I am going to help you set up a simple grow room. As we go through the steps you’ll find out it's not as complicated as it might sound. You'll be able to start growing fresh produce year-round, even when it's freezing outside.
You can even actually build a grow room in your garage!
With that said, read on and get the idea of building your DIY grow room like a pro even if you are not a techie in real life.
How to build a grow room from scratch step by step
The first thing we need is a location.
Find an appropriate location. Ideally, you want something with good ventilation and natural light from a window or skylight; this could be your garage, basement, or spare bedroom in your house or apartment building.
However, your grow room should be away from living spaces and in a well-ventilated area.
Clear the space you will need for your grow room – this is usually about 12'x12′ (or 108 square feet). If you have any large objects that might get in the way or cause problems such as molding, painting, or water leaks, be sure to move or remove them.
The next step is framing out space with plywood sheets on 2x4s.
You'll need to make sure the sheets are long enough so that you can stand up inside. It's also a good idea to install an exhaust fan and window/skylight where appropriate on these boards, for ventilation and light respectively.
Measure and mark the height of where you will hang your grow lights to make sure they are always at least six inches from the plants.
This is usually around eight feet high, but be mindful that if it's a basement or garage (in colder climates) your space may need to be lower in order not to create a glare for people walking by.
After your frame is built, it needs to be insulated with foam board insulation or something similar.
The next step will be mounting the lights and running your extension cord from outside into the room.
If the room you're working with has a natural light source such as a window, this area mustn't get too hot during summer months – so shading may need to be added. Make certain the windows can open and close freely.
If you are using grow lamps, make sure they’re not touching or close to any surface that would cause heat to build up—like walls and ceilings. Keep them about six inches away from the surface to avoid creating hotspots.
Similarly, if you are using fluorescent grow lights, keep them at least 18 inches away from plants to prevent leaf burn and fading of flowers.
The final step will be filling your room with a mixture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2). For efficient ventilation you will require an air pump to boost the air circulation. However, ensure it's at a far enough distance from any heat sources.
How big should a grow room be?
The grow room should be about 100 square feet or so. You can make it bigger if you want, but the more space there is, the harder it will be to maintain a proper CO2 balance and temperature for your plants. Just keep in mind that with every foot you add on to this size, the exhaust fan has to work about
Differences between a grow room and a greenhouse
The principal difference between a greenhouse and a grow room is the purpose of each.
A greenhouse focuses on growing plants in an enclosed, cushioned environment with plenty of natural light. This type of greenhouse helps to protect from harsh winter weather or other unfavorable conditions for plant growth (like extreme heat).
On the other hand, a grow room uses artificial light to sustain plants in a more controlled environment.
Grow rooms are more suitable for growing plants that require higher levels of light or heat such as tomatoes, while greenhouses are better for plants that require lower levels of light or heat like lettuce.
Benefits of growing plants in a Grow room vs. a Greenhouse
- Lower cost of operation due to reduced need for heating and cooling the space.
- Better control over light cycles, CO levels, humidity level, etc.
- Grow rooms can be built outdoors in temperate climates - greenhouses are limited to indoor growth.
Disadvantages of Grow room vs. Greenhouse
- Higher electricity usage due to artificial lighting and cooling systems needed inside the space.
Factors to consider when setting up a grow room
The size of the grow room will depend on what type you would like to set up. Micro growers are best suited for small spaces, such as a closet or windowless bedroom.
Insulation and air conditioning are important in larger rooms (e.g., garage) to cushion high temperatures and humidity levels.
The grow room needs to be in a well-ventilated area, away from the home’s living space.
A door that locks for security and easy access should be included when building a grow room.
Extra tools required.
- Thermometers and hygrometers for checking temperature and humidity levels)
- PVC pipe to hang from the ceiling for HVAC ducts, wiring, or water lines.
- Sterilized soil, plant food, and fertilizer
- Grow lights (fluorescent or HPS)
- Air pump
- Reflective material like Mylar that you can use as a light shield if there is anything too bright in your room. However, you can also go for a flat white paint as a cheaper option. With this, always keep your painted surfaces clean.
Pro Tip: Keep your grow room at a temperature between 60°F - 85°F. Humidity should be kept around 45% to 55%. Use lots of light for maximum results! Always wash your hands before touching plants, dirt, or anything to avoid germs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What kind of plants should I grow in my grow room?
A. Fruit, vegetables, or any other compatible indoor plants.
Q. What kind of grow lights should I use in my grow room?
A. High-Pressure Sodium or Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs).
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