Hygiene is always important, and in regard to the grow room, it becomes essential. The cleaning and maintenance of your grow room should be an integral part of the process of growing plants. In fact, a dirty and messy space can generate a whole series of problems, some of which could greatly affect the quality and the health of your plants.
Why is it a priority to maintain cleanliness?
Unfortunatley most pests and fungi are very good at adapting and staying alive, especially between crops, and could infest your next crop when its is young and at its most vulnerable. This harming of their health at such an early stage effects the size and quality of the older plant, reducing its potential.
Second, hygiene is very important for safety. Dust and dirt, for example, can accumulate on the equipment, especially in fans and ventilation systems, which could affect their proper functioning and even cause a fire. Human health can also be effected by poor hygiene, legionnaires disease for example can be harbored in air-conditioning units. Humans themselves are also full of disease and are one of the biggest vectors and transporters.
Spills and electrical wires on the ground could lead to slips and trips which is a serious problem that could put you in danger, in addition to causing damage to plants and / or equipment. Therefore, a clean and tidy grow room should be maintained. Here are simple tips to help you do it:
Sterilising before you grow - at propagation
Think about what you wear into your grow space, do you have a suit? Do you use the same shoes as you go jogging in? It's quite important to have a regime that you follow or dress protocol to limit the chance of insect, fungus or bacteria introduction in the protected space. Its not a hard and fast rule but something worth doing for OCD growers. Prevention is easier than the cure!
For any product, new or old, we suggest you give it a treatment of hydrogen peroxide, to kill any life forms that may be creating problems. Do not recommend using bleach as this could harm your equipment, alter your products and leave harmful residues. Even if you use bleach products on your equipment and not directly onto your plants It can still leave airborne residue that will settle down onto your leaves. Not only this, a large amount of rinsing is also required to remove surface residues, increasing you water consumption and introduction of more pollutants into the water course. We suggest a ready to use formula of Silver Bullet Mist, which contains silver stabilised hydrogen peroxide, so can kill 99% of microbes but uniquely is actually is beneficial to your plants.
Something to be conscious of is the previous grow that was In your plant pots, it is a good Idea to wash it out before the next grow, as organic matter left behind is a sure way of unintentional fungi growth and can harbor disease from the previous grow. If you have had infection from the previous run, pay particular detail to thoroughly clean the equipment and use a higher concentration of Silver bullet roots within the system.
Maintaining during vegetative and flower growth
This is the point in the grow where mistakes can happen that will effect the final harvest. A lot is going on, water supply has increased because your plant demands more; there is new air/CO2 being pumped in, humidity is increasing and plant matter is everywhere in the room, all of which encourages the breeding of unwanted visitor’s aka squatters!
The first thing you should be on the lookout for is water treatment as there is much more of it. Loads of diseases are water borne and it is a very quick way of transferring illness to your plants. This is the stuff that your plant will be up-taking so its important to make sure you know what’s in it. Before investing in a lot on expensive filtration equipment first look at where the water is being supplied from and obtain a water analysis.
If it is tap water, the water board should have one available for you on their website or if you contact them. If you are collecting rainwater or well water for your grow area, it is well worth sending a sample of to your local water testing lab, just to check for anything threat may cause issues with your grow. One of the best sterilizers both in effectiveness and safety is Silver bullet as it oxidizes when in contact of pathogens, this means it’s by product is water and oxygen.
Water is also not the easiest to contain so when spills arise it is incredibly important to mop them up immediately, to prevent contamination. It is also a good idea to clean you testing equipment such as pH meters and CF meters along with any measuring devises, be it syringes, pipettes or measure cups with a solution of silver bullet. This will helps prevent the spread of disease from one tank to another.
A more obvious precaution is to pick up or clean and plant matter you see in and under trays of in the grow room. Bits of leaves or roots will decompose and turn into hot springs for disease to be created. It is a great idea to get rid of them before it becomes a problem, but make sure it is thrown outside of your grow room.
Regardless of humidity, the air environment also needs to be treated, this can be with an intake filter for more advance growers or by tactically introducing new air into the grow room.
Remember, prevention is easier than the cure!