Originally, this was a stand alone page but I’m moving to a blog post to free up some space in the menu for new events and contact pages.
Stuff you need
As with any hobby you will need a few things to make your life easier. Here is a list of useful items. I describe very briefly what you need it for. More details on when to use these items are described in the Windowsill Weed book. The following items are listed more or less in the order of which you will need them.
Incubator – This is basically a mini plastic greenhouse and keeps your seeds humid and warm for germination. You can get electric heated ones that are quite expensive or unheated ones that are not so expensive. I don’t use a heated one and get a near 100% germination rate. This is not an essential item to start with. In the germination section I describe some techniques that only require a sandwich bag!
Coco or peat pellets – if you don’t want to germinate your seed directly in the pot this is a easy way to germinate your seeds and is described in the germination section in this book.
Pot (for organic grows) – As in a plant pot. If you are growing organic you’ll need something to put the growing medium in. Get as big a plastic pot as you can for the space you will be growing in. For example, if it has to fit on a windowsill without falling off you may need a smaller pot. If it is sitting on the floor then a larger pot will be good to keep it stable. I use 12 litre pots which have a 30cm (12”) diameter at the top. I tend to move the plants around a lot to catch the sun so this size is comfortable to carry. The plants get to be about 70cm (27.5”) to 1 meter (40”) high in this size pot. Depending on where you will put your pot you may want a small tray underneath to catch the runoff water. In most shops where you buy pots the trays are sold along side so you can buy one that fits. I buy sturdy black plastic pots that I reuse each year. People use plastic pots as the medium tends to dry quicker in clay pots.
Soil mixing tray – A large tray to mix your soilless mix can be helpful. Failing that you could use a large plastic bin, or mix on a piece of tarpaulin laid out on the floor.
Gardening sieve – I use a large gardening sieve to sieve my home made compost. This removes the large chunks of organic matter that have not composted yet.
Plastic tabs – to label your plants. I include the germination date and strain. These can be bought from any garden center.
Thermometer and hygrometer – this is highly recommended. It will allow you to measure what the temperature and humidity of the air is around your plant. This will allow you to take action to ensure you grow in the optimum temperature and humidity zones. I use several of these dotted around the place.
Bamboo canes – These are always handy for gardening. You can use them to prop up small plants or help support large ones laden with buds. You can also use them for stirring in the various things you’ll be adding to your water.
pH meter – to get the best result it’s important to test the pH of the water you are adding to your plants. pH meters can be picked up for around 10-15 euros/dollars. Alternatively, you can buy a pH testing kit which may be a little cheaper. However, the faffing around to measure the pH this way is really not worth the small saving that you will make.
pH up/down – a chemical liquid that will allow you to adjust the pH of your water. You’ll need a pipette to measure how much you add. Usually this will come with the bottle. Organic versions of these are available and are recommended.
Watering can – or any other vessel that will hold water and allow you to mix things into it. It’s important to know how much water you have in your watering can for when you have to mix nutrients into it to get the ratio correct. I have a nice four litre watering can with a large opening on top which allows me to stir.
Neem oil – This is an amazing organic product that will protect your plant from many pests and diseases. I use neem oil premixed with rimulgan. This allows the oil to mix with the water and is preferable to using washing up liquid as some people will recommend. See the vegetative growth section of Windowsill Weed book for instructions on how to use neem oil.
Pressurized water sprayer – this is to apply the neem oil diluted in water.
Oscillating fan – this helps to circulate the air around your plant. The movement keeps the fibrous stem strong and also allows fresh carbon dioxide to reach the plant. This is what it breathes.
Timer switch – this helps save you money for powering your fan. In normal conditions (i.e. not too humid) I turn it on and off every 15 minutes. This halves the electricity required.
Magnifying loupe – this is to see when your buds are ready to harvest. It also helps to identify bugs, some of which are only small specs to the human eye. Find at least x30 but not more than x60. Some have an integrated LED, this is very useful when you are poking around in buds and dense leaves. Stamp collectors use this kind of thing so they are readily available. Grow shops also sell them.
Secateurs – use these to chop down your plant.
Trimming scissors – you’ll need them for trimming off the leaves and manicuring your buds. Get a comfortable pair, you’ll be thankful you did when it comes to trimming. Even a small plant can take an hour or so to trim.
Drying rack or basket – this is to dry your buds on. Mesh hanging baskets with multiple layers are a god send.
Dehumidifier – this is not a cheap item (to buy or run) but if you are growing in humid conditions it maybe essential to help you avoid moulds when your plant is flowering, particularly towards the end of the grow before harvest. You may also need this for when it comes to drying.
Mason jar or other large glass jars – This is to cure your freshly trimmed and dried buds. We buy our peanut butter in bulk from the local organic shop. It comes in a box that contains 6 large glass jars. Once the PB is finished I clean the jars and keep 6 of them in the box for curing. White lids are useful to date and mark the strain with a non-permanent marker. Any large glass jar will do though.
Weighing scales – some accurate weighing scales will allow you to see how much you successfully harvested. It will help you to compare your grows and assess what impact any changes you made to your technique. I use one that gold and diamond dealers use. It accurately measures from .1 grams to 1 kilo.
Amber glass stash jars – small jars that block UV light to keep your buds in great condition in your stash box. The glass ensures no unwanted taste is added to your marijuana.