Keep veggies from getting too hot in a greenhouse

30-07-2020    09:34   |    Home Guides

Growing vegetables in a greenhouse year round allows you to enjoy fresh foods at any time. During the summer months, the heat in the greenhouse may be too much for even the most heat-tolerant plants. Consider climate control options such as ventilation, shade cloths and evaporative cooling to maintain proper temperatures inside your greenhouse.

Monitoring Greenhouse Temperature

Install a thermometer inside the greenhouse so that you can accurately monitor the interior temperature throughout the day. Most plants thrive in a daytime temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, advises the University of Georgia Extension.

Some vegetables may be able to tolerate higher temperatures, but extreme heat should be avoided. Tomatoes will produce less fruit at temperatures greater than 95 degrees, and peppers will drop flowers and have sterile pollen in temperatures above 90 degrees, according to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Water the vegetables more frequently as the temperature increases to prevent plants from wilting. Keep soil moist but don't oversaturate the soil and drown your vegetables. If you have an irrigation or automatic watering system installed in your greenhouse, check it frequently for leaks and plugged filters during the summer months, advises Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Cooling Your Greenhouse

In many climates, ventilation and fans provide enough airflow to keep your greenhouse from overheating in the summer months. Every greenhouse should have vents on either the roof or the walls. Make sure these are open and remove some of the side and roof panels if possible to allow heat to escape from the greenhouse and increase airflow. Depending on the outdoor temperature and winds, opening vents can cool your greenhouse up to 10 degrees, advises the University of California, Davis.

Adding fans can further increase airflow and temperature control. Consider exhaust fans that pull hot air out of the greenhouse so that fresh air can enter and cool your greenhouse. While air conditioning is cost prohibitive for greenhouses, evaporative cooling is an effective way to decrease the temperature by 20 degrees more than with vents alone, notes the University of California, Davis.

Shading the greenhouse from direct sun is also an effective way of preventing temperatures from getting too hot. If you are just building your greenhouse in a hot climate, consider building it in the shade of trees. If this is not an option, consider installing shade cloths on the outside of the greenhouse. You can also use shade curtains on the inside of the greenhouse to prevent direct sunlight on the plants.

Greenhouse Planting Guide

Even when you are growing vegetables in a greenhouse year round, you will still want to plant seeds at the proper time. Attempting to plant cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, cauliflower and beets in the summer may damage the vegetables or prevent seed germination, notes Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Lettuce, for example, will not germinate if soil temperatures exceed 80 to 85 degrees. Greens may also send up flower stalks to reproduce and may become bitter if the temperature gets too warm.

Rotate your crops so the cool-weather vegetables are finished producing, and the hot-weather vegetables are thriving by the time the hot summer weather arrives. Some heat-tolerant summer greenhouse crops to consider include tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, zucchini and summer squash, advises PennState Extension.

Excessive heat may damage even warm-season vegetables. For example, tomatoes may suffer from sterile pollen and flower abortion and uneven ripening and sunscald injury of the fruit, advises Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Source: Home Guides

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