10 Essentials - Indoor Garden

1) Clean Water~
The quality of water used for your garden is essential to how well your plants will grow regardless of what types of fertilizers you use. Ideally, you will start with low Parts Per Million (PPM) water that you can add nutrients to according to your plants requirements. Reverse Osmosis (R.O.) systems are capable of removing up to 98%+ of all the contaminants found in tap water and are an excellent choice for obtaining high quality, low PPM water. With several sizes to choose from, growers of all skill levels and gardens of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of H20 filtration.
 
2) Growing Method~
The method of growing you choose to use will determine what types of equipment are essential to your particular gardening situation. Some of the more popular growing methods are “Ebb & Flow” which flood and drain a tray of plants with nutrients at regularly timed intervals. “Aeroponic” growing mists an oxygenated nutrient solution directly to the roots of plants. “Natural Film Technique” (NFT) gardens use a slow moving nutrient “film” to flow through the roots. A “Drip” garden provides nutrients with tubes and emitters (drip stakes) that water each plant site. Using soil/soil-less mixes in pots/buckets and watering by hand is a cornerstone/preferred method of growing. Choosing the right sized system, containers, growing medium and fertilizer to use depends on the growers skill level, the types of plants to be grown, and the space available to use for the garden.
 
3) Growing Medium~
A growing medium acts as a base for the roots of plants to grow into. There are many options to choose from including soil, soil-less mixes, coco, hydroton and rockwool. Some mediums come pre-amended and have nutritional value for the plants while others are inert and basically just give the plants roots something to hold on to. Soil/soil-less mixes are the most commonly used/available mediums and they can be amended to cater towards different plants and growing situations. Coco is made from the husks of coconuts which has good moisture retention and aeration qualities. Hydroton is an expanded clay pellet which acts as a great reusable medium. Its excellent oxygen to water ratio makes hydroton a go to substrate for hydroponics and soil gardens. Rockwool is made from stone that is spun into fibers, which is then pressed into starter cubes and grow blocks. It is best to use rockwool in ebb & flow or drip systems.
 
4) Nutrients/Fertilizers~
Plants require a balanced fertilizer program to reach their maximum potential. There are many different types of nutrient rich fertilizers available including, organic, synthetic, or a combination of both. Nutrients are categorized as either “macro” or “micro” nutrients. Macro nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Micro nutrients include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. Fertilizer companies will post an N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) ratio (%) on the front of the bottle. Typically, vegetative/grow nutrients are higher in nitrogen (N) and flowering/bloom nutrients are higher in phosphorous and/or potassium (P-K). Fertilizers come in 1, 2 and 3 part base formulas with numerous supplements that can be added to boost plant growth, flavor, aroma and yields.
 
5) Grow Lights~
All plants require adequate light in order to grow and bloom properly. Most plants grow or bloom depending on the amount of time per day they are given light. In the vegetative growth stage plants will usually require 15-18 hours of light daily. In the bloom stage plants require a reduced 10-12 hours of light daily. High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D.) lighting is the industry standard for lighting an indoor gardening room. These high intensity systems come in different wattage sizes that range from 150-1500 watts. The two most common types of H.I.D. lighting available are High Pressure Sodium (H.P.S.) and Metal Halide (M.H.). HPS bulbs have an enhanced orange/red spectrum making them ideal for most plants in the flower/bloom stage. MH bulbs have an enhanced blue/green spectrum which is ideal for the vegetative/grow stage. Another popular lighting option is the T5 fluorescents. T5 lights are high output (H.O.) fluorescent lighting with low heat and low energy consumption. The T5 is ideal for starts, clones and mother plants. We have a large selection of lighting systems in stock to choose from. Let us help you pick the right sized, ballast, bulb and reflector for your gardening needs.
 

 

6) TDS/EC/pH Water Testing Meters~
There are several single and combination meters available to test and/or monitor water conditions. TDS/EC (Total Dissolved Solids/Electric Conductivity) and pH (Potential Hydrogen) meters allow you to test water for fertilizer strength (salts in the solution) and how acidic or alkaline the mixture is. When working with a hydroponics system you want the pH between 5.8-6.2. When growing in soil or coco you want to balance your pH between 6.0-6.8. Using a TDS meter will help you to be sure you are not over or under feeding your plants. If nutrients are deficient or over abundant you can see burning, curling, and/or yellowing of the leaves.
 
7) Environment Monitoring Equipment/Accessories~
Maintaining the proper water, nutrition, light, temperature, humidity, Co2 and air circulation are the main factors that determine a successful indoor garden. Temperatures in your grow room should be between 68-75F degrees while the relative humidity should stay between 40-60%. Always avoid dramatic temperature changes that will lead to fluctuations in humidity levels. Boosting the Co2 (Carbon Dioxide) levels in the garden should accelerate growth. We offer a great selection of environmental and lighting controllers as well as all the pumps, timers, exhaust fans, oscillating fans, thermometer/hygrometers, dehumidifiers and essential monitoring equipment you could need to maintain the perfect environment within your grow room.
 
8) Insecticide/Miticide~
Learning to identify pest insects and the damage they cause to plants is necessary when maintaining a bug free growing room. Insecticides can be organic or synthetic and can focus on a single species of pest (Miticide) or a broader range of insects (Insecticide). By spraying your plants weekly and spending an appropriate amount of observation time in the garden, you can actively prevent bug problems. We carry a wide selection of products to help prevent and/or treat insect infestations.
 
9) Fungicides/Disease Control~
Nothing can ruin a crop faster then molds and fungus. Powdery mildew, downy mildew, black spot, rust, blight, scab and botrytis are some of the diseases a garden can experience. Always keep your humidity within an appropriate range (40-60%) and allow for adequate air circulation throughout the grow room. Spraying a fungicide as a preventative measure each week is ideal. Starting your garden with a fresh grow medium and using mycorrhizal fungi with beneficial bacteria when planting will help to maintain healthy root growth that is free of disease.
 
10) Plants~
Starting your garden with healthy clones, small plant starts, seeds or bulbs will help to insure a fruitful harvest and a fun time in the garden.
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