This is our most basic grow kit, but it's powerful enough to grow high quality cannabis for the casual smoker. It doesn't include a tent, so assumes that you already have a closet or cabinet with good ventilation to grow in. To keep costs down, use a plastic cup for seedlings and an existing container or left over nursery pots. For under $150 USD, the budget kit can net 200 to 300 grams per square meter (2/3 to 1 ounce per square foot), depending on the strain. This is less than breeder's reported yields, but not bad considering the startup costs.
Grow Space - Bring Your Own
This budget kit is for people who already have a great place to grow and will work well for space of 18"x18" (.45x.45 meters) and at least 4' (1.2 met tall. You can make a space bucket, use an old cabinet or a spare closet. Get creative, as long as your space meets these basic requirements:
Good ventilation: Without good ventilation, the air in your grow space will become very humid and hot and lead to mold, disease and stress.
Heat control: Cannabis likes the same temperature ranges as you do; too hot or too cold and the plant just shuts down and a good grow space keeps temperatures between 65F (18C) and 80F (27C) and never than 60F(15C) and never more than 90F (32C).
Light Control: Traditional photoperiod cannabis strains need over 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness in a 24 hour cycle to flower. Even a quick sweep of light can cause the plant to stop flowering. A good grow space for photoperiod strains can be completely backed out.
Vertical Space: Cannabis can get tall, from 1' all the way to 20' (6.6m) tall depending on strain. You will need to select a strain that will fit into your space and use topping and training to make the most efficient use of your space and lights. Remember that lights hang down at least 1 foot (.3M) and you will need to keep at least the same amount between the lights and canopy. A good grow space is at least 2' (.6M) taller than the top of your plant after its done growing.
To learn more about picking an optimal grow space, check out our grow space guide.
Light - Under $70 USD
For growing in compact spaces, you need a light that doesn't burn hot. LEDs are very efficient so they make a great choice for for keeping heat and costs down.
This value priced 300W LED light works great for small grows of around 2 square feet (0.6 square meters). Click here to read our full review.
Nutrients - Under $30 USD
Cannabis plants need macronutrients for basic building blocks in their rapid growth process. During the vegetation phase, nitrogen is very important and potassium is less important - though those roles reverse during flowering. Marijuana plants need micronutrients too, like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Read our water and nutrient guide to get the details.
Fox Farm Trio is a legend in home cannabis grows and this pint sized set provides perfectly balanced nutrients for several plants.
pH Balance Kit - Under $10 USD
You will want to test the pH every time you water to make sure the soil stays in the right pH range. Cannabis likes pH between 5.5 and 7 depending on the strain. See our Water and Nutrient guide to learn more about managing pH.
We use General Hydroponics pH control kit to balance pH. This solution is well buffered and pH stabilizes quickly. Click here to view full stats on Amazon.
Soil - Under $15 USD
FoxFarm's Ocean Forest soil drains well and is specifically pH balanced for cannabis. You can amend it with coco or use it as is.
Seed - Under $20 USD (including delivery)
Here are two great options for seed. The first is a photoperiod feminized seed that will produce heavier yields but requires your space have good light control for flowering. The second is a an autoflowering strain with great medicinal properties, and since it's autoflowering, light control isn't an issue. Read more about cannabis strains and seeds here.
Special Kush #1 is the lowest-priced and biggest-selling strain in the whole Royal Queen seed catalogue. It is an indica-dominant (80%) cross of an Afghani strain with one from the Hindu Kush mountains.
Guillotine Autoflowering feminized was bred by crossing a new York City Diesel with an auto-flowering plant. The primary goals were speed of growth, compactness and taste. In this regard, the breeders at French Touch have been successful and Guillotine makes an excellent "guerilla" strain where discretion is important.
Total: Under $150 USD
This is a startup cost. Soil is an ongoing cost, but nutrients will last for several grows and the lights will last for over 50k hours.
What can I grow with this setup?
This setup has a maximum coverage of around 2.25 sqaure feet (.2 sqare meters). The Afgan Mass from 00 seeds below was grown in a 18"x18" (.45x.45 meters) converted stereo cabinet and netted around 40 grams of high quality bud. Given current prices for recreational cannabis in Seattle, you will more than pay for the entire setup with the savings from one grow.
Afgan Mass is a fast flowering auto with high levels of THC and CBD. This plant was ready from harvest in just 10 weeks after the seed was put into germinate. Click here to view more details.