3 Best Ways On How To Shade A Greenhouse

It’s essential to know how to shade a greenhouse using paint, netting, and curtain. A 2016 study has shown how shading the greenhouse saves energy and water while also improving its microclimate. Additionally, the University of Massachusetts Amherst also noted that it effectively cools the greenhouse at low costs. 

Shading the greenhouse doesn’t have to be complicated. Much like protecting the greenhouse from winds, light, and temperature are outdoor conditions that can affect the structure. Therefore, one must know how to preserve or reinforce the greenhouse in preparation for environmental challenges. 

3 Best Ways On How To Shade A Greenhouse

How To Shade A Greenhouse For Beginners

 

Shade paint

One of the quickest ways to shade a greenhouse is by using shade paint. This is a good option if your greenhouse production space has no retractable curtain. You’ll apply it similar to a regular paint outside of the glass when the season requires you to.

You don’t have to worry about how long shade paint lasts because it is resistant to showers, and you’ll eventually wash it off anyways once the season ends. The only potential disadvantage with using a shade paint is that it’s laborious to apply and remove. On the bright side, it is not an expensive material, which is why you can add more layers as needed or when the paint wears off. 

 

What is whitewash?

When researching for shade paints, you have probably heard of whitewash. You can use this term interchangeably with shade paint since it is the shade compound per se. Therefore, if the shade compound is at a high dilution, it provides less shade, while a high concentration of the compound means high shade. 

The ideal shading factor for whitewash would be 40% because too much can decrease the light conditions and negatively affect the plants. You might also consider other materials that reduce the infrared light without affecting plants’ light level requirements. With proper use, shade paint should reflect sunlight and scatters the light well indoors.

 

How to apply shade paint?

The most common way to apply shade paint is by putting it outside of the dry greenhouse glazing material. This way, the sunlight will reflect on the paint and prevent it from entering the greenhouse and increasing the temperature. You can apply the shade compound with a brush, sprayer, or roller in the morning or late afternoon. 

However, you want to ensure that there will be no rainfall on that day because if the paint gets exposed 24 or 12 hours after a new application, it may wash off. Afterward, you can wash off the paint in fall to ensure that the plants will get their light needs during the low light seasons. 

 

Shade netting

External and internal shade nettings are also useful to protect the greenhouse from harsh sunlight. Inside, you can add a plastic weave shading by securing it with clips onto the frame. This way, you can be confident that there will always be a shade inside than with outdoor shades that weather can wear off. On the other hand, you can also clip the same material or hessian over the roof outside to serve as external shade netting. 

 

Shade curtain

Michigan State University recommends an easy way to control high temperatures and conserve water by using retractable shade or energy curtains to minimize radiant heat loss. Compared to the previous two solutions, shade curtains will be usable both at night and periods of high light. This is why those in the upper Midwest start using this shading technique late April or early in May. 

There are many materials that you can use for shade curtains. They include woven or knitted fabrics made of saran, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester. You can choose the degree of shading they provide and even add ultraviolet stabilization to help it last longer. 

To choose a material, you have to weigh some pros and cons. Saran needs to have slight sagging during installation because it shrinks, but it is fireproof. Polypropylene is durable and resistant to abuse and wear and tear, while polyethylene is resistant to mildew and won’t fray when cut. 

The best thing about shade curtains is that you can open or close them as needed. You can also choose if you want them gutter-to-gutter or truss-to-truss when installed. Therefore, you have complete control of its configuration. 

 

Importance Of Shading A Greenhouse

Shading a greenhouse would help maintain plant productivity since high temperatures affect photosynthesis and respiration. Some crops like tomatoes will even be affected if they get saturated by light. You might even find it amazing how shading can supplement evaporative cooling during warm weather and reduce the risk of burning by maintaining plant leaf temperature. 

 

Conclusion

The greenhouse provides a stable growing environment for our plants, but we have to reinforce it to adjust to the external conditions to do its job well. One example is when the sun gets too harsh, so it’s crucial to know how to shade a greenhouse correctly. You can do this by applying a shade paint, shade netting, or shade curtain. 

Out of the three, the shade paint is the cheapest solution but applying and removing it is laborious. On the other hand, a more comfortable and adjustable way to shade a greenhouse is installing a shade curtain. It minimizes radiant heat loss that it can even double as an energy curtain as a bonus. 

 

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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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