With Canada having made it legal to grow cannabis at home, and a number of U.S. states having done the same, more grow at home systems and terminology are cropping up on the internet. If you are thinking of starting to grow at home, or are considering changing the method you are currently using in your home grow, it’s very important to get all of the information before you make a decision.

So, in order to help you, we’ve collected some of the most common questions about grow closets and grow cabinets that we’ve come across on the internet. We then answered those questions for you, based on what we have found through our research.

What is a grow closet / grow cabinet?

A grow closet or grow cabinet is a unit that you purchased from a company to use in your home, or a DIY project that you have tackled on your own. So, they can be quite rudimentary in their design, or advanced enough to be fully automated and use an app. The systems that they use to grow can either be traditional soil or a hydroponic system. 

Note: We’ll be using the terms “grow closet” and “grow cabinet” interchangeably in this article. Please keep in mind that they mean the same thing!

How do I keep my grow closet / grow cabinet cool?

If you have an already-built unit purchased from a reliable company, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the temperature in your grow closet. All of that will be completely automated for you with grow cabinets like the Grobo One.

If you’re using a grow closet that is less advanced and/or reliable, then adding additional fans and putting in measures to prevent fires may have to be an option. The same goes for any DIY and grow cabinets.

When growing out of a DIY grow closet (or a literal closet), there is a lot of more maintenance and hands-on tasks that you may need to handle. For example, some growers have advised others who are newer to growing to cut holes into their closet walls (in the unit that they are renting out). That’s not really a viable option for everyone, and could get you in a lot of trouble. You will also have to purchase and install all of the vents, fans, and AC units yourself.

What do I do about lights in a grow closet / grow cabinet?

Ready-built grow cabinets will already have lights installed within them. Those lights can range from simple fluorescent tubes that turn on and off, to full spectrum LED lights that automatically change color and intensity depending on the plant you’re growing. If you get a ready-built unit, you don’t have to worry about getting any of the lighting yourself.

When building your own grow closet, you have to select, buy, and install the lighting yourself. High quality lighting systems can get quite expensive, and you will have to do all of the timing yourself, too. Usually LED lights are recommended because they consume less energy (meaning a lower electricity bill for you), and they also don’t get hot, which lowers the chance of any fires breaking out in your DIY grow cabinet. For example, some experienced growers recommended 400/600w light for 3 plants online, saying that they will give amazing results. They also pointed out, however, that those lights would impact temperatures in the grow closet (which means that you will probably have to invest in more fans or other cooling systems).

What do I do about smell in a grow closet / grow cabinet?

If you get a high end grow cabinet from a reliable company, it will likely come with a built-in ventilation system with a carbon filter. This will greatly reduce the smell of your grow, as well as creating airflow within your grow closet.

When building a grow cabinet from scratch, you can still get a carbon filter and fans. The setup will just require work from your part, and will likely not be as compact in size. One grower on a forum recommended something called a carbon scrubber which you are to attach to a fan that is close to where the air is being exhausted out of your grow closet.

What do I do about pest and mold problems for
my grow cabinet / grow closet?

When using a grow cabinet built by a professional and reliable company, you generally don’t need to worry about mold or pests. These grow closets are built with your plant’s health in mind, and when looking at the more advanced units, you will see that they come equipped to prevent mold and keep pests out of your grow. Such units prevent mold with the use of humidity sensors and thorough ventilation.

Preventing mold and pests when using a DIY grow cabinet can be considerably more difficult. To prevent mold from forming, you will have to track and adjust all of the humidity levels and how fans run and how they are placed yourself. Keeping pests away from your plants will be even more difficult, as you will have to seal off your grow closet quite thoroughly.

What do I do about securing my grow when using a
grow cabinet / grow closet?

Some of the more higher-end grow cabinets on the market come with locks that can be controlled via the app that comes included with the system. Some lower-end grow closets will come with a traditional lock and key. Some may have no lock at all.

If you are using a DIY grow cabinet, the locking method is completely up to you. A new grower asked for advice regarding this on a popular forum and was advised to put a padlock on both his closet, and on the door to his room.

It’s important to consider a locking mechanism for your grow since a lot of growers want to keep children and pets out of their grow and/or are required by law to have a lock in place.

Can I grow from a seed or clone in a grow cabinet / grow closet?

You can usually grow from both, although some systems might prefer that you start from a seed. This is usually only if a grow recipe is programmed to track a plant’s grow from seed to harvest. If you are using a DIY grow cabinet, you can choose whether you want to use a seed or a clone.

How do I fertilize my plants in a grow cabinet / grow closet?

Grow closets that are more advanced, such as the Grobo One, will handle nutrient dosing for your plants automatically. This means that all you have to do is let the unit know which plant you are growing (so that it knows when to administer nutrient dosing and how much) and replace the nutrient bottles when they’re empty.

If you’re using a DIY system, this part becomes a little tricky. A lot more growing knowledge is required for this part as you will have to look at your plant for signals. For example, if the tips of the leaves start to dry out, you will have to know how to adjust your nutrient dosing so as to prevent it from continuing.

Do I use soil or hydroponics in my grow cabinet / grow closet?

When it comes to ready-built grow cabinets, some companies will let you choose whether you want to use a soil or hydroponic system. The more advanced grow boxes will usually use a hydroponic system because it is easier to automate and for sensors to measure the water and nutrients.

When building your own grow closet, you can choose whether you want to install a soil or hydroponic systems. The latter can be a bit tricky to do on your own, and some previous knowledge is probably required.

What kind of yields can I expect from a grow cabinet / grow closet?

It really depends on how automated your grow cabinet is, and if it’s not automated, how much time and care you put into your grow. It can also depend on whether you ran into issues such as mold, pests, too much heat, not enough air circulation. When you take the DIY route, you definitely have more control over how your grow, but there is also more chance for errors that could partially, or completely, compromise your yield.

Whichever route you decide to go with, it’s very important to be as informed as possible. It’s also important to be aware of your level of skill when it comes to growing and/or setting up a DIY system, as well as being realistic about the amount of time that you can devote to your plant/s.

Please let us know if you have any questions about grow cabinets, grow closets, or grow boxes that we didn’t cover in this article!