What is a Grow Box?
The Perfect Indoor Growing Conditions 365 days a year
Think of a grow box as a completely self-contained growing environment. It works the exact same way as a garden would, except you have complete control.
This self-contained growing environment mimics all of the components you’d need to grow your plants.Through hydroponics, you’re able to grow cleaner and easier.
While many suggest that outdoor-grown crops have better taste, indoor growing ensures that all environmental factors are controlled. Issues with bugs, excessive rain or excessive sun, and animals are eliminated entirely.
Outdoor growing also requires checking on your pants constantly, ensuring that your nutrition-rich soil isn’t dried out, and that they’re safe from predators, whether they be animals or human.
Indoor growing allows you to grow yearlong, even through the harsh winter months. The BCNL grow box allows you to grow the best crops, as they give your plants the optimal light, while keeping pests out.
Grow boxes also allow for the most discreet growing, because, well, it’s a box! No one knows what else you’re growing other than you.
BCNL grow boxes are incredibly convenient, including all of the necessary components. Because of the self-contained nature of the grow boxes, they’re highly appealing for those who don’t have too much time or space for growing.
The hydroponic system
Grow boxes either use soil or hydroponics to grow plants. The hydroponics system, which is what BCNL uses, relies a pump system to deliver nutrition-rich water directly to the roots of the plants, making it a far cleaner way to grow.
So, what is ,a href="http://www.bcnorthernlights.com/learn-to-grow-your-own/how-hydroponics-works">hydroponics? The first part of the word is a dead give away—it uses water. The second part of the word, -ponics, means labor in Greek. Essentially, the water does the work for you.
It means that your plants will grow without soil. Instead of relying on the soil for nutrients, hydroponic-grown plants are given mineral nutrients directly, and the water is delivered directly through the root system.
This means less hassle, less mess, stronger and healthier plants. Your crop will also flower sooner than plants grown in soil because of the roots’ direct contact with those nutrients.
The nutrient-rich solution is the most important component of the hydroponic system. As it behaves like soil, you need to ensure that your plant gets the same amount and type of nutrients as they would if they were in soil.
There are many types of water delivery systems within hydroponics—six, to be exact. These are: the drip system, the ebb and flow system, the NFT (or Nutrient Film Technique) system, the water culture system, the wick system, and the aeroponic system.
The drip system is the most commonly used system. It’s time-controlled, and a submersed pump releases the nutrient solution to the roots. You have the option of reusing the excess nutrient solution, which is the more sustainable option, though the risk lies in the fact that nutrient strength will vary.
The ebb and flow system is exactly as it sounds: it floods the grow tray with the nutrient solution, and then drains it back into the reservoir. A timer controls the nutrient solution’s ebb and flow.
The nutrient film technique growing system is created through a constant flow of nutrients, pumped directly into the grow tray, over the plants’ roots.
The water culture growing system is the easiest system to use. The suspended plants float on the nutrient solution, and an air pump supplies air to an air stone that releases the solution, supplying oxygen to the plants’ roots.
The simplest hydroponic system is the wick system. Requiring no moving parts, the grow tray receives the nutrient solution through a wick.
Lastly, the aeroponic system is the system that BCNL uses, and it is considered to be the most advanced hydroponic system. Air is used as its medium, and the suspended plants receive nutrients through sprays of mist.
Clearly, all hydroponic systems require nutrient-rich solutions, and most require some sort of air pump or method that will push the solution around to get to the roots.
Even the most advanced system—the aeroponic growing system—is still very simple to use. BCNL uses a combination of the aeroponic system, the drip system, and the water culture system.
Indoor grow spaces require a lot of light, and it can be quite intrusive. It drains a lot of electricity, and can be costly to light up your grow space.
Why is light so important anyway? Well, it encourages photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is required for plants to grow. It’s the process where plants take up light energy, and it transforms that into chemical energy.
There’s a lot more to it, but the take-away point is this: plants grow faster and stronger the more light it has, but the lights must be placed close to the plants.
The reason for that is because light intensity decreases the farther away it is to whatever it’s shining on. If the light is closer, this ensures that all the leaves on your plant get some light.
A tall plant looks cool, but the light source would have to be placed far away from the plants’ roots, making it inefficient.
Grow boxes generally use either LED lights or HID lights. Currently, BCNL uses HID lights, as they have more flowering power, and both metal halide and HPS (high-pressure sodium) lights are included to ensure that your crop gets all the light that it requires.
As grow boxes require a lot of light, each BCNL box includes a ballast, a device that regulates the current to the lights in your box.
BCNL grow boxes use 400W digital ballasts, as they run cooler (i.e. they don’t overheat), and work silently. Some growers have also commented that digital ballasts will produce 10% more light from your bulb due to better, more efficient ionization of the gases in the bulb.
Smells like fresh linens
But what about that smell? Growing “tomatoes” leaves a pretty distinct odor, but BCNL grow boxes have that covered—literally.
There are a number of ways to mask that odor. Carbon filters, circulation and exhaust fans, ozone generators, and odor masking agents are popular in the indoor growing market.
BCNL grow boxes use odor eliminating carbon filters and ONA Block, which are the most efficient methods.
Using activated charcoal (carbon), dirty air passes through it and cleans it, which means that odorless air is what leaves your box. Activated charcoal is very low maintenance, and can last up to a year and a half.
ONA Block is an odor-neutralizing agent that’s formulated from a combination of essential oils derived from plants and trees. It’s available in a number of different scents, from Fresh Linen to Polar Crystal.
Don’t worry—the grow box can be as small as an IKEA dresser. What you’re thinking about—that massive thing—is a grow tent, not a grow box. That’s very different.
Grow tents are much larger than grow boxes. It’s a literal rectangular tent that will take up your entire apartment.
Our grow boxes are built to the highest standards by hand in Canada, and each is tested for quality and precision before leaving our showroom, which is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.