Hydroponics Winter Basics
Hydroponics Winter Basics
Winter is now upon us in the northern hemisphere. Here in West Yorkshire we have already experienced several frosts and a snow storm. Thus making it impossible to do any outdoor gardening.
Most plants that are hardy have already closed down for their winter break. Leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees, with only conifers having a covering of green foliage. In my case my lemon and other citrus fruit are sitting happily in their cosy greenhouse together with LED lighting to lengthen our dark winter days.
So, indoor hydroponic growers can experience temperature fluctuations during very cold spells of weather. Roots are very intolerant of temperature changes. Changes in growth can make significant changes to growth rate if the temperature is allowed to drop bellow 19c . So at this temperature the plants roots zone could easily be damaged. The growth begins to slow and the outside of the root can be damaged.
Many experts believe that the best root temperature should be between 20c and 21c. So, to enable the plants to absorb nutrients correctly. Providing a nutrient solution that is war enough to stimulate new growth is important for the development of a healthy plant. Keeping good oxygen levels and content is imperative for good results.
Concrete floors can be a problem
When writing this blog I a thinking primarily about temperature variations in a building with concrete floors. We all know about the cold feeling when we walk inside a building with a concrete floor. Especially in winter time. So, if plants are grown under these conditions then there is likely to be a large temperature variation. This could be overlooked when starting out your growing season in spring time.
Even a small garage used for growing will suffer variations of temperature in winter time. Ass a result many growers use some type of rubber mats to help insulate their precious crop. Personally I would raise the plants off the floor to stop them getting “cold feet” and ruining the crop at a later stage.
Cold can also effect the temperature of the water tank used to mix and provide the nutrients. Growing rooms must be well insulated so the the air temperature does not change significantly in a cold spell. As I have said earlier the 19c level should not be compromised. Your plants will be open to attacks from many pests and disease. The weaker your hydroponics plant then the more likely they are of been attacked.
Of course all this will lead to a poor crop and disappointment. So prepare for winter by making your plants as cosy as possible to avoid disappointment and a poor harvest. Heaters are the answer !