.
What equipment do you need to grow cannabis indoors?
Depends how far you wanna take it really. But most home growers or smaller growers build up their environment with small investments over time. Basic would be a light source (aka the sun) such as a LED or MH/HPS combo. Medium (aka earth) whether that be water, soil, Rockwool, etc. will determine what accessories and products you will need for that. Exhaust fan to extract heat air and humidity. A dehumidifier for the end of flower. Some sort of reputable nutrient line. A Co2 supplement would also be a big help. Also an oscillating fan. That’s the basics to get you growing inside.
What size pots do you recommend I use to grow cannabis?
Depends on your medium and method of growing. Sog would be better at smaller pots 1 to 3 to 5 gallons. In Rockwool, I’d suggest 3-gallon pots. In coco or soil, I’d recommend more like 10 to 20-gallon pots. All comes down to having a very well established root zone.
Are there particular seeds you recommend a grower use indoors?
Definite, why do your research prior, you’re not gonna want something that stretches too much cause of height restrictions. I prefer something bushy, so I lean more towards hybrids.
What’s one seed you wouldn’t use indoors?
What temperature would you recommend for home grow?
Depends on stage of growth. Veg low to mid-80s with 70% RH. In bloom, low 70s at night and low 80s during the day with 25 to 50% RH. Last week of bloom should be low 70s for lights on with as little RH as possible.
What advice or simple tricks would you recommend to a novice grower that’s interested in home growing? How would you suggest they start off?
Get the basics of the environment. The environment is key in growing. Get that in check and everything else will flow. Don’t need crazy nutes or anything. Just environment. Top your colas often in veg up till 7 days before the flip to bloom. Scrog your plants down! Medium equals yield. Well established root zone prior to flipping to bloom. Utilize every square foot with colas. Remove all larf under the trellis net. Leaf strip and selective leaf in bloom. I start topping my plants in veg after the 6th node. Sexing is super important to know at this stage also. Guys are chubby chode crab claws where females legit look like a traffic cone. Nice pointy and erect. Don’t give up, learn from mistakes. It’s just a weed.
If a home grower messes up light periods or photoperiod of the growing process, what advice do you recommend that grower do?
Not to do it again, figure out what caused it to happen. Depending on how much you messed with it you might get herms sp you’ll need to monitor your plants carefully for a couple of weeks after.
How do I know when the plant is “done” and ready to harvest?
Watch your trichomes. When they are mostly milky maybe 5% amber overall its time to chop in my opinion. So look at buds top bottom sides etc to get a ballpark percentage. You should have a nice colorful fade at time of chop. You can also monitor the pistols, they will begin to darken, chop at that point. Just don’t mistake them for bruised pistols.
Should the lower leaves be turning yellow?
Lower leaves will certainly yellow and die off. Caused by either deficiency, lack of light or simply old used up leaves. Just remove them as dying.
Leaves that show deficiency should I leave them on the plant or snip them off?
I leave them on mostly so I remember. But once they get crispy, or begin to fall off on their own, or are blocking colas I would snip it off at the base of the palm. (Where the stem to the leaves meet the leaves.)
Should the tips of the leaves be curling?
No. They will curl down like a fingernail (the claw) for N toxicity. If they are pointing up you could have too much light or heat stress.
Should the leaves be “tacoing”?
No. Now that’s a sure sign of heat stress, light stress, pr root issues.
How much water should I be giving it?
Depends what medium you’re in most will tell you how long you can add water before needing to fertilize. However, if we are talking how much volume, then it depends on rootzone. A fully established rootzone should be able to uptake its pot size in liquid.
How far down do I put the seed to start it germinating?
First knuckle deep, just deep enough, so the top of the seed is covered by your medium.
How long should the light be “on” in a given day?
In veg, generic is 18 on 6 off. Seedlings and clones, I do 20-4. Reveg, I do 24. Bloom, I do 12-12 but here growers trying 11-13 for stretch and to save money on electricity.
Which is the right pot to use?
I just use a thin-walled opaque circular pot. Size depends on medium/method of growing. Different strokes for different folks just gotta see what fits your space and style. I’ve tried fabric pots but they build up salt n stay damp. Square pots are good for tight spaces like sog. I don’t like the ones with the holes because its just inviting bugs in if you have them. Preferably a short wide pot cause we want short wide plants.
How far above the pot should I hang the light?
Depends on your light source. T5 t8 CFL about 4″ from the plant. Se hid or led equivalent, 12 to 18″. And 1000 watt de lamps should be 3 to 5 feet. Keep in mind height is different in veg and bloom. Get a PAR meter to check for sure. Plants can only use 43 million umols per day no matter what way you look at it. A PAR meter will help to figure those numbers. In a perfect world, 1000 umols per square foot is ideal since we all grow in less than perfect conditions 600 to 750 umols is more realistic for healthy plants. Just for understanding, a seedling should be 5 to 8 feet from a 1000w de lamp where in bloom under the same lamp could get away with 2 feet above the plant.
