Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

A novel soil profile design in plastic greenhouses for sustainability and improved crop production

A research team has developed a novel conceptual framework for designing plastic-greenhouse soil profiles that cater to the needs of smallholder farmers. The soil profile includes four functional layers: a soil mulch layer for preventing evaporation, a root-carbon layer for nutrient, CO2, and heat generation, a soil-carbon mix layer for buffering and nutrient supply, and a water conservation layer to store water and nutrients.

Exemplified by the sand mulching in Almería, Spain, and the sunken profile in Shouguang, China, this affordable and sustainable profile design holds significant promise for enhancing horticultural production globally. Future research will focus on adapting these profiles to local conditions and optimizing organic input to improve both plant and soil health, ultimately supporting sustainable agricultural practices.

Plastic greenhouses, including high tunnels and solar greenhouses, play a crucial role in protecting horticultural crops from various stresses, enabling year-round production. These greenhouses, covering 4.8 million hectares globally, create unique microclimates for Anthrosols, which differ markedly from open-field soils.

Despite their economic benefits, plastic-greenhouse soils often suffer from severe degradation due to intensive agrochemical use, leading to soil acidification, salinization, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative methods like soilless substrates or hydroponic systems offer high yields but are cost-prohibitive for many smallholders. There is an urgent need to understand and design cost-effective soil profiles for these environments to enhance sustainability and support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.


Publication date: