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His & Hers Hydro: Mixing Business With Pleasure In The Grow Room

Couples that grow together can sometimes understand each other better than a grower and a non-grower. Couples that grow together can sometimes understand each other better than a grower and a non-grower.


It’s 6 a.m. and I am fast asleep, off in a land full of Brad Pitt, trees that grow money and cats. Lots of cats. Don’t judge.

“Hey, babe? You awake?” Brad says to me in my dream. No, wait, never mind. It’s my real-life boyfriend, Adam. And he needs something.

Go away... go away... go away... “No,” I answer.

“OK, well, you better wake up because the blower just died and we have no way to cool down the lights. It’s already 80 degrees in the tent and... just help!” he huffs frantically.

I get up muttering a variety of curses under my breath and walk to the sweltering inferno that has become our garden. I have to immediately make my brain work as I push the fear from my mind about what all this heat has done to the plants.

For those who cannot or do not want to automate, growing with a partner, whether a roommate or a significant other, can be immensely helpful.

OK, the plants are vegetating, so all they need to keep from flowering is a small amount of light.

“Turn off the grow lights,” I say calmly as I walk to the other room and grab a small lamp. “This,” I say as I show him the lamp, “will keep us good until we can get the blower working.”

We open up the tent to exhaust the hellfire, set up the lamp so that all the plants are still receiving light, and plan a trip to the hydro store in the morning for a new blower. Crisis averted.

Partnering For Success

Getting woken up like that was irritating, but if my boyfriend had not been there and noticed the issue, we could have ended up with a crop of plants with heat stroke. Or, even worse, it could have ended up causing a fire.

There are a lot of ways to automate your garden nowadays, with meters and other equipment that monitor every aspect of your grow. Some will even send a message to your mobile phone to warn of impending doom.

However, most of us are still growing old-school, and our little wall timers and tri-meters are about as high-tech as we have gotten. Sometimes it’s a financial issue, while some of us are simply set in our ways.

For those who cannot or do not want to automate, growing with a partner, whether a roommate or a significant other, can be immensely helpful. My boyfriend may have not have known how to solve the crisis, but he did know to wake me up and had been checking up on the garden. On the other hand, I was useless without his warning.

This near-catastrophe happened many years ago, when we were both new to hydroponics (though I had a lot of experience with soil gardening). Since then, Adam has gained the skills to run the garden on his own, which is inevitable when you spend time with me and my endless plant chatter.

He may not be great with the nuances of proper nutrient use, or how to diagnose a deficiency, or properly use root enzymes, but he can keep a balanced pH, remove dead leaf material and handle general upkeep. This frees me up to focus on the more complex tasks involved in growing, plus leaves some spare time for both of us to relax and enjoy our crop.

Common Interests, Common Goals

Most relationship experts contend that the best predictor of whether a relationship will work is whether the couple shares common goals and interests. The majority of growers are truly passionate about gardening.

I have heard male growers refer to their garden as their mistress, since many spend more time with their plants than with their wives or girlfriends. It doesn’t have to be this way. While some people will never be as fascinated by this lifestyle as we are, a lot of horticultural virgins can be lured to the green side with just a little encouragement.

If your special friend is into technology, he or she could be in charge of installing and maintaining the electrical equipment that keeps your garden humming. A handy partner can contribute by throwing on a tool belt and helping to build out your grow room.

A more artistically inclined mate could be included by taking photographs that document your plants’ growth, especially when using a hydroponic system, which offers noticeable growth daily. There is something fascinating about flipping through day-by-day photos of the garden and watching those babies grow up right before your eyes. That might convince that photographer to get involved in other ways as well.

Personal Space

If your significant other is not someone with whom you want to spend a lot of time, gardening together may not be the best idea, especially if your grow is also your job rather than a hobby. Essentially, you will have a co-worker who also comes home with you at night. If you love that co-worker and don’t mind seeing them constantly, you’re good to go on couples horticulture. If not, you may want to keep your garden as a place of escape. I know plenty of growers who do.

However, a truly caring boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife should understand when you need a little “me time” anyway.

Gardening together does not mean constantly stepping on each other’s toes; it means that you have a partner who can pick up your slack, who you can talk to while working and who can help you with trimming your crop at harvest. It also means that you have a romantic partner who shares your interests, which will build a stronger bond between the two of you.

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Bill Burr and his girlfriend discuss relationships.
Last modified on Monday, 26 August 2013 20:38

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