July 25, 2012

The K.I.S.S. Method to Growing

Here's an article by our buddies at The Grow Corner!

The K.I.S.S. thing might be a bit of an internet cliche by now but it really cannot be overstated in regards to growing. For a new grower things can become overwhelming between the new lingo, the different techniques, and trying to sort out where to get sound information. Not to worry though, the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) method is going to make life easier, so let's simplify things...

If you're a new grower you have decisions to make, ones you may not understand just yet, ones that really only make sense once you've seen the big picture. Looking for information online can be a great resource if you are looking in the right place, but you also must realize that a lot of information regarding a decision someone else made was made under different circumstances than your own. What works for some may not work for you. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you go out and buy any growing supplies or equipment, and the answers to each greatly affect your decisions.

How big is your grow room going to be? That's the big one really, size limits options. If you have a 10x10 area than your options are fairly open but if you have a 3x3 area all of a sudden you have fewer things to decide between...nice for the indecisive growers :P The equipment (ie lights, fans, containers, etc) you buy all depends on how big your room will be, so before you rush out and buy anything you need to make this one decision.

In the name of K.I.S.S. the rest will be kept simple, stupid :P You decided how big your grow room will be, now it's time to pimp it out with some new equipment. I don't want to over simplify but this will be a good jumping point for a beginner. Lighting is the next big decision, which of course has been made easier by your last decision, and here's how...as a general rule of thumb you want to have 50+ watts per square foot of space in your flowering room, so instead of deciding how much light you need you'll just measure the square footage in the grow room and multiply by 50. For an example we'll say you have 15 sq ft in the grow room, 15x50w is 750w, which gives you a rough idea of how much light you'd want. There are different types of lights too, but again we're keeping it simple, and to do that I'm gonna boil it down to HIDs being the better choice, HPS more specifically. In a small space HID may not always be the best choice, but in your average small closet/large cabinet grow HIDs reign supreme. LEDs are also making up ground these days but with the price tag they carry I wouldn't recommend them to new growers.

Hydro or soil? This one is all up to you, it's impossible to label one better than the other, they both have their own advantages. Price wise soil would be easier to start with as it requires less of an initial investment, but the investment in hydro equipment comes with faster growth. This is where browsing forums for examples is great, see some grows in action and decide what might work best for you. Just reading sometimes won't answer specific questions that come up, so ask, the people using the equipment will be able to help, an experienced opinion is sometimes better than any online review. Your nutrients can depend on your growing style to an extent, organics is an obvious example, otherwise there are a lot of fine two part mixes out there. Feeding your plants can be a lot more complicated than this, but again we're keeping it simple, start with the basics.

For a new growers there are really only a few absolute essentials, the room, the lights, nutrients, and something to grow in. So far you've got your room, figured out how much light you need, are browsing around for examples of different grow techniques to help you pick one, and maybe googling different two part nutrient mixes. So all you really have left to do in our simplified hypothetical future grow room is the small things that make it all come together, reflective material, containers, maybe a fan or two. The result should be a minimalistic, yet working grow. From there you'll start to see the bigger picture more clearly, and using the K.I.S.S. method you won't regret buying a whole bunch of equipment you didn't need 

So where do you go from here? Online forums can be a great resource, as a long time participant of different forums and administrator of TheGrowCorner.com, I can say with confidence that if you find the right site you will be flooded with more experienced growers and information than you could find anywhere else. Apart from reading material experience is the best teacher, after a little practice you'll be growing with the pros.