Overwhelmed First Time Grower

I have the seeds now I want to order the equipment. I am a little overwhelmed reading so many topics. I think a kit would be easiest for me. My budget is about $500. I am planning on starting out with 3 autoflowering plants. Could someone please tell me what the think the best kit/tent size would be for this or any recommendations? Thanks so much. I need it dumbed down for me LOL


Dont get a kit just dont they’re all crap , I’ve been very impressed with the melon farm 4x4 tent for a budget tent it’s been good quality . Get a cloudline s4 ( s6 would be even better) along with ducting and if it’s in your budget a carbon filter. DONT skimp on the light get a solid 2000 watt spider farmer ( 1000 if you only plan on doing 1or 2 plants). Get 5 gallon fabric pots and a good ph meter is a must apera is the cheapest good 1. Home depot has cheap coco coir in right now pick up a big bag or 2 along with compost and try a basic dry amendment run for your 1st time.


Welcome @LIJOE!! Happy to have you here. I am on my second grow so won’t be much help. I grow in living soil, photoperiod plants (clones), cheap lights (get good ones), a 4x2 cloudline tent (good for 2-3 plants), and a 4"cloudline exhaust with carbon filters.

I will tag a few growers that helped me and they can tag others to bring in more expertise. This community will get you through! There is no wrong way to grow - we all do it differently.

@Covertgrower @MeEasy @BStarr @Mark0427 @CalamityJane @STC_Cultivator @emgoldslo


Thanks for the tag @JaneQP

I agree with @GreenSnek but want to add this is an addictive hobby and $500 is a good start but you may outgrow everything you buy.

4x4 tent is good. I would invest in the s6 with filter so if you do grow 4 plants you have enough cfm

Lights are expensive. Save and buy the best/biggest/dimable light you can or you end up not getting the harvest you want and upgrading your light.

Don’t buy a kit!


Thank you to you and @JaneQP @GreenSnek . No kit! Okay so maybe I will allow for a $700 budget and get the kick ass lighting. I can eat ramen noodles for a month. I will start looking into the tents you mentioned. I can’t tell you all how helpful this is.


First question - where are you going to gro outside inside ? Space size ? Medium?

Inside. No more than a 4X4 tent max for now. Doing Blueberry, Northern Lights, and Amnesia all autoflower. Now I am probably going to start out with 3 of one kind probably blueberry.


I’ll give you this set then you can add on later but this are the main components , vivosun tent 4x4 , 650 r from HLG , and whatever you are going to use for medium since you didn’t answer the question @LIJOE , anyways if you go in a 2x4 you probably will cut price of light in half do 260 from HLG- and welcome :pray:, please do your research at this stage you can waiste a lot of money in product that you don’t need or are not good or have the best start posible ,something that won’t need to be upgraded later , it’s hard for you to tell since you don’t know what to expect and never tried none of this stuff, just do a trust fall on this grower - don’t cheap out on light or medium- you can be cheap on the tent - starts with the 3 main components - good light good medium, and environment- just get a tent and a clip 6 inch fan for now then add as you go an as needed


Thanks for the tag @JaneQP@LIJOE I think you could get a little better setup if you were to piece it out but if you go with a kit I’d probably say this Mars setup would work for 3 or 4 autos in 3 gallon pots


I don’t want to discourage anyone but 3 plants for a first grow is pretty ambitious. You probably expect 3 of the same strain to behave the same and have the same needs. Spoiler alert! Like children, they will each have a distinct “personality”.
One or two maybe to get the basics down and start to develop your own style or stagger the planting by 45 days for the “perpetual harvest”.
3 plants done fairly well could yield close to a half pound of good bud. Are you prepared to properly store and handle that much at once? Hate to see a successful harvest ruined due to poor storage, ie: mold or excess drying out.


Thank you for your input. I had not considered all of that. I know I want to do more than 1 because if 1 fails then I’m at zero. Maybe start with 2? I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with mold or waste!


If it were me, I would get a 4’ x 4’ from Mars Hydro, the S4 or S6 from AC Infinity, and 2 QB288 V2 Rspec boards from Horticulture Lighting Group. I am not 100% sure if 2 of the QB288s will be enough for a 4’ x 4’, but HLG definitely has a light that would work. I had a SpiderFarmer SF1000 in my tent, switched to HLG, and can absolutely tell a difference, and so do my plants. I recommend Happy Frog soil from Fox Farms.

Also going to need other things like nutrients, pH and EC meter, pH up/down, pots, timer for lights… Amongst other stuff too that I’m forgetting I’m sure.

For the pH and EC meters, I recommend the Apera PC60, it does pH, EC, and a few other things that aren’t needed, but it does pH down to the hundredth decimal so you get a more accurate reading, has a very handy backlight, the probes are replacable, and you can get a special soil probe too. Only thing is it is like $130. It is worth it in my opinion, however if you don’t want to spend that much, I STRONGLY recommend going with the Apera PH20 (around $50?) and an Apera EC20 (around $40?).

PH is very important as it is how alkaline/acidic a solution is. Cannabis likes a slightly acidic soil, so most shoot for 6.5 when using soil. Too high/low can cause nutrient issues, which is when the EC meter can come in handy, as it is used to test how “string” your solution is, or the runoff water from your plant when you water it.

I agree with @HMGRWN. 2 sounds manageable, but in all honesty the likelihood of “losing one” is pretty dang low… These are fairly hardy plants and plus, you have us to help, brother!


I have started using “Grove Bags”. Supposed to hold Rh at 62% and preserve terpines using some (alien? :alien:) technology. I like 'em so far. :+1:t2:


XD alien technology


Thanks for the tag @JaneQP!

Hi @LIJOE and welcome! These guys appear to have you sorted!

I will say though, I bought a kit and the only thing I’ve needed to upgrade from it was the light. I got a Mars Hydro TS1000, so as @MeEasy said, the Mars Hydro kit might actually be worth a shot. They always have discounts on their site over here so you might find one at a good price.

I’m set to watch this one! Good luck whichever options you choose.

CJ. :v:


All due respect I don’t agree. I did 6 Auto’s on my first grow. I used it as a learning adventure. I would stick to the 3 that you original planned. If you lose one you’ll still have 2. You can even lose 2 and still have 1 to get to harvest.

Just my .02 cents worth


That’s what I figured @CalamityJane and if he decides to expand later he would have a good auto or veg tent with this one. It’s a nice enough little setup that you could easily get 1/4-1/2 pound out of it every 8-12 weeks depending on what you put in it.

Also @LIJOE I forgot to welcome you to the neighborhood, hope you stick around and have fun with us


I’d buy:

10-20 pack of Northern Lights photoperiod seeds
An HLG 260 v2 R-spec kit
A 2’x4’x7’min height tent
An AC infinity 4” fan

You can wait a month or two to buy a carbon filter

2 plants should fill out that tent completely.


I would recommend starting with 2 in a 2x4 and 4 in a 4x4 but you need the light to cover that space properly and that like all your budget


@LIJOE I think @KeystoneCops has hit the nail on the head. This is a perfect list for your budget.