Easy Winter Growing Tips For Killer Yields
It seems like it's dark about 70% of the time outside and you can feel temperatures plummeting pretty quickly, BUT the Winter months can give you some of your most successful grows with both yield and quality...seems absurd, but honestly, play it right and you can make the most of the predictably shit weather.
During Summer, external temperatures and quickly changing shifts in humidity can cause all sorts of trouble for us all and it starts becoming VERY difficult to predict whats happening next. With Winter though, you know its going to be cold and more than likely miserable outside. This makes it easier to burn lights at higher wattages, which will keep your room warmed up nicely and give your plants some super-charged lumens letting them do their thing. There's less risk of water-bourn diseases during the colder months and infestation of bugs or mites is massively reduced.
Sounds great so far, everyone and their mothers should get a grow on this Winter if it's this easy...surely? The colder temps. provide their own opportunities for disasters and failures but know what they are and you can get prepared before it all goes tits up!
Follow our quick guide and make sure you've got Jack Frost under control.
Burning Lights Make Dry Air
It's cold outside, yeah you can burn loads of lights and ramp them all up to to their super-lumen stage; you'll probably still keep good temps. in your grow space. The downside to this is it makes the air very arid, so you'll want to add some moisture to the air to increase humidity, particularly during the veg. cycle. This is a pretty easy problem to solve, grab a humidifier, put it in the middle of your tent or room...piece of piss! done! next!
OMG! Lights Out! It's FREEZING
Your plants are all happy and thriving when your lights are on, but during lights out, the cold creeps in and your nutrient temperatures plummet, the air temperature is shocking and your freezing your bollocks off standing in your grow room. These cold temperatures can seriously ruin a well-planned Winter grow, they'll cause your plants to lock out and they refuse to grow a millimeter until the temperatures reach about 18˚C - thats water temperature, air temperature and the plants core temperature. This'll cost you upto about 40% of growth time during lights on everyday where your plants are just warming up, not growing. Again, this is a pretty simple problem to solve, first, let's start with the basics.
Make sure you've got your 'lights on' time over the night-time and 'lights-off' during the day. This is obvious and should always be happening anyway whatever season you're in.
Sort out the ambient air temps with some heaters in your grow space, oil radiators work a treat and the high powered green house fan heaters can be a blessing when it gets seriously cold, connect these to a timer switch and have them fire up just before your lights turn off so they have a chance to get warm and have them turn off before your lights turn on, this'll stop the room from over heating.
Get your pots off the floor! If you grow in a space with concrete floor, this can literally kill your plants. The cold transfers into the pots reservoir or substrate and freezes the plants roots into lockout, your plants wont grow until your floor has warmed up, which'll take AGES! Either under your tent or on the floor of your grow room, put some 25-50mm Polyurethane Closed Cell (Kingspan) Insulation down and put your pots on top.
Keep your nutes warm. The best test to see if your nutrients and water solution is too cold is to put your hand in...too cold for you? Then it is definitely too cold for your plants! Imagine standing in a bucket of freezing water all day, you'd hate it and so do your plants. Your plants like it warm, just like you would! If you water by hand, check the temp before pouring it all over your babies, 18˚C is perfect. If your system is controlled by a central reservoir, you can drop a submersible nutrient heater in the tank, this'll maintain the perfect temp. at a constant. For Hydro systems it's critical you keep an eye on water temperatures as often as possible.
It's A Battle
As with Summer, Winter is a battle of temperatures and achieving a balance between lights on and lights out, but as a season the majority of growers find it easier to stay on top of as it is predictably miserable unlike Summer where it goes from miserable to scorching heat in a few hours. With just a couple of extra bits of kit and a keen eye you can become an awesome Winter grower, producing your best quality yields to date.
Winter is coming...don't get fucked up by the White Walkers.
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