Winter Growing Tips
As the weather starts to cool down, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to continue growing plants throughout the winter months. Your plants are accustomed to growing and flowering during the warmer months. When they get exposed to colder temperatures, they tend to slow down their growth and become dormant, waiting for the right time to produce.
If you want to keep your plants warm during the winter, you need to use the right type of heater. Heaters that use a heating element wire can introduce dry heat and increase the risk of hazards. Instead, you should use an oil fin heater, which radiates a slow warmth and has less effect on the immediate plant foliage.
With the increasing popularity of LED lights and the reduction in warmth generated by old HID lights, temperature control becomes even more important when the temperature drops. To maintain warmth, lights should always be on during the night time, ideally between 6:00pm and 6:00am. Since the night time is the coldest part of the day, we want to utilize the warmth from our lights to counteract this cold period. The same principle applies in the summer - we don't want the extra heat from our lights on during the day when it is already hot.
Maintaining the right water temperature during winter is the best way to keep your plants in growth and flowering mode. You can use a simple aquarium heater to keep your reservoir warm and prevent your plants from slowing down their growth or going dormant. The ideal water temperature is around 25C. For recirculating systems, we recommend setting your water heaters to 28C in the coldest part of winter, as this will allow some heat loss through your feed line. If the weather is only cold at night and warm during the day, you can set your heater to 25C to ensure that your water stays above 20C.
When selecting the wattage of your heater, keep in mind that in a recycling system, water is taken away warm and returned cold. Therefore, the wattage of your heater may need to be larger than the recommended size. Most heaters have inbuilt thermostats, so they will not overheat your water, if there is a decent volume of water available. We recommend using a heater with double the litre volume of your system for optimal performance. For example, if you have a 50L system, a 100w heater would be ideal.
If you have any problems feel free to visit us at Isabellas Hydroponic Nuresry & Garden Centre