For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

How to maximise your winter crops with Hydroponics

As the summer season comes to an end, many keen gardeners pack away their trowels and spades in the shed and resign themselves to the fact the growing season is over for another year. With winter temperatures dropping below the level required to grow many fruits and veg, many gardeners simple give in against the elements. That’s before we even mention the unpredictable weather systems we’ve been experiencing over the last few years. However, growing hydroponically, whether in your home or in your greenhouse, has some distinct advantages during winter months.


Growing using hydroponic technology offers superior control over the environment in which you’re growing. One of these is the ability to insulate your crop against the harsher winter weather.

Of course, that’s not to say that you won’t need to find some economic and efficient ways of maintaining a preferable temperature, and you might need to use crops that are able to deal with some lower temperatures. Nevertheless, hydroponics gives you greater flexibility during the winter months. They are certainly better for the environment than using too many chemicals or fertilisers, which can be damaging for the environment. Even some natural animal waste can cause problems due to the high amount of unnatural products that have entered the food chain, including many animal and human pharmaceuticals.

Growing in a greenhouse

If you’re planning on using a greenhouse to grow your hydroponic crops then you will need to find a light source to combat the endless grey skies of winter. These are cheap and available in many forms to suit greenhouses.

If you have an older greenhouse, you may need to find some way of keeping it warm, although modern greenhouses often have solar capabilities built in. However, during periods of low light, the solar panels may not be so effective and you’ll need to find an alternate power and heating source. Good insulation or plexiglass can help to maintain the temperature once it's at the desired level.

Growing indoors

Since the use of heaters and synthetic light outside can be a waste if you don’t have green systems in place to provide this for you, many hydroponic gardeners prefer to move indoors. If you are prepared for this from the beginning it should not be a real problem. Of course, raised beds and large soil pots are not easy or sometimes impossible to move. However, utilise a modular system from the beginning and you can move around when needed. Remember to be careful not to try and move pots that are too heavy as it can be very bad for you back.

You need to bear in mind that some plants will have pests or traces of disease you don’t necessarily want in your living spaces. Treat them as best you can but it might be better to locate your crops in less used spaces, such as a conservatory or indoor garden spaces. If a separate room is really not an option, then a tent may work for you. Good cleanliness and regular inspection routines will help to reduce the impact of pests and other undesirable factors.

The controlled light environment indoors is a perfect solution for growing winter crops hydroponically and will give you greater control over the rate of growth.

If your crops survive the winter, don’t be too tempted to move them back outside again in spring. The switch from a controlled light environment to that of a more unpredictable natural light can be very damaging. Plus you also risk all your hard work being destroyed by a sudden cold snap. If you are confident they will be ok, use a shade cloth to protect them from excessive exposure to sunlight. You will also need to be on guard against pests they might not have encountered before.

Moving your plants around or having them in your living space may not be an ideal solution. However, with a little dedication and planning it can be a great way to continue growing over the winter season, even if it is a bad one. Nothing will help you like experience, and the more you try and read up on the needs of plants, the more you will learn what is required.

By utilising hydroponics and controlling the amount of food and light your plants are exposed too over the winter, it is a great way of maximising your harvest.


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