Advice for beginning grower. Help please!

Hello all. Glad to be joining you all! So I’ve been doing my research and want to start growing but in need of some serious advice. I’ve never grown at all and have absolutely no experience. I want to start growing in a stealth way of course. However, I am having a hard time deciding what equipment to purchase. Here’s what I do know. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to start up. However I am not handy at all and would prefer not to build something. I will be growing indoor in a small area somewhere in my apartment so order control is important. Probably 2 x4 ft or 3 x 3 ft of grow space. With 8ft ceilings. I have looked into the smaller automated grow boxes as well as tents. But is it really possible to grow 3 plants in the mini grow boxes? This will only be for my personal use so I don’t need to grow 6 or 8 plants at a time. I would probably prefer a hydroponics system just so there’s less variables that I can mess up seeing that I’ve no experience. However would soil be a better option for a beginner? I know there are complete grow kits available for purchase everywhere online but with so much information it’s hard to make a decision. Oh the time from seed to harvest is important to me so what equipment should take into consideration to speed things up. I have looked into which strains are good for beginning growers but any advice there would be great too. So enough said but please any advice anyone is willing to share on what to take would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

Tents are extremely effective portable easily stored a easily controlled environment and they will fit all your needs for space. Hydro though less forgiving is faster growing system easy to move and store but requires more monitoring but produces more on average, if you do go hydro learn with DWC bucket units non-recirculating it allows you to screw up and not lose everything.
Both tents and DWC bucket systems can be purchased cheaply, lights for a 3x3’ space are mostly based on your budget I’d go with a 400w mh/hps system but you may be interested in LED LEC or cfl’s even. Regardless of light you will need ventilation a carbon filter and decent fan can also be ordered at fair price you will likely need fan speed controller PH and PPM tester.
I would budget for close to 1000 ± a few hundred to start it can be done cheaper but if you are planning long term and stealth you can pay early and start right or get nickelled and dimed as you try and adjust for issues


As you can see things start to add up fast :wink:


Nice list!

They might want to consider this TDS and pH pen kit:

It might save a little bit of money getting them in a combo kit like this.


sorry Mac I missed a few :sunglasses: was a long day trimming

No probs man! I got it covered, lol. :sunglasses:

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Hey Donaldj

Can you give me some similar ideas but for soil.

Please and thank you.

First off how big do you want to go I need some clue as to the space you plan on using and your expectations in that space? Are you planning to grow organic (home made mixed soil) or not overly concerned just want proven system in Soil-less mix Pro-mix Sunshine, Mix, coco or maybe peatmoss and perilite mix?
I use Sunshine Mix#4 or Pro-mix Hp they are proven good start to finish retain moisture but breath and drain well they require you to feed your plants and ph your water but are quite forgiving.
Organic soils usually take time to mix and cook 4-6 months prior to use but are very effective way to grow still require water be ph’d and do save or reduce the need to flush plants before harvest.

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Thanks so much guys. My growing mentors lol. Couple of questions? What about fans for inside the tent? Intake and circulation fans? Does the hydro bucket you suggested only hold one plant? Any advice as far as strains? Or feminized vs auto when wanting faster time from seed to harvest? I’ve read the grow bible. But how would I go from germinating seeds to getting them in the buckets. Should I purchase this rockwool medium?

if you click the link on the hydro bucket it will show you other hydro bucket options.
As for an intake fan the filter and fan combo I posted will do 3 things if you select a cool tube shade for the light I suggested. Then fan can push the air it sucks from the filter into the cool tube and be vented outside as well the suction it will generate will pull fresh air into the tent. This is budget thinking get 1 fan to do three things instead of buying another fan :wink: as for speed controller it allows you to adjust speed fresh air is pulled in for temperature control. This reduces likely hood of needing AC to keep room from getting too hot. The Ballast is dimmable so you can reduce light level at different stages allows you to dial extraction fan down some more when plants are young and you want higher humidity lvl.
First thing to keep in mind when you want to save some money is multipurposing getting components that do multiple jobs at once you would still want an oscillating fan 6" or better but most people have one around the house so skipped my mind if you notice on most Amazon links they have suggestions at the bottom I did a rushed list. Rockwool would be needed but rapid rooter plugs work just as well. The bucket I recommended is 1 plant comes with a watering ring and hydroton many don’t the water ring keeps roots moist as they grow down to water.
Fem seeds are best to learn with auto’s are unforgiving have seen them flower at 6" Strains are a personal choice look for an indica hybrid strain they stay shorter but read up on how easy they are to grow Sativa’s are slow and usually finicky.
To germinate seeds soak overnight until they sink this means they are saturated and ready to be planted place them in rock wool or rooter plugs that have been soaked in water ph’d to 5.8 the plugs or wool have hole in them wring excess water then place seeds keep in tray under done or clear cup until they sprout and have visible roots.


Just curious have you ever taken a PPM reading
on your Pro-Mix HP straight out of the bag and if so
do you remember what it was ?


Hello Donaldj

I am wanting to utilize a grow tent of 4x4. I am hung up on the Gorilla grow tent. I found one for 359 and it comes with an extention to make it 5’9. It’s a little pricey but do you feel it’s worth it. I am not picky about soil, but to be honest I would like the best that is avaliable for the flowers.

@countrythick That sounds WAY too expensive. I would suggest to keep searching the Internet to look for a better deal. I built my own tent for less than $60. Most tents I see are between $100-$300. The more expensive ones are usually the bigger ones, with extra rooms or compartments. But for a 4x4 tent you shouldn’t be paying over $300, just saying

Thanks so much man for all the help. Great advice!!! Gonna start getting the things you suggested.

If you want I likely could get you a ppm tomorrow But I usually don’t worry too much about it’s out of the bag ppm it hasn’t done me wrong yet :wink:

I agree with Ktreez it is pretty expensive and there are so many less expensive options they are nice but I like to be able to have height in a tent/room makes keeping lights at right height for plants and temps easier to control. If you want proven soil Pro-mix HP is a soil less soil excellent drainage has a root enhancing fungus in the mix and very light initial NPK so can start seeds in it. The fact it is a light NPk means you have to feed more using it and the above nutrient kit I suggested will work for this matter of fact about the only thing you would need different from Mrglass is no hydro pots instead go with smart pots :wink:

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If it not to much trouble that would be great, I ask simply
because the bag of Pro-Mix HP I am using is giving me a
reading of nearly 2000 ppm out of the bag and I have to
flush it down before I can use it. I suspect I have a hot batch

It does happen also could be the case that it was stored outside and the moss has actually started to compost?

It was purchased at Home Depot and yes it was outside in the garden area
and date on the bag is about 10 months old.

Should I just dump it or do you think it should be ok once its flushed back down

I would use it for final transplants my 1 gal to 5 gal but you could also flush it before use I like to flush any starting soil but with the HP+M it gets rid of the Mychorizzea which helps roots and boots plant growth :slight_smile: