Did you know that many people who get their medical cards are also allowed to grow at home? If the state has legalized home-growing for patients, it is a great way to save money.
- What Are Space Buckets?The solution to growing cannabis at home for medical cardholders that don’t have the room for a big set-up. Stack the buckets up and create the ideal environment to grow medicinal cannabis at home successfully. Also, the light used inside them is called a UFO. It is a type of LED light for cultivation. So maybe space aliens are involved.
- How Much Do Space Buckets Cost?It depends on the size. A quick look online and you can find complete space bucket kits starting from $100 for a 6-gallon set-up. Multiple bucket kits start around $300.
- What Makes a Space Bucket Different Than Growing Cannabis in a Regular Bucket?The structure of a space bucket optimizes temperature and soil conditions to allow cannabis plants to thrive. The average yield per plant using a space bucket is 1-2 ounces per plant. One of the design benefits is that it helps keep the lamp from damaging the cola as the plant grows. And it can be easily extended in height by adding more vertical buckets.
After Canada was federally legalized, I had the opportunity to tour a set-up in a friend’s home basement. The Cannabis Act in Canada (federally legalized) allows for a total of four plants per household. In some legalized states in America, the plant limit is assigned per person living within the home. Adults with medical cards.
What I saw in her basement was kind of a mess. She had watched some YouTube videos on home cultivation and bought a version of “Growing Weed for Dummies” with step-by-step instructions.
I decided I was never going to try to home-grow. It looked too complicated compared to visiting a local dispensary. But for many patients who don’t have a black thumb and who live far away from a dispensary, it’s appealing.
Except for that cost and complication of set-up and the equipment, you need to do it. If you have been researching how to home-grow efficiently, you may have heard about Space Buckets. It is a new and very economical way to cultivate cannabis plants at home. And even if you have a ‘black thumb’ a Space Bucket will help you get better results.
What Do Cannabis Plants Need to Grow?
Unlike a medical cannabis cultivator with huge greenhouses and state of the art technology, home-growing can be a lot less complicated. And not nearly as expensive. There are a few basic things that the hardy cannabis plant needs to thrive. Don’t let the ‘weed’ moniker fool you. Cannabis is a picky plant that can take time to master in terms of cultivation.
First, let’s talk about the humidity. That is where most novice growers have a real problem. Humans sweat, but plants transpire water and nutrients at higher temperatures. And with an increased humid environment comes issues like black mold, mildew, and even bugs. The ideal range of humidity for cannabis plants to thrive is between 40% to 50%. At that level, cannabis plants can resist or fight off mold, mildew, and other threats.
Overwatering cannabis plants is one of the mistakes that most first-time growers make. It’s an act of love; you don’t want your plant to dry out. But some of the signs of overwatering include spots on the leaves, browning of leaves, drooping, and lack of oxygen in the plant’s root structure. Overwatering can also be confused with light or lamp stress, which creates the same spotting on leaves.
What Are the Benefits of Using Space Buckets to Grow Cannabis at Home?
Are they called a ‘space bucket’ because they resemble something extraterrestrial? Not really. The term ‘space bucket’ is a nod to the low space requirement that is needed. If you own your own home, you may have a basement or a room in your garage that you can dedicate to growing. But what if you live in an apartment or a small condo?
If you live in a small dwelling with a balcony, you may think it is the perfect place to grow outdoors. The problem is that most states that have legalized home-growing for medical cardholders have an important legal restriction. Your cannabis plants cannot be in a place that is not protected or secure against theft (or access by minors). And you cannot grow cannabis where it is visible to the public.
That knocks the balcony idea out of contention. The space bucket, however, can fit neatly into a corner. You can also convert a small closet into your official ‘grow room’ by installing some space buckets. Don’t worry about the floor. Space buckets are designed to catch and recycle water.
