Enjoy garden fresh vegetables all year long!
Would you like to have fresh garden tomatoes or lettuce during the cold months of winter? Believe it or not, you can easily grow most of your garden vegetables indoors using a hydroponics system all winter long. Not only is it possible, but it can be easier to grow your favorite garden plants during the coldest months of the year.
Some of the advantages of growing during the colder months include fewer, if any, insects to worry about destroying your crops, cooler temperatures which can actually cause some plants to grow a lot faster than they normally grow during the hot days of summer. Another advantage is fewer diseases will attack your plants during the winter.
Here is a list of tips that will keep your indoor hydroponics plants growing strong all winter long.
Keep the temperature of the air at around 65° to provide the plants with an ideal growing temperature. If you are using a high pressure sodium or metal halide bulb for lighting, pay close attention to the heat that they generate. If you keep your house warm, the heat that they generate could make the plants to hot. Using a fan can help cool them and spread the heat to the rest of the house helping to keep your house warmer.
If you like a warm house you could also try using LED lights. LED grow lights provide your plants with lots of light without producing a lot of heat. They also use less electricity then other forms of lighting.
On the other hand, if you prefer to keep your house cooler than the lights could provide them with extra heat. Just make sure to keep a close eye on them to ensure that they are not getting to hot since some light produce a lot of heat.
Humidity is another thing to watch out for during the cold, dry months. Most plants will thrive with humidity at around 40%. Since the hydroponics system and the vegetables and herbs are releasing moisture into the air, they could keep the moisture that high without any help if they are stored in a small space. If you are growing your vegetables in an open area then you might have to use a humidifier to keep humidity levels up.
Water temperature is perhaps one of the most important things to keep track of during the winter. If the roots get cold then it could send them into shock which in turn could kill the plants. Remember that heat rises, therefore the floor, where the hydroponic water tanks tend to be will be a lot cooler then the rest of the system.
This is an easy problem to fix however, just buy a small aquarium heater and use it to regulate the water temperature. Try to keep the water tank elevated off of the floor since the floor can absorb the heat from the tank. This is especially true if the floor is made of concrete.
These are the main things to look out for when you are growing vegetables with an indoor hydroponics garden during the winter. Other than that, just grow them just as you would normally grow them during their normal growing season, and you can enjoy fresh home-grown produce all year-long.