Polyhouse Vegetable Gardening Ideas, Tips, and Techniques
Let us learn today about “Polyhouse Vegetable Gardening”. The Polyhouse vegetable gardening business is very much profitable as it has its own benefits. As one can grow vegetables throughout the year, Polyhouse vegetable gardening is the most successful business in India.
Nowadays, Polyhouse vegetable gardening is becoming popular as there are many benefits of growing vegetables in Polyhouse.
What is a Polyhouse? A Polyhouse or polytunnel is commonly made of transparent, tight, cheap, and flexible Polythene. In this method vegetables can be grown in any season of the year, depending on their requirement, because temperature and humidity can easily be controlled in Polyhouses. Polythene conserves thermal radiation, which increases the temperature and provides sufficient energy for the process of photosynthesis.
For the production of vegetables availability of suitable temperature and relative humidity is a must. These conditions are created in a Polyhouse, particularly for the production of off-season vegetables and fruits in sufficient quantity. The importance of the Polyhouse is further enhanced due to the possibility of the creation of creeper vegetables.
A polytunnel also known as a Polyhouse, hoop greenhouse, or hoop house is a tunnel normally made from steel and covered in polythene, usually semicircular, square, or elongated in shape.
In India traditional farming is common, but now new farming method like Polyhouse farming provides better income in a short period of time with less labor. Polyhouse or hoop house farming is an alternative new method in agriculture gaining a foothold in rural India. It reduces dependency on rainfall and makes the possible use of land and water resources. Polyhouse farming can help the farmer generate income around the year raising multiple crops.
Polyhouse farming is a system of protected cultivation in agriculture. Polyethylene plastic is used to cover the Polyhouse structure. Protected cultivation under Polyhouse is gaining very importance these days. It proves to be useful to the farmers since it enables. Off Season cultivation of vegetables enables the farmer to have a better price realization. Which vegetables are grown in Polyhouse? Vegetables that can be grown in Polyhouse include Cabbage, Bitter Gourd, Capsicum, Radish, Cauliflower, Chili, Coriander, Onion, Spinach, Tomato, etc.
Types of Polyhouses
Types of Polyhouse are given below;
- Low cost or naturally ventilated Polyhouses.
- Medium cost or Partial climate-controlled Polyhouses.
- High-cost or Fully climate controlled polyhouses
- Plastic low tunnels
- Net houses
The Polyhouse design:
In the Polyhouse design, the poly-houses are constructed with the help of ultraviolet plastic sheets, which last for more than five years. The basic structure of the Polyhouse is prepared with bamboos or iron pipes.
Site selection is a very important factor in Polyhouse design. A good site selection can make all the difference in the functional and environmental operations of a Polyhouse. The soil pH level for the Polyhouse is 5.5 to 6.5. Availability of a continuous source of quality water will be very important.
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Polyhouse design requirements;
- Excellent supply of electricity.
- A ground slope for drainage is an important factor to divert the surface water system from the poly house.
- Polyhouses must be located away from the buildings and trees to avoid obstruction to sunlight and should be pollution free.
- A communication facility must available at the site.
Iron pipe structure in Polyhouse is more costly but more durable than bamboo. The structure is fully covered with a 1501-micron thick plastic sheet. Normally, the length of the Polyhouse is 25-30 feet and the width is 4-5 feet. The direction of the Polyhouse is always East to West so that the maximum sunshine is available. The house must not be constructed in the shade. The size of the Polyhouse can differ depending on the necessity. And they can be kept cold or hot depending upon the season.
In the daytime, solar energy helps in increasing the temperature of the Polyhouse. Less energy is lost from the many parts of the Polyhouse. Heating is essential in the winter season. Normally, solar energy is sufficient to maintain the inner temperature of Polyhouse, but sometimes a micro temperature is required to be supplied to some crops. For this reason, a few methods may be followed:
(i) Constructing a tunnel below the earth of the Polyhouse.
(ii) Covering the northern wall of the Polyhouse with jute clothing.
(iii) Covering the entire Polyhouse with jute cloth during nighttime.
(iv) Fitting solar energy-driven device in the Polyhouse.
In the summer season when the ambient temperature rises above 40°C during day time, cooling of the Polyhouse is required, which may be achieved by the following methods:
(i) Removing the internal air of the Polyhouse.
(ii) Sucking external air by putting a fan on.
(iii) Installation of coolers on the eastern or western wall not keeps the temperature low but maintains proper humidity also.
(iv) The temperature of the poly-house can be restricted from running a water-misting machine.
The Polyhouse design tips
Some of the Polyhouse design tips are given below;
- In Polyhouse farming, we can protect our vegetable crops from any adverse environment such as high humidity or high temperature.
- The soil pH level will be 5.5-6.5
- Availability of continuous supply of quality water.
- The crops grown in a Polyhouse aren’t the conventional paddy and Rabi crops that can be developed in a field. The crops grown in a Polyhouse are generally the unconventional types that do not need further much further processing and can be sold directly in the market.
- Vegetable crops grown under the Polyhouse are protected from unfavorable environments and hailstorms, heavy rains, or scorching sunshine. They are saved from birds and other wild animals. The humidity of the Polyhouse is not adversely affected by evaporation resulting in less necessity for water. In the limited area of the Polyhouse, insect and pest control is easy and less expensive.
