Poor man's grow(seasonal/enviro dependent)

So I wanted to start a write up on a relatively cheap/easy set up for a home grower. This will be an open room for a cheaper build out.

Lighting is in your control you can get DE 1k HPS for 225-250 out hydro stores now so that’ll be your cheaper option. I’d recommend CMH for veg if possible at the least or if you can afford just in general - quality LEDs will do as well. I recently vegged with MH bulbs for the first time in a while and it really just doesn’t compare. It can be done but I’d recommend more plants under MH.

You can get away with just a drill here as you can have home depot cut your wood for tables. You can do 2x4x8s for 4x8 tables or 2x4x10s for 5x10 tables (go bigger if you have the space)

Supplies go as per table:
-6.5x- 2x4s
-Half a 4x4x8 for legs
-3 in screws for 2x4s
-4in screws for the legs
-4x 2 in 90lb caster wheels
-2 or 3x(depending on 4x8 / 5x10) 26 in x 8 ft galvanized corrugated metal panels
-Half a 10 ft gutter

Costs BEFORE lumber prices blew up was approx: $75 per table.

Going to leave 2 2x4s at full length and cut the rest in half(will post pics of tables later this evening) the 4x4x8 will be cut at lengths varying from 16 in to 8 in(depending how long your row of tables are) go down atleast 1 inch from each table end, do 2 unless you have like 10 tables lined up…

Other construction related supplies:
-30 lb. White Enamel Swag Hooks - 1 per light
-Light rope/hook hanger - 1 per
-18 in hurricane fan - 1 per table/2 lights
-6.5 ft width Scrog net
-Cable clips for wires.

No more than $50 per table on this part: approx: $125 total so far with 2 hps about $625 per 2 lighter not including exhaust/carbon filters. I have cooled up too 6 1k lights with a single 8 inch exhaust fan can do more in colder climates easily(so cal weather based.)

Since it’s an open room I recommend doubling up on filters. 1 inside hooked to the ceiling blowing air out a window(or your own made exhaust.) Have a cabinet/shed right outside the window and connect the fan blowing out to another carbon filter in the shed/cabinet(you can set up another filter in there to exhaust from that room if desired.) You will need a opening/window on the opposite side as a passive intake if you can cover with hepa filters without suspicion I’d do so.

Grow supplies/nutrients:
-Ph and PPM pen(cheap ones will likely break within a month-3 recommend spending 150-200 on good ones)
-Magnesium sulfate 50 lbs - $20
-Calcium nitrate 50 lbs - $40
-Any salt mix of 20-10-20 , 20-20-20. I use southern ags 20-10-20 nitrate special it will help with ph a lot if yours is high. Approx $55-65
Haifa MPK- 50lb 80 bucks(will last you several years)
45 gallon brute trash can for resevoir. $40
-light timer -$10

You can get myco/silica if desired but expensive and have still seen similar yields/quality w.o personally.

Besides the salt mix all these ingredients will last you over a year the Haifa will last forever(only used week 3-7 at very small doses). With quality Ph and PPM pen looking at 425ish total.
Oh yea ph up and down let’s make it a flat $450

I’d say 1 8in inline fan and 2 filters per 6 lighter(based on so cal weather) another $250 there.

$100 for a pump/hose combo to hand water

Another 20 for some totes to put under the gutters. You can get a $15 pump and hose line to pump out the run off or use that back(may as well ditch the totes and get a fitting to connect the pump directly to gutter.)

Almost forgot IPM get a Petra sprayer and 5 gallons of suff oil x - $225 total. Release 2000 lady bugs around Week 5 when you havnt sprayed for 2 weeks. They don’t do great with infestations but will handle almost anything that can come into your open room after you stop spraying Week 3 of flower. Catch it early or as a preventative it’ll do good.

So with a large supply of nutrients thatll last over a year with a 6 lighter. It will cost 625 per table with 2 lights. 250 to cool and filter the smell for up to 6 lights. And 725 in nutrients and such.

Room costs
$1600 for 2 lights
$2225 for 4
$2850 for 6

Either way you go you can profit first round pulling 1 lb a light. Although barely with 2 lights.

Ill post the gutters/tables/exhaust filter fans when I get to the spot by the end the day.

In terms of feeding as basic and generic as possible.
Early veg - 5-600ppm salt mix 1-150ppm calcium nitrate
50-75 mag sulfate
Late Veg - 700ppm salt mix 150-200 cal nit 75-100 mag sulfate
Week 1-3 flower. 900-950ppm salt mix 150-200 cal nit
100 mag
Week 4-8ish almost the same just dial back cal and salt mix 50-100ppm and add 150-250ppm MPK
Flush for 15 days.

Electrical can be chopped on a case by case basis. 4 light controllers about $100 about $200 for an 8 light controller as an additional cost not including the wiring/job.

Here’s some shots of my last harvest doing exactly this. 10 of cookie crosses from 6 lights.


This is a great write up.

Southern Ag uses binders, I assume to prevent their fertilizers from being hygroscopic or to prevent calcium sulfate unsightly precipitation, but still works.


Maybe this is a dumb question but how do you get the ppm right individually on each nute? Do you add them one at a time and just test ppm after each one or do you do the math on the ratios and do it by weight or am I wrong on all of these? I’m looking to get away from 12 different bottles and mixing them all up and saving some time and money. I was leaning towards Jack’s or something organic or living soil but this seems like it’s worth checking out so thanks in advance for any help.

