More on carbon filters, heat and CO2

One more note on carbon filters 

I will start off with a warming that I should have mentioned in the last post about carbon filters  humidity KILLS carbon filters by making the carbon damp and ineffective. You want to keep the humidity low for the carbon filter but most plants will have leaf tips burn with humidity lower that 30%. The burnt tips won’t dramatically reduce growth but is a sure sign you are on the edge of a good growing environment.

While I am talking about carbon filters I should mention they can be used in two ways: either to clean ventilated air or to clean air that is circulated in the grow area. In the first method, garden air goes through the filter (and possibly through an air coolable reflector) and ventilates outside the grow room. It is basically a filter for your ventilation system. Another way is to use the carbon filter as a "scrubber" (how I use it) where the air is blown back over the plants which helps keep plants sturdy and allows them to maximize CO2 intake for maximum growth. This also gives the filter plenty of chances to remove any odor from the air. I do not have a problem with heat build up because I have a large grow area. If heat is a problem you may need to ventilate the hot air (Always vent from the top of the grow area where heat accumulates)

CO2 -- The scrubber method is good if you use CO2. It is good to have airflow in the grow area with CO2 because it is heavier than air and will accumulate on the floor unless you have some air flow to keep mixing your grow area atmosphere. If you are going to vent the hot air out and you are using CO2 it is imperative that you only run the ventilation fans when absolutely needed to not waste precious bottled CO2 gas. The CO2 should be turned off when the ventilation fans are on. If you are going to ventilate the air and use CO2 you will need a controller that only turns the ventilation fan on when the temperature/humidity gets too high. (HTGSupply.com sells those controllers and even a CO2 infrared sensor that turns off the CO2 once it reaches 1600 ppm). For questions about specific equipment you should send questions to the sales manager Perry at Sales@htgsupply.com
Good Growing,

Dr. E.R. Myers


E-mail -- Ozone, Odor Control, Plants and YOU

Hi, I have a 10 x 10 room and was wondering if it would be safe to use the C.A.P. OZN-Jr Ozone Generator in the same room as my plants. I have heard terrible things about ozone and plants being in the same room. Thanks

You have heard correct sir! Ozone is three molecules of oxygen bound together and in your grow room or house is terrible. It is GOOD up in the stratosphere where it absorbs UV rays protecting us from skin cancer but the stratosphere is between 10 km (6 miles) and 50 km (31 miles) altitude above the earth. Ozone is bad down here in the part of the atmosphere where we breath. (Called the troposphere). OZONE DAMAGES LUNG TISSUE AND DAMAGES PLANT TISSUE!!! Do not use an OZONE generator for your health first, and oxygen/ ozone is never limiting for plants.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

Blog follow up:

I am glad to answer this E-mail. I have gotten some E-mails where people said things like, “I know you can’t say any thing bad about HTGsupply.com but…” I tell them all the same thing, I don’t need to lie or stretch the truth when it comes to the products from HTGSupply.com I have used. And here is proof I won’t;  I don’t recommend you buy an ozone generator from any grow store including HTGSupply.com. They are bad for your plants and YOU!

This means all those other manufacturers who claim there are BENEFITS to your plants by using the ozone generators are ignorant or lying. Furthermore, this means that all the growers that say they are helping to fill the hole in the ozone layer by using them....are just plain misinformed. (And don’t know where the holes in the stratosphere are) Ozone is harmful to your lung tissue if you breath it and to plant tissue.
OZONE GENERATORS I am told are sold/marketed for odor control. I am also told they are very popular items which may be why so many grow stores have them?
A friend of mine once used one inside her garden area and it burned the leaves, mostly the ones right under the unit. So she placed it outside the grow area after that. The science (I use that word loosely) is that the "ozone" molecule attaches to the odor particle and makes it fall from the air. Burning coal might also mask smell but I sure would not do that I my house.
If you are worried about smell use a CARBON FILTER! It actually REMOVES the odor by filtering the air through carbon - no harmful side effects like ozone, no covering odors up (or attempting too) like the aerosols or gels. As a plus, you get air flow for your plants.  When using a carbon filter you also gain the benefits of trapping particulates other than odor that can include: pollen, mold and mildew spores, even small flying insects.  There is no down side to using a carbon filter.   Carbon Filters RULE!   (See more on carbon filters on my next post)

