When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

Do you know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse? First off, plants require light to stimulate photosynthesis; this allows them to produce energy and food for themselves.

To provide a source of light, greenhouse enthusiasts sometimes use an artificial source. These devices are known as growing lights, and they vary widely across the globe. However, these lights require the proper evaluation of different factors and considerations before the installation.

It’s better to use natural sunlight, but when to use a growing light in a greenhouse? In this article, we will expound on when you should use a growing light in a greenhouse. All of the conditions suggested should be taken into account to maximize the utility of your growing lights.

When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

Types Of Growing Lights

Although they all have the same function, to supplement sunlight or directly replace sunlight, especially in urban farming, these growing lights are subdivided into three major types. Before you should know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse, let’s talk about the types.

 

Fluorescent growing lights

These growing lights either come in tubes or CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lights. These lightbulbs are useful in providing luminance for vegetables and herbs indoors. The efficiency of light distribution depends on the distance of the fluorescent bulbs to the plants.

 

HPS lights

HPS or high-pressure sodium lights are for the experts. These are heat-emitting, yellow bulbs that have been used for more than 75 years already. They exist in the market, but setting it up is complicated, and it’s not efficient when it comes to providing a reliable, stable light source.

 

LED lights

Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are the most common. They are more light-efficient and energy-efficient compared to its two counterparts. These bulbs produce low to zero heat and are great at directing light waves. However, these could be more expensive than CFLs, and its efficiency is only maximized at a small spectrum.

 

Growing Light For Your Greenhouse

Now that you know the different types of growing lights, you should also note the perfect time to use them. This portion of the blog will explain the conditions and tips that you should monitor and follow before using these greenhouse lights.

 

Environment

Sunlight could be inconsistent due to the fast-changing weather and unpredictable climate. This inconsistency could heavily affect your plants’ growth inside your greenhouse as they need a sufficient amount of light to produce their food.

Growing lights are efficient when sunlight is inconsistent or unavailable, especially in the Northern areas during long and dark winter days. Despite the unavailability of sunlight, these artificial devices could stimulate your florae’s growth and provide the right amount of photons that they need.

 

Indoor greenhouse

Some greenhouse enthusiasts want to keep their greenhouses indoors. Hence, they use growing lights to supply their plants with light.

Use a growing light system when your greenhouse is placed indoors or in an area where adequate sunlight cannot seep through. This would continue the development of plants and would make your greenhouse keeping more efficient.

 

Equipment

You cannot use something unless you know how to use it. After evaluating the stated factors above, you should note the needs of your plants inside your greenhouse before using these growing lights.

Light consists of the different colors of the rainbow, displaying it on a broad spectrum. Plants use the red and blue sides of the spectrum to stimulate their growth. It is not enough for you to buy a plain lightbulb to mitigate and imitate sunlight to develop your plants.

It is highly recommended that you use blue and red light bulbs as they are more efficient than ordinary white or yellow ones.

Since growing lights are artificial, it is also a must for you to keep track of the time your plants are exposed to them. Generally, most flowers and vegetables require exposure to light for at least 12 to 16 hours per day. Any more than that could disrupt the plants’ cycle as they need darkness to respire.

This equipment should also be set up correctly to allow the proper distribution of light across the greenhouse. If the plants receive inadequate photons, this would stunt their growth and positively affect their development.

Lastly, use greenhouse lights that don’t produce a lot of heat. Scientific evidence shows that heat and high temperatures could affect the vitamins and nutritional content within your plants. It would help if you used lights such as LEDs as they produce zero to near-zero heat when turned on.

 

How To Use A Growing Light?

Knowing the conditions on when to use a growing light in a greenhouse is key for the development of your plants. Now, we will discuss tips and processes on how to use a growing light.

 

#1 Use a light timer

Depending on your plant’s needs, your greenhouse won’t need light 24/7. It is recommended for you to use a light timer to control your lighting system’s on-and-off cycle.

 

#2 Position the lights properly

As a general rule, growing lights with less high-intensity light discharge should be one to three feet away from your plants. Meanwhile, lights with higher luminance should be placed four to six feet away. Make sure to check and adjust the lighting depending on the needs of your florae.

Also, always remember to place the lights in a position where the lighting is evenly distributed. This means that if your greenhouse is bigger, equip yourself with a bulb with a larger wattage and a more extensive scope of illumination to adhere to your plants’ needs.

 

Final Words

In this modern and changing world, sometimes we should rely on artificial and human-made equipment. Through this article, you will now know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse.

If you do things properly and always abide by your plants’ needs, your gardening career will foster and develop as time goes by.

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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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