Sure, many people grow a little something on the side in their garages. Summer is coming and just about anywhere in the US that means HEAT! Hot summer days and plants in a garage can make your tent or closet become a hot box of death for plants if you’re not careful. If you’re in the southwest then you can go cheap with an evaporative cooler or “swamp” cooler as many call them because the air is so dry here that any moisture will help cool it off and help your plants too.
What many people do is run their lights at night and bring in fresher and cooler night air but then you have to worry about pests and pathogens getting into your spot. Plants don’t dig that, trust me. Sure, you can filter the air which is always a good idea but there are places in the great big country of ours where the night temperatures can be hotter than what plants like before you turn the lights on. What do you do in that situation? … Well it’s a combination of things usually that gets the job done. Most growers know about AC or air conditioning but many forget about humidifiers for the dry places and dehumidifiers for the hot and humid places. If you’re growing in a 4x4x7 tent for yourself it’s hard to justify the cost of all that gear.
I know back in the day we had all kinds of ways to cool it off a bit on the cheap. We threw dry ice in a bucket of water with a fan blowing the mist up (too many concerts in the 70’s & 80’s… hey, it looked cool alright!) but that had to be dosed appropriately to the space and is not a perfect science but did help.
If you have too much humidity you’ll need a dehumidifier. If you don’t have enough humidity you’ll need a humidifier or hire someone to “spritz bottle spray” your plants all day (suddenly the humidifier seems like a good option, doesn’t it?). If you can insulate your tent and can bring in fresh, filtered air then great. At the end of the day you may need to awaken your inner McGyver and rig something but some of the best inventions come from that experience (as do some of the funniest fails posted on the internet truth be told). It’s a learning experience and your plants will tell you if you’re doing a good job or not. They never lie so if you don’t like what you see ask questions, read forums and keep at it. It is a worthwhile experience.
You want your plants to have the right conditions to succeed and get you bountiful, healthy harvest so from the lights you choose to what you feed them to how you keep their environment is up to you to ensure their happiness. Remember this: happy plants pay you back! Get a laser thermometer, a basic humidity probe and start taking readings. Study a VPD chart and know what the sweet spot is. You have a luxury we did not have back in the day: you can search all of it on the internet or go to a garden center and ask questions.
Here’s to happier days ahead in your garden. Pull up a chair and admire your work as there is nothing like it.