Using Light Deprivation to Increase Plant Production

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Have you ever wondered how some greenhouse farmers get their plants to grow or flower faster than usual? They might use a neat trick called "light dep" or light deprivation. If you're growing plants inside a greenhouse, you might want to learn about this!

Light Deprivation: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Let's break this down. Plants love sunlight. It's how they grow. But they also have a natural clock that tells them when it's time to flower. This clock is set by something called photoperiodism. It's a fancy way of saying that plants know how long the days are and react to how much light they get.
For example, some plants, like certain flowers, bloom when the days get shorter in late summer and early fall. These are called short-day plants. On the other hand, some plants begin to flower when the days become longer in the spring. Yep, you guessed it, they're called long-day plants.
But what if farmers could trick plants into thinking the days are shorter or longer whenever they want? That's where "light dep" comes into play. By controlling the light inside the greenhouse, growers can make plants flower faster or at different times than they would naturally.
Take cannabis, for instance. With the help of light dep, growers can get more harvests in a year and increase the amount each plant produces. And for pretty plants like poinsettias and chrysanthemums? This technique can make them mature faster, making them even more valuable!
In a nutshell, light dep is like a magic wand that lets growers have more control over their plants. And that can lead to some awesome results!

Why Light Deprivation is Beneficial to Your Greenhouse

Here are some reasons why you need light deprivation for your greenhouse

Year-round Growth

With light deprivation, your plants don't rely on the whims of weather or the changing seasons. They can grow and thrive all year long. That means no more waiting for the right season to plant!

More Harvests, More Profits:

Because your plants grow continuously, you can enjoy your labor's fruits (or veggies!) more often. Imagine having multiple harvests every year. And you know what that means – more profits for you!

Best of Both Worlds

Greenhouse and outdoor growing? Why not both? With light deprivation, you can have mature plants cozy in your greenhouse. Meanwhile, other plants can soak up all the natural sunshine they want outside.

Eco-friendly Choice

Not only does this system give you more control over your plants' growth, but it's also a greener way to grow. Using the power of light deprivation is an eco-friendly approach to gardening.
So, whether you're looking to boost your profits or simply want a more efficient greenhouse, light deprivation might be the trick you've been searching for!

The Perfect Plants for Light Deprivation

Light deprivation is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Not all plants bloom well using these approach. Here are some of the plants that thrive well under light deprivation.
Poinsettias: The Seasonal Hide and Seekers
Poinsettias are so popular during the holiday season; there's a fascinating reason behind it! Poinsettias have this unique trait: they bloom at their best between October and December.
But what triggers this beautiful change?
For starters, Poinsettias have a unique way of blooming. To start flowering, they need almost 12 and a half hours of complete darkness for five days in a row. And after patiently waiting for 65 to 85 days, tiny yellow flowers pop out.
But there's more to their story! After the festive season, around February and March, don't be alarmed if your poinsettia starts losing its leaves. It's just taking a short break and shedding old leaves. Soon after, they'll show fresh green growth in the warmth of spring. By April and May roll in, these plants will be green from top to bottom.
However, a transformation happens as winter approaches and days become shorter. The top leaves of the poinsettia turn a brilliant shade of red. This change happens because the plant has been exposed to roughly ten weeks of days that have 12 hours of daylight or even less.
In short, poinsettias are the perfect example of nature's clockwork, timed to the seasons. But with light deprivation, there is no need to play hide-and-seek with natural lighting.

Mums: The Night Lovers

Mums are unique flowers. They start forming flower buds when they get about 9 1/2 hours of nighttime. And to actually start flowering? They need just a bit more dark, over 10 1/2 hours. If you're thinking of growing mums, here's a handy tip: They usually need a solid 12 hours in the dark to develop their beautiful flowers.
But here's where it gets interesting. Not all mums are the same! Some types, called 'cultivars,' need different amounts of darkness to make their flowers. They're sorted into groups like 7-week or 10-week plants, based on how long they take to bloom. Depending on their group, after they get the amount of darkness they like, it can take them anywhere from six to ten weeks to show off their blossoms.
So, the next time you see mums in bloom, you'll know that they've been counting the night hours, waiting for their time to shine!

Cannabis: The Cold Weather Hater

Just like we might start wearing jackets as the weather gets cooler, cannabis plants have their own way of responding to the changing seasons. As days get shorter, cannabis gets the signal to start its peak flowering cycle. But here's the catch: they don't like it when it gets too cold. Big drops in temperature can stop their flowers from reaching their best size.
A fun fact? Gardeners can "trick" the cannabis plants to make them start flowering. How? By making the plants believe the seasons are changing earlier than they really are.
In a nutshell, for cannabis, it's all about getting the right cues from the weather and the day's length to showcase its blossoms.

Making Plant Growth Easier: Should You Automate Light Control?

Growers make sure their plants get just the right amount of sunlight. They often start with something called "light deprivation." It's like setting a bedtime for plants. They might cover them with special covers or use a blackout tarp on their greenhouses. The catch? Manually doing it can be a lot of work!
Imagine having to cover your plants every evening at the exact same time. It quickly becomes clear: this manual method is super time-consuming. Plus, with plants, timing is everything. If you don't get it right, your plants might not grow as well as they should.
For instance, in cannabis growing, there's a popular routine called the 12/12 light deprivation cycle. Simply put, plants get 12 hours in the sun and 12 hours in the dark. You would need to pull the tarps over the plants exactly at 7:00 PM and then remove them at 7:00 AM. It's a lot of work!
But here's the good news: automation can come to the rescue. Instead of doing everything by hand, growers can use automated controllers in their greenhouses. They just set the times they want, and the system takes care of the rest.
However, light isn't the only thing to consider in a greenhouse. When it's dark and the plants are covered, the greenhouse can get hot and humid. This isn't great for plants and can even attract pests. But with automated systems, growers can also set limits for temperature and humidity.
Hence, while manual methods have their place, automation can make a grower's life much easier and help plants thrive!
Thinking about making your plant-growing game stronger? Automated light deprivation might be the answer you're looking for! Why not find out how much it would cost? Feel free to contact us and ask for a price estimate for a light deprivation system for your greenhouse. It could be the change you've been waiting for!

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