How To Automate The Irrigation In Your 10k Square Foot Grow For $10k

An extreme closeup of drops of water on a leaf. They appear green against a tan and white background.

Automation presents a dynamic solution to two major problems cannabis operators face—intense competition, and weathering a down market. It’s entirely possible for cannabis cultivators to achieve precision growing techniques, maximal yields and consistent product quality with less human-to-plant contact. In fact, tools like the Trolmaster and Dosatron systems can be utilized to automate irrigation, lighting, and HVAC systems in any commercial cannabis cultivation facility for a fairly low cost.

Not only can you automate a 10,000-square-foot cannabis grow for just $10,000, we can show you how to do it complete with current MSRP pricing to provide growers with a clear understanding of the investment involved. Here’s what you need to know:

Cannabis Irrigation Automation 

Precision irrigation is one of the easiest ways to give each strain in your garden the right conditions for peak productivity. Automating your irrigation system design reduces the need for round-the-clock cultivation staff while reducing the chance of human error. And, like all automation, updated monitoring and control also produces a robust body of data you can use for future strategic decision making. 

Irrigation is more than just watering your cannabis plants, however. You’ll want a few different pieces of equipment to fully automate all the aspects of your grow that affect plants’ water uptake and facility environment. 

The Trolmaster Aqua-X controller, for example, acts as the central hub that provides real-time data on moisture content, pH levels and EC levels. Meanwhile, the Hydro-X controller can monitor and adjust humidity levels, temperature, VPD and lighting levels through other programmable devices. Add in pH and EC sensors to help these controllers monitor nutrient level, and Trolmaster modules to set precise timing and duration for irrigation cycles, and congratulations—you’ve just automated your irrigation system for roughly $1,102.

Cannabis Fertilizer Automation

Integrating fertilizer injectors like those made by Dosatron into your newly automated irrigation system offers cannabis cultivators an unparalleled combination of accuracy, efficiency and control in nutrient management. Dosatron fertilizer injectors are water-powered dosing pumps designed to proportionally and accurately mix fertilizers or additives into irrigation water. 

Without the need for electricity, Dosatron injectors operate solely on water flow and pressure, ensuring consistent nutrient delivery. These injectors come in various sizes to accommodate different flow rates and nutrient concentrations, making them suitable for both small and large-scale cannabis cultivation facilities.

Dosatron injectors provide precise and proportional nutrient dosing, while Trolmaster controllers bring comprehensive automation and monitoring capabilities. By combining these technologies, growers can create an optimal cultivation environment where cannabis plants receive the exact nutrients they need throughout their growth cycle.

Integrating Dosatron Injectors with Trolmaster Controllers

The integration of Dosatron injectors into the Trolmaster controller system requires a few simple steps. Firstly, install the Dosatron injector into the water supply system, positioning it after the water source and before the irrigation lines. The injector can be connected to the Trolmaster controller system through the Hydro or Aqua-X Controller.

Once the cannabis irrigation automation equipment is configured, growers can establish customized nutrient dosing schedules based on the specific growth stages of their cannabis plants. As the controllers perform real-time monitoring of pH, EC, moisture content, temperature and humidity, growers can use that data to calibrate the fertilizer injectors to adjust the crop’s evolving nutrient delivery needs. That means you can effortlessly optimize the nutrient mix for your plants through the rooting, vegetative and flowering stages of growth. 

The Trolmaster system includes data logging features that record and store historical data. This allows growers to analyze past nutrient delivery patterns and their impact on plant health and yields. Data-driven insights empower cultivators to make informed decisions and fine-tune their nutrient management strategy for continuous improvement.

The other advantage of irrigation automation is consistency and convenience. Growers can access their irrigation controllers any time, from anywhere. Trolmaster controllers provide automation capabilities, allowing growers to automate nutrient delivery schedules and irrigation cycles. 

Estimated Pricing for Standard Dosatron Injectors and Required Equipment:

Dosatron D14MZ2 Injector (14 GPM): Approximately $425-$500

Dosatron D25RE2 Injector (11 GPM): Approximately $350-$400

Dosatron D3GL2 Injector (0.05 GPM): Approximately $350-$400

Additional Equipment:

Water Filters (depends on size and quality): Approximately $50 to $200

Water Pump (depends on flow rate and capacity): Approximately $950 to $2,000

Cannabis Lighting Automation

In addition to automating the irrigation of your cannabis cultivation facility, you can also reap the benefits of automating grow lights. Precise lighting control is critical for cannabis cultivation, influencing plant growth, flowering and cannabinoid production. Trolmaster’s lighting automation solutions provide precise control over lighting schedules, intensity, and spectrum—and they work with both HID lights and those on which so many states and municipalities now offer LED rebates. The Lighting Control Module, priced at approximately $250, acts as a bridge between the Hydro-X system and the lighting fixtures.

To automate lighting, install the Lighting Control Module and integrate it with your existing lighting fixtures. The module enables you to create customized lighting schedules based on the specific growth stage of the plants. With the ability to control multiple lighting zones independently, growers can simulate natural sunlight cycles and tailor lighting to different areas of the facility.

For accurate monitoring of light intensity and spectrum, consider integrating Trolmaster’s PAR meters. These meters, priced at around $300 each, provide real-time data on the light levels received by your cannabis plants. By incorporating PAR data, the lighting control system can automatically adjust lighting levels and spectrum to meet the plants’ changing needs throughout their growth cycle. This precise control over lighting conditions can significantly enhance plant health and promote optimal yield and cannabinoid production.

Cannabis Cultivation HVAC Automation

Maintaining an optimal climate is vital for cannabis cultivation, as temperature and humidity levels directly impact plant health and yield. Trolmaster’s HVAC automation solutions offer comprehensive control and monitoring capabilities that are a natural extension of irrigation and lighting automation. After all, what impacts temperature and humidity in a grow more than lighting and watering of plants? The Climate Control Module, priced at approximately $350, serves as a bridge between the Hydro-X system and HVAC equipment.

To automate commercial cannabis HVAC systems, install the Climate Control Module and connect it to HVAC equipment, including heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Through the Hydro-X controller growers can set temperature and humidity setpoints, as well as define specific fan speed settings for optimal air circulation. The integration of environmental sensors, which cost around $100 each, provides real-time data on temperature, humidity, CO2 levels and VPD (Vapor Pressure Deficit).

Why Do Cannabis Cultivators Need Automation?

Automating irrigation, lighting and HVAC in any cannabis cultivation facility with systems like those made by Trolmaster and Dosatron can lead to significant improvements in crop health and overall yield. The initial investment in these automation solutions may be less than you think, and the long-term benefits of increased efficiency, reduced resource consumption and enhanced crop quality make it a worthwhile endeavor for any serious cannabis grower. Seriously, systems integration and automation is one of the best ways to optimize your cannabis facility design to grow with your business.

With the current MSRP pricing provided, growers can make informed decisions to embark on a successful automated cultivation journey. Working with an irrigation specialist like Next Big Crop will expedite the equipment selection and design process, while providing access to special pricing not available in your local hydro store. 

Reach out to Next Big Crop at today to start designing and dialing in your automation system.