While a power outage in your hydroponic garden is never ideal, it doesn’t have to be a catastrophic event. I’ve personally experienced a few outages during my time as an indoor gardener and have managed to keep my plants strong and healthy thanks to a few handy tips and tricks.
Read on to learn what can go wrong, simple solutions and how to be better prepared for next time!
How bad is a power outage?
If you experience a power outage to your hydroponic garden it’s not all doom and gloom right away. Remember that plants will be subject to cloudy days in natural conditions. As long as you can keep even a small source of light on your garden, such as a torch or camping lantern, you’ll be giving your plants the best shot at survival.
When the lights go out
Getting light to your garden is crucial when experiencing a power outage. Battery-powered appliances such as torches, camping lanterns or even Christmas lights can be a big help when your garden needs light.
Even if you can’t maintain a constant source of light, a few minutes every couple of hours can help to ensure your plants survive. It’s possible to maintain the inner clock of your plants with only a small amount of light during their day period, so do your best to offer your garden glimpses of light with battery-powered appliances while waiting for the power to return.
Here’s a few handy items you might want on hand to make sure you’re prepared for a power outage:
Battery-powered LED lights
Battery-powered Christmas lights
Battery-powered camping lights or lanterns
When the temperature falls
Here in Australia, we’re not often subjected to extreme cases of cold weather. However, when the power goes out your garden will experience a temperature drop that could be potentially damaging to its health and growth, especially during the colder months of the year.
Here’s a few things to try when the power goes out and the temperature of your hydroponic garden falls:
Keep your plants off cold surfaces like cement floors.
Move garden away from windows and doors.
Keep opening and closing of doors to a minimum.
If using a grow tent, keep zippers and windows closed.
Your garden’s chances of survival will differ depending on the types of plants you are growing, although the principle of heat conservation remains the same for any garden. Maintain as much heat as possible while the power is out to give your garden the best opportunity to remain healthy.
Gorilla Grow Tents
Climate control is so important when the power goes out. These gorilla grow tents will keep your garden at an ideal temperature until the power comes back on.
If you’ve got a hydroponic or Deep Water Culture (DWC) system, a power outage could lead to a lack of oxygen in your garden’s root system due to the air pump powering off. If the power is out for more than an hour you’ll need to take a few steps to keep your garden happy and healthy.
Here’s what to do:
Lower the water to about half its normal level to help the top half of the roots access oxygen.
If power is out for longer than an hour and your plants start to sag, drain all of the water from your reservoir and slowly pump it back in to reintroduce oxygen into the system.
Note: Think of the process like a reservoir change without actually replacing the water. This oxygenates the water as well as providing oxygen to the roots while the water is drained.
Repeat the process every couple of hours as necessary until your air pump is running again.
The most important factor to your garden surviving a power outage is preparation. Having backup pieces of equipment that don’t rely on the main power grid will make your life a lot easier when experiencing an outage.
Generators and other isolated power supplies can allow your system to continue operating throughout an outage, while battery-powered light sources will help you to get at least some light to your garden when required.
If your system includes an air pump, then a battery-powered backup could be a worthwhile investment.
GROWLUSH DEEP WATER CULTURE SYSTEM - THREE POT
DWC is a special type of hydroponics where plants grow with their roots immersed in an aerated nutrient solution. This kit features everything you need to get started.
If you are regularly experiencing power outages or are still worried about your options if it should happen to you, feel free to reach out to our friendly support team of hydroponic experts. We’ll be able to answer any questions you might have and direct you to the best pieces of equipment to ensure you are fully prepared for a power outage.