Chapter 2

      Setting up and maintaining a successful indoor garden requires a bit of work and some hands-on experience. No one gets the garden running at full potential the first time out. Any farmer will say: "Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched." Rather than setting up a gigantic sophisticated garden with little experience, the best growers start off with a less ambitious project which has more chance of success.
      Small gardens are easier to maintain than large ones. They take less time, but more importantly, they do not have the problems of energy consumption, ventilation and heat that large gardens have. With a small system, the energy consumption does not go up that much. A large system using several large wattage lamps spins the meter. The heat created in a small system is easily dissipated into the surrounding environment, especially during cool months. A large system requires a more sophisticated heat exchange system.
      Marijuana has two distinct parts to its growing cycle. First it grows vegetatively, then it goes into flowering. During the vegetative cycle the plants receive lighting continuously or for a minimum of 18 hours a day. During the flowering cycle they receive fewer hours of light. For this reason it is convenient to separate any garden into two separate units, one for vegetative growth and one for flowering. The vegetative growth unit need not necessarily be large since it is used mostly for starting seeds and clones.
      In the most efficient growing system, plants are grown in the vegetative section until they are 8-12 inches high and then are placed in the flowering area. The vegetative section requires about 1/3 the space of the flowering section.


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