Marijuana Growing Environment
It’s said that we are a product of our genetics and environment. I’m sure the same must also be true for marijuana, which is why it’s so essential to provide a positive environment for your growing jewels of THC. You might have the shiniest seeds in all the land, but they aren’t going to shower you with dank rewards without the right supporting cast.
Environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and air circulation can all play a big part in the overall well-being of your ladies. Maintaining a stable environment is an intelligent way to guarantee yourself a treasure trove of sticky buds at the end of your harvest, so be sure to keep these factors in mind as you continue your growing journey.
Temperatures are an important environmental factor that will hinder or boost the growth of your plants considerably. Make sure you are keeping track of the temperatures inside your grow room and especially near the plants to be certain your plants aren’t experiencing extreme temperatures. Any household thermometer will work, but I actually recommend getting a digital thermometer/hygrometer (measures humidity) for ease.
Marijuana is a hardy plant capable of surviving some pretty brutal temperatures when compared to other types of plants. It can survive days in temperatures as low as 40F and as high as 100F, but don’t use that as an excuse for negligence.
The optimal temperature range is between 60F and 80F, so that should be your real target. I also try to keep temperatures about 10 degrees lower at night while flowering to simulate what a real night might be like from the plant’s perspective. If you’re having trouble staying in those ranges, it would be wise to come up with a permanent solution.
There is a wide arsenal of devices to use for adjusting temperatures in your grow room as necessary. Obviously, the particular device you need will depend on what particular challenge you are trying to overcome.
If temperatures in your grow room are consistently below 60F, you should definitely get a space heater that will allow you to keep the room warmer and consistently in the optimal range. The space heater should have an adjustable thermostat, so you can keep it at an appropriate level at all times
If temperatures are regularly exceeding 80F, your 2 best options are going to be setting up an efficient air circulation system (which I discuss a little later) or some other type of air conditioning unit. Personally, I have an A/C unit right outside my grow closet because heat is definitely my biggest issue in there.
Another great way to help control temperature is to keep the heat of day and coolness of night in mind. At night, when it is colder, the heat of my HID lamp will keep the room warm while the colder air outside makes sure that the room doesn’t get too hot. During the day when it’s warmer, I turn the HID light off and the plant’s stay nice and cool.
You don’t have to be overly sensitive here either because marijuana is very resilient and adaptive, but you should be trying to facilitate some semblance of stability. That means if your temperatures are going outside the normal range once or twice a week, that probably isn’t an issue at all. It’s only when problems are consistently present that temperatures will start to really hurt overall yields.
Another important part of growing your weed indoors is considering Relative Humidity or RH. RH stands for Relative Humidity and indicates how much moisture is in the air as compared to the current temperature.
The ideal humidity for your plants is 40-60% RH for vegetative phase and 30-50% RH for flowering phase. If RH is too high, your plants will have a hard time getting rid of excess moisture meaning molds can develop and destroy your crop. If humidity is too low, your plants have a strong likelihood of drying out and becoming a little too crispy and unusable.
Measuring the RH is just as easy as looking at a thermometer except you’ll need a tool called a hygrometer. As mentioned before, I recommend getting a digital thermometer and hygrometer in one. That way, every morning you can just take a quick look and make sure all looks OK with just a second’s glance. I love easy.
Much like temperatures, if your humidity is 5-20% outside of optimal range for a short period of time, that isn’t going to be the end of the world. It’s the systemic problems that are always present that need to be addressed and resolved. This also means that you may or may not need equipment here depending on if your humidity situation is within ideal parameters or not.
If your RH is staying at 20% or lower for multiple days in a row, then you can fix this by getting a humidifier. A humidifier increases RH by releasing moisture into the air. Make sure if you do end up getting one that you have some way of controlling the level of moisture released because you don’t want to overdo it.
If your RH is staying towards the 80% or more range, then your best bet is to get the exact opposite, a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier circulates air through the room and pulls moisture from it which lowers the RH. Also make sure here that you don’t take too much moisture out of the air and leave it bone dry. Balance is the key here.
Setting up an efficient way of circulating air around your plants is another option for providing a positive growing environment. Doing so provides your plants with a multitude of benefits such as temperature control, odor elimination, and building stalk strength.
Keeping Heat Out
Most respectable light reflectors are air cooled which means they have hook-ups for air ducting. By hooking up ducting and a fan, it’s possible to quickly expel the hot air out of the system and away from the grow room.
The major benefit of this is that it greatly reduces the temperature around the HID lamp. This allows your plants to get even closer to the light source without being burnt to a crisp. As discussed in the grow lighting step, moving your plants closer can have a huge effect on the amount of the light energy they are exposed to. Theoretically, by allowing your plants to go from 12” away to 6” away, you could increase the light intensity at the tops by 400%. In other words, there’s potential to quadruple your yield with just this change.
If you are in a situation where you can’t afford to have the smell of fresh marijuana wafting throughout your entire abode, then air circulation gives you a way of eliminating that skunky odor.
By forcing air from your grow area through a carbon filter, the strong-smelling particles will be scrubbed out. The air comes out the other end virtually odorless and undetectable. This also requires that your growing area have a relatively good seal. If air is allowed to leak from the growing area, it obviously will not be going through the filter so the smell will still most likely be there.
Rock-Hard Marijuana Stalks
This is an advantage everyone should be interested in, which is that air circulation helps promote thick sturdy stalks. Stalks serve as the backbone of your plants, so making sure they are dense and rigid will make them infinitely more manageable. Some growers strong stalks means strong yields.
Remember that in the wilderness, weed has the wind to help push it, pull it, and wrestle it around. The wind doesn’t have much presence indoors though, so you have to be the God/dess of the Wind in this case. A simple oscillating fan works here, and it doesn’t need to be anything all that fancy. It just needs to give your plants a ride that they can build their strength on.
If setting up ducting and a more advanced air circulation system is something you want to do or plan on doing in the future, I strongly recommend this guide. It’s where I learned most of this information about air circulation, so the guide has plenty of value to offer. I’m still learning from it a year and a half after getting it, so it’s definitely a long-lasting investment.
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