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Growing in Cannabis Grow Chambers

12 August, 2013


(Originally intended as an addendum to the Grow Guide, this turned out to be less of an instruction manual on how to grow in chambers and more of a review. So I have elected to just blog it….)

Available through BCNorthernLights.com (and other places, I’m sure) and runs $2,250 for the “Roommate” which holds 4 plants, and “will keep one or two people happy” according to Todd (the kind representative I chatted with from their company). That price includes EVERYTHING except the seeds/clones (including 24/7 grow support.) It produces in a 12 week cycle for seeds and a 10 weeks cycle for clones. There are other sizes, five in all (named the Producer, Mothership, Nursery, and Bloombox), going up in size and cost.

An easy alternative for the condo/apartment dweller, these units use either soil or coco noir but are available for hydroponic growing.
Basically, the same as any growing, you fill the pots with your growing medium, plant your seeds/clones, water and feed. BCNorthernLights.com provides, in their setups, six months of their nutrients.

Let me tell you, despite the prohibitive cost (to me, at least), I am tempted to invest in one of these units. I do have questions though. Questions I would need answered before I fork out a dime. Is it any better than a converted refridgerator, for instance? And the nutrients, are they any better than what I use already? That’s just to name two. I am sure that there are more. Especially, if I’m spending more than for some of the cars I’m looking at!

My personal experience with the grow chamber is: Back in the early 1990’s, while perusing a men’s magazine (I don’t remember which one but it was a low budget one, not a major one, such as Playboy), I found a unit for sale. It was advertised for “Tomatoes”. (In the ad, it stated “not for illegal use/growing”. Later, the company owner sent out letters to his buyers saying, “Please stop sending me samples of what you are growing! It is a federal offense to use the US Mail service to mail such products.”) Shaped like a hexagon, it was made so you could add other units to it, all fitting together to form a circle like area. At that time, the unit cost me roughly, $500. It came with lights and the unit, itself. No nutrients, no support. Of course, this was the 90’s, Medical Marijuana was not legal, not even in CA then. So I bought it. As I recall, it took a couple of WEEKS to reach my door by Fed Ex. And it had to be signed for. By an adult over 21 with ID to that address. So there were several false deliveries, because I was working outside the home at that time. I finally had to take a day off (without pay) to sit at home and wait. As I recall, I sat there all damn day until 4pm, when it was finally delivered. This made me angry because I would have been off work at 3pm, so I could have worked my shift and still recieved it!

I found this unit totally unsuitable for growing a complete cycle. (However, Todd assured me that the new, modern units are much better and do grow an entire cycle.) For one thing, I could not control the height of the plants. Even with topping, I found them getting too tall for the unit and burning on the lights. Also the chamber itself was not large enough for more than a couple of plants. It only accommodated, maybe, two 4-6″ pots, hardly enough space to grow any size plant. I still have the unit and, believe it or not, the lights have never had to be replaced. I have used it almost every year since I bought it. The past 15 years, I have lived in the Northern region of CA where it snows and the ground hard freezes. Traditionally, I would buy clones from Doctor’s Orders in Sacramento CA (a 2 hour drive one way from where I lived) for $15 each. I usually buy 10-15 of them. I pick them up the beginning of April. When I get them home, I put as many as I can on the “ground floor” layer in the chamber and then sort of stack the others on top of the first layer. Take care of them like normal, feed and water, etc. Then the beginning to middle of May, depending on when the snow ceased to fly and the ground thawed for the season, I would plant them to pots or straight into the ground in my greenhouse. The unit was good for the 4-6 weeks the plants were in there. The unit has been in storage since I moved here in January. My daughter intends to use it next season for actually growing salad ingredients. As I have said, I will NOT grow in TN until the laws change.
So that’s it. The grow chamber. Later, I will write on converting an old refridgerator to a grow chamber and we will discuss, maybe, saving the $2,250 or, at least, most of it. But I would suggest going to BCNorthernLights.com and clicking on the Live Chat feature. Ask your questions directly to Todd or one of his associates and judge for yourself…..

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