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Grow Vertical! Mind-Blowing Living Walls of Weed
Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 03/28/2021 in Home-Grow
Updated on June 25, 2021.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
You have seen one home-grow rig; you have seen them all, right? Well, what works for most indoor plants will also work for cannabis. With some minor tweaking of technique and environmental controls, you could create your own ‘wall of weed’ or living walls with the number of adult plants and seedlings permitted by local state laws.
Some states allow only medical cardholders to grow cannabis at home. Other states permit adult-use (recreational) residents to grow. And every state has a restriction outlining the exact number of seedlings and adult plants you can grow at home.
There are thirty-six states that have legalized medical cannabis. However, only 18 states (at the time of writing) have legalized home-grown cannabis production. The states that do permit patients (or adult-use) residents to grow from home include:
· New Mexico
· Rhode Island
· District of Columbia (D.C.)
The state of Michigan allows people over the age of 21 to grow up to twelve (12) plants. Caregivers in Michigan can also grow up to five plants for a patient they are caring for. Caregivers for patients with medical cards in Michigan can grow up to sixty (6) cannabis plants to provide up to five registered patients.
Why Do People Prefer Growing Cannabis at Home
Not everyone smokes or uses cannabis for health and wellness. But the ones that do know that ideally, it saves a lot of money and is more convenient to grow marijuana at home. If your state has legalized it and you can do it safely. It can save you time also and trips to the medical dispensary to buy your products.
Think of growing cannabis as controlling wholesale prices. When you buy cannabis, you are paying a retail price. That is for all the work that went into growing, processing, and then manufacturing cannabis products. Even raw cannabis buds need to be cut and trimmed before they can be sold. Cost of packaging. The cost of operating a retail dispensary. And don’t forget that dispensaries must charge an excise tax that is charged to the consumer. One ounce of cannabis (depending on the quality and geographic location) can cost anywhere from $100 to more than $400 per ounce.
When you home-grow cannabis, there is an initial start-up cost. You have to buy all the equipment, including supplement lighting, watering system, air intake, and exhaust fans, temperature gauges, and in most cases, a timer system. That will help you balance the amount of light vs. dormant (or sleep time) your cannabis plants get.
There are hardy strains that are almost impossible to kill. But as you grow your experience and plants, you can migrate to more complex strains. The ones that can have some pretty amazing medicinal properties.
Space Buckets Are Entry Level Home Grow
Space buckets are a great place to start. They are affordable in terms of materials and cost under $300 to get started. And even if you have zero chops when it comes to using tools or putting stuff together, it’s a piece of cake.
Building a space bucket provides novice cannabis growers with several advantages; in a small space (like the stacked buckets), it’s easier to moderate climate control. You have an intake fan that provides fresh oxygen to your plant. An exhaust fan helps remove moisture so that you don’t start growing mold on your leaves and bud.
Space buckets are pretty economical when it comes to operational costs as well. Because you are growing in a small-enclosed environment, you don’t need to use a lot of energy. Or invest in an intricate lighting or watering system. The intake and exhaust fans tend to be the most expensive part of building a space bucket. But if they burn out, it’s also really easy to replace them.
Check out this article for instructions on building your home-grow space bucket. And if you have built your space bucket, share your picture and comments with us on Facebook.
Leveling Up Your Home-Grow by Going Vertical
The art and science of hydroponics aren’t new. Many people who have become experienced growing cannabis at home in rudimentary space buckets and other rigs may want to upgrade to something a little fancier. If your state has legalized cannabis and permitted home cultivation, you can get pretty creative about home growing your weed on a patio or a sunny wall inside your space.
Wayfair sells hydroponics? We know, we were surprised too. But this beautiful design allows people to create a living wall in their own home. True, you may be limited as to how many seedlings and plants you can grow (even in a recreational state). But you can combine your cannabis plants with other types of greenery and create your private jungle paradise if you are willing to spend the money for a more complex hydroponic setup.
Like (drumroll, please) … this one, don’t worry, we stared at it longingly too. What a perfect way to express your love of cannabis. If you have the space to set one up. Assuming you own your own house or have a landlord that won’t object to your private garden of ganja.
Living walls have two distinct designs. The first requires a water connection, which means hiring a plumber or installer to run a water source line in your home. Usually, the water connection is hidden behind the living wall and plants, so you don’t even see it. And it may require a schedule of turning on the water to fill a reservoir or water your plants.
