BC Greenhouses:

How to cool your greenhouse this summer

BC Greenhouse Builders, offers advice on how to best cool a greenhouse in summer. The objective in the greenhouse is to create an even and optimum environment for the plants using cooling and ventilation. The best way to cool down your greenhouse really depends on your climate and the glazing of your greenhouse. If you live in a semi-arid zone and own a glass greenhouse, you will likely need to invest in some automatic control systems like an exhaust fan, evaporative cooler or a fogging system.

For those with more even temperatures, shade cloth and dampening down the greenhouse might do the trick. The reality is that the air inside the greenhouse will become dry and if you have heat sensitive plants like tomatoes and cucumbers, more care and attention is required.

"The question for many greenhouse gardeners is how much they want to attend to the greenhouse," says Angela Drake Marketing Director for BC Greenhouses. "When temperatures increase to over 100 degrees inside the greenhouse, you will need to dampen down the benches and floors several times a day. This helps to increase humidity and bring down the temperatures."

Another trick of the trade is air circulation which is often overlooked by beginner gardeners. Movement of air is critical to bring down temperatures and this can be achieved through open roof vents, doors, side venting and louvers. An exhaust fan and intake shutter will automatically cool down the greenhouse by drawing out the hot air and drawing in the cooler outside air but may not be enough for those really hot days.

"We often see customers choosing to purchase an evaporative cooler, sometimes called a swamp cooler, for those southern states with high temperatures," says Drake. "The water evaporates and significantly reduces temperatures inside the greenhouse. The benefit is the additional moisture in the air."

For those in more temperate climates, there are many types of shade cloth which offer different light diffusion depending on the exposure required for plants. There are still many greenhouse gardeners that use white wash on the outside of the greenhouse.

"You really need to protect your plants from scorching and white wash is still pretty common. You can make it yourself with non-toxic ingredients and it washes away with the rain," says Drake. "It requires a bit of labour to prepare and roll onto your greenhouse, but it's a low cost solution that works in non-arid climates."

Fogging systems are making a bit of a splash these days as well. Designed to condition the air and not apply beads of water on tender plants, foggers provide a fully automatic environmental control system.

"If a controlled environment is a make or break situation for your crops or livelihood, a fogging system might be a good choice. The system is definitely more costly and requires water lines, electricity, oscillation and a humidistat. Something important to note is that these systems are not quiet so if you are looking for a tranquil space to commune with nature, this might not be the best choice."

For more information
BC Greenhouse Builders
T: +1 604 882 8408
T: +1 888 391 4433 (Toll-Free in North America)

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