Indoor growing involves a closed environment within which a grower can control every aspect of the growing conditions. This means complete and precise control of elements such as temperature, humidity, soil nutrients, air and water quality, and light. Indoor growing environment also eliminate natural considerations such as wind, mammalian pesticides, severe weather, etc.
Many people feel that outdoor growing produces the most flavorful buds because of the sun’s effects, but there is a body of evidence which suggests that certain artificial lighting fixtures can mimic the sun’s light rays in such a way that causes buds to grow with the same enhanced scents, flavors, and THC concentrations. The highly controlled environment allows cultivators to nurture their growing conditions just so to create exactly the strain they strive for without any confounding factors.
Indoor-grown marijuana is considered more desirable by some because growers and consumers know exactly what product they are getting. Such precision, control, and reproducibility means plants growing from seedling to tall, flowering stalks with very little environmental stress and all the resources they need in order to flourish. The most sophisticated indoor gardens afford growers control over even the smallest environmental considerations such as carbon dioxide levels, strength of air circulation, and the particular light spectrum washing over the plants. If growers have the expertise, technology, and hands to manipulate these variables on top of a robust food and water regimen, a well-bred, textbook strain will sprout up consistently and predictably.
However, in order to exact such control over an environment, the startup and maintenance investments (both in terms of dollars, carbon footprint, and human labor) are much higher for indoor operations than for outdoor grows since growers are charged with creating and maintaining every aspect of the grow environment. Not only do the grow medium and enclosure costs (such as a tent or construction project to suitably convert an existing space) demand sufficient startup funds, but the machines for recreating elements like light, ventilation, and water, and the electricity, labor, and knowledge required to run them can require huge dollar and energy costs. Outdoor cultivation requires a fraction of the energy and produces a fraction of the carbon emissions that are associated with indoor cultivation.
This increased cost translates to higher market value for indoor-grown cannabis since the product costs so much more to take from seed to consumer. Indoor-grown cannabis also relies on regular and meticulous maintenance though — far more than is expected for outdoor grows. Aside from daily adjustment of the environmental conditions, regular trimming, pruning, watering, feeding, and harvesting is hugely important to keep the plants uniform and growing at the same pace. Given the number of considerations a grower must take into account for their grow space, most indoor operations are limited in space, lest the overhead cost balloon to an unmanageable level.
Despite the increased labor costs and expenditure required for indoor growing, these operations are more predictable than outdoor grows because of the closed system. There is no threat of foraging animals or insects only found in the great outdoors, no threat of sudden torrential downpours ruining a whole season’s harvest. However, this also means that there are no natural predators that can make their way into an indoor grow operation to help control mite or other microorganism infestations. Indoor growers must rely mostly on industrial fertilizers and pesticides for pest management since pest populations also benefit from the comfy, stress-free lifestyle of an indoor cannabis plot.
Though indoor cultivation may not be able to produce yields as large as those produced by outdoor cultivation, indoor grows can usually be harvested many times over in one year since the grow cycle does not rely on the parameters of the season, and growers can thus plant their seeds at any time of the year. Indoor growers tend to take this further by choosing cannabis strains that inherently flower more quickly and grow shorter. Multiple yearly harvests combined with strains that are ready for harvests more often can mean productive and profitable gardens that are well worth the increased expenditure.
Experienced indoor growers can also take advantage of the technical possibilities of an indoor closed system by manipulating environmental conditions to increase bud growth and produce higher THC levels in their product. For instance, experienced indoor growers can introduce higher levels of carbon dioxide that would be difficult to obtain outdoors, or time their harvesting schedules to coincide with plants in peak condition. Flowers harvested from indoor grow operations look near-perfect, and will only be disturbed once removed from the plant and handled for processing. Additionally, experienced growers can explore less traditional growing options like hydroponics (water-based growing instead of soil-based) which can cut overhead costs. Indoor, controlled growing is also ideal for breeding strains and perfecting new plants before cultivating them on a larger scale, either indoors or outdoors.
THC Design’s strains are grown entirely indoors. While there’s no denying that there are certain magical qualities that we have to forgo by closing our doors to the Great Outdoors when it comes to cultivating our strains, there are huge advantages to growing indoors that THC Design prides itself on.
The biggest advantage that indoor cultivation has over outdoor cultivation is the ability to control our environment and the medium in which our plants are growing. This control translates not only to minimizing unforeseen hardships in the wild such as pests (from little bugs to big deer) and drought, but also means that we have the capability to finely tune the conditions that our cannabis plants can thrive in.
This optimization means that we can produce the best quality cannabis without any guesswork and without wasting plants along the way.
The capabilities afforded by controlling every aspect of the greenhouse environment also means that we can mimic nature in ways that allow us to take advantage of the plant’s biology that would never be possible in a wild environment where processes and cycles were dictated by the indifferent and constant sun.
By utilizing our cultivators’ expert knowledge of each cannabis plant’s particular needs in terms of water, sunlight, temperature, and light spectrum, we are able to harvest every 9 weeks instead of only once every year.