Growing In Winter
Just like growing in summer has its problems, so does growing in winter. The coldest part of our year pretty much eliminates growing outdoors. The lack of light and heat just doesn’t provide a suitable environment and unless your plant has the genetic predisposition to thrive outside…it just won’t survive. So, let’s put a line through an outdoor harvest in winter and focus on what we can do to secure an indoor garden.
Advantages of Growing Indoors during Winter
Growing indoors over winter has its advantages, it usually means you can access central heating and insulated rooms, this helps you regulate the temperature better when the lighting source (lamp or LED) is off or in the “night cycle”. Also, because of the naturally lower ambient temperature it will allow a lighting system to run at maximum without the risk of over heating like you get in summer. Temperature regulation especially at the cold end is very important as when temperature drop below 15c it can reduce the plants ability to grow or generate flowers. It may not necessarily kill a plant but it can definitely halt progress. Going even colder though, does increase the likelihood of your plant dying.
Tip: Keep a careful eye on your temperatures, make sure you have a hygrometer on hand to see where your temperature is always. Hydroponic enthusiasts may require the use of tank heaters over the winter to make sure the water doesn’t get too cold and cause root shock.
What if I don’t have central heating?
Well, then you must improvise! We have a multitude of heaters that will usually suit most situations. You will have to find a way to heat your room/tent so that your temps don’t drop below 15c. Tube heaters, Oil Heaters, 3KW fan heaters to name a few can be put on a timer so when your lights go out, the heating comes on. It’s not massively complicated and for the sake of another timer, can save your crop from failure. Yes, a heater is an additional running cost but again, it is a necessity if you can’t keep above 15c when the lights go out.
What if my area isn’t insulated?
Then insulate it. If you can’t stop heat escaping over winter than you’re fighting a losing battle and your electric bill will be outrageous if you are using heaters to keep that area warm. Wait until the end of spring when temperatures will be more favourable. There is no point wasting time money and resources trying to grow anything if you can’t keep it warm.
Tip: Think practically and keep the plants warm when the lights go out. That’s pretty much the key to growing in winter. All growing principles stay the same, you just have to be on top of your temperature control.