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Beginners Grow Guide

Beginners Grow Guide

Hytec Horticulture |

 Step 1: Choose Where You Will Grow 

What space works best?

You can grow anywhere with easy access to water and fresh air...

  • a spare room
  • a closet
  • garage
  • grow tent
  • extra bathroom

When thinking about where to grow indoors, you should also consider the temperature of your grow space (and remember your temps will likely rise once you have your grow lights running!).

A thermometer - Temperature is important when growing indoors Young growing plants grow fastest when temps a bit warmer, in the 20-30°C range.

When plants are a bit older, in the flowering stage, it's best to keep temps slightly cooler, around 18-26°C to produce flowers with the best color ,taste and smell.

 

Step 2: Choose Your Grow Light - What kind of light do you need to grow successfully?
There's lots of different grow lights:

 

  • Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs)
  • Other Fluorescent Lighting (T5 )
  • LED grow lights
  • Metal Halide (MH)
  • High Pressure Sodium (HPS)
  • Light emiting Ceramic (LEC/CMD)

CFLs
A great bulb for the vegging stage of growth or for supplementary or secondary lighting the CFL grow lights are cheap and do not produce high levels of heat.

 

T5 lights
Again these T5 Grow lights are great for the vegging stage of growth or for supplementary or secondary lighting they are cheap and do not produce high levels of heat.

 

 

LEDs grow lights

LEDs are more powerful than CFLs and other fluorescent lighting, but they are also much more expensive. In fact, currently LEDs are probably the most expensive type of grow light you can buy.

LED grow lights can work great for growing , but there are lots of unscrupulous LED sellers out there trying to make a quick buck, so you need to make sure you buy LEDs from a company that you can trust.

 

 

Metal Halide (MH) & High Pressure Sodium

Also known as "HID" lights, MH/HPS grow lights are for growing indoors. They are surprisingly cheap to buy and set up, especially considering how incredibly powerful they are.

HID lights work very well for growing , and produce consistently good results indoors. However, the higher wattage HID lights tend to run hot and can leave a big mark on your electricity bill, so you want to make sure you're getting the exact right lights for your space - you don't want to be paying for more light than you really need.

 

 

Light emiting Ceramic (LEC/CMD)

The 315w L.E.C (light emitting ceramic) technology is a clear favorite with the Hytec team as its the most effiecient grow lighting available right now with a mico mol out put of 1.87 per watt (µmol/W.) these things have to be seen to be believed! the out put from one of these is pretty much the same as a 600w but with slightly over half the power consumption and no where near the heat produced by a 600w, a major plus when the summer kicks in!

The life expectancy of these lamps are rated @ 30,000 hr which means around; 2500 days of flowering @ a 12/12 lighting cycle ! so the initial out lay is on the more expensive side but is easilly out weighed with the low running costs and longevity of the lamps, basically you do get more for less!

Increase in UVA & UVB 

UVA & UVB are both ultraviolet wavelengths of light that increase the production of terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils and even vitamin D.

 

Plants exposed to UVA & UVB:

 

• Are bushier with shorter intermodal spaces and more lateral branches

• Have a better flavour and aroma

• Produce a bigger yield

• Have greater medicinal properties and pest resistance

• Have more flowering sites

• Develop bigger root networks that support heavier crops

 

Step 3: Choose Your Growing Medium

Each growing medium that you can use has different care and watering requirements.

These are the most common grow mediums:

 

  • Soil - grow in organic composted soil for the easiest growing experience
  • Soilless Mix - anything besides soil including coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, etc (all soilless mixes are technically considered hydroponic growing since there's no soil)
  • Lots of bubbles make roots happy in hydroponics Directly in Water / Hydroponics - Get some of the fastest growth and biggest yields possible, especially when combined with HID grow lights 
  • Less Common Types of Hydro - Some people grow with plant roots suspended in misted air (aeroponics) or in a tank with fish (aquaponics), but these are relative less common for growers.

 

Step 4: Choose Your Nutrients

We stock many different types and brands of nutrient most base nutrients are much the same , however when it comes to the additives they are some that are better/cheaper than others.

 

Step 5: Vegetative Stage - Grow Your Plant Big and Strong

 

Give plants 18-24 hours/light a day in the vegetative stage when growing indoors. You can do this by using a contactor/relay with built in timer.

The size your plant gets in this stage will have a huge impact on the final size of your plant.

 

 

Step 6: Flowering Stage

This is the stage where your plants start flowering. You can do this by using a contactor/relay with built in timer.

During this stage you will need to...

Change to 12-12 Light Schedule

 

GROW GUIDES -Hydroponics

Choosing a variety is of major importance.
Yields and quality of plants grown under artificial lights mostly depend on:

1. the seed variety, 
2. whether the plants are grown from seeds or clones, 
3. after how many days of growing the plants are put into flowering, and 
4. the optimization of the climatic conditions of the grow-room. 


