Equipment for Growing Marijuana at Home for First Time Grower

Are You Ready to Start Growing Yourself?

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One of the first things I needed to figure out was what equipment I would need to embark on this adventure. Keep in mind I’ve never gardened or grown plants before so my list of equipment and “things I need” are likely different from people who’ve gardened and have equipment.

This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s just based on my own googling and internet research to figure out how to get started. Some of these items I added later as I didn’t realize I needed them until I started growing. Hopefully, if you are starting out like me this list will save you time.

Equipment for Cultivating Marijuana

pH Meter – Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series PH20 Tester

Summary:

  • Purpose: To make sure rockwool cubes are properly pH balanced
  • Verdict: If you aren’t using rockwool you don’t need this. But if you plan to use rockwool don’t be cheap and get a questionable pH tester. It could cost you more in the long run

Highlights:

  • Costs around $40 (Apera pH Meter on Amazon)
  • Comes with a kit and calibrating bottles and takes AAA batteries!
  • There’s a popular yellow one that is advertised everywhere on amazon for $13, but the quality seemed questionable so didn’t go with it

Since I was going to use rockwool as the grow medium to sprout my cannabis seeds I needed a way to test and get the pH level of the cubes to 5.5 to 6.0 (rockwool is naturally higher in pH). To do this you soak the rockwool cubes in a water solution that is at that pH range. The pH tester ensures your pH is at the right level. If this isn’t done properly you can end up killing your seeds.

Using the Apera pH20 to get correct pH level

While I was tempted to buy the cheapo $13 pH tester that everyone seemed to be selling online I opted not to as the reviews were suspicious and $13 price seemed too good to be true.

Beware of this pH tester. You’ll see it everywhere on Amazon

I ended up going with the more expensive pH tester from Apera as they seemed to be a reputable brand and focused on creating testing equipment. Plus, if you are going to be spending anywhere from $10 to $25 per seed it’s probably not worth the risk of saving a few bucks on the pH tester only to kill them.

Fabric Pots – Garden4Ever 3 Gallon Fabric Pots

Summary:

  • Purpose: Transfer rockwool cubes to pot with soil once sprouted and house the full grown plant
  • Verdict: Fabric pots are nice that they don’t take up much space and they are supposed to be better for the roots of your plants. Do you need it? Probably not, but they aren’t that expensive so why not?

Highlights:

Not much to say here other than you need somewhere for your plants to grow. It doesn’t have to be a fabric pot, but from my research there seemed to be good evidence that fabric is better than traditional plastic planter pots. Also, the benefit is they fold flat and don’t take up much room when not in use. I went with 3 gallon size as an article I read suggested that was good enough and I don’t have that much room on my balcony. Plus, you get the added benefit of not having to use as much soil.

Saucers for Pots – Gardzen Heavy Duty Clear Plastic Plant Saucers

Summary:

  • Purpose: Fabric pots sit on top of the saucer to allow water to flow out and make sure the pot is not stewing in water which can cause root rot
  • Verdict: It’s really just a plastic plate that goes under your pot so water can drain out. It also helps keep things from being too messy when you are watering

Highlights:

  • Costs around $15 for a 10 pack of 12 inch saucers (Plastic plant saucers on Amazon)
  • Liked how the bottom had more grooves to allow for more overflow water to be spread around so bottom of pot is not sitting in water (not sure if that matter)
  • 12 inch size

There are tons of options for plastic plant saucers. You don’t need to overthink it. I’m pretty sure I spent way too much time researching these. It’s a plastic plate.

Soil – FoxFarm Ocean Forest Organic Potting Soil Mix 1.5 cu ft

Summary:

  • Purpose: Nutrients for plants and main medium for plant growth
  • Verdict: Do you want to spend a lot of time mixing your own soil? No? Just go with this soil. It has dead sea-going fish so you know it has to be good!

Highlights:

  • Costs around $30 for 1.5 cubic feet of soil (Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil on Amazon)
  • Reviews said it was the best for cannabis
  • Didn’t have patience to mix my own soil
  • Good for beginner since you don’t have to do too much to the soil

If you look online there are quite a few people who suggest you mix your own soil. However, I didn’t have the patience to do this (I’m a beginner!) so I went with what people said was the next best thing. Apparently this soil has “earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss & more” and I wasn’t going to go try to buy all of those ingredients separately to make my own super soil.

