We are well into the wintertime now, and having just had our first snow, I thought I might give you all a few tips and tricks for growing weed in the colder months. We all know that weed usually is a warm-weather plant and doesn’t react well if its temperatures get messed with. This means growing during winter, even indoors, can be tricky. When you’re growing inside during winter in a colder country your house is still going to be freezing which can mess up your plants. If you are brave enough to grow outside in winter then you know you have a lot of variables to deal with. Of course, the main question being whether or not it is worth it to try and grow in the winter, should you just wait till the summer? Let’s have a look at some advice for winter growing.
First, we are going to look at the indoor growing and how it is affected by the outside temperature. So when you’re growing indoors you should have full control over temperature, humidity and other aspects of your plant’s environment. During the summer it’s not hard to keep your grow room in the 20s or difficult to keep the air moisture high enough. In the winter the cold is going to radiate through your house and the air is going to dry, so you need to be ready. The largest issue in many cold countries is the vast change between day and night temperature. During the day your plants need to be between 24 – 30 degrees C, which isn’t too hard to maintain if it’s 5 – 10 degrees outside. However, at night your plants need to be between 18 – 22 degrees C, much harder if it has suddenly dropped to – 5 out of nowhere. If you don’t take care of the temperature change and make sure the plants are happy it could definitely negatively impact the flowering period.
The obvious thing it to keep the heating up in the grow room but this can cost you a lot of money if the outside temperature is too cold. So some winter growers recommend finding an alternative heating source that doubles as another aspect of the grow room. HID (high-intensity discharge) lighting can be a great way to get two things from one. They give off an impressive amount of heat so you can use them for your light and heat instead of paying separately for an expensive heater. You will likely need to use a heater on low during the night etc, but having an electric thermostat is the best way to ensure you’re getting the temp right in your grow room.
Humidity is the next thing we need to look at because as I said before the cold air is a lot dryer, but weirdly this can increase the relative humidity in your grow room. Mould is a killer in the winter so you need to make sure the humidity in your grow room stays at a level that keeps your plants happy. Maintaining temperature as we said before is definitely a good way to maintain your relative humidity. If possible get an electric humidity monitor so you can see exactly what’s going on in your grow room. It may be necessary to get a dehumidifier which is another expense on your room but may save your plants from certain destruction.
Growing indoors in the winter isn’t going to be as tricky as outdoor growing, so if you keep on top of temperature and humidity your plants should be alright. You just need to be extra attentive in the colder months.
Obviously growing outdoors during the winter months is a little more complicated. There are a number of extremely important things that need to be taken into consideration if you want your plants to survive. Honestly, your best bet is to grow indoors but for some, that’s just not possible. If you must grow outdoors in winter then location is key. I would recommend planting in pots rather than straight into the ground. It may be necessary to move your plants depending on the weather or you may want to put them in different spaces during the day and during the night. You want your plants to be shielded from the wind and any more extreme weather.
If you live somewhere that experiences extreme winters then growing outdoors during this season is probably a bad idea. Really your only chance there is to pick a hardy strain that grows well in less hospitable climates. There are a few mountain strains that can deal with cold weather, are less susceptible to mould or infestation, and are generally hardy growers. It’s not a bad idea to use autoflowering versions of cold weather strains as they will flower faster. Some cold weather strains are extremely beautiful and plants that grow in colder weather tend to take on deep red and purple colours which when covered in trichomes look like the night sky. Even if you are using cold weather strains keep a good eye on your plants to make sure they are comfortable.
You should also monitor the rain and the temperature. If it starts to get too cold or wet, as winter does in many places, you might have to bite the bullet and bring them indoors. Potentially you could arrange it so that your plants come in at night if the evening temperatures are the issue. This way you don’t need to set up a full grow room you just have to make sure your plants are happy and warm till they can go back out into the sun.
Finally, it is more important than ever that your plants are getting enough nutrients. Cold temperatures reduce the root activity which can mean your plants aren’t getting what they usually would from the soil. Monitor them carefully and look out for any signs of nutrient deficiency, they may need nutrient-enriched soil.
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