5 top tips for controlling a sensitive indoor growing environment (and how Sash helps)
Are you looking to level up your indoor plant growing game? Whether you’re a first-time indoor grower or have been experimenting for a while, you’ll know that plants like cannabis or vegetables are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in heat, light, watering and nutrients. They need almost round-the-clock monitoring and care. But how is that possible when you have a day job and have to deal with load shedding and high electricity prices – never mind not knowing when something is going wrong?
Introducing: smart IoT automation
One shock can ruin things for you and your plant for life – especially for female cannabis plants that produce THC. A sudden hike in temperature can cause sensitive plants to be stunted irreparably. For example, it could cause a female cannabis plant to never fully develop or even become a hermaphrodite.
That’s why it’s important to keep a very close eye on its development with smart automation. An internet-of-things (IoT) controller like SASH facilitates communication between the different devices in your grow room, with a chain of commands custom configured by you.
On your SASH profile, you can set very specific rules for your devices based on your temperature and humidity sensor readings, and integrate it with your real-time clock. E.g. switch on Plug A (fan) for 25% of each hour when the temperature reaches 25°C or switch on plug A for 50% of an hour if the temperature reaches 30°C. All data is collected and stored in the cloud, making it easy for a grower to study patterns and trends from your SASH dashboard.
5 top tips for controlling sensitive environment (and how SASH helps)
Want to react quicker to changing conditions, while saving on energy costs? Here are our five hacks for being in better control of your growing environment. We’ll assume that you have a good set-up going already, including a grow tent, fan and light, and that you have experimented with timers, temperature and humidity sensors.
1. Be savvy about your heating and cooling
When it comes to adjusting temperatures in your grow tent, remember: heating is easier to control than cooling. Heaters are okay with being switched on and off, but not air conditioners. Air-conditioners are also notoriously heavy energy users.
Choosing the correct season in your local area to grow indoors can make all the difference, because it is easier to heat than cool a grow tent. For example, if you live in the Western Cape with hot summers you can grow outdoors but during winter you can grow indoors. With a SASH controller, you can configure your heater to switch on automatically when the temperature drops below a certain level. View how to create a profile here.
2. Mimic natural conditions as closely as possible
While a grow tent lets you hack growing conditions, you still get the best results from your plants if you let them feel like they are in a natural growing environment. In other words, no plant needs to have perfect conditions 24/7 and stay at one constant temperature.
With the automation of a SASH controller, you can set different minimum temperatures during the day and night to mimic natural conditions. Since temperatures tend to drop naturally at night, we suggest keeping a lower temperature when the lights are off, but not too low to cause problems with your plant. This will also save on electricity costs.
3. Journalling gives you the edge
It’s that old saying: what you can measure, you can improve. You may have caught a freakily hot day a month ago and acted fast by adding another fan – but what if it happens again? With SASH’s free journaling function, all sensor data is uploaded from the controller to your personal journal in the cloud with any additional information you added (e.g. if you added a new fan). This way, it’s easy to refer back to how you acted (correctly or incorrectly) so you can learn from mistakes and sharpen your grow game.
4. Use sensors to your advantage
Temperature sensors are lifesavers but have to be in the right position. All too often people make mistakes like placing it in front of a fan, not adjusting it as a plant grows or not moving it around. This will mislead you to make incorrect decisions. With the SASH mobile app you can monitor the sensor temperature in real time and place it in the correct place to give the most accurate readings for your plants.
5. Fine-tune your watering and nutrient schedules
Indoor growing is all about getting an optimum yield from your plants. Watering and nutrient feedings at the correct time and with the correct amount every time give the plants the opportunity to give their full yield.
Your SASH Journal will help you get these watering and nutrient schedules right. With these schedules, you can create reminders that are also pushed to your mobile app to remind you in time with the correct details of what to do to continue getting great results.
Cannabis plants in particular are very sensitive to nutrient burn (when you ‘over-nutrient’). Remember to pay close attention to the pH of your water or nutrient solution. When just watering, rather use rainwater than tap water and when feeding adjust your solution with pH up or pH down if needed after the solution has been prepared. See how to create a grow journal here.
For more information on how SASH controllers work, watch this video or visit our FAQ section. Each controller comes with a Bosch temperature and humidity sensor – taking accurate readings for climate control – and an auto-focusing camera that can be scheduled to take high quality images of your plants.
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