- Startup Guide
Indoor Gardening 101: Plan ahead
- Location and Space: Your indoor garden can be as large or small as you like, however the room should not be drafty or subject to temperature/humidity extremes and spikes such as a basement or attic, unless well insulated. Windows and doors can lead to light, air, or humidity leakage, so keep that in mind when choosing location. Place your garden somewhere convenient so it does not become a chore to manage, and decide how much space can be dedicated to the grow area. Due to the need of a steady water supply, it is highly recommended that your garden be located on a main floor and as close as possible to a water source such as a bathroom or kitchen. Lugging 5 gallon buckets of water up and down stairs can be messy and gets old fast. If your garden isn't on tile or in a Grow Tent with a waterproof liner, get a tarp or tray to catch any possible spills or leaks. Consider the possibility of wanting to expand your grow area in the future, is the space big enough? Drawing out your garden plans on paper in advance can save a ton of time and headache in the long-run.
- Lighting: Without proper lighting, your garden won't grow. There are many options for lighting, such as HID, LED, and T5 systems, all with benefits and drawbacks. First, we recommend hiring a professional electrician to ensure your electrical system can handle the addition of high powered lighting. Next, make sure you have a secure place to hang your lights above your garden area, preferably with easy access so you can raise and lower them as your garden grows. All of our Grow Tents at Indoorvegan.com have interior frames which are built to hang whatever lighting systems suits your growing needs.
*Check out our dedicated lighting information page for more in depth discussion and tips!
- Ventilation: Plants breathe Co2 (carbon dioxide) and exhale o2 (oxygen). Having a steady supply of fresh air containing Co2 is vital to the health of your plant. If your garden is going to be in an enclosed area, heat can build up making adequate ventilation essential. A combination of ducting and fans can be used to provide a steady exchange of fresh, cool air. You will want to have an exhaust fan near the top of the grow area to remove the hot air, with an intake fan towards the bottom, pulling in cool air. In most cases when using a H.I.D. lighting set up, the ventilation system used to keep the lights cool can accomplish this without the need for additional fans and ducting. Do not overlook an oscillating fan to blow directly on the plants. These fans helps circulate the air and aids the plants by strengthening the stems as they push back against the air. If fresh air is still an issue, we offer products to suppliment the Co2 levels in your garden. Click here to check them out!
- Temperature: Good news, most plants are fine with an ambient temperature that is also comfortable for you. The majority of plants do well when air and soil temperatures are beween 60°F and 80°F, with slight variations depending on what season the plants are suited to grow in. Unless you are able to closely monitor and regulate the temperature in your grow area, it is recommended that you get to know what temperatures you typically maintain in the area you are planning your garden, and choose your plants and vegetables accordingly. Keep in mind many grow lights put off heat and will raise the ambient temperature of your grow area. In some cases a heater or air conditioning unit may be required to maintain proper temperatures.
- Water: Absolutely key to a healthy garden. Depending on your water supply (public/well/etc..), your water will invariably be different than the next person, so it is important to know what your plants are getting. While not a requirement, we highly recommend you buy test kits to find out what is present in your water supply, and monitor the extremely important PH levels. If necessary, treat your water accordingly before using it in your garden. If your water supply is particularly unsuitable, consider treating it first with Reverse Osmosis and/or dechlorinator & sediment filters.
*Check out our dedicated Water Information page for more in depth discussion and tips!
- Growing Medium - Hydroponics/Soil: Will you be growing in a container with soil or potting mix? How about one of the many types of Hydroponic growing systems? While soil is the tried and true method that plants have been growing in for millions of years, hydroponic growing is fast becoming a favorite due to the powerful results, efficiency and low cost. There is no right or wrong choice here, however there are many options and variables to consider before you make your decision.
*Check out our dedicated Growing Medium page for more in depth discussion and tips!