Generally speaking you can grow 4 medium sized plants in a 4×4 space such as a manufactured grow tent. Larger plants will require more floor space. Regardless of which method you use be sure to not overcrowd your plants. Keep in mind that the different strains of plants you grow can vary in size and the growth spurt when you switch the plants from vegetative growth to the flowering stage can vary as well. Many experienced growers will have a smaller grow room or tent for the early stages of vegetative growth then move the plants into a larger room or tent for the flowering stage. Doing this method greatly increases yields as you can have plants ready to move and flip into flowering immediately after harvesting!
Both types of grow lights will provide the light intensity and spectrums for photosynthesis required to grow healthy plants indoors. HID lighting consists of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs, many manufacturers make switchable ballasts that will operate both types which allows the grower to vary the lighting spectrum from vegetative growth to flowering. LED lighting is more power efficient and technology has advanced them to be able to provide full spectrum lighting.
For vegetative growth use 6400K (Blue)-Metal Halide
For the flowering cycle use 2700K (Red)-High Pressure Sodium
LEDs provide both 6400K and 2700K
Ceramic Metal Halide lighting provides full spectrum
Most plants have a different ideal pH level, so when you are considering setting up an indoor garden it is important to select plants that all thrive in the same general pH range. Many use between 6.2-6.5 pH for soil and coco based mediums and 5.6-5.8 pH in rockwool and other hydroponic systems. Follow the nutrient manufacturer’s directions as they have done the research and beyond that watch your plants health and color. Monitor your pH regularly as it can fluctuate and will need adjustment.
Pro growers tip: add your concentrated pH adjuster to 250 mI of water and then add it to your reservoir very slowly.
Achieving your desired pH levels in your reservoir is absolutely necessary, but can be a bit complicated. If you add your pH adjuster too fast it will bind with the nutrients in your reservoir. If you see the nutrient solution getting cloudy in the reservoir as it is mixing in, slow down your pour a little more.
Mixing a reservoir properly is very important in the success of your garden. You will need to start with a clean reservoir tank. Fill your reservoir a day or more before and add 125m I of H202 per 100 liters of water. This allows the water to reach temperature and the H202 helps control unwanted pathogens from contaminating your medium. Ideal temperature is 68 F degrees/20 C. You should have a couple of air stones connected to an air pump in the reservoir. Review your feed chart and gather your nutrients to begin.
Start with your base nutrients. Add them one at a time with a good rinse of clean water between each use so your measuring container doesn’t cross contaminate the products. These are highly concentrated formulas, if mixed in their concentrated form they will start and continue to bind causing your plant to receive less nutrients than required and could lead to nutrient lock up. Once you have finished adding all the products let it mix for 10 to 15 minutes, check your pH and you are ready to feed.
A steady supply of fresh air is crucial to your crops’ health and vitality. When provided with quality nutrients and lighting the plants will be working hard and respiration will be constant meaning they will need that fresh air to accomplish vigorous growth. Most smaller rooms and grow tents can be run with an exhaust fan drawing air through vents or ducting or even the bottom of a grow tent. Having the intake air come in with the negative pressure created by the exhaust fan and distributed with one or more oscillating fans will accomplish the much needed circulation.