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Go with the (Air)flow

September 28, 2016


Good, clean airflow is critical to robust and healthy cannabis. The plant loves carbon dioxide and is producing oxygen as it consumes CO2. A constant flow of both these elements helps each plant stay strong and pest-free, while maximizing light and nutrients. Oxygen to the roots is also part of this airflow system. The more aerated the soil, the better it is for the roots.

“Scrubbing the air” is also necessary to keep molds and pests away. Offering clean air to the plant’s pores, which are called stomata, keeps them breathing and evaporating correctly. Fresh, filtered air prevents stomata from getting clogged with dust and other contaminants that can harm vigorous growth.

Ensuring uninterrupted airflow

From the early development of any rooted plant, it must have uninterrupted airflow. When the plant is young, this air movement helps create turgor strength in the plant’s cell walls. Turgor is the internal pressure that keeps the plant growing strong and woody so it can hold up more weight.

As a plant sways in the breeze, micro-tears are created in the cell walls. The plants grow stronger as they heal—which is the same principle as building muscle. This strength becomes necessary as the buds fatten; it also helps create a large capacity for bringing up nutrient-laden water.

Equipment for proper airflow

For a medium-sized room, oscillating fans on each wall are crucial. These should be spaced about 3 or 4 feet apart running the full length of the two longest walls. If you can place fans with this spacing on all four walls, that’s even better. Point the fans in such a way that all the plants have movement. This ensures continuous and equal air exchange.

The best and cleanest practice is to use two carbon filter scrubbers, each in an opposite corner. One scrubber is cleaning the air coming into the room, while the other is cleaning and recirculating the air around the plants. The air that’s cooling your lamps can also be filtered, if the lamps aren’t sealed and the air isn’t going directly out of the room. With this additional filtration, any air entering the room is always fresh and clean.

With clean, fresh air during the vegetative cycle, leaves grow big and stalks become thick. Once in flowering, this air keeps mold and mildew at bay as your buds grow thicker, denser and naturally more humid. Each plant has an individual biodiversity as it inhales CO2, exhales O2 and evaporates moisture in multiple ways. Clean, constant air exchange helps the plant to thrive.

To round out other equipment options, add ultraviolet lighting. UV lamps above entrance doors and air-conditioning ductwork can kill molds and mildew that can come in from unknown sources.

Finally, how you treat, stake and trim the cannabis plant creates the pathway for air movement. Pruning and trimming lets air flow naturally around each plant. Cut the excess and non-essential leaves from the bottom and center of each plant to ensure simple air movement throughout the plant. Less leaf density also allows for light to make it deeper and more productively throughout the entire plant.

Air movement should be planned as you build each room. Keeping it clean, circulating and constant will advance your plants growth every time. Whether growing indoors or out, count on the breeze to fatten your trees.


By Eric Stone
Image Credit:By Arbitrarily0 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Cannabis Cultivation Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on grow practices. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cultivation consultant for specific compliance and cultivation advice.
© 2016 CAN Performance Group, LLC. All rights reserved.


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