Good gardeners are those who have a passion for what they do and pride in what they produce. But it is way more than having excitement about the topic. They have to understand their plants’ needs and put high effort into them. Successful vegetable production implies all the necessary operations. That means maintaining the area around the greenhouse and the construction itself.
Why is the greenhouse important?
The greenhouse is not necessary for the cultivation of plants. But it certainly helps! Having a greenhouse will let farmers grow more crops. Plus, it is possible to start fruit and vegetables off earlier in the season. And even extend harvest time with longer cropping. The plants grow faster and better in the greenhouse because of the eco-system. Unlike the natural temperature, the greenhouse always has a suitable one. Also, the carbon dioxide content is higher as compared to the outdoor.
Many people think it is cheaper to build a greenhouse themself than to buy a kit.
But that is not necessarily correct. It all depends on your necessities if you need a standard size or with modifications on it. Bear in mind that assembling all the construction materials will cost too.
How big should the greenhouse be? The risk is needing more square footage, so it is crucial to think forward. That means counting on the space expansion production will need in years to come.
A neglected greenhouse can be a source of diseases and pests for the plants we grow. But, successful vegetable production has a well-maintained area. A well-maintained area includes destroying weeds next to all greenhouse openings. In that way, we’ll reduce undesirable insects.
Weed control can be chemical and mechanical. Chemical means applying garden chemicals. And mechanical means mowing and cutting.
It is also excellent to use insect nets that have a dual function.
But what exactly is the purpose?
The insect net with a dual function does not allow:
1. the entry of undesirable insects into the greenhouse
2. the exit of desirable, e.g., if we use bumblebees for pollination
Not all vegetables have a unique time for the end of the vegetation period. It depends on the type of vegetables we grow and the time of planting. Because of that, the period of the end of the season in the greenhouse vary. Either way,
for all the plants, the following stages are a must:
1. cleaning of the greenhouse,
2. disinfection of the greenhouse and
3. preparing the greenhouse for next season.
Weeding is the process of controlling the weed. Weeds increase production costs, and at the same time, lower product quality. Also, it blocks irrigation water-flow, interferes with pesticide application, and harbors disease organisms. So, to do this is vital to agriculture.
As we already mentioned, there are two ways to do it chemical and mechanical.
The herbicide is the name of the chemical farmers use with the purpose to kill plants or weeds. Usually, it is best to apply it to the soil surface to form a consonant herbicide layer.
It is best to cut weeds by leaving only the root in the soil. True, sometimes it is possible to kill it by cutting it at the soil surface. But that is only with some types of annual weeds. More often, if it is cut higher, it regrows.
Another product in agriculture that prevents weed growth is weed mat ground cover. This fabric blocks weeds. Yet it doesn’t take away air, water, and nutrients from the soil.
The installation of the insect nets
We have already mentioned why it is good to have a greenhouse and what its function is. But are there any side effects? A greenhouse is a warm place, with humid conditions and with rich food for insects. And that why it makes a perfect environment for pest spreading. Plus, some natural enemies help to keep pests under control. But unlike to outdoors, those pests’ enemies are not present indoors.
Why are insects so dangerous? The answer is simple: they can carry various viral diseases.
Luckily, there is one ally of the farmer: the net. In fact, the net has crucial merit in the successful control of harmful insects.
Even if all other tasks in plant care are done well, insects can expose all our efforts. That is why it is vital to prevent the problem before they enter the greenhouse and reproduce. Hence, one of the stages for preparing for the next season is the installation of nets.
Depending on the tissue’s density, nets prevent pests’ entry into greenhouses and hothouses. The size, of course, depends on what the farm grows. Not each plant is grown with the same weather conditions, nor the same type of pests attack it. It all affects the kind of netting.
Nets for orchards and vineyards have the size of 17 mesh. It protects the plantations from the sun and ice. But apart from that, it protects them from wasps, flies, and moths. That is especially important with table grapes.
For greenhouses, nets of 25 mesh are usually at the side opening. They prevent sunburn and strong wind gusts. But they also protect the greenhouse from the entry of bats, birds, and small animals. This type of net is of the smallest size. That means that they even prevent the tomato moth’s penetration inside the construction. It is necessary to bury the net at half a meter depth. In that way will larvae won’t get into the production space’s interior.
Optinet 40 mesh uses both optical and physical means of thrips control. It is an excellent solution for growing peppers. But it is also suitable for any other species sensitive to thrips. The placement of the net goes on the sides.
Ordinary insect-proof nets for controlling the ventilation surfaces are 50 mesh in size. The material has UV-resistance, and it is woven in the monofilament technique. They prevent the entry of lice, thrips, whiteflies, and leaf miners.
Yet, not all insects are pests. In fact, there are many helpful bugs in the greenhouse. Many growers appreciate the help provided by a beneficial insect. For example, bumblebees are beneficial pollinators.
Why nets made by EyouAgro are a great choice?
EyouAgro produces everything in the family-run factory and stocks directly to the farmers. Since there is no mediator, there is money saving. Also, twenty-five years of experience are guaranteeing quality. It is enough to say that material is 100% virgin high-density polypropylene. But it is useful to know that warranty is five years so that the buyers can be calm.
Cleaning of the greenhouse
Cleaning is the first stage out of three when it comes to maintaining the inside of the greenhouse.
At the start, it is a must to remove the materials used to support or hold the plant. Those materials can be metal, wood, or plastic (PVC foil, etc.).
Then, it is possible to pluck the above-ground and underground parts of the plant.
In the above-ground parts, for removing, there are trees, leaves, and fruit. The gardener should pay particular attention to damaged and infected fruits. The recommendation is to dispose of them individually from the rest.
In many plants, the root goes out with the tree. Yet that is not the case with all, for example, with cabbage. In that situation, the root remains in the ground after cutting. And the gardener should take it out separately.
After taking out the root, the next is taking out the mulch foil and the irrigation system. The recommendation is to use irrigation hoses (strips) only for one season, i.e., only for one crop.
Disinfection of greenhouses and equipment
Disinfection is the second stage of maintaining the inside of the greenhouse. That means preparing both the soil and greenhouse for the next season.
It is necessary to do ground fertilization with organic and mineral fertilizers. The gardener should adjust the amount of fertilizer according to soil analysis. Also, he must follow the future agricultural plant’s requirements.
After fertilization comes to the basic and extra processing. The basic involves plowing fertilizers. And extra creates a loose layer of soil. Yet, you can do them together as one operation (milling to a depth of 15 to 20 centimeters). That is, if the future crop has a shallow root and does not require deep processing (spring onions, lettuce, spinach, etc.).
All further operations (irrigation system, mulch foil, etc.) depend on the planned crop. In the winter, onions, lettuce, and spinach are grown. While in the early spring, that is the case with potatoes and cabbage.
Growing plants means thinking the long term. That is sacrificing short-term gain in favor of later stability of the business.
By following these steps, you’ll make your work safe:
1. correct greenhouse maintenance
2. controlling weed
3. do small invest into the insect nets
Growing healthy vegetables have many benefits. It helps you eat fresh and healthy food. And besides, it is a business that will always be profitable.
On another side, the profit loss is enormous if preparation for the next season isn’t done. You’re putting on the risk an entire annual crop.
So if you were waiting for the perfect time to start taking care of your greenhouse, the time is now.