Indoor growers have long known the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide levels in greenhouses. Carbon dioxide, light, and water are all necessary for photosynthesis, the chemical reaction that creates plant growth.
Studies have shown that even when optimum levels of light, water and nutrients are available, plant growth will still be limited by the amount of carbon dioxide available during the daylight growth cycle.
While different varieties of plants respond to different maximum CO2 levels, in general, doubling CO2 from outdoor air levels to 800 ppm results in an average of one-third greater improvement in plant growth and productivity. This is according to the work done by Bruce Kimball at the Water Conservation
Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Phoenix, Arizona.
His studies also concluded:
- Greenhouse-grown vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce show earlier maturity, larger fruit size, greater numbers of fruit, a reduction in cropping time, and yield increases averaging 20 to 50 percent.
- Greenhouse-grown flowers such as roses and carnations grow more quickly, have longer stems, and larger, more colorful flowers. Yield increases averaged 12 percent.
- Flowers and ornamental plants propagated by cuttings, such as geraniums, show faster growth, more extensive rooting, and greater plant heights.
The problem with most CO2 generators (gas burners, CO2 tanks) is that they work on a timer. Turn CO2 on with the lights, and turn it off in the dark. There is no way to know if the optimum CO2 level is reached. Too little CO2 minimizes growth, while too much CO2 wastes energy, and can even harm plants.
At CO2Meter.com, our most popular products especially designed for indoor gardeners are:
iSense CO2 Level Controller - The most accurate solution, the iSense controls CO2 delivered via a CO2 generator or a pressurized CO2 tank control valve. The industrial-quality relay insures CO2 levels remain between 1,200 and 1,500ppm (configurable with software). Plug this unit into the same timer that controls your light source for a complete indoor greenhouse growing solution.
cSense CO2 + RH/T Monitor - continuously displays carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity levels. Just plug it in – the cSense gives you accurate readings instantly, and is designed to last for years. When used with supplemental CO2, automatic background calibration can be disabled.
pSense Portable CO2 Meter - Our top-selling CO2 meter, measures CO2, RH/T, and can be calibrated outdoors with fresh air. The pSense doubles as a personal safety alarm to warn you of dangerous leaks in compressed CO2 tanks.