Your problem is more complex than just odor or telltale lights. It also concerns your relationship. Your letter implies that you cannot confide in your lover regarding your desire to cultivate. Your nom de plume, “Lifetime Smoker,” tells us that marijuana plays a meaningful role in your life. This is a tremendous conflict that can lead to disastrous consequences. For instance, out of ignorance of the situation, your lover might make an innocent but unfortunate decision that affects you. If your relationship turns sour, she could also use your garden as retaliation.
Let’s say that you told her you were going to garden. Would it hurt the relationship? Would it end? If marijuana is a conflict in this relationship you can’t have both. Many people have to give up marijuana for love. Many others have given up relationships for marijuana. The decision depends on your values.
If you had a secret garden and your lover was over, you would have to be furtive about it. In concealing it from her, you would be in a sense lying since she wasn’t suspecting you of having a garden. If she found out she would probably get upset not only that you had the garden, but also that you didn’t tell her you had it.
Suppose that marijuana isn’t a problem, but growing it is. Perhaps your lover doesn’t feel it’s worth the risk-reward ratio. She may be right. It depends on the laws in your area and your personal situation and goals. If that’s the call, then growing is something to be discussed. You should consider her thoughts.
When you consider whether to garden, keep in mind something that I’ve observed: Marijuana isn’t addictive. Growing it is.
Should you decide to start a secret garden, the two indicators to be concerned with are light and odor. Use black polyethylene plastic or cardboard to cover the door cracks and stop light from piercing through. Odor is harder to conceal. I must presume that the small space does not have ventilation so there is no way to remove either heat or odor. Instead of removal the odor must be eradicated. There are several ways to do this. Odor absorbing gels draw odor particles from the air. They are quite effective in small spaces. Negative ion generators produce ions that have an additional electron. When an ion meets a floating odor particle that is positively charged, the electron jumps over. This neutralizes the particle. It loses its odor and drifts out into the air.
Using a negative ion generator in the garden space will eliminate most of the odor and will also decrease the pungency, but not the potency of the bud. I would install a second ion generator in the room adjoining the garden space. This will catch any stray odor molecules floating around.
Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at AskEd@cannabisculture.com, and send queries via his websites at www.ask-ed.net. All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s new book, Best of Ask Ed: Your Marijuana Questions Answered. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.