The main tasks of commercial horticulturalists are growing, distributing and selling crops, food and plants. One of the most critical parts of this complex role is a scientific understanding of what plants require to grow.
Plants are much like humans; they need air, light, warmth, water and nutrients to be healthy. If a plant lacks even one of those, it can affect its growth and die.
Let’s take a closer look at each factor and how understanding them can help you grow crops successfully.
Plants need air to breathe and grow well, just like we do. Plants take in CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), and then photosynthesis takes place to convert the CO2 into food. As this is the case, smoke, gases, and other air pollutants can damage plants.
Plants also need light to be able to grow, as light also helps in the photosynthesis process. Most plants need about 3 to 6 hours of light daily to thrive. If a plant is kept in the dark, it will grow tall and spindly in search of light, become weak, and die. An alternative to a bright window for commercial crop growing is horticultural growing lights.
Temperature and warmth affect plants throughout every stage of their growth. For a seed to germinate, for example, it must be kept within a specific temperature range. As the plant grows, it also needs warmth to start fruiting. Without heat, a plant seed will not germinate and grow into a healthy plant. Different plants have different ideal temperatures for growth according to where they are native – which makes growing certain crops outside difficult in some areas of the world.
Water helps a plant make and move more nutrients. Water also has a vital role to play in photosynthesis. Without water, a plant will have a weak stem, dry leaves, and die. With no water or too much, a plant dies.
Plants need several nutrients to be able to grow. The three most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Nitrogen – assists in above-ground growth and gives plants their dark green colour.
- Phosphorus – helps plant cell division, aids in flower seed production, and develops a robust root system.
- Potassium – helps to fight off disease and provides for strong stems.
It takes time for plants to grow and to be taken care of. Vertical farming creates the perfect conditions for growth with no fuss. Our Gelponics technology can also help with that.
The Gelponics products are a range of hydrogel formulations that are non-synthetic and are the perfect sustainable alternative to coir, peat and stone wool. They simplify plant management and reduce operational complexity as they can be tailored to provide the specific nutrients and water needed for optimised crop growth.
If you have any questions regarding our products and how they can be used to improve plant growth, please get in touch with us on 07867 502 247 or via email at email@example.com