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How to winterize your greenhouse

Published Nov 4, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Johannes Hofmann

With chilly months upon us, it’s time to start thinking about whether or not you want to continue greenhouse growing, and how to approach the situation if the answer is yes. Though greenhouses are generally nice, safe spaces for all kinds of plants, protecting them from the many elements and barriers put in place by nature, you might need to make a few changes if you want to enjoy and benefit from winter gardening.

Here, we’ll explain how to winterize any greenhouse, so that you can keep on growing all year long, no matter what the season may be.

1. Seal up any leaks

Leaky walls or seals are going to make it much harder to keep in the heat and to control the humidity, so now is the time to patch those up if you can. Otherwise, your winter crops could be exposed to harsh, chilly breezes, or worse, ice-cold water which could shock the roots causing death or damage. It’s just not worth taking the chance when all you need is a bit of silicone, glue, or new seals to make it cozy, and safe inside.

2. Install controlled ventilation

Ventilation is so insanely important in the winter, even more so than in the summer, and though that might not sound like it makes sense at first, think of your car, and how the windows fog up due to a bit of warmth combined with too much moisture. They fog right up, resulting in condensation that can make it hard to see, and cause damage.

3. Add an outside heat source

Frankie

Yes, greenhouses are naturally warm on gentle days when the sun is shining, providing a source of comfort through its UV rays, but the moment the sun dips behind the clouds or disappears beyond the horizon for the night, it might not be anywhere near as nice inside of a glass house that doesn’t have another more reliable heat source. This helps to maintain a good temperature and to dry up any extra moisture build-up.

4. Extra lights

Those short days that contribute to our coldest months of the year are
problematic due to more than just a lack of heat. Cannabis plants require a certain number of hours worth of UV light to get the nutrients they need and to act accordingly, gracefully working through the various growing phases slowly but surely. For that reason, it’s essential to buy and install a high-quality lighting system to keep your crop healthy and on time throughout the winter.

5. Invest in a backup power system

With all of the aforementioned tasks complete you’ll be thoroughly equipped to take on anything this winter could throw your way, aside from an all-out power outage. Just a few hours on a bad day without electricity could have devastating effects on a crop, so don’t risk it, and be sure to invest in a high-quality power supply instead. That way, your plants will thank you, and your harvest is guaranteed to be bountiful!

Growing for All Seasons in a Greenhouse
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