Keeping Your MMJ Dark Cycle Heated During The Winter Months
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | October 26 2011 | 6394 views | Comments ↓
Winter means keeping your MMJ plants warm during dark cycle.
(Click to enlarge)
As the seasons change outside and temperatures start to drop, it may be time to assess your indoor grow room’s environment. Most grow rooms are not hermetically sealed and, therefore, are affected in one way or another by changes outside. As winter approaches many grow rooms become cooler and a second look at ventilation and heating systems is warranted. In most cases problems will not occur when the lights are on. In fact, most gardeners welcome a little chill during the light cycle because it makes controlling the excess heat that much easier. The problem for most will lie within their grow room’s dark period.
If a grow room’s dark cycle becomes too cold a few obstacles could arise. When plants get too cold they generally slow down production, nutrient uptake and overall performance. Excessive cold, much like excess heat, can cause major stress to the plant, causing distorted growth, mimicking of nutrient deficiency and, in extreme cases, death.
With winter comes the necessity for most medical marijuana growers to heat their rooms during the dark cycle. The two heat sources generally used for that purpose are propane heaters and electric heaters. Each works well, but both have pros and cons. Using a propane burning heater is probably the most efficient, cost wise. Unfortunately, burning propane produces byproduct gases that are not always ideal for a confined environment. Also, though generally safe, propane heaters usually have an open flame or an extremely hot heating element that one must be careful not to place too close to anything combustible.
Electric heaters have many options and some are better than others. Avoid electric heaters with the exposed coils. These heaters are inefficient and pose the same fire hazard as propane heaters. Water or oil filled electric heaters are my favorite for smaller grow rooms. These normally have an automatic shut off if the unit tips or falls and generally do not impose a fire hazard. The water or oil filled electric heaters are great to set right in front of the grow room’s fresh air intake. This way the air can be heated as it enters the room. Electric heaters are usually less cost effective to run than propane but some of the more expensive induction or infrared electric heaters are proving to be extremely efficient.
A digital thermometer that keeps track of maximum and minimum temperatures is a great way to monitor your grow room’s dark cycle temperatures. When there is a large fluctuation in temperature from the light and dark cycles, excess humidity is created and, in turn, can become a breeding ground for powdery mildew and bud rot (botrytis). Keeping the difference in temperature within 10°F-15°F will dramatically decrease the risk of pathogenic fungus. A dehumidifier also works great to help reduce the humidity and creates a little extra heat during the dark cycle. Heating the dark cycle can help keep your garden fungus free throughout the cooler months ahead.
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Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Oct. 26th 2011