Many home hydroponics gardeners miscalculate how much space is needed to produce a successful harvest. It will depend on what crops you intend to grow but the space must be large enough for the plants, the reservoir, high intensity lights, ventilation fans, exhaust fans, electrical wiring and more. For sure a hydroponics system will not fit under the kitchen sink and the smallest practical hydroponics garden will be the size of a clothes closet.
Grow tents are about the size of a clothes closet. They are lightproof enclosures designed specifically for an indoor hydroponics garden. Grow tents can be erected anywhere there is sufficient space, in the loft, conservatory or garage. They come complete with many features to enhance your plant’s growing environment.
Made from 100% lightproof material, they normally have a highly reflective lining with access holes for intake and exhaust fans, lightproof vents for good air circulation and fixtures and fittings for the electrical installation and plant support.
A typical grow tent is 1.2m X 1.2m X 2m high. This size of grow tent will have lightproof ventilation flaps, an intake and an exhaust fan and could accommodate a four pot hydroponics garden using a 600 watt growing light. Hydroponics gardens need adequate space vertically and horizontally. If plants are crowded they will not produce enough crops to make your efforts and expense worthwhile. A grow tent or clothes closet hydroponics garden of this size will not support itself in terms of cost versus yield. If you want a hydroponics garden that will pay for itself, then you will need at least double this size with of course increased lighting and ventilation.
Return on investment is not the only reason for up-sizing the space requirement for an indoor hydroponics garden.
Two other important reasons for providing adequate space for the plants are providing adequate exchange of air and control of humidity and temperature.
The most important source of nutrition for healthy plants is not the nutrient mix but the carbon dioxide in the air. In a typical plant, water accounts for approximately 95% of its weight. The remaining 5% is made up from dry matter in the form of carbohydrate, converted by the plant from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is therefore important to maintain adequate air exchanges in the growing environment so as not to starve the plants from this vital source of nutrition. Ventilation and air circulation are vital in controlling humidity and temperature.
Plants often grow best in an environment with 40-75% humidity and temperature between 18-23degC. If you cannot control these two factors you are likely to experience problems with disease, stunted growth, small yields and pest infestation.
So, make sure you consider the plant environment above the water line in terms of ventilation, humidity and temperature control before you take over your wife’s walk-in clothes closet, if you dare.