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What Does A Grow Cost?

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
Your costs depend on many factors, from the equipment you use, and the method you grow, to power and water rates. Here are my costs:


Cost of a Four Plant Grow (CAD)

I've used a yield of 180 gm which should be achievable by a new grower for the final cost/gm. I'm hoping for 280gm or more, reducing the cost to $2.67/gm. The equipment is good quality, but not top of the line. Most of the high dollar equipment is amortized over 10 grows, the remainder by experience. New growers should read Carcass' and Homer Simpson's journals to find out how to start for a much lower cost. The equipment listed here was bought over a three year period. I started with lower cost equipment, and worked my way up.
 
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Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
In accounting we look at assets and debits. When you buy a piece of equipment, not only is its cost amortized along with its current value over the life of that asset, but if need be, its cost can be reclaimed at some future point by selling the asset. In that calculation, the initial cost of equipment becomes an asset that is part of your net worth, but not part of the cost per gram calculation. I also question the heating/cooling figure unless that indeed is the additional costs in that area because of the grow. If not, only a percentage of that figure becomes part of the cost per ounce. You did good with the other components, figuring their cost per grow except perhaps the containers that should be able to be used many times.
With these considerations in mind, I would propose that your cost per gram was quite a bit lower than what you have stated here, at least in any grow after the very first one.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
It's funny, I thought it should cost less. I don't remember where I put my calculation but my first grow, I paid 1000 Euro for equipments and material (a 4x4 tent). The yield totally made it break even ( I sold everything for 5 euro/gram)
There's no doubt that this can be done at a lower cost. That's why I included the links to Carcass', and Homer Simpson's journals. Lower cost nutrients can be used, as can lower cost equipment.

What I have listed is what I ended up with after four grows using other equipment. My original tent was only 5' high, and my plants kept growing into the light. The first fan cost less than half, but was far too noisy. The light was about the same cost, but much smaller, and didn't provide even coverage throughout the tent. I added various bits and pieces. All of this means that my original equipment cost was about $500 CAD less than what I am using now. Switching to Mega Crop would also lower the cost of nutrients by about $20 CAD per grow. The total reduction would be about $70 CAD / grow, reducing the cost to $3.76 CAD / gm for a 180gm harvest or $2.42 CAD / gm for a 280 gm harvest.
 

Greenlizard

Well-Known Member
@Old Salt would you say that if you doubled your grow with a bigger tent that you would lower your cost per gram? and yes you would have to increase lighting and airflow so those are factors as well of course.
I can't help but consider volume - cost/profit ratio? In my mind the smaller the grow the more costly it is per gram... I'm sure that is not always the rule but would I be wrong?
Great post by the way. I have been wanting to get into this discussion for a while now but it's so variable across the board due to our members being spread across the globe with very different expenses. You and I should be on par though since were both in the same province... I think?
 
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NamTran

Active Member
There's no doubt that this can be done at a lower cost. That's why I included the links to Carcass', and Homer Simpson's journals. Lower cost nutrients can be used, as can lower cost equipment.

What I have listed is what I ended up with after four grows using other equipment. My original tent was only 5' high, and my plants kept growing into the light. The first fan cost less than half, but was far too noisy. The light was about the same cost, but much smaller, and didn't provide even coverage throughout the tent. I added various bits and pieces. All of this means that my original equipment cost was about $500 CAD less than what I am using now. Switching to Mega Crop would also lower the cost of nutrients by about $20 CAD per grow. The total reduction would be about $70 CAD / grow, reducing the cost to $3.76 CAD / gm for a 180gm harvest or $2.42 CAD / gm for a 280 gm harvest.
Ah, then that totally makes sense. Thank you.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
In accounting we look at assets and debits. When you buy a piece of equipment, not only is its cost amortized along with its current value over the life of that asset, but if need be, its cost can be reclaimed at some future point by selling the asset. In that calculation, the initial cost of equipment becomes an asset that is part of your net worth, but not part of the cost per gram calculation. I also question the heating/cooling figure unless that indeed is the additional costs in that area because of the grow. If not, only a percentage of that figure becomes part of the cost per ounce. You did good with the other components, figuring their cost per grow except perhaps the containers that should be able to be used many times.
With these considerations in mind, I would propose that your cost per gram was quite a bit lower than what you have stated here, at least in any grow after the very first one.
I chose to amortize the equipment over 2 to 10 grows, instead of per annum. The number under grows shows how many, and at two grows per year, the major equipment is amortized over five years. Rather than use a decreasing balance for each grow, I chose equalizing the depreciation for each grow as this is easier to understand for folks without accounting experience.

