By growing plants in a greenhouse, we are actually creating an ideal eco-system for them, the idea is to create a space that is ideally suited for the plants that we want to grow in the greenhouse. Plants do grow faster and better in the greenhouse because in a greenhouse eco-system the temperature is more controlled, the carbon dioxide content is higher as compared to the outdoor which is very important for plant growth. Additionally, greenhouse plants have very low exposure to pests and the atmosphere inside the greenhouse is very humid which is again beneficial for plant growth. These factors contribute together and make the plants grow faster in a greenhouse. This is easy as long as we follow a few simple ground rules.
Factors Responsible for Fast Plant Growth in Greenhouse
Let’s get into the details! Plants actually grow faster inside a greenhouse because of the following reasons.
Ideal Greenhouse Temperature for Optimum Plant Growth:
Greenhouses provide better temperature control and this contributes to better growth of plants inside the greenhouse. Let’s discuss it in detail.
The optimum temperature for the best growth of the Majority greenhouse plants is 77°F (25°C). But Why? Because 25°C is the optimal temperature for photosynthesis. However, If you have provided CO2 enriched environment (You have supplied additional CO2) then the 82°F (28°C) would be the optimal temperature for photosynthesis. Therefore, in general (25-28°C) is an ideal temperature for most of the plants.
Do you Remember Photosynthesis? Actually, Plant Grow because of Photosynthesis!
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their food to grow. The main ingredients of Photosynthesis are CO2, Water, and Sunlight. Temperature is another factor affecting the process of photosynthesis. For optimum plant growth the temperature should be moderate (Nor to Hight Nor too Low mostly between 60 – 85°F).
Let’s talk about outdoor plants first. Plants that are grown outdoors can be subjects to huge variations in temperature. Even in a single day, the fluctuations in the temperature can be severe. Outdoor plants can be seriously damaged by low night and high day temperatures causing cold and heat stress, respectively. The magnitude of the Heat stress on the plants increases rapidly as the temperature increase above 85°F. Similarly, plants undergo Cold stress when the temperature is near 0-degree centigrade.
The Heat or Cold stress in outdoor plants will adversely affect plant growth, the productivity of the plants. Stress triggers a reduction in plant growth rate, a decrease in crop yields.
But what about Plants Growing inside the Greenhouses?
Greenhouse provides us the flexibility to control the environment for our plants. In the greenhouse, we can control these huge temperature fluctuations and we can provide our plants the optimum temperature they need.
When the environment inside the greenhouse is becoming cold we can start heating the greenhouse to get the temperature back to normal. There are a number of ways by which you can heat your greenhouse. You can use a conventional stove for heating or you can use eco-friendly methods. You can check these articles for more details.
Similarly, it is as important for the plants not to get too hot, Overheating will disrupt the natural process in such a way that the plant becomes stressed. Therefore most of the greenhouse systems use automatic vent openers or automatic vent systems to ensure that the temperature does not rise too high especially during the day. If you want to build a cheap DIY vent the check out the article below.
Using these techniques the fluctuations inside the greenhouse will be much less and the changes in temperature will be more gradual and therefore the environment will be much kinder for the plants. I am sure now you understand the importance of temperature control for faster and better growth of our greenhouse plants. Stay with us as we have more interesting info to share with you.
Consistent Light Makes Plants Grow Better:
Just like temperature Greenhouses allows us the flexibility to control the Light for your plants.
But How ? Confused Na! Lemme explain.
light is the main ingredient of photosynthesis and most of the plants need around 8 hours direct sunlight. Without it, plants cannot perform photosynthesis to make their food and without photosynthesis, plants will die. I know you already know this, let’s get to the point.
During summer sunlight is abundant and your plants are happy so you don’t need to block off the light. You will only block some of the light inside your greenhouse when its too hot inside and the vents are unable to keep the temperature down. In such a case I strongly recommend covering your greenhouse with 40% shade cloth during the noon-time.
However, during winter sunlight is scares and most of the greenhouse growers supplement sunlight with artificial grow lights to give their plants at least 6-8 hours of light. Depending on your location you will have to supplement your greenhouse plants with 1-4 hours of artificial lighting, during the winter and your plants will grow healthy and well even in winter.
Artificial lighting is very popular especially for growing small plants and seedlings indoor especially during the winter. Check out this article for more details of artificial lighting.
I hope you understand now why greenhouse plants over performs outdoor plants.
High Greenhouse Humidity results in fast plant Growth:
Another crucial factor affecting plant growth inside a greenhouse is humidity. Plants tend to need a constant supply of moisture in the air and in the roots to thrive. If the humidity level is high then a smaller amount of water is lost by the plants through transpiration (This is actually the evaporation of water from the plant leaves). On the other hand, if the humidity level is low then a large amount of water is lost by the plant through transpiration and the plant will need more water to compensate for the loss.
