Hydroponic Grow Rooms

How to Create a Hydroponic Grow Room

Selecting a Location     Floor Plans

Insulation and Reflectivity       Grow Tables


 

Prefabricated Grow Room

Once upon a time indoor gardening wasn't in the slightest bit feasible, a few house plants here and there was all the previous generations could muster up.

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With the advent of modern technological advances it became somewhat viable, although not always cost effective. One of the primary obstacles was lighting. In the past decade full spectrum fluorescent lighting, HID lights, advances in LED technology and so forth have broken through many of those economic barriers.

Hydroponics is the wave of the future for indoor agriculture both commerical and hobbyist.

Plants can be grown rapidly and produce abundant crops without the use of mineral laden soils. Soil does not work as well indoors, as it does naturally. The bacteria that nature uses to break down organic compounds into mineral elements usable by the plants are rapidly depleted. Hydroponic nutrients replace the mineral elements that were once soil borne, they are now water borne.




Selecting a Location

Where to place your plants and the accompanying hydroponic set up are at times the biggest dilemma for many hydroponic gardeners. Try placing a sizable setup in the living room or bedroom and I'll gladly give you the number to a good divorce lawyer. Building a grow room is the best option, and it's not all that difficult. There are also prefabricated grow rooms aka grow tents like the one pictured at the top left of this article.


Floor Plans

To get started you'll need to create a scale schematic, basically a floor plan of the designated area. Measure out the available area - be it a walk in closet or a full garage or basement.

The measurements of the area and placement of equipment such as grow tables is essential in determining the amount of light, ventilation, C02 and so forth.

Wherever you choose to build your grow room should have access to plumbing electricity, and adequate ventilation.




Electricity - Electric -The average modern home has 200 amp service, which is sufficient to power a small grow room. If you plan on starting big, you may need to upgrade your panel or provide supplemental electric from another source.

Plumbing - Access to adequate drainage and running water is basic common sense. It makes the tasks of filling and draining reservoirs a snap.

Ventilation - It is imperative not only for the health of the plants but the health of the gardener that you have adequate ventilation in any grow room. An incoming supply of fresh oxygen rich air is necessary as plants quickly consume all the CO2 in an enclosed environment. Plants require Carbon Dioxide, it is what they breathe. Poor ventilation will kill plants as surely as a lack of sunlight or water will.

Insulation and Reflectivity


The grow room should be insulated with a moisture proof insulation. I prefer foam insulation - but other types such as tack up sheets are also suitable.


The interior of the room should be covered with a suitable reflective material. A reflective surface in a hydroponic grow room optimizes the use of available light and decreases the need for expensive lighting, making it highly cost effective.

The correct reflective surface can increase the amount of light plants receive by up to 30%.





Aluminum foil is only 55% reflective at its best. It creates hot spots that can fry plants and conducts electricity which makes it a hazard under some conditions. It is considered a fire hazard when used in conjunction with HID Lights. Reflective Paints and Coatings such as Elastomeric paint, a mildew resistant rubberized roofing paint that reflect 90% of the light are viable options. More commonly used products are mylar, foylon, C3 anti-detection film. and Panda film are other options. See - Reflective Materials.

Covering or coating windows or the back sides of walls with black plastic or sheeting will ensure there is no light seepage in or out of your grow room. Panda Film will serve both the purpose of reflectivity on the inside and minimize seepage as well.

Grow Tables

Grow Tables should be ergonomically elevated to a comfortable working height. This is not always possible in tight quarters or when super-stocking your grow room - but it is advisable and in the long run more efficient.

Even if you decide not to use grow tables, or wish to eliminate them from your start up costs it is necessary that pots and planters be kept off the floor. The root zone and grow media should be kept at a constant temperature {80 - 85F} , warmth will be leached off by constant contact with the ground. You might want to consider a sub floor.


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