Must Haves for Cannabis Grow Operation

To get your growing operation going, you need a cooling thermostat, with a high temperature shut down option, a light control relay and timer, a reliable temperature and humidity monitor, and a license if you are growing commercially. A secure building that is difficult to break into is also important, and a steel building can be designed for exactly that purpose.

It is also recommended that you have a humidity controller, something to control your temperature in both day and night cycles, and a carbon dioxide monitor and control.

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Cannabis Growing Cycle

There are two stages to the cannabis growing cycle, the vegetative state, and the flowering state. During the vegetative state, which is when the plants first begin growing from seeds or clones, it is best to give the plants 18 to 24 hours of sunlight every day; each strain has different light needs, but 18 hours will ensure your plants get what they need. This lighting cycle will also keep the plants in the vegetative state, which is good for keeping mother plants mothers instead of flowering.

When the plant is about half of the size you want it to be, switch the lighting over to 12 hours of light and dark every day, uninterrupted. This will allow the plants to begin to flower, and within two or three weeks, you should be able to tell if your plants are male or female. Whether or not you plan to breed your plants, the males need to be removed as soon as they show themselves, or they will fertilize the females, ruining the buds. If you plan to breed, keep the males in their own sealed room, completely away from all of your female plants.

Cannabis plants need temperature control

Large Cannabis Growing Operations

If you have a bigger growing operation, an air exchange system may be better than a completely airtight room. Including a carbon filter in the exhaust will keep the scent from escaping too much, and alerting others to what is going on in this building. The VenTech IF4 4” Inline Duct Fan and the Apollo Horticulture Inline Fan are both solid options for your ventilation system.

The plants need moving air, which is where the fans come in. The fans need to be able to ruffle all of the leaves on the plants; this can be helpful to the wet/dry cycle of the plants too. However, make sure you do not point the fans directly at the plants. The leaves should rustle, but the stems should not be moving much. If the air in the building gets too stale, it can hurt the plants.


Controlling the Temperature

One of the most important things to keeping your temperature closely monitored is the have a thermometer that also displays humidity. You can buy a few different brands to start out with and compare them to determine which ones work the best. If you are having trouble keeping it too hot and too cold in your grow room, because your area has fluctuating temperatures, the HVAC system is one of your best options.

To cool off your grow room, set up your exhaust system to pull out the hot air in the room, and increase your air circulation. If you live in an area with high temperatures in the day and much colder in the night, set up your light cycle to make the hottest parts of the day the night cycle. This alone can be a huge help in controlling your temperatures.

A swamp cooler is a good option if you live in a hot and dry environment, as it will help boost humidity and keep the temperatures optimal.

If the plants are too cold, try insulating your grow boxes to keep them “tucked in” and warm. A heater is vital to keeping your plants warm enough.

Why Steel Buildings are Better for Cultivation

Separate The Mothers

You should keep your mother plants in a separate part of your grow building, to prevent contamination, and if you are breeding plants, keep the males in another area, where they cannot pollinate the female accidentally. A separate room for drying is also good since it requires its own humidity and temperature requirements.

For a big growing operation, you may want to consider having two larger grow rooms, one for the vegetative state and one for the flowering state. Since the plants need different lighting for each stage, this would allow you to keep your crops rotated and give you harvests more frequently.

You can put a collection rack along the floor to collect the dirt, dead leaves, and water runoff, and it is easy to clean. You can also use it as a passive watering system for the plants. You also may want to consider using plastic drop sheets to protect your floors from the inevitable water spills.

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Light Reflection

Hang your grow lights from the ceiling, over where your plants will be growing. Cover all of the walls, the ceiling, and the floor in something reflective, to give the plants as much light as possible. Mylar is a good choice because it will reflect up to 97 percent of the light. You can also use flat white paint, which reflects up to 85 percent. If need be, you can use emergency blankets, but they only reflect 71 percent of the light. Do not use foil, it only reflects 55 percent. Do not use mirrors either, they absorb light.

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