I have a 750W heater in my tent for winter grows set to 18°C (62°F). The room is only heated to 12°C (54°F), so the heater is on whenever the lights are out in winter. In the summer I need to run either a dehumidifier or air conditioner in the room to keep the heat and humidity at acceptable levels, so the figures for summer are probably a little low. I think the times when no HVAC is needed balance this out.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
@Old Salt would you say that if you doubled your grow with a bigger tent that you would lower your cost per gram? and yes you would have to increase lighting and airflow so those are factors as well of course.
I can't help but consider volume - cost/profit ratio? In my mind the smaller the grow the more costly it is per gram... I'm sure that is not always the rule but would I be wrong?
Great post by the way. I have been wanting to get into this discussion for a while now but it's so variable across the board due to our members being spread across the globe with very different expenses. You and I should be on par though since were both in the same province... I think?
There is an economy of scale, but I suspect it doesn't really kick in until you hit room sized grows. For example, the 4' X 4' X 7' - 8' tent costs $322 CAD. Your lighting costs will double. Your per plant nutrient and water costs remain the same. The time you spend maintaining each plant will increase, as you'll need to move them around. The same in-line duct fan, and filter can be used with a modest increase of the running costs.

In my opinion the best way to lower your cost / gm is to get better at growing so that you get bigger harvests. I've increased my harvest by 60% since my first grow in the same area, with the same equipment.

It is different around the globe, but I feel this gives folks a starting point to determine their costs. B.T.W, I'm in Nova Scotia.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
Equipment still becomes a fixed asset even though amortized out over time. If you sold it, you would have to apply those funds as a refund to your cost per grow over time. :nerd-with-glasses:
True, but the book value decreases over time as the asset is depreciated. For example, using 25% depreciation per annum, in the first year the asset (grow light) depreciates by $103.25 so the cost per grow with two of them that year for the light is $51.63. The book value of the light drops to $309.75 at the end of the year.

Entering the fifth year the book value of the light would be $130.67. The depreciation for year five would be $32.67, so the cost per grow becomes $16.33. The book value at the end of year five would be $98.00.

Now, if at the end of year five I scrapped the light, I could write off the $98.00. If I sold the light I would treat that as a sale of the asset, removing the asset from the books, and adding whatever I received for it to my books.

I had to learn some accounting when I ran my own business. My wife is an accountant, so she brought this to my attention as well. As most folks don't have much knowledge of accounting, and are not running their grows as a business I tried to keep it very simple in my original post.
 
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Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
My total cost for 4 years, 7 grows so far, has been approximately $950 total for grow lights (600 actual watts) a humidifier and dehumidifier two 25 gallon fabric pots and Living soil to fill them, a few amendments like a bag of Craftblend, mycorrhazae inoculate, aloe vera, coconut water, cover crop seeds, worms.
If I divide initial cost into each successive grow it just gets cheaper and cheaper as I grow.
My last grow cost was $33.60 per month electric at 20 hours per day for veg for 8 weeks, then $20 per month for flower for 9 weeks which is about $112 total amortize everything else is $135 comes out to about $14 per oz or .50 cents per gram of 100% organic bud.

My last grow was exactly my average for two plants at 17.6 oz.

I am about to both raise my equipment cost and lower my electricity cost soon by building a 450 watt light that will give me more PAR while burning 150 watts less. Which will save me about $100 per year on electric cost so after 6 years will pay for itself and cost $30+ less per grow. And I suspect will up my average yield to hopefully 19 to 20oz for two plants.
I am also experimenting with autoflowers to see if maybe I can improve my yield a bit.
 

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Old Salt for starting this fascinating thread & the thoroughness of all posters' accounting.

I grow outdoors in a very unintensive spartan manner (few retail nutes/soil amendments). I've tracked my expenses for 4 yrs running including water (which ain't cheap where I'm at).

Last yr's grow (see my completed journal, if yr interested) ran about US$0.21/gm. 3 yr avg has been about US$0.29/gm. Costs are trending down, though. (I'm always trying to do as much with less)... I'm guessing I'll be at about US$0.14/gm this year unless something goes sideways.

However, the foregoing includes estimated water costs, which most folks don't seem to include in the estimates posted thus far. Water is about 30% of my grow costs...so if I exclude water, my grows run me about US$0.20/gm on average & last yr's ran about US$0.15/gm.

