Creating a Grow Room on a Budget
Those who have always dreamed of creating a grow room may never attempt to set up one simply because they mistakenly believe there is too much expense involved. While there are costs involved, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to create the perfect room for growing plants indoors. Following this guide will prepare those who are new to growing plants inside, allowing them to know what supplies are required for creating a grow room and how they can do it all on a budget.
Why Grow Inside?
Although individuals can certainly purchase fresh produce, flowers, and plants that have already matured, there is something special about growing a plant from seed to maturity. Parents who are attempting to get their children to eat more vegetables will find their child is more likely to eat something they have worked to grow.
1. Growing plants inside allows growers to be in more control over the climate they are growing in. A more controlled environment helps to ensure a more excellent and healthier yield.
2. Most people decide to grow crops because they want to save money. Although there are some initial expenses involved, growing plants at home allows you to save a great deal of money.
3. Learning how to grow plants indoors is simple. It is also fun to watch plants grow through different stages. Growing plants indoors can be educational for people of all ages.
Planning Is Essential
For those considering growing indoors, planning is crucial. One of the first things to consider is how much space is available. Luckily, there are growing styles that can fit just about any budget and space requirement.
As a general rule, plants are going to need up to two to four square feet, depending on their containers and the type of plants. Smaller veggies, like carrots, can be grown in much smaller spaces, so long as they have everything else they need. Choose the right area that offers the following.
1. Choose a small room, closet, pantry, or purchase a grow tent. You can buy a small grow tent for a little over $100.
2. Make sure the space has a window, or there is a way to offer proper ventilation.
3. The ceilings and walls need ample strength for mounting lights and other equipment.
4. There should be enough electrical outlets available to plug in all electronic devices, such as lights and fans.
5. Choose a place that does not receive a lot of foot traffic and is away from prying eyes.
6. The location also needs to be convenient because growers will be bringing in supplies.
How to Create a Grow Room on a Tight Budget
Growers can create a grow room, even with a small budget. Getting started does not require considerable investment. Some essential purchases will need to be made, but there is no reason to spend thousands of dollars unless you are setting up a commercial growing operation. Consider the following advice to make purchases within the budget.
One of the most important purchases to make is lighting. Lighting is critical for growing indoors. Without lights, plants will not be able to grow. Grow lights come in different types, but for growers on a budget, purchasing LED bulbs is wise. A small LED light will cost as low as $30, depending on the brand. Premium options include the new Gavita Pro 1700e LED.
It is imperative you carefully research the types of plants that will be grown to determine their light needs. Some plants will require more light than others. In some cases, it may be essential to make sure the grow room is light-tight, ensuring no light can enter in during specific growth periods.
Growers must provide adequate light with a full spectrum to ensure their plants receive a replacement for the sun they will not be exposed to while growing indoors. With a full range of light, growers will find their indoor plants begin to thrive, sometimes even better than those grown outdoors.
You can undoubtedly purchase fancy growing vessels, but many growers rely on trusty five-gallon plastic buckets. These can be picked up at most hardware stores for less than five dollars each.
Should you choose plastic buckets for growing containers, make sure to drill holes in the bottom for proper drainage. When growing smaller plants, smaller buckets could be used.
Soil and Nutrients
Unless you are growing indoors in a hydroponic system, some type of growing medium will be required. Standard organic potting soil is ideal for growing indoors. Even the best organic potting soils are not overly expensive. Carefully research the options available and purchase the highest quality you can afford.
Nutrient solutions are an essential part of growing indoors. All plants require certain nutrients to thrive, though the exact amounts can vary. Although organic potting soil offers a lot of nutrients, these can sometimes become depleted, and supplementation becomes necessary.
You do not have to purchase expensive nutrient solutions, but do not skimp on quality. On average, you will find high-quality solutions for around $20 or even less. Choose a solution that contains the following.
If growers are growing only a few plants, a bottle of nutrient solution should last quite a long time. For growers finding it cumbersome to choose the right solution, make sure the primary nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Proper air circulation is critical when growing indoors. Most plants need CO2 to grow healthy and strong. Unfortunately, they can consume this gas quickly, leading to problematic growth.
For a simple setup, using a fan is likely going to be sufficient. If you are worried about the smell of some plants, a carbon filter is a sound investment and does not cost a lot of money. In the beginning, focus on the right fan, and the rest can be accomplished as you gain experience.
In a small enclosed space, lights can give off a fair amount of heat. This heat can make a grow room overly hot, leading to problems with growth. If plants are growing in an atmosphere that is too hot or too cold, stunted growth, mold, and other issues can begin to arise.
It is essential to know the temperature in the grow room at all times. A temperature sensor is like a thermometer, and it measures the temperature in the grow room. You do not necessarily need an expensive sensor, though the more expensive ones often offer many more useful features and the ability to control the environment more effectively.
If you are on a budget, it is possible to purchase a very basic temperature sensor for around $30 or even slightly less. Once a grower begins to gain experience and increases their growing efforts, they can invest in more expensive equipment that will put them in greater control of their grow room atmosphere.
Because there will be water and dirt involved in growing plants indoors, the flooring in the grow room must be waterproof. Do not attempt to set up a grow room over wood flooring or carpeting. An old sheet of vinyl flooring or even a plastic tarp will suffice.
Some growers choose to mist their plants to prevent water from pouring out on the floor. Misting can be a hit or miss approach. If you do not mist thoroughly, the plants will not receive enough water. Misting must be done at the soil level so the roots can take in adequate water.
Seeds and Plants
Finally, it is time to purchase plant seeds or established plants. Those who are on a budget will likely find planting seeds is more economical. When purchasing seeds, make sure to buy from a reputable company that only sells fresh and viable seeds. Should a grower decide to grow from seed, they will have a much greater variety available to them.
Purchasing established plants can be expensive, but it does lessen the time that is required to wait on the harvest. Because some seeds do not sprout, growers can prevent wasted time, effort, and money by purchasing healthy, established plants.
While it does take more time and effort to grow from seed, it is not overly complicated. Most seeds will germinate within two weeks. It is essential to be patient in the growing process.
Any Budget Will Work
Growers who are indeed on a tight budget can grow inside for around $100. If you can invest a little more, a $500 room will offer better tools and more automation.
Some growers spend thousands of dollars on their room setup. For small growers, there is no need to invest in expensive equipment until you become more confident in growing plants or decide to expand and try out different types.
FAQ for Getting Started
It can be a little intimidating trying to put together a grow room on a budget, but it certainly is not impossible. New growers often have a lot of questions because they are uncertain of how even to begin the process of growing plants inside. Consider the following answers to the most commonly asked questions.
What is the best season to start growing?
If you were growing outdoors, the seasons would be something to consider. Planting indoors allows growers to fully control the growing conditions, even when the outdoor weather is anything but conducive to growing. You can start growing at any time indoors and continue to harvest all year long.
How often do plants need watering?
This is not an easy question to answer. Watering too much is just as bad as not watering enough. Placing a finger one inch into the soil is the best way to tell if the plant needs watering. If the soil is dry down to that level, it is time to water.
Ideally, growers should check for soil moisture depth daily. You will eventually begin to be able to know how to sense when the plants need water without even feeling the soil. Never let the soil run dry and never overwater. Creating that perfect balance takes practice.
What is the best temperature for growing plants?
The temperature in a grow room will need to be adjusted according to the needs of various plants. Many plants prefer a temperature range of 70 to 85 degrees during the day and can tolerate lower temperatures at night.
How long does it take to grow plants indoors?
The average time until harvest varies with each plant. For instance, tomatoes can be harvested within 60 days, while green beans require few as 50 days. When purchasing from seed, growers can learn about harvest times by looking at the packet. Each packet should contain valuable information on when to plant and other information.
What do growers need to know about pruning?
Pruning is essential for protecting plant health and increasing production. There are three things to look for when determining where to prune a plant.
• Remove bud sites that are too low on the plant and will not receive adequate light. Removing these bud sites allows the plant to focus on the buds that will receive the most light and grow the biggest.
• Growers also need to remove any lower leaves that are not receiving enough light because they are blocked by upper leaves.
• If you see any leaves that are dying or look diseased, remove these promptly for the health of the plants.
It is possible to grow plants inside on just about any budget. Take time to research your options and determine the best setup. By purchasing essential equipment, growers will have what they need to get started right away.
If you are concerned about needing more advanced equipment, further purchases can come with time. As your growing skills increase, purchasing automated system equipment can make growing indoors much easier.
Do not be concerned if the first efforts do not result in an abundant harvest. Although growing indoors is not overly complicated, it does require a bit of a learning curve to get the best results.