As technology is evolving everyday, we have seen drastic changes in the art of farming as well. Where traditional methods were thought to be sufficient for crop production, now they have little application and appeal towards consumers as the demand for off-season yields has seen an excessive increase. So, we found a common solution and that is a Polyhouse. Polyhouse has evolved the way of traditional farming in countries like India and Bangladesh and presented new opportunities to get better and more yield while utilising fewer resources.
Basically, a polyhouse is a specialized structure made from a transparent material, polyethylene, that utilises the controlled climate condition for the growth of different plants and other farming needs. The structure size can vary from small to large depending on needs. A polyhouse is a polyethylene house, so the interior of which becomes warm on sunlight exposure, and inhibits the green-house gases from escaping out. In cold weather, the inside temperature is maintained manually for the plants.
Polyhouses play a significant role in protecting plants from continuously changing weather and climatic conditions like heat, sun-light, and wind. This will help the plants grow at any time of the year. Every factor affecting the yield can be controlled in polyhouse farming.
Polyhouses are also known as polytunnels, tire green-houses, or over-head tunnels. It is generally a poly-ethylene tunnel, typically square, semi-circular, or lengthened.
The internal environment heats-up quickly because solar radiations heat the soil, plants, and other objects present in the polyhouse. The roof and walls of the polyhouse keep the internal heat trapped. Because of which the process of heat escaping from the polyhouse is very slow which keeps heating the plants and soil. There are several automated devices that are being used to control internal humidity, temperature, and ventilation.
Greenhouse Vs Polyhouse:
One of the frequently asked questions is about the difference between a greenhouse and a polyhouse. So, a polyhouse is essentially a greenhouse. It can also be regarded as a type of greenhouse. Traditionally the greenhouses were made with green-colored sheets to act as a roof. Then with advancement, we were introduced to more reliable plastic sources such as polythene. The success of this new polythene in a greenhouse as well as its low cost made it a material of choice. That is how this type of greenhouse got a new name, i.e., polyhouse.
Polyhouse is a scaled-down version of a green-house that uses polyethylene as a cover, whereas in greenhouses a big building covered with glass or a green cloth is constructed. Polyhouse farming is much popular in developing countries due to its low installation and maintenance costs.
Advantages of Polyhouse Farming:
Polyhouse is very desirable for organic farming because of its several food and environmental benefits. Some of the important benefits of polyhouse agriculture are listed below:
You can grow off-season crops. Such crops can yield higher profits as they are in increased demand with little supply.
You can enjoy a whole year's yield of crops without having to wait for the season’s rotations.
As you are controlling the factors like humidity, temperature, and sunlight, etc. There are very few chances of crop damage and loss.
A drip irrigation system provides an effective solution for the scarcity of water supply. It is also more beneficial for crop growth.
Quality and Quantity Advantages:
There is more control over pests and insects and your crops are less prone to lose due to them.
The quality of the crop is relatively much higher.
External environmental factors have little or no effect on the crops. Crops have a more favourable environment available for growth which eventually translates into higher profits.
Fertiliser application becomes much easier, you can even use automated systems to make sure each plant is getting a definite amount of fertiliser for optimum growth.
Reduced cropping period helps farmers to get 2 or 3 corps per year.
Polyhouse can have more efficient drainage and aeration mechanisms.
More production of CO2 in a polyhouse is useful for plant growth.
The most important question is ‘What can we grow in a Polyhouse? These polyhouses are now used to cultivate almost anything under a synthetic roof. From off-season varieties of fruits to most exotic flowers, these polyhouses can yield any type of crop.
Most profitable variety of crops by utilising these polyhouses:
Vegetables: Broccoli, Bitter Gourd, Cabbage, Capsicum, Cauliflower, Coriander,Chilli, Cucumber, Carrots, Eggplants (Brinjal), Ginger, Green Beans, Leafy vegetables, Lettuce, Okra, Onion, Radish, Spinach, Tomatoes, etc.
Flower Crops: Roses, Gerbera, Jasmine, Anthurium, Strelitzia, Carnations, Orchids, Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus, Marigold, etc.
Fruit Crops: Strawberries, Raspberries, Citrus Fruit, Watermelon, Peach, Papaya, etc.
Herbs: Ginger and Turmeric, etc.
Nursery Plantations: Ornamental indoor plants, Cacti, Colourful exotic plants, Miniature species, etc.