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Ask a Grower

Ask-a-Grower #95

I’ve been wanting to start my own little garden, but I dont have outside space. My friend recommended hydro, but i don’t know what type of lighting to get what are some good products that won’t break my wallet?

Its hard to say because lighting always seems to be the expensive part. I’m just going to try and guide you in a lower cost method to getting started.

There’s a few common indoor lights you can use. T5 florescent are a common cloning and vegetative light. They offer high output spectrum’s with a lower consumption of electricity and are very gentle on the plants in case disease or nutrient lock out occur. The plants all together need less of everything under these lighting conditions.

Metal Halide is your extremely aggressive high output vegetative light that put off much more heat. Its great for explosive growth for nicely rooted plants and requires your plants to be healthy with higher levels of nutrients for aggressive photosynthesis.(MH has bluer spectrum’s)

High Pressure Sodium’s are for flowering indoors and are also aggressive lights that put off a lot of heat. They put off more of a yellowish/reddish spectrum which is the type of lighting most indoor growers use for their flowering cycle. Your plants will need to be healthy under these conditions to. This will probably be the most important light you buy!

The newest thing on the market is LED lighting! They run diode’s that light up and the more the led’s the more the wattage. They run extremely cooler and appear to have nice spectrum’s for the plant to grow under. They are going to be the most expensive to purchase but will save you money and heat issues in the long run.

All these light’s start out kinda pricey by the time you purchase Ballast, Hood, and Light Bulb’s. I suggest used lighting to get started if budget is extremely tight. Sometimes hydro store’s will have used good equipment in back from old displays or customer exchange that you can purchase to get the start you need.

All these High Intensity Discharge Lights will come in wattage’s from 250w to 1000w. 600w and 750w lights will give you the most lumen’s for your buck. Most hydro stores have well made lighting and you shouldn’t have to much trouble finding something used and well made.

I believe that soil will be your best start for inside gardening. If you find a nicely amended soil like Fox Farm, Royal Gold, Root Organics, I can go on for awhile with soils just go to your local hydro store and see what they suggest is getting good feedback. Soils will have a nice balance to get you started healthy and all you need to do in the beginning is add PH balanced water (6.3). You’ll have to eventually find some nutrients of your preference within a month to start feeding your soil encase your plants are starting to get light in color. I suggest www.house-garden.us to get started because they have a beginner friendly chart “if followed” will give you abundant success every time. (provided all surrounding conditions are correct). Your local hydro store may be able to get you some free samples if requested with their next shipment.

We hope this helps you out and look forward to answering any questions you may have in the future.

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