The transition from summer to winter seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Fall just seems to fly by; one minute day temps are pushing 90* and the following week it’s in the low 20’s at night. These quick reversals in temperature don’t just mess with us, they affect our plants as well. Timing is key when temps start dropping, and switching that A/C off is important to your plants’ health and productivity. I’ll share with you some pointers that I have picked up through the years on how to ‘Winterize’ your grow space to help save you time when Jack Frost comes for a visit.
One very important element to be made aware of during these months is your water temps. Whether you are growing in hydro or soil, water temp can affect everything from PH to nutrient absorbency. If you are growing in soil , it’s a good idea to use a soil thermometer to see what the subsurface temp is in your container is. Make sure to water and feed with a solution at similar temp to the soil for better absorbency and to reduce shock due to cold water hitting your warm roots.
Reservoir heaters are a must-have for any re-circulating hydro system. Just set the temp on the unit, and keep your water in a safe range. Smaller set ups, including deep water culture in 5gal buckets, can be lifted off of the ground with some board insulation found at a local hardware store to create a layer between the cold floor and the bucket. You can also use this tip for Botanicare and Duralastic reservoirs on other systems.
Another way to heat up your room is to crank up the wattage. Upgrade from a 400 or 600 watt to a 1000 watt bulb and you just doubled you BTU output, warming up your space, and your plants might not mind the extra light either. Or if you are running a duct to remove heat during the warmer months, you can stop extracting that heat, remove the glass from your reflector, and use that warm energy to keep you plants comfy.
Can Max Fan Pro Series plugged into a Titan Zephyr 1 Day/Night temperature controller will help move warm air into your space or cold air out, depending on how you set it up. The Zephyr will also run a space heater in your room and help keep out that cold air.
Last item I always recommend regardless of the season is the Blueprint Thermometer/Hygrometer , because you cannot tell if it’s cold without some kind of monitoring system in place. Taking these few simple steps can keep your indoor garden healthy, productive, and insulated from the shock of rapidly changing temperatures this time of year.
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