Climate control is critical to producing cannabis. It is a highly evolved plant, and it prefers a subtropical environment. That may be easier to do with an outdoor greenhouse in the summer months. But if you live in a cold or temperate climate, you need to control conditions like heat and humidity for your seedlings. The space bucket gives you precise environmental control.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SPACE BUCKET
You can purchase a pre-made space bucket, but the whole idea behind this concept is to do it yourself. Here’s how you make a basic, starter space bucket.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
A) 2 x 5-gallon plastic buckets
B) 1 x 5-gallon plastic bucket lid
C) 180W full-spectrum LED grow light
D) 2 small fans
E) Power strip
G) 4 x 6mm bolts with nuts and washers
H) 1m of thin rope
I) Spray glue
J) 1 tube silicone sealant
K) Permanent marker
L) Measuring tape
M) Mylar film
N) Duct tape
O) Rotary tool
R) Razor blade
S) Safety glasses
MAKE THE DRIP TRAY
1. Measure 8cm up from the bottom of one bucket and draw a horizontal line.
2. Put on the safety glasses.
3. Use the rotary tool to cut along the line.
4. Set the bottom of the bucket to the side for now.
5. The bottom of the bucket is your drip tray. The top part will be the top of the space bucket.
DRILL DRAINAGE HOLES
1. Turn the other bucket upside down.
2. Drill 12 holes evenly distributed across the bottom for drainage.
3. Remove the handle.
4. This is the bottom of the space bucket. It sits on top of the drip tray.
ADD BOLTS AND SLOTS TO LOCK THE TWO BUCKETS TOGETHER
1. Drill 4 holes in the bottom section of the space bucket. They should be 4cm from the top rim and spaced evenly apart.
2. Insert a bolt in each hole and tighten using the nuts and washers.
3. Put the top section on the bottom section, allowing it to rest on the bolts.
4. Mark where the bolts are, then draw up 4cm and over 4cm to form an L-shape. They should all point in the same direction.
5. Use the rotary tool to cut on the L-shaped mark to form a 6mm channel.
6. Put the top section on the bottom.
7. Line up the bolts with the channels so that the top drops down over the bottom.
8. Twist to lock. Pick up using the handle to make sure you have a secure fit.
MAKE CUTOUTS FOR THE FANS
1. Separate the top and bottom sections.
2. Remove the cover from one of the fans.
3. Use the fan cover to mark the cutout and mounting holes on the bottom section. This should be about 8cm from the top rim.
4. Put on safety glasses.
5. Use the drill to make the mounting holes.
6. Use the rotary tool to make a cutout for the fan’s output.
7. Repeat for the top section.
ADD LED LIGHTING TO THE LID
1. Find the mounting holes on top of the LED light.
2. Cover the top of the LED light with a piece of paper. Trace the positions for the mounting holes, power cord, and fan intake.
3. Use the paper as a template to transfer the positions to the bucket lid.
4. Put on safety glasses.
5. Use a drill to create openings for the mounts and electrical cord. Use the dremel tool to create a larger hole for the fan intake.
6. Remove the top lid from the LED light. It should screw off or pop off.
7. Remove the screws intended to hold mounting cables.
8. Insert each screw through a washer, then through the bucket lid, through the top of the LED light. Tighten with a nut.
9. If possible, flip the fan around so it blows out of the bucket.
10. Reconnect the LED light to its lid, now attached to the bucket lid.
INCREASE REFLECTIVITY, ELIMINATE LIGHT LEAKS
1. Using the spray glue, line the inside of the buckets with Mylar film to increase reflectivity.
2. Cover the outside of the buckets and drip tray with duct tape to prevent light leaks.
3. Do not cover the bottom of the bucket with the drain holes.
4. Once everything is covered, cut through the tape and Mylar with a razor blade to re-open the fan cutouts.
CREATE A SEAL BETWEEN THE TOP AND BOTTOM BUCKETS
1. Use duct tape and rope to create a seal that runs between the bottom bucket’s rim and the 4 bolts.
2. Lock the top to the bottom and check the fit.
3. Continue adding duct tape over the rope one layer at a time until the gap is closed and no light will be able to leak out.
INSTALL THE FANS
1. The intake fan should be mounted on the bottom bucket.
2. Insert the fan body so that the grill is on the inside of the bucket.
3. Insert the screws and tighten as much as possible to prevent air leaks.
4. Repeat to install the exhaust fan to the bottom bucket, making sure that the grill points outside the bucket.
5. Use the tube of silicone to seal any gaps between the bucket and fan housing.
PLUG IN AND TEST
1. Assemble the bucket.
2. Plug the fans directly into the power strip.
3. Plug the LED light into the timer. Plug the timer into the power strip.
4. Plug in the power outlet and make sure everything is operating as expected.
ADD CANNABIS PLANTS AND GROW HERB
1. Add a pot with a small seedling.
2. Set the timer.
3. Feed and water as needed until harvest. On average, you can harvest about an ounce (28g) per grow from this type of setup.