Crop Management and Operations
A Summer Care Guideline for Greenhouses
When temperatures rise in summer, cultivating crops in a greenhouse can quickly become problematic. A balanced ratio of shade, air circulation and humidity are the ideal conditions for a comfortable and healthy greenhouse climate. In combination with the right operating procedures and cultivation methods, this can be the key to a successful harvest. A greenhouse doesn't have to be empty just because it's too hot. This blog will show you how you can use the heat to grow excellent vegetables.
Prior To Start-Up:
Before you can start a successful indoor cultivation you should consider some comprehensive hygiene strategies. To avoid the attraction and spread of pests and diseases, you should wash and disinfect all empty benches, pots, tables, storage shelves, and tools before beginning the greenhouse cultivation.
Use Shading Nets:
A shading net is perfect for controlling greenhouse temperatures. Keep the top shading net always closed during the noon hours to protect your plants from heat stress. This results in a higher water use efficiency, which in turn supports better plant quality. In case of overcast conditions, it is recommended to keep the shading net open.
To facilitate ample air circulation, it is recommended to keep the side curtains open all day between 6am and 7pm. As long as the nights aren’t too warm, it is a good idea to close the side curtains so that the plants can capture Co2. In extremely hot areas, you can improve air circulation by installing ventilation or exhaust fans in the greenhouse. Try to facilitate a horizontal flow of air to minimize temperature differences and cold spots where condensation is likely to occur.
You can reduce light intensity by applying white tempera paint to the top, sides and lower apron of your greenhouse, but make sure that the paint is not oil based.
180° Mist Makers can be mounted on the side nets from all sides. Operating every half hour for 5-10 minutes during the afternoon, they can very efficiently reduce the greenhouse temperature. Regularly timed micro sprinkler systems or other evaporative cooling systems are also ideal for temperature regulation.
Water the plants in the morning by drip or shower watering, also take into account the sides of the bed. Pathway flooding and flooding of the area inside the lower apron may help increase humidity if necessary. Do this only if you can ensure adequate ventilation, otherwise too much humidity can quickly become a problem for the plants.
Timing of watering and spray operations:
As previously mentioned, these operations should be carried out early in the morning, when the climate is mild and plants are in an active stage. Watering the plants during afternoon or evening hours should be strictly avoided.
EC and pH:
In summer, regular monitoring of EC and pH of water and soil is a must. Water and soil EC tends to increase due to the high evaporation rate. However, there is a drop in soil EC caused by frequent use of water. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you also consider the EC of your fertigation solution.
Plant Cultural Operations:
To develop the microclimate in the plant canopy, always remove old, dead, rotten and additional leaves, which will in turn, aid good ventilation as well.
For a variety of pests, the summer heat creates an ideal environment to reproduce quickly inside the greenhouse. Therefore, regular scouting and preventative controls are important measures for keeping crops free of pests and diseases. Furthermore, you should also ensure that you keep your greenhouse weed free. In addition to competing with your plants for nutrients, water, sunlight and space, weeds in your growing area can be a food source and a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Be sure to pull them out as soon as they appear. This also includes weeds in pots and pans, as well as those that sprout in the greenhouse floor.