Regulate Greenhouse Temperatures With Environmental Control
Carrots can withstand cold temperatures, but tomatoes prefer it hot. The question is, how do you provide for both in a single year?
With a suitable greenhouse and the proper knowledge, you can turn your grow space into the ideal environment for growing almost any crop - and even improve the yield of produce you've been growing for years.
Few factors influence your overall yield more than proper environmental control regarding growing your best crops in your greenhouse. However, maintaining the ideal conditions for your plants in your greenhouse can be difficult, especially if you need to know what to control.
Here are some of the most important environmental factors influencing crops in your greenhouse, as well as what you can do to ensure your plants have the best environment possible to produce the best harvest.
The Four Greenhouse Environmental Control Factors
A growing environment, as any scientist will tell you, is more than just the temperature of the air outside. The main four factors influence plant growth: heat, humidity, light levels, and ventilation.
Knowing and controlling each of these factors gives you a better chance of providing the exact right combination - or "environment" - for your plants to thrive than ever before.
Some crops cannot tolerate high temperatures, while others may prefer it. Delivering the ideal temperature for your fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and flowers have never been easier thanks to new greenhouse technologies.
Ask any greenhouse grower in a colder climate where the warmest spot on their field is, and they'll likely point you right inside the greenhouse. Plants produce heat as they "breathe" CO2 and expel oxygen. This heat is warm and damp and can build up quickly if not addressed. This heat buildup can help grow heat-loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, peas, and avocado, as well as act as a natural heating source to insulate your plants when the weather outside your greenhouse is a little chilly.
Similarly, greenhouse temperature controls assist you in lowering the temperature in your greenhouse during the hot summer months, when too much heat can cause heat stress and other high-temperature diseases that can harm your output. Shade coverings, sun-resistant poly, and adequate ventilation can all help lower the internal temperature of your greenhouse, allowing plants to thrive.
Humidity, which is often inextricably linked to temperature, is also critical for crop success and can have a significant impact on the conditions within your greenhouse if left uncontrolled.
Humidity, which was previously left to nature on outdoor fields and was highly variable due to rain or drought, now plays an important role in environmental controls within greenhouses. Because plants naturally expel warm, moist oxygen into the air as they grow and process CO2, your greenhouse will gradually become warmer and more humid.
While some plants thrive in a slightly moist environment (think cucumbers, tomatoes, and other water-rich vegetables), too much moisture can promote the growth of nasty molds and even harbor diseases or pests, all of which damage to your crops with little warning.
You can carefully monitor and control humidity in your greenhouse using a combination of proper ventilation and heat management to ensure everything is where it should be to minimize mold growth while maximizing plant growth.
Ventilation has long been an uncontrollable factor of outdoor growing for growers working on the windy plains of the Midwest or the dry, still deserts of the Southeast. Growers can now take complete control of their ventilation efforts thanks to advances in greenhouse technology, which means you no longer have to wait for just the right breeze to come along to keep your plants growing strong.
Ventilation is essential for everything from temperature regulation to humidity control, and regular airflow is critical for providing fresh CO2 so indoor plants can breathe easily.
Most modern growers can achieve proper ventilation by combining fans and vents built directly into the wall of their greenhouse. You can more naturally regulate temperature, introduce or remove humidity, and keep plants well supplied with breathable CO2 by encouraging airflow on still days and closing gaps to prevent airflow on windy days.
Though sunlight has long been out of reach for growers working in open fields in the hot sun, the ability to choose your greenhouse covering to regulate sunlight levels - and even filter out UV radiation while keeping light levels high - has had a huge impact on growers all over the world looking to extend their growing seasons.
Every grower is aware that some plants prefer full sun while others prefer a little shade, but never before has a grower been able to provide both options on the same plot of land.
Growers can fine-tune their plants' light diet with unprecedented levels of control by using energy curtains, shade coverings, black-out curtains, and UV-filtering poly or plastic coverings.
Automation makes it simple (and consistent).
Even with decades of technological experience now putting environmental controls in the hands of the average grower, learning how to use these tools effectively takes time, effort, and a lot of learning.
Fortunately, automatic controls are now available to shift much of the burden - and challenge - away from growers and onto highly precise, reliable, and controllable computer systems.
Automatic environmental controls can be fully integrated into your greenhouse system, controlling everything from ventilation to light curtains to humidity systems and other features. Your automated system can keep your greenhouse perfectly attuned to the needs of your plants without the need for constant monitoring and adjusting by continuously monitoring interior greenhouse conditions and changing on-the-fly.
Growers can keep a close eye on their greenhouse at all times for up-to-date readings of humidity, heat, and light levels inside their greenhouse structures because many automated environmental control systems feature simple mobile phone integration.
Are you ready to take control of your growing space?
Modern environmental control systems have never been more exciting (or with more opportunity) for growers looking to ensure total control of their greenhouse growing environment.
If you want to improve your grow while increasing the productivity of your greenhouse, contact us, and we'll talk about the best environmental control systems for your greenhouse. Your plants – and your next harvest – may thank you.
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