Maintain your crop balance during winter
23 December 2020
Moving towards Christmas and New Year’s Eve is known that in most countries worldwide, radiation levels are decreasing which results in a drop of outside temperature and humidity increase. Such conditions could decrease plant development and growth while increase risks such as condensation on leaves and botrytis. Therefore, below you can find several tips in order to protect your crop and maintain it in balance.
Tip 1 | Microbes
Support your plants from the very beginning. Since creating a strong root system is essential for the overall crop cycle; this can be assisted by introducing beneficial microbes into your substrate.
Tip 2 | Air movement
Ensure a sufficient air movement especially during night to decrease the boundary layer effect and support a minimum transpiration rate and therefore plant activity.
Tip 3 | Energy screen
Deploy your energy screen to prevent heat emission and hence cold heads which can lead to a growth restriction for your plants. Additionally, by using your energy screen humidity transfer characteristics in the most optimal way you will decrease energy consumption, and above all increase you greenhouse climate homogeneity.
Tip 4 | Plant temperature sensor
“What’s get measured gets managed!”. Use an infra-red sensor in order to measure your plant temperature and test how your canopy reacts according to the actions/controls that you make.
Tip 5 | Irrigation
Do not over-irrigate. Definitely, due to low radiation levels, transpiration rate is being reduced. Therefore, by supplying water to your plants according to the evaporation energy or radiation levels will support your root zone to maintain the optimal water content and oxygen levels.
Tip 6 | Irrigation water temperature
Monitor your root zone temperature. There are several cases of greenhouses that water basins are being placed outside. This means that irrigation water is directly being affected by outside conditions. In case of low temperatures that could result in a root zone temperature of lower than 15°C. This can create limited water uptake to the plants and condensation on plant parts.
Tip 7 | Bumblebees and pollination
Bumblebees and pollination. In case of artificial light usage, be aware that the spectrum is different compared to outside radiation. In combination with too little natural light this could mislead the bumblebees and decrease the number of the colony, hence decrease pollination.
The above mentioned tips are being provided in order to maintain the plant in balance and increase your resource use efficiency. Certainly, greenhouse construction and equipment can vary, hence adjust these tips in the extend that support your own greenhouse.
Finally, our main suggestion is always to start with a plan for greenhouse climate and crop itself. By making a plan, you are aware of your goals and if there is a need for adjustments. This could characterise you as pro-active grower. A grower in control!