When considering growing marijuana in a solarium, energy conservation is a major element to consider. Some growers opt for black marble to absorb the sun’s light and heat during the colder months.
While growing high-quality marijuana without lights indoors presents its share of unique challenges, it provides a realistic alternative to investing in expensive grow lights and paying lofty electric bills. If you want to try your hand at growing indoors with natural light, weigh your options and consider the locations and practices described here. Most likely your home and its design will present a way to harness solar energy from Mother Nature to fuel your grow.
Sunlight vs. Artificial Light: Which One’s Better?
Simply stated, cannabis cannot survive when not allowed to engage in photosynthesis, and exposure to light is part of that process. Photosynthesis allows the plant to absorb the energy of lights from the chlorophyll in its leaves and convert it into energy. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) nurture the plant and allow it to create sugar for energy.
Window sills, although close to glass and fine for seedlings or young clones, do not have the space necessary for robust plant growth. Certainly, starting plants in these areas is possible, but before they reach more than a foot of vertical height they will require a more permanent location to mature.
Attics and Skylights For Growing Pot
Besides greenhouses, the most obvious cultivation option available to home cannabis growers is a “sunroom,” which are popular retreats for many homeowners. A variety of household plants thrive in sun rooms across the country, so there’s no reason cannabis can’t flourish in the same environment.
Cannabis in the vegetative stage (when it is growing at a rapid pace) needs at least 13 hours of light per day. In fact, indoor growers commonly use an 18/6 light to dark ratio to encourage faster growth. (Note that most indoor growers vegetate their plants 4 – 8 weeks.)
Americover’s BOLD® Black Out Light Deprivation Tarp is the top-selling greenhouse cover of its kind nationwide, consisting of two sheets of high strength virgin polyethylene film laminated together with a third layer of molten polyethylene. The cover is scrim reinforced for superior tear resistance. Plus, the cover can be easily set or lifted with the BOLD EZarm Tarp Puller. The BOLD EZarm allows one person to easily cover and uncover a greenhouse without additional help, making the daily chore of light deprivation so much easier.
The Vegetative Stage of Cannabis
Cannabis growers know darkness is as important as light. You may not think of the principles of yin (dark) and yang (light) when planning your light deprivation schedule, but savvy growers understand the dual needs of cannabis. And whether your greenhouse sits in the Pacific Northwest under long summer days or in the hotter climes of the Central Valley, it’s essential to balance darkness and light for a maximum bud harvest.
What many growers don’t realize is that cannabis demands an uninterrupted dark cycle. Just as your good REM sleep would be interrupted if a light popped on at 2 a.m., cannabis doesn’t fare well when any light disturbs it during its dark “sleep” cycle. The moon and stars don’t bother cannabis, but any artificial light can stop its bud growth. In fact, light interrupting its dark cycles can make cannabis so stressed and irritable that it can lead to hermaphroditism. That can pollinate females and ruin your plants.
As a cultivated plant, cannabis still responds to light changes. Depending upon the strain you’re working with as well as your environmental demands, your light-to-dark ratio will vary a bit. If you’re new to the strain (or growing), talk to old hands about when to end the vegetative phase and trigger your plants’ flowering phase. That timing is critical to maximizing your yield. Here are some more specifics.