Ventilation – Put the Flow in Your Grow

Proper air flow is vital to growing strong healthy plants, but it’s often the least considered factor when setting up a grow space. Consider this your mini guide to grow tent ventilation!

Why you need to vent your tent

They might not have lungs like we do, but plants still breathe. It’s called respiring. During daylight hours, not only do plants pull up water through their roots and absorb sunlight through their leaves, but they also take in Co2 from the surrounding atmosphere. Through good ol’ photosynthesis, plants make the sugars they need to grow and store for the non-daylight hours.

When they do this, they also “exhale” moisture and a little bit of oxygen. Then at night, they do the opposite – they breathe oxygen and release a little Co2.

So, providing some air flow does one of two major things:

  • You’re moving the stale air out and replacing it with fresh new air for your plants to breathe. 
  • You’re preventing excess moisture and heat from building up on and around your plants. 

Mold, mildew, pests and diseases all love a nice hot, humid environment. Having the right amount of air flow ensures that your growing environment stays stable at all times. 

What kind of air flow do you need?

Don’t think you can just toss any ol’ fan into your grow room or tent and be fine. Do that, and soon you’ll notice plants with serious signs of stress – yellowing and/or darkening leaves, sometimes limp leaves with “clawing” – or curled edges.

You can prevent wind burn easily by installing oscillating fans instead of fans with fixed positions. This tiny extra step ensures that there isn’t constant air flow directed at any one plant or group of plants. Oscillating fans give the plants a break every few seconds.

This is called “wind burn,” and it happens when strong air flow hits a plant constantly.

Intermittent air flow actually helps your plants by encouraging their stalks to grow thick and strong. Thicker, stronger stalks means more efficient uptake of nutrients from the soil, higher yields, and plants more resistant to disease and parasites. 

What you need to properly ventilate your grow space

Oscillating fans are great for moving air around IN your tent (or grow room), but how do you get that old stale air OUT of your tent and replace it with the fresh stuff? 

Say hello to inline fans! Photo courtesy of Midwest FloGrown

Okay, sure, you could get away with opening the windows and/or doors once in a while, but then you have to control the surrounding environment outside the tent more closely. If not, you risk causing fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels, and inviting unwanted, six-legged pests into your garden. Aphid infestation, anyone?

Do things the right way by investing in: 

  • a quality in-line fan
  • a bit of ducting
  • a carbon filter

The in-line fan, of course, pulls the old air out of your tent and out via the ducting. You ALWAYS want to have a carbon filter (or a pre-filter) installed before your fan’s intake. This is for two major reasons: 

  1. Carbon filters nullify the odors from growing and flowering plants
  2. Filters greatly extend the life of your fan by preventing dust and debris from gumming up the fan blades and inner components

So, when it comes to ventilation, St. Joe Hydro has…

AC INFINITY ventilation gear 

Because we’re also growers with years of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t. We refuse to sell you junk, which is why we stock AC INFINITY brand ventilation equipment.

We supply carbon filters, in-line fans, ducting, and all the bits and pieces to ensure you get good, reliable air flow throughout your setup. 

AC INFINITY products are top-listed favorites of horticulturists for a very good reason. Their in-line fans and filters in particular are rugged, durable, and reliable. But there’s another very important reason why we at St. Joe Hydro love them:

You can take the entire fan apart, down to the smallest piece, clean every single component, and put it back together. Cheaper fans on the market can’t claim that! AC INFINITY wants you to be able to fully maintain their fans (which you should do at least every quarter, or after your growing season), so they can perform their best and outlive the rest.

The bottom line:

Keep that air flow going on your grow! Proper circulation…

  • Optimizes gas exchange in your plants
  • Prevents excess moisture and hot pockets among the plants
  • Keeps mold, mildew, pests, and diseases from gaining a foothold
  • Encourages strong, healthy plant growth

Those grow tents have round openings in them for a reason – use them!

There are two things you can do to ensure proper ventilation:

  • Include oscillating fans – Fixed-position fans will give your plants wind burn!
  • Install in-line fans – along with proper ducting and a good carbon filter

So, if you’re ready to upgrade your circulation or install your first system, come on down to St. Joe Hydro. We’ll help you chose the right ventilation gear for your setup and budget!