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Hydroponics Gardening in Cold Weather: Hot Tips

Winter can be a hot time to grow more hydroponics plants. Winter can be a hot time to grow more hydroponics plants.

In most parts of the country, other than Hawaii, temperatures have dipped. Even Florida has been experiencing cooler than average autumn temperatures. But for hydroponics gardeners, cold weather brings more good than bad. So let’s take a look at hot tips for autumn and winter hydroponics gardening…

Hydroponics retailers dread spring and summer because sales drop off the cliff. Unless you’re a professional, commercially growing, making your living from hydroponics, it gets really expensive to air condition a house and a grow room when the outdoor temperatures are in the nineties or hundreds and the grow room has HID lamps that’ll burn you to a crisp if you brush against them.

That’s why hydroponics stores see a spike in sales starting in August and continuing through until mid-April. Hydroponics indoor gardening is most popular in cool weather.

And what many hydroponics growers have realized is that winter is a great opportunity to grow bigger, with more HID lights, because HID heat is a welcome asset.

What you have to do is figure out how to get the heat out of your grow room and into the rest of your dwelling. Do that, and you’re using your HIDs to heat your home, and it can save you tons of money on your heating bills, especially if you use electric central heating or electric space heaters.

So take a look at your grow room infrastructure and figure out how to vent your heat into your home. If you’re already running air-cooled lights and/or have an exhaust fan that sucks hot air out of your grow room ambient air, you’re way ahead.

See if it’s possible to distribute the heat evenly, rather than just suck it out of your hydroponics grow room into one section of your house.

It should be easier for you to keep your grow room ambient temperature in the ideal range during the cooler months of the year. This means 70-75° F, when lights are on, and 66-69° F, when lights are off.

If you’re running C02, you can go up to 80-85° F during lights-on, depending on how many parts per million (ppm) C02 you’re adding to your grow room ambient air.

One thing to be very aware of during cold season is the temperature of your root zone. It’s important that your roots are between 66-69° F, and this includes your hydroponics nutrients too.

If you’ve got plants in pots sitting on a concrete floor, or in any situation where air and temperature circulation is stratified, your root zone can become way too cold, especially during lights-off cycle. Some growers put heating pads under their plants or elevate them off the floor. Whatever you do, don’t let your root zone or hydroponics water get too cold. It shocks the roots.

As you see autumn and winter are times to adjust your hydroponics grow set-up to take advantage of cooler outdoor temps, with less need for air conditioning and the opportunity to use grow room heat to heat your home.

Take an open-minded, creative look at the situation and you may well find that running an extra couple of HIDs this cold season gives you more square feet of grow space, bigger yields, and more heat for your dwelling.

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In winter, this hydroponics Supercloset doubles as a home heating unit!
Last modified on Thursday, 12 July 2012 18:25

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