The Grow Room
Why a grow room you might ask? Maybe you live in an area that gets snow part of the year and want year-round vegetables or maybe you want complete control of your growing environment.
Maybe you just like the idea of growing plants in an enclosed area such as a garage, basement, spare room or greenhouse.
Whatever the reason, it is within your means and budget to create one.
The perfect room would be located near an electrical source, near a sink and a good water supply.
Being near an electrical source is crucial but you can get by without the water source or sink.
Before you 'jump in' and start building plan a layout for the room. Try to visualize it and try to notice any problems or inconsistencies and modify your design as needed.
Which kind of hydroponics system will you use...ebb/flow or NFT?
The next part of the design process is best kept in sync with what plants require to survive, they require:
Determine which lighting system you will use. For help visit Plant Lighting.
Figure on 50 watts per square foot of your garden. So if your grow unit measures 3 feet by 2 feet it is 6 square feet (3x2=6) so you would need 300 watts of lighting for such a garden.
Do you have a means to keep the room warm and a way to control humidity? What if the room gets too warm? Many people use venting for this purpose. Plant lighting alone will warm the room to a dangerous level for plants.
The Small Grow Room
Let's face it, most of us will not build a top-of-the-line grow room; most of us will just place some plants under lights in a basement or spare room.
But with a little ingenuity this simple setup will work just as well as an expensive design.
Air conditioners can provide cold and space heaters will heat the room up. Make good use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers as well as plug-in timers.
Open windows for air exchage and use fans. As for Co2 I would not recommend it for a small room in a house.
Co2 is heavier than air so sinks to the floor - this could be toxic to pets as well as to you.
This involves placing a fan in the wall blowing the room air outside. An optional carbon filter can be placed here to filter any smell. The specifics of air exchange can be calculated here.
Just be sure that there is an open vent somewhere in the room to suck in air as you blow it out. Without an open vent, blowing air out will create a slight vacuum and will not work well.
I do not currently grow plants in some sort of grow room. But if I did I would be concerned with cost of electricity to run the lights.
The last issue I want to mention is humidity and how it affects plants. Plants need to transpire as part of photosynthesis meaning that they output water so new water (and nutrients) can be taken in.
Once the relative humidity reaches 85% it becomes difficult for plants to shed water or transpire so they become stressed. Make sure your room has ample gauges to check temperature, humidity, pH and whatever else you can think of.
I hope this short explanation has helped you to build a better grow room. Good luck!
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