Ok, everything has a drawback.  The drawbacks are that the air moving through the High Velocity (HV) fans can be a little noisy. I have had people ask, “What is that humming?” when they came to my house. Enter two products, the Duct Muffler and the Speed Controller. The Speed Controller which I use turns down the speed of the fan, making it quieter but also taking away some of the airflow. If the odor is noticeable turn it up, if it is too loud turn it down. There are a few reasons why I like the speed controller. For one, the less air that goes through the carbon filter the longer it will last. This is a great way to conserve your carbon filter so you get the most for your money. All carbon filters will need to be replaced, depending on how much you use it. The fan and duct will last but you will always need to replace the filter. A speed controller can add a year or more to the life of a filter. That my friends is an awesome investment if you can use your fan at less than MAX. If not it is not worth a penny to you. I am able to run my fan on medium most of the time. I actually run it on low when the plants are young with some medium and high days…

Another reason I like the speed controller is I like to switch it from low to medium to high for hours at a time to mimic how wind patterns change. Sometimes I put the fan on high and direct my flexible duct at the plants for a whole dark cycle. You don’t want to stress your plants with high wind 24/7 but if you put the fan on high and direct the duct at your plants a few hours a day it will keep your plants from stretching if you are using an HPS (like me).

The other option is a Duct Muffler that works sort of like a silencer on a gun. It is a piece of ducting that goes onto the end of the HV Fan (like a gun silencer) and has special shaped foam inside it that muffles the hum or "whoosh" sound of the air. Many other grow stores duct muffler adds claim they do not restrict the airflow - which is, of course, total bull****. Even putting the air through a plain duct restricts air flow so unless you have your fan blowing straight out into the atmosphere, there will be some air restriction. One thing I should mention is that the duct mufflers (from HTGSupply.com) have acoustical foam inside of it and I know it really helps muffle the sound by the HV Fan with a minimum air restriction.
If you look around I think you will see that the CARBON FILTERS, HIGH VELOCITY FANS, DUCT MUFFLERS and SPEED CONTROLLERS from HTGSupply.com  are the best technology and are the BEST PRICES on these items.

Good Growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers


Small spaces - 4 GROW TENT-2

If you have a big room and don’t want to devote it entirely to your hobby, or you don’t want to build a new closet/grow area a grow tent  may be a good choice for you to grow in small spaces.
You can buy a grow tent from HTGSupply.com. I am using one with a LED.

The grow tent is nice because it provides shelter for your plants; it is light proof with Velcro sealed openings for electric cords, carbon filters/ air exchangers etc. The reflective inside means that all the light is bounced around until it is absorbed by the plants. This makes whatever type of light you have from HTGSupply.com more efficient.  Leave your cloths in the closet; a grow tent is easy to set up and is a better grow space.

If you follow the directions  it is easy to set up and is a small self contained space great for growing plants.

I am very happy with my grow tent and as I said it is versatile with lots of holes with Velcro so I can use different equipment over time as my growing needs change. Being light proof is also ideal if you are interested in flowering since most plants need specific lights on and off time periods which you DON’T have in an open room where you turn on and off the lights as you come and go.
I have been using this grow tent and 120 Watt Tri-Band LED Grow Light over 5 weeks now. I am using a LED from HTGSupply.com. I have received many questions about LED’s and I am in the processes of getting first hand knowledge of their use. I can now say the 120 Watt Tri-Band LED Grow Light from HTGSupply.com works. I don’t think this is true of other grow stores whose lights look like the same color LED with your eyes but it is not the best 'color' for plants. No other company has allowed me to try their lights and write about it so I am NOT endorsing all LED’s, only the one’s from HTGSupply.com

I will be writting about LED's in April 2010, no matter the date or time comments and questions are always welcome!
Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Small Spaces – 4 GROW TENT-1 SET UP

If you or maybe someone you know does not want to build a shelf or you don't have a spare closet, a grow tent from HTGSupply.com may be just what you need.
• It comes in a small box with metal bars for the “skeleton” and two pieces of covering material one small one for the floor and the large one for the outer shell

• First build the frame

• Then add the tent floor  which is supposed to fit on the INSIDE of the pipe skeleton. It will catch water if it is spilled.

• Hang your light off the bar-skeleton plug it in and start growing.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Growing in small spaces-3 - Mother Plant.

