What should you be automating in your greenhouse?
When it comes to greenhouses, they are a great protection from adverse weather conditions, but what many don’t realize is that outside factors have a significant impact on what’s happening to your plants inside the greenhouse.
There are optimal conditions that plants thrive in and finding that sweet spot can be tricky when you consider all the environmental variables including light and solar radiation, wind, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity as well as rain and precipitation.
These are all factors that need to be considered when building your greenhouse, retrofitting or making design adjustments to ensure your plants grow happy and healthy.
Because of the limitations of having to manually control all the variables that can affect your plants and therefore your yield, we advise a good controller for your greenhouse. This will take the guesswork out of the job.
Depending on the size, type and structure of your greenhouse; a good system will control your:
- roof (if it's retractable)
- anything else you choose to control
A great automation system will also monitor your rootzone, your climate, send alerts when there’s a problem and allow you to manage everything by remote access on any device!
If you don’t have the above qualities in your system you need to talk to us!
Why is it important to automate your greenhouse?
Crops can be fragile things and, like humans, respond well in great conditions. Here are a few examples of why it’s important to automate (there are many others):
Water right every time
If you are manually watering it can be easy to overwater or underwater your plants. To be accurate you would need to stick to a good schedule to make sure there were no inconsistencies. Manual watering is also labor intensive with crops requiring attention multiple times per day during the summer season. If you have multiple crops in one greenhouse, all requiring different levels of water or nutrient feeds, this can also be a very time-consuming task and risky.
Automation is accurate based on the schedule you set which can be adjusted based on type of crop, quality, yield and local weather station parameters.
Registering your run-off
Your water run-off can tell you about the health of your plant. Depending on the type of crop, growth stage and growing method your run-off varies, but may be kept around 20%. If you are fertigating, the run-off will indicate how much nutrient the plants have taken and thereby make any required adjustments.
An automated control system can monitor and measure your run-off for you. The data gathered can then be used to ensure compliance with local legislation if required and give you an accurate measurement of expenditure.
What are the overall benefits of automating your greenhouse?
There are quite a few benefits to an automated greenhouse but here’s a few:
Decrease your labor costs
Automation can either decrease your labor costs or allow you to free up workers to focus on other areas of importance. Perfect if you are looking to expand your business or introduce new skills to your workers.
Know exactly what’s happening in your greenhouse and make data driven decisions based on facts and not assumptions. The technology exists to benefit you as the grower!
Increase quality and yield
If you don’t measure you can’t improve. Automation will give you the knowledge to increase quality and yield thereby giving you better return on investment.
If you want to know more about the benefits of automated greenhouses get in touch and we will be happy to share our knowledge and expertise to get you up and running.
The Aphaea is a comprehensive single-site system that combines management of your climate, irrigation and fertigation control, into a single easy-to-use system.
Here is a guide on Advanced Greenhouse Systems. Learn about specialised greenhouse controls and the variables from the experts.