3 Reasons Why Do Tomatoes Grow Better In Greenhouses

The extension of the growing season, protection against temperature and weather changes, and safe growing environment are the answers to why do tomatoes grow better in greenhouses. These three advantages make the greenhouse an ideal environment for growing tomatoes compared to the traditional style of field growing. However, you need to understand how each advantage works to make a connection with the factors to consider when growing greenhouse tomatoes.

3 Reasons Why Do Tomatoes Grow Better In Greenhouses

3 Advantages Of Growing Tomatoes In Greenhouses

Greenhouse growing of tomatoes presents three advantages over field growing: extension of the growing season, protection against temperature and weather changes, and safe growing environment. In fact, greenhouse tomato farming has been rising since the mid-1990s. The explanation behind this is the growing preference of customers to the quality of tomatoes raised under these three advantages. 

If you think about it, protection against temperature, weather changes, and a safe growing environment will consistently yield quality tomatoes. You’re eliminating the erratic conditions that can cause the tomatoes to be of a low standard. As a result, the demand for greenhouse tomatoes will be consistent as well. 

 

Extension of the growing season

Tomatoes can be picky plants, so it’s typical for field growers to have a shorter growing season depending on their region. Using a greenhouse eliminates this drawback because you don’t have to stop growing your tomatoes once the summer months are over. Growing tomatoes in the greenhouse gives you the advantage of extending your harvest season up until late fall. 

If you’re using a greenhouse for growing tomatoes, you are not limited with your growing and harvest season, even though your region has a short duration of summer months. This also allows you to get a second crop, or even start sowing your tomatoes much earlier. If you think about it, this leaves you fewer possibilities for production problems regardless of the season. 

Protection against temperature and weather changes

The consistent and controllable temperature and weather conditions inside the greenhouse favors the growth and production of high-quality tomatoes. Let us paint you a picture of a rainy day that lasts until the night. What will happen to your crops?

The open exposure of tomatoes in the rain will drench their leaves. And in some cases where the season is colder, the combination of wet leaves and a drop in temperature will surely be detrimental to your plants’ health. But how bad can it be, right?

For starters, the tomatoes will have a harder time absorbing nutrients. This makes them more vulnerable to diseases and other conditions. Therefore, growing tomatoes indoors will protect the plants from the inconsistencies of temperature and weather outside. 

Now, you might be thinking, “but what if the greenhouse also limits my tomatoes from sunlight?” A greenhouse can be beneficial whether your tomato varieties thrive in warm or cool conditions. The structure retains the sun’s radiation for consistent heat, but you’ll also be protecting cool variants from harsh sunlight. 

Safe growing environment

Besides the consistent and controllable temperature and weather, the greenhouse makes a safe growing environment ideal for tomatoes. Its structure will make it impossible for predators like birds, rodents, and large mammals to access the plants. The enclosed environment will also deter anyone from causing potential damages to your crops. 

Raising tomatoes in an enclosed structure like the greenhouse can even be beneficial for you in another way. Keeping them indoors will also contain beneficial insects such as ladybugs and praying mantids. In turn, the presence of these insects will help you keep troublesome pests at bay.  

How Do You Grow Tomatoes In A Greenhouse Year-Round

You can grow tomatoes in a greenhouse year-round if you consider the tomato variety, season, location, temperature, feeding, and watering beforehand. It’s not enough that you have the directions on how to plant tomatoes in a greenhouse. That part is easy, but to growing them correctly, there are some significant considerations beforehand. 

Using a greenhouse extends the growing season of tomatoes. However, failing to execute a plan according to these factors will give you a hard time achieving a year-round production. Let us take a look at how each factor plays a role in growing greenhouse tomatoes year-round. 

Tomato variety

Similar to when you’re growing tomatoes outdoors, you have to be knowledgeable in what varieties would be suitable in an indoor environment. It sounds complicated, but it’s as simple as choosing the seeds marked as greenhouse variants. They are so-called because they are built to tolerate the conditions of indoors instead of your usual garden varieties. 

What are the greenhouse tomato varieties

For greenhouses, you want vine or cordon tomatoes. In particular, the most popular and widely-used tomato variety in the United States is called Trust. This is a Beefsteak-type tomato, and it makes an excellent greenhouse variant. 

There are also Dutch hybrids called Match, Switch, and Blitz that are all worthy considerations for indoor growing. On the other hand, Marnero and Marhold are similar to Cherokee Purple and Striped Germans respectively, if you want heirloom-like variants. All these greenhouse tomato varieties are indeterminate, which means they can grow several meters long and produce over a long harvest season. 

Once you’ve selected an indoor variety, you can also consider types that are resistant to diseases. Over the years, breeders and companies have created varieties that are less prone to diseases and disorders. A quick tip for finding these variants is to look for the letters V, F,N ,T, and A after their names. 

Season 

The most significant advantage of growing greenhouse tomatoes is that it’s possible to grow them year-round. Depending on the location, you can have up to two tomato crops during the year as long as you maintain the conditions inside the greenhouse. This is in comparison to the limited growing season in field tomatoes where frost is a concern. 

