Let It All Out: 5 Ventilation Tips for Your Grow Box or Tent

vent2Just as you enjoy air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, your plants need this kind of temperature adjustment too. But unlike your home, there’s no single switch to ensure proper temperature in a grow box or tent. Instead, the focus is on ventilation. By properly ventilating, you can reduce high temperatures through switching outside and inside air. You don’t need to be a plumber or HVAC expert to master good growing ventilation.

Know Your Grow

medium2Not every grow box is the same, and not every plant has the same needs once you place it inside that grow box or tent. In fact, you should to adjust your grow box setup for proper ventilation depending on what you’re growing. The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences organization notes that several plants do best in colder temperatures:

  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Azaleas
  • Pansies
  • Radishes
  • Snapdragons

You’ll need to adjust your ventilation to provide proper temperatures for plants that prefer warmer climates, including:

  • Gardenias
  • Begonias
  • Tomatoes
  • Roses
  • Daffodils
  • African violets

Avoid the Draft

Ducking out on the draft isn’t only military-related. It’s essential with your grow tents and boxes to protect your plants. The University of Georgia recommends draft protection with a convection tube system, which allows you to control temperature with a thermostat and ventilate fresh air into the grow box. If you’re using a grow tent rather than a smaller box, you may want to follow the University of Arizona’s recommendation of roll-up roof vents.

Become a Fan

fanWhether you’re under a strict lease arrangement to not modify your living quarters or you don’t want to try your hand at DIY duct work, there’s one way to quickly and easily ventilate your grow tent – fans. The wide range of fans available means that there’s something for every grower and hydroponics set up, from the smallest grow box to an entire room dedicated to plants and media. Familiar items such as the standing fan give you a portable way to ventilate a room, and many offer multiple settings, sizes, and oscillation. Employ an in-line ducting fan to reduce exhaust fumes and remove heat from a room. With the variety of fans available, you never have to go it – or grow it – alone.

Do the Math

vent4Even if you weren’t a Mathlete in school, there’s one important calculation you should be keeping in mind when considering grow tent ventilation. It’s CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM is directly related to your choice of duct fan, which is what does the air exchanging. You should be aiming for a minimum of five minutes or less for the entire volume of air in the area. This will vary, with grow boxes requiring less time than grow tents and so on. Do the math by multiplying your grow box’s length by its width by its height (check the box or website for these dimensions). This is your cubic volume. Divide it by 5, and you’ve got your CFM. Then check the fan’s details for its CFM capabilities.

L X W X H ÷ 5 = CFM

Keep It Clean

vent5Cleaning your room may sound like something your mother may have said, but it’s actually quite beneficial to your ventilation efforts and can help reduce ventilation problems along with giving you healthier plants. A dirty room keeps particles such as mold, bacteria, and pests floating around. Although you may already have established your fans and filters, you should also make an effort to cleanse the grow box or tent on a regular basis. This includes:

  • Tools
  • Exchanging water and nutrients
  • Wiping down surfaces
  • Spraying and drying pots and liners
  • Checking your clothes and shoes before entering the area

Consider the time spent cleaning an investment on your return of healthier plants.

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