5 different ways to add automation to your cannabis grow room

Published Feb 15, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / LYagovy

Grow rooms may have once been tucked away from prying eyes, but now that we have the law on our side, there is absolutely no reason not to spread out, and openly seek what you need for the highest chances of success. Though some would assume that would mean coming to the table prepared with the basics like soil and lights, automation can help you to bring your grow room to a whole new level while increasing yields and simplifying the whole process from start to finish.

1. Timers for grow lights

Cannabis plants utilize the rays from powerful grow lights and turn them into growth. Sun feeds these plants, but it also helps them to break down essential nutrients found in soil with ease. Introducing grow lights to a grow room ensures the ideal amount of light exposure for every stage of development so that you don’t have to remember to fit flicking them on and off into your busy schedule.

Sometimes just turning lights on and off is a task that is impossible for those who are gone from home for too long to do it themselves, and the very best way to avoid the issue entirely is to invest in a good quality timer that can be adjusted for each stage of growth, rather than requiring human interaction two separate well-timed visits.

2. Auto watering system

Pouring too much water onto your plants at once will make it pool in places before running off, and that is true even with the best quality soils. Unfortunately, growers will often plan to be away from their grow room for more than a day, and they are the first ones to test this theory out for themselves, but it never works, and it most definitely can’t be a suitable long term solution.

Luckily, growers have figured out ways to work around this. Small funnels can be used that will slowly release water over time, make or buy a self-watering pot, or grow your cannabis plants alongside a well-constructed irrigation system that will mist all of your plants in perfectly timed intervals. Each one fits a different price point, but they all provide a level of assurance that will allow you to travel and live your life without worrying about your plants drying out.

3. Humidity control

Since cannabis plants by nature thrive in hot and humid climates, it makes sense to maintain this kind of environmental factor in your grow room at home, but that can be difficult on a budget, or in an older build that doesn’t have the proper circulation to avoid issues with things like mold or bacteria growth. However, there are a few tools that can help you to maintain humidity, without risking your home.

A good first step is a humidifier that is set to a comfortable range for both you and the plant. In some cases, small water droplets may begin to form on the walls, windows, or doors of your grow room, and that’s where the last two tools come in. You can either select a humidifier that can also act as a dehumidifier or buy a second separate machine that can help you to manage the situation. If they are both set to a similar range, then you shouldn’t have any moisture problems, and fans can help to ensure that surfaces stay dry.

4. Slow feeding nutrients

If you utilize a hydroponics system, then you likely already have the whole fertilizer thing figured out, but for those who use normal enriched soil, the struggle is a whole lot different. Though it is more costly, starting out with a nutrient-rich soil amendment will continue to feed your cannabis crop throughout the entire growing season.

That means that you won’t have to perform flushing or be concerned about the potential toxins that may remain behind after using highly concentrated manufactured fertilizers, and you can do it all for a fraction of the cost of most mass-produced fertilizer options on the market for cannabis today. So, if you want to save money and automate your cannabis plants’ feeding schedule, then you might want to look into this option.

5. Grow tent

Grow tents don’t inherently automate a grow room, so it’s important to do some thorough research into the choices that are affordable that do. Some merely hide the cannabis plants from view, but others will do things for you like control humidity, temperature, fertilizers, and more. Whether you choose a grow tent or a more technological grow cabinet with digital settings, it’s entirely up to you.

Both of these helpful tools in a grow room will reduce the number of things on this list that you might have to worry about, and some will even do it in a way that’s financially beneficial. So, figure out which portions of your cannabis plant’s grow cycle you struggle with most, and make sure to invest in a unit that provides exactly what you need for the most substantial harvest.

Why automation is catching on so quickly

At one time, some of the most prized weed strains were cultivated with little more than a fertilizer boost and nature, but as time progresses, so does cannabis science. We now know of several different things that we didn’t before, including the massive influence that automation can make in a grow room, and below, you will find a list of reasons why so many people are choosing to make the switch.

1. Removes risk of human error
We are only human, and sometimes that means that we can make mistakes in our calculations. Be it just how long we will be gone on our ever awaited vacation, or how much water a cannabis plant needs in a day, these things are easy to mess up, and allowing technology to take over can provide us with some peace of mind and a break from guessing.

2. Energy efficiency
Some growers believe that adding in extras to automate a grow room will cost a lot upfront and to maintain, but when you consider the longer-term benefits, you can actually save through reduced hydro and water costs with the right tools on hand.

3. Boost to cannabis plant health
Automating a grow room makes everything happen in the ideal amounts and at the perfect time, which means that your cannabis plants will be healthier, and ultimately bigger and more potent. Since every grower wants a bigger harvest and buds that will knock your socks off, it wouldn’t make sense not to consider this incredibly powerful addition.

4. Ideal environmental conditions
Ideal environmental conditions are excellent for a growing marijuana plant, but they also help to protect the structure and accessories that are inside of your grow room. Everything from your walls to your grow lights can suffer from a shortened lifespan if it gets too hot, too cold, too moist, or too dry, and automation can help to keep everything in order so that your plants and your tools stay in optimal shape.

5. Less work
In the end, even if you don’t care about the vast number of ways that automation could benefit your grow room, chances are you’d gladly give up some of your work in exchange for a bit of free time. Automation takes most of the stress and work out of growing cannabis plants, and that is the number one reason why so many growers are slowly transitioning their grow rooms to include it. It may be costly, but it will allow you to sit back and relax while still kicking out some high-quality buds to enjoy.

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