Reliable Bud Growing

Another month, another awesome Reliable Bud BYOC event at Spencer fairgrounds. The spirit of “70s Flower Power” was in the air along with a whole lot of Cannabis smoke. If you haven’t been to one of these monthly celebration of all things Cannabis, you’re definitely missing out.

The flawless weather was perfect for hanging out with hundreds of my fellow Cannabis lovers. I knew this was going to be a big one when I saw the impressive number of cars in the parking lot. Just take a look at this 360 video that allows viewing of anywhere you would like to see of the event.

As usual, there was plenty of Cannabis products from local businesses. Each event brings more new vendors. There are some incredible growers out there as well as new and interesting products you’ll find at these Reliable Bud BYOC events first.

The next Reliable Bud “Bring Your Own Cannabis” party is on Saturday, October 13th at the Spencer Fairgrounds. Of course, its Halloween season so I expect there will be plenty of Tricks and Treats.

The Cannabis Under the Stairs

Cannabis is legal to grow in many of our United States. If you’re able to grow, you should. It is easy, fun, educational, and not very expensive. These days all the components for a successful indoor grow can be purchased without leaving the living room. Here’s an extremely quick setup guide to inspire YOU to start your first grow.

My new living situation has a great closet under the stairs. The grow box I built where I previously lived fit in there but with limited access to the rest of the closet. I was also looking for some more “head room” for my soil-grown Cannabis plants. I decided to maximize the usable space with a grow tent.

A grow tent is the perfect solution for a low impact, low cost home grow situation. Grow Tents are great for renters who wish to grow Cannabis without any effect on the property. Add the power stingy, cool running LED lights and you’ve got a stealth microfarm of your very own.

cannabis grow tent

A search on eBay will cue up hundreds of indoor grow tents. These reflective foil lined thick nylon tents have large zippered doors and multiple “vent tubes” and flaps to accomodate the plants and equipment that will go inside. After measuring my closet space, I determined the tent size 48″ by 24″ by 60″ would fit perfectly. You ‘ll see multiple sizes are available so choose wisely. Check the shipping origin and try to go with a company inside the USA as it will arrive faster and any decfect/damage issues will be easier to resolve.

These tents are very easy to assemble but be sure to setup the tent in the closet. I assembled my tent outside first only to disassemble it to get it to fit in the closet. Once the tent is put together, you’ll notice straps that will enable looping over the rod where clothing is hung on hangers. This adds extra stability and takes any weight of the flimsy frame that keeps the grow tent upright.

A key environmental factor for successful indoor Cannabis growth is air quality. It is essential that a tent sysem includes a venting system that is able to “replace” the air inside every couple of minutes. With all the plant processes like photosynthesis and transpiration, fresh air with the required components including oxygen and carbon dioxide is key. Proper air replacement controls humidity and temperature as well.

The vent is attached to a carbon intake filter that helps to remove the pleasant but incriminating odor of fresh Cannabis flowers. The fan is attached to a vent (basically a 6″ PVC pipe) out of the tent through one of the vent sleeves. The sleeves are cuffs with cinch cords to snug the fabric to the vent.

vent system for indoor cannabis

Airflow is very important for the indoor grow system. The vent fan will refresh the air inside the tent but adds little actual movement of that air. Air “turbulence” strengthens the Cannabis plant’s stems, helps to disrupt pests, aids in the prevention of fungus and helps to control the tent’s air temperature. A small clip on fan (6 inch) works perfectly in a smaller grow tent with ample locations inside to clip the fan in the most effective locations. I like to move the fan around during the grow so the plants get “wind stressed” in multiple directions.

COB LED grow lights

The light source is the most important component to an indoor grow. There are so many choices, it can be daunting. The development of LED (light emitting diode) grow lights has taken great leaps forward with every new version released. In my opinion, LED lights are the ONLY choice for the small indoor grow. This debate could rage on but the bottom line is longer lifespan, cheaper operation costs and lower heat during use all add up to the perfect imitation sun for the home grower. The latest in lighting, COB (Chip on Board) technology super charges the LED, producing a higher Lumen output. COB chips are built right onto the circuit board helping to make them more efficient and less likely to fail.