Grow on!
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
Just goes to show you free isn't free LMAO.
It may not be free, but it sure beats the prices charged by the government in Nova Scotia. The cheap stuff goes for over $11 / gm. The best they have goes for $17.24 / gm. The quality of even the best sucks, and the selection... Well, lets not go there.
 

runamuckgardener

Well-Known Member
In addition to a formal metric these angles were important to me as a beginner: start up costs and then projected savings or revenue.
I probably started up at around $800 for the hardware, but am up to $1250 eight months into my first year. I won't go over $1350 total in hardware and nutes this year. I consider $25 - $50/month for electricity and water (softly, say $600 / year). I will spend less than $2000 this year all said. Hardware includes everything from two tents, a 600w HPS, a 1000 led, dark curtains, jars, wheeled plant stands...
My shopping list looks much like Old Salt's, but no hydro.
I think 14 oz harvest is very conservative for me this year and I did not start the perpetual growing until April (which hopefully means one extra next year). I had a three plant harvest of 6Zs in June, an auto of 2Zs and three nice plants coming up in Sept that should be 6+. I also have 3-4 in the veg tent finishing in January, if not December.
For my less-than-formal, conservative accounting i value Zs at $200, but I have likely saved $300+ per month $3600/yr) of my own money. So year one is a better than break even any practical way one looks at it.
Next year i imagine cost will be $300 for hardware and nutes plus $600 for electricity. Going forward, I'd likely move to an overall metric. I see the value of cost per grow or cost per plant as well as the cost per gram that seems standard. I should remember to do a year's end of several metrics.

14Z x $200 = $2800 projected value of harvest yr 1
$2000 projected cost year 1
or $3600 / yr of personal cost v $2000 cost to grow = $1600 saved

18Z x $200 = $3600 projected value yr 2
$900 projected cost year 2
or $3600 / yr of personal cost v. $900 cost = $2700 saved
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
In addition to a formal metric these angles were important to me as a beginner: start up costs and then projected savings or revenue.
I probably started up at around $800 for the hardware, but am up to $1250 eight months into my first year. I won't go over $1350 total in hardware and nutes this year. I consider $25 - $50/month for electricity and water (softly, say $600 / year). I will spend less than $2000 this year all said. Hardware includes everything from two tents, a 600w HPS, a 1000 led, dark curtains, jars, wheeled plant stands...
My shopping list looks much like Old Salt's, but no hydro.
I think 14 oz harvest is very conservative for me this year and I did not start the perpetual growing until April (which hopefully means one extra next year). I had a three plant harvest of 6Zs in June, an auto of 2Zs and three nice plants coming up in Sept that should be 6+. I also have 3-4 in the veg tent finishing in January, if not December.
For my less-than-formal, conservative accounting i value Zs at $200, but I have likely saved $300+ per month $3600/yr) of my own money. So year one is a better than break even any practical way one looks at it.
Next year i imagine cost will be $300 for hardware and nutes plus $600 for electricity. Going forward, I'd likely move to an overall metric. I see the value of cost per grow or cost per plant as well as the cost per gram that seems standard. I should remember to do a year's end of several metrics.

14Z x $200 = $2800 projected value of harvest yr 1
$2000 projected cost year 1
or $3600 / yr of personal cost v $2000 cost to grow = $1600 saved

18Z x $200 = $3600 projected value yr 2
$900 projected cost year 2
or $3600 / yr of personal cost v. $900 cost = $2700 saved
It's a little off topic, but I recommend waiting to do any experimentation until someone has enough harvest stored to get through two failed grows. Get two to three grows of strains they enjoy grown first, then experiment away, on anything like growing seeds, to new growing methods. It reduces 'harvest anxiety.'
 

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Hmm this is an interesting thread, I'll read it once I post. Lose my zone otherwise lol. ..

It's not an exact figure but I'm about £3 per day for about 1500w all in.
Nutes don't cost much now that I've seen the light and stopped the snakeoils.
Calmag £20
Veg £20
Bloom £20
PK boost £20
Scillica £10 every .... Hmm 4 years and I'm not far into my third bottle so it's basically free.
Sm-90 was about £25 a bottle that made 3300 litres of perfectly safe, sterile nutes upto 27*c. It's currently banned due to a labelling problem but I've got faith it will be back before I run out :)
Oh rockwools are 25p each and root riots are the same. So 50p extra per plant there.

So all in not much really. Maybe £500 for 25oz roughly. What's that then... £25 an oz sorta vibe. Say 20-30 per Oz to be on the safe side.
Something like that.
First couple grows were a lot higher but reckon thats about right for me now.

If I remember when I harvest I'll update here with a solid number.

Awesome idea for a thread mate.
This should be a keeper I reckon :)
 

Gazoo

Well-Known Member
Just elect cost for my small tent 2 X 4 X 7 Foot tall runs 100.00 a month
additional cost

California Bay Area
OH this includes the DISCOUNT for low income

Thats 616W lights and another 550W in Environmental accessory 16 hrs a day in veg.
a bit cheaper in flower.

Its so hard to say whats Average costs with so many different variables involved.
 
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