A plant that is grown in a small container in a small space will have the same characteristics (taste, color etc.) if it is potted up and grown larger. This is yet another advantage to growing in small spaces and is often crucial to a breeding program. You can grow many plants to test their quantities and then choose the best to breed or to set up as a mother plant and take clones. Reviving or regenerating a plant grown in a small place in general means potting it up, giving it a fertilizer high in nitrogen and if it had begun flowering put the light back on a vegetative cycle like 18 on 6 off.  In a few weeks the new growth can be used to take clones sometimes for years to come.  The clones can be put back in the small space which will maximze growth having  uniform plants using the space to its fullest.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Growing In Small Spaces-2

People garden in a small space for a number or reasons. Good growers start many more plants than they need and choose the best to pot up and grow for fruits/flowers/seeds. Those not selected end up in the compost pile.

For others, growing in small spaces is done to maximize available space. For example, anyone can turn a 7-8 foot wall into a duplex grow area. This means you can DOUBLE YOUR GROWING AREA.  It would be easy to have a shelf with only two feet clearance for seedlings and cuttings and on the same wall a taller shelf for larger plants. For the small shelf you will need a minimum of 20-24 inches above the plant for most species. When plants start to run out of space on the small shelf you put the plants in bigger pots and move them to a 3-4 foot high shelf so they can grow bigger  before flowering/fruit set. With three feet you can grow plants in 1 gallon pots, anything bigger and you run the risk the plants won’t fit in the space. You should always experiment with bigger or smaller pots to know what is best for YOUR plants in YOUR grow area.

With any grow area the set up  starts off with the basics, clean the area very well, make the area reflective with white paint, aluminum foil, or mylar.

Fluorescent lights are well suited for growing in small spaces. They do not put out as much heat as an HID.  Also, most fluorescent lights have a Kelvin rating that emits a lot of blue light. Blue light makes plants grow shorter (less space between nodes) and bushier. If you are going to try to get flowers in a small space you can switch the bulbs to types that emit more red which tends to promote flowering.

Good growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Growing In Small Spaces-1

If you want to expand, or start to grow indoors but think you don’t have the space this may just be the post for you

Indoor growers have lots of advantages; first, they can grow any plant in any season. They can acquire intimate knowledge about their plants with the up close and personal attention of watering and adjusting the light. The plants are able to get all the needed nutrients and water in the optimal amounts. And if you have a quality light from HTGSupply.com your plants can grow at their best rate. Furthermore, plants grown indoors don’t need to compete with weeds and if you are careful your plants won’t be attacked and eaten by predatory insects like spider mites, white flies, root aphids, or others.

Growing indoors does have a few limitations; there is the cost of running the light, carbon filter, CO2 generator etc. Heat build up can be another problem. Heat can be over come by using LED or Fluorescents. Space is sometimes the most limiting factor for some people to grow indoors. In the past I suggested building a grow shelf as a way to increase your growing capabilities. While I recommended this for seedlings and cultivating cuttings you can have fruit/flowers in small spaces too.

I have lived in a few different homes and I can tell you every time I looked for a new place to live I always evaluated my choice on whether there was a good place to grow plants. I have been real lucky and I doubt many readers can buy a new home just for a nice place to grow plants. The good news is no matter where you live, if you have a closet, crawlspace or room for a shelf you can grow indoors! The smallest space should be about two feet high unless you are growing African violets, strawberries or other small plants. Fluorescents are the best for small gardens. You should have about 20 watts per square foot minimum. A T5-HO is the best but you can use any fluorescent bulb. If you do use a ‘low output’ bulb from a hardware store you need at least two four foot bulbs per foot of width minimum. The containers you use are also important. With a smaller space you will want to use a smaller container. This will limit the plants size, to the space you have.

A trick to get flowers in a small space is that if your plants get taller than the space you have, you place them horizontally, parallel to the lights. The new growth will grow up to the light and against gravity. If you are going to grow plants on their side, you may want to use plastic bags or other containers that you canput a hole in the side so  that water can drain down through the soil. I did not do this and had to take the plant out from under the light, water it, wait for the water to drain through the pot, and then put it back under the light. If you don’thave a hole on the side and don't take the pot out and saturate it you will get dry spots on the side away from the bottom which will limit plant growth.

Good Growing,
DR. E.R. Myers

There is more on growing in small spaces on the next post