Every pot enthusiast dreams of building their own cannabis garden. Choosing strains, developing a nutrient regimen and harvesting huge crops are all part of the romantic idea of the cannabis home grower. They can also choose what growing techniques they want to use and ensure that their cannabis isn’t treated with any harmful pesticides. However, building your own cannabis grow room can incur a significant cost. How much exactly? In this article, we’re going to count the cost of a novice-friendly indoor three-plant set up.
Growing Your Own Cannabis – Is It Expensive?
There’s a reason some smokers decide to buy weed instead of growing it themselves. Building a respectable cannabis garden requires a ton of specialized equipment. As a result, the cost of growing marijuana can be pretty expensive. There’s also more than money involved – the labor cost is intense. You’ll have to check on your garden every day to ensure the quality of your plants. If something goes wrong and you don’t react in time or correctly, you could lose your entire harvest. Then, all the costs to grow your marijuana will be moot.
Can Growing Cannabis Be Profitable?
At some point, everyone’s asked themselves the same question as they walk out of a dispensary. “How much does it really cost them to grow this weed?” As you’ll see below, growing cannabis can indeed be a profitable endeavor for the diligent gardener. With the guide we provide, you can put together a novice-level yet reliable grow room for about $1142, or about $7.61 per gram (.03 ounces). The average cost of a gram of weed from a store can range from $10 – $30. As a result, the cheapest way to get marijuana for a dedicated gardener is to grow it.
Cheap Cannabis Seeds
How Much Does Growing Cannabis Indoors Cost?
Several different products determine the cost of growing weed. Tents, lights and pots are all significantly costly, but you’ll only need to buy them once (meaning each consecutive grow will cost you less). Additionally, you’ll have to pay for additional upkeep with things like nutrients (fertilizers), electricity and soil. If you run a single-tent setup, you’ll also need to buy new plants every time you harvest.
You can’t grow cannabis without seeds! Growing marijuana from seed has several advantages. First, it’s fairly inexpensive. You can find great weed seeds at a price of about $10 per plant. When starting out, you may want to get three of the same seed, as this will simplify and streamline your growing process. In addition, new growers may want to buy feminized seeds so as not to bother with sexing, or buy autoflower seeds for a quicker and automatic flowering.
Tents are a crucial part of every grow. Often, a newbie grower will ask whether or not they actually need a grow tent. The answer is yes, you really do. A tent can keep pests out of your grow area and also help regulate temperature and humidity. Additionally, a tent will keep any external light from reaching your plants, which is essential for a smooth transition to flowering. If there are any light leaks in your grow area, your plants may also end up herming.
For a three-plant grow, you’re going to need about two square feet. You can find high-quality tents online for about $55-70 each. These are great for newer growers.
For a new grower, LEDs make a great light source. They’re fairly inexpensive and won’t put off a ton of heat like a high-intensity sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) bulb will. You can find great LED lights online for about $50 each. Putting two of these in your grow space will help you ensure your plants are getting the light they need. An LED light can yield about half a gram (.017 ounces) per watt per harvest. Therefore, for 300 total watts of LED light, you can expect to yield about 150 grams (5.29 ounces) each grow cycle.
Every plant needs somewhere to live. Smart pots are one of the best kinds of containers you can find for your plants. They’re soft cloth pots that allow for drainage and aeration, and which help prevent pest growth in your roots. Additionally, they’re easy to clean. You can throw them in a washing machine instead of spending hours scrubbing after harvest time. Because of repotting, you’ll need two pots per plant: one single-gallon and one three-gallon. Single-gallon smart pots cost about $4 each, and a three-pack of three-gallon smart pots costs about $10. That’s a grand total of about $22 for all the pots you’ll need.
When it comes to soil, you can’t go wrong with FoxFarm. This California-based company has been providing high-quality soil to cannabis growers for years. It comes pH-adjusted to 6.3 out of the pack, which will allow your plants to absorb nutrients as soon as you plant them. You can find packages of FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil online for $35. Each package holds 1.5 cubic feet of soil (.04 cubic meters), which comes out to just over 11 gallons of soil (41 cubic liters). To play it safe, you should buy two packs of soil to make sure you have enough for re-potting.
If you’ve already decided to buy FoxFarm soil, it’s a good idea to go with their line of nutrients as well. You can find FoxFarm’s trio of fertilizers online for $47. The three-part formula includes FoxFarm’s GrowBig plant food for younger plants, Tiger Bloom fertilizer for flowering plants, and Big Bloom concentrate to give late-stage flowering plants a boost. You’ll also want some pH Up and pH Down to make sure your nutrients are always pH-balanced. General Hydroponics offers a pack that includes pH Up, pH Down and a test kit for $18.
Most utility companies charge for electrical consumption per kilowatt-hour (kw/h). Depending on where you live, this may range from about 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Check the cost of electricity with the local provider first, and from there, you’ll need to figure out how much in total you’ll pay per grow cycle.
You can use these two formulas:
Veg = [(wattage x 18 x length of veg cycle) / 1000] x cost per kilowatt-hour
Flower = [(wattage x 12 x length of veg cycle) / 1000] x cost per kilowatt hour
Flower + veg = total power cost
For this example, we’ll use the two 150-watt LEDs we mentioned above (two 150-watt lights = 300 total watts).
Veg: [(300 x 18 x 2 weeks (336 hours)) / 1000] x $0.15 = $262.16
Flower: [(300 x 12 x 8 weeks (1344 hours)) / 1000] x $0.15 = $725.76
Fast Flowering Cannabis Strains
Depending on the cost of electricity in your area, you’re looking at a price tag of about $1142 to grow weed indoors. With this garden, you can expect to harvest about 150 grams (5.29 ounces) each cycle. That comes out to about $7.61 per gram (0.03 ounces). With the cost per gram of weed maxing out at $30 from the dispensary, growing weed yourself is therefore much more cost-effective than buying weed from the store.
How Much Does Growing Cannabis Outdoors Cost?
Growing cannabis outdoors is significantly cheaper than growing indoors. First and foremost, you don’t have to pay for electricity or lights. Instead, you’ll use the most powerful grow light on the planet: the sun. Since electricity is the most expensive part of any grow, that will cut down on costs significantly. In addition, you won’t need to buy a tent, although you should still purchase pots, soil and nutrients to help your plants thrive regardless of their light source. As a result, you can set up an outdoor grow for about $200. Growing weed outside can significantly increase your yield as well. Some gardeners can grow up to a pound (453 grams) per plant by utilizing the power of the sun. However, you’ll need to ensure that you have a secure grow area. Many outdoor growers have gone out to check on their garden only to find that someone’s run off with their plants.
How Long Until I Break Even?
Using this grow setup, you should break even after your first harvest. If a gram from a store costs about $15 on average and the cost for you to grow a gram is about $7, you’re saving $8 per gram. With 150 grams per harvest, you’re saving about $1200 each grow cycle. Your grow will be paid for after your first harvest, and after that, you can start investing in a bigger and better setup!
To Sum Everything Up
Growing weed is about more than money. It’s a great way to learn about the plant itself and ensure you have control over every aspect of the gardening process. However, cost is still a significant factor for many growers. Now that you know the answer to the question “how much does it cost to start growing weed,” you can begin building your own garden and start saving!