When you’re growing your crops in tunnel systems or in the open soil, the outdoor temperature can greatly affect the behaviour of your plants and growing media.
There’s a strong connection between the temperature within the substrate and plant growth. In general, warm substrate temperatures benefit water and nutrient uptake and stimulate plant development. On the other hand, cooler temperatures slow down these processes by reducing photosynthesis, lowering water viscosity and slowing the beneficial activity of microorganisms. Let’s have a look at the effect of high temperatures in cultivation.
Summer: High substrate temperatures
However, the temperature within the substrate can also be too high, creating a negative effect on plant growth and development. That means that high temperatures in cultivation can cause some trouble, and threaten your plant quality. When environmental temperatures are high, the temperature within the substrate will also rise. In many crops, the uptake of moisture from the substrate reduces sharply when the substrate temperature is over 25 degrees Centigrade.
When substrate temperatures rise to an extreme and reach values of over 40 degrees Centigrade, the absorption by a plant can come to a halt entirely, causing the plant to wilt.
How to help your plants get by
When substrate temperatures rise, the water uptake within the growing medium may be reduced. In general, it’s wise to increase the frequency of irrigation, supplying small amounts of water per irrigation session. This will slightly reduce the substrate temperature and benefit its water uptake.
In any case, it’s important to closely manage and adapt your irrigation strategy throughout changing weather conditions. When seasons and conditions change your crops will require changing amounts of irrigation water.
Do you need help determining the best irrigation strategy and adapting to extreme weather conditions? Don’t hesitate to ask our distributors to assist!