Because we have been building greenhouse structures for over 40 years, we like to think we have learned a thing or two about structural durability, engineering specifications and construction methods. However, simply having this greenhouse construction knowledge is only half of what we focus on when designing the ultimate marijuana growing environment for our customers. Our experienced cannabis greenhouse experts have many years of working with cannabis customers nationwide, and they also focus on how the structure will perform for the grower’s unique situation.
We always keep the environment first and foremost in the design process, and the most important key in developing an ultimate cannabis greenhouse are the five key environmental factors that affect growing a high-quality crop.
Overall temperature is a huge aspect of controlling the environment in a greenhouse, and a contributing factor to maintain an ideal temperature is the overall size, shape and location of the structure itself. One of our more popular cannabis models, the GrowSpan Series 500 Greenhouse, comes with a double layer of 6 mil greenhouse film, and this structure offers exceptional heat retention and light transmission. Ideal temperature inside the structure ranges, and in the daytime it is between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, while at night it is 58 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Like many of the other environmental factors that will be discussed, you will want to monitor your temperature with a greenhouse controller. These controllers are easy to use and setup and make monitoring heating, cooling, humidity, lighting, irrigation and more simple.
Evaporative cooling systems are the most cost-effective way to maintain an environment that plants can thrive in and something you will definitely want to consider. They relieve heat stress, are just as effective as traditional AC systems and cost 50% less than traditional AC systems. These systems not only cool, but also moisturize the air, so plants don’t need to be watered as often. These systems work by drawing air, which is cooled through the evaporation of water, from across the growing area. An evaporative cooling pad is installed on one end of the greenhouse and exhaust fans are installed on the other end. The exhaust fans pull air through the evaporative cooling pad. The air is cooled as it passes through the pad. The air is then drawn across the greenhouse, cooling the growing area. For smaller areas, there are through-wall and mobile coolers available.
Our GrowSpan Series 500 Greenhouses are designed to have more overhead space by having nice, high sidewalls, which allow for better ventilation. Another bonus of these high sidewalls is the ability to grow large crops and maximize all the greenhouse space efficiently. Knowing the air volume of the structure is also key in properly heating and cooling the structure. Knowing this will help you determine the cubic foot per minute (CFM) requirements when selecting the proper fans and shutters.
The vegetative room or section of your greenhouse takes advantage of the natural sunlight during the daytime hours of operation. This is one of the biggest advantages of a controlled environment, as it helps to dramatically cut down on power usage and utility costs. There are times however, when you will want to use less intense forms of artificial lighting, like metal halide or florescent fixtures. This could either be periods where longer photoperiods are needed for a seedling or clone, or to provide longer light cycles for transplants or plants not ready for the flowering stage.
Light deprivation, also referred to as blackout or light dep, is a term used for the practice of reducing the light cycle of plants in the flowering stage. For cannabis growers, this is crucial, so plants don’t revert back to a vegetative state of growth. The grower usually limits light to 12 hours or less. It is important that your structure accommodates and is designed to fully blackout any light. An automated light deprivation system gives you complete control and will minimize your labor costs as well.
There are many more factors that go into growing the ideal harvest, but the basics of the structure should be designed to address many of the above environmental factors. This will allow you to completely control your greenhouse structure’s environment and enable consistent and ultimate success.