Here are ten tips we wished someone had told us as we were starting out, you lucky lucky people...
Don't Over-Fill Your Room!
Tempting as it is to dedicate every spare inch to the cultivation of your favorite plants, the more space you leave yourself to work, the less frustrating and back breaking the maintenance will be. Start with dedicating up to fifty percent of your available space and see how you get on from there.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
The better insulated your growing area, the less susceptible it will be to extremes in ambient temperatures (cold in winter, hot in summer), and the less you will have to spend on heating and cooling your garden. Time and money spent in good insulation will pay you back over and over again.
Raise your propagation area
Dealing with dozens of young plants is a tricky and precise business. It's much easier if your propagation area is raised up to just below chest level.
Reservoirs-Bigger is Better
The bigger your reservoir, the more stable your nutrient solution and the less often you will need to change it.
Fresh air should be drawn from an adjacent room (not outdoors) and should always pass through a bug screen or inline air filter. Exhaust fans should be specced slightly larger than input fans (if used) so that there is constant negative pressure maintained in your garden. Negative pressure gives you greater control over your garden's environment.
Separate Electrics from Plants
The fewer electrical components in your garden, the better. Obviously grow lights play an integral role but ballasts and control gear do not belong in your garden. Situate them next to your garden instead. It's not only safer but a good idea to keep electrical gear out of your garden because there is less heat generated. Remember, grow lights by themselves generate more than enough heat to give you a serious ventilation / cooling overhead. Don't make matters worse!
Create Staging Environments
Plants don't like big changes in temperature or relative humidity. Ideally, create separate a mother room, nursery (for cuttings), vegetative room and flowering chambers.
Enforce a Zero-Tolerance Trash Policy
Trash bags full of old, decaying plant matter should be removed from the garden and, ideally, your home all together. The cleaner your growing environment, the better.
Label All Plugs, Pumps, Lights, Heaters, Ballasts
Got six grow lights. Label them! One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six! Sounds simple but this will save you hours tracing cables from reflectors to ballasts, and ballasts to lighting controllers. Label your ballasts so they correspond to their grow light they operate. Label your pumps and their respective plugs. You'll thank yourself a many times for this!
Growing in Plant Pots? Use Trays!
If you're growing in pots, put them on trays. Not only can you move your plants around en-masse rather than onerously moving them around individually, but trays will also catch run-off after irrigation. Some growers fix caster wheels to their trays for even easier mobility.