Now you’ve decided to be an indoor marijuana grower, your grow room setup is key to producing healthy blossoming plants. We’ll take you through the basics about marijuana grow rooms and give you advice on how to prepare your chosen growing space along with a step by step guide.
What preparation can I take before I build my grow room?
When it comes to choosing a grow space, there are a number of options for the indoor grower; basement, attic, spare bedroom, grow tent, closet grow, cabinet or even a PC. The same fundamental principles apply to each one. The basic needs of your plant are light and water, which means your grow room will either need to contain, or be very close to, both a water and electrical supply. The requirements plus the factors outlined below will help ensure successful marijuana grows for many years to come.
Grow tip: Draw your grow room design to scale before you build it, locating where light fans and exhaust vents, electrical supply and plants are going to go. Note where you are going to enter and where water is supplied from. These simple steps will help with your grow room setup and maximise your grow space.
It is important that your grow space is clean as dirt opens up your plants to pests and disease. It’s important to plan your grow room design before you start putting plants into the chosen space. Make sure the floor has been vacuumed and the walls have been scrubbed and disinfected. Remove any carpeting or fabrics as these harbor mold, dust and mites.
When planning your grow room setup, the floor of your grow space should be hard and easy to wipe or mop. As stated in cleaning, remove any carpet or fabrics you may have on the floor. Make sure you place your plant containers in trays if you’re using soil, as this will capture any spillages that are likely to occur during watering.
Reflective surfaces in a grow room setup
Reflective surfaces help your plants get as much light as possible, increasing the size and overall yield of your crop. There are a number of options available;
• Mylar – Mylar reflects up to 97% of the light making it one of the most reflective materials available. It comes in multiple formats, so if you choose mylar make sure you buy the type that is aluminized. Attach to your wall with tape or tacks, covering tacks with a little bit of tape to help prevent tears. Mylar can be an expensive choice so get the most out of your mylar by hanging it flat against the wall and keeping it clean.
• Flat white paint – Matt flat white paint is a great option for people looking to save money while still reflecting large amounts of light. It contains little to no light absorbing properties and reflects up to 85% of light while creating absolutely no hotspots. Surfaces painted with flat white are easy to keep clean.
• Emergency blankets – Emergency blankets are cheap and easily available from camping shops. Reflecting only 70% of light, they are not as efficient as mylar or flat white paint, but they are good to use in smaller spaces like small cabinets or PC grows. Make sure you hang them flat against the wall of your grow space as crinkles will waste light and will also cause hot spots which are damaging to your plant.
• Foil – If you are thinking of using foil, don’t. Foil only reflects 55% of light and is difficult to keep flat. Crinkles in your foil actually reflect light away and cause hot spots which can damage and burn your plant. Its creation of hotspots and its conductivity of electricity actually make foil a fire hazard. DO NOT USE FOIL!
Your plant needs complete darkness in its dark period. Light leaks will put your plant under stress and increase the chances of it becoming a male or a hermaphrodite. By standing in your closed grow room with your grow lights out, you will see any leaks from outside light sources that may hinder your plants growth. Seal any light leaks with an opaque reflective tape to ensure your plants sit in darkness at the end of their day.
Keeping fresh air circulating through your room supplies your plants with the CO2 it needs for healthy growth and helps to maintain a steady atmosphere for your plants to thrive in. When building your grow room, make sure you have considered how much air your plants are going to need. A good exhaust fan situated towards the top of the room will help pull plenty of air through. Decent odour control will help to keep your room subtle and avoid detection from nosey neighbours.
Grow tip: Good odor control is key to good grow room design. Fitting your exhaust fan with a carbon filter will ensure you’re not pumping the smell of weed out into your community. Also, by placing a deodorizer like ONA gel in the corner of the room, you can keep the odor down.
Temperature and Humidity
The correct temperature and humidity in your grow room setup are important to a healthy grow and an unstressed plant (it is common for stressed plants to become a hermaphrodite and produce smaller yields.) Fitting your grow room with a digital thermometer and hygrometer (for humidity) are great ways for you to keep a consistent growing environment.
Step By Step – Grow room setup
Step 1 – Select the space where you are going to put your plants, it might be a spare bedroom, a basement or a grow closet. Spend some time creating a good grow room design that works for you and plan the layout. This will help you work out what you’re going to need and how much bud you will be able to produce.
Step 2 – Clear everything out of the space. Chairs, curtains, carpets, clothes and other obstacles not only restrict access to your plants, but are also great places for mold and pests to gather. Your grow room or space needs to be disinfected and spotless before you start construction.
Step 3 – Enclose the room making sure no light can get in. If your space has a window, block it up from the inside, using either a blind or curtain you later seal off. You don’t want people looking in!
Step 4 – Cover the walls, ceiling and floor with a highly reflective material. By doing this you increase the amount of light you give to your plants.
Step 5 – Set up a ventilation and exhaust fan as using both creates good air circulation throughout your grow room. See our odour control and air ventilation section for more information.
Step 6 – Ensure that your grow room is either supplied or easily supplied with water. The larger your grow room, the more important it is to have a water supply actually within it.
Step 7 – Hang your lights and fit your ballast. Try to attach your lights to the ceiling of your space using an adjustable connection. This will enable you to keep your lights the correct distance away from the plants at all times of their life cycle.
Step 8 – Fit any extra tools you may be using, i.e humidity meter, thermometer, pH meter, etc. Although they are not crucial, these will help you diagnose any problems with your plants as soon as they start to look unhealthy.
Step 9 – Set up your containers. At this stage soil will be easier to set up than hydroponics as there is far less work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when building your hydroponic set up.
Step 10 – Plant your germinated seeds, seedling or clones in your grow room. Your weed should be ready to harvest in 12-18 weeks.
Grow tip: if you visit your grow room in the period of darkness, fit a green light bulb as the green light spectrum is not visable to the plant and will not cause the plant stress.
Making sure you get your grow room design right from the start will help maximize the potential of your grow room setup. Whether you’re growing in a large room or a grow closet it’s important your grow room works for you.