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Starting a Grow?


Growing indoors can be as simple or as overly complex as you want to make it.


This article breaks down the decision making process into the the following factors; Time you can spend, Cost budget that you have, and the desired Quality of your output.


TIME


The majority of your time will be spent watering and carrying out maintenance. Do you have time to water and tend to them every other day? This includes measuring your feed and adjusting the EC and PH! Watering your plants can be therapeutic, and personally it is for me...but there are many times when you may not have the time, so you might half-arse it, or worse, skip it and think to double up the next time. Been there and do not recommend! 😅 .

Fortunately there are alternatives and solutions such as gravity fed systems (EasyFeed and Autopot do great systems) and DWC systems, where you can have an enormous header tank to keep your plants happy for days ...however these are not without other considerations you'll need to factor in, and too long to go into in this one article.


Another option is to grow with organic nutrients (such as BioBizz, BAC) which cuts out the need to measure the EC when watering. Time saved! There is also an argument that says there is no need to measure the PH of your water when growing in soil. More time saved! These are obviously again, not without other considerations to factor in if you go down this route. For example, EC measures the amount of Total Dissolved Solids in your water which basically means you get pin point accuracy on how much nutrient you're giving your plant (as opposed to just Xml/litre of water) .

COST


Your biggest layout will be for your

  1. Lights

  2. Environment Set up (tent, fan & filter)

  3. Nutrients.

And probably in that order of importance and likely descending order of money you'll spend.


Lights: we recommend a standard 600w digital HPS light kit to do the heavy lifting, like the Maxibright Kit here. If you want to shave off some money, go with a magnetic HPS light kit - the downside is that it'll be a) bulkier and b) it's either turned full-on or full-off, there is no dimming down for the summer months when you may need to turn it down to keep temps.

In all honesty, it really does make sense just to go with a 600w digital. If you have the money and the footprint in your tent, go for a 1000w such as the well established Gavita 1000w DE Classic (used as artificial grow lights to encourage growth by many groundsmen in football fields across the world!).


Tent: you can go premium (eg HomeBox range - these are good enough to have in your living room and not look out of place!) or, you can go with any of our other carefully selected tents we stock that are more than suitable and will not fall to rat shit on you! Believe me, there is some tripe out there.


The determining factor will be the space you have, so get the tape out and measure up!If you come into the store, we draw it up for you on our shop floor literally, and then play around with what size pot saucers would be most suitable, and have a better conversation about what you do and don't need. Check out all our tents, and use the handy filtering options (by front face width and by ceiling height) to narrow down your selection


Extractor Fan & Filter: Check out our range of fan & filter starter kits. To work out which size extractor fan you need, a very simple method is to get the cubic volume of your tent (multiply W,D,H), then multiply by 60. This will then determine the air exchange that needs to be pulled out to ensure your grow room maintains a constant pull of fresh CO2 in, and stale air out. Importantly, so that your fan isn't on max the whole time, go up one or two sizes. Here is an example:


  • Tent: 2m x 1m x 2m = 6m

  • Multiply by 60 = 360m3/h of air required to be moved

Solution: I could go for Rhino Single Speed 5" which runs max 420m3/h if i'm on a tight budget, but I will instead go up to the 6" high power that runs at 760m3/h. This will a) ensure my fan doesn't run at full throttle 24/7 which means it lasts longer and b) compensates sufficiently for any 'obstacles' in that the air needs to be pulled through eg. the carbon filter, and/or if i have bends and loops in the ducting. Note you really shouldn't have bends / loops in your ducting if you can help it. Less bends = more efficiency.


Nutrients: First decision to help narrow down, are you going organic or non-organic? Either way, if starting out for the first time, you may want to take a look at the nutrient starter kits - a specially put together bundle which will be enough for a small beginner grow. A great startup option is Dutch Pro - this is absolute maximum bang for your buck (£15 for a 1L grow with a 2-3ml/litre of water!) with a very efficient and straight forward range of products.


QUALITY


Are you trying for pure numbers (yield), or focused more on quality.. or more often that not, it will be both. As a beginner, the determining factors on your quality will be influenced by the other two ; cost and time. Better fans, better controllers, better / more lights, and the list goes on, will all improve your chances of increasing yield and quality..but at the sake of cost.


More time spent nurturing your plants (watering, defoliating, training) will also help improve likelihood of improving yield/quality...but at the expense of your time.


However, the more grows you get under your belt and levelling up (and you will!), the time and cost you spend will play slightly less influence on your grow game 💪🌱


Check out our list of complete tent kits we've put together for you to takeout some of the leg work!


Any questions, just call up, call in or send us a message on 020 8686 9643 , info@thehydrobros.com . Always happy to help.


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