Temperature is often one of the overlooked aspects of indoor gardening as many don’t know understand the role temperature plays in a plant’s growth. I certainly didn’t realize the effects temperature when I started hydroponic gardening or just how easy it is to monitor and control the temperature in my grow room. Here’s what I’ve learned about temperatures effect on plants and how to heat/cool my grow room.
How Does Air Temperature Effect A Hydroponic Garden?
Plants in hydroponics and dirt react the same to air temperature.
Plant productivity can slow- An example of productivity being affected by temperature would be slowed plant growth in colder temperatures. In temperatures that are too warm, fruits may not set.
The number of pests can grow- Pests prefer a warmer climate. Keeping your grow room too warm could be making it a suitable environment for pests to infest.
Plant size can be effected- Temperature also has an effect on the size of your plant. In nature, plants experience a temperature change from daytime to night time. This actually assists with the plant’s growth. It’s recommended to drop the temperature 10-15 degrees during the lights off period.
You can use this to your advantage to manipulate how big your plants get overall. Providing a temperature variation of less the 5 degrees will cause plants to produce less space between nodules, meaning plants will grow smaller and more compact.
What Is The Best Temperature For Indoor Plants (Shoots)?
Crops are usually placed in 2 categories when it comes to temperature, cool weather, and warm weather. As with other aspects of the garden you should match what the plant would experience in its natural habitat, nature. If you were to plant that plant outside, would it be a spring/ fall time planting crop or a summer planting crop? Do some research on the variety of plant your growing to find the best temperature to keep your garden grow area.
I usually keep my cool weather crops somewhere between 55 to 65 degrees.
I usually keep my warm weather crops somewhere between 75-85 degrees.
Ways To Heat A Garden Grow Room/ Greenhouse
Electric heat- While the startup is lower for electric heat, it’s typically more costly over time and can be inefficient. With that being said, if you have a small area that only needs adjustment every so often, electric may just be the best way to heat your grow room.
Propane- Propane is a low cost and efficient way of heat a grow room. There are attachments you can hook up to propane tanks for small rooms or furnaces to heat whole greenhouses.
Wood stove- Depending on the area your growing, wood may be a relativity low-cost way to heat your grow room or greenhouse. Wood heating is also the most reliable, not needing power. Keep in mind though that wood stove takes the humidity out of the air.
Grow lights & equipment– Some time the heat from your grow lights and equipment is all you need to keep you’re grow room warm enough. MH and HPS bulbs give off more heat compared to LED, so though less efficient, may be better if you’re worried about your grow room getting too cold.
Ways To Cool Your Garden Grow Room/ Greenhouse
Air conditioner- Adding an air conditioning unit is the simplest most accurate form of cooling your grow room or greenhouse to the best temperature.
Adding more/ larger fans- Depending on the situation, add more or larger fans may be all you need to cool down your grow room. Fans circulate the air and adding a bigger exhaust fan will suck our warm air faster.
Evaporative cooling- Evaporated cooling is a process that uses evaporation to cool the air. By pushing air through moisture it causes evaporation and the air temperature to lower. There are fans that use evaporative cooling for smaller areas and evaporative coolers for large areas.
Change your lighting- Cooling your grow area may be as simple as changing out your light source. While HPS lighting is great for growing, they create a lot of heat. Switching to LED or even fluorescent lighting if your growing small leafy greens will cool down your grow room or greenhouse.
Shading cloth- If you’re looking to lower the temperature in your greenhouse to keep out some of the suns rays.