- 1. When it comes to empowering plants, balance is key to getting the most out of growth
When it comes to empowering plants, balance is key to getting the most out of growth
If the balance of the plant is important to allow its assimilation, it is not the only factor to take into account to stimulate growth. Water balance is also an important part of the process, as seen with evaporation and substrate systems. Let's take a look at some of the key facts behind water balance and how to get the most out of your H2O.
What is the water balance?
The water balance of a plant represents the balance between evaporation and absorption of water. This balance is vital for growth because, if evaporation exceeds water uptake, the internal tension of the water also known as plant turgor decreases. (Turgor is the condition of a living cell dilated by water that has entered it, and which accumulates in its vacuoles or vesicles.) In this case, water is often diverted from the fruits and leaves. , resulting in shrinkage. This is usually not a problem, as rehydration occurs once water availability is restored.
However, if this imbalance occurs for too long, the stomata can close to decrease evaporation, which hinders CO2 uptake and slows photosynthesis and growth.
Energy is the key
While many believe that greenhouse air is a key component of the rate of evaporation, energy is in fact the driving force. Evaporation is very energy intensive, with a general rate of 2,5 mega joules per kilo. Plants can derive this energy from the environment around them in several ways. These include visible radiation from the sun or even lamps, also known as shortwave radiation.
There is also long-wave thermal radiation, which can also come from the lamps and the sun mentioned above, but also from heating pipes. Energy can also come from the convection of air around plants, but only if there is air movement and the leaves of the plant are at a lower temperature than the air around them. .
Evaporation meets irrigation
In addition, it is very important to calculate the balance between irrigation and the needs of the plants. This can be done by adding up all the energy inputs, resulting in a full evaporative energy flux which is expressed in W / m2.
Whenever a certain amount is reached, the next drip cycle can begin, such as in solar radiation tactics.
However, unlike these strategies, the energy intakes are taken from additional factors from the sun and the full sum focuses on the indoor situation, to account for whitening and retractable shade screens.
The power of the substrate system
In order to get the most out of your water balance, as well as manage the water in the root zone, it is vital to have a substrate system. Although the design of such a system is not known to everyone, there are four main factors to focus on. It's about planning the function of the system, designing an optimal layout, making the most of the control potential, and noting the climate change and crop targets. While it takes a bit of planning and math, this is just one more step in optimizing your water balance.
Not all waters are created equal. The water content of our taps, pipes, rivers, lakes or rain barrels is much more than just hydrogen and oxygen. Water contains a wide variety of minerals and bacteria. Some of them are beneficial for healthy growth. Others are used to stop growth in its tracks. Think about how we use chlorine to keep harmful protozoa / bacteria out of our water.
Cover alkaline pH reduction in water
Water filtration aims to reduce the concentration of minerals in the water. This allows it to have a pH close to neutrality (pH7). It is carried out in two ways: by reverse osmosis and by distillation.
Reverse osmosis is a process in which water is filtered to remove the majority of impurities, including heavy metals, other minerals, and chemicals. This process is achieved by reverse engineering the natural process of osmosis. During osmosis, water changes from a high concentration of particles to a lower concentration of particles, in an attempt to balance the particles between two media. The clearest example of osmosis is that of “wrinkled” fingers in a bath. The water concentration in the tube is higher than that of the human body. The water therefore passes from the tub, through the semi-permeable membrane of the skin, into the fingers. Reverse osmosis uses pressure to change water from a low concentration of particles to a high concentration. Imagine that you could take a very deep breath while bathing, applying enough pressure to the skin cells so that the water could move from the inside of the fingers to the outside in the tub. This is how reverse osmosis works.
The larger mineral particles (mineral / chemical) remain on one side of the membrane and the pressure pushes out the smaller particles (water), creating purified water.
Distillation accelerates the natural process of the earth's natural water cycle to filter out impurities. Unfiltered water is heated until it boils. The vapor (which is pure oxygen and hydrogen) rises and is moved to another vessel by means of a condensing tube or coil. The particles thus pass from gas to liquid, which makes it possible to obtain purified water without trace elements.
If these systems are too expensive for your current operation, the PH of tap water can be adjusted using pH micro-adjustment kits. These kits maintain most hydroponic applications and can be a useful addition to any grow.
Yellowing on the tips of leaves or in uneven spots
Check whether the light source is exposed to too much or not enough light. If the other plants in the affected area are healthy, test the pH level of your water and soil again. Make sure there is no calcium build-up and nitrogen is not blocked. If these levels are normal, fungal infection may be the cause. You can treat fungal infections by placing the infected plant in quarantine and adding beneficial bacteria / protozoa to the soil (bacillus subtilis bacteria). It is a bacteria which grows naturally and which will destroy fungal growth. Fungal infections are spread by spores and can develop in areas where plants are overcrowded or where humidity is too high.