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Most cannabis growers are looking for the best and biggest buds possible. There are numerous factors involved when trying to get better yields from your cannabis crops. In this article we will take a look at carbon dioxide (CO2) and how it can help get better yields in a cannabis garden. We will give a briefly examine some methods to increase CO2 in a cannabis environment.
Carbon Dioxide Enrichment in Closed Loop Versus Open Loop Environments
An open loop indoor system draws fresh air from outside the grow environment into the grow area and exhausts the spent heated air back outside.
A closed loop system filters the air exhausted from the grow area and directs it back into the grow area for use.
Because plants need both air and CO2 to grow in a closed loop system, the need to add CO2 back into the air entering the room is accomplished through carbon dioxide enrichment methods.
Calculating Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Needed
CO2 is a gas that helps promote floral growth. Increasing carbon dioxide increases photosynthesis. There is CO2 present in the air we breathe—around 300 ppm (parts per million)—and the optimum concentration for medical cannabis is 1,500 ppm.
To calculate how many cubic feet of CO2 is needed in order to reach 1,500 ppm, multiply the cubic foot size of the room by 0.0012. One cubic foot of CO2 gas released into a 1,000 cubic foot room increases the CO2 level by 1,000 ppm.
6 Methods of Carbon Dioxide Enrichment for Indoor Grows
1. Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Tanks & Metering Systems
This is the easiest method for using CO2, the grower simply buys a CO2 kit, consisting of a tank, pressure regulator, solenoid and a metering system.
For CO2 tanks and meters we have had luck ordering online at GrowersHouse.
2. Carbon Dioxide Generator
This type of system is less expensive to use than the tank system mentioned above and creates CO2 by burning natural gas or propane. CO2 generators emit CO2, heat and water.
CO2 gas is a byproduct of fermentation and the gas is released as the yeast works on the sugar converting it to alcohol and releasing CO2 gas.
4. Dry Ice
Dry ice releases CO2 as it evaporates (melts), but is difficult to regulate and can be dangerous to handle. Most gardeners conclude there are many easier methods for supplying a garden with CO2.
5. Vinegar & Baking Soda
When combined these two substances release CO2. The best method to use is a drip method that releases vinegar into a baking soda/water mixture. To generate one cubic foot of CO2 combine 3 quarts of 5% vinegar into 3.7 ounces of baking soda mixed into 1 quart of water.
6. Seltzer Spray
Spraying plain salt-free soda water onto plants periodically. This works well with small gardens, but can be expensive for larger systems, though a gardener can lower the costs by producing their own seltzer water.
Carbon Dioxide Enrichment in Outdoor Cannabis Production
Plants grown outdoors in greenhouses, tunnels or other enclosures can also benefit from CO2 enrichment the same as plants grown indoors in a controlled environment.
Outdoors compost piles can also be used for carbon dioxide enrichment as they release CO2 as the compost materials break down. Because of the smell, bugs and other health related hazards, compost piles are not used indoors.
Learn More Growing Tips
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