Regions throughout the world are known for their particular crops because of their climate profiles. North America, for example, is a major producer of sugarcane, almonds and strawberries. Western Asia produces rye, barley and wheat. The Middle East grows saffron and cotton. Thanks to technological advances in horticulture and farming, crops no longer have to be limited to their native geographical locations, climates and seasons. A growing number of regions that depend on food imports are becoming more self-reliable with greenhouses that use temporary climate control solutions that mimic the conditions needed to produce a greater variety of crops. The technologies make food and other goods more abundant in regions affected by poor soil and water scarcity, and deliver seasonal crops to consumers year-round.
Temporary Climate Control Considerations for Greenhouses
Climate control solutions have variable outputs that match the heating and cooling loads caused by outside conditions, allowing you to grow a variety of crops throughout the year. During the winter, heating systems replace the energy lost when outside temperatures are too cool. In the summer, cooling equipment protects sensitive crops from extreme temperatures.
The best temperatures for greenhouses depend on the plants grown. Many crops do well when daytime temperatures are between 70°F and 80°F, and nighttime temperatures are cooler. Some transplanted seedlings, however, grow better when nighttime temperatures are as cool as 50°F, such as carrots, lettuce, sweet peas and beets.
Relative Humidity Levels
Humidity levels affect how and when plants open the stomata on the bottom of their leaves to transpire. When temperatures are too warm, a plant will close its stomata to reduce water losses. Leaving its stomata closed for too long will cause a plant to suffocate on water vapor and its own transpired gases, as it is not be able to move the oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules within it. Interestingly, when relative humidity levels are low and temperatures are warm, transpiration rates increase in some plants, reducing the need for fertilizer.
As with temperatures, the best relative humidity levels for crops depend on the types of plants. Appropriate relative humidity levels should be high enough to reduce water stress in plants and low enough to discourage fungal and diseases outbreaks. Eggplant, okra and cucumbers do well when humidity levels are high, while grains and potatoes thrive in conditions that are more arid. Propagated plants and seedlings often require higher humidity levels because they close their stomata to prevent water losses.
Ventilation systems in temporary climate control solutions influence temperatures in a greenhouse, replace moist air with drier air, and supply plants with carbon dioxide. During the summer, ventilation systems lower temperatures. In the winter, they offer adequate airflow without harsh, cold drafts.
Ventilation is important for plant photosynthesis. When a plant transpires, ambient humidity saturates its leaves with water vapor. With appropriate relative humidity levels and proper ventilation, conditions in a greenhouse allow plants to complete the transpiration process and draw nutrients from the soil. Conversely, poor ventilation and high humidity levels lead to condensation and cause plants to rot. When carbon dioxide levels in a greenhouse are higher, plants tend to grow faster and increase their yields. The best type of ventilation for a greenhouse depends on sunlight intensity, the site’s elevation, the greenhouse’s shape and orientation, and the crops grown.
Controlling the environment within greenhouses includes modifying, temperatures, relative humidity levels, ventilation and carbon dioxide levels to optimize plant growth and prevent diseases. The more control you have over the environment, the greater the yield. Rather than be at the mercy of natural elements, forward-thinking growers implement the custom temporary climate control solutions that Polygon designs. The technologies regulate and monitor the conditions within greenhouses to promote high yields, photosynthesis and generative growth. Talk to a specialist at Polygon to learn how our solutions will work with your irrigation and lighting systems to optimize crops and reduce waste.