Tips on Winter Plant Care in the Greenhouse
Winter greenhouse crops face a number of risks each season, from low light levels to cold temperatures to high relative humidity. Each of these problems can lead to damaged leaves and flowers, as well as root fungi development.
These risks, however, can be minimized with a few steps, according to Ben Geijtenbeek, Senior Crop Technical Specialist at Syngenta Flowers, based at Enkhuizen in the Netherlands.
Geijtenbeek maintains healthy winter crops in two ways: first, by starting with the right genetics; and second, by controlling what he calls the essential growing factors in the greenhouse.
“Keep plants in good condition by giving high EC (electric conductivity) levels from the start, maintaining the right element balance, cleaning the greenhouse to achieve maximum light levels, and keeping a good balance between temperature and light levels,” Geijtenbeek says.
A little heat is good, Geijtenbeek says. It keeps plants active and lowers humidity levels. However, it should be controlled. Geijtenbeek advises heating less in dark conditions and allowing temperatures to rise on a sunny day, emulating nature. Watering from below, to keep leaves dry, is also important when maintaining climate control.
Learn more tips from Geijtenbeek on ventilation and climate control here.