Relative Humidity is the most common way to measure the water content in the air. It is the amount of water that the air hold relative to the maximum amount of water that air can hold at a certain temperature. In simple words, the relative humidity of 60% means that the air has 60% of the maximum amount of water that it can hold. The ideal humidity level for the majority of the plants is between 40 to 60 Percent.
The outdoor humidity level depends greatly on the geography, for example, the humidity level in dry regions is very low during summer and the plants generally suffer from drought stress which leads to stunted growth. Whereas, for damp and hot regions humidity levels are low during the winter.
You see, you have no control over the humidity level outside. But What about the Humidity Levels inside the Greenhouse.
In the greenhouse, we can easily control the humidity and can ensure that the plants have the best humidity for their type which will make plants grow faster in a greenhouse. Of course, there are a few exceptions, plants that have adapted to living in drought and dry conditions prefer low humidity that is something that can be easily managed in the greenhouse as well. Most plants will thrive better in a humidity-controlled environment. Check out this articles for more info
You should ensure the perfect temperature and humidity for your plants in the greenhouse and they will be healthy and grow fast. It is possible to manage a greenhouse manually, but as with so many things these days there are heaters, humidity controllers, fans and all types of gadgets to make the perfect den for plants.
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Greenhouse Provides a better Control:
Because the greenhouse is protected for the external environment we have good control over the amount of water and sunlight your greenhouse plants receive.
Furthermore, greenhouse soil is protected from rainwater runoff. So, the nutrients inside the soil remain there contributing to better plant growth.
Therefore, better environment control leads to a better and faster plant growth.
Greenhouse allows better Pest Control:
Plants that are grown inside a greenhouse are less exposed to the harmful bugs and insects, hence they minimize the risk of diseases and pests. This is one of the reasons you should grow in a greenhouse.
The majority of the harmful insects that end up inside a greenhouse, come through air vents and doors. I will strongly recommend using an insect barrier on doors and air vents. This will greatly prevent your greenhouse plants from insect attacks.
I love the organic ways of pests control and I will share them with you in the following links.
- 15 basic Greenhouse Pest Control Tips and Tricks
- Beneficial insects for Pest Control (This method is very interesting :))
We Are the Reason Plants Grow Faster In Greenhouse!
Yes, we are one of the reasons why plants grow better and thrive in the greenhouse. Greenhouse plants usually get more care and maintenance than the plants grown outside, it feels strange at first but it’s true. I myself spend most of my time in the greenhouse.
Because we are in control of the conditions inside the greenhouse, with a little effort we can ensure the best possible conditions for our greenhouse plants. We can guarantee a more even temperature, controlled air movement, ideal humidity, and protection from natural elements.
Your Greenhouse Soil is according to your choice:
Plants grown outdoors are more likely to be a subject for disease and pests. However, in the case of a greenhouse, we decide what goes into the greenhouse, We choose the compost, draining material, soil, etc.
You can add a perfect soil which is disease-free with a good percentage of organic matter. Even if the soil in your garden is infested with insects and disease it won’t get into your greenhouse because you are not putting it in your greenhouse. Of course, the healthy soil that you have in your greenhouse will result in better plant growth.
My experience is that for plants that use less nutrition, I do at times use good soil that has been turned over by rabbits under a tree or hedge and mix this in with the higher nutrient-rich bought in compost.
It is also possible in this type of situation to use soil from a flowerbed or vegetable patch that has been used by a different family of plants with different nutrients requirements. Generally, though we will all be using carefully selected homemade compost or good quality bought in compost to get the best from our greenhouse plants.
Sheltered Upbringing / Live Longer/ Live Better:
There are many, many reasons to grow plants in a greenhouse. Often it is to start off seeds and seedlings early in the controlled atmosphere of the greenhouse to give them the best possible start before moving them outside.
Certainly, a gardener can gain an advantage by starting summer plants in a greenhouse, bringing them on early to produce strong, healthy plants to plant outside. Many gardeners will use the greenhouse to extend the growing season of favorite vegetables or salad crops and a carefully managed greenhouse can have people enjoying delicious fresh food all year round.
As well as extending the growing season for plants, the actual plants kept in the greenhouse will often live longer, enjoying longer and healthier lives than they would in the outside, natural environment.
Many people use their greenhouse to overwinter tender plants that would not survive outside and many of the original orangeries were built for the reason of over-wintering the tender citrus fruit plants.
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