360/240/120 on Jack’s 3-2-1 when it comes to Jack’s and Masterblend going in. If your runoff is coming out higher than that, you aren’t watering to 10-25% runoff to displace the salts in the root zone.


Great read. Always been a full living soil guy. Thinking about doing some amended soil with light salt inputs my next indoor round…

Just ordered 3x of these with mh and hps bulbs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TFH29GT?psc=1&smid=A2PQGFJXAT8J9K&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp

Already have my mag sulf., Going to order my base salts, haifa mpk and cal nit tonight also

I already have all my soil components,agsil, myco and agt50

Also doing my homework and then going to start ordering drip system components, any input in drip set ups is appreciated, haven’t set one up before!

Going to build tables this week…will keep this thread updated.



Getting back into growing this year, 6 plants or less and was curious of opinions on this, are there better ones for cheaper, I want something durable and accurate.


Bluelab have been solid for me. Carry ph in my carhartt side pocket all the time. Hold calibration very well


(Ran a hydro store for years) Probes are only warrantied for 6 months. They break if they dry out. You find out it is broken when your plants are suffering.

I switched to pH drops and strips knowing the pH is always going to drift up through all the nutrient availabilities and haven’t ever looked back.

EDIT: If you really want a pH meter, I’d go with Bluelab over Hanna for their customer service.


Sweet thats kinda what I was thinking, I got a big PH kit with all that to have as a backup and extra calibration. The ph pen was more of an add on I am mainly interested in the EC meter, which I am going to try to be religious about taking care of. Do you have a goto EC pen for home grow usage?

I got some Agt-50 this week for my work to try out, I am going to grab some to take home, Do i just need a bottle that doesn’t let light in, or is there anything special I should keep it in? how long do you think its shelf life is? The customer service and reviews have been awesome, I am very excited to see the difference it makes!


PPM meters are reliable and rarely need to be calibrated. Once you get your fertilizer dialed in and documented, you shouldn’t need it anymore.

Wow, that’s awesome. AGT-50/Mr. Fulvic is 0.5ml/gallon constant feed and IPM foliar with other inputs. 1ml/gallon intermittent feed or as a standalone biostimulant. If you have any questions, shoot me a DM and I’ll give you my work e-mail or personal phone number.


@AgTonik and @og_extracts what calcium nitrate are you guys using?

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Your local Nutrien branch will sell most of the salts mentioned above for about half the price on everything mentioned, but mag sulphate, that’s about $15 on small lots. All of the socal branches are now carrying Jr Peter’s also if you want to go that route. Call ahead, supply has been weird since covid, but they’ve filled all orders within one week.


Nice! I have one about 45 minutes from me

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I prefer Yara calcinit greenhouse grade. It’s slightly “cleaner”( less insolubles) than haifa. Haifa cal greenhouse grade also works fine, just more crap to skim out. If you need/want a higher calcium lower ammonia option. Haifa Cal Prime is what you’re looking for.


Haifa and Yara are both suitable. Stay away from Southern Ag Cal Nit, which has binders and sedimentation problems.


Haifa has a calcium nitrate shortage across the country, for the Cal and CalPrime. I spoke to them the other day. Lack of container ships and long delays in shipments. So unless a grower knows to how account for spec differences when formulating recipes, if they can no longer get Haifa calcium nitrate, I’d also suggest going with Yara Calcinit (for the sake of continuity).

Also, for the Canadians, both brands have barium levels that exceed allowed limits for cannabis production in Canada. That’s why those north of the boarder are going with Anderson’s, which also is a high quality product.


We are having problems shipping containers to and from China as a fulvic manufacturing company. I will stock up on cal nit with your recommendation.

Chelating and complexing micronutrients prevents testing hot for something like Barium. Both act like an electrolyte the plant takes what it wants. Andersons is a good company, although they are my competition.


You got it, mixing one by one. Get a 2 valve hose connection for your pump 1 to mix 1 for hose to make life easy.

I think you’ll be fine with almost any of the powdered salts if you go that way, organic works nicely can’t really burn much more labor mixing and such.

@Pupparoo I use netafim personally they will guide you along too if you call in. I use Yara as well. I dilute my cal nitrate before adding to res, some salts in combination(ammonia?) can affect its solubility. Get a 5 gall bucket and just make yourself a liquid mix for the future. I hate the white precipitate it has but can be easily filtered pre injection with some gear from netafim.

@Griffin.Labs I use those exact ones no complaints


What size pots (or are you doing each table as a raised bed) and what medium are you running?

And a quick update, got all my salts ordered today. Also ordered some suffx to try out (even though I’m super stocked on ipm products already)

Last thing to order is my 4 light controller and start “redoing” one of the rooms. They are just basic panda filmed rooms, around 5feet wide x 20ft long x 9ft high ceilings . I have been using them in the past just for starting outdoor. They already both have 10” intake w/hep and 10” exhaust w/carbon filter, I’m really just adding my new lights, the light controller, the table, the drip system and adding a couple new wall fans.


Usually rockwool or 3 gallons filled with tupur. I do more plants shorter veg with the rockwool vice versa with the tupur.