Many people have big problems with their cannabis grow that could have been prevented by practicing good Grow Room hygiene. They carefully nurtured their plants for weeks, only to have to destroy them because they became infested with spider mites during the flowering stage. Or the plants developed Powdery Mildew, causing the grower to have to uproot them and start over. Plants can also be stunted or slow to develop from problems caused by poor Grow Room hygiene.
It costs money to grow your own cannabis. You have to pay for clones (or seeds), electricity, timers, water, nutrients, lights, pots, good soil, fans, CO2, etc. All of that can go to waste if you don’t practice good Grow Room hygiene. If you don’t practice good Grow Room hygiene, it will cost you more in time and money to fix the problems that arise from poor Grow Room practices.
It is definitely worth the effort for you to follow these simple steps.
1. Start each grow with a clean Grow Room.
- Wash down surfaces and vacuum the area to remove all dirt, plant material, etc.
- Wipe off any tables or other things that hold your plants with a disinfectant.
- Wipe down the reflector hood and chains that hold the lights, too.
- Clean all of your pots, drainage trays, etc., with soapy water before starting a new grow.
- Use fresh, new soil. Don’t EVER re-use soil from a previous grow.
- Make sure all of the tools, scissors, trimmers, etc., that you used previously have been cleaned and disinfected.
2. Wash your hands EVERY TIME before you go to your Grow Room. Even if you are not touching your plants, this will help. The numbers of germs and pathogens we carry around on our hands is amazing. Washing your hands reduces the likelihood that you will transfer them to your plants.
3. NEVER enter your Grow Room wearing clothes or shoes that you wore outside around other plants. If you are doing outdoor gardening (or walking the dog) during the same timeframe that you are growing cannabis indoors, make sure to put clean clothes on when you visit your indoor garden. Do not wear the same clothes to visit your indoor garden that you were wearing in the outdoor garden. This is also true if you have just been outdoors hiking, at a picnic, or any other outdoor place where you may have picked up “hitchhikers” on your clothes in the form of insects, spores, etc.
If you don’t have a set of clean clothes to change into, you can just take your clothes off, put them into a clothes dryer for twenty minutes on high heat. This will kill off any bugs or spores you are bringing in from the outside. Put the clothes on fresh from the dryer and wear them into your Grow Room. Doing this will greatly reduce contamination from the outside.
This rule applies to any visitors, as well. Have them put on clean clothes or pop their clothes into a dryer before letting them go into the grow area.
4. Don’t let pets and animals into the grow area. They can also transfer pests and contaminants, as they are almost guaranteed to have the little “hitchhikers” we mentioned on their fur — especially if they play outdoors.
5. If you are doing any trimming or pulling of dead leaves from your grow, make sure you take the leaves away with you. Do not leave them in the Grow Room. They can give mold, fungus, or bugs a place to grow. ALWAYS take the trimmed plant material away with you.
6. Clean your tools AFTER EACH USE in the Grow Room and store them in a clean place. We suggest that you store your scissors and trimming tools in a clean, clear plastic shoebox after cleaning them. These shoeboxes cost two dollars or less at big discount stores.
7. Keep your growing area free of excess soil, plant materials, and growing containers that are not being used. These are prime places for molds, fungus and other contaminants to grow.
8. Don’t use soil you dug up from outdoors. It is GUARANTEED to contain plenty of bugs and germs that could harm your cannabis grow. Use a good quality
9. Keep the humidity level in your Grow Room below 50% if at all possible. Under 35% is preferred. Low humidity helps reduce possibility of mold, mildew and fungus on your plants. You can make your own dehumidifier using buckets and rock salt.
Using these simple tips will help in keeping pests, and contamination out of your Grow Room. It is much easier to take care and prevent pests and pathogens than it is to get rid of them if they show up.
Check back next Saturday at 4:20 PM Mountain Time for my next article on Clones or Seeds.
Victoria Young has co-authored six books on growing marijuana and has several more in progress. She is co-owner of Doctor Grow, LLC a business that teaches growing through books and classes. Their mission is teaching people to grow weed safer, cheaper and better than some of the methods that have been taught for years.
Her Bachelor's Degree is from Metropolitan State College in Denver and her Master's Degree is from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ, where she also edited the school paper. Victoria has spent more than 30 years as a writer and designer.
Victoria grew up in Littleton, CO and lived in Boulder for over 15 years. She also lived on Kauai, HI, and in Ventura, CA for many years. Now, she resides in nearby Firestone, CO.