How Much CO2 Do Greenhouses Use? - Krostrade

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How Much CO2 Do Greenhouses Use?

“How much CO2 do greenhouses use?” If you’ve asked yourself this question a couple of times, then you must be one of the countless others who are planning on speeding up the growth and development of their greenhouse plants.

In case you’re not aware, CO2 or carbon dioxide is an essential component of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis refers to the chemical process that converts light energy into sugars that will serve as food for your plants.

It’s important to note that each time you harvest your crops, carbon dioxide is taken out of your greenhouse. For this reason, it’s best to keep the carbon dioxide levels constantly replenished to keep the other greenhouse plants healthy.

How Much CO2 Do Greenhouses Use

CO2 Usage of Greenhouses

Typically, CO2 concentrations at night are higher than daytime as plants usually utilize CO2 during the day through photosynthesis. The rate of consumption, however, will depend on the crop variety, light intensity, temperature, and crop development stage. However, in general, the CO2 consumption of plants may range from 0.12–0.24 kg/hr/100 m2.

Essentially, indoor farms or greenhouses should have carbon dioxide levels between 800 ppm to 1200 ppm. Other farmers use up to 1500 ppm in their greenhouses, but there’s usually a law of diminishing returns once they go beyond that point. For this reason, many farmers choose to not to go beyond 1200 ppm in their internal levels of CO2.

Enough CO2 is essential for the growth of the plants. Growers need to maintain enough carbon dioxide levels in their greenhouses to ensure that their crops’ growth won’t be disrupted. In general, plants won’t grow in an environment where the carbon dioxide levels are less than 250 ppm.

 

Ways to Supplement Carbon Dioxide in Your Greenhouse

Thanks to the wide surface area of the environment outside a greenhouse, plants can still manage to survive even without CO2 supplementation. However, it’s an entirely different story if you grow your plants inside a hobby greenhouse. The limited space will cause them to utilize the ambient carbon dioxide that’s available in the enclosed space until the CO2 levels will significantly reduce.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) supplementation is the term used to refer to the process of adding additional carbon dioxide inside a greenhouse in order to increase the CO2 concentrations and improve the plant’s photosynthesizing abilities. Studies show that an 800 ppm to 1000 ppm increase in the levels of CO2 inside a greenhouse leads to a 40% to 100% increase in yield.

If your sensors detect a drop below the recommended CO2 concentrations (150 ppm to anywhere below 800 ppm), here are some ways to supplement carbon dioxide in your greenhouse:

 

Method #1: Burning fuels (i.e. propane and natural gas)

One of the most common methods of CO2 supplementation is the combustion of natural gasses and propane. These gasses do not contain any harmful or dangerous amounts of components which is why it’s the recommended way to supplement carbon dioxide in your greenhouse. Burning 1 m3 of natural gas produces at least 1.8kg of carbon dioxide that the plants can utilize.

 

Method #2. Compressed CO2 tanks

Another common method of supplementing CO2 is by using compressed CO2 tanks. These tanks are released through a vaporizer and the CO2 are distributed throughout the greenhouse through the holes in the PVC pipes. In smaller greenhouses, however, the CO2 may be released directly from the tank.

 

Method #3. Decomposition method

The decomposition method is another effective method that helps increase your greenhouse CO2 levels. In this method, all you have to do is to place organic wastes such as food scraps in plastic containers, and overtime the microbial action that will take place within the substrate will produce CO2 which the plants can then take advantage of. The downside to this method is that the growers may have to deal with the odor and it would require a large amount of substrate to supply the right amount of carbon dioxide your plants need.

 

Advantages of Growing Plants Inside a Hobby Greenhouse

Hobby greenhouses are among the most ideal places to grow your plants. With one, you’ll get better control of the environmental conditions and ensure that your crops are grown in the right conditions. This, in turn, promises greater plant yield, increased harvests, and more.

Aside from that, here are the other benefits of growing plants inside a hobby greenhouse:

 

You can grow any type of plants

One of the biggest advantages of having a hobby greenhouse is that you can grow just about any plant you want. If you want to grow a cold-season plant during the summer or a warm-season plant during the colder days, you can do so with a greenhouse. This is because you’ll be able to control the temperature inside the hobby greenhouse, thus, allowing your plants to survive and thrive despite the cold or warm season.

 

Increased production

With a hobby greenhouse, you can provide the optimal climate conditions needed by your plants. You may even perform carbon dioxide supplementation which will significantly increase the yield of your crops.

 

Protection from harsh weather conditions and predators

Hobby greenhouses protect your plants from extreme weather conditions. Be it strong winds or heavy rains, you can rest easy knowing that the enclosure will keep your crops safe and free from damage. Other than that, hobby greenhouses also offer protection from birds, deer, squirrels, and other animals that might feed on your plants.

 

Summary: How Much CO2 Do Greenhouses Use?

Plants need a sufficient supply of carbon dioxide to make sure that they strive and grow well. To ensure that your plants won’t run out of CO2 to use, you have to make sure that the ambient carbon dioxide inside your greenhouse reaches at least 800 ppm to 1200 ppm.

