How To Use Grow Light In A Small Greenhouse

You only need two factors to know how to use grow light in a small greenhouse, identifying the correct color and the type of light. With the extensive list of grow light available in the market, it can be overwhelming to understand how to use one. Therefore, learning these two factors first should make it easier to know the proper usage of a grow light in a small greenhouse. 

The regular check-up of the indoor conditions is necessary to maintain a small greenhouse. Failure to provide the optimal conditions indoors will affect your plants’ growth, health, and productivity. If the small greenhouse has inadequate light, plants won’t manufacture carbohydrates and have their energy reserves lost.  

Much like maintaining a regular greenhouse, do not make the mistake of overlooking the usage of grow light in a small greenhouse. They may have a smaller size, but the plants’ requirements growing inside are still the same. 

How To Use Grow Light In A Small Greenhouse

Comprehensive Guide On How To Use Grow Light In A Small Greenhouse

 

The correct color

One of the most confusing aspects when using a grow light is knowing what color to use in the greenhouse. There is no difference with the correct color to use, whether you’re using a small or regular greenhouse. The bottom line is that you want lights with wavelengths of red and blue

 

Red and blue

The grow lights in the greenhouse may seem white to the naked eye, but they have wavelengths. Red and blue lights are best for grow lights because they affect how the plants synthesize nutrients. Therefore, they are responsible for energy and growth.

Choose lights that manufacturers label as balanced, full-spectrum, or natural. 

 

High spectrum vs low spectrum

Additionally, some grow lights may have numbers indicating 400K or 2700K. Use this as your guide where the higher the number, the colder the light. This is why most gardeners who use grow light to encourage foliage choose 6500K. 

On the other hand, your plants will also need a warm grow light at 3000K if you’re focusing on fruit production. Keeping this in mind, you can start with high spectrum lights for producing seedlings. Afterward, use low spectrum bulbs to help with flowering and fruiting. 

 

The type of light

 

Incandescent

The most inexpensive light that you can use in the small greenhouse is incandescent. However, they get hot fast, so you have to ensure a safe distance around 24 inches away from the plants. Besides being cheap, incandescent bulbs are also easy to install. 

However, they have a short lifespan compared to others and replacement will be more often. 

 

Fluorescent

The University of Missouri Extension mentioned that fluorescent lights are one of the best options for indoor usage. For starters, this type is more energy-efficient and long-lasting compared to incandescent. You would also be less worried about the heat they produce, and you can choose from sizes and shapes suitable for a small greenhouse. 

Fluorescent bulbs give off blue light, but there are also full-spectrum lights, ideal for a grow light.  

 

HID

You can differentiate high-intensity discharge lights into high-pressure sodium and metal halide, and they make the best supplementary lights. High-pressure sodium lights emit red, which is best for budding and flowering. On the other hand, metal halide is a blue-colored light that is useful to encourage growth. 

These lights are also energy-efficient and long-live, but they are best for large scale greenhouses than small ones. They have large fixtures, and it’s hard to find lights of this type in small wattage. Additionally, they emit heat, so positioning them in a small greenhouse is tricky. 

 

LED

The most comfortable and perhaps the top pick grow light in a small greenhouse is LED. Unlike the HID, LED lights are small, lightweight, and easy to install, making them ideal for a mini greenhouse. They are also long-lasting without the danger of heat, and you can choose from different spectrums.

 

How to use a grow light

After understanding the two crucial factors, you can easily use a grow light in a small greenhouse with confidence. Start by knowing when to use a grow light, which depends on your plants’ specific requirements. Afterward, design the set-up for the grow lights to be at a safe distance from the plants.

In general, you can have the lights 5 feet away from the plant, but you can adjust this depending on the need of the specific species. If you want to save time and effort, you can also install a switch for the grow lights. Some can utilize a timer, but others even allow connection to your phone. 

Over time and as the plants grow, remember that repositioning the lights will be necessary. You might even need to change the spectrum and the duration of usage of the lights. 

 

Conclusion

Light is a crucial factor for plants’ growth and health, so greenhouse growers must provide the optimal lighting conditions indoors. You can quickly learn how to use grow light in a small greenhouse or for any greenhouse in that matter by considering the color and type of light.

Once you understand the importance of spectrums and differences among light types, you can go on with the grow lights’ set-up. Put them at a safe distance and adjust according to the requirements of the plant. 

 

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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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