Outdoor grower Carson in Maine asks us, “Should I move my plants inside for winter?”
Great question! Well, that depends on how old the plants are. Depending on how far along your plants are in their grow cycle it’s possible to bring them inside to keep them safe from winter’s wrath.
Light Deprivation: Keeping Your Big, Rooted Plants Safe from Winter
Like we mentioned a little while back, we don’t recommend uprooting plants grown in the ground, so if your plants are in the ground don’t uproot them. If you expect a brutal winter and your plants are in the ground or they’re grown in big (20+ gallon) grow pots that can’t be easily moved, we suggest building a light deprivation
(or light dep) setup to house around them. You can use basic supplies like PVC or wood to build a frame around and above your plants, and semi-translucent tarp to drape over it, building a tent around your plants. The tarp will allow sunlight to hit your plants without directly exposing them to the elements. When you need extra light you can use T5 lights to help give your plants the light they may be missing. You can also use a portable heater to generate a little extra warmth on those extra cold nights, but be careful not to generate too much moisture in there when regulating temps otherwise you can end up with mold around your plants.
Moving Your Plants Indoors
However, if your plants are grown in 2-5 gallon pots and are still within their vegging stage you can move them inside to finish them under grow lights. Because the flowering stage is so crucial to a plant’s harvest, we suggest moving plants inside during their vegging stage. If the plant needs to recover from shock, we say it’s better to fix those problems in the vegging stage before your plant starts making flowers instead of during the flowering stage. We think it’s much easier for a plant to repair shoots while it’s young than to repair fruit or flowers when plants are entering the later part of life. Bug bomb the room you want to move your plants in to, hang your lights and set up proper ventilation, and finish your harvest inside under controlled conditions. And while you're at it, you can prep for your next grow by taking clippings from your plants!