FILMS VS. FABRIC
By Jonathan Valdman
A greenhouse film is similar to what you might know of as Visqueen. It’s a very thin material that is very low in cost, is pretty see through and punctures relatively easily. The material typically will break down rather quickly when exposed to UV radiation and often winds up in the landfill within a season or two.
When the Sun travels through a film the rays of light are magnified creating hotspots, which attract mold, mildew, pests and diseases. Film typically has very high levels of light transmission which may sound good though with the intensity of sunlight passing through the membrane it will most likely leave your plants in a state transpiration, as opposed to photosynthesis, during the heat of the day.
When you see a plant in the garden on a hot summer day and you notice that the leaves are drooping usually your first thought is that the plant needs water.
However, what is actually happening is the process of transpiration whereas the plant is pulling up excessive amounts of water to allow the evaporation process of moisture leaving its surface to cool itself.
The excess water weight in the leaf is what’s causing the plants to wilt.
People perspire, and plants transpire. In a properly designed greenhouse plants can continue to photosynthesize, i.e. grow, during the heat of the day, as opposed to the plants under full sun that are in a state of transpiration.
These more idyllic conditions allow for greater levels of growth and health in the plants growing in the properly designed greenhouse versus the plants under the harsh outdoor environmental influences. A high-quality polyweave fabric will have the ability to reduce the intensity of the Sun coming into the greenhouse in several ways.
Typically, a material will be very durable and anywhere between 2-4 times as thick as a film.
They will allow a light transmission of 85% to 90% and will reduce the intensity of the light coming through the material. These materials are also capable of diffusing the light coming through, again creating a softer light ray that is bathing the plants.
A diffused material will take the Sun’s rays and separate them into different particles allowing the light to penetrate deeper into the canopy, reduce shading and create more of an indoor “blingy“ look on the flowers.
A anti-condensation coating is added to reduce the build-up of excessive moisture within the structure. These materials typically will last anywhere from 5 to 15 years reducing costs of replacement and limiting impact on the environment and your local landfill. As your greenhouse cover is the only material that separates your plant and the Sun, it is imperative when designing and/or upgrading your greenhouse to do so with a high-quality polyweave fabric. It is the least expensive, and most effective, thing that you can do for your brand and your product to ensure that you produce only the highest quality of flowers, terpenes and Cannabinoids.