Which light should I get?
I’d recommend 2 companies and 2 light fixtures. The one I currently use which is by Growers Choice, they offer the GC1000 its a double ended 1000 watt fixture compatible with HPS Metal Halide and has a 630w CMH setting and runs all CMH watt bulbs. The other is HLG550 LED fixture which is 3k kelvin and an SE 1000 watt replacement.
Will my house stink like weed?
100% even with carbon scrubbers or filters. Trim jail is the stinkiest day there is.
What website(s), blogs, Instagram feeds or YouTube(s) channels would you recommend to a novice grower?
With a home grow typically how long does it take from seed to harvest?
3 months at 3-week veg. Depending on the style of growing. Bushes take longer up to 6 months at 3-4 month veg.
Cleanliness is essential while growing. What advice would you give to a person that’s cleaning their grow area?
Bleach between harvests. Suck up with a shop vac daily. Clean off bulbs, reflectors, fans (remove fan covers for better airflow), etc.
How does one properly ventilate a grow area?
Your overall square foot should be the CFM that you need to extract. Should have an intake and exhaust. Exhaust out the top and intake on the floor. Oscillate on the floor. Add clip fans for canopy level. The tent should be sucking in slightly. You want to extract the air with new air every minute or so.
How does one cool down a grow room?
That’s a tough one for many. Fans (and a lot of them), exhaust fan on a speed temp controller, air conditioning the room the grow is in. If you’re running a CEA sealed room then a mini split AC is needed with a dehumidifier, dim your wattage output, I’ve even seen DIY where people fill a cooler with blocks of ice and run ducting to the tent.
Typically how many days does it take to grow cannabis indoors?
3 weeks plus whatever length of time bloom is for that strain. Very strain specific. Could be 10 weeks total could be 15 weeks total including veg time. Look at your hairs and trichomes toward the end of bloom for a better understanding of when you personally want to harvest. All depends on the consumers’ needs or wants. Chop early and you get that speedy high when trichomes are still clear. Chop cloudy for the best high. And chop at mostly amber for that couch lock effect.
Do you use any pesticides?
Never. I practice not using them, so I don’t need to. If I run into an issue with bugs, I throw it out and correct what I did wrong to get them.
Do you grow from seed?
Yes, the hunt is the most fun part to me.
Do you grow from clones?
Definitely, when I clone each plant 3 weeks prior to flip and keep the pheno or plants, I desire to continue running.
What strains do you grow?
I grow a variety! I’m trying to find what works for me which I love a super high with lots of flavors. I’m also growing for my girlfriend who is recovering from drug abuse, so variety is essential.
Do you use soil mix? Hydroponic? If not Hydroponic, which one?
I use Rockwool croutons. They are small and allow tons of airflow and an even balance of liquid. I run it hydroponically. I have reservoirs with sub pumps, air stones, o2 accelerators, and drip stakes top feeding on a drip timer down to the second. One side is DTW the other is recirculating.
Do you have an active breeding program?
I don’t actively breed but when I find my favorite and her favorite I will try to cross them.
Do you develop new strains?
Again, I don’t, but I would love to and have been taking many notes on how to do so.
Do you grow indoor or outdoor? Or both?
I grow indoors but hope to grow outside when the states become more friendly.
If indoor, what kind of lights do you use?
I use growers choice new 1000w de HPS/MH/CMH. Ita compatible with all there and dimmable from 600w up to 1150w. Also runs on 120 to 240v to save amp use. It’s an open fixture and I love it! First round with it and my environment is super happy.
What do you think about LED lighting?
I’d love to use LED, but my heart is set on hid. If I do get led, I’d use them for veg only. I think for a warehouse led is a decent choice, grandmaster level is killing it with his hps vs led youtube show. He is using the hlg550 from horticulture lighting group. I like hid for being able to change between any spectrum or color I choice whenever I want for relatively cheap just the cost of a bulb.
Do you cure your harvest for more than a week or two?
Yea I like to try to hit 2 to 3 weeks to help preserve terps.
How do you cure your buds? Do you use anaerobic conditions?
After drying, I put them in mason jars or 5 gallon home depot buckets with a 62% Integra Boost 2 way humidipack. I open the jars 2 times for the first week to allow are an exchange I dump them all out so they rotate. I leave a gap of air in each container. The second week I do the same 1 time, monitoring for any molds feeling the buds for moistness. If too moist I let them sit out for 15 min or till slightly crispy. If too dry I won’t open the lid for a bit longer.
What’s the humidity level while curing your buds?
Like I said I use 2-way humidipacks so it should be 62%.
What contingency plans do you have in place in case there is an outbreak of pests, like Spyder Mites?
Garbage. I won’t bother trying to save anything. If I get something on a strain or pheno. I can’t live without then I’ll plan to quarantine that plant in a completely different area and use a green cleaner to start.
Is the water supply RO?
