How To Diffuse Light In The Greenhouse

It’s essential to know how to diffuse light in the greenhouse, and you have three easy methods to choose from. We all know the importance of using a grow light in the greenhouse, but gardeners sometimes overlook how light diffuses indoors. Did you know that plants work better with diffuse light than direct light?

You might think that light itself doesn’t need help to distribute well, but the effects of well-diffused light would benefit your crops in ways that significantly show difference. For example, a study has shown a higher photosynthesis rate, resulting in better growth and yield among plants. The even distribution of light also helps maintain proper temperatures indoors when there is high irradiation from outside. 

 

How To Diffuse Light In The Greenhouse

How To Diffuse Light: 3 Best Methods For The Greenhouse

 

Method #1. Using films

The first and perhaps the most common method to diffuse light efficiently is by using films onto your greenhouse. There are many options in the market that include white and frosted products. Some films offer multiple layers for direct, diffused, and refracted light if you want something permanent and more adaptable to environmental conditions. 

When choosing a film to diffuse light, it would be more convenient to use an adaptable one, so you don’t run the risk of a common problem with light distribution during winter. Remember that you don’t want to block direct sunlight, especially in the winter, and a basic white film won’t work well for this. Instead, opt for films that will modify according to the light conditions. 

 

Method #2. Using covers

Besides films, you can also use covers for the greenhouse, such as glass, acrylic, and polycarbonate. Regardless, the primary goal is to have high haze and light transmission indoors. It’s worth noting that greenhouse covers have materials that have changing properties, so you might find one cover that offers multiple light transmission capacities. 

Glass generally provides the highest light transmission, while polycarbonate and polyethylene provide high haze values. Some would be a single-layer cover, but there are also inflated and double-wall panels. You may find rough, stippled, or tinted surfaces, but the bottom line is to choose the material that will transmit light well on sunny and cloudy days and still provide your crops’ light requirements. 

 

Method #3. Using coatings

Lastly, you can opt for coatings if you want a semi-permanent solution for diffusing light. An excellent example of this is whitewashing or using temporal diffusing coatings on the greenhouse during spring. You can then remove it in fall, so the potential drawback with this option is the labor in exchange for a cheaper solution on light distribution. 

It’s also possible to use coatings on an existing cover and improve light diffusion. For example, some glasses have an anti-reflective coating to help increase light transmission. If you think about it, shading the greenhouse using coatings works as an option to diffuse light. 

 

Why Is Diffusing Light In The Greenhouse Important?

 

Better temperature without blocking the lighting needs of plants

Multiple studies have proven that diffuse light in the greenhouse is advantageous and beneficial. To start, diffusing the light that enters the greenhouse lessens its intensity, so it’s less damaging to the crops. But since you aren’t shading the plants, they’ll still get their lighting requirements to conduct photosynthesis without temperature challenges. 

You will also notice how there are no greenhouse areas where some crops look weak or struggling. This is because scattering the light equally indoors prevents hot and cold spots. You’ll get a consistent quality among your crops because they won’t struggle with the temperature. 

 

Increased growth from efficient photosynthesis

The efficiency in photosynthesis of plants will also lead to a better growth rate and shorter crop time. If the light distributes well indoors, it will reach all the plants even under thick canopies. Some greenhouse growers notice how fast their production cycles get with light diffusion because of the enhanced growth rate.

The photosynthesis rate will always be optimal in the greenhouse as long as you keep the limiting factors in check. One of them is light, but it should also diffuse well indoors to prevent damages to the crops. If the plants conduct photosynthesis well, they should grow without drawbacks and cut your expected time for harvest or selling them. 

 

Better adaptability to climate

The most significant advantage of growing crops in the greenhouse is ensuring that the plants are in their ideal environment regardless of the climate. The great thing with diffusing light is you can also adapt to the external conditions. Instead of only blocking the light, you can still ensure optimal light transmission in winter. 

As mentioned earlier, some greenhouse films are meant to be permanent and adaptable to the conditions year-round. Your plants don’t have to suffer from stress in specific periods of the year, and your production cycle won’t also halt. 

 

Conclusion

More than providing light, its distribution is also as crucial for greenhouse production. But is it easy to learn how to diffuse light? There are three main methods, and all of them are relatively straightforward.

You can apply films, covers, or coatings onto your greenhouse. How you choose among these options depends on your climate and the needs of your crops. The primary trend here is to distribute the light indoors to improve photosynthesis and temperature without cutting your plants’ requirements and needs. 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter!