Growing crops in a greenhouse is a common practice today. Commercial and subsistence crops are now grown in greenhouses because it is easy to regulate the conditions and manipulate yields by providing an ideal environment for optimal growth. However, despite the positives of using greenhouses for gardening, it is not without its fair share of challenges. Troubleshooting potential problems are the secret to attaining maximum yield and avoiding future problems. This article explores some common issues people face growing plants in greenhouses and how best to resolve these issues.
Unlike hybrid environments with glass rooftops, greenhouses are not sealed environments. Instead, they are just positive pressure or forced air environments. As such, greenhouses need an in-built filtration system that sterilizes incoming and exiting air. The intake air should be filtered and sterilized to prevent pests and diseases. A grower can control the vapor pressure deficit (VPD) with the appropriate ventilation system to a certain degree.
Such systems tend to struggle with clogged filters, decreasing expected airflow. As the greenhouse operator, you are advised to use wind speed sensors to pick reduced airflows. Fortunately, large systems with automated sensors have a way of notifying the grower about such reduced speeds and alerting them to swap filters. Besides the manufacturer’s recommendations on how often you should change clogged filters, pay attention to your location and environments as you may need to change the filters sooner than expected.
This is yet another common problem that occurs in greenhouses. Natural occurrences such as wildfires can amplify radiant heat, including smoke pollution. When such extreme temperature fluctuations occur, it is advisable to use a greenhouse whitewash or a shade cloth to help control the radiant and ambient temperatures. Thorough and constant routine inspection of the heating systems can help detect and fix any anomalies in advance.
Mold, Disease, and Pest
These are unwanted guests in a grower’s greenhouse. They are destructive and can destroy an entire crop if not curbed in good time. If you realize that most plants keep getting infected, you need to pay close attention to the disinfection process. You may also have to destroy some of the affected plants if the disease is a viral one. Decontaminate the entire watering system after harvest season and schedule water tank disinfection. If the issue persists, you will have to disinfect the greenhouse.
Fertigation and Watering Issues
Once you have harvested your crops, consider replacing worn-out parts of the system before starting a new crop cycle. Ensure both the water and fertigation system works properly before starting a significant planting season.
The crops in your greenhouse can dry out without any apparent reason. In most cases, this is often caused by an unknown source of dehydration. Inspect all electronic controls responsible for watering, timings, and clog cycles, as well as mechanical failures that could trigger over or under-watering. You must think about the potential issues that could arise within the greenhouse and plan how to counter the problems. Have a system in place that ensures you monitor the entirety of the system.