If you are thinking about growing plants indoors, you will need to know a few things before getting started. The following information will help you grow the best possible crop and ensure a large harvest.
Deciding on the location of your grow room is your first step. The most suitable space will be private and easily accessible. You can use a basement, bedroom, shed or garage, as long as it is out of the way of visitors, neighbours and other people who share the accommodations.
The best space will be one where the temperature, ventilation and power can be controlled. Consider that you'll want to put some kind of reflective material on the walls and ceiling to bounce light. You can cover the walls with white plastic sheeting or use a high quality grow tent fabricated with mylar. This will ensure maximum light absorption for your plants.
Most indoor growers use one of these popular growing methods: Soil, Hydroponics or Aeroponics. We suggest growers use Hydroponics and Aeroponics because these types of operations offer the best control over nutrient levels and root temperatures and are easy to maintain.
You will need sufficient power capacity to run Lights, Heat, Fans, A/C, Pumps and air stones. The high power consumption of HPS lights is uneconomical. Traditional HPS bulbs require 220 volt circuits wired into your grow room, which is not the recommended approach unless the wiring is done by a certified electrician. We recommend using LED Grow lights instead of HPS.
Air circulation is necessary to prevent problems with heat, odour and humidity. Plants need fresh air to thrive. Stale air must be vented to the outdoors using an inline fan attached to a charcoal filter. Don't forget the filter! If you do, the smell will penetrate the building and even the neighbourhood.
Although there are many options for grow lights today, we highly recommend LED's. The traditional options are High pressure sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) fluorescents. However, LED’s consume far less electricity and generate low heat. They are the best alternative for producing only the specific light spectrums needed for plant growth. You can build or purchase a rack that is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the lights. A great option is to connect yo yo’s to the ceiling to make hoisting the lights easy. The light should never be more than 18 inches above the plant canopy. Buy an automated timer so you can control the light cycles. During the vegetative cycle, lights should be on for 18 hours and then off for 6. During the flowering cycle, the lights should be on for 12 hours and off for 12.
You can choose traditional growing mediums such as soil or peat pucks. New soil supplements such as coconut husks are available. If you intend to use hydroponics, you can use materials such as rock wool, cocotek cubes and hydroton.
Inverse Square Law
Apply the inverse square law, which says the intensity (or illuminance) of light radiating from a point source is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source; so an object (of the same size) twice as far away, receives only one-quarter the energy (in the same time period).
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