I'm very new to the grow scene, so I had to spend a lot of my time buying gear. Below is a list some of the items I bought and why I think they are good deals.
1. Raco Twist Tie's - The Best Twist Tie's for LST
You will need these for LST (Low Stress Training). Don't think you'll be doing LST? Think again. Unless you are growing outdoors and have infinite space, you are going to need to learn LST and for that you will need these twist ties.
The cheapest place I could find these was at a local plastics store. They had them for R13.00 each! But the quality was lower than the ones I found on Bidorbuy.
On Bidorbuy I was able to find these for R29.00. They are sold out now, but you could probably ask the store owner when they will get new stock. This store is based in Pretoria, but be careful, many Bidorbuy stores order from abroad. So be sure to read their shipping policy before ordering.
Search around and you might find even better deals. At the time of writing this, these Twist Twie's offered by this store owner was in stock! And they are located in Johannesburg and they offer it for a whopping R27.29 each. That's especially cheap if you consider that Takealot charges R99.00.
2. Consol Preserving Jars - The best jar for curing weed
If you are not curing your weed, then you are not making good weed. Curing is essential! And that means you need a curing jar! And not just any jars, you need a 1-liter airtight jar. In the US and other parts of the world, "Glass Mason Jars" are used. The closest equivalent I could find in South Africa is the Consol Screw Top Jars.
You can expect to pay about R50 per jar in most shops, but the problem is usually stock. I ended up driving to Makro to buy the last few they had in stock. A much easier way is to go directly to the source. You can contact Consol and buy directly from them. It works out to about R23.00 per jar if you buy direct. But keep in mind, you then also need to pay for shipping. (Tip: Use The Courier Guy for deliveries. You can do an online quote here. They will collect anywhere and deliver to your house.)
If you want to order online, try these:
Consol Jars work well, but they don't come close to CVault's. If you want world-class curing, look at the CVault. No other weed storage container comes close.
3. CVault Storage Containers
Without a doubt my number 1 purchase for 2019. CVault's are awesome! Certainly pricey, but awesome! There just isn't a better way to cure or store your buds. A CVault is a food-grade, stainless steel container that checks all the boxes needed for good bud storage.
Want to buy one? You can get one from CVault from Hydroponics.co.za.
4. Boost 25 Liter Square Pot - The best pot plant for weed
I can probably shop around a bit more for cheaper pots, but I really do love these. And because it is something I won't be replacing any time soon, I don't mind spending the necessary cash on it.
One pot will cost you R69.00, which is about the same price I paid for smaller pot plants at the local nursery. Also, the local nursery pot plants were round. These are square, which means you can use the space in your grow tent more economically.
The bottom has large holes, for extra drainage, and it has sturdy feet that raise the pot from the ground. This is important because using the typical water collectors you get with normal potplants, you might end up with soil staying in stale water too long, which is bad for the plant.
You can grab these pot plants from Futurama.
5. Square Tray - The best way to trap water for disposal
It took me a long time realize that you can't just put pot plants in a tent, water them and then think everything will be okay. The moment water is involved, things tend to become a mess, and even more so when that water will definitely be running out of the bottom of a potplant.
I tried these typical saucer bowels for a while, but cleaning them out every day was a nightmare. It also became impossible when I switched to the Boost potplants. So I had no choice but to resort to something bigger. It took me a while, but I eventually found only one place that supplies decent big sizes.
Hydroponic.co.za offers these 3 sizes:
They are very pricey but well worth the money. Very strong and sturdy. And I believe they are expensive because they are imported from the UK. Similarly to the potplants, I also don't mind spending the money because it's a once-off purchase. I won't have to replace them for a very long time.
Tip: I placed these trays on crates and drilled a hole on the one side. I then place a bucket below the tray so any water spilled into the tray goes to the buckets below it. Now I have one big bucket to throw out every 5th day, as opposed to lots of little saucers that need to be cleaned every day. And I can spray down my plants if I need to, without worrying about water ending up in the tent.
6. Fly Ribbons and Sticky Paper - The best way to stop flying insects and monitor infestations
The picture above shows the sticky paper available from hydroponics.co.za. I have been unable to find any other places that sell these and they are certainly easier to work with than the traditional fly ribbons. They also attract different types of insects. I stick one yellow and one blue stick trap in each tent. I use these to monitor whiteflies, but these traps have caught all kinds of flying insects.
I further compliment the use of these sticky traps by also adding at least one fly ribbon per tent. They don't look nice, but they work very well. I get them from Agrimark for the low price of about R10 per pack of 4. They cost about double that at Takealot.
7. Carson Microscope 300mm MicroBrite Led - The best way to check if plants are ready for harvest
The Carson Microbyte Plus Microscope is by far the best microscope I've used, especially considering the low price. However, the Carson Microscope is not enough! I also bought the Mini LED Microscope from Hydroponics.co.za. Together, these two microscopes make it really easy to check if buds are ready for harvesting.
The Mini LED Microscope makes it easy to do a quick scan of the buds, whereas the Carson Microscope lets you get in really close and make sure you are seeing what you think you are seeing.
Sometimes the Carson is too much and I struggle to see what I want to see. That's when the Mini LED Microscope becomes more useful. I like to wait until a bit of amber is showing in the trichomes. By using the Mini LED I can quickly find amber trichomes and then zoom in with the Caron Microscope to make sure.
Well worth the money, both of them. But I must say, I wouldn't mind giving one of the USB Microscopes a shot. They might very well be even better. Or if you really have the cash to burn, try out this Wifi Microscope.