Greenhouses and tunnels

Greenhouses enable the improvement of crop and plants yield and performance. Greenhouses achieve this by allowing the optimization of growing conditions. These growing conditions include:

  • Growing micro-climate such as temperature, humidity and light

    • In some climates, growing of certain crops in the open is impossible or the yield and quality will be sub-optimal. Plants and crops have an optimum climate. Optimizing the climate results in high yields and quality. A greenhouse is the only way through which climate can be optimized.
  • Pest and disease control. A greenhouse can keep away disease because of the following

    • It provides a physical barrier.The physical barrier prevents pests and diseases. For example, insect nets prevents thrips, whiteflies and other insects from getting into the greenhouse. The greenhouse construction can also prevent disease spores, slashes and run-off from getting into the greenhouse and thereby protecting the crop.
    • By managing the greenhouse micro-climate, it is also possible to control diseases and pests. Isolation of infected areas is also possible.
    • It is possible and viable to introduce natural predators such as phytoseiulus into a greenhouse environment. This is generally easier than in the open because the greenhouse conditions that favour the said predators such as temperature and humidity can be controlled. The greenhouse also contains the natural predators within it.
    • Pest control activity is generally more effective in a greenhouse than in the open. It is possible to fog the greenhouse with insecticides and fungicides because air movement can be controlled. This results in effective control because the pesticide fills the entire greenhouse space.
    • By controlling the entry and movement of people and having a disinfection station, foot bath and wheel bath, introduction of diseases can be avoided.
  • A greenhouse dramatically improves the growers focus. This in itself can lead to improved product quality and yield.

    • Focus is an important attribute for any undertaking and it determines success or failure. The ability to focus in an undefined environment is greatly hampered. By having a greenhouse a farmer or grower focuses better on all the aspects of growing such as yield per unit area, climate, pest and disease management, crop nutrition and all other growing aspects

 

  • A greenhouse protects crops from damaging elements such as extreme weather

    • Extreme weather conditions such as strong winds, intense rains and intense heat can decimate a crop in hours. A greenhouse provides cover that physically protects crops

 

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