Autumn is on the way...
It's turning chilly!
As the temperatures drop leading into the winter months, it is important to adapt your grow space accordingly. Here we discuss a few methods of ensuring your plants aren't left out in the cold.
Seedlings and cuttings can be extremely vulnerable to cooler temperatures. A heated propagator can assist in maintaining ideal temperatures for starting younger plants. Newly developed roots can become cold and it can stunt their growth and development so a warmer environment is essential for healthy, growing plants.
Young plants can be susceptible to colder months, slowing down their development so applying gentle heat to your plants can accelerate germination by days! A thermostat to maintain optimum temperatures is the perfect solution to keep your seedlings warm and cosy.
Cold, cold nights
When the lights go down, so does the temperature. Heaters that you may have in the room will turn on to compensate for the fall in temperature. If your extractor fans are working at the same speed as when your lights were on the heat produced by the heaters will just be extracted as quickly as it is being produced. This is an incredible waste of power and therefore money. Using a thermostatically controlled fan speed controller to maintain the temperature of your grow space will decrease the speed of your extraction when temperatures fall and it will increase the speed of your extraction when temperatures increase. The RAM Air Pro is a very easy to use plug and go fan speed controller with three control dials. One controls the desired temperature which is displayed on a digital display, one controls the minimum speed at which you would like your extractor to run at and the final dial controls the balance between the intake and extractor fans so you can maintain negative pressure even if you have different sized intake and extractor fans. Monitoring your maximum and minimum temperatures will help you to tailor your fan speed settings and room set up to maintain the evenest temperatures possible using a Min/Max Thermometers.
Using a tube heater along the floor of your grow space will stop any cold spells which may occur when the lights in your grow space turn off. These purpose-designed heaters fit perfectly in between your pots, offering a gentle heat from the floor which rises up into your canopy.
Using a tube heater and a thermostatically controlled fan speed controller combined will prevent your grow room from becoming too cold during the night time. As the temperature falls within the grow area, the heaters will activate and the fan speed controller will decrease the extraction rate, conserving the heat being given off by the heaters. Merely using a thermostatically controlled fan speed controller will help to create a more stable temperature within the grow area when lights are on, but when the lights go off you are at the mercy of your intake temperature.
Additionally, "Heat" from vitalink is an advanced bio-stimulant which increases plant resistance to temperature decreases below 5 degrees celsius/frosty conditions and helps it to thrive through the winter months.
When the temperature outside drops, so does the temperature of the air intake.
When the temperature of your intake decreases and become cold, it is pushing cold air into the bottom of your tent can cause problems as your plant’s roots can become too cold. During the colder months, it is actually very beneficial to have your intake higher up so that the colder air is falling onto your plant’s canopy. This way the cold air will infuse with the hot air and result in a much evener temperature throughout the grow space and most importantly, will keep your plant’s root system from becoming too cold also. When the roots of a plant become too cold it decreases the speed at which water and nutrients can be taken up and can even stop taking on water if the temperature is cold enough. Using an air distribution hose to disperse the cold inlet air helps to create a more consistent temperature throughout the grow space as the cold air is dispensed from multiple holes along the hose creating a better diffusion and spread of cold air over your canopy.
During the colder months, the outdoor humidity will usually increase outside the grow room but generally temperatures have decreased. This means that the air itself cannot retain as much moisture. When you intake the air during the warmer months, the air temperature only increases by around 5- 10 celsius so you will only see a slight decrease in relative humidity as the air warms up in your grow space (eg. 60% outside air down to 50% when warmed in grow space). When you are taking in the much colder air you will see a much more noticeable reduction in relative humidity (80% outside down to 50% when warmed) as the air is warmed up inside the grow space as the air will increase by 10-15 celsius.
To create the ideal areas of high humidity for vegetative growth during summer and winter months alike, you can use a humidifier, ideally with a humidistat.
When using or storing water for your plants it is important to maintain water at the correct temperature, as roots are extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperature swings. Using water that is either too hot or too cold can stress your plants, cause damage and lead to slow growth. If you use a barrel or large container to mix and store your nutrient solution, the colder temperatures of autumn and winter can decrease the temperature of the solution to a point where it is too cold for plants to uptake. On the other hand, water that becomes too warm can also cause problems, especially in recirculating systems. As the temperature of water increases, it’s capacity to hold dissolved oxygen decreases. This can cause anaerobic organisms to become the dominant power in your root zone and they are the main causal factor when it comes to root disease such as pythium. Keeping your nutrient solution in your grow area can lead to these high water temperatures if the grow room temperatures are exceeding 20 celsius, which most indoor grow rooms will. Keeping your nutrient solution in a cold area with a water heater in your barrel will maintain the perfect