One tip would be to shop around. Amazon has it, but the price seems higher than going with other online stores. You can save some money shopping around. Also, beware 1.5 cubic feet of soil didn’t sound like a lot to me, but it turns out the thing weighs 40 lbs and was bigger than I expected.

Rockwool Cubes – Pratico Outdoor RockWool Cubes 1.5 inch

Summary:

  • Purpose: Used to germinate and sprout the marijuana seeds
  • Verdict: You don’t need to use rockwool and if you look online there are tons of other options for germinating seeds. Many had good results with rockwool so I decided to use it

Highlights:

  • Costs around $18 for sheet of 98 cubes (Rockwool grow cubes on Amazon)
  • Rockwool seemed not only to be an easy way to germinate the seeds, but also easy to transport to soil when that time came
  • You do have to do more prep work before germinating (see above in the pH testier section)

My plan with the rockwool cubes was to insert the seeds into them, let them sprout,  and then move them into the fabric pots with soil. A lot of hydroponic growers use rockwool and my method I didn’t find as much, but it seemed easy to transport so why not? The downside is that rockwool is not biodegradable and in order to use it you have to do more prep work by soaking it in a lowered pH water.

Germinating Seed Starting Tray – Burpee 36 Cell Greenhouse Kit

Summary:

  • Purpose: Tray for the rockwool cube to sit in and wait for them to sprout to be transplanted later
  • Verdict: Looking back I probably didn’t need this. I didn’t use the “self-watering” feature or the growing medium that was included. I just used the plastic tray and the lid. You can save some money here if you are using rockwool and just use one of the plastic saucer plates from above

Highlights:

  • Cost around $11 for 36 cell version (Burpee grow trays on Amazon)
  • Liked how this had a dome which is good for germination (allows for more humidity)
  • Wanted a smaller tray since only doing 5 plants
  • Includes tray and dome and self watering system

pH Lowering Solution – pH Down

Summary:

  • Purpose: Used to lower the pH of water in conjunction with the rockwool cubes to provide an optimal growing environment for germination and sprouting
  • Verdict: It’s just a strong acid that lets you lower the pH of a solution. If you use rockwool then you will need to get this. Just be careful this is strong stuff and just a few drops lowers the pH quickly

Highlights:

  • Costs around $12 for 8 oz bottle (pH Down on Amazon)
  • Was going to use lemon juice, but read it’s not stable so didn’t want to risk it
  • Also bought a mL dropper for accurately dosing

Trowel – Homes Garden Hand Carbon Steel Trowel

Summary:

  • Purpose: to shovel soil into the fabric pot
  • Verdict: This tool came bigger than I expected, but was useful for shoveling the soil into the fabric pots. God help you if you decide to use your hands!

Highlights:

  • Costs around $10 (Trowels on Amazon)
  • Did not know “trowel” is what you actually call this item. Thought it was just called a “small hand shovel”
  • Didn’t want to get my hand dirty so use this instead

Watering Can – Novelty 30605 Watering Can – 0.5 Gallon

Summary:

  • Purpose: To water plants without making a mess
  • Verdict: I didn’t get this until later after my plants were bigger and needed more water. It actually makes watering fun. Definitely highly recommended.

Highlights:

  • Costs around $6 (Watering cans on Amazon)
  • You can use just a big glass of water, but that could mean several trips back and forth which is time consuming
  • The spout is surprisingly useful at directing the water where you want it to go

Disposable Gloves – Black Lightning Gloves

Summary:

Purpose: Keep your hands clean when handling rockwool, trimming bud, and dealing
with pests
Verdict: Comfortable and non-latex (for those with allergies)… another bonus is that you
can still use your phone with these gloves

Highlights:

● Costs around $10 for a box of 100 gloves (Black Lightning Gloves on Amazon)
● Keeps resin off your hands when trimming
● Great for handling rockwool, which can irritate your skin
● When worn you can still operate smartphone touch screen

Summary:

Purpose: Get a closer look at trichomes to determine when to harvest and inspect leaves
for posts
Verdict: Didn’t get this until later, but helps with determining what pests you might have
and when you can harvest your plants

Highlights:

● Costs around $10 (Jarlink 60x Jewelers Loupe on Amazon)
● Has built-in illumination which is handy when inspecting flowers and leaves up close
● Not necessary, but useful in troubleshooting issues when growing
● Relatively inexpensive

Liquid Sprayer – Solo 418 Pressure Sprayer – 1 Liter

Summary:

Purpose: Spraying down leaves for cleaning and getting rid of pests
Verdict: There are cheaper spray bottles, but this is nice in that it’s pressure-based so
you can control how much mist and water comes out. Great for cleaning off leaves and
knocking off any spider mites that might be hiding on your leaves

Highlights:

● Costs around $17 (Solo 418 Pressure Sprayer on Amazon)
● Pressure sprayer allows for more water pressure than traditional hand sprayers
● Multiple use cases – spray water or spray your own organic insecticides
● Adjustable nozzle allows you to angle the sprayer in multiple angles which makes
spraying underneath leaves easy

Growing Marijuana Reference Book – The Cannabis Grow Bible

Summary:

Purpose: Handy reference in case something goes wrong or you have questions
Verdict: Searching online for marijuana growing help can be tiresome. It’s nice to have
reference photos and structured guides to help troubleshoot issues during your grow

Highlights:

● Costs around $38 (The Cannabis Grow Bible on Amazon)
● Lots of of high quality photos which helps with diagnosing pests or nutrient deficiencies
that are common while growing
● Very thorough in that in covers indoor and outdoor growing and growing setups covering
beginner to advanced techniques
● Might be more info than you need, but should provide a lot of long-term value
● Would recommend getting this as soon as you decide you want to try growing marijuana
(I waited until I had issues with my grow and by that time it was too late)

Growing Nutrients – Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio 1 Pint

Summary:

Purpose: Provide magnesium, potassium and other nutrients throughout all the grow
phases
● Verdict: I mistakenly thought that the soil I used would be enough nutrients for the
plants, but during flowering realized that the plants were nutrient deficient and were on
the verge of death. After using the nutrients I was able to save them

Highlights:

● Costs around $35 (Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio on Amazon)
● Comes with 3 different formulas (Grow Big, Tiger Bloom and Big Bloom) depending on
what grow phase you are in
● Replenishes nutrients that get used up by the plants

Plant Labels – Pratico Outdoors Plastic Plant Labels

Summary:

Purpose: Label your plants so you know which plant is which and also keep track of
dates
Verdict: These ones not only can be used to stick into soil or rockwool, but also can be
wrapped like zip-tie to branches

Highlights:

● Costs around $13 (Plastic Plant Labels on Amazon)
● Plastic to survive outside elements or indoors
● Multi-functional… stick into soil or wrap around branches
● Use it to keep track of strain and date planted
● Embedded smiley face makes checking on your plants a more happy experience

Hangers – BestofTech Portable Hangers with Clips

Summary:

Purpose: Used to hang up plants when drying them during harvest
Verdict: They don’t take up much space when not inuse (foldable), plus they include clips
which makes it easy to latch on the base of the stem

Highlights:

● Costs around $8 for pack of 12 (Portable Folding Hangers with Clips on Amazon)
● Each hanger has 2 clips which means you can dry 2 plants per hanger
● Folds down compact when not in use
● Works perfectly with closets

Pruning Shears – Gonicc 8” Pruning Shears

Summary:

Purpose: Cutting down bigger branches and thicker stems when needed
Verdict: Might not be absolutely necessary, but useful when harvesting and cutting down
the main plant. Makes cutting down bigger branches super fast.

Highlights:

● Costs around $20 (Gonic Pruning Shears on Amazon)
● Weighs around 0.5 lbs so don’t recommend these for trimming and should be reserved
for more heavy duty pruning

Spinosad Soap – Natural Guard Spinosad Soap

Summary:

Purpose: Insecticide used for pest control without causing harm to the plant and human
consumption
Verdict: After I realized I had a spider mite infestation I bought this to help control the
mites. It also works for aphids and thrips which are common when growing cannabis

Highlights:

● Costs around $20 (Natural Guard Spinosad Soap on Amazon)
● There are other options besides this brand, but Natural Guard had good reviews
● Formulated for protecting vegetables and crops so safe for humans
● If growing outdoors highly recommend as pests will find your plants (even in an urban
city like Los Angeles

Trimming Shears – Vivosun Hand Pruner with Titanium Precision Blades

Summary:

Purpose: Trimming leaves and smaller stems
Verdict: Necessary when harvesting and you need to trim off all the leaves from the
marijuana flower

Highlights:

● Costs around $7 (Vivosun trimming shears on Amazon)
● Pointed thinner blades make it easier to get to hard to reach places
● Lightweight to make trimming sessions less fatiguing on hands

Follow Along My Growing Journey

This post is just one in a series documenting my process of growing marijuana from start to finish as a first time grower.

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