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Indoor versus Greenhouse

By Damon Lippert

Commercial Cannabis production today is grown outdoors, indoors and in greenhouses. Each method has its challenges and rewards the grower who learns the methods to help the plants thrive in each system. This month we will read about the overall difference in indoor growing and greenhouse growing.

Cannabis is a hardy plant that grows in a wide variety of climates, altitudes and local conditions. The plants can grow in ditches, cracks and jungles, mountains and near deserts. While the plants may survive and thrive in these conditions, not all of the conditions are ideal for why we grow cannabis. When we grow cannabis, we are looking to maximize one of its uses: fiber, oil, seed, or medicinals.

Each method of growing attempts to provide ideal conditions in our growing space. These conditions are Light, Air Mixture, Nutrients, Temperature, Humidity, Water and Wind Speed. Through modifying each factor, we allow the plants to reach their full potential. Indoor growing and Greenhouse growing allow you to give the plants what they need in exchange for drawbacks and benefits.

Indoor growing requires you to provide everything to the plants. This is energy and labor intensive, but allows the grower to learn what stimuli plants respond to best, when to start shifting the ratio of nutrients, the pattern of growth, and how to manicure your plants to maximize the use of the light provided. Indoor growing skews toward artificial lighting, liquid fertilizers, hydroponic systems and heavy automation. The air conditioning and ventilation systems in indoor grows needs to be robust enough to handle the massive amounts of heat the artificial lighting systems emit.  Sealing the room with vents that can be shut on and off allow you a cleaner space, limiting disease. All these tools to control the plants stimuli give the attentive grower the ability to remove any limiting factor in the plants growth.

Greenhouse growing relies primarily on the Sun’s power to light, heat and even cool the growing space. Designs today come in a wide variety of set ups allowing you more or less control over the conditions within the greenhouse over the year. The simplest greenhouse covers the plants to prevent rain damage, while the most complex allow year-round growing with most of the tools of an indoor-style grow room though these systems don’t respond as quickly as systems in an indoor grow. Greenhouses are designed and built for the site’s climate and weather conditions, and informed by the style of horticulture or agriculture the grower prefers.

The Green Greeks Magazine

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