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TOO HUMID ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS FOR ANY GARDEN

Time:2017-02-15

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Proper humidity is just as important to successful gardening as proper temps. When your garden is too humid, it is at risk of attack by fungus and mold that can ruin your whole garden and contaminate your harvest. Fungus is very hard to kill and multiplies exponentially, so every hour matters. In addition, when it’s overly humid, the plants have difficulty transpiring. Transpiration is the name for the process by which moisture is moved from the roots to the leaves then released into the atmosphere.

It occurs when a plant opens its stomata and release water molecules. In addition to cooling the plant, transpiration enables the movement of water through capillary action. When it’s humid, transpiration efficiency is significantly decreased.

“Too humid” varies from garden to garden.
In general, ideal garden humidity is 50% plus or minus 10%, with “high humidity” beginning somewhere above 60%. What’s ideal for your garden depends on many factors, including plant size, volume of airflow, average temperatures, and the type of growing system you use. Pay attention and don’t let garden humidity get out of control.

To reduce humidity, try one of these tactics:
• If you can, raise garden temperature by a few degrees. Warmer air retains more water vapor, so as long as you have not introduced more water vapor into the grow space, relative humidity will drop as temps rise.

• If the air outside of the garden is dryer than the garden air, increase the number of air exchanges in your grow space by beefing up your ventilation system. This works best when outside air is about the same temperature as the air in your grow space—if not, you may need to find ways to correct garden temperature after bringing in more outside air.

• Dehumidifiers physically remove unwanted humidity from the air by blowing air across chilled plates or coils that condense water vapor in the air into water, which is collected in a vessel. The units turn on when humidity in the room exceeds a set point programmed by the gardener. If you’re battling high temps, use a water-cooled dehumidifier instead of a “heat pump” model. Water-cooled units blow room-temperature air across a coil that’s chilled by pumping cold water though it.

• Air conditioners dry out the air as a by-product of cooling it, solving two problems if your garden is also too hot. Just make sure you have a plan to remove and dispose of the water that condenses out of the air conditioner, as it can be fairly acidic. Don’t use it to water living plants -it belongs down the drain.


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