What’s the difference between a 3 tier grow light stand and a traditional potting bench? Well, first of all they look different. Traditional potting benches have a flat base, a thin, wide rim and hold many plants at one time. When you’re finished using your potting bench it drops its water source and plants are set on top of a wet moss layer or blanket.
The 3 tier style holds only one plant, allowing you to easily rotate your plants with relative ease. It can be used as a stand alone unit or part of an indoor gardening system, such as a hydroponics system. It can be mounted using screws or nails to a sturdy metal frame. The bottom of the base has a drain hole, while the top has a wide water source and drainage. It’s designed to sit flush against a wall or post.
The main difference is in how you set up the system. In the traditional style of the plants are put into the bottom and topped off with a layer of moss or blanket. Then the tops are covered with either mesh or plastic mats. Now water is added and it sits until it dries or until you decide to remove the bottom layers of mats and expose the plants. In most cases it’s a good idea to remove the top layers because you won’t be able to replenish the water source at that point. And if you need to replace the water source it will be slower than if you could just add the water directly to the bottom of the bucket.
In addition to the water source and the bottom of the bucket there are two other pieces of equipment. A spinner is used to mix the soil blocks. It’s important to use a wheel for this part of the process because it increases your chances for proper rotation. If you use a spinner to make sure the soil blocks are heavy enough not to spin. If they are spinning they can knock off some of the plants and cause premature loss.
Finally there’s the plants. There are a couple of different ways these are set up but they typically look like small bundles ready to be planted. You’ll need a trellis to support the plants, a feeder (hopefully with plenty of food), and a place to put the trellis so they can have support when they reach a certain height. Most kits include everything you need.
The actual watering system is pretty simple. If your garden is exposed to shade you can use the stand with either a manual pump or an automatic one. The manual pumps are more expensive but they can usually get the job done in a shorter amount of time. The automatic ones are easier to operate, but they take up more room.
The nutrients for your plants are provided through the water source. This includes the nutrients dissolved in the soil and those found in the plant roots. You’ll want to choose a good quality potting soil because it will retain more moisture. This will allow the plants to develop deep and healthy roots which will help them grow quickly. Also, be sure you don’t run too low on nutrients while the pots are growing. The excess water will eventually cause the bottom of the pot to rot and then the roots won’t get all of the nutrients they need.
There are different ways to use the lights as well. Some people like to partially light their beds at night with only a few lights, and then use a bigger grow light later on in the day. Others prefer to completely light their plants during the day and then use a dimmer switch to turn on a few lights at night. Whatever your preference is, be sure to read up on your lights and follow all directions for proper indoor light production. If you get it right from the start, you’ll be glad that you implemented a light stand system for your home and be able to enjoy the benefits of indoor gardening for many years to come.