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How to maintain greenhouse temperatures

By Grace Chomba

Opened spaces at the greenhouse rooftop to allow air circulation. Unsplash Photo

Maintaining the required temperatures essential for your crops in a greenhouse is one of the important variables to keep an eye on.

Plants require controlled temperatures at different stages to sustain its growth.

Here is a guideline on how to maintain cool and warm temperature rates.

Cool temperatures

Installing a shade cloth or shade paints can help reduce the sunlight's strength which can lead to wilting of young plants. Remember plants need light for maximum growth and to facilitate the photosynthesis process hence shading should be done precisely.

Roof ventilation or side vents, fans and just opening the greenhouse doors can provide air circulation during warm summer months to help reduce heat buildup in the room.

Use of water misters that atomizes water by creating small droplets that fill the air and as the droplets evaporate, the temperatures are reduced.  Fans used together with the misting machine can help increase evaporation

Damping down where you can pour water onto the floor paths in the morning that will provide enough humidity during the day. This will save plants from heat stress and control pests that are attracted by warm conditions.

Use of evaporative coolers that draw warm air through the pads from the exhaust fans when humidity is below 50 per cent. Commonly used cooling systems are fan and pad.

Pads are constantly kept wet to absorb relatively high amounts of heat.

Warm temperatures 

Heaters help sustain plants when the weather is too cool. They circulate the air and assist in achieving artificial warmth in the soil required by the plants.

Bubble wraps help to stop heat from escaping by covering all doors and windows. This will save you heating costs. The bigger the bubbles the better.

You can also use a thermostat-controlled heater that runs only when needed to keep the temperatures at the required rate.

Ventilations can help fresh air circulation during the day and at night you can close them to maintain warmth required by the plants. Plants require carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen and moisture that maintains a humid temperature.

Ensure that air circulation is done evenly as the use of heater can lead to hot and cold patches around your greenhouse. Air circulators help in mixing the air evenly and help attain the required climate.

Raising plants off the cold ground to prevent plants from freezing. You can also place clay pebbles at the bottom of the pots

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