Once again, we thought we’d take a look at the fine art of indoor cannabis cultivation in colder conditions. With the winter weather well and truly upon us, setting up outdoors simply isn’t an option up north. It’ll be some time before the spring rolls around, but this doesn’t mean facing a home-grown cannabis shortage is an inevitability.
Cannabis cultivation during the winter can be both rewarding and surprisingly simple. Just as long as you keep a few basic tips and guidelines in mind, you’ll be looking at a decent haul in no time at all.
Here’s a quick rundown of a few essential tips for successful indoor cannabis cultivation in colder conditions:
1) Choose the right strain
We recently dedicated an entire post to this, which is perhaps the most important rule for successful indoor cannabis cultivation. Above all else, you need to ensure you choose the right strains in the first place. Try to avoid Sativa strains, which along with requiring far more space to grow are also dependent on much warmer cultivation conditions. By contrast, quality Indica strains – especially those that originate from Afghanistan, the Himalayas or Canada – are far more resilient and easy to grow in the winter.
2) Focus on temperature consistency
Hardy indoor strains aren’t particularly demanding where precise temperatures are concerned. However, temperature fluctuations can be something else entirely. Particularly during the early stages of flowering, consistency is key to success. It’s therefore important to protect your grow space from drafts, cold outdoor air and rapid shifts in temperature in general.
3) Keep tabs on humidity levels
Maintaining optimum humidity levels during the winter months can be tricky, as indoor air tends to get extremely dry when the heating is turned on. Humidity levels should be kept between 40% and 60% when cultivating cannabis indoors, which could mean using a humidifier or a spray bottle to manually add moisture to the air. Placing damn cloths or towels on radiators can also be a simple yet effective way of keeping the air moist.
4) Raise your pots off the ground
Root health is an important consideration with indoor cannabis cultivation in winter. Soil temperatures around the roots in particular can make a big difference to the health and development of your plants. This is why it is a good idea to raise your pots and planters slightly, in order to avoid cold from the ground penetrating the pots and potentially compromising root health. This is particularly important where colder surfaces like concrete and stone tiles are concerned.
5) Consider force-flowering
If you’re concerned your plants simply won’t cope with the winter weather, you could think about ‘force-flowering’. This is where light/dark cycles are strategically used to trigger the plant’s flowering period, in order to accelerate cannabis production and bring forward the subsequent harvest. Force-flowering does mean compromising the quantity of cannabis your plants produce, but is nonetheless a great way of hurrying things along.
6) Reconsider your lights
Successful indoor cannabis cultivation is also dependent on having the right grow lights in place. Some grow lights make it extremely difficult to keep temperatures consistent, heating grow spaces excessively during the day and leaving things much colder overnight. If your lights are adversely affecting the temperature of your grow space, consider cooler alternatives like LEDs.
7) Careful observation
Last but not least, detecting the early warning signs of cannabis plant problems is the easiest way of keeping things in check. Examples of which include yellowing leaves, sluggish plant growth, curled leaf edges, dying leaves, burn spots and so on. All indicative of common indoor cannabis cultivation problems, which can be reversed if identified and addressed early. During the winter months in particular, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for any warning signs of an impending problem.