Growing plants indoors has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years. Growing plants indoors relies on the use of powerful artificial lights to replicate the effect of the sun. These lights typically take hundreds of Watts of electrical power to run and are commonly HPS (High Pressure Sodium) but fluorescent lights, metal halide, LED light and other kinds have all been used successfully. Hytec hydroponics recommend that if you use led grow lights.

Plants love light and the successful indoor grower tries to deliver as much light as possible. Consider 250 watts/m² only as a minimum starting point and realistically aim for 2-3 times that level if possible. More light will mean bigger yields. As well as delivering high light levels the successful indoor grower keeps the plants as near the light as possible to maximise the light intensity reaching the leaves and fruit. Often the personal medical or recreational grower will have a growing area of 1-2 m² designed below a single 400W or 600W high pressure sodium (HPS) lamp.

The indoor  grower has to be careful that the plant doesn’t grow too near to the hot light and damage itself. If the light feels cool to the back of the hand it will be cool for the plant also. For a 400W lamp, growers may not want to allow plants to grow within 40-50cm of the bulb.  plants can be bent over and tied if they get too tall, some indoor growers deliberately train their plants this way to get as much of the plant as possible close (but not too close) to the high intensity light. 

Certain strains respond well to having the growing tip of the plant pinched out (known as ‘topping’, ‘FIM’ or pinching) after the 4th or 5th leaf pair. The resulting plants are often smaller and bushy without the dominant main growth stem (or ‘cola’) and are preferred for some smaller growrooms.

Some indoor growers train the plants underneath a nett screen allowing only the fruit to grow vertically while the stem and growing part of the plant grow horizontally. This SCROG (screen of green use pea netting or stretch net) technique allows the indoor grower to keep as much of the growth as possible equidistant to the lamp, maximising the efficiency and yield.

    
Specialist suppliers offer ‘air cooled’ lights for the indoor grower that enclose the light in a glass casing. A fan forces air over the light and outside the growroom via tubing, keeping the grow room cool and allowing the plants to grow taller without burning.Grow rooms are typically kept between 24°C -30°C for optimum results. Higher temperatures can cause the plants to wilt and cooler temperatures may slow down growth. The plants will need a gentle breeze from a fan, and a steady supply of fresh air which can be from your house or from outside. Stale air from the growroom is normally continually extracted outdoors by a fan and de-odorised with a carbon filter.


Germinating  seeds can be done in various ways and the internet is full of grow forums that document various methods. One simple method is to simply place seeds about 1cm below the surface of firmly pressed damp soil. A film of kitchen cellophane over the surface helps keep conditions moist and after a few days of temperatures around 20-25°C the seeds should germinate. Growing from cuttings of ‘mother’ plants is an alternative to growing from seeds.

In the first stages of life the seedlings are happy to start with lower light intensities often a metre below an HPS light, or closer to fluorescent lights. The artificial lights are normally ‘on’ for 18-24 hours per day. During this time the seedlings are in a state of vegetative growth, they will continue to grow roots, leaves and branches. 

By reducing daily light to ~12 hours the plant transitions into the ‘flowering’ phase. This stage normally requires 8-10 weeks and it is during this time that the female flowers form. During this stage the plants gain a lot of bulk and will tolerate more nutrients and very bright light.Some growers introduce supplemental lighting to ensure the very best yields.

In general, longer periods of vegetative growth will grow larger plants and support greater yields during subsequent flowering. Typically 2-6 weeks of vegetative growth are used and during subsequent flowering the plants may increase to 2 or 3 times their original height.
The indoor growroom allows plants to be grown in soil or any number of other grow mediums. When growing in soil the plant benefits from 25% perlite or coco fibre being included. This allows better aeration of the soil. One common mistake by inexperienced growers is the tendency to overwater soil-grown plants. Get to know the weight of your plant pots and water only when the plants need it. Over watering soil-grown plants will reduce yield/quality and slow down plant development.

Growing plants indoors will require use and understanding of plant feeds. This is not complicated, all the plant feed does is deliver essential nutrients to the roots, it doesn’t matter whether the roots are growing in clay pebbles, rockwool, coir or a hydroponic system. Even soil-grown plants will need additional nutrients when the soil has been depleted. Read the instructions on the nutrient labels and avoid the beginners temptation to exceed recommended levels. The experienced gardener can ‘read’ his plants and will learn when to water and feed plants.

Indoor growing allows the plants to develop under closely supervised grow conditions without the normal array of outdoor pests. Once the grower has the right system in place it is a predictable way of growing great quality fruit, The main challenge for many indoor growers is dealing with the characteristic plant smells . 

 So for many growing, indoors is the only option. Growing plants indoors has never been as popular as it is today, nor has it been as easy to produce superb quality fruit , advice and information are all available on the internet.