You may be familiar with the term “grow shop”. Although there are many overlaps and similarities in terms of horticulture, grow shops and garden centres are inherently different. While a garden centre specialises in plant-related products and outdoor gardening equipment, a grow shop is a specific retail outlet for all of your indoor gardening needs. Here is a basic overview of all popular grow shop items you may need to start an indoor gardening project.
Grow tents, also known as grow rooms, are sealed environments with metal frames and canvas outer layers used for crop cultivation. The beauty of a grow tent is the ability to tailor growing conditions down to the finest detail - in doing so, you can replicate the favourable habitats of plants from around the world and produce an impressive variety of exotic species. This can be achieved by adding grow lamps, heaters, humidity controllers and more.
Grow shops invariably offer an extensive range of plant fertilisers, effective for promoting plant health and increasing yields. Plant fertilisers provide a concentrated source of nutrients and come in many forms, predominantly pellets, granules, powders or liquids. The type of fertiliser you need will largely depend on the kind of plants you are cultivating and your growing media. For instance, comfrey fertiliser is a potassium-rich option ideal for flowering and fruiting plants and vegetables.
Although indoor crops are less susceptible to certain types of plant-eating pests, such as rodents and rabbits, you may still notice the telltale signs of aphids, spider mites, caterpillars and more. Fortunately, you can find many pest control methods available for purchase in a grow shop. Nematodes are incredibly popular with indoor growers. Once introduced into your growing media, these worm-like parasites latch onto pests, killing them swiftly.
In terms of hydroponics, your choice of growing media is an essential factor. For instance, you could opt for organic growing media like clay pebbles and coir or inorganic alternatives like mineral wool, growstone and perlite. Your choice will mostly depend on your hydroponics system and budget. For example, sand is an excellent pH-balanced budget choice for hydroponic growers; however, it is best suited for plants that don’t require a lot of nutrients.
Kitting your grow tent out with high-quality grow lights is crucial for replicating sunlight, providing plants with photons, which are light particles that stimulate photosynthesis. Grow lights come in two varieties - high-intensity discharge lamps (HID) and light-emitting diodes (LED). Your choice of grow lights, LED or HID, again largely depends on your budget. You may pay more upfront for a set of LED grow lights, but they are energy efficient and may save you money on running costs.
Grow room heaters are vital for maintaining the right temperature for your plants to thrive. Low temperatures in your grow room could severely affect the health of your plants, resulting in poor germination and stunted growth. There are multiple types of heaters to choose from, including ceramic heaters - ideal for smaller grow tents - and oil-filled heaters, which are better suited for large-scale setups that require constant heat.
Choosing the right hydroponics system may take careful consideration. While the world of hydroponics may seem overwhelming to beginners, this method of plant cultivation can be exceptionally straightforward, as outlined in this article. As a newcomer, you may be better off with a simple, user-friendly option like a deep water culture (DWC) system. Other systems include nutrient film technique (NFT), ebb and flow, aeroponics, and drip systems. A grow shop will provide you with everything you need to get started, such as containers, nutrient solutions, air pumps and more.
A reputable grow shop will sell a whole range of grow room and hydroponic-related accessories to ensure the success of your growing projects. From LED head torches so you can check on your plants during lights off, preventing leaf and flower burn, to heat-resistant tape to secure your various pieces of equipment, you will find everything you need. You may even find tools and accessories helpful for outdoor gardening, such as secateurs, soil pH metres and gardening gloves.
If you don’t have the luxury of a nearby grow shop in your town, you can discover multiple reputable hydroponics retailers online.