Build a Cheap Grow Box
Growing plants indoors in a grow box has become the norm for those living in cooler climates. One of the main benefits of using a grow box is that you can control the temperature and other factors under which plants thrive. Lets first take a quick look at what plants need in order to be happy and flourish. If you are using Adblock turn it off since all of the examples link directly to Amazon products so you can get more information about each component needed should you wish.
Your grow box needs to do 2 things basically. Provide enough light to make plants grow, and have air circulation so your plants can get enough CO2 as well as to keep the temperature under control. That’s basically it, and a variety of techniques have been employed in the creation of grow boxes which best adhere to maximizing the benefits of these two principles. So remember this. Air and Light. It’s what plants crave!
The first thing you’ll need is an enclosure. There are hundreds of DIY variations of these. You can use everything from a huge reinforced cardboard box, speaker boxes, PC enclosures, to a wardrobe, or even a large plastic garage can or barrel. The possibilities are endless. The microgrow community is always coming up with innovative and hilarious new grow box ideas. There are even pre made “grow tents” which are made specifically for this purpose.
Here’s a few for inspiration.
Spacebuckets, as they are called, are comprised of stacking up black buckets and then outfitting them with ventilation and lights. They also look super spacey!
Choosing the right light for your grow is up to you. Different lights have different benefits. CFL ( Compact Fluorescent Lights ) are readily available, and actually the same lights that are put into homes nowadays. The benefits are that they use low amounts of energy, and produce very little heat. The downside is that you need to get a lot of them, or a high quality bulb in order to have enough light to grow.
LED lights are quite new, but are becoming more and more affordable. The benefits of LED lights is that they produce virtually no heat, and use very little energy. The downside is that you need to have a lot of them or a high quality, and generally more expensive, bulb in order to get good results.
HPS ( High Pressure Sodium )
HPS bulbs are similar to what we see in street lights. They’ve been used for indoor growing for decades and produce very good results because they are so strong. But with this strength comes some disadvantages. HPS bulbs get extremely hot and use much more energy than CFLs or LEDs. If you are going to be growing in a grow box with an HPS bulb it is essential that you have very good ventilation. Don’t screw around and half ass a job if you’re using HPS bulbs. Heat plus wood can equal fire. Fire is bad. Got it?!
Another component of maximizing your light is to get something shiny to line all of the walls with. Most commonly mylar is used for this purpose.
Now that you’ve chosen a light you need to choose what type of ventilation you need. Again, there are many different ways to do this. But there’s one rule that you all learned in first grade that you need to consider and it involves hot air balloons. Think for a minute…. Yes! Hot air rises! So what’s that mean? Well, it means your ventilation should be at the top of your grow box because that’s where the hottest air will accumulate ( not to mention the place where your lights are located ).
So what are some different options for ventilation. As we saw in the video of the guy who made a micro grow in a speaker box above, one can simply cut holes and fit them with computer fans. It’s best to get the fans you just plug into the wall like the one from Amazon below. In fact, just buy two of these because you need one to blow air in, and one to blow air out.
Worried about smell? Well if this is the case then you’re going to want to put a charcoal filter with an inline fan and duct work into your grow box. As you can see in the link below, these aren’t cheap, but you can be rest assured if you’re using an HPS bulb that there should be more than enough ventilation to keep your grow box heat under control ( optimum temp is around 75 to 80 degrees ) .
As you can see there are many variations as to how to set up even a simple little grow box. I’ll make a final budget for both the budget grow box, as well as a more professional one to give you an idea of much these two different variations will cost.
3 CFL Bulbs – $42.00
Old speaker box – Free
2 Computer fans – $30.00
mylar – $10.00
light fixtures – $20.00
Duct tape – $3.00
Chain – $5
eye hooks – $5
Grow tent – $100
HPS Bulb with Ballast and reflector – $125
Inline fan with Charcoal Filter – $125
Zip ties – $5
chain – $10