Keeping one’s grow room clean and tidy is an essential part of overall good grow room practice, though it can be challenging, particularly for novice growers. Dirty, disorganized grows can present a range of problems that will take far longer to correct than to prevent.
Keep yourself clean and tidy!
Before entering your grow room, it is highly advisable to change your clothes into a fresh set intended only for use within the room. If possible, showering is also beneficial, but is not necessarily vital. Covering long hair is advisable, and ensuring that one’s hands are clean is essential. This way, you will avoid bringing pathogens and pests (such as bacteria, fungal spores or spider-mite eggs) into your room.
Keep equipment tidy
Wherever possible, keep things off the floor. Put up shelves in an area adjacent to your room and use them for everything that can conceivably be put on a shelf— nutrients, gloves, pruning shears, and so on. Mount or hang your fans, thermo-hygrometers and whatever else needs to be in the room itself. Mount ballasts on wall brackets outside the room (to reduce heat and improve safety) and ensure cables are affixed securely.
Arrange pots tidily
Pots should be arranged in neat rows so that the plants are easily accessible and have equal access to light. Square pots are preferable to round, due to better utilization of space. Under-trays should always be used, as they will contain any water and soil that may drain from the pots themselves.
No pooling water
It is easy to allow water to form puddles and pools on the floors of your grow room, but leaving them to stand can be catastrophic for relative humidity levels and can dramatically increase the risk of mould, fungus and other pathogens forming. Ensuring that your plants are given the correct amount of water and not too much will prevent excessive drainage. If spillages occur during feeding, they should be mopped up as soon as possible.
Prune plants regularly
Keeping your plants tidy is a fundamental aspect of keeping your room tidy. Thus, care should be taken to ensure that plants are pruned regularly, and that dead and dying leaves are removed. Regular pruning is fundamental to good plant growth, and when done correctly can dramatically increase your yield. Removing the dead and dying leaves is general good practice as the presence of dead plant material inevitably leads to the presence of mould.
Check your soil texture
When growing in soil, many growers fail to follow a basic and important step by overlooking regular soil checks to ensure even drainage and aeration. Checking soil texture can provide important feedback—for example, if nutrient load is excessive, the top layers of soil may be hard and difficult to break up, and bacterial growth may begin to form. Gently breaking up the top inch or two of soil every few days by hand (or with a trowel or similar tool) will improve aeration as well as letting you know if your nutrient regime is correct.
Sweep up leaves & dirt
It is easy for leaves, soil and miscellaneous dirt to end up all over the floor of a grow room, as a result of removing dead leaves, pruning or transplanting. If this happens, it is important to sweep up, and to keep your floors generally clean. Again, the reason for this is to prevent pathogens and pests from opportunistically colonizing detritus left on the floors and ultimately infecting your plants.
Keep your water supply clean!
Maintaining good nutrient & water practices is essential for successfully growing consistent, high-quality cannabis, and should be part of your routine schedule. Pipes, pump and tank all need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that nutrient build-up does not occur; if it does occur, bacterial growth will inevitably follow, which will eventually block your irrigation equipment.
If possible, clean the container used to mix and administer nutrient solutions after each use, and keep it separate from your main water tank, which ideally should remain sterile. Organic nutrients require particular attention, as the particles in solution are often larger than non-organic nutrients, and they are also particularly loved by bacteria.
Ensure safety at all times
Grow rooms can be extremely hazardous if set up incorrectly. Water, electricity and high temperatures together represent a real risk of fire and injury; thus, it is imperative that all cables are in perfect condition with no rips or tears, and that they are kept neatly bundled and affixed to walls or ceilings. Catastrophic fires can easily be started by allowing water to connect exposed cables that should be kept separate, which is another reason that water should always be wiped or mopped up if spilled.
There are abundant opportunities to injure oneself in grow rooms, not just through electrical faults. For example, fans set up at head height can easily cause injury to the face or eyes (often when straightening up after bending to tend to a plant!), so care must be taken to avoid these and other hazards at all times.
Deep-clean at the end of every cycle
After each grow cycle, every inch of your room and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned if it is intended to be used again. Fans, vents, filters, dehumidifiers, AC units, pots, trays, and so on: all must be sterile if possible before being used for a new grow. The room itself should be thoroughly swept, mopped and cleaned, preferably with a mild bleach solution or a similar product designed to eliminate pathogens.
Many people ignore this last and highly important step in grow room maintenance, and experience a decline in health and productivity in subsequent harvests. However, spending the extra time to intensively clean at this stage will reap its rewards, as properly-cleaned, good-quality equipment should function optimally for multiple grows.
- Disclaimer:Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.