How to Build a Cannabis Greenhouse in Your Backyard

You’ve been thinking about growing cannabis but the idea of growing indoors, without the sun, seems absurd. On the other hand, you’re pretty sure the unpredictability of Mother Nature will give you an ulcer. You also have nosy neighbors who might gasp at the sight and smell of cannabis. What to do?

A greenhouse might be the solution. Greenhouse agriculture is an effective way to produce high quality, high yield cannabis with a minimal carbon footprint. When properly cured, greenhouse cannabis can last more than a year.

(Sean Walling/Leafly)

Before You Build

Here are a few things to consider before you do anything.

Know Your Cultivars

Cultivar selection is an important part of any grow. Make sure you’ve done your research.

  • Are you growing high-CBD or high-THC strains?
  • Are you growing cultivars that are more prone to powdery mildew, or is your natural environment conducive to fungal growth?
  • What are the plants natural resistance to pests?

“If you don’t know, ask the breeder,” says Chris Malott of Phyre Farms in Oregon.

Estimate Space for Full-Grown Plants

It’s not uncommon for cannabis plants to become six-foot giants or bigger. “If you want a monster-size plant with big yields, make sure you account for that in your greenhouse design. 12 feet at the apex of your greenhouse may not be enough,” says Stefani Malott of Phyre Farms.

You can also plant one row down the middle to avoid plants touching plastic. Michael Lupario of Western MA Hemp in Massachusetts warns: Too little headspace may cause the plant to touch the roof and condensation will do the same kind of damage as rain. Adjust the dimensions accordingly.

Consult Your Local Building Department

Find out what local permits may be required for your greenhouse. If your structure will have electricity, you will likely need a permit, says Noah Cornell at Aster Farms in California.

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