Greenhouses are often thought of as a way of protecting crops from cold weather and damaging precipitation, but hot weather environments at variable growth cycles can wreak havoc on marijuana crop and sabotage a farmer’s production cycle — an unacceptable possibility in this increasingly competitive marketplace. With the right greenhouse and a few custom features, your grow facility can operate at maximum capacity and allow you to produce extremely delicate strains of the plant.
The internal temperature in your greenhouse will have a significant impact on the speed by which your plants photosynthesize. Too hot and your plants may dry up and die; too cold and they won’t produce enough food to survive. Typically, you’ll want to maintain an internal temperature between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, several alternative growth methods call for higher temperatures and more care and attention on the part of the producer, such as plants enriched with extra carbon dioxide.
In order to maintain a healthy temperature during sweltering hot summer months, a capable ventilation system is required. Not any old set of box fans will do, however – if you intend to grow your business along with your product, it’s wise to invest in an integrated greenhouse ventilation system. Electrical, HVAC, and security systems are offered by some greenhouse manufacturers, so do some research on a custom solution before heading off to Home Depot for the cheapest model available.
Humidity and Air Circulation
With heat and irrigation systems, humidity can be a big problem for cannabis growers. Ensuring that your greenhouse has both an air intake and exhaust system will help with air circulation (and comes with it the added benefit of cycling O2/CO2 through your facility). For larger greenhouses, horizontal ventilation is key – even if the fans are passive. Oscillating fans simply scatter air around the room, but horizontal fans will move humidity air upwards and out of your facility.
If your climate experiences significant humidity, consider investing in an evaporative cooler to reduce the level of humidity within your greenhouse. Automated systems have built-in timers to maintain both temperature and humidity levels, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the levels anyway.
Of course, temperature control is worthless without proper insulation. Crank the fans up all you want – if your greenhouse isn’t retaining cool air and keeping hot air out (and visa versa during winter), what’s the point? Rather than watching your energy costs blow away through your greenhouse, ask the manufacturer about upgraded insulation systems that can keep the energy you produce for your plants in the greenhouse itself. Energy loss through doors, windows, and leaks are also a big problem, so be sure to routinely check for punctures or seal failures.
Producers also have the option to add a secondary layer of insulation to the outside of their greenhouses. Tarps, bubble wraps, and blankets are all commonly used, but tend to be prone to energy losses. A unified insulation method is preferred for long-term use, but anything you can do to protect your crops during extreme weather should get you through in the short-term.