Greenhouse protection during winter is vital for maximized production. This protection and care ensure that winter vegetables are in constant supply. Not only is this essential for the farmer, but vital in maintaining steady market supplies. This trend is important to farmers supplying products to various retailers and grocery stores.
Cold temperature can affect the quality and quantity of horticultural crops.
Some pests and diseases are also known to ride along during winter. When a greenhouse is well cared for during this season, these challenges are completely solved. This article highlights the top 6 greenhouse caring tips for winter. These tips are essential in increasing your crop success and averting losses incurred due to the freezing conditions.
Use heaters to maintain temperatures.
In extreme winter conditions, heaters in a greenhouse will improve the temperatures. Freezing conditions send plants into shock and heating will boost their growth rates. This is vital in ensuring that crops that are not hardy survive through winter. Heaters can be used during a specific period of the day as the heat generated will be maintained for several hours. Some of the heating methods that can be used include natural gas, geothermal boilers, and buried hot water lines. Boosting temperatures in a greenhouse ensures a minimal difference in crop success between winter and other seasons.
Clean panels to allow light in.
Dirt and debris on greenhouse panels reduce the quality and amount of light available for the crops. With Elite greenhouses, for example, cleaning the panels with soap and water is recommended. This improves light availability for your crops, especially in winter when there’s limited sunshine. Drying the insides of the panels throughout your greenhouse will be essential in minimizing moisture buildup. High humidity levels will, therefore, be averted.
Constantly observe temperature levels.
This is critical with heated and insulated greenhouses. Huge temperature differences between the day and night will reduce crop productivity. Constantly observing the temperatures will aid in additional heating or opening up vents to reduce the heat. For optimum crop performance, a temperature difference of 5-7 degrees should be maintained. This will be highly effective if your heating kit is fitted with a thermostat and additionally, a thermometer.
Clean the greenhouse guttering.
Leaves and dirt in greenhouse gutters encourage algae growth. This may harbor pests and diseases which will find their way into your crops. Cleaning your greenhouse guttering and disinfecting it will prevent pest and disease invasion. This greenhouse caring procedure should be carried out before the onset of winter. Occasional cleaning through winter will be an added advantage.
Keep the greenhouse ventilated.
High moisture in a greenhouse increases the cases of foliar diseases. During winter, the greenhouse should be well ventilated. This reduces the humidity levels, thus averting these diseases. In order to maintain heat and reduce moisture in a greenhouse, ventilation should be done during the day. Leaving the vents open mid morning to mid afternoon and half-open in the evening regular is highly recommended.
Repair broken panels and support battens.
Winter storms are dangerous to faulty greenhouses. Broken greenhouse panels will allow draught in the greenhouse. This will damage plants and may also encourage the spread of foliar diseases. Extreme windy conditions may also bring down weakly anchored greenhouses. Repairing weak support beams and anchoring the greenhouse with strong battens and pegs provides extra support. These repairs will ensure that the greenhouse is strong and steady through the season.
Carrying out the above tasks and checks will ensure reduced greenhouse damage. It will also facilitate the survival of less hardy plants during this season. This is vital in ensuring optimum production during the cold months.