Maintaining Growroom Yields During Drought: Part I
3 Keys to Keep Your Water Needs Modest
Drought has recently become a major concern for some growers. States like Washington, California, and Oregon are seeing major drought issues; water is becoming increasingly scarce and restrictions are getting tighter. With surface water, groundwater, and other water sources drying up, new “water rights regulations” are being put in place; these regulations have increased the cost of water.
Sounds dismal, right? But limited clean water availability doesn’t have to doom you to lower plant yields. You can take a few basic measures that will:
- Reduce overall water consumption
- Maintain supplies of clean, usable water for plant growth without significant additions to supply, and
- Maintain the quality and volume of yields
Lights are, of course, the source of grow room heat. If you keep light usage controlled so that temperatures maintain at ideal levels, plants won’t overheat, become stressed, and give you lower yields. Overheating forces plants to take up more water and then quickly transpire it, which can cause humidity overload when the lights go off. That leads to problems like powdery mildew, it also means that water is used less efficiently than it could be, a major consideration in drought conditions.
Plants need CO2 supplementation during the day to facilitate increased photosynthesis, but not at night. At night, they exhale CO2 and take in oxygen just as humans do. What else do they exhale? Water. As mentioned above, grow room temperatures drop to their lowest at night, which can lead to condensation. That condensation must be removed to prevent mildew and other problems. This is where dehumidifiers enter the picture. Moisture from inside the grow room can be recycled and used again.
Dehumidifiers are essential to maintaining optimal moisture levels in the grow room – and keeping you supplied with a good source of clean, readily accessible water even in drought conditions. Some growers enjoy debating this point, but the issue is settled as far as the science is concerned. With a couple of basic precautions and an occasional quick check with your existing meters, condensate water can be handled just like clean tap water. More on that next time.
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About the Author
Quest builds quality, energy-efficient dehumidification equipment designed to perform in commercial environments. Quest has the solution for any indoor or greenhouse gardening application. Quest dehumidifiers are extremely energy efficient on the market, removing the most pints of water per kWh over the widest temperature range.