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Even as the weather takes a turn for the worse, like it always seems to up here in Michigan, some crops still need to be grown.

Whether they still flourish in winter, or if you’re in a business that still needs to deliver product in the colder months, some crops need to be monitored even during the off-season for growing.

Luckily, thanks to modern growing methods and technology, this isn’t as big of an ask as it might’ve been in the past. Plenty of tips and tools exist to help your crops thrive safely indoors even in less-favorable conditions, it just takes a little planning and imagination to get everything where it needs to be.

 

Growing & Maintaining Crops in Wintertime

 

Review your plants & strains

Whatever it is you grow, different plants will respond differently to the colder conditions outside. When winter starts to rear its ugly head, take stock of everything you need to keep growing for your business, and start to do a little research from there.

Will some of them require more sunlight than others? Do some of them need to be closer to – or further away from – a heating source during the colder months? This will require a little research and/or communication with your various seed banks, but knowing what your plants will need can inform the rest of your plans.

 

Make sure your greenhouse can handle the cold

Sometimes, the biggest hurdle in growing crops can be the greenhouse or grow room itself. Above and beyond the usual insulation, make sure you have proper ventilation, a sufficient source of heat, and (for external greenhouses) make sure your structure can handle the pile-up of snow that’s bound to fall on the roof. (You’d be surprised how many smaller sheds and greenhouses aren’t fully rated to handle a big pile of snow on the roof!) Cleaning your gutters can also help drain away snow and moisture in the event of a big snowfall one night.

 

Keep all your roots off the floor

One of the things that can most easily damage your crops is the cold ground in winter. Even if your plants and crops are all safely potted, the cold temperatures coming up from the ground can be particularly dangerous for the longevity and health of your plants. Make sure to use grow room shelving, rust proof wire shelving, or even crop drying racks to keep your plants up off the floor and closer to a heat source for the next few months.

 

Equalize temperature indoors as best you can

While heat is crucial for keeping most crops and plants alive during the winter months, it’s also possible to run the risk of drying your plants out by mistake. Get a timer for your heater and your greenhouse LED lights to make sure your plants are getting the right cycles of heat and light in the meantime to prevent them from drying out or from withering from the cold.

 

Prepare for emergencies

A lot of things can happen during the winter, from power outages to freak blizzards and everything in between. Make sure you have a few redundancies in your setup, such as backup generators and extra stainless steel shelving for storage and power when emergencies can – and will – arise.

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