Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Temperature's Rising

I don’t know what the weather is doing in your part of the country, but where we are it’s starting to get incredibly hot. Sunny day after sunny day, and the mercury is shooting up the glass tube. Now that school is over, our daughter wants to spend the whole day hanging out at a water park. I don’t blame her—if I didn’t have to work during the week, I’d be frolicking in the cold spray myself!

In this heat, needless to say, I’ve turned off the CO2 burner in my grow room, until the fall. I’m reminded of the importance of keeping accurate track of the temperature in my indoor garden. The ideal for indoor marijuana cultivation is 72 to 76 degrees F. A 10 to 15 degree drop in temperature is permissible at night. However, if the fluctuation is more dramatic than that, your plants could suffer.

In the daytime I have my two inline fans going full blast, one bringing in cooler air, one sucking out the hot air. My 600W High Pressure Sodium light fixture has a conversion bulb in it, since at present my “ladies” are still in the vegetative stage. If global warming persists and it gets any hotter next summer, I might have to invest in a portable air conditioning unit.

They have standalone models some of which use water as a coolant, and some others use air. I would have to save up for one, since they come with (for me) a hefty price tag.

Temperatures above 85 degrees F are not recommended, except with CO2 enrichment. But leaving my burner on defeats the whole purpose. I’d rather try to cool the room to below eighty-five, than fire up my burner which is sure to make it hotter than ninety, ninety-five, above which the plants will expire, even with CO2.

If the grow room temp drops 20 degrees or more, the excessive humidity thus produced will inadvertently lead to mold problems. A good way to avoid these is by using Advanced Nutrients Medical’s Scorpion Juice, which inoculates the pot plants against pathogens. It is of course prudent to prevent such extreme fluctuations by cooling in the summer, and heating in the winter.

According to Jorge Cervantes, “more than a few growers have lost their crops to heat stroke during the Fourth of July weekend. This is the first big summer holiday and everybody in the city wants to get away to enjoy it…temperatures can easily climb to 100 degrees or more in grow rooms that are poorly insulated and vented. The hotter it is the more ventilation and water that’s necessary.”

So please don’t forget, just as you require to drink more and cool off more, so do your medpot plants. My grow room is in the basement, which is the coolest part of the house. Still, it got so hot one summer, that I had to move my computer from my home office into the bathroom, which was quite a few degrees cooler. My home office is next to the grow room in the basement.

I like to order in Indian food in this heat. The hot spices of Lamb Biryani, or Curried Vegetables, or Butter Chicken are great foods to eat during a heat wave. There is something about hot peppers that cancels out the overwhelming feeling of heat. Your throat and mouth are burning, but you feel cooler on the outside.

It’s the same logic that makes me want to take a hot shower during the hottest days of the year. It might be unbearable when you get in but it’s so cool (literally) when you get out. And that refreshed feeling stays with you for hours.

It is imperative, when growing hydroponically, that you measure the temperature of your nutrient solution regularly. If the liquid goes above 75 degrees F, the roots can literally cook. It takes about 2 weeks for the roots to grow back, so you’ve lost some valuable growing time, as well as risked the health of your plants.

Claire and I have sent our daughter to spend time with her grandparents, and are taking a few well deserved days off to celebrate our national holiday. We have, however, put my grow room on a number of timers, that control the lighting, cooling, and nutritional systems of our six pot plants.

We double checked everything before leaving and now are relaxing next to a pool as I write and submit this on my laptop. Happy Fourth of July!

posted by Wes @ 10:12 PM


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