{plusone}

In order to optimize yield it is best to have your room planed out from beginning to to end.  This article will go over some of the basic thing that should be considered before setting up an indoor garden.

 

Budget


If you have deep pockets this really isn't a concern for you.  However for most of us we need to prioritize where our budget is spent.  You don't want to go out and spend all of your money on a fancy pre-made system only to not have money left over for lights and fans and nutrients.  One thing I would suggest is going used.  I have seen some amazing deals on craigslist  sometime can even find deals up to 75% off new.  

Here is a list of some common items you will want to consider adding to your environment.

  • Lighting: Prices rang from a few dollars for compact fluorescent to over $1000 for high intensity lighting.  
  • Ventilation: Unless you have a closed growing environment(even then it is a good idea to have it in place).  If you are not running CO2 you will need to exchange the air in the room to replenish CO2 levels, keep temps down, remove humidity from the room.  You will want to budget for fan(s), filter(s) and ducting.  
  • pH and EC/TDS testing equipment: It is very important to monitor these values.  If pH is out of optimal range the plants are unable to take in the nutrients they need causing deficiencies.  By regularly checkin TDS you can see how the plants are using nutes and adjust dosage accordingly.
  • medium: There are many options to grow in.  From plain soil to the plant pretty much growing directly in water.  Soil can be the cheapest, and is low maintenance.  When you go soilless you gain more control , but will need to increase your budget to account for needing a more complex system.
  • Grow system: There are many options out there to grow in.  You can buy pre-made systems, or buy components and build a diy system.
  • Pumps and tubing: You will need to provide water to your plants this is not an area to skimp on the budget.  If you can't supply enough fresh water the plants will not be able to grow to full potential.

Grow space

The space you have to grow in will dictate a lot of how you set up your grow room.  The size of the room will determine how many plants, watts and type of system used in it.  You will also need to consider ventilation.  A room with no windows could prove troublesome.  If you are looking at places to rent or purchase this is very important.  Be sure to check outside of the window you are venting from.  A dead give away is the wooshing of a fan from a window that people have to walk past.


Power access

It is very important not to over load your circuit.  HID light use a huge amount of power and if you plan on using more than one light you will need to find more power.  The safest way is to have an Electrician run a sub panel to the grow room.  This might not be ideal for everyone as there might not really be any good excuse for needing the power and can raise red flags.   The easiest is to run extension cords from another circuit.  That will work, but is not the safest method for many reasons.  If your garden is going to be near an oven or dryer outlet you can snag power from that if you can go without using the appliance.  You can buy pre-made lighting controllers or go the DIY route.  If you are going DIY check out How to build a DIY HID grow light lighting controller.  As I said you must be able to not use it.  The outlets are not set up to be removed constantly.  I did this with my over an after time of constantly switching from lights and oven weakened the connection between the two causing a dangerous situation.