LIGHTS OUT! Power Outages When Growing Indoors

Our power was out recently for SIX days due to HIGH winds. The first couple of days without power wasn't too rough. We had a generator keeping the important things powered like the refrigerator, freezer and my grow lights. On the second day without power my husband had gone outside to add some gas to the generator and couldnt get it restarted! He tried & tried eventually giving up & went & bought a new one, the last one on the shelf.  The old generator was 5000 watts and the new one was 1600 which meant we couldn't run as many appliances on it. To my dismay my grow lights, exhaust etc didn't make the cut. My plants already had spent a day in the dark. I knew I had to do something. I didn't want them to go into flower! I knew that low light was better than no light so I went to Home DePot and purchased a clip on lamp also with an LED bulb. My husband ran an extension cord from the generator to the lamp. I felt less stressed about the situation for sure. We were without power for six days and my plants did just fine during the crisis. Yay! Crisis alleviated! 

If I couldn't run a light in there what would have I done? I probably would have removed them from the room and put them somewhere warm where they'dl get light during the day. If they were in flower I would have put them in a closet or a spot where they wouldn't get light after twelve hours. I'd use a box if I could and seal it so no light could get in. You have to get creative. Power outages can be a growers nightmare, especially if your plants are too big to move or you can't move them out of their location. Another option would be a  battery operated lantern.

I'm grateful that we have a generator & I was able to run a light to prevent flowering. It was colder in there too without the metal halide & HPS running. It didn't get below 70. I'm just glad it's over with. I was getting tired of camping inside our house. 



Green Thumb Girl: Grow Tips- Root bound Plants


At what point do plants stop growing in a pot? It's a bit involved, but the simple answer is that new growth stops or slows when they become rootbound. So what's rootbound? Rootbound is when there is no effective space for new roots to occupy. Roots effectively occupy the entire volume of space between the soil particles. One of the first symptoms of being rootbound is, in fact, that plant growth slows despite favorable environmental conditions (light, water, fertilizer, etc). The second symptom is that rootbound plants begin having difficulty taking up fertilizer. This is undoubtedly related to the inability to form new root tissue. You see this as a chlorosis despite the fact that they have been properly fertilized.

People often confuse leaves with new growth. New growth is the process of continually opening the terminal bud of a stem (shoot formation). Plants can be, and frequently are, alive and relatively healthy with absolutely no new growth. This happens when plants are severely rootbound, there is a lack of fertilizer, or after a trauma such as barerooting. The existing buds will open, leaves will form, but no shoots will develop. This condition will persist until conditions change. I have seen many plants survive year after year without shoot growth. New growth each year consists of a succession of opening terminal and axillary buds in the spring without any shoots to form an internode. If you look closely at the stems there are just a pile of leaf bundle scars piled up on one another. Talk about close internodes!

Rootbound plants need to be rootpruned and shifted at the nearest appropriate opportunity. This usually means winter, because unlike shifting an intact rootball, rootbound plants must be rootpruned to initiate proper root growth.

It is difficult to tell when a plant is rootbound just by observing the roots. I think it is better to determine 'rootbound' by both the symptoms of growth (or lack thereof) and the physical density of the roots. For our purposes (bonsai), trees should be rootpruned and repotted long before they reach rootbound conditions. This doesn't happen overnight. There is a long gradual procession of slowing growth over time, usually several years before all new growth stops. It is clearly evident what is happening if you stop to look.