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Ask Erik: RAW! Gardening Shackles: Do I Need Them for Bigger Yields? Featured

You don't need to be chained to your grow room thanks to new remote hydroponics growing technology. You don't need to be chained to your grow room thanks to new remote hydroponics growing technology.

Q:

I have been enjoying the benefits that indoor growing offers for almost a year now. As a new but serious grower, I put a lot of time, effort and expense into my project. Happy to say the hard work is paying off. However, the problem that I am having is that I would like to be able to go on a trip once in a while, or even away for just a few nights for some R&R and to spend some of my hard earned loot.

Automated grow room controls have gotten very sophisticated and easier to install and manage over the last few years.

I have friends who leave their gardens all the time, in fact it almost seems like growing is secondary to them, although that’s their major source of income. I have noticed that these are the friends in my group who have lower yields and sometimes even total losses. I don’t want that to happen to my success. Any advice you can offer? Need to get away, but I don’t want to lose my crop!

A:

Irony can be cruel, as we are often reminded time and time again as growers. Your dedication to the grow is paying off, however, enjoying some of that success might mean a little bit of time away from the garden for you.

Personally, I think you are quite justified in your concerns about leaving your garden unattended for prolonged periods of absence. A lot can happen in a few days, and as the saying goes, “Murphy was an optimist”.

Typically the answer has been the “crop sitter” - a trusted individual who you will rely on to tend to your garden and perform all the tasks that your crop is accustomed to you performing. Depending on the extent of their involvement, crop sitters may be given an hourly wage, or in cases of prolonged involvement, a portion of the harvest.

Sometimes this is much better than leaving your plants unattended while you are away. On the other hand, there has been more than one grower who has ended up thinking their plants would have been better off taking their chances alone rather than with an unreliable or unpredictable “helper” who turns out to be anything but that.

In a sense, it is technology that has put you into this ironic position, so perhaps it is technology that should help to get you out of it. Automated grow room controls have gotten very sophisticated and easier to install and manage over the last few years. Check out the March/April edition of Rosebud Magazine (on newsstands now!), for a DIY on installing an automated total grow room controller that can be monitored or operated from any computer or smart phone anywhere in the world.

Devices like the GroBot allow growers to monitor, control and adjust lighting, temperature, humidity, water levels, pH, nutrients, co2 and more while away from the garden. You can receive programmed alerts and even look in on your garden with an IP camera. If something does go wrong, you will know about it. If you can’t correct the issue from afar, you can call in the troops that you have on deck for such a disaster while you are away.

Hope this helps enable you to enjoy some of your success, affording you some time away from the grow once in a while. Be sure to check out some of Rosebud’s great travel articles for destination ideas that are perfectly suited for your growing life-style.

Cheers, Erik Biksa

Follow Us:

Looking for lighting that gives you bigger yields? Check out this article.

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Have questions about maximizing your harvest …? Email our hydroponics guru, Erik Biksa.

Thinking of traveling somewhere warm and sunny? Read about this Caribbean hydroponics getaway.

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Erik talks about using GroBot to help you take a vacation without worrying about your hydroponics crop.
Last modified on Saturday, 01 September 2012 11:22

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