If needed, supplement CO2 by burning fuels or using compressed CO2 tanks in your greenhouse. Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the environment is shown to increase crop yield by 40% to 100%.

“How much CO2 do greenhouses use?” The next time someone asks you this question, let them know that you can’t determine the exact amount because the number may vary depending on the several factors including the type of crop, light intensity, and the plant’s stage of development.

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How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

How to Start an Avocado Farm: 4 Things to Remember

Are you interested to learn how to start an avocado farm? Embarking on this journey requires time, effort, and commitment. Plus, you need to consider a number of factors including soil preparation, as well as weather conditions.

You’re probably aware that avocado trees or Persea spp, are originally from Mexico. This explains why one of the famous Mexican cuisines include avocado-based guacamole.

You can choose to grow avocado trees indoors or outdoors. If you plan to grow them in a hobby greenhouse or at home, all you have to do is to sow the seeds in pots. When they’re grown outdoors, avocado trees can grow up to 40 feet. You can al

Moreover, these trees thrive well in regions where the weather is mostly warm and sunny. However, don’t expect them to grow in areas that experience extreme temperatures during the summer and winter.

 

Avocado: The Superfood

Did you know that the global demand for avocados has been steadily increasing? Aside from the fact that its fruit is known for its full, buttery flavor and rich texture, it’s also packed with loads of essential nutrients that are good for your body.

A single serving of avocado fruit contains vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin A.  It also has protein, fiber, and healthy fats. If you’re on a low-carb plant food diet, you’d want to incorporate avocados into your diet.

 

What are the Growing Requirements of an Avocado Tree?

Since avocado trees need to be grown in warm semi-humid climates, they only grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. However, it’s important to note that while avocado trees may be grown in those zones, they don’t always thrive well in areas that get extremely hot during the summer or frosty, chilly, or snowy in the winter. This implies that the ideal environment for an avocado tree should have moderate temperatures all-year-round.

 

What are the 3 Primary Groups of Avocado Trees?

If you’re planning to start an avocado farm, you need to know the 3 main groups of avocado trees: Guatemalan, West Indian, and Mexican. Each type has its own ideal growing range.

 

Guatemalan Avocados

A Guatemalan avocado is known for its hard skin that features plenty of warts.

 

West Indian Avocados

This type of avocado tends to flourish in warm climates. Unlike the Guatemalan avocado, a West Indian avocado has thin and shiny skin and could weigh up to 5 pounds.

 

Mexican Avocados

A Mexican avocado thrives well in tropical highland areas. Compared to the other avocado groups, the Mexican avocado is more tolerant of cold weather. In fact, it can manage to survive even when temperatures drop to 26˚F.

Moreover, this type of avocado produces smaller fruit that weighs less than a single pound and its skin has a distinct papery-smoothness to it.

 

Expert Tips on How to Start an Avocado Farm

Unless you’re willing to take on a long-term project, spend a considerable amount of money on planting, and wait for a period of 3 to 5 years for your first harvest, don’t get into avocado farming. However, if you’re willing to go through the whole nine yards to enjoy top yields for many years, check out this guide:

 

Tip #1: Plant them in areas where the temperatures are consistently cool

Be sure to plant your avocado trees in cool temperatures that can range between 68˚F to 75˚F on a daily basis to avoid fruit drop. However, when they’re flowering, or when they’re starting to bear fruit, the humidity levels shouldn’t go below 50% at midday.

 

Tip #2: They don’t like wind

In case you’re not aware, avocado trees have brittle branches that easily snap off. For this reason, it’s best not to plant them in areas that are mostly windy because wind can cause considerable damage to their fruit.

 

Tip #3: Most of them need proper irrigation

If your avocados are rain-fed, they need to have at least 1,000 mm rainfall spread out throughout each year. Before their flowering season, avocado trees require a drier season that lasts for about 2 months. On a weekly basis, avocado trees need about 25 mm water.

It’s extremely important to test the quality of irrigation water because if its pH and bicarbonates are really high, they trigger a build-up of free lime in the soil. You also need to remember that high levels of sodium and chloride can have a negative impact on your avocado plants.

Since the plant’s roots are shallow, the ideal way to apply water is via a micro-sprinkler or drip. This ensures an even distribution throughout the avocado tree’s root area.

Moreover, proper moisture control needs to be ensured in the root zone because this area tends to easily dry up.

 

Tip #4: Determine the soil’s suitability and prepare it accordingly

You can’t just plant an avocado seed on soil that hasn’t been prepared accordingly. To prepare the soil for planting, you need to dig soil profile pits throughout your farm. Make sure that the pits are 1.5 m deep.

Only a single put per ha is required. However, you need to dig more pits if the location is non-homogenous or hilly. Check the color of the soil, its texture, structure, patches, sitting water, concretions, hardpans, stones, and gravel.

 

 

Grow Your Avocado Trees in a Hobby Greenhouse!

Since avocado trees require specific levels of temperature and humidity, you’ll find it easier to grow them in a hobby greenhouse. The enclosed space allows you to customize the environment to meet the needs of your plants. What’s more, it protects them from strong winds and the constant threat of pests.

Learning how to start an avocado farm outdoors is great, but growing them inside a hobby greenhouse is even better.

 

 

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