What should I take into consideration before I start growing?

In order to successfully grow medical marijuana you must first consider a variety of variables which will ultimately determine the outcome of your grow. Here we list just a few of the major considerations for those just starting out, as follows:

1.) SAFETY LOCATION: Ultimately the space you choose should be remote, secure, private, and capable of order and temperature control. Once you have the location, keep your mouth shut. There is a natural tendency to want to share exciting and new farming revelations…DON”T! It is safe to assume that neighbors and friends will be jealous and/ or further promote what should otherwise be kept PRIVATE.

2.) AREA SQFT: It is imperative that  growers next consider the TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE available to them at the secret selected location. This will determine equipment inventory, budget, yield and ultimately grow style. Growers typically block space into 16′ sqft increments as this is the typical 4’x4′ footprint of most commercial grow lights, for example:

  • 600W HPS/MH will cover a manufaturer recommended 3.5’x3.5′ sqft area or 12.25 sqft TOTAL
  • 1000W HPS/MH will cover a manufaturer recommended 4’x4′ sqft area or 16 sqft TOTAL
  • 700w LED will cover a manufaturer recommended 3.5’x3.5′ sqft area or 12.25 sqft TOTAL

New growers can forecast a minimum of 1/2 pound per 16′ sqft to over a 1 pound as one gains the experience necessary for master farming.  A typical 4’x4′ commercially available grow tent is a great nominal footprint for most beginners to start. Once you master this space you should be ready to tackle larger areas. Be prepared, however, to change design, grow method, account for walking paths and larger environmental control footprints. We will delve further into some these advanced methods in subsequent articles.

3.) BUDGET: Larger collectives, will supplement their expenses across a broader patient base making the overall production costs and yield beneficial to each member, however, the upstart costs can be significantly higher. For those just looking to grow only for personal medication, budget can be a limiting factor. In order to mitigate costs for smaller operators we suggest shopping price, light technology (HID, LED, LEC, etc), wholesale nutrient salts, and considering overseas manufacturers for potential cost savings. Remember, not to let your ego get involved and decide what is best for you. That is, bigger is not necessarily better and broader technological and agricultural considerations should be weighed relative to your budget.

4.) YIELD: Ideally when growing for personal use having a estimate of the amount of medication consumed over a 2 month period allows the operator to forecast usage rates such that you will never have a empty crucible, pending the unforeseen.  As stated above new growers can forecast a minimum of 1/2 pound per 16′ sqft. If you have some prior history growing other garden variety foliage,  then you will likely have a leg up and experience “beginners luck” in this department. As your usage exceeds yield, alternate considerations should be made (weeks in flower, designated veg, hormone enhancers, strain phenotype, lumens etc )  so supply keeps up with demand.

Obviously, this is just a ancillary glance at what a beginning grower should  take into consideration before starting a grow. In the coming months we will explore further more advanced techniques to improve your overall performance and satisfaction in producing medical marijuana.

We also provide a growing consultation service where High Note Care will review your objectives and set a course of action for you to reach your goals.  We can advise you from a closet grow all the way to 5,000 sqft + warehouse operation.  Our team has decades of experience in both residential and commercial environments and is the perfect consultant to any grower who values quality, professionalism and confidentiality (NDA).

The High Note Grow Blog is produced by High Note Caregivers, a licensed cooperative in California, currently providing care and consultation to members Redlands, Yucaipa, Calimesa, Loma Linda, and Moreno Valley.  Visit us on:

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