Since you want to grow your tomatoes in the greenhouse year-round, you need to plan on how you can plant on a two-crop rotation. Growing tomatoes in a field meant planting the seeds before the last frost of the year. But with greenhouse tomatoes, you can seed a fall crop and a spring crop in early June and December, respectively. 

Can you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse in winter

Yes, you can grow tomatoes in a greenhouse in winter because greenhouses are able to trap the heat from the sun’s radiation and keep it inside. However, be aware that the heat inside is only relative to how cold it is outside. Therefore, the heat retained by the greenhouse may not always be enough for growing tomatoes during winter.  

To make sure your tomatoes are getting sufficient heat in the winter, you have to provide auxiliary heat in the greenhouse. You should also consider adding the costs of supplemental lighting every winter to make up for the insufficient natural light in this season. Therefore, you can still experience an increase in yield on your greenhouse tomatoes in the winter as long as you provide sufficient heat and light. 

Location

The location you choose also affects the year-round success of growing tomatoes in a greenhouse. You have two options on where you can grow greenhouse tomatoes: in the greenhouse borders and in pots. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so the final decision depends on you. 

Greenhouse borders

Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse border makes it possible for you to avoid problems from deficiency of water and magnesium. This is because the border stores water well, and the large volume of soil in it prevents fertilizer overdose. However, it can be tedious for some to prepare and maintain the border soil 

Pots

Growing tomatoes in pots ensure you that the tomatoes will always have fresh compost each year. You can also use the compost you’ve used in these pots in the plot later on. But a drawback in using pots for tomatoes is that their small size shortens their nutrient and water retention capacity as well. 

How long will a tomato plant live in a greenhouse

A tomato plant will live in a greenhouse for years as long as the conditions are ideal. The reason behind this indefinite lifespan is because greenhouse varieties of tomatoes are indeterminate, so they continuously produce flowers and fruits as they grow. Your greenhouse tomatoes can reach up to 40 feet in length in a span of 10 months. 

Temperature

The ideal temperature to grow tomatoes is between 70°F and 80°F during the daytime. But what temperature should a greenhouse be at night? Nighttime temperatures between 60°F to 65°F is best to maintain adequate warmth inside. 

Keeping these temperatures ranges from daytime to nighttime will help you grow tomatoes with a high yield. However, keep in mind that both excessively high and low temperatures can also cause problems. High temperatures can yield unmarketable tomatoes, while low temperatures can affect the quality of your fruits. 

You can maintain the greenhouse temperature using shade cloths, evaporative cooling pads, heating furnaces, and exhaust fans. And while you’re at it at temperature maintenance, make sure you’re regularly ventilating. Keep the greenhouse humidity below 90% to prevent mold growth. 

When can tomatoes go in the unheated greenhouse

You can plant tomatoes in your unheated greenhouse after the last frost date has passed. Using an unheated greenhouse is excellent for extending the growing season of your tomatoes. However, you should remember that sowing in an unheated greenhouse with frost outside puts your tomato plants at risk. 

When tomatoes go in an unheated greenhouse, it’s your job to make sure the internal temperature is still ideal. Other than putting the plants after the last frost date has passed in your region, add protection at night. This way, you’ll be confident that the greenhouse does not get too cold. 

Feeding 

You’re now familiar with the greenhouse conditions ideal for growing tomatoes. But how often do you feed tomatoes in a greenhouse? Once you transplant the plants into their final pot, you can start fertilizing. 

Feed your growing tomatoes every one or two weeks with a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer. Then, switch to a tomato fertilizer once you see fruits. Follow the instructions of the fertilizer to know how often you should feed your plants. 

If you’re using liquid fertilizer, you want to skip a feeding twice during the tomato plant’s life cycle. This is because it can lead to the accumulation of salts, so you should give water to wash this excess. It’s also worth noting that if you saw a sick plant, do not feed it until it recovers. 

Watering

A greenhouse tomato plant requires up to 3 quarts of water per day. Make sure you’re watering your plants at regular intervals, and it can be more often in a hotter climate. However, do note that tomato leaves are sensitive, so avoid using overhead irrigation for watering. 

You’ll know that your plants are not getting enough water if your plant leaves are wilted and dark green. On the contrary, yellow leaves means that you are overwatering your tomatoes. Make sure the soil of your plants is moist and not dry or soggy. 

Bottom Line

Why do tomatoes grow better in greenhouses? Yes, and it’s because of the extension of the growing season, protection against temperature and weather changes, and safe growing environment that a greenhouse offers. All these advantages will help tomatoes thrive with a higher yield in contrast to the inconsistencies with the field growing. 

The best reason it’s better to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse is that you’re not limited to the growing season. So how do you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse year-round? Consider the tomato variety, season, location, temperature, feeding, and watering, and then plan accordingly. 

You must understand each of these advantages and factors to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse efficiently. Like growing tomatoes in the fields, preparation for various scenarios beforehand will guarantee success in growing greenhouse tomatoes. It’s not a complicated process, but it requires effort and patience on your part. 

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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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