Greenhouse Ventilation: How & Why
Ventilation is an essential aspect of greenhouse management as it helps to regulate the temperature and humidity levels inside, which in turn promotes the healthy growth of plants. In this guide we'll explore the benefits of ventilation in a greenhouse, why it's needed and provide an overview of some common accessories that can be used to increase the air flow and optimise the temperature.
Benefits of Ventilation in a Greenhouse
Although we want light and heat from the sun to fill the greenhouse, too much can have adverse effects on your saplings and plants. In short, ventilation helps you to manage both temperature and humidity for better growing conditions.
Adequate ventilation helps to dissipate excess heat and prevents the overheating of plants within the greenhouse. This is especially important during hot weather, when the greenhouse can become excessively warm, cause stress to plants and dry them out very quickly.
Some humidity is a good thing inside a greenhouse, however, having extremally high or low humidity levels can cause your plants to be too wet or too dry, potentially leading to fungal diseases and pest infestations. So it is important to maintain good ventilation to help keep humidity levels at a balanced amount, meaning healthy plant growth.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Plants need carbon dioxide to grow and to complete photosynthesis. This means that ventilation helps to replenish the supply of CO2 within the greenhouse. If you always kept your greenhouse doors and vents shut, your plants inside could become CO2 deprived and either die off or not be able to grow effectively.
Accessories for Increasing Air Flow in a Greenhouse
In order to make air flow easier to control and manage, look out for the below accessories with your greenhouse, or think about purchasing one or more as an optional extra - they're simple, but can really help to improve plant growth and protect them from overexposure to the sun.
The most common accessory for ventilation, roof vents are openings (or windows) in the roof of the greenhouse that allow air to flow in and out. They can be manually opened and closed, or upgraded with an auto-opener device to be automatically controlled as and when the temperature outside changes.
Louvre windows are windows with slatted panels, usually installed in the lower half of the greenhouse on the back wall (opposite the door). They can be opened and closed manually as needed to regulate the temperature and humidity levels within the greenhouse, or used in conjunction with a auto-opener device, which is usually an optional accessory that attaches to the louvre, opening and closing it automatically for you as and when the temperature outside changes.
Shading can be used to block direct sunlight from entering the greenhouse and reduce the amount of heat inside. During the peak summer months, shading is essential. There are three common types of shading; shading nets, which hang inside the greenhouse up against the glass in the roof to repel some of the sunlight coming into the greenhouse. Roller blinds, which fit internally and can be used to cover portions of the roof. And thirdly, shading paint, which is a special white glass paint that can be applied to the outside glass of the greenhouse, deflecting the sun's rays and heat. The paint then naturally washes off in the rain after a few months, and is non-toxic to the environment.
In conclusion, ventilation is an important aspect of greenhouse management that helps to regulate the temperature, humidity, and air quality within the greenhouse. By using accessories such as louvre windows, roof vents, and shading, you can increase the air flow in your greenhouse and create a healthy environment for your plants to thrive.