A tidy grow room is an efficient and productive grow room. Unfortunately, many grow spaces are cluttered with various tools of the trade, and the resulting space looks messy and unorganized. While most grow spaces aren’t open to public view, the impression a cluttered grow room gives to those who do see it—even if you’re the only one—is a lack of order and general carelessness.
General assumptions can quickly result. If the area is a mess, most likely the grower fails to address important details when it comes to cultivation best practices. An orderly grow room indicates that the grower takes his or her cultivation project seriously and has a systematic approach and commitment to doing things correctly. After all, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
The following guidelines and recommendations are sound advice for any person who wants to grow high-quality cannabis. First, we’ll address daily maintenance practices and routine upkeep of the grow room. Then, we’ll dig deep into the deep clean, something that can only occur between grows, when there are no plants present in the room. Although not required often, a thorough cleaning reflects cannabis cultivation best practices and should be done periodically to avoid or minimize problems.
1. Daily Maintenance
When evaluating the organization and smooth operation of your cultivation area, take a good, hard look at the floor. Many people overlook the importance of a clean floor surface, yet a dirty floor can result in a number of common problems. So much attention goes into proper lighting, wall coverings, soils, nutrients, pots, and other equipment, that the floor often is overlooked, and this can be a mistake.
Is the floor clean and free of spilled soil? Is it completely dry, without water stains—or, worse yet, pooled water? Are there any scraps of paper or fallen leaves? The correct answer, of course, should be a decisive no.
People use a wide variety of spaces for growing cannabis. Often, a walk-in closet or even a spare bedroom, is the area of choice. Unfortunately, these areas often have carpeted floors that are completely inappropriate for cannabis cultivation. Ideally, a proper grow room should have a concrete floor equipped with drains to rid the area of excess water. If the floor has a carpeted surface, it will soon be completely ruined by water spills, because a certain level of water drainage is desirable to ensure that adequate watering is occurring. A soaked carpet will lead to mildew, mold, high humidity and other problems you don’t want in your grow room. It will also be an inviting area for pests to become established.
If a concrete floor with drains is impossible for your grow room, at the very least it should consist of a hard surface that’s easy to clean, like linoleum. While not ideal, linoleum allows for easy cleaning without any moisture buildup. The floor will remain your area of focus for most daily cleaning.
The other primary areas of concern for tidy grow-room maintenance are the plants themselves and the pots they occupy. Remove any fallen or brown, curled leaves from the plants or pots, and dispose of them properly to a location outside of the room. Never let them collect on the floor, and always have easy access to a good broom to periodically sweep the area.
Do your pots have saucers to catch excess water rather than having it spill, even if the floor is concrete? If not, invest in some. Each pot should have its own saucer to catch excess water. Once the plants have soaked up their water, dump the the saucers to remove excess moisture from the grow area.
2. The Deep Clean
After you harvest a batch of cannabis flower, your grow area will most likely be its messiest ever. When the plants come down, the area might be littered with fallen leaves, small branches, and possibly spilled dirt. This is all fine— as long as it’s not allowed to remain in the room for long.
Immediately following harvest is the perfect time for a deep clean of your grow area. While it’s not necessary to deep clean between every grow cycle, you should do so on at least an annual basis.
Remove all pots from the room. Although some people choose to repurpose soil, the best practice is to dump it and start fresh. New, fresh soil without any leftover roots from the previous crop will allow your new plants to grow unhindered and develop sound root systems.
Now is the time to address the little things. How often do you dust your light bulbs and reflective hoods? Without any plants or pots in the room, you have the perfect opportunity to reach areas that would be difficult to tend to while a grow is in progress.
Thoroughly sweep, mop, and disinfect your floors and completely air out the room. While the room is empty, it’s a good time to evaluate your overall ventilation. This is particularly true of you’ve experienced problems with white powdery mildew or mold, which are both signs of poor ventilation and high humidity. Evaluate ways you can improve air flow and install some vents if necessary. Lowering high humidity is one of the most important steps you can take toward maintaining a clean grow room.
3. Pest Eradication and Hitting the Nooks and Crannies
If you ever had any issues with common but sometimes-persistent pests like spider mites, you should most definitely give your grow room a meticulous and thorough cleaning. Spider mites can be particularly difficult to completely eliminate from a grow room. Just when you think they’re gone, they can reappear and compromise the quality of your crop.
The best method for pest eradication will take a few weeks but is well worth the time and peace of mind that the room is mite-free. Addressing the mite problem while the room is empty is the best practice. For an extreme infestation, you may need to resort to using Floramite, which is extremely potent and harsh. Follow the directions closely when using this product and only use it if absolutely necessary.
A minor number of spider mites will soon become a serious problem if left unchecked. Floramite is best used when the room is empty, and you can also spray and treat the room with safer products like Azamax or Mighty Wash, which will go a long way toward exterminating spider mites. When treating your room with the products mentioned, be certain to get into tight crevices and cracks where mites can hide. If you have mylar on your walls, remove it completely and replace after treating the room. You want to treat your room a total of three times, 10 days apart. This way, you will kill any mites that hatch out after the first and second cleanings. You will also need to treat and disinfect the pots, saucers, and any other items that go back into the room. For general surface cleaning a bleach-and-water solution works well (one part bleach to nine parts water).
When you re-introduce your cultivation equipment into the room, only include essential items into the room itself. Any soil bags, soil additives, measuring cups and spoons, clippers, watering containers, and other equipment should occupy adjoining areas where you have easy access to them but not in the grow room itself. Adopt a minimalist philosophy when it comes to what goes into the room. This approach contributes to the overall cleanliness of the growing space. When replacing your electrical equipment into the room, be certain that all cords are well out of the way and impossible to trip on. The layout should be efficient as well as sparkling clean.
A clean grow room goes a long way toward ensuring the harvest of outstanding future crops. All cannabis consumers desire clean, organically grown flower without any unnecessary additives or ingredients, even trace amounts. Keeping things simple and clean in your grow space will go a long way toward accomplishing this goal.