Balancing your grow room conditions is the most important thing you can do as a cultivator. It is also the most difficult. Making sure that your temperatures and humidity stay within range can be an ongoing part of the grow cycle. Cultivating cannabis indoors is all about recreating the natural environment and ensuring your plants get plenty of light, nutrients and water. Fortunately technology has allowed us to improve upon nature in certain areas and environmental control is one of them.
The Importance of Flexibility
Recreating nature in your spare room is no easy feat. Technology has allowed us to bring the sun indoors but maintaining the right temperatures and moisture levels can be a thorn in any grower’s side. Cannabis plants require a certain range of conditions to flourish. Temperatures between 68 and 82 are perfect for fostering plant growth with variations arising strain to strain. Humidity levels will start off high in the vegetative stage but then optimally should hover between 40 and 50%. The problem is that over the course of your plant’s growth cycle, there are many changes and variables that affect your environmental conditions making maintaining proper levels a never ending game of cat and mouse.
The Hazards of an Out of Balance Grow Room
You may have the best HVAC system on the planet. All that does is take out some of the heavy lifting. Having a proper heating and cooling system is only one part of balancing your grow room temperatures. Grow rooms need water; lots of water. Adding water to a room that is heated with 1000 watt lights leads to rising humidity. Rising humidity can not only hamper the process of photosynthesis, thereby restricting plant growth, but it can also create an environment that attracts pests. Powdery mildew, aphids and various types of mites all thrive in warm moist environments.
How to Counter Low Humidity
On the other hand, if you live in a dry area prone to low humidity, the lack of moisture can inhibit flower growth. Humidity levels that fall below 40% start to adversely affect cannabis plants. They will start to push out moisture and have to be watered more frequently to make up the difference. This puts unnecessary stress on the plant which has its own series of adverse effects. Low humidity levels are generally an easy fix. A humidifier or leaving several full buckets of water in the grow will help pull humidity levels back to a suitable range.
Finding a Balance Between Temperature, Humidity and CO2
Another consideration with environmental conditions is CO2. There is a distinct relationship between CO2 levels, temperature and humidity. As temperatures go up, humidity goes up as well. When this happens, your plants will require more CO2 to foster photosynthesis. After a 12 hour light cycle when your room goes dark, temperatures fall and relative humidity changes which can result in condensation. Condensation in turn becomes humidity when the lights come back on. Finding the balance between temperatures, humidity and CO2 levels can be a daily grind, seemingly without end. As your garden grows through its various stages, the room becomes filled with more plant matter. That increases temperatures and humidity and requires manual defoliation to keep the environment stable.
Grow Room Air Circulation
One of the biggest necessities in a grow room that often goes over looked or under-estimated is air circulation. Just having a working AC isn’t enough. All grow rooms need an active system of circulating fans to keep the air constantly moving. This prevents pockets of hot air forming in the canopy and things like mites and mildew at bay. Stagnant air in the grow room is a growers worst enemy. Fresh clean circulating air is the secret to keeping your plants happy and vibrant.