Are you a beginner at growing? Growing your own cannabis indoors is entertaining and extremely rewarding. In areas where cannabis is legal, you can find all of the equipment you need to get your grow room or tent up and running.
Before you get started, however, it’s important to learn the elements that make a succesful indoor grow room setup. Just like any outdoor garden, you need sunlight, water, and soil for growing marijuana to keep your plants healthy and happy.
But, you might easily overlook the important role airflow plays in maintaining a healthy crop. This is where the ventilation system comes in.
An essential part of any successful growing operation, ventilation provides air circulation, regulates heat concentration, and delivers an invaluable supply of CO2 to your plants.
This article explores why ventilating your grow tent is so important to the health of your bud babies.
What Is A Ventilation System?
Depending on how many plants you’re growing and how much money you are investing in equipment, the design of your ventilation system can range from simple to complex.
Something as simple as an exhaust vent will provide some airflow, as the difference in air pressure inside and outside of the tent will result in the continuous movement of air.
More commonly, growers will combine vents and exhaust fans, which move air in and out of your grow room, with an interior circulation fan to keep things flowing within. This involves extractor fans, which move air out, and oscillating fans, which keep the air in the grow tent circulating
Some more advanced setups may include air filters, extra quiet fans, heaters, or air conditioners. You can calculate the strength of airflow you need in terms of cubic feet per minute or CFM, which gauges the volume of your tent compared with the strength of your fan. To figure out the optimal ventilation system for your grow tent, consult this expert grow tent ventilation guide:
Cut Down on Cannabis Smells
When growing cannabis, discretion is often a top priority. Weed emits a very characteristic odor that can easily fill the space that you’re growing it in.
Proper ventilation can disperse the scent and keep the area around your grow tent smelling fresh and inconspicuous.
Some ventilation systems even include carbon filters to trap smells in exhaust ducts.
Maintain a Healthy Humidity Level
Humidity is a serious danger to your plant’s well-being. Too much humidity can encourage mold and rot in even healthy plants and can compromise your final product. Unfortunately, plants make for great humidifiers and expire water as part of their growth process.
This process, which is called transpiration, moves water and nutrients up from the roots of the plants to the leaves, which release water vapor.
Since your grow tent is essentially a closed ecosystem, you should take some efforts to cut down on water vapor levels.
To keep your grow tent from turning into a rainforest, you got to have an efficient ventilator. The exhaust system will help move water vapor and oxygen out of the tent, and bring CO2 and dry outside air into the tent.
Stagnant air and humidity go hand in hand, so having a flow of stale air out and fresh air into your grow tent will help maintain healthy moisture levels.
This will also improve evaporation from whatever growth medium you choose, forcing the plants to absorb water primarily through the roots, which ultimately improves growth.
That being said, your plants will need some humidity to survive; they’ll stop growing if they dry out. If the air in your grow tent becomes too dry, stop your exhaust ventilation for a short amount of time to allow the water vapor levels inside the grow room to return to healthy levels.
It’s important to note that larger plants produce more humidity, so you’ll need to regulate humidity levels differently at different stages of your plants’ lives.
Maintain The Correct Temperature
For your plants to grow comfortably, they require a temperature between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with the absolute max being 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fluctuations are dangerous; any higher and your plants may scorch, and much lower and they may wither from the cold. Having proper airflow will help keep the temperature constant, without any hot patches caused by lights or machinery.
A ventilating fan is particularly important in warmer climates and during the summer when heat can build up within your grow tent. If you live in a colder area, you might consider buying a heater to keep your plants safe from frost and drafts.
Choosing the right indoor grow light options with high light output and low heat emission—will keep your plants well-nourished without overheating your grow tent.
The sun produces 5,000 to 10,000 lumens per square foot, so indoors your plants will need at least 3,000 lumens per square foot. Bright lights not only nourish your plants but also help you spot any pests that may have settled on your plants.
Keep Creepy Crawlies off Your Bud
Mushrooms, mold, mildew, mites, and gnats all love excess moisture and still air. If your grow room is too humid or does not have sufficient airflow, moisture can build up in the soil and attract pests.
Atmospheric moisture can also negatively impact the protective coating that plants have on their leaves.
A ventilation system will help keep the upper levels of your growth medium-dry, making it a more hostile environment for pests, but a better environment for your cannabis plants. Similarly, a strong enough circulation fan within the grow room can discourage flies and gnats from making a home among your plants.
Your main aim when growing any plant, especially indoors, should be to replicate as closely as possible the natural conditions the plant thrives in.
Think of your grow tent as an isolated biosphere on a foreign planet, and your ventilation system is the best way to keep your plants growing in an ideal atmosphere.
In their natural habitat, cannabis plants are exposed to breezes that push the plant back and forth, which encourages them to grow stronger. Having consistent airflow will improve your plants’ health and structural integrity.
Control CO2 Levels
If you can recall your biology lessons, plants are powered through a process called photosynthesis. They absorb sunlight, along with water, from their roots and CO2 through pores in their leaves called ‘stomata.’
Then, they produce oxygen as a waste product. Without proper ventilation, your grow tent may fill with oxygen and starve your plants of the vital carbon dioxide that they need.
Some expert growers even inject CO2 into their grow rooms, which increases plant productivity but requires more intense heat and light to maintain healthy plants. As a beginner, simply maintaining healthy, natural levels of CO2 in your grow room or tent is sufficient.
Experiment to Find the Best Techniques
Many conventional growers experiment with different pruning techniques and environmental conditions to get the best yield out of their plants.
If you’ve chosen an effective ventilation system, you should be able to tweak the other variable in your growing process to take your crop to the next level.
Even growing weed hydroponically is an option as it offers a better air-to-water ratio, and can increase water efficiency and production.
Help Your Plants Grow Strong
In the wild, a constant breeze will blow plants back and forth, eventually strengthening their stems and root systems, just as constant exercise can strengthen your bones and muscles.
This helps plants to grow upright and later bear the load of healthy leaves and fruits (and, in the case of cannabis, healthy buds). Plants grown indoors can lack the strength of outdoor plants because they’re not subjected to outside weather.
With the right ventilation system, however, you can recreate the movement of the wind, strengthening your plants’ natural support structure. Be careful not to point your fans directly at your plants, however, as this can cause windburn in extreme conditions.
Give Your Plants a Happy Home
Whichever way you decide to set up your grow tent or grow room, it has to provide all the things your plants require.
These requirements may include grow lights to simulate the sun, sprinklers to simulate rain, a proper growth medium, and, of course, the right amount of airflow to bring your plants CO2 and carry away water vapor and oxygen.
As you have read in the above discussion, air circulation is one of the keys to healthy plant growth.
With the right ventilation system, you can properly and fully provide for your plant’s needs, and they’ll, in turn, reward you with a healthy and plentiful harvest. Always remember that the happier you keep your plants, the happier they’ll make you!