We’re pretty sure you won’t have a skunk problem in your indoor garden, so that’s a relief, but there are some common topics that arise when people embark on their indoor gardening adventures. Or, even if you have successfully been growing indoors, it doesn’t hurt to review some basic troubleshooting topics.
On occasion, we hear from customers who describe problems they have encountered, such as seeds aren’t germinating, or their plants seem leggy or are growing slowly. Or, their plants just don’t look as robust as they would like.
If you’re having any one of these common issues, we have compiled this list of reasons why you might not be getting the results you want.
- Duration of Light – The minimum number of hours for running Happy Leaf LED grow lights for any plant is 12 hours, and we recommend 16 hours for most plants. These lights are inexpensive to operate, so if you cut the hours you are only saving a few pennies. For most plants, more hours with good light will induce faster growth. Stay tuned for another blog on this topic as we have been digesting some recent university research on the topic of light duration!
- Temperature – The ideal growing environment for most plants is a consistent temperature range between 68 and 72 degrees F. Crops such as lettuce may grow at lower temperatures but a 50 degree garage will definitely slow down growth. More warm loving plants may downright refuse to thrive if exposed to colder temps. Extreme heat is rarely the case with indoor gardening but can also provide less than desirable plants. So, make sure you aren’t growing next to heat-generating sources such as a dryer, furnace or heat register.
- Seed Quality – Make sure you are using fresh seed. All of us are guilty from time to time of pushing the envelope with older seeds. Ideally, store seeds in a moisture proof container in a refrigerator.
- Water Quality – Not a common problem, but it happens sometimes. Hard water will contribute mineral deposits, but softened water can also cause problems, so our best advice is to experiment with different types of water to see what impact they have on your plants. One trick is to get water from an outside spigot if you have softened water inside your building. An actual water test is the only way to know what is in your water, but most people don’t have to resort to this level of troubleshooting.
- Insects and Diseases – Far fewer problems arise with insects and diseases when you are gardening indoors, but you still have to be on the lookout. Insects and diseases are crafty and they do find their way to plants regardless of whether they are inside or outside, whether that’s through a window or traveling on a newly arrived plant or cutting. If you see a problem, remove or quarantine affected plants to minimize spread. Neem oil is a good tool for combating some pests and it does not harm humans. Be sure to sanitize all of your materials thoroughly between crops.
- Light Quality – It makes a difference! Happy Leaf LEDs are designed to take a lot of the guesswork out of whether you have the right amount and quality of light on your plants. This topic can get very complicated, and we love to talk about it, so if you have in-depth questions about lighting, by all means reach out to us. However, most people just want to know the light is going to work and if you’re using Happy Leaf LED’s, you can trust that they will.