Cultivating cannabis indoors comes with a variety of benefits, including greater control over the growing environment. However, it also requires having a dedicated space where creating the perfect environment for growing cannabis plants can be the only priority. In other words, it requires an indoor grow room.
Choosing the Right Space
Making the right choice about where to put a new grow room requires taking multiple factors into account. First, consider how many plants it will need to accommodate. Serious growers who are trying to maximize profits per square foot often place their plants on a diagonal spacing instead of in a square, but most home growers aren’t that picky. As long as there is enough horizontal space in the grow room to leave six inches or more between the plants for airflow and vertical space to hang ballasts, consider the first requirement met.
The second requirement relates to the more subjective issue of discretion. Growers who have nosy neighbors will need to be more careful than most about where they put their grow rooms for the simple reason that the smell can attract unwanted attention. Adding a carbon filter to the ventilation system can also help.
Getting the Light Right
Because light levels will have to be carefully controlled, it’s important to seal the grow room off from outside light. Instead of natural light, the plants will receive controlled levels of light from grow lamps. As a general rule, a standard 1,000W grow lamp will provide enough light for four fully grown plants with a diameter of up to three feet. Most people choose LED bulbs thanks to their energy efficiency and ease of use.
It’s also important to make sure the inner walls are reflective to avoid wasting light. Some grow light ballasts and fixtures also have reflector hoods, which can be helpful in larger spaces.
Keeping the Air Moving
Cannabis grow rooms should be airtight, but that doesn’t mean the air that’s in there can be left to stagnate. There should be plenty of airflow in the grow room in addition to an air inlet to supply fresh air and an outlet to vent stagnant air back to the outside of the room. This will require an intake fan, an extractor fan, and additional fans for moving air around the room if it’s large enough to need them.
Balancing the Heat and Humidity Levels
In some cases, air conditioning or heat may be required to keep plants at the right temperature and humidity levels. As with light, cannabis plants’ heat and humidity needs vary by growth stage, so the grow room should have an independently controlled system for maintaining ideal indoor air quality.
Adding the Extras
Some growers also like to take extra steps such as supplementing CO2 or setting timers to make sure their light cycles are always exactly right. All of that’s fine, but make sure to cover the basics first. Similarly, the debate about soil vs. hydroponic growing is irrelevant if growers don’t get light, temperature, humidity, and airflow requirements down.
The Next Step
The next step after setting up the perfect grow room is to start germinating some seeds and prepare for the season ahead. Keep a close eye on the grow room throughout the season to make sure that all of the equipment is working as intended and the plants are thriving.