My tap is 45 ppm. I’ve checked with my local water and there’s nothing in there too crazy. Anything over 150 ppm would concern me enough to consider an RO system.
Do you have an environmentally friendly way of dealing with wastewater?
I run my waste water thru several filters before dumping on vegetables or down the drain and throw out the filters.
Do you use solar for any electricity?
I don’t, but I’d love to. It would require lots of panels and a Tesla coil to keep the power running while sundown.
What’s your nutrient regimen?
I use different ratios of General Hydroponics 3 part flora series, rapid start, floralicious plus, and pH down. Botanicare for calmag and silicate. Mammoth p microbes with microbe life hydros photosynthesis plus. That’s it. The environment is so much more important than nutrients. Provide proper uptake with well-balanced nutrients.
What do you use for veg and flower?
I use all those products for both cycles. Just at different ratios.
Do you trim buds manually with people or via a bud trimming machine with people just doing the last cleanup trim before packaging?
I have to trim myself with no helpers.
How do you dry the buds?
I have a 4x4x7 tent that I hang my buds in rows; buds are about 12″ lengths. An oscillating fan blowing underneath at low with a dehu inside at 65% and temps at 65°F.
As I’m sure your aware growers/ dispensaries can’t write off any business expenses, which makes it hard to be profitable. Here’s my question, what do you think of the current accounting rules in your state?
Seeing as they only issued 2.5 million for the state of MA to start recreationally. I think they have huge problems coming in the next couple years. If they wanted to make more tax money, then tax write-offs should be allowed.
When/if do you believe these rules might change for the better?
Once we get a president that is more like the everyday American human that isn’t over 40 years old.
How are you addressing the carbon footprint and environmental issues of your operation?
I run my 2 1000w de fixtures at 4.6 amps rather than the generic 9.2 amps. As for water, there’s not much I can do besides filtering it out before dumping. I do reuse Rockwool croutons though.
What is your optimum pH for your grows?
5.6 to 6.0. 5.6 because I know my pH will rise with time. Ideally from 5.8 to 5.9. Also, there is no need to precondition Rockwool by grodan anymore.
Please explain your water drains. Especially at the end – flushing – created runoff/wastewater. What do you do with it?
I run it through several different filters before using it in my vegetable garden. As for Flushing for Harvest, I flush 7 to 10 days prior to chop with pH water. I run about 5 to 10 times my pot size through my medium. The goal is 0 PPM at chop. You want a clean smoke or product at the end, that is quality.
Do you use any products or techniques to boost yield? (like CO2 or specific additives like Bud Candy and Big Bud from Advanced Nutrients)
I’ve used big bud before and wasn’t all that impressed, it’s basically watered-down liquid koolbloom by General Hydroponics. Since I’m using general hydroponics 3 part Flora series I don’t need either, I just use more bloom. As for techniques or products to help boost yields, I use green pad CO2 supplement, I spray them every time I go into my garden and before leaving my garden. The best techniques for bigger yield is monitoring your environment adjusting your environment well-balanced nutrient ratios when needed proper lighting if you can maintain a 1000 watt dual ended HPS then do so. Top your plants as many times as possible fill out a scrog fill up every square foot that you possibly can with Bud sites. Keep your plant happy and healthy. The stronger the roots the danker of the fruits.
Do you do anything to boost Terpene production?
I believe a lot of this is genetics and open hood reflector allows for more UV which causes more trichome production in return causing more terpene production. I also add floralicious Plus by General Hydroponics. If the flavor is based on trichome amount, then uva and UVB are essential and again everything I stated prior to maintaining a proper well-balanced environment.
What do you think of Jeff Sessions recent decision?
I think Jeff sessions is simply misinformed or stubborn, and if that’s not the case, then we have a scandal of some sort taking place.
Best/worst case outcome?
We are able to continue our growing practices at home without federal interference. Worst, the federal government gets the taxes to pay off debts and build new things then take legal rights to grow away from us.
If you feel it is, what would you change?
Grow your own end of the story, cheers!
What rules and laws do you have to be aware of when setting up your own grow operation in Massachusetts?
Be away from schools, government or state buildings, check with landlords prior to cultivating, plant counts, medical vs recreational rights, hiding smell and plants from neighbors sight or nose, 1 ounce giftable, 1 ounce holding out in public, 10 ounces in a home.
What are the rules and laws governing growing cannabis in Massachusetts?
Same as above.
Do you have insurance for your grows?
My grows are far too small for me to consider paying for insurance that probably won’t cover me in the event I need it.
What’s the minimum age?
21 to possess or consume.
How many plants can you have?
6 per adult per household up to 12.
How many flowering plants can you have?
6 per adult per household up to 12.
How many ounces or can you give away any of your harvests?
Yes, I can give away 1 ounce and hold 10 at home.
Do you have to grow in your primary residence?
Yes. No way around that.
Can you grow for someone else?
Yes but requires a lot of paperwork.
Visit Husky @Husky Gardens on Instagram