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Preparing for Winter

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Now that you’ve put on the layers and turned up the furnace, how will you prepare your plants for the season? While a few cold days won’t do much damage to a grow, if the whole growth period takes place in cooler temperatures that can have serious consequences for eventual yield. At below 60℉, you can start to observe the temperature’s negative effects on the plant.

So what is the ideal temperature for your indoor garden? Most plants prefer a range between 72℉ and 77℉. Temperatures shouldn’t drop more than 15℉ during the dark period. For plants that are in a CO2 enriched environment, you can up your temperature requirements by about 5℉. Regardless, your medium’s temperature should be about 70℉. 

What does this mean for you? A big advantage hydroponics gives growers is the ability to monitor and control plants' habitat. Taking the time to measure the temperatures of your growing area and medium is an important way to make sure you're making the most of your indoor garden. 

Photo distributed through CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

Here are a couple of tips to keep your plants productive through the season. 

Insulation - If your indoor garden has its containers on unheated floors, that contact can drain heat right from the pots themselves. Putting an insulator, like a sheet of styrofoam, between the containers and the ground will make a big difference in keeping your plants’ heat in.

Warm Medium - One advantage hydroponics has is how directly you can affect your plant’s environment. Heating the water in your setup helps plants resist colder temperatures. Remember not to heat circulating water over 80℉, or your plants’ roots may be damaged. 

Heating the Space - Plant-heating mats placed in or under containers is a great way to get heat directly to your plants. Follow the temperature guidelines above and avoid overheating sensitive roots. You can even have a heater running in the room to warm the ambient air, but be sure to use a heater that’s safe and appropriate for your grow space!

We hope you (and your plants) stay warm, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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