Room to Grow

Our indoor cannabis setup was simple, inexpensive and 100% legal

With one harvest in, and a second plant started, this simple indoor grow set-up proved its viability.

With one harvest in, and a second plant started, this simple indoor grow set-up proved its viability.


On hot days, an ice bucket went under the intake fan. Don't laugh, it worked.

Produced by N&R Publications, a division of News & Review.

Last March I showed how to build an indoor grow room on a $300 budget. The first harvest is in now, and the results worth reporting.

The goal was to grow 6 ounces of “shelf quality” cannabis by replacing my illegal summer outdoor setup with a legal year-round indoor setup. I purchased a 2-foot-by-2-foot Hydrobuilder grow-room-for-one, Thinklux full-spectrum bulbs, Royal-Grow soil, Nova Bloom fertilizers, and a Do Si Dos hybrid clone from Midnight Farms.

Quietly sitting in the corner of my garage, the grow room blended in beautifully. But a $9 lamp-timer was an immediate must, and as the plant grew higher, vertical space became a challenge. For warmth on cold nights, I swapped out a grow bulb out for a 100-watt incandescent bulb. On hot days, I placed an ice bucket under the intake fan. Don’t laugh, it worked in this tiny grow space. To get better water, I bought a standard Brita water filter for $16.

The first yield weighed in at 1.8 ounces of buds, with an additional half ounce of trimmings for making kief. The Do Si Dos plant was completely bug- and mold-free, and the grow tent cleaned up easily.

Was the cannabis any good? I asked a friend, Jay, who regularly buys lower-shelf medical bud, and initially he said, “There’s not much smell.” But after two hits he added, “Yeah … stoney. An eighth of this would go for $25-30 in a dispensary.” After a third hit Jay said, “Okay, closer to $30.”

The next grow cycle has begun with some changes, like Oregon’s Only #4 soil, and a Victory 8 square fabric container which stands 5 inches lower. It creates more growing room, yet holds an extra half cubic yard of soil. Finally, I selected a Midnight Farms Mendo Breath indica clone and will stick with the Nova Bloom nutrients. The cost for this second go, adding the timer and filter purchased earlier, is $55.

The whole setup cost slightly more than expected and yielded slightly less cannabis. But there were no pests, no mold issues and no code enforcement officials knocking on my door. Perhaps there’s room to grow.