How much light will you need? Once you’ve calculated the square footage of the canopy area, multiply that number by 50. My tent setup has a total floor area of 8 square feet. I currently use two 180 watt LED fixures. That is a bit shy of the desired 400 watts. but it will be more than enough coverage for the 4 to 6 plants I hope to grow. Plants will still grow with insufficient light, they will just grow slower and have a smaller yield.

Cannabis Grow Lights

Any lighting choice should be made at a “brick and mortar” retailer as customer support, including the ability to quickly replace a failing unit must be considered. A helpful sales person will ensure you make the right choice considering details like wattage and spectrum ranges. LED technology is evolving so fast, I believe they will replace most other lighting options in the future.

The LED lights should be at least 8 inches from the plant. As the Cannabis grows, the lights will need to be adjusted from the plant tops. Most growers use a dangling system with ratched cams to pull the light upward with a tug of the support cables. If the plants are started with the lights too far away, the seedlings will stretch into gangling, unstable plants. If the light is too close, bud bleaching and burning will result.

LEDs do their best to mimic the properties of our Sun to promote plant growth. Like the Sun, indoor gardeners should limit their exposure of these lights on the eyes. Maybe a pair of sunglasses would help, but keeping garden visits to a minimum is also a wise choice.

SensorPushRemember, the fans will make a lot of noise, so consider that before setting up in a closet next to your bed. Also, invest in a good temperature and humidity monitor as extremes of both will affect your grow. I personally like to use a system that sends the data to my phone. I use a device called SensorPush which has worked flawlessly for a year and a half. The environment inside your grow tent will be very important to you as your plants mature.

You’ve gathered your hardware and assembled your very own grow system and it didn’t break the bank! For less than 1000 dollars you’ve created a microfarm right in your own house. Now its time to consider the soil, fertilizer, pots and, of course, the seeds. But that is a post for another time.

Tokermon Tuesday # 74

Tokermon Tuesday time… here’s your Tokermon… Meet Guyrilla. This Tokermon is a slouching, knuckle dragging oaf that is forever in search of candy. You can see if there is a Guyrilla in the garden by leaving sweets out when the lights go out. If all the candy is gone, you can bet it was taken by Guyrilla (or a stoned gardener with the munchies).

You can view all the Tokermon so far by clicking the link below:
Who are the Tokermon?

Everybody Loves a Good Screw

Sometimes its the little things…

I am currently working on a new pipe called the Yankee Inhaler. (to see why, read How I Met The Yankee Inhaler)

I made sample pipes for testing and proceeded to smoke lots of weed through those prototypes. These wood pipes required a screen in the bowl so I purchased a sack of those headshop standards, unchanged since their inception in the 70s… the brass pipe screen.

The brass screen worked but there were issues. The primary issue was a clogged screen. I was forced to pry out the screen often to clear the built up resin (i.e. burn, flick, reinsert screen). That process revealed the next issue… getting the fucking screen outa the bowl so I could clean it. It didn’t take long for that brass screen to develop a large hole that released a bowlful of ash onto my tongue.

If I was going to make an easy to use, no nonsense wooden pipe, I would need to address the screen problem. An exhaustive internet search did reveal some interesting possibilities but I was able to dismiss them for my application as they were way too expensive. The “glass” screens were no good as well, falling out of the bowl when ash was tapped out.

Then I stumbled on Smokin’ Screws.

Basically a stainless steel wire twisted into a funnel funnel shape, the Smokin’ Screw takes the common pipe screen to the next level. The wire is pretty thick resulting in a long lasting, easy to handle insert for many pipes. With a handy handle extending out of the bowl, this “screen” is easy to grab for quick cleaning.

The inventor is definitely a smoker. The design of the Smokin’ Screen is simple yet extremely effective. The website claims “…its vortex design creates a swirling column of air and fire that releases the oils of every last bit of leaf.” I don’t know about any of that but I do know weed burns better with one of these screens. Just yank out the screen after a few bowls and take a look. If there is any build-up, a lighter will burn it off lickety-split. Flick the Smokin’ Screen to free to ash and reinsert into your bowl.

I urge you to check out the Smokin’ Screws website []. You can purchase the screws directly from the website and they will be shipped very quickly. The Smokin’ Screw will make the Yankee Inhaler a better product and I plan to include one with every pipe.

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