In The Air Tonight (And Every Night From Now On)
It's not just Phil Collins that can feel whats in the air, your plants can too. They feel it a lot more than what little Phil does too, so much so, if the air in your grow room is not managed right you'll be making huge losses on crop size and quality. It's all about Air Movement, so what can you do about it? Read on and you'll see just how easy it is to keep your crops from suffering, whilst getting the most from your growing investments.
Air movement, we know what it is, we know about it, but why should it be a top priority in your grow space? We’ll have a look at the science behind the importance of Air Movement and some general opinions that might not be backed by science, but are definitely backed up by experience.
Without air movement, you’ve got a terrible, stagnant, stinking, hot room. If your environment’s crap, unfortunately, so are your plants; and crap plants give awful crops in both quality and yield size, nobody wants to waste their time producing sub-standard crops. The most successful growers know this and it’s such a simple thing to manage. So this blog post is here to help those who want to create an ideal environment for their plants to thrive and see some real returns from their investment and hobby, avoiding deep disappointment and 3 months of hard graft going up in shitty stale smoke.
THE SCIENCE (Sort of)
Hot Air rises, thats a scientifically proven fact. Hot Air Ballon’s fly, Radiators warm up our homes, the universe exists because of this, it’s a process called convection. In a grow room environment, heat is produced from light sources (especially HPS lighting) and from electronic heat sources, be it a heat fan or a radiator; as a grow room is a sealed environment, that warm air wants to rise up towards the top of the room or anywhere it can get trapped and sit there, unshifting like a smelly bloke playing Xbox all day. Just like that smelly bloke, the stink only gets worse.
With stagnant hot air trapped in the room and underneath plants leaves this can start to choke the plant, keeping the Stomata closed, preventing the plant from transpiring. Without being able to transpire your plants can’t get rid of water vapour through the leaves, causing your plants to retain water and nutrients (that also stagnate) and have no way of replenishing themselves with fresh water and food, meaning they’ll take up less nutrients through the roots which leads to stunted plant growth and development; drastically affecting your crop quality and yield size. Think of the transpiration process like if you’ve not had enough water to drink, you’ll need to piss less and it’ll be darker and smellier, you’ll suffer from dehydration, get sluggish, have headaches can’t concentrate or be of much use to anyone. Whereas if you’re downing water by the litre, you’ll be feeling fresh, healthy, focussed, alert and you’re piss will be clear, you can do more and you’ll have the energy for it.
When you introduce ways to combat air stagnation and heat, you open up your plants’ stomata, allowing the transpirational process do its magic and in turn, you’ll be rewarded with happy, healthy, thriving plants that’ll produce more and ensure every part of your crop is at it’s best. You don't need to be Brian Cox to work that out!
So, how do we fix this? Firstly, your extraction and intake setup can massively improve this situation and these fans are absolutely crucial to any growing environment for loads of reasons. There’s a whole other blog post about extraction set ups here so there’s no need to go into too much depth; but basically, you need a big enough extraction setup to pull out all that stagnant hot air and an intake setup to pump enough clean, fresh air into your growing environment. Even better if you can pump in temperature stable, cooler air when your lights are on and clean ambient air when your lights are off.
Whilst this’ll solve a lot of your problems, it won’t fix everything and your plants will still not be growing at maximum capacity. Luckily, to keep your plants growing at their best, it’s loads easier than you think.
I'm your biggest fan
USE AIR MOVEMENT FANS!
Air movement fans are an absolute must to increase your plant’s performance. It really is that easy. Air movement fans push and pull air either in a fixed direction from a static fan or blow air in a multitude of directions using an oscillating fan ( one that moves and blows ).
Why? Placing an air movement fan in your grow room has massive benefits for your plants’ crop production, they’ll also make your grow room environment much more manageable. Using air movement fans prevent any air to get trapped in your room or around the plants’ leaves, making sure that not a single molecule of air remains in a single static space for any length of time. This cooling around your grow room and plants leaves, open up the Stomata, allowing the transpiration process to work at optimal capacity for the entire duration of your grow room’s lights on phase.
When you start placing air movement fans into your grow room, you’ll notice how all of them probes you’ve got dangling into your room to measure temperature and humidity become loads more useful, because they’ll now be giving you some actual readings, giving you a proper indication of how your environment's working for you. The probes will now be showing you that your room is much more stable, you’ll have no hotspots (if you’ve placed your fans properly, more on that later) no cold spots and what’s more than that, because of the increased air movement in your grow room, your plants’ overall strength and stability increases massively. This strength increase is down to the fact that your making your environment “windy” blowing plants in all directions forcing your plants to get literally stronger and as a result a whole lot healthier and virile.
Football and Growing - same thing
HOW DO YOU PLACE YOUR FANS? HOW MANY? WHAT FANS?
Now you know what you need for gorgeous plants and the huge difference such a simple thing can make to your grow, all that’s left is the big HOW questions, and a few small what questions. Let’s do the what questions first.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Seems obvious, some air movement fans, but what sort? Floor fans, clip on fans or oscillating fans. The answer is short is all of them and frustratingly for some the age old answer you hear with loads of growing problems…it all depends.
To make this easier let’s use an example. Let’s say we have a grow tent measuring 2.4m x 1.2m x 2m (high), that could be a grow room and the same applies, but it’s a good base example and you’ll be able to work out what you might need based on this.
For a room or tent this size, go with 1 x floor fan, 1 x oscillating fan and 1 x static fan (could be a clip on) this is to create the ideal scenario, but if you’re strapped for cash introducing ANY air movement into your room will only give you better results.
You’ve got some fans in your room now but now you want to know how. How to make the most of what you’ve got and how will it give you massive improvements? Let’s go back to the example grow tent (2.4m x 1.2m x 2m - high) and the fans recommended, the floor fan, the oscillating and the static or clip-on fan.
With the floor fan, you’ll make the most of this positioned roughly in the middle of the floor, if you can. You want the floor fan pointing upwards directly to the ceiling. What this will do is it will drag all the cooler air sitting around the floor and push it upwards where the air is a lot warmer. Think of it like a big mixer, it’s mixing all the air in the room, pushing the cool air up into the warmer air, this then gets pushed around and down then it gets pushed up again.
For the oscillating fan, you want to position this somewhere where the room is ‘hit’ by the fan’s movements. In a 2.4m x 1.2m x 2m tent this will be either towards the front or the back on the longest side, this will make sure that all the air is pushed around the middle section of the tent or room to be mixed up by the floor fan.
Lastly, your static or clip-on fan. With this fan, you’ll want it blowing in the space between the tops of the plants and underneath your lights. This is the real heat trap, under the lights can get blisteringly hot, especially when using a 600w HPS set up. So the best thing to do here is push all that hot air through so it can get replaced with cooler air, stopping the light from burning your plants, letting you keep the light intensity higher than you would without a fan to keep them hot temperatures under control.
There we have it, it’s a lot simpler than you’d think and you can make a massive impact on your next grow (or even this one) without spending tons of money on fancy gear or plant additives. Getting your air movement under control will see your plants from growing ‘alright’ to looking fucking amazing grow after grow.
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