Your next growing season is right around the corner. Although the winter months are still upon us, there are many things you should consider now especially if you are using greenhouse light dep techniques. To help you get started, here are some tips to winterize your greenhouse now and prepare for your growing season. Our partners at Humbolt Light Dep have also created a light dep schedule that will help you now and throughout your season.
Tips for Preparing for a Light Dep Grow Season
Although spring may be several months off, now is the ideal time to prepare for your light dep growing season. Having everything in place before you plant your seeds or clones is essential for a strong harvest and healthy plants. Some of the top things to consider when preparing for your season are your planting site, your soil, and your seeds or clones.
Select Your Ideal Planting Site
Climate is a huge factor you must consider for all crops you grow. Climate variations in your area impact your plants’ life cycles. It’s important to understand what weather you will be working with in the spring when you plant and even in the fall when you harvest. We recommend that growers err on the side of caution and also have a plan for the worst weather conditions. This allows you to reinforce your greenhouse or growing area for rain, wind, and have better control of light exposure. If you are relying heavily on light dep techniques, it’s important you have the right greenhouse cover that can withstand any element. Here are some products we recommend:
- SolaScrim™ 4 Year 10 mil Clear Reinforced Greenhouse Cover
- 6 Mil Temporary Greenhouse Cover
- Clear Woven Coated Polyethylene
Another factor to consider with your planting site is exposure to the public, wild animals, or high traffic areas. Too many inexperienced people or animals in your growing area can negatively affect your plants.
Recommended Article: The Best Greenhouse Covers for Windy Areas
Choose Appropriate Seeds or clones
Light dep techniques are common for cannabis growers. These plants need a lot of light for proper growth, and light deprivation gives growers full control of light exposure. If you are planning on growing cannabis this season, you need to choose appropriate seeds or clones now. This decision is based on the needs of your audience. Several popular options include Indica seeds or clones, Sativa strains, and CBD variants. Before the spring arrives, you need to decide what plants you want to grow and how much you need for your designated growing areas. This cannot be a last-minute decision.
Another factor to consider with your cannabis seeds or clones is what other plants you will grow around it. Cannabis plants can give off a certain smell that can be obvious to the public or animals. To protect their growing areas from thieves or prying eyes, many growers plant other seeds or clones to mask the smell. Popular and safe options that you can embed in your growing areas include rosemary, lavender, and mint.
Prepare Your Soil
Once you have decided where you will grow your plants and which seeds or clones you will plant, it’s time to prepare your soil. A successful harvest is dependent on rich soil. If you are planting cannabis, you will need loamy soils that can drain excess water while still maintaining some humidity. Typically, this soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay.
PH is another important factor to know about your soil. Most cannabis plants need a slightly acidic PH. As you’re selecting your soil, conduct a home PH test to ensure you are at the right levels. This process may take some time as you are working to get the right compound. If you do not run the proper tests on your soil before planting, you could be setting your plants up for failure.
After you have balanced your PH, you want to look into natural fertilizers such as worm castings, bat guano, and coconut fiber.
Related Article: Light Deprivation Greenhouses: A Good Investment for Cannabis
Winterizing Greenhouses Tips
As you prepare for your upcoming growing season. It’s important to keep your greenhouse secured while the winter months are here. Here are some greenhouse winterizing tips.
Reinforce Greenhouse Cover for Winter Growing
If you are still growing during the winter months, it’s important that you reinforce your greenhouse cover and provide a heat source for your plants. Strong winds can blow your greenhouse cover and rollup doors right off during winter storms. This will destroy the crops you are growing and could severely damage your greenhouse structure. Low temperatures from this windy weather can also prevent your plants from properly growing. Reinforcing your cover and controlling temperatures during the winter is essential.
Remove Plastic Sheeting for Greenhouse Winter Protection
If you are not growing crops in your greenhouse this winter, you’ll want to remove your plastic sheeting. Strong gusts of wind and heavy snowfall during these months can ravage your greenhouse cover and cause your entire structure to collapse. This will result in more work to get it up and running for your growing season. Removing your greenhouse cover during a nongrowing period in the winter can also extend the lifespan of your cover by several years.
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