So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start growing your own produce from the comfort of your own home. Before you rush out to buy a bundle of hydroponic equipment, take a couple of minutes to read our quick guide to setting up a grow room.
The best way to get started is to take it step-by-step.
Step 1: Find a suitable setup space, and choose a suitable grow tent
Step 2: Choose your grow lights
Step 3: Set up an extraction system
Step 4: Choose a heating system
Which Grow Tent?
A grow room can be set up in almost any space, however, it should be big enough for what you want to produce. Suitable areas to convert include a spare room or a garage.
After you have chosen the location, you will need to think about the size of grow tent you need. Before choosing a tent, make sure the plants are going to be easily accessible, so ensure that the grow tent doesn’t fill the entire space. If parts of the tent can’t be accessed, it will make tending to your plants difficult, which could damage them.
When choosing a grow tent, match the size to the space you have and make sure there is a couple of feet around it. This extra space will become particularly useful when it comes to installing lighting cables and ventilation systems, but more on that later. It’s also important to ensure that the height of the grow tent matches that of the grow room.
Other considerations when deciding on a space; Are you near a water supply? Will noise from lights, pumps and fans be an issue? Are you near a power supply?
Choosing Grow Lights
Make sure the size of your area is suitable for the intensity of your grow lights. If it’s too intense, it could burn your plants. If it’s not intense enough, your plants will likely under perform.
A grow tent is the best set up to maintain optimum light levels. There are many options to choose from so seek advice from an expert if you’re unsure.
Generally, a grow light system is made up of a ballast for controlling the supply of energy to the light, a reflector to guide as much light towards the plants, and the actual lamp which generates the light.
When choosing a system, consider how much space is available in your set up to support the lights, check that the output from the light will be sufficient, and the energy consumption rate as this will determine how much extra you will pay for energy.
Ventilation and Extractor System
Plants release moisture and when this is combined with the heat from grow lights it causes the air to become stagnant. This can inhibit plant growth and cause mould. An extractor system will remove the stagnant air whilst drawing in fresh, CO2 rich air.
The exact equipment you need will depend on the lights you use, the size of the space, and the time of year. However, you will definitely need the following:
- Extractor fan, ducting, and a carbon filter
- Intake fan
- Fan controller
- Odour control
The extraction system removes stale air and odours from the grow space. The fan should be fitted at the top of the growing area and should extract more air than it draws in to prevent the tent becoming too full of air.
The intake fan, or vents if you have a small tent, draws air in and should be at the bottom of the tent on the opposite side to the extractor fan.
A fan controller allows you to control the air flow from your extraction system. They also keep intake and exhaust fans running at your chosen speed so you can maintain the temperature within your grow tent.
It might be necessary to have some sort of odour neutraliser in your grow tent to eliminate any unwanted smells.
Plants can sense when the temperature drops and they begin to react to the change in conditions. If the temperature drops below 18 degrees you will see a slowing of plant growth, if the temperature drops below 15 degrees growth could come to a complete halt.
Therefore, a heating system is required during the winter. This is particularly important when growing in a hydroponic system as the water doesn’t provide any insulation to the plants’ roots, unlike soil which provides some.
The temperature in the grow tent should be kept at around 25-28 degrees during the lights-on period, and reduced to around 18-21 degrees during lights-off.
Now you should be ready to get growing. You may already have an idea of the equipment you need, however, if you are unsure, our blog is packed with useful information.
This is intended as a guide and the equipment you choose will depend on what you intend to grow. We recommend you research the plants beforehand and seek expert advice if you are unsure what equipment you will need.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team at Gardeners Corner here or by filling out the contact form below.