Indoor growing has become very popular since the legalization of cannabis, in some parts of the United States. Indoor growing is known to be rewarding and therapeutic but can also be very time consuming and pricier than outdoor growing. In comparison to an outdoor grow, indoor grows are more hands on and this allows one to become more attached to their work. As with most things in life, you get what you put in and watching your hard work come to fruition is very rewarding. You have more control and are able to better manage your grow since you are the one setting the environment with an indoor grow. By controlling the environment, you can minimize losses and reproduce certain flower easier than with outdoor grows. As mentioned, the cost of an indoor grow is much higher as more materials and equipment are needed. Furthermore, indoor grows will require a lot of energy, which will ultimately raise your electricity bill. However, one must consider that indoor grows could be done all year round and outdoor grows are limited depending on the climate. Here is a breakdown of what you should consider when contemplating an indoor grow.
Finding the Right Space
The first step is to secure the indoor space you will be using for the grow. Make sure you take into consideration the width, length, and height of the space to verify that you have ample room for your grow. You must also remember that the space requires access to water and electricity. Before you build up a grow space, you can also consider purchasing a prefabricated tent already set up for growing. If space is available, you could set up 2 separate areas dedicated to different stages of the growth cycle.
Water requirements: Not only will you need to have access to water, but you will need to make sure the quality is adequate. Frequently checking for acidity and minerals in your water will help you determine the correct amount of nutrients you will need to add or reduce by adding fresh water.
Electricity requirements: Start by making a list of the equipment you need for your grow as well as the amperage of electricity needed to fully power the equipment. You will also need to consider the usage of your air conditioning unit. Although not required, it is always a good idea to consult with a licensed electrician and make sure you have enough electricity to power everything needed.
Hydroponics or Soil
Once you have determined your space, you can start to consider weather to use hydroponics or soil for your grow.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions. Keep in mind that the hydroponics method will require more time and attention to detail. There are several mediums available for hydroponic grows. Some of the most common include perlite, clay pellets, coco coir, and rockwool. A main benefit of hydroponic grows is that they will yield faster results which could ultimately lead to more yields per year. Before deciding what hydroponic medium to use, make sure you research the options to determine which would be best for you and your grow goals.
Soil is known to be less stringent than hydroponics and is a great way for new growers to start. Using soil will require less accuracy when watering and delivering nutrients to the plants. Another benefit is that soil will have included nutrients that will aid in keeping the plants strong and healthy. However, there are some challenges with soil including the potential mess with watering as well as the attraction to pests, mildew, and mold. Overall, if you can mitigate the challenges, soil grows are much easier. In recent years coco coir has become one of the most popular growing meedias used. Its characteristics with soil make it an idea choice to be used in hydroponic style systems.
Setting up the Environment
Now that you have your space and determined your grow method, you can move on to setting up the right environment for your space. To make the ideal environment, make sure to consider the lighting, temperature, air circulation, carbon dioxide, and delivery of nutrients.
Lighting: Choosing the proper lighting set up for your grow is crucial. Making sure you provide enough of the right type of light to allow for photosynthesis will make the difference between a successful and non-successful grow. Researching the different options for lighting is necessary to ensure you can afford and maintain the lighting option you choose. More information on lighting can be found on our website. Read more about lights and the difference between them in our Lighting section of Grow Pro University.
Temperature and Air Circulation: Air conditioning units as well as humidifiers and dehumidifiers will be needed to control the temperature and humidity of your grow room. The temperature and humidity needed will depend on the size of the room and the heat produced by the lighting. Similarly, fans are used to create the constant air flow needed to circulate oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the plants and to prevent insects and pests from landing on the leaves.
Nutrient delivery: Maintaining a proper delivery of nutrients is vital to the process. Different nutrients and nutrient concentrations are needed throughout the different growth cycles. Keep in mind that soil is rich with nutrients and knowing what nutrients are included in your soil will help you keep control. With the absence of nutrients in hydroponic mediums, more care and preciseness will be needed when determining the proper nutrients to add.
Overall, the condition of your indoor garden will be dependent on the equipment you use and the environment you create. Make sure to consider all the necessary equipment and space necessary before making any purchases. Take your time and plan accordingly to avoid wasting time and money.