In many cases, at the start of the cultivation the young plants are not yet placed directly on the planting holes in the slab. This is for example important for inducing a generative steering on the crop, helping to preserve the first truss.
During this period, sharp steering on irrigation is crucial for the development of the plant and its root system. Especially because the blocks have only minimal buffering capacity, meaning that full attention is required to water the plants in time. Often, insights regarding the situation within the substrate blocks is lacking, making it difficult to steer the irrigation.
Our sensors cannot only be used in slabs, but also in the blocks, regardless of the type of substrate. They provide insight in the water content of the blocks, helping to visualize when water can be given and what the upper and lower boundaries are in water content, in between which the grower wants to be with his strategy.
The graph below shows an example of what the sensors are measuring in blocks. By looking on which percentage the water content decreases to, one can easily determine when to water again.
Use of thresholds
This can also be done by setting threshold values for e.g. the lower boundary as shown below. When the water content drops to this pre-set percentage, a notification can be received to water again. In case it is preferred, a direct signal to the climate computer can also be sent.
Total image of the greenhouse
Apart from that, the EC in the blocks can be followed, meaning that one can steer/correct this in time.
Placing the sensors can be easily done throughout the greenhouse, e.g. in the front and back of different rows, spread over multiple watering sections. This way, a clear image is created of the total greenhouse and its uniformity. This uniformity is of high importance, as the buffer of each plant is so small. Parts of the greenhouse that deviate from the average, will then rapidly show irregularities in growth and development.
By gaining insight in this, one is able to steer and correct these irregularities in an early state to start the cultivation with plants that are uniformly in balance.
Care to share?
Would you like to know more about the benefits of Growficient? Let us know. Together we can look at the possibilities to gain more insights into the root environment and to optimise the irrigation.