In a lot of places that have legalized medical or recreational weed, you can legally grow a certain number of plants. It’s still illegal everywhere else. But even if you are allowed to grow your own weed, there will likely be restrictions on your growing activity. All of this means that there are many situations where you need to go into stealth growing mode. Here are the keys to growing weed without getting caught.
Stealth Growing 101: The Basics
Stealth growing is all about anticipating what will give you away, and then taking steps to avoid those things. To do this, think about where you will be growing your plants. Why is this a good spot to grow? What do you think will be the biggest vulnerabilities you will face in this location? What are the biggest strengths this spot has going for it? Are there better, more discreet ways you might want to grow?
Most of what stealth growing requires is common sense and a little bit of planning ahead. As a general guideline, it’s always better to err on the side of being too suspicious and guarded than not suspicious enough.
This does not necessarily mean you need to become paranoid or some sort of conspiracy theorist. It just means you need to keep your stealth growing to yourself. Period. With that said, here are the most important tips for successful stealth growing.
Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
Don’t tell anyone that you are growing cannabis. Not even your best friend. We don’t think your best friend is going to rat on you. We’re more worried about them carelessly telling somebody else—somebody you might not know or trust—about your grow.
This rule also applies if you ever find yourself in a conversation about anything related to growing. Do not let it slip that you are growing weed, or even that you know how to grow weed. Just keep silent and play dumb. You don’t want to draw any unwanted attention to yourself.
In fact, you don’t want any attention, even positive attention, on your growing activity. It’s ideal if nobody except you knows about your stealth growing operation. To keep it safe, keep it secret.
Keep Low Visibility
This tip applies to all sorts of things. For starters, if you are growing outside, keep your plants from being too visible. This can be a little bit tricky. Since they need a lot of sunlight, you can’t just cover them up or hide them during the day.
Look for remote and out of the way places to grow your cannabis. You can also try disguising your cannabis with other plants. Place them in a larger garden, or mix them in with other shrubs. Finally, watch out for strains that grow super tall or bushy.
Maintaining low visibility applies to indoor growing, too. For example, you don’t want to be too obvious when you are building your grow room. If neighbors or passersby see you carrying loads of gardening equipment and soil into your house, they might get suspicious. Move stuff at night. Or put it all in nondescript boxes first. Anything to make it look normal or unremarkable.
This also applies to how and where you install equipment such as ventilation and lighting systems. You do not want people to see bright lights coming from your house at odd hours. Similarly, it would be bad if people saw ventilation hosing and ducts coming out all over the place.
Watch Your Odor
The smell of cannabis is probabaly its most distinctive quality. It’s a dead giveaway if you, your house, or your backyard constantly reeks of weed. To control the odor of your stealth growing operation, do the following:
- Properly and discreetly install air fans and a good ventilation system.
- Use a carbon air filter to ensure that no weed smells get piped out of your grow room and into your neighbor’s front yard.
- Whenever possible, use strains that do not have super strong odors. These include Northern Lights, Blue Mystic, some variations of Durban Poison, and a few others.
Stealth Growing Is Silent Growing
If you are growing inside your home, be sure your stealth growing operation is silent. You will need a fair amount of elecrical equipment to successfuly grow weed indoors: lights, fans, vents, and if you are growing with a hydroponics setup you will also need water pumps and filters.
All of this can create a lot of noise. When selecting your equipment, be sure to read online reviews to find the quietest models. Along with that, when you install your gear, use padding or foam to insulate as much of your grow room as you can.
When you’re all set up, walk around the house during daylight and nighttime hours. Look for anything weird. Be sure you can’t see light streaming out of your windows, and listen for any loud or unusual sounds that could give you away.
Don’t Be Obvious
Finally, don’t be obvious. Do not make a pattern of visiting a remote grow site at the same time every day. Likewise, don’t be obvious about bringing growing materials, plant food, and equipment into your home.
This also applies to other things like water and power bills. A sudden and dramatic spike in water and especially electricity usage can be an obvious indicator of a grow operation.
Try to use equipment that is as efficient as possible. In particular, when you are choosing lighting systems for an indoor grow, use lights that don’t suck too much power. LEDs and some fluorescent bulbs are great for this.
Similarly, use reflective hoods to point as much light as possible down at your plants. In addition, line the walls of your grow room with reflective material. All of this means that no light will go to waste—it will all hit your plants. This lets you use your light bulbs more efficiently and can help you reduce the amount of electricity you need.
With a little common sense, some good planning, and a commitment to being quiet and discreet, you should be able to successfully pull off a stealth growing operation.