Air Flow and its importance in Hydroponics
So, I must confess that “air flow” was a thing taken for granted amongst gardeners with glass houses or polytunnels. However, it is thought that airflow is even more important in the art of hydroponic growing. Of course the larger areas are more likely to self evacuate and move the oxygen(O2) after the plants have taken in the Co2 (carbon dioxide). Amateur growers would simply open the growing area vents and doors when required.
I myself have a modern greenhouse with automatic vents. These vents are opened according to the vents releasing and changing the air. Thus, creating a proper air flow and changing the gases to suit the plants. Of course this action naturally supplies your plants with the Co2 that they require.
When visiting the large growers then you cant help notice the giant electric fans that these huge glasshouses posses. The large fans not only heat the glasshouses to extend the growing season, but create the conditions to exchange the gases that are beneficial to the plants.
Fans and filters important in hydroponics
Because of the size restrictions used when growing plants in homes and out building. Then it is imperative to combine your system with a good air flow system using filters and fans where possible. Fans and filters are available at any good hydroponics stores including our stores in West Yorkshire.
Exchanging the Air
Strangely enough what we know as “Air Exchange” is a bit like circulation. Except but not just so. Simply put then “Air exchange” (an open ventilation system) is a means of bringing air from the outside replacing the air on the inside. So, this could be known as circulation. The air circulation replaced and exchanges the different gases and even humidity and temperature will be affected.
As I said earlier like opening the ventilators on your greenhouse on a hot sunny day. Letting out the hot humid air. Replacing it with fresh cooler air from outside. Of course it is all about growing your plants in a controlled manner.
Plants require light and water to thrive
As many of us gardeners know! Then plants require light, water and breath mainly carbon dioxide to produce and store the energy. Combined these four components have the affect of enabling the plant to store the energy produced. Serving as the main building blocks for the plants to develop and indeed grow. Plants also release energy through respiration when it is required.
So, in their growing environment this can lead to an uneven balance of gases! Given off in the leaf and air area of their environment. Add together the affects of warmth and humidity given off by the suns energy or some other light source. Of course this is where the different systems of growing comes into play. The regular greenhouse/polytunnel scenario will be ventilated by circulation controlled by doors, windows and ventilators. large commercial growers will also incorporate giant fans into their operations.
For indoor growers using special growing units then a system of fans and ventilators must be used. So, to crate the correct growing balances.
ventilation helps control diseases
Most of us gardeners know the importance of good ventilation when it comes to disease control. A poorly ventilated growing room will result in too much moisture on the leaves. Attracting the spores from dreaded diseases such as “powdery mildew”. spores from Moulds and pathogens will thrive if given the right conditions including poor ventilation and humidity. Damp leaves are an open invitation to letting in these moulds and diseases.
Experienced growers, soon learn about the art of ventilation and its importance when growing in a hot climate or a hot sunny spell. Since my first ever greenhouse many years ago then ventilators were an optional extra. Bringing it up to 2018 when I bought my last greenhouse then it came with no fewer than 6 separate ventilators. How times have changed!