Cost is one of the biggest reasons why a grower may limit the size of their indoor crop. It can be expensive to grow indoors, no matter what types of plants you enjoy cultivating. However, here are some tips on how you can save money on your grow room expenses to make growing more economical. Who knows, maybe you’ll save enough to expand your crop or update your equipment.
Invest in Your Growroom
It may sound crazy to talk about investing in your grow room to save money, but it works. Some investments such as energy-efficient equipment or insulation cost more up front but end up being more cost-effective in the long run. In other words, these investments can help lower your electric and other utility bills. A great example is automation equipment. Light timers, temperature controls, irrigation system, etc. can help to reduce your spending while also improving your grow room's operation.
Pick Better Equipment
While investing in equipment to save money, it’s also a good idea to think about using better equipment. For instance, double-ended (DE) high-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs require the same amount of energy to power up as single-ended HPS bulbs, but DE lamps shed more light on your grow area. That can mean you need fewer bulbs, making for lower energy costs.
Examine Your Electric Bill
Some areas charge different rates for energy depending on the time of usage. If your electricity provider does this, using your lights during peak hours costs more. However, by switching to off-peak hours, you can realize a nice saving on your bill.
Taking advantage of solar energy can save you a lot of money. By putting some solar panels on your home or in your yard, you can greatly reduce your grow room's electric bill. You may even eliminate it, depending on the amount of energy produced. In some cases, you can also sell any extra power created by your panels to the electric company.
Stay Up to Date with Maintenance
Changing that aging lightbulb or keeping your equipment running smoothly is a great way to save money. Take the light bulb, for example. An old lamp uses the same amount of electricity as your newer bulbs but may not put out as much light. Replacing that old bulb, however, means you have more light for the same amount of electricity. Another example is with your reflectors. Clean them when they get dirty, so they work at full potential and replace them right away when they get damaged to prevent any wasted light in your set-up.
Pest and Disease Reduction
One benefit of keeping your grow area well-maintained is it helps keep pests and diseases at bay. Pests and pathogens can be two areas where time, energy, and money are used to try to remove the problem. Not only do you have to pay for ways to get rid of these issues, but you’ll have to pay to replace any plants they damage beyond your healing abilities.
Using your current plants to propagate new plants is a great way to save money. There are several different ways to multiply your plants, such as taking cuttings or dividing your plants. Use the method that works best for you and the type of plants you’re growing.
Maximize Your Resources
Look at your resources and how you use them. Take water, for example. Ensuring your irrigation system is well-designed and working properly can help minimize water wastage. You can even go a step further and install a water reclamation system, which collects evaporated water in your grow room so you can use it again. Another example is using food scraps to grow more crops. Instead of buying new plant starts, you can get the bottom of your celery bunch to sprout again. Ginger, pineapples, onions, potatoes, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and mushrooms are also plants that can be regrown.
Each of the tips above can help you to reduce the cost of running your grow room. Often, even the smallest tweaks can help reap rewards down the road. These savings can go towards some shiny new equipment, new plants, or even a bigger grow room.