THE PROPER ENVIRONMENT
You can set up your hydroponic garden either inside or outside. If you set up your garden outside, you get plenty of natural sunlight, your plants are still off the ground and above the climbing height of many insects, and, by avoiding the soil, the plants are less likely to come into contact with fungus or other plant rot diseases. You can simply set your hydroponic gardening containers up in a sunny spot of your choice and carry them inside during bad weather that might harm the plants.
You can also take a half and half approach leaving the plants outside during spring, summer and early fall, then taking them inside before the first hard freeze, keeping them safe and warm indoors through the winter.
However, if you want to grow consistentlysized and healthy plants year round, you’re best served setting up your garden indoors. Controlling the environment means that not only will you never have to worry about using pesticides, but your plants will also have a lowered risk of catching soil and pollen-based diseases.
There are three major factors you need to keep in mind when setting up a grow room: temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide.
You’ll need to be able to maintain all three of these things at a steady level to keep your plants in good condition. Remember, if you ever feel as though you need to hit the reset button, you can always carry your plants outside, air out the room, and start over from scratch. There’s no need to stress!
To set your grow room up, the first thing you’ll do is empty out all of the furniture, paper, electronics, and anything else that reacts poorly to moisture. The last thing you want to do is print up instructions on how to maintain your plants and discover, two weeks later, that all the ink has smudged off the page because the air itself is so moist.
You can store moisture and rust-proof things in your grow room, but really not much else. It gets moist because you’re growing your plants in water that is constantly being aerated to add oxygen. A lot of people think you have to add moisture to a grow room, but the opposite is true. Your struggle will be getting moisture out. The best way to do this is to set up a ventilation system. You want fresh, clean air coming in one end and your humid, warm air going out the other. If you have time and money to set up a growing system in advance, there are numerous automated fans you can buy with internal humidity sensors.
However, if you’re in an emergency environment where you have limited power and need to grow food fast, you can make due with a shop fan set at ground level to help circulate air around the room, a box fan in one window aimed outwards to suck in outside air, and another box fan at the opposite end of the room (preferably on a parallel wall) aimed to blow air outwards. In most climates, you’ll probably need supplemental heating sources in winter. Depending on your electrical situation, this could range from a wood- fueled Chimenea in the corners to central heating.