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Things to Consider:
- Costs – Your initial investment will vary depending on many factors, but plan on spending at least $300 to start growing with an indoors Deep Water Culture (DWC) hydroponic system. Growing outdoors saves money on lights/electricity, and using soil instead of hydroponics will also be cheaper. However, I strongly recommend indoor DWC due to higher quality product, faster grow, and easier maintenance.
- Smell – Even those of us who enjoy the smell of a ripening plant may not want our entire homes to smell like it. Using an exhaust fan with a charcoal filter in a closed space can reduce the smell to a point where it is only noticeable if the space is opened. Still, if you are not comfortable with the possibility of someone smelling what is growing you may want to reconsider.
- Overall Time – A plant will usually take between 12-16 weeks (3-4 months) from start to harvest. So, for example, if you start your plants in April they will likely be ready for harvest in July or August. Hydroponic systems will grow faster than soil because nutrients and water are constantly being supplied to the plant without interruption.
- Maintenance – If you are growing in soil, the plant will need to be checked every few days to see if it needs water or nutrients, and to check for pests. A hydroponic system will only need to be check once a week or sometimes less.
- Space – Each plant will need a minimum of 1.5 square feet to grow well, and ideally even more. In a small 36″ wide by 24″ deep single closet you can fit one plant very comfortably or two with a bit of trimming and training. If you have a walk-in closet, garage, shed, or other larger space available you can give the plants 2-4 square feet each for much larger yields.
- Physical Ability – This site focuses on the “Deep Water Culture” (DWC) method of hydroponics. In order to use this method you will need to be able to carry a 5 gallon bucket that is nearly full of water (roughly 40 pounds). If you are unsure whether or not you can do this, Lowe’s and Home Depot 5 gallon buckets are less than $5. Fill it with water a few inches from the top and carry it from the faucet to where you will be growing. A dolley can be used, or you could even build a permanent platform for the bucket to roll on. As long as you have a way to move the water, you’re set!