- A reliable source of quality water is critical for irrigating plants and must be obtained for use in the hoop house throughout the entire season. Efficient methods of watering vegetable crops within a Polyhouse include overhead sprinklers, drip irrigation, soaker hoses, micro sprinklers, sprayers, and emitters, although the manual application of water can meet crop requirements.
- Polyhouse can protect vegetable crops by preventing the entry of animals and birds into the farm. When we cultivate on the normal farm, nearly 1/3rd of the crops can be lost due to the attack of insects and worms, whereas in Polyhouse farming, we can harvest the crops about three to five times more without much damage or loss.
- The soil must be accurately prepared and fertilized for the planting of seeds and transplants; therefore, it is very important to regularly collect soil samples so that you are aware of the soil’s characteristics.
- There will be an increase in the production of vegetables in Polyhouse farming without losing their color and quality.
- The Polyhouse is prepared in such a way that it can provide water and fertilizers in the required amounts in a controlled manner which can result in high yields.
- Polyhouse cultivation reduces or removes the need for any pesticides and chemicals, thus maintaining the crops healthier for consumption and not reducing their nutritional values.
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The Polyhouse design technique:
In this technique, crops can be grown in pots or in the soil. For growing various vegetable crops, their nursery is grown first. Before sowing the seeds, rotten manure is filled in polythene bags of 10 x 15-centimeter size, along with the same quantity of soil and sand. After that, water is sprinkled on the bags, and seeds are sown in the bags. Small holes are produced in the bags for easy aeration. These bags are kept inside the Polyhouse till the plants develop to about 10-15 centimeters and are then transferred to pots or earth. These plants must be given manure and water from time to time. Generally, the disease does not spread, if at all, a little spray can be required.
For earning a maximum profit during maximum production of the crops grown in the Polyhouse. It is not necessary to pay proper attention to the supply of manure and water to the plants and protects them from disease but their cleanliness and pruning is very important. Luxuriantly growing tomato crop requires sticking or else their plants will fall on the ground and get spoiled.
The Polyhouse design ideas:
Selecting the Right Location:
Initially, Polyhouse farming was introduced with an aim to grow species in colder regions that require a warmer climate. Some of the factors that require to be considered are as follows.
The point of the Polyhouse is to be efficient and provide the best suitable environment for the growth of crops hence it should be away from pollution. Away from pollution basically implies that there shouldn’t be any industrial plants and farming must be done little outside city limits to also avoid vehicular carbon emissions.
The area where the Polyhouse is built should not in any case be a low-lying area which will pave way for waterlogging through the monsoon and water release. This will be destroying the crops. Extra care must be taken in areas that receive heavy rainfall.
Though the Polyhouse must be located in an area where it is away from pollution and the harmful gases emitted from industries and vehicles, it must be easily accessible and road connectivity should be good. Considering these factors, a good location for the Polyhouse can be selected and the construction can begin.
Low Tech and Cheap Polyhouse:
These are the simplest form of Polyhouses and require the least amount of money to be constructed. They are made of easily and locally obtainable products like bamboo as supporting materials and the construction is done using these. In this method, we will use a simple UV film for cladding and do not have high-tech, temperature adjusters.
However, low-grade temperature and humidity controllers are there which serves the purpose. The light entering the Polyhouse is restricted using shades on the transparent roof to modulate the intensity. They do not want much expertise and can be built in a very short span of time. They are generally used as shelters for crops during heavy rains and snow.
Moderate Tech Polyhouse:
These types of Polyhouses are more durable than the other types since they are constructed using galvanized iron rods which are sturdier and offer additional resilience to natural conditions. The arrangement is screwed and grounded firmly and offers improved protection against high winds and harsh climate.
Thermostats are present in the Polyhouse which accurately can manage temperatures. They are fitted with an exhaust which helps in controlling temperature and humidity. These are most suitable for areas that have a rather dry climate. They need a lot of care and regular maintenance and repairs.
These are referred for the more technologically advanced Polyhouses that are equipped with the latest technologies and have an automated method for everything.
Naturally Ventilated Polyhouse:
These Polyhouses do not pay much attention to an environmental control system and adequate ventilation is supplied in the Polyhouse. Adequate ventilation and a fogger structure make sure that the crops are protected from other pests and diseases. This kind of Polyhouse is built when the main aim is to prevent the crops from adverse weather and harsh climatic conditions.
Artificially Environment Controlled Polyhouse:
This Polyhouse believes in artificial methods of environment, and management and is used to extend the growth period of the crops. They use environmental control systems to manage the temperature of the room, control the light intensity in the room, and control the carbon dioxide levels and humidity. This is essentially misguiding the plant mechanism to believe in the suitability of the environment and achieve growth of the seasonal plants even during their offseason.
That’s all folks about Polyhouse Vegetable Gardening.
If you live in the following states and cities of India and plant to grow crops in Polyhouse, this article may be helpful to set up a Polyhouse garden.
|Arunachal Pradesh||Kerala||Himachal Pradesh||Tamil Nadu|