Space and Lighting Primer
So your state has legalized Medical Marijuana, and as a patient you want to grow your own. To grow your own, you have to pick out a space to grow your plants, and you need to figure out your lighting. For this article let us assume you live in the city, and are going to grow your stash in your apartment or flat in a small space...small being a relative term, I am thinking about a closet.
Some good news for all you Medical Marijuana Newbie Growers...there is a very basic formula you can use in helping you pick a space, and decide how much light you are going to use. You need at least 25 WATTS of light per square foot of space, and can have a maximum amount of WATTS of 44 per square foot. IE, if you have a 3x3 foot closet you need at least 225 WATTS of light, and can have a maximum WATT total of 396 (you can round this off to 400 WATTS).
The lower the WATTS, the lower your final yield is going to be, regardless of the strand you are growing.
As you can see, a closet (or old refrigerator) will giving you plenty of growing space for a personal stash. That said, you now want to find out a few things about your space.
For best growing results, you want your grow space to maintain a temperature of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius) when the lights are on. Temperatures outside this optimum range will decrease yield, and higher temperatures could make your plants more susceptible to mites.
So, you have your space, have your light WATTS all figured out, and the temperatures issues have been taken care of (perhaps with the inclusion of a fan to create a gentle breeze, and the temperature in the desired range. Now you want to make sure that no light is sneaking in or out of the space you are using...which is why I like an old refrigerator (or two or three).
Lets assume a closet is the chosen space, and after standing in the space looking out you realize there is some light leakage. You don't want light sneaking out, and during Bloom Time, you do not want light sneaking in when the plants are sleeping, so lets get some white/black poly to line the space with, thus assuring you of good light reflection when the lights are on, and a light tight space when the lights are off.
A couple of tips:
1. Hang the light in a fashion that you can raise it up or down, as a good rule of thumb is too keep your light about two feet ABOVE the tops of your plants.
2. Having a light tight space is very important during Bloom Time, as light sneaking in when your lights are off will greatly reduce your yield.
3. DO NOT grow your pot in a closet that other people have access to, consider using a padlock...we do not want the DEA having some flimsy excuse to arrest you on some phony trumped up charges.
You can have a really sweet growing space for your Medical Marijuana with a budget of around $450. With good lights, a nice growing space and the right seeds (or clone), you can expect (with a little luck) to get between 16-32 ounces (dry yield) of quality Cannabis. Hopefully this primer gives you enough information to get you started on your Medical Marijuana grow project, helps you to pick out and equip your growing space.
Marijuana Grow Basics (the book)