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Hydroponic Grow Room Checklist: 10 Things Every Hydroponics Growers Should Remember Featured

  • Written by  M.K.
  • Video
Get pen to paper and make yourself a grower’s checklist. Get pen to paper and make yourself a grower’s checklist.


Whether you’re a hobbyist or a high-level commercial grower, no doubt you want the best crop you can get. Well, it may sound cliché, but organization is key. I like to keep a concise checklist taped to the door of my grow room. On it are these ten things to remember every time you or one of your workers enters or leaves the grow area. These are things that will help ensure that everything is in good running order to avoid profit-crushing problems, and instead maximize your yield.. Here they are:

1. Always Enter Your Grow Room with a Positive Attitude

Nothing will put a damper on creative thinking faster than a bad attitude. If you’re having a bad day or are more stressed than usual when entering your grow room, stop to take a deep breath and think about your plants. Imagine them growing big and strong—then make it happen. You need time and care to have a successful crop.

2. Be Ready to Do the Necessary Work

Sometimes a grower enters the room with only half the intention to do what is necessary for success. If you see a problem starting, eradicate it right then and there rather than planning to fix it later. Putting in time before a problem balloons out of control can save you hours of trouble in the future.

3. Do Not Wake Your Plants While They Are in Their Sleep Cycle

More times than I can count, I’ve seen facilities where the grower will turn on the lights during the plants’ dark cycle, thinking that having them on for only a few moments won’t cause adverse effects. Plants can be thrown off their photo period schedule by light poisoning, and in some cases, they can develop troubles such as producing seeds, hermaphrodites, or causing under-formed fruits or flowers that look like they are going back into a veg cycle even though they’re in the final stages of flower.

4. Check Your Atmospheric Levels

What is the temperature in your grow room? The variance between your night and day temperatures should not be more than 10 degrees. The fluctuation should be as minimal as possible. Also, note the humidity in the room. During vegetative growth, humidity can reach 70%, but in the flower cycle you should aim for 40-50% humidity. Some varieties perform better with slightly higher humidity levels during flowering. However, if humidity is too low and there are excessive nitrogen levels in the foliage, plants become more susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew. (For more info on powdery mildew, see page 53.)

5. Get Up Close and Personal

It never hurts to use a magnifying glass to take a look at the leaves and stalks of your plants. By doing this, you may discover molds, mildews, spider mites or thrips in their earliest stages and be able to tackle them before they get out of control. A thorough inspection of all plants should be done every day or two. Exercise diligence.

6. Take a Close Look at Your Electronics and Environmental Controls

It’s always a good idea to inspect your ballasts, bulbs and connections to make sure they’re operating properly and that nothing has come loose over time that could cause a short or fire. Also, give your air conditioning and ducting the once-over regularly. Make sure there are no tears in the flex ducting or leaks that bring down the efficiency of your cooling system.

7. Dress the Part

At all my facilities, workers must take off their shoes before entering the grow room to prevent contaminating the stable indoor environment with pollutants or insects from outside. You may even want to keep some slippers around. It’s also a good idea to have a chemical suit with a proper respirator if you intend to spray insecticides—whether organic or chemical. Many non-organic pesticides contain carcinogens, so it’s imperative to protect yourself.

8. What Are the Ph and PPM of Your Nutrient Solution?

Always use a pH and ppm pen to determine the level of nutrients your plants need. It still amazes me to see growers not using this sort of basic monitoring. By properly testing your pH and ppm in the nutrient solution, you can deliver the correct nutrients and fertilizer into your plant system and fine-tune adjustments to control your plant’s growth. This is a must-have for any level of grower.

9. Secure the Area When You Enter and Leave

Most growers are creatures of habit, and if one of your habits becomes leaving a door unlocked or a window open while you’re in the grow room, you might end up paying for it. Better safe than sorry. Always lock yourself into your grow room, and lock all windows and doors when you leave. If you have an alarm system, turn it on while you’re in the facility to give you a heads-up if there are intruders. Always keep a cellphone with you in case of emergencies.

10. Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Always do a thorough cleanup before you leave the growing environment. This includes double-bagging garbage that could be contaminated with insects or mildews and going around the room with a Shop-Vac that has an onboard HEPA filter to keep any spilled soil or excess water off your floors. This will help prevent infestation by bugs and keep mold at bay. Finally, a solution of one part 32% H2O2 to 10 parts water can go a long way when sanitizing your growing environment.

Following these steps can save you a lot of headaches and help ensure a hearty, top-quality yield. You don’t want to learn the hard way that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so stay focused and have fun, and you can take that to the bank.

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Hall & Oates have a list of their own – it’s just that it’s a little cheesier than yours.
Last modified on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:41

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