Throughout the year I have wrote in this journal about multiple aspects of indoor gardening. Dealing from light cycles, to custom plant nutrition. While nutrition and proper lighting are vital in maintaining a healthy plant, there are still many key factors that go unnoticed that severely effect yield and overall plant performance like Environmental Control for Hydroponics Crops.
We as growers seem to over look this aspect often, unaware that plant performance and environment directly correlate. Lets take dogs for example, the difference between dogs genetic variance is less than 2% meaning that 2% is responsible in effecting the dog to be either big or little, long haired, or short haired etc…Other than that there genetics are exactly the same. So that being said if you took a husky and a pit bull and dropped them off in the snow, the husky is going to have a much better advantage with adapting to the cold environment than the pitbull.
So how is this relevant to plants?
One of the key advantages to indoor growing is that you the grower are in control of your environment. The better your grow room is built the more control you have over humidity and temperature. In order to maximize plants genetic potential the grower needs to cater the environment specifically to there plant desired needs. This is going to be based off of where your plant genetics originate from.
Being that most genetics are crosses from plants that are on two different sides of the globe this can sometimes be difficult. I usually breakdown the plants into three categories. Tall and lanky, short squat and Hybrid. I usually treat the tall lanky plants I grow like they originate from equilateral climates (warm day warm nights/high humidity) short squats I treat like they originate from mountainous regions.
I’ve notice short squats thrive better with hot days and cold nights/ lower humidity. Last but not least I treat hybrids some where in the middle (moderate day/night temps w/ mid level humidity). I keep mentioning day/night temps because both are vital in maintaining a proper environment. Night temps and humidity are often over looked. During the light cycle the A/C is on handling the temperature and humidity level keeping everything in a perfect desired range but at night the temperature is usually cooler than the A/C set point so the air conditioner never goes on resulting in a humidity spike.
This is where dehumidifiers come in or A/C are specially modified with day/night temperature thermostats. This will help with maintaining a proper desired night temperature and humidity level. A simple digital Hygrometer is all a grower needs to tell if his/her room is going out of whack at night.
Controlling the Day/night temperature and humidity is essential with unlocking genetic potential. Environmental changes directly correlate with plant response so much that I’ve developed over the years a custom day/night temperature and humidity schedule for the different varieties I grow. Today i wanted to share a custom environment chart I use for my Bottle rocket varieties.
VEGETATIVE-Day temps 78-80/Night temps 75-78 —humidity 70% ( I keep day/night temperature differential within 2 to 3 degrees in effort to reduce internodal stretch)
Notice from the chart that during the first 4 weeks my temps are moderately High with close temperature differentials from day to night. This is in effort to reduce internodal stretch and speed up the metabolism of the plant for a healthy flower onset. I also run higher humidity during first four weeks of bloom to mimic late summer and reduce stress as the plants go into heavy flowering. I reduce temperature and humidity around week 5 as time progresses to mimic first signs of winter. These environmental changes give signals to the plant that trigger hormonal responses that greatly effect the stage of growth the plant is in. Temperature drop, for example, towards the end of the bloom cycle will bring out certain desired characteristics like color change and oil production in certain varieties.
This temperature and humidity chart should be used in conjunction with my custom feed schedule on Bottle Rocket varieties. This is not the proper temperature chart for short squats or Hybrids, I will have environmental charts for those varieties in next years editions, so you have something to look forward to. So here is my last gift to you for 2013, maximizing the tall and lanky. Hope your able to use this chart with great success in your future grows for 2014. As always Turning clones to zones!