These days, making the decision to continue growing marijuana throughout the colder months of the year is a bit of a no-brainer. After all, if you’re growing indoors and away from the harshest elements anyway, why let a little bad weather slow you down?
That being said, there’s no disputing the fact that growing cannabis indoors during the winter months comes with its own unique challenges to overcome. None of them are particularly severe, but it’s important to at least be aware of them, in order to come out with the best possible results.
So if you’re still going for it this winter, what extra consideration should you indeed be considering?
Well, first of all it’s important to be aware of the fact that wild changes in temperatures outdoors usually mean indoor temperatures that are a little harder to keep under control. Generally speaking, cannabis plants need daytime temperatures of 24-30°C (75-86°F), along with overnight temperatures somewhere between 18-22°C (64-72°F). If at any time the temperature is allowed to fall to 16°C (61°F) or lower, you’re in trouble. But what’s just as important is ensuring that the difference between the day and night temperatures is not too severe – never more than about 10°C (18°F). Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on temperatures around the clock, doing whatever it takes to keep night/day differences around 2-4°C (3.6-7.2°F) where possible.
Heat from Lighting Sources
If the lighting setup you are currently using generates a large amount of heat, you’re going to need to factor this into your day/night temperature cycles. Turn off the lights at night and the sudden loss of heat can lead to dangerously cool temperatures. One way the professionals often get around this is to switch the night cycle to the daytime and vice-versa. Or in other words, use your lights during the night to create warm and bright daytime conditions, turning them off during the day when it is naturally a good deal warmer.
Now, it may also be necessary to invest in a heater or two to ensure the ambient temperature during the day (or in this case night) is sufficient. However, it generally proves to be a much more effective approach than battling freezing cold nights and making daytimes too warm with lighting units.
One thing that a great many cannabis strains are extremely sensitive to is sudden changes in temperature. Which is precisely why during the winter in particular, you need to think carefully about where exactly you positon your plants. The reason being that anything from an open window to an open door can lead to a sudden intake of air from outside the grow room, which could change the temperature quickly and significantly enough to cause you a problem. Ensure your plants are positioned in the safest and most stable location in the room possible.
Last but not least, you’ll also need to be aware of a couple of very important things when it comes to humidity. First of all, cooler temperatures have a tendency to lead to the formation of more condensation than you’d have to deal with during the summer months. Needless to say, moist and cool conditions are the equivalent of quite simply begging for trouble, when it comes to the emergence of mould, disease and other potential crop-killers.
On top of this, the air itself during the winter has the potential to be much drier than the rest of the year. As such, you need to keep a very careful eye on ambient humidity levels, taking steps to reduce or increase humidity as and when required.