There are a couple of reasons to use a carbon dioxide (CO2) generator in your grow room. First, CO2 allows plants to yield more buds; second, it makes them grow faster. By increasing carbon dioxide levels in the vegetative stage and in the first part of the flowering stage, you will maximize the crop yield if all other conditions are good.
Many growers use generators to supplement their gardens, but if you are a first-time cannabis cultivator, you may not know much about the practice. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn the basics of CO2 supplementation and how a generator can help.
How Marijuana Plants Use Carbon Dioxide to Grow
Humans and plants have a symbiotic relationship. People exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen, while plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Plants take in CO2 through their stomata (leaf pores), which initiates photosynthesis.
The combination of carbon dioxide, water, and light allows plants to make energy. During photosynthesis, a plant combines the carbon dioxide it pulls from the air with the water absorbed through the roots. As light is added, a chemical reaction occurs between the carbon dioxide and the water. This reaction produces oxygen as well as C6H1206, a glucose-like substance that the weed plant uses for energy.
Outdoor gardens typically receive ample CO2, and when conditions are good, they create extra food that is stored away for later. Where cannabis is concerned, the surplus food produces a higher yield much sooner.
Factors to Consider Before Using a CO2 Generator
The benefits of CO2 supplementation may make it seem like a must-do. However, you will have to make a few considerations before setting up your generator. Because the practice requires a substantial investment of money and time, it is important to be sure your garden is ready by addressing other yield-inhibiting factors.
If your plants’ root systems are weak, they will die even if CO2 is added. A healthy root system requires sufficient aeration so it can use oxygen and absorb nutrients and water. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the growth medium is not over- or under-watered.
Pests and pesticides must be carefully monitored so that carbon dioxide can do its job. Unless these issues are handled, cannabis plants will either fail to thrive or they will die. Chemicals are often harmful to the environment and the consumer. Fortunately, there are numerous chemical-free, all-natural pest control methods which are easy to find in every state, from Maryland to Washington. A plant suffering from a nutrient deficiency or surplus will not benefit from added CO2. When using a chemical fertilizer, it is possible to add too much. Natural fertilization methods are effective, but they require additional maintenance. It is crucial to monitor your plants for deficiencies, as they make it nearly impossible for the crop to remain healthy.
Unless there is enough light, any added CO2 simply goes to waste. As previously explained, photosynthesis only occurs with the combination of CO2, light, and water. Strong lighting sources such as LEDs or HPS systems work well, especially when providing 7500 – 10,000 lumens per square foot.
Increased CO2 levels also bring more humidity. To shield your plants from mold, mildew, and bud rot, it’s best to invest in a good dehumidifier.
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