A successful grow room is a lot like a laboratory. You must have the right ingredients, the right control mechanisms, and the right balance of all parts.
There are several key, important elements to indoor growing rooms. Temperature, whether or not you have mites, humidity and CO2 levels are just a few conditions that will affect the final result. Any good grow supply store should carry everything you need to set up a successful grow room. I use the word successful because more times than not, grow rooms are unsuccessful meaning the end result was comprised by lack of one or more of the main key factors or ingredients as mentioned earlier. This article will cover these factors.
Types of Lights
When it comes to illuminating your indoor grow room, there are several types of lighting options. Bulbs vary from LED to High Pressure Sodium to just your basic fluorescents. Depending on at what stage your plants are at, you can utilize various types of bulbs. Fluorescents are perfect for seedlings and will grow baby plants big and strong. They give off mostly blue and green rays of the color spectrum. These are perfect for the vegetative growth stage. Since they lack in the reds and yellows, they are not optimal for flowering, but will flower a plant. There are several types of fluorescent bulbs ranging from CFL(compact) to VHO or very high output. These bulbs are very energy efficient. However, if you have a lot of square feet, this type of bulb is not recommended. This takes us into high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps. These bulbs work the best if you have anything more than a closet grow room. These bulbs range in wattage from 400 to 1000 watts. Metal halide bulbs are usually used for âveggingâ and high pressure sodium bulbs are usually for flowering, however there are hybrid bulbs on the market that can be used for both phases of growth. These bulbs are a combination of both metal halide and high pressure sodium types. They omit both blue and red from the color spectrum. Plants will get the benefit of both color types rather than just the blue spectrum from a metal halide. Some growers use high pressure sodium bulbs for all stages of growth and have reported excellent results. LED lights are also becoming quite popular for small indoor gardens. Once they have enough power to light a couple hundred square feet, then Iâll look at them. Until then, I really only see LED lights useful for small gardens.
Grow Room Supplies
When setting up a grow room, there is several items in which you must have. A thermometer with a humidity gauge is a necessity if you want to control your grow roomâs environment. If you are setting up your grow room in the basement, a dehumidifier makes for a good investment. This will prevent mold on plants. Also, most dehumidifiers have the option to control humidity. I find that 1 gallon milk jugs work perfect for feeding and watering plants. Since most nutrients are measured in 1 gallon amounts, this simplifies the process. You will need a good pair of trimming scissors as well. As your plants begin to mature, there will be lots of foliage to remove. Another good grow room supply is a measuring device for nutrients. I find the plastic shot glass type to work the best. No chance of breakage!
Grow Room Security
It is important that you keep your grow room secure at all times. After all, it is quite an investment and you wouldnât want anyone to steal your crop. There are many different ways to secure a grow room. I would recommend a dead bolt on a strong door frame to start with. You can always add cameras and an alarm system later. Dogs are a great alarm system, but you do not want them near your grow room. Dogs are covered in microscopic insects from being outside. Dogs are a carrier of spider mites and you donât want them in your garden.
Grow Room Medium
There are only 3 basic growing media that we recommend for your first gardens:
Coconut coir is produced from the husk that surrounds the coconut shell. It is composed of millions of tiny micro-sponges, which absorb and hold up to eight times their weight in water. It is a very sturdy and long-lasting grow media.
L.E.C.A. (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) is made by heating clay under very high heat until it puffs up, like popcorn. This results in a very coarse medium; the balls are about 1/4″ across. They have superb drainage and are sometimes added to denser media to help promote drainage in the planter.
Perlite is made by heating silica (flakes of glass) until it expands (like popcorn). Due to its low density and relatively low price, this substance is used in lightweight plasters and mortars and insulation. The small nodules hold water well, yet also provide excellent drainage in a horticulture setting.
This medium keeps plants more open to air, while still having good water-retention properties, and therefore it makes a good medium for hydroponics. It is often used as a filler and mixed with soil to help improve drainage. However, you can actually grow plants in a bucket system using nothing but perlite!
Soil is an excellent media for most plants. It retains nutrients well and itâs easily flushed. There are many different soil mixes on the market. I would recommend one with lots of Perlite and rocks for drainage in addition to chicken manure for nutrients.
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