The second method features a built-in reservoir that you fill up less often. In some of the more expensive living walls, there may be a central feature. An art design, panel, and in some cases, a flat-screen television mounted on top. Simply fill the container or reservoir once per week, and an automated watering system will take over.
Many of the high-end living walls with this system allow you to set the schedule and the amount of water that your plants receive. This is good because cannabis plants are sensitive to overwatering and dehydration of the soil and roots.
Where Can You Successfully Grow Cannabis on a Living Wall
Controlling temperature and moisture are two important keys to successfully grow cannabis. If you imagine growing a cannabis wall in the middle of your living room, you may be disappointed. Unless you live in a subtropical kind of environment with plenty of airflow in the room, you are going to struggle with establishing your ‘wall of weed.’
Sunrooms make a perfect spot for living walls. If you have one that receives full sun for a portion of the day, you can install a living wall and grow your cannabis (and other herbs) there. Make sure that you have blinds installed or light-blocking curtains to allow your plant to ‘rest.’ Cannabis plants (unlike other species) don’t like continuous light. They need to rest or ‘sleep’ in order to grow.
Companion Plants to Fill Your Living Walls
As much as you would love the idea of a complete wall of healthy cannabis growing in your home (or in your sunroom or deck), there is an important consideration. Even if your state has legalized home-growing of cannabis, there are limits to how many plants you can cultivate at home. And you can get in trouble if you grow more than your legal limit.
So, what else can you plant alongside your cannabis? There are a number of companion plants that get along really well with cannabis. The companion plant species can also help regulate soil moisture, temperature and promote healthy root systems. Some types of plants can even offer protection against insects and certain plant diseases. Using some of the principles of permaculture, you can increase the health of your cannabis crop.
Create a Combination of Helpful Fresh Herbs You Can Also Harvest
Cannabis is a picky plant about the company it keeps, but it does like having neighbors to keep it company. Cannabis will not only tolerate many plant species, but it will thrive if they are planted together.
· Alfalfa helps to keep the soil aerated and retain water. It reduces evaporation in the soil, and the root systems and stalks help add nutrients back to the soil. Also, alfalfa smells amazing and fresh, with rich aromatherapeutic terpenes.
· Clover helps capture nitrogen from the air and transform it into nitrates stored in the roots. This helps stimulate growth and healthy root systems.
· Lemon balm is an herb that (as the name suggests). This scares away bugs and other pests that might feed on your weed. It also (uhem) helps disguise or mask the smell of cannabis. It grows easily and spreads quickly, and you can use lemon balm as an herb in drinks and for cooking.
· Thyme is another excellent terpene-rich herb that cannabis loves to cozy up with. It is a low-maintenance plant that also provides antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can cook with this lemon-flavored herb too and dry it.
Mind-Blowing Designs and Rigs That are Living Works of Art
Most people who learn how to cultivate cannabis at home take a lot of pride in their techniques. They spend hours researching online and asking questions about enhancing the quality of flower—the size and scent or flavor of weed. To an avid cannabis enthusiast, growing is art!
Here are some fantastic ideas and pre-made rigs that you can buy to create your living wall and cultivate cannabis in a creative new way. Grow your vertical garden with living walls. We think these would be a pretty cool feature in medical or recreational dispensaries as well.
1. Nenita Self-Watering Metal Wall Planter
We know what you are thinking; that is one expensive hydroponic set-up. The Nenita Self-Watering Metal Wall Planter has a center console that lets you know with a small plastic indicator when you need to ‘fill it up with fresh water. Then, the self-watering planter takes over with enough water storage to last about four weeks before refilling.
This living wall rig is expandable or modular, and it is easy to install supplemental lighting on the planter. It has separate pockets to quickly plant a variety of different species with your cannabis plants. And it can be used inside or outside your home.
2. LiveWall Systems
Based on the same principles and functionality as the Nenita, LiveWall makes various sizes for indoor cultivation. The LiveWall systems have a 15-year warranty too. Check out this video to see how it works.
You can install the LiveWall yourself or have them install it for you. Visit the LiveWall website for more information.
There are a variety of different products you can use at economical price points to create your living wall of weed. Remember to make sure that you are installing it in an area where you can moderate humidity for the best results. You can also install a mister (if you want to get sophisticated with your living walls) to ensure you have a drip-free design that your cannabis and companion plants will thrive on.