Growing Marijuana Safely
Growing Marijuana Safely
Marijuana cultivation may be legal in many countries and even many U.S. states, but that doesn’t mean safety and security shouldn’t still be at the top of any grower’s priorities list. Unfortunately, potential security issues go far beyond just unwanted attention from the police. The circumstances of every grow are a little different, so this article will offer some general advice followed by a breakdown of how indoor, outdoor, and even guerilla growers can protect their crops and themselves.
Common Security Risks
It’s impossible to prevent all risks associated to growing marijuana. However, there are a few common security risks that growers can avoid easily.
Growing cannabis in a crowded, residential neighborhood comes with a heightened risk of dealing with nosy neighbors. Even where cultivating marijuana is legal, neighbors can still call the police to complain if they feel inclined. Depending on the circumstances, there may or may not be any legal repercussions for the grower, but either way, dealing with the police is always a hassle that is best avoided.
Avoid legal mishaps by checking the regulations associated to how many plants are permitted to be grown within your jurisdiction.
The largest human threat to marijuana crops isn’t typically the police, but thieves. After months of hard work, no grower wants to check on his or her crop as harvest time approaches and find that all their best buds have been prematurely harvested by marijuana thieves. This problem is more common for outdoor and guerilla growers than it is for indoor growers, but the bottom line is that risk of theft increases as crop-news spreads.
Avoiding Unnecessary Security Risks
The most important thing for any grower to keep in mind is that it’s never wise to talk openly about the crop. Loudmouths aren’t the only thing that can threaten a crop of marijuana, but they’re certainly one of the most common reasons growers wind up facing legal troubles or dealing with thieves.
Keep Information on a Need-to-Know Basis
Don’t tell friends, family members, or neighbors unless there is a concrete reason to. Even ordinarily trustworthy friends can wind up mentioning the grow to people, so keep the details of your operation on a need-to-know basis.
Loudmouths aren’t the only threat to indoor growers living in cities and suburban communities. If the grow room isn’t completely sealed or the exhaust fans don’t have in-line filters, the scent coming from the room alone may be enough to cause trouble with neighbors.
The most common problem areas in indoor grow rooms are the areas around the intake and exhaust fans, the tubes coming from exhaust fans, and the seals around windows and doors. Make sure there are no air leaks in these areas and purchase a high-quality carbon filter to remove odors from the air being vented to the outdoors. Most carbon filters only need to be replaced around once a year.
Outdoor growers and guerilla growers can mask the scent of their crops by taking wind direction into account when they decide where to plant and locating their crops as far as possible from hiking trails, recreation areas, and other places frequented by outdoor enthusiasts. It’s also a good idea to plant other highly aromatic support crops around, like mint, basil, calendula, lavender, eucalyptus, or other aromatic herbs.
Fence In Outdoor Grows
A simple privacy fence can keep prying eyes from seeing what’s going on in a backyard. Don’t turn the property into a fortress, as that’s likely to attract more attention. Instead, choose common fencing options like wood, bamboo, or stone.
Install Security Cameras
Installing security cameras onsite is a great way to see what’s going on even when growers aren’t there. Given that large and bulky security cameras may attract attention, growers can consider smaller cameras. Most potential thieves will scope out a target first and come back later in the season to steal the crop, so growers who install security cameras will be able to accurately identify repeat visitors throughout the season.
Common Safety Concerns
Some safety concerns are directly related to potential confrontations with thieves and police. The potential for violent confrontations isn’t the only safety issue facing growers, though. Indoor growers whose grow operations don’t have proper air filtration are at risk of being discovered by neighbors.
The most common safety hazard facing indoor growers is improper electrical wiring to grow lights, fans, or other components. Most growers aren’t going to go out and hire electricians to help them, but they can reduce their fire risk by purchasing equipment from reputable brands, placing all electrical components away from water and irrigation systems, and being careful not to overload the circuits.
Some products used by marijuana growers can be harmful to human health if used incorrectly, as well. Many contain potentially dangerous chemicals that can lead to rashes on contact, lung damage when inhaled, and vision loss if introduced accidentally into growers’ eyes. Always wear protective gear, including gloves and goggles, when handling chemicals and fertilizers to reduce the risk of contact burns and other serious health complications.
Water Damage and Mold
Hydroponic growers are more likely to be stuck dealing with serious water damage than soil growers are, but anyone who uses advanced irrigation systems or stores water in his or her grow room should be aware of the dangers posed by serious spills. First, water spills can short circuit electrical appliances, increasing the risk of a grow room fire. If a serious spill occurs, it can also be absorbed by wood in the room, creating a perfect environment for mold growth.
Even without serious spills, mold can proliferate in certain environments where the temperature and humidity levels aren’t set accurately according to the number of plants in the space. Research the temperature and humidity ranges ideal for each stage of plant growth before setting up a grow operation. Certain strains of mold can cause significant damage to human health, ranging from respiratory ailments to neurological damage. The best way to avoid mold growth is to keep the grow room’s humidity under control by using the right equipment and by cleaning up water spills immediately.
Common Safety Concerns for Outdoor Grows
The potential safety risks that outdoor growers face hinges on where the grow is located. Generally, there are fewer safety risks associated to outdoor grows, but security is more of a concern.
Watch out for the following risks associated to growing indoors and outdoors:
Those who choose to grow crops in remote locations may encounter wildlife. While rogue bears or mountain lions are unlikely to stumble into a guerilla grow in a suburban park, stray dogs could. The best way for outdoor growers to protect themselves against the risks posed by formidable wildlife or domestic animals is to carry a can of bear mace.
When planting a garden in an undisturbed forest, growers need to clear a plot large enough for all the plants to receive adequate sunlight. To do so, growers must learn how to use chainsaws while following industry practices to safely remove trees and branches, while always wearing protective gear. Those who aren’t willing to invest the time, energy, and money into learning how to clear a crop plot safely should find a previously set up grow site.
Just like indoor growers, outdoor growers often feed their crops liquid nutrient solutions and fertilizers that contain potentially dangerous chemicals. Protective clothing like gloves and goggles are just as important in outdoor environments as they are indoors.
The Bottom Line
The safety concerns affecting growers differs substantially depending on the level of experience and skill of the grower(s). Factors include where they’re growing their crops and whether they’re using chemical fertilizers and plant foods. Other common factors that can affect grower’s safety include how much experience they have with indoor electrical wiring and irrigation to outdoor equipment, like chainsaws. While few growers are willing to compromise their security by hiring professionals, just about anyone can do preliminary research online before undertaking a potentially dangerous project.
The safety concerns facing growers today are largely related to security concerns. Most injuries and deaths occur due to unexpected interactions with the police and/or thieves. Growers should remember that no matter how much they love their plants, protecting them isn’t as important as maintaining their personal safety.
Certain cannabis strains are prone to mold proliferation, so growers are invited to prevent health and safety concerns associated to the inhalation of both mold spores and mold smoke by planting mold-resistant seeds. Find a large catalogue of marijuana seeds at i49.net to get started.