Adjusting your greenhouse climate requires the proper ventilation, shading and misting. If mistakes are made, it could spell the end for your plants and vegetables housed inside. Occasionally, a greenhouse heater should be used. Greenhouse fans, too, are a good way to circulate air and moisture. In order to avoid some of the common errors gardeners make with their greenhouses, take the necessary steps to generate air flow, create the right amount of protection from the sun and encourage humidity.
Mistake 1: Improper Ventilation
Air flow is an important aspect of proper greenhouse operation. If there is no air circulation—or an inadequate amount of it—your plants could wither up and die. One method for the circulation of air is to install manual vents in the sides. These require you, however, to open and close them in response to the weather conditions. A better alternative then is to install a thermostatically controlled venting system. When the system is in place, a thermostat set at a particular temperature controls the opening and closing of the vents. A greenhouse fan operates in coordination with the vents, expelling hot air while cooler air is let in.
Depending on the season, you can adjust the speed of the fan for more or less air circulation. An electric thermostat and fan setup can be purchased as a whole or built up from component pieces. Don’t make the mistake of providing inadequate air flow inside your greenhouse. Ideally, install an automated climate control device for the most convenience.
Mistake 2: Improper Shading
Shade is another vital aspect of your greenhouse climate. Of course, a greenhouse is designed to let in sun while keeping plants at a certain temperature to encourage growth. Too much sun, however, can be detrimental to their health. You don’t want to over-shade either, for that could stunt plants’ growth. A shading system needs to be in place to cover the roof and the top half of the southern-facing wall. Additionally, if the greenhouse is exposed to the west, the setting sun could scorch plants. Shading must be in use during the hot part of the day, from the late morning until 4 p.m. or longer depending on the sun.
Again, do not provide too much shade. If your plants require more sunlight, reduce the shade. The right amount will largely depend upon what you grow and the construction and placement of the greenhouse.
Mistake 3: Improper Moisture
Improper misting is yet another common mistake people make. Overheating of a greenhouse is alleviated by proper ventilation and shading, but the right amount of moisture is required to keep the greenhouse climate cool. When you mist your plants on a regular schedule and have good air circulation, it encourages evaporation, which also keeps overheating to a minimum. Exactly how much misting is required will depend upon the weather in your area and how effective the ventilation and shading systems are.
Learn from the mistakes of others when you plan to use a greenhouse for your plants and vegetables. Heaters may be necessary in colder climates or with specific plants, but in general, ventilation, shading and moisture are the three aspects that, when done right, make a greenhouse climate perfectly effective.