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  • Post Time Posted January 15, 2019
Setting up a homegrow borders on the rigorous and the rudimentary. While it’s not particularly easy to select the proper lights, fertilizers, substrates and location to grow cannabis at home, there are myriad resources available to help homegrowers along in the process. What isn’t so cut and dry are the many small themes and safeguards – from fire prevention to proper ventilation – that need to be considered when getting started.

Ask for Permission, Not Forgiveness

A significant oversight that many homegrowers make is not checking with the proper authorities  in regards to the legality of the undertaking. Even in states and countries that allow homegrow, it is a pre-requisite to ask for permission from a landlord if growing in a rental home or unit, and to seek guidance from an insurance company if growing in a stand-alone, townhome or condo. Before even thinking about beginning a homegrow, it is imperative to ask for permission, to avoid the cost of seeking forgiveness down the road.

This important rule can also be applied to the selection of a location. When growing in a home or rental that is adjacent to other properties, consider aspects like smell during flowering and excessive noise. These elements can be huge nuisances to other tenants or neighbours, so courtesy is a strong policy. To limit the smell of an indoor grow, one can make use of a few different items: carbon filters and scrubbers, odor neutralizers and air purifiers. For outdoor homegrows, it’s best to employ a simple strategy – keep the crop away from children, and away from the vicinity of nearby neighbours.1

Minimize Fire Hazards by Seeking Help

Fire is a risk inherent to every homegrow. Simply, where there is light and electricity, there is always a chance of fire. Because most homegrows use high powered fixtures like high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH), the variables are heightened in the context of growing cannabis at home or on one’s property. While it’s not an enjoyable consideration for most greenthumbs, it’s a significant one, and something that must be taken very seriously, lest an accident occur and, at the very least, the entire crop burned.

The most logical solution to this potential issue is to seek professional help when initiating a homegrow. There are few certified electricians on the planet that would be unable to ensure a secure set-up for basic cannabis cultivation. Though some large companies may not be interested in providing this type of service, there are always independent contractors who have either worked on homgrows, or are willing to take it to task. It’s not necessary, but it is a smart safeguard, to speak with one of these men or women. A little money for an electrician can save a lot of money, and even some tears, down the road.

Get to Know Ventilation and Circulation

Outside of the basics of setting up a homegrow, one must have a fair understanding of both circulation and ventilation before getting started. Simply, cannabis plants need fresh air when flowering and every grow, whether large or small, requires air exchange. In other words, fresh and cool air must be coming in – to the closet, tent, pod or greenhouse – and hot air has to be going out. This will reduce the risk of pests, fungi and mould, all of which love humid and hot environments characterized by poor and stale airflow and circulation.2

To this end, ventilation is almost always required for a homegrow. The degree of ventilation will be contingent on the size of the grow area and the number and type of lights being used. Four elements – an intake fan, exhaust fan, ducting and duct tape – will all be needed to ventilate a homegrow. While this process can usually be completed without the help of a trained professional, it is never a bad safeguard to hire someone to ensure the ventilation is completed properly. The risk isn’t as significant as that posed by lighting, but failure in the ventilation can invariably lead to a partial or total crop loss.

Keep Homegrow Safe, and Keep It Simple

One of the healthiest safeguard one can employ when setting up a homegrow is the KISS standard – keep it simple! Despite being a little crass, (the last S stands for a word that rhymes with cupid), the acronym works. And in the context of growing at home, keeping it simple really does translate to keeping it safe. All electrical wires, fixtures, fans and ventilation equipment should always be kept clean and dry. These simple practices can truly make the difference between avoiding, and welcoming, a hazard into a homegrow.

The last consideration that should be noted pertains to children. Though homegrows are now legal in many jurisdictions, that doesn’t mean cannabis cultivation is a practice that needs to be normalized for children. To this end, it’s best to keep homegrows behind locked doors and away from spaces where kids are prone to play. That rule should be underlined when dealing with outdoor gardens, or homegrows found on properties near public places, like schools, daycares and playgrounds.

References:
  1. "Controlling Smells & Odors in The Grow Room." https://www.growweedeasy.com/smell
  2. "Ventilation Guide For Your marijuana Grow-Op." https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-ventilation-guide-for-your-marijuana-grow-op-n738

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