Carbon Dioxide (CO₂)
Carbon Dioxide is an odourless gas that is approx. twice the weight of oxygen. The main concern most indoor gardeners have when it comes to supplementing CO₂ is the worry that their ventilation system will exhaust out what goes in, this isn’t true
For all trees and plants carbon dioxide is an essential Macro-element that assists photosynthesis, plants absorb Carbon Dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere through tiny structures called stomata cells.
The ambient CO₂ concentration (2018) is currently 406.99 PPM (Parts per million)
If the CO₂ level reaches below 250ppm photosynthesis is stopped altogether, being detrimental to your plants.
Although some species can be intolerant to CO₂ most plants are able to photosynthesise elevated levels between 1100-1700 of Carbon Dioxide.
Increased growth rates, growth pattern and overall vitality.
If the environment is fine tuned correctly and plant nutrition is understood, growth rates can speed up 30% and that is no exaggeration!
Flowering yields can increase up to 30-35% yup! This encompasses flower form, structure, density and overall floral structure and is much more appealing harvest than a crop not supplemented with CO₂.
All this extra goodness from enriching your grow space with a crucial element, who would have thought!?
To best utilise the growth benefits of CO₂ supplementation, you will need intense light levels to work in conjunction with the additional CO₂. If heat is not an issue, you can achieve this by lowering your light closer to your plants, just be careful to not burn your plants with intense heat radiation that comes off HID lights.
So why do plants outside not need anything more than the ambient?
Because its free bound, it’s everywhere, which means it will never be depleted, its only going up (no politics here) whereas with most professional indoor environments they are generally sealed and not reliant on negative pressure to passively deliver the CO₂ to the plants, basically its hugging them every second of the day!
For those in non-sealed or hobby environment/grow room, the reason you need to supplement Carbon Dioxide is because as the plant consumes nutrients to aid photosynthesis the speed of photosynthesis indoors can be up to 7 times as quick as outside, so if all of the ambient CO₂ has been consumed within the space and no more additional gas is being supplemented then your plants will literally stop growing.
Obviously not all gardeners can go to the lengths of acquiring CO₂ tanks and regulators, luckily through innovation, some companies have created disposable products that last for a few weeks before being replaced. These can come in really handy for the hobbyist especially!
And then there are the old-school science class ways of providing our plants much needed air source.
Vinegar & Bi-carb soda is a fairly short lived reaction, however the byproduct emitted is CO₂. Water, yeast & sugar will last much longer than the bi-carb method, this is more of a slow fermenting method, but works quite well!
Try adding some Carbon Dioxide in your growing space today and see the benefits for yourself.