Useful tips and products for setting up a new grow in the New Year.
1. Clean Your Equipment
Grow room cleaning is one of the most important steps to setting up a new grow. Stop infestations of mould, mildew and pests by starting fresh. While there are ways to stop infestations once they occur, preventing them from the outset will always work out better for the plants.
To start, sterilise your grow room. Remove any media and organic matter and clean any surfaces/items with hot soapy water, making sure to clean any residue from tanks and rinsing clean water through irrigation systems.
When your room and equipment are clean, it’s time to start the sterilisation process. Purolyt or Silver Bullet Mist are the perfect solution for this, as they are completely non-toxic to you and the plants and will destroy all bacteria, mould spores and diseases.
2. Choose Your Media
The media your plants grow in is an important factor in your plant’s success. Are you certain that your media is clean? Inert media is very difficult to wash. Even if it looks clean, it can be hiding pathogens (bacteria etc) that could harm your plants. Starting a grow with new media is the only way to truly guarantee a clean start for your new plants.
Starting plants in new media gives roots the best start to life, allowing a fresh root ecosystem to form where they can develop and thrive. Soils, Coco and organic media form a ‘soup’ of beneficial bacteria, fungus and enzymes. This creates the best environment for your roots, forming a web of symbiotic (beneficial for all) relationships that your plant can exploit to maximise healthy growth. This can be improved by adding Mykos, a fungus that will grow around the root-zone and boost the activities of the roots by acting as a an extension of them.
3. Enhance Your Soil
Xtreme gardening can be added to your soil to work in harmony with whichever nutrients you are using. Xtreme Gardening Mykos is a beneficial fungus that can be added to the soil when transplanting, this forms a symbiotic relationship between the roots and the fungus. Xtreme Gardening Azos is a beneficial bacterium that can be used when taking cuttings or transplanting.
4. Replace Your Pre-Filter
Dirty pre-filters put pressure on your fans, which can restrict airflow. As all top quality pre filters are white, discolouration is the main sign that the pre-filter is dirty and restricting air flow.
Pre-filters protect your carbon filter from dust, dirt and airborne particles prolonging the life of your filter. The life of the pre filter depends on the environment and air flow through it, they can last months or weeks depending on the volume of dust they are filtering.
Changing your pre-filter is easy, we have a range of pre-filters to suit all of our carbon filters.
5. Replace Your Filter
Are you certain that your filter will last the duration of the grow? If not, or if your filter is around 18 months old, then it’s time to replace it. Filters usually last from 18 – 24 months, and the last thing you want to be doing is replacing a filter mid-flower. Remove any doubt you may have about your filter being functional for the entire grow, it’ll save you a headache or two!
6. Choose Your Nutrients
Ever made a cup of tea and realised you’ve got no milk? Frustrating. Now imagine running out of nutrients mid-grow…
The best thing you can do is to stock up on what you need before you start, making sure that you always have what your plants need. There are a lot of nutrient ranges on the market, if you haven’t explored many of them it might be worth asking in a store – especially if you noticed any deficiencies in a previous grow – they will be able to point out an effective solution for you. Often a small investment in one extra bottle is all you will need to increase yields by a considerable amount.
You should also replace any nutrients that are old and have been open for a while, as well as any that might not have been stored correctly. Expired nutrients won’t benefit the plants and could even harm them.
7. Calibrate pH & EC Meters
Information is your best friend. Understanding your nutrient solution is important to maintaining healthy plants. Calibrating your tools on a regular basis will make sure that you are getting the best information out of them, and you can act accordingly. Thankfully, calibrating AquaMaster pH and EC pens is easy and painless, leaving you confident with the measurements they give you.
If you want your plants to be able to use all the nutrient you supply them, keeping the correct pH is important. Fluctuations in pH can cause elements to drop out of the solution and become inaccessible.
EC means Electrical Conductivity, we measure the EC of a nutrient solution to determine the concentration; the higher the EC, the more concentrated to solution is. It should be kept within certain values during the growing process (too weak and the plants might not get enough, too strong and you can cause harm). Accurate measurements will let you know what you need to do to hit those values and keep your plants safe. Check the feed charts of your chosen nutrients for the correct EC values.
8. Replace Lamps & Reflectors
HPS lamps decrease in performance over time, to guarantee that you’re not losing out on yield, they should be replaced every 12 months. For example, a 1000w lamp could decrease by up to 15% which could lead to a 15% decrease in the yield of your plants. It’s important to replace any reflectors alongside the lamp to ensure your plants get the optimum light coverage from your new lamp.
Enhance your grow by upgrading to the latest technology.
1. Upgrade to EC Fans
Creating the perfect environment in your room is the only way to maximise your plants potential, controlling air flow is a crucial to maintain temperatures and maintain a fresh supply of carbon dioxide for your plants.
EC fans work in a similar way to AC fans, but have bult in electronics that control the speed of the motor. They can drive the motor to 1024 different speeds from 0% to 100%, this fine level of control enables the fan to maintain the perfect airflow to optimise the environment in your room. Coupled with the ability to control air flow, EC fans have the other advantages of never humming or buzzing at low speeds and being more efficient when running at lower speeds than an AC fan.
2. Upgrade your Controller
Do you control all aspects of your environment?
The Enviro controller has been developed to allow you to control many aspects of your grow room from one controller. The Enviro Controller controls your ventilation system, along with the ability to control two other environment devices such as a humidifier, dehumidifier or heater. The day and night settings allow you set up and fine tune your environment to lights on or lights off. The Enviro Controller is the ultimate in environmental control.
Do you control your humidity? Humidity plays an important role in a healthy, flourishing plant. Too much humidity and your plants can’t grow, too little and your plants stretch, and you may get nutrient burn on the leaves. Controlling the humidity and changing it to suit the stage of your plant’s growth improves the plants health and increases yields. The GAS intelligent humidity controller can maintain the perfect humidity through the entire life cycle of your plants.
CO2 controllers can increase the CO2 content of a room. Most often used in closed loop rooms, CO2 increases your plants photosynthesis making your plants bigger and stronger. The Pro leaf CO2 controller can control gas bottle regulators or gas burners to maintain a higher level of CO2.
3. Upgrade to LED Lights
HPS lights are still great grow lights, they offer a fantastic spectrum of light and give you great yields.
But, LED lights have come a long way in the past few years and are now both more powerful and have better spectrum for growing plants, coupled with 30% decrease in the power they use compared to HPS.
LEDs don’t give off as much heat as HPS fixtures, so alternative heating methods may need to be added to your room to account for this in the colder months.
4. Add a Nutrient Additive
So, you have your environment sorted. You’ve figured out which nutrients you like and are growing crops that you’re pleased with.
Have you considered nutrients boosters or additives? Most boosters and additives won’t affect your base nutrients and can be added without changing too many other parameters. They are a good way to deal with any deficiencies you may have noticed or to improve the yields of already healthy plants.
House & Garden Bud XL Plant Magic Ignition Boost
Gold Label Ultra Roots, and House and Garden Roots Excelurator, all offer a great boost to the roots of plants when they are young. Building roots in your young plants sets your them up to get as close to their genetic potential as possible. Often overlooked beneath the ground, roots play a crucial role in your plant’s health and development.
5. Add Diffuse Air
Air movement is crucial in an indoor grow room. It is very easy to set up all your controllers and equipment and find that your plants are not successful. Air movement not only helps plants transpire, it is also the best way to create a uniform environment in your grow room.
DiffuseAir offers the perfect solution, the diffuser is designed to be attached the RVK range of fans. The system is then hung in you room and it mixes all the air every minute, creating a uniform environment and eliminating microclimates in your room. It is versatile and can be used close to young plants to make them move in the air flow therefore strengthening the stems of the plant. When your plants are in flower the Diffuse Air can be moved away from the canopy and gently move the air around without creating any movement in your plants.
We hope this guide has been helpful and that you are now ready to start your new grow this year!
Below is a quick checklist for reference. We also have a very helpful technical department who are more than happy to give advice and help you troubleshoot any issues with your equipment.
- Clean Your Equipment
- Choose Your Media
- Enhance Your Soil
- Replace Your Pre-Filter
- Replace Your Filter
- Choose Your Nutrients
- Calibrate pH & EC Meters
- Replace Lamps & Reflectors
- Upgrade to EC Fans
- Upgrade your Controller
- Upgrade to LED Lights
- Add a Nutrient Additive
- Add Diffuse Air
Give us a call if you need any help. Office: 01226 748613, Mobile: 07940 472912 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.