The critical role of carbon dioxide in the growth of cannabis plants is unmistakable. Enhanced CO2 levels foster the best possible health for the plant and the highest possible yield.
Through photosynthesis, plants manufacture sugars, a process energized by light.
This light splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, with the oxygen being released into the air. The oxygen then combines with CO2 to form sugars, which nourish the plant, fueling its growth and metabolism.
Cannabis, classified as a C3 plant, only takes in CO2 during photosynthesis. When light and water are sufficient, cannabis can absorb more CO2 if the air's CO2 concentration increases, thus boosting photosynthetic productivity. This leads to greater sugar production and, consequently, quicker growth.
The 420 ppm CO2 found in Earth's atmosphere is relatively low for C3 plants like cannabis, which thrives better with CO2 supplementation, especially during bright summer days. Elevating CO2 to about 0.15% (1500 ppm) can significantly expedite growth rates.
In enclosed grow spaces, CO2 depletes rapidly under intense lighting. Without ventilation, the CO2 can dwindle, slowing photosynthesis dramatically—to the point it nearly halts at 200 ppm. Photosynthesis resumes once CO2 is reintroduced into the environment.
For ideal cannabis growth, CO2 levels between 800-1,500 ppm are recommended, significantly higher than the natural atmospheric levels, hence the necessity for artificial supplementation both indoors and outdoors.
Options for CO2 EnrichmentCostly CO2 generators, equipped with sensors and regulators, are effective but may be financially daunting for small-scale growers.
Alternatively, strategies like positioning a CO2-releasing compost heap near an outdoor grow or utilizing home beer-brewing setups can offer some CO2, though not enough to reach the desired concentration. While products like mushroom bags can serve a purpose, they typically have a limited lifespan.
For craft growers, I'd suggest a practical, cost-effective, and simple method.
Supplementing CO2 with Green PadThe Green Pad CO2 generators are among the market's most popular and effective tools, embraced for their simplicity and impressive performance, ideal for growers looking to enhance CO2 without the expense of more elaborate systems.
With the Green Pad, you're getting an invention by growers for growers, devised by Mark, a long-standing cultivator and cannabis community advocate. He introduced the Green Pad in 2009, offering a much-needed solution for CO2 enrichment in small-scale gardens.
How Green Pads Work
These pads consist of a special blend of carbon and acids that react with moisture to produce CO2. You start the reaction by spritzing the pad with water, and the garden's humidity perpetuates this. For ongoing production, occasional additional water sprays can be beneficial.
Easy to install at the canopy's peak, Green Pads are effective and straightforward, needing replacement only every two weeks and offering an almost indefinite shelf life before use.
To determine if a Green Pad needs replacing, mist it and listen for a fizzing sound, indicating an active reaction. Silence means it's time for a new pad.
For areas between 200 and 400 square feet, the standard Green Pad suffices. For over 800 square feet, the larger Grand Daddy Pad is recommended, and maintaining moisture with a damp sponge can optimize performance in dry conditions.
As grow spaces expand, you might consider transitioning to traditional CO2 enrichment methods like generator tanks for larger-scale operations.
CO2 and ClonesCO2 is equally vital during propagation, promoting healthier clones and quicker rooting. Photosynthesis is key here, providing oxygen essential for the root zone, often susceptible to oxygen scarcity.
Green Pad Jr. is designed to fit within humidity domes, thus increasing success rates and rooting speed, enabling a swift transition to the vegetative stage. Quick-changing, Green Pad Jr. works best when replaced every couple of days.
"People often overlook the benefits of CO2 for clones," according to Mark. "Those who've seen Green Pad Jr. in action are usually amazed at how promptly the cuttings root and how it maintains leaf vitality."
For the Jr. pads, minimal water spray is needed, as they are designed to react with the high humidity levels in clone trays, but a light mist can activate them if necessary.
Green Pad - An Efficient CO2 solutionIn summary, CO2 supplementation is a cornerstone of successful cannabis cultivation, and while there are numerous CO2 generation strategies, the Green Pad method stands out for its convenience and innovation.
The Green Pad products suit craft growers particularly well, offering an efficient, low-cost approach to CO2 enhancement. For bigger gardens, machine generators or tanks might be worth considering, but for small tents, closets, and spaces up to 800 cubic feet, Green Pad is an excellent choice.