My question is, how much should I expect the initial start-up costs to be considering that I don’t have any of the supplies needed to start? I’d like to try and get the supplies over the Internet if they are cheaper.
For a small set-up you would need:
? A 400-watt high pressure sodium lamp with ballast, reflector and timer ? a system with an air-cooled reflector helps keep the heat down in the garden space. Units range in cost from $250-350.
? A ventilation fan and thermostat. The fan is used to pump hot air out of the garden. It is controlled by a thermostat that turns the fan on when the air reaches a set temperature. Tubing may be needed to carry the air away from the growing space. An in-line fan tubing and timer will cost between $75-125.
? Circulation fan. This fan moves the air in the space so that it flows around the plant leaves. A table or floor model oscillating fan will move air around the whole garden. Cost is about $35.
? Reflective material for the walls. The walls should be reflective so more light gets to the plants. It can be painted flat white, or reflective material can be used. Aluminum foil, Mylar, reflective tarps or other reflective material can be used at a cost range of $10-25.
? High quality floor tarp. Protects the floor from water damage. Cost is $25.
? Soil or hydroponic system. A soil system consists of containers, soil and trays. For your space, three trays and nine containers, each with three gallons of high quality planting mix would be appropriate. Cost is $45-60. A hydroponic system consists of trays,
containers, planting medium, a timer, reservoirs and a pump, if needed. Cost is $100-200.
? Fertilizers. High quality special fertilizers cost $25-50.
The total cost of the system ranges between $465-$810 if everything is purchased new. Sometimes items can be scavenged or purchased used.
Optionally, a CO2 enrichment system with tank can be installed. These cost about $700 to set up but they increase the garden efficiency ? that is growth ? by 20-40 percent.
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