If there’s one place its good to be a control freak, its in the indoor garden. While it is possible to overdo something, its best to monitor environmental conditions constantly. Your harvest depends on it, so don’t approach climate control in the grow room in a haphazard fashion. If you’re growing food, you’ll go hungry and the cost of production won’t even come close to reasonable.
A lot of newcomers to growing indoors go about exercising control with a one solution at a time method. This is usually due to budgetary constraints when they start out, or a misunderstanding of what is necessary coupled with that innate trait to pay as little as possible to get what is wanted. Cheap is not always good. You can’t build a house without a good hammer and a sharp saw, so don’t try growing a bumper crop without quality environmental control equipment. Yeah, we know, its pricey, but this is way different than upgrading you car stereo to a top-of-the-line unit.
The smart approach is to not try and cut corners. Keep it simple and invest in multi-controllers. You have options for 4 and 8 recepticle environmental controllers to continually monitor and adjust temperature, humidity, co2 and heating/cooling. The cost will start at about $200 and be upwards of $700 for the bigger controllers. Of course, there are bigger and more all inclusive controllers available, but if you’re worried about the payout, you won’t consider a piece of equipment that will cost $1500 or more.
Climate also includes your day and night hours, so you will need to add light timers if you want the best performance from your plants. If you’re running T5 or CFL lights, you can get buy with an inexpensive light timer one would use to turn on household lamps. For HID though, you’ll need to invest in a light controller that is made to handle these special ballasts. The cost will depend on how many lights you need to control. They start at roughly $100.
Whether you’re growing somewhere inside your home, or in a greenhouse – the need to be on top of the environment is beyond important. Poor climate control will always end in having more problems to overcome that lead to a reduction in plant health and productivity. Ultimately, this will make you work a lot harder at growing food, as well as making the cost of every piece of fruit and every vegetable you bring to the ready to eat stage far higher than it needs to be. Not to mention wasting a lot of electricity.
If you don't find her at the desk - check the gardens. When not writing and weeding, she enjoys a good book, painting junk furniture, and blending the harvest of heirloom tomatoes and chiles into salsas.