How Does Water Get To Plants In A Greenhouse

It’s important to learn how does water get to plants in a greenhouse via irrigation and ebb and flood systems. After all, water is a limiting factor in photosynthesis, and failure to provide it in the ideal amounts will affect your plants’ growth and health. The availability of water in the greenhouse is very crucial to its effectiveness in supporting your plants without limitation. 

Many variables can influence your water usage in the greenhouse. Depending on your area, you might have laws and restrictions to consider. The University of Massachusetts Amherst also mentioned how drought conditions are part of potential limitations that greenhouse owners should keep in mind. 

Nonetheless, this article should help you quickly know how water gets to your plants in the greenhouse. You can then use the information as a guide to planning your greenhouse better and achieve a productive garden without drawbacks related to watering.

How Does Water Get To Plants In A Greenhouse

How Does Water Get To Plants In A Greenhouse: Two Common Ways

 

Irrigation systems

The most common way to get water in the greenhouse is by irrigation systems. Generally speaking, you can classify them into drip irrigation, water trays and saucers, and zero runoff or sub-irrigation. Suppose you’re choosing an irrigation system for the greenhouse, what is the best one?

The UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment recommends drip and sub-irrigation systems because of the control you have with the amount of water you can apply. 

 

Drip vs subirrigation

You won’t end up with wet foliage that can cause diseases and damages compared to using overhead sprinklers or improper hand watering with these systems. On the other hand, an overhead sprinkler system doesn’t provide water to the soil well, and only 20% reaches it. If you want to be efficient and also conserve water, an in-pot drip system will get all the water to the soil. 

You can even regulate the amount of water with a timer and flow gauge to ensure that the plants get their recommended water amounts. But what about sub-irrigation? Sub-irrigation is a good substitute for hand-watering, and it can be as simple as using capillary mats.

Put them under your plant containers, which have drip holes that will take the water back to the plant roots. This concept is a useful solution for overwatering and even reduces evaporation, common causes of fungal diseases, and rot. 

 

Ebb and flood systems

Speaking of conservation, an effective way to do so and bring water to the greenhouse plants is via ebb and flood systems. Water gets to each table via an inlet, and each table also has a hole to let water flow at a rate less than the fill. This way, the water can flow to the drainage to recirculate in the greenhouse, similar to how a flood floor collects water and reuse it for other drip lines.  

You might also have heard of the phrases, ebb and flow or flood and drain, and you can interchange them with ebb and flood systems. The concept is simple, and it is letting the water flow to your growing areas and letting it drain back to the reservoir. Hence the names, flood, and flow. 

 

What To Consider When Watering In The Greenhouse

 

Season

The season, including the temperatures and light levels, will dictate watering in the greenhouse. For example, hotter days can quickly dry out the soil compared to rainy and cloudy days. This is why when the temperature and conditions are cold and wet; you want to water in the day, so the plants are dry in the evening and avoid mildew.

Another good tip is when the season has the sun out long, and then the plants need more water. On the contrary, you might not even need to water or irrigate in the winter. 

 

When to water

Besides the season, knowing when to water using signs are crucial to prevent over- or under-watering. The easiest way to tell that you need to water is when the medium surface looks lighter than its usual color. To further make sure, you should squeeze some of the soil or medium, and if it crumbles or feels dry, then it’s a good signal.

 

How much water is need

Every plant has its own watering needs, and some will even show signs of dehydration. In the greenhouse, you can also apply low volumes of water at intervals to prevent flooding the medium. Otherwise, it’s also common to saturate the medium and then let it do the work as it retains moisture. 

Either technique requires the medium to dry out between waterings completely. Just remember that you should always be diligent and observant as some plants may dry out faster while some may get saturated. 

 

Conclusion

The greenhouse makes it easy for gardeners to provide the ideal growing conditions and plants’ requirements regardless of location. However, this makes you wonder, how does water get to plants in a greenhouse? Irrigation systems and ebb and flood systems are the two most common ways to water your plants indoors. 

Both are generally efficient and allow conservation that can prevent problems compared to traditional watering methods. But whichever system you choose, remember to consider the season, when to water, and how much water your plants need. This way, you can prevent problems with watering and experience no drawbacks in plant production. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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