Your first indoor garden Part 1 – The Growroom
So, you’ve decided to give it a go, you want to try growing your plants indoors. Enter the minefield of friends, internet forums, instagram, crazy ideas, rules, advice, theory & opinions. Most of these will be concerned with the exciting things that happen much later down the line than the creation of the environment itself.
Creating the perfect environment to grow your plants indoors is the single most important part of the process. If you can get this part right you have already won half the battle. Different plants thrive in their native environments for that very reason, light temperature, humidity etc are all perfect. Mimicking these requirements indoors is the key to a successful crop.
Your first decision will be whether to build a grow room or purchase a grow tent. Building a grow room can be quite involved, relatively expensive and will require at least some basic DIY skills and some tools. Done correctly, a built room can make maintaining temperatures, humidity and keeping noise levels down easier than using a tent. For example, a timber frame box insulated with a product like celotex sheeting will help maintain temperatures without being influenced so much by external factors. This will also keep the noise created by fans and pumps etc kept to a minimum outside of the room. Grow tents offer great convenience in comparison and can be erected and taken down very quickly and offer great value for money to the new grower. Grow tents are available in a multitude of shapes and sizes to suit your requirements and come with ready made cable/ducting exit and entry ports, hanging bars and convenient zip up doors.
After you’ve decided on which route to take you need to know where you plan to site your room. The most common choices are spare bedrooms, attics and garages. Each have their pros and cons. For example, a garage or attic may be more convenient in the way that it’s shut away and out of sight but likely be subject to seasonal impacts such as extreme low and high ambient temperatures. A spare room will in most cases have more stable temperature and humidity levels but if you have visitors regularly may not be so convenient. Sometimes you will only have one option so you’ll need to make the best out of what that is. Regardless of where you site your room, a critical part of creating the best environment possible is air flow. Plants need fresh air moving through the room at all times and the hot, stale and sometimes smelly air will need to be removed. Extractor fans pulling air out of the grow room through a carbon filter will ensure this is taken care of and prevent odours escaping. Traditional grow lights create a lot of heat so your air extraction and intake system will need to be matched to the size and location of the room and the wattage of the light. As a general rule, we try to allow for a fan with an airflow capacity of 350-400 m3 per hour per 600w HPS light fixture.
Ideally, you will bring fresh cool air into the tent to help keep the temperature levels correct and extract the hot air up and away from the grow room. Again, sometimes both cant be achieved perfectly while remaining practical, Having ducting hanging out of the spare room window in the middle of February isn’t ideal and in most cases nor is cutting holes though walls or ceilings so sometimes we need to make the best of what we have and make compromises, whether that means using a less powerful light source in return creating less heat or spending more on a more power, quieter fan such as an Revolution silenced EC fan that can cope with the heat while reaming quiet enough as to not wake up your neighbours!
Part 2, coming soon!