The Importance of Environmental Controls
We can’t emphasize the need for good environmental control enough for a successful hydroponic garden. Great ventilation, air circulation and temperature can literally make or break you.
Without environmental controls your grow room or greenhouse would soon be completely inoperable due to high temperature and out of control humidity. Suffice to say, if you’re already growing hydroponically you’re already using some form of it.
Environmental control helps create a functional grow room through a consistent temperature and humidity.
It is essential to a hydroponic garden that you control environment conditions to optimize the performance and yields of your plants. A hydroponic garden is a completely human-made growing condition that you have absolute control over managing.
You’re really creating an entirely artificial growing environment where every aspect must be maintained and controlled. In hydroponics you’re not waiting on nature to provide rain, a cooler temperature or anything else.
Hydroponics is an artificial microecosystem that you create and completely maintain on your own. Environmental control is all part of this effort. That’s actually pretty cool when you stop to think about it.
What is environmental control in hydroponics & soil growing?
Short version- everything.
As a grower, only you have the control to create a nutrient solution, add CO2, control humidity, maintain temperature and ventilation. You are not relying on a natural solution to anything because you are responsible for it all.
However, in most cases environmental control in hydroponics is referring to temperature, humidity and ventilation (intake and exhaust).
Grow Room Ventilation for Hydroponics & Soil Growers
Whether it is a grow room or greenhouse you will have to provide adequate ventilation to move hot air out and cooler air in. Ventilation also helps eliminate odors and improve air circulation.
In a greenhouse setting this is only a matter of cutting a hole on either end and opening a door when weather permits. You can boost the rate of ventilation through the careful placement of fans that suck the greenhouse air out.
This usually isn’t an option for indoor growing rooms unless you want to cut gaping holes into your walls. In this case you’re probably going to be ventilating exclusively by mechanical means using a commercial ventilator such a the Durabreeze brand.
Mechanical ventilators are powerful machines that draw in growing room air, discharging it outside through a central tube.
Grow Room Air Circulation
Movers are another form of mechanical air circulators that can help a lot in reducing harmful condensation by moving air around at high rpms. Movers are essentially an elaborate fan system that is specifically engineered for use in horticulture.
Movers are a fairly inexpensive piece of equipment that is almost just a standard operating procedure in hydroponics.
Grow Room Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers are another typical piece of environmental control that are nearly indispensable for keeping humidity in check.
High humidity can spell disaster for a grow and any method that can be used to control it is beneficial.
Grow Room Temperature Controllers & Timers
The keyword here is “consistent” as a grower cannot have temperature bouncing all over the charts. Maintaining a consistent, constant temperature will pay off big in the health and productivity of your plants.
An inconsistent temperature combined with high humidity will leave your plants wide open to bacterial disease or fungal pathogens by creating the very conditions that they thrive in.
A reliable heater and in most cases, an air conditioner will assure a consistent growing temperature throughout the plant’s life cycle.
What do I really need for good environmental control?
This question often comes up because it can become overwhelming and rather expensive when you start adding up all of the equipment used for environmental control.
Given this, the bare minimum would be a decent ventilation system used in conjunction with fans and movers- that is the absolute minimal that the beginner can get away with. Anything less than this and you might as well not even waste your time.
Professional level automated controllers
When you’ve gotten to the professional level you’ve proven that you’re pretty serious about this industry and didn’t cut any corners along the way. There is no reason to begin now and you’re willing to invest in any system that is reliable, efficient and cuts back on your work time.
Thankfully, at the professional level there are the tools to completely automate your environmental control, so you never have to worry about it again. These systems free up your time to do what you do best- concentrate on the quality of your grow.
There are some great automated environmental controls using the latest technology that will achieve this for you. Virtually all areas of environmental control can be monitored and sustained by one computerized modular.
Brands like Titan or HBX can control everything from humidity or temperature to monitoring and leveling off CO2. These are all outstanding pieces of electronics and new cutting-edge technology is coming on the market each year.
Final thoughts on environmental control
Our thought is that hydroponic gardening is a pretty amazing thing. It is the only form of agriculture where the grower has complete control over the environment they choose to create. The closer to the ideal you can get, the more it pays off through yield and quality.
No other form of conventional agriculture can make this claim.
The extra effort and expense you may put into it always pays off in higher quality and improved yields-there is no loser here.
Doesn’t it make sense to use every tool at our disposal to create the most optimal growing environment for plants we can?