CO2 levels

by Jerry Morse
(Vicksburg, MS USA)

Is there a gauge I can use to check the CO2 levels in the room where I am growing plants? Is there a magic number that relates to CO2 levels?




Answer: Jerry- the device you are referring to is known as a CO2 monitor. After a little checking, most of the monitors I saw cost around $500 and up, although a couple were cheaper. These include both hand held monitors as well as "wall mounted" monitors that also control your CO2 equipment.

Personally, I wouldn't spend any money on CO2 unless all other factors in your garden have been made ideal first. My page on plant growth and CO2 describes in detail how to calculate the desired CO2 levels and manage your system with just timers....otherwise you will have to purchase a CO2 monitor at least.

Natural CO2 in the atmosphere is around 400 ppm. When the level in your garden drops below 250 ppm, photosynthesis (plant growth) stops. Simply running an exhaust fan and supplying fresh air is enough to prevent this, but some people have noticed an increase in plant growth with an increase in CO2 levels.

If you are able to prevent your garden area from being constantly exhausted (usually by adding air conditioning), you may be able to benefit from added CO2. I rarely see people aim for a CO2 level less than 1000 ppm. 1000-1200 ppm is the target level I see used most often. Much less often I read about a few people using 1500-2000 ppm.

As I said before, you are not likely to notice the extra growth unless you are starting with a healthy, problem free garden to begin with (or unless you have a lot of gardening experience). Be sure to read that page on CO2 I linked to above, and Happy Growing!

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Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 22 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

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As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

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This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.


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Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!


High Efficiency
Soil Gardening

This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It's a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It's natural. it's spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and....only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!


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