When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

It cannot be obvious to know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse, so remember that it’s when the existing light intensity is not optimal and if the growing plants need it. The Auburn University Office of Sustainability has mentioned that one of the advantages of greenhouses is that you can have full control of the environmental conditions. And one of these conditions relies on artificial light, so you must know how to use it correctly. 

Gone are the days when farmers have to worry about extreme and unpredictable weather because greenhouses allow productivity all year round, including tripling crop yields. However, it’s essential to learn the requirements of your plants to guarantee this impressive success. Below is a guide on when to use a growing light in a greenhouse. 

When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

 

When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse Correctly

 

Supplementation needed

We all know that plants need light to perform photosynthesis, so a successful greenhouse should provide this in addition to other optimal conditions. According to Cornell Information Technologies, natural sunlight is sometimes enough for the greenhouse. But in some cases, this leads to problems in temperature that can affect the plants negatively. 

As a result, greenhouses use cooling systems and reduce the light levels to control the temperature. This can then potentially lead to another problem, which is the lack of light. In this case, you want to provide a growing light to support the plants. 

Another example that dictates when to use an organic light in a greenhouse is during the winter months. In the Northeastern and Northwestern parts of the US, the cloudy conditions affect the amount of light that could get in the greenhouse. This is where using a growing light is going to be necessary. 

 

Young plants vs. mature plants

A growing light, from the name itself, is something you’ll use for the greenhouse to support your plants’ optimum growth. However, it’s worth remembering that different plants and vegetables vary in their requirements for growth. Michigan State University even mentioned that light plays a role in the fruit yield of plants. 

Once your seedlings germinate, you’ll notice the effect of the light levels to their growth. If the growing plant does not receive enough light, it will end up weak with thin stems. And even if it survives to mature, the stem will not thicken. 

As your plants grow, you may need to use a higher growing light intensity to ensure that even the older leaves receive light as much as the new ones. Simultaneously, the type of plants you’re growing will also affect the need for a growing light in a greenhouse. For example, you will need a growing light for plants moving into the fruiting or flowering phase during the months with limited natural light. 

In North America, you will need to use a growing light to support tomato production because it usually happens at the end of October. On the contrary, some plants grown for vegetative parts may not need a growing light since they stay at this growth stage anyway. Still, low light levels during winter may require you to have a growing light to prevent plant growth from slowing down. 

 

How Long Should You Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse?

As mentioned previously, the light requirements for each plant vary. Therefore, the duration of usage of a growing light in a greenhouse will depend on the plants you have. You can classify your plants in long-day and short-day groups to make the planning of growing light duration easier.

Long-day plants will grow best and undergo the reproductive phase when the day is long, while short-day plants would be better if the night is longer. This is why some plants will start to flower even in the fall. And since short-day plants like herbs are grown for their vegetative phase, you can use an organic light to extend the day length. 

Overall, the success of your greenhouse is affected by the light it can provide. It’s crucial to know your crops’ individual lighting needs while also being mindful of the other requirements they need to thrive. At the same time, it’s worth noting that failure to meet the proper spacing on your crops can also affect the amount of light. 

 

Can You Have Too Much Light In A Greenhouse?

You must maintain the optimal lighting conditions in the greenhouse because too much light also equates to high heat energy that can affect the plants. This is where the balance of light and temperature is vital in a successful greenhouse. For temperature control due to too much light in the greenhouse, you can use cooling systems, evaporative cooling, and shadings. 

 

Conclusion

A successful greenhouse depends on the planning and execution of each crop’s optimal growing conditions and requirements. Knowing when to use a growing light in a greenhouse is one of them, so note that it’s during the times when the existing light intensity is not optimal and if the growing plants need it. Each plant and growth phase may require a specific depth and duration of growth, which means careful planning and preparation are mandatory. 

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!