LEAF is a state-of-the-art fully self-contained and remotely monitored cannabis grow box. At 27” wide by 25” deep by 42” high, it looks like a small refrigerator you can fit into any room or closet.
It holds and grows one plant with automatic watering, fertilizing, and lighting. It includes an odor filter, humidity controls, toolbox, and HD camera. You can operate or monitor the garden with an iOS and Android app.
This may be the future of home appliances, but it doesn’t seem like home gardening and lacks the nitty-gritty feel of dirt farming.
The average cannabis grower, who wants to raise a few plants, perhaps for medical purposes, enjoys the hands-on gardening.
So, here are 6 tools every cannabis grower should have:
1. Pots are not all equal. People have used everything from coffee cans to mason jars to start their growth. But, you should pay more attention to the pot, bucket, or container you use.
Smart Pots are fabric containers that prevent overwatering, correct bad soil, encourage root expansion, and prevent root rot. They come in various sizes, but the five-gallon container will produce a healthy plant.
These pots are soft-sided and fabric-aerated containers rigid enough to hold their shape. The fabric aeration allows air in and excess heat out. At 12 x 0.5 x 12.5 inches, the five-gallon pot works in the outdoor garden, indoor grow station, or large farm.
2. Scope it out. Healthy growth depends on visual scrutiny for progress, pests, and disease. Growers will use old school jeweler’s loupe or those magnifying eye-glasses use by jewelers and watchmakers.
Modern tech has introduced LED lit loupes like those marketed by GrowBright and Dreame. You might do better with something like the CC-JJ - 60x Handheld Mini. It’s a pocket microscope with LED illumination. And, there are loupes that connect to your smartphone where you can view and photograph the stalks and leaves of your plants.
3. Support your plants. You should know what to expect from your plants in terms of potential growth, high and wide. It’s up to you to prune and shape the growth. And, for this, you need some common garden tools.
Vinyl tapes are available at any garden store or nursery. But, you might invest in a KingSo Tying Machine. This stainless steel, plier-shaped tool dispenses tape and, then, straps and seals the tape around branches or leaves.
Cannabis plants need pruning to encourage growth and flowering. While there are hundreds of shears available, you should favor long-nosed clippers like the Tabor Tools K-17 straight blade shears favored by florists for thinning and trimming or harvesting.
A DeroTeno Mini Garden Tool Set will help dig, weed, aerate, and transplant. A combination of polished wood and non-corrosive iron, these tools are meant for miniature gardens.
4. Custom eyewear protects your eyes when working under the bright grow lights, LED and HPS lighting. Low-priced but effective Apollo UV400 LED grow room glasses also protect against UV rays. Or, you may prefer the Apollo UV400 fit wear that covers your prescription glasses.
Both products meet ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 safety standards. They wrap around to protect from all angles. And, they come with a warranty and protective pouch.
5. Soil needs regular testing for its pH factor. The Kany Soil Moisture Meter is cheap enough to place on in every plant. It’ a 3-in-1 light and pH acid tester.
You insert the device’s probe into the soil until it can stand on its own. It requires no batteries to measure moisture at the root level to manage watering needs. And, it measures pH to tell you when it is time to correct it.
You need a tester that will read the chemicals present in your grow media. Growers must know what nutrients the plants need and when. The Xidada Combo Digital PH Meter & TDS Meter Set, for example, will measure parts per million to display the chemical content of the nutrient-added water you use for irrigation at different stages of growth.
6. Cannabis plants depend on ventilation. They need the airflow to reduce their pest levels, breathe easier, and moderate their temperature. But, they also want CO2-rich air, and if you are growing your plants in a closet or small grow room, you must help them along.
Plants are passive, but they still need active inflow and outflow air circulation. They are happier when there’s enough air to rustle their leaves. That takes a fan that will move a cubic foot per minute (CFM), so you must select yours with the volume of the grow area in mind.
The IdealAir Hurricane 171 CFM 4” Inline Fan comes with a fan-speed controller. It comes in other sizes appropriate for your grow area. They all come AC/DC brush-type motors, and commercial grade steel.
Or, consider the Yield Lab Pro Series Inline Hush Duct Fan with its variable speed controller for intake and exhaust flow. The 6” fan easily handles 390 CFM to manage odors, heat, and humidity.
Tools every cannabis grower should have
You’ll need more, of course. You may need a grow tent or box. You certainly need a light fixture proportioned to space and plant temperature needs. You want the best plant medium and nutrients. And, of course, you need good seed or clones to start your garden.
The needs for hydroponic gardens differ, of course, but you don’t have to buy into the idea that you never have enough tools. If you’re growing indoors, you need what’s necessary for a gardening approach where you can closely monitor the plant. If you’re growing outdoors, the tools will multiple with the square footage under cultivation. But, you must have a lot under growth before you add a tool shack.
You can grow any garden with a minimum of special tools. Almost all tools also work for your flower or vegetable garden. So, if you are starting small, you can take the advice of your nursery pro on how to plant, transplant, and cultivate herbs. That’s what you’re dealing with after all.