Similar to previous years, many bell pepper growers are experiencing a lot of root-related problems in their crops. This results in a lower harvest, and in some cases even in a total loss of the crops.
The reasons behind the root problems are very diverse, ranging from Fusarium and Pythium to an excessive plant load during (unexpected) bad weather. However, it is mainly caused by an incorrect watering amount and water balance compared to what the plant actually needs.
Matching plantload to light amount
If there is, for example, a small amount of light after the longest day and the plant evaporates less, you will also need to adjust and irrigate less. If you do not do this, you will quickly see root rot, especially when this is accompanied by a high plant load. It is therefore advisable to use planning software such as Projoules or Delphy’s QMS, so that your plant load is perfectly attuned to the realized light sum.
Problems due to incorrect waterbalance
The water balance of your substrate is also very important for diseases such as Fusarium and Pythium. This is because both benefit from a moisture-rich and warm environment, which can occur quickly especially during hot and humid days. In such a climate, your plant will evaporate less easily, and thus absorb less water. Your substrate will become saturated faster, drain less, and rise in temperature faster. All provide an optimal habitat for both Fusarium and Pythium.
Therefore, determining the correct start and stop time in changing weather is very crucial. For example, if you start too early or stop too late when the weather is unexpectedly bad, or when you give too many turns at short intervals during the day, you have less dry back and thus less oxygen in your substrate. All this results in a worse root system.
Better insight into the root environment
When you consider all these above factors, you can see that it is crucial to have a deep understanding of the substrate’s water balance. Unfortunately, sensor options for a standing crop such as peppers are still very limited.
With Growficient’s moisture sensors, however, you get instant insight and grip on your crop’s water balance and uptake. The sensors measure the water content, intering, EC and temperature of each type of substrate. With this you can accurately determine the start and stop times so you can make sure you have enough dry back during the day to get enough oxygen in the slab.
The sensors can be used in rockwool, but also coco, perlite, mosswool, etc. In addition, because the sensors do not use a scaling method, they are also very suitable for use in bell pepper cultivation.
Less chance of Fusarium or Pythium
Sensors are not only important at the beginning of the season, but for a bell pepper cultivation also at the end. This way you can avoid going into autumn with conditions that are too wet. In addition, you can also dry out the mats at the end of cultivation in a very dosed manner. This gives you optimum final production and will lower the final weight of the slabs, minimizing disposal costs.
More and more bell pepper growers choose Growficient’s wireless sensors to get more grip, and especially insight in, their irrigation. With this they can react faster and more accurately to changes in the water balance of the plant, and thus prevent waterborne diseases such as Fusarium or Pythium to get a foothold in your greenhouse.
Care to share?
Would you like to know more about the benefits of Growficient? Let us know. Together we can look at the possibilities f or you to gain more insight into the root environment and to optimize watering.