How do greenhouses work?
A greenhouse is an enclosed place that is used for crop production to protect it from excessive temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. It is usually equipped with an external translucent glass or plastic cover, allowing a more thorough control of the crop in question and favouring its optimal growth. This prevents the transport of accumulated heat to the outside and obstructs the output of some of the infrared radiation. The effect is to accumulate heat and increase the temperature of the enclosure.
In short, what are the advantages of growing in greenhouses?
- Intensification of production. It allows to establish the optimal conditions for the good development of the production.
- Increased yields. A yield per unit area is achieved that is up to three times greater compared to open fields.
- Lower production risks. Damage caused by climatic factors is minimised due to production protection.
- Efficient use of products. Optimization of water and fertilizers needed for each stage of crop development with a more controlled, efficient and precise irrigation system.
- Greater control of pests and diseases. Ease in the control of pests and diseases due to the isolation of the crop from the outside and its careful control system.
- Possibility to grow all year round. Greenhouse cultivation is independent of the outside environment, as it controls factors such as low winter temperatures or high summer temperatures, as it isolates and implements heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
What kind of crop are the greenhouses intended for?
- Flower greenhouses.
- Greenhouses for seedlings.
- Hydroponic greenhouses.
- Greenhouses for the cultivation of vegetables.
In Spain, the most common crop grown in greenhouses is vegetables, accounting for approximately 90% of the surface area.
Irrigation systems in greenhouses.
The ideal irrigation system for a greenhouse crop is influenced by various factors, including the type of greenhouse (irrigation needs vary according to the surface area and height of the greenhouse), soil type (a sandy soil is more difficult to pond than a clay soil), tillage (with soil preparation, the structure can be improved and the capacity of the soil improved), climate (depending on the area or season, more or less heat will penetrate into the greenhouse), although there are control systems that regulate the temperatures inside), type of crop and state of development (depending on the crop in question and its state of development will need some water requirements or others) and, finally, the behavior of water in the soil (depending on the type of irrigation used, in sprinkler irrigation the water tends to move downwards, while in drip irrigation it tends to move more horizontally).
What are the most commonly used irrigation systems in greenhouses?
The drip irrigation system is used to provide the plant with the exact amount of water and nutrients it needs. Within the drip system there are two alternatives: dripper integrated in the pipe and punctured dripper (or button dripper). The most common option in greenhouse irrigation is pipe with integrated turbulent dripper (not self-compensating, since there are no alterations in the soil as it is a concentrated greenhouse crop).
The main advantage of the drip irrigation system is that it saves water and nutrients (by supplying them exactly for the optimal growth of the plant) and, in addition, it maintains a constant level of humidity in the soil without causing puddles or dryness.
Another drip irrigation system that is also common in greenhouses is underground irrigation. These pipes are specially designed to work underground, which delivers a proportion of water and nutrients exactly to the root of the plant, saving even more in both amounts as they do not evaporate so easily and remain in the ground. In addition, it is an irrigation system that allows an easier handling in the cultivation and in the daily tasks of the same one, avoids breaks in the pipe of rodents that can be strained in the greenhouse and contributes a more aesthetic vision.
Hydroponic irrigation is becoming increasingly important for greenhouse crops. Through a system of micro-irrigation pipes, punctured drippers, micro-tubes and spikes the water reaches the root of the plant directly. Hydroponic irrigation is intended for high precision crops avoiding waterlogging. In addition, it provides easy handling in its use allowing easier combinations in crops, flow rates, accuracy …
Finally, another irrigation system that is less precise but also common in greenhouse irrigation is micro-sprinkler irrigation. This is a less precise irrigation system because its water supply is aerial and does not guarantee the exact supply to the plant.
What greenhouse irrigation systems does GESTIRIEGO provide?
In drip irrigation Gestiriego offers CEODRIP with integrated dripper of turbulent regime, guaranteeing its 25 years of excellent trajectory.
In underground drip irrigation, Gestiriego offers TERRAM, formed by an emitter pipe with a self-compensating, anti-suction, self-cleaning dripper and an anti-root system that prevents the plant’s roots from obstructing the dripper, specially designed to work underground.
Gestiriego also offers its HYDROPONIC KITS or accessories separately if required. The own and very precise manufacturing of the spikes and, in short, of all the components of the kit makes it a very precise set.