In winter, low temperatures, high humidity and low-light days can lead to the appearance of pathogenic fungi in crops or problems caused by the degradation of plant’s root system, mainly due to an inadequate irrigation. Although the climatic conditions that affect the crop are not the same in summer as in winter, neither are the water and nutritional needs of the plant. “For this reason, facing the winter months, it is necessary to define specific irrigation strategies, orienting the crop towards a more generative and differentiated balance between sunny and cloudy days,” explains Juan Manuel García, Product Manager and member of Projar’s technical department.
During last December, García has carried out a study on the irrigation management in winter in a hydroponic tomato crop located in Murcia (Spain). For the test, measuring equipment with probes were installed in the substrate to monitor the percentage of humidity and Electrical Conductivity, and also a climatic station to measure radiation, humidity and temperature in the greenhouse.
In hydroponic, the producer should understand the main characteristics of the substrate and its potential in order to carry out an adequate irrigation management of the root zone. “In this particular crop, and according to the results obtained, it was concluded that a high content of coir chips in the substrate provides a higher drainage capacity. Therefore, the root system has more aeration, making easy the irrigation management during periods of low radiation.
“The aim in any crop is not to produce water stress or oxygenation deficit due to lack or excess of water, so it is important to achieve stable conditions of humidity and Electrical Conductivity in the root zone of the plant, thus maintaining the maximum productive potential in the face to the winter months ”, he explains.
Our Technical Department has prepared a Technical Guide to help the farmer define an adequate irrigation strategy in a hydroponic crop according to the climatic conditions, the characteristics of the substrate and the design of the irrigation system. “At Projar we want to give the producer tools by putting at their service all the information collected thanks to the use of technology and our experience in the sector. We understand that, now more than ever, it is important for our clients to expand and improve their agronomic knowledge to be competitive and lead the market. We hope that this information will be interesting to the farmer and useful in his daily